Nikisha Brunson is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Urban Bush Babes and Pineapple Life, and her work has been featured in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, and Essence. She recently launched Folie, a 100% natural apothecary line, and is passionate about helping people live healthy lives from the inside out. She took the time to share her experiences with ADHD and her advice for other women on the journey.
Nikisha Brunson, 33
Creator, UrbanBushBabes.com, Pineapple.life, Folie
ADHD & General Anxiety Disorder
Age of Diagnosis: 31
3 fun facts about you?
- I’m an undercover comedian who loves to make people laugh.
- I got to take pottery classes in undergrad and plan on going back to it sometime within the next month, I love it!
- I’m obsessed with music.
What are some superpowers that come from having ADHD?
Definitely the sensitivity, the creativity, the intelligence, and the ability to multitask. Creativity, that’s the top. Because I come up with the craziest, most creative ideas which I feel like it can only come from an ADHD mind. I feel like every person I’ve met with ADHD is smart. We are emotional and sensitive. We tend to be connected to things more, we notice things, our hearing is heightened, our taste is heightened, everything is heightened. Those are definitely positive aspects of ADHD. Another strength is adventure because we are always seeking the next thrill, we are very inquisitive and wanting to do something new. If you are in the life of someone that has ADHD you get to experience all of that.
You are one of the creative minds behind UrbanBushBabes.com, a lifestyle website that has 350,000 weekly visitors. You recently launched an all natural apothecary line, can you tell us about it?
For the last couple of years I’ve been saying, “I would love to start a apothecary line,” but I was hesitant because of where we were living and our lifestyle at the time. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or if I wanted to pursue cooking. I was still all over the place.
A part of my lifestyle blogging for Urban Bush Babes and Pineapple Life I was doing videos to expose people in the black community to healthier living through eating, exercise, what we put on our bodies and what we put in our bodies. I decided to do DIY videos because I love making things with my hands which include cooking and DIY, the pottery, the painting, whatever I can get my hands on.
Then people started asking me like, “Would you make this? I love it but I don’t want to buy all these ingredients to make this. I don’t have the time.” When we moved into our first home here in Austin, I had all the space and this beautiful kitchen and I thought “Why not? I love doing it, I love teaching people how to do it. Let me just go for it.” That’s pretty much how it started.
When I got married, my husband and I, we enjoy a lot of the same things. He is a creative person. We combine forces and started Pineapple Life. Then I launched my apothecary line Folie, which is 100% natural hair and skin care products. I have all these things that I’m juggling but I everything is tied together. I’m confident now with calling myself a creative, an artisan. That’s what I do, that’s what I’m passionate about.
What advice would you share regarding ADHD and relationships?
Make sure that you are with somebody who takes ADHD seriously and is willing to put in the time and effort to learn this important part of who you are. This is something my husband continues to do. If they have grace and patience with you then it will make your relationship stronger.
If your significant other doesn’t take it seriously, they are going to try to force you to be somebody that you are never going to be, or they are going to have a standard for you that you are never going to be able to reach.
You want a partner who can understand “Okay, well this is who this person is, and I accept them for who they are, and the things that they are able to work on.” Someone who can give you loving reminders like “Hey, you forgot to do a thing,” or “Maybe you want to do it this way.” Someone who just knows what sets you off, what your triggers are and in the most loving way possible can say “You don’t have to yell,” or “No need to get frustrated.”
If you find a partner that is loving and understanding it can make your relationship really unique and dynamic in a way that your average relationship wouldn’t be.
As a mother, what would you say to ADHD women who are thinking of having kids?
I don’t think you can ever prepare for being a parent, even if you don’t have ADHD. I had this vision of what a perfect mom was until one day reality just hit me like there’s no such thing as a perfect mom. Just get rid of that altogether. It makes things easier. I know of parents that don’t have ADHD and they are still disorganized and they get through it. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet but it’s so rewarding.
Realize no mom on this planet is perfect (even the ones who don’t have ADHD) and do your best.
Be prepared for the fact there’s a high likelihood of passing on the ADHD genes like I did with my son. Make sure the father is very patient and understanding and can take on the things that may be too overwhelming for you.
Also be kind and patient with yourself. Just take it day to day and ask for forgiveness often. I have a lot of honest talks with my son, like, “Man, I messed up with that or when I said that or when I did that. Will you forgive me?” Not being afraid to admit your mistake, I think that’s the most important thing for a mom to have with their child is just honesty and not being afraid to admit when they are wrong.
What ADHD symptoms cause challenges for you and what strategies have you found to overcome them?
Focus, organization, and forgetfulness. I always do a million things at once and dang near impossible for me to just focus on one thing. I start a ton of things at the same time and usually bite off more than I can chew which causes me to be overwhelmed. I can get very disorganized and forgetful. I need to create lists, mark my desk calendar, and create phone reminders. Sticky notes are also very useful and all over my house.
What helps you find your inner peace?
First learning who you are, things you are good at and things that you fail at. You can live an amazing life knowing what you are good at, what you are not good at. If you are not good at something you can strengthen it or just leave it alone, say that’s not my thing, accept it and move on.
Another thing I’ve learned, is that it’s so important to walk with people on your journey who can hear you out and understand you. Surrounding yourself with other people who have compassion for you, people who will be there for you will help when you are being hard on yourself, or if you are thinking about quitting.
To find my inner peace I pray and surround myself with people who are compassionate and considerate and won’t make me feel overwhelmed. To release anxiety and stress I turn to exercising, a good movie or series. I also just started doing yoga again.
Any ADHD resources you would recommend?
To learn more about ADHD and how the brain works while being effected by mental illness and disorders, I recommend two videos by leading brain Doctor, Dr. Amen: Healing ADD & Change Your Brain Change Your Life. They are wonderful and more than insightful!!!
What do you wish the world appreciated about women with ADHD?
We are fascinating and multifaceted. There will always be adventure with us.
Learn more about Nikisha on Urban Bush Babes, and check out her apothecary line at FolieApothecary.etsy.com. You can also hear more about her experience with ADHD and General Anxiety Disorder in this video.
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