103: The Double Blessing of ADHD and Giftedness with René Brooks

Did you know that you could help somebody by just being honest and transparent about who and how you are? It's such a validating experience to know that somebody really gets you. Today's interview is with René Brooks. René's been a typical ADHD personality for as long as she can remember, losing keys, books, homework, and even her glasses sometimes when they were on her face! Although she was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of eleven, she never received any treatment for it until she was twenty-five. So her experience of learning that she had something real and that it could be worked with, started at that point. Listen in to find out what René has to share today, about growing up as a gifted person with ADHD.

René created a blog, Black Girl Lost Keys, with the intention of sharing the experience of receiving a diagnosis of ADHD later in life, while being part of a demographic that is still mostly skeptical about mental illness. ADHD and giftedness are not mutually exclusive, and many people don't realize that, so it was often hard for René to be understood while growing up. Listen in today to hear her talking about the ups and downs of her life growing up with ADHD, and how she channels her intensity, her fire, and her passions.

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Show highlights:

  • What's lacking in the world of neurodiversity.

  • The similar experiences of people with ADHD within René's particular cultural dynamic.

  • What René Remembers most vividly about being a gifted child.

  • Being understood, and taken in context, has become more important to René than whether she's liked or not by someone.

  • René discusses her ethical stance regarding politics, power, and the abuse of power.

  • René has had to learn to pull herself back at times, as she can alienate people with her 'correctness'.

  • Why René doesn't speak about the experiences of other people.

  • What ally-ship in action really ought to look like.

  • We tend to make things so much more complicated than we need to.

  • René had a difficult time growing up as gifted, with ADHD.

  • People often don't understand that giftedness and ADHD are not mutually exclusive.

  • We really need to make space in the world for people who don't follow convention.

  • The ridicule that can come from not conforming to cultural norms.

  • The story of Henrietta Lacks.

  • The way that black people have been exploited and made to suffer in the past by the medical community.

  • More honesty and transparency in people would ultimately result in less suffering.

Links and Resources:

René on all social media: Black Girl Lost Keys

Black Girl Lost Keys Blog

ADHD Essentials Podcast

Books mentioned:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

Far From The Tree, by Andrew Solomon

The book study with author Paula Prober of Your Rainforest Mind is coming up on the second Saturday in November. Get your copy of her book and join us for a great conversation and Q & A session. You can find out more on Patreon.

Perfectionism is going to be the death of all of us if we don't learn how to let it go. ~ Rene Brooks
The double blessing of ADHD and Giftedness
Just by existing, it helps people. ~ Rene Brooks