The Many Faces of ADHD - Linda Roggli
Linda Roggli was diagnosed with ADHD when she was in her 40s. Life had been good to Linda before her diagnosis. She was a successful business owner, owning and operating an advertising agency. Before that, Linda worked as a reporter and anchor, a radio reporter and copywriter, and a grants writer. But it is the job Linda holds today, a retreat facilitator at her own retreat center, which brings Linda a sense of fulfillment.
Linda is the founder of ADDiva and "Garden Spirit Guest House." This garden retreat, done several weekends throughout the year helps women with ADHD (mostly women facing menopause as well, but open to all women) get in touch with who they are and find the potential that lives within each of them.
During a weekend retreat, women with ADHD find a safe place to be. This time together allows the participants to connect with one another and offer support, without fear of being judged. They can be who they are and feel safe in that knowledge. According to Linda, the retreat weekends are nurturing environments that have "a lot of laughter, a lot of hugs and a little bit of tears."
Linda is a wonderful, warm and funny ADDiva. She began her quest to reach out to other women after dealing with her own diagnosis. When first diagnosed, she bounced between being relieved to know there was a name for the struggles she had experienced and not believing there was not anything "wrong", after all, she had made it this far and had been successful in her life.
But once menopause hit, the symptoms of ADD were out of control. She would forget things even more and when she searched for information on the relationship between ADD and menopause, there was very little to be found. Linda's doctor explained it this way, "ADD brains need estrogen." Linda worked to find solutions to out of control ADD symptoms, but she also wanted to reach out to other mid life women who consistently ask, "Is this ADD or is it menopause?" She desperately wanted to connect with other women, but found little opportunity to interact available.
(Linda is planning research in this area. She understands medications are not as effective in treating symptoms of ADD during menopause, much like the teen years, hormones get in the way. She would like to see more information available to mid-life women on coping with symptoms of ADD.)
In addition, women hitting the menopausal and mid-life years were probably not diagnosed with ADD when they were children. They were probably diagnosed only in the past ten years, or may be undiagnosed, wondering what is "wrong" with them. They may have survived, and even succeeded by their sheer determination and their wits, but because of living a life where they felt misunderstood and may have hidden their true self for fear of being judged, they have never reached their potential. They never learned to trust themselves, but instead relied on external factors, such as therapists, to cope with their lives.
Linda developed her retreat center for that reason. She wants women to be able to find the potential they have locked up inside of them, to "find their wisdom" and to move forward in their lives. Linda, through her coaching and her retreats, hopes to help women move toward trusting themselves and believing in themselves. By having a place where women can connect with other women, sharing experiences and support, they can learn to trust themselves. They can begin to learn they have the wisdom within and let go of the negative feedback they have received throughout their lives.
But it is important to understand that letting go of the negative of the past doesn't automatically happen. Learning to trust yourself and being comfortable with who you are is a process, a journey. But sometimes, during the retreats, Linda gets to witness a "Eureka" moment, where a woman begins to plant the seeds of their dream, and these moments are what bring joy and fulfillment to Linda's life.