How does Candace Lefke keep everything as on track as possible? Planners. Technology. Meditation. And, of course, more. Listen to this episode for all her tips.
Lindsay Guentzel (00:06):
Welcome back to Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel. What you’re listening to today, it’s a little bit different than the podcast episodes we’ve shared with you before. This episode, this person’s story is a part of Refocused, Together, a special series the team at ADHD Online and I have been working on for ADHD Awareness Month. Every day throughout the month of October, we’ll be sharing a different person’s ADHD story, which is fitting because the theme for ADHD Awareness Month this year is understanding a shared experience, and I can’t think of a better way to really get a sense of that shared experience than by telling a different story every single day.
And to be clear, yes, that’s 31 stories in 31 days. My name is Lindsay Guentzel and along with a team at ADHD Online, I’m so excited to present, Refocused, Together, a collection of stories aimed at raising awareness on just how complex ADHD is and the different ways it shows up in people’s lives. When we share stories, it’s easier to find the perspective, ideas, and tips that help us live our best lives. I’m interviewing people with varying backgrounds, diagnoses, experiences, and perspectives. We’ll hear from working parents, advocates, engineers, writers, PhD candidates, and more to learn that while we may be different, we are all united by our own ADHD journeys.
This special project is very near and dear to my heart. And although talking to 31 different people has been a lot of talking, I am so grateful for each person who shared their story with me, and I cannot wait for you to meet my guests and get to know them. Be sure to subscribe to Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel so that you don’t miss a single story this month. And with that, let’s get on to today’s episode.
There’s a very the stars aligned story that explains how I met today’s guest. Back in June, just a month after we launched Refocused, I went out to Grand Rapids to meet the team at ADHD Online in person for the first time. We had a long list of things we needed to do, including our first day long studio shoot together. Here I am, an extrovert who has a lot of introvert moments and who gets real awkward around new people, walking into the studios at 8:00 in the morning and I know no one. Now, keep in mind, I know these people from the internet, meaning virtual meetings, and there’s a part of me that is very nervous that no one is going to like me in person.
The first item on my to-do list is hopping into hair and makeup, and that’s when I met Candace Lefke and Cameron Sterling. And if you’ve ever had your hair and makeup done by strangers, you know it’s a fine balance of being upfront about what you want and giving them the freedom to do what they’re good at, making you look and feel your best. It was very clear very early during my time in their chair that I was in good hands. Capable and talented, yes, but also kind and empathetic. Fast forward to, quiet on the set, and there I was in a sense performing in probably one of the most high stakes moments of my life.
What if I’m horrible? What if I’m not what they expected? As an ambitious people pleaser, if you have been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There were moments of hiccups for sure, trying to figure out language, how I would say something versus what the scripts said, what else I wanted to focus on. In between takes, the room turned into a giant creative session. Everyone jumped in with ideas, including Candace and Cameron who were sitting in the back of the room. The team who hours earlier had done my hair and makeup were now offering up really insightful ideas about how to explain certain things about ADHD.
Because somehow when the team at Deksia reached out to The Pretty Committee, the team Cameron and Candace work for, and booked two artists for our shoot, we somehow ended up with two people who threw out the entire shoot, knew exactly what we were talking about, because both Candace and Cameron have ADHD. And like the other stories you’ve heard this month, both Candace and Cameron have incredibly different ADHD stories. That’s some straight the universe is looking out for you energy. We wrapped that shoot and I was exhausted, but on a high. After years of hiding myself and making myself smaller to appease people, I was exactly who I wanted to be that day.
I know a major part of that was because I started my day with Candace and Cameron. By the time I stepped foot in front of those cameras, I truly had been lifted up by two people who knew me without really knowing anything about me. It was a gift, one that I’m not sure I’ve ever properly explained or thanked them for. When we started planning Refocused, Together, interviewing Candace and Cameron was at the top of my list. While I had hoped to interview both of them together while I was in Michigan in September, I am still so excited I was able to connect with them both virtually. Today, I am so excited to introduce you to Candace Lefke.
Candace didn’t connect the dots about having ADHD until, like many who found themselves with extra time during the pandemic, she joined TikTok. Every time the freelance stylist and makeup artist logged onto the app, videos from TikTokers who posted content about the condition kept appearing in her feed. Those stories resonated with her. Candace consistently had issues staying on top of chores and task initiation, so much so that it significantly impacted her life and relationships. Curious if her inkling about having ADHD was correct, she pursued a diagnosis, and turns out the social media platform’s algorithm was right. ADHD was the thing at the root of her struggles.
Candace thought about all of the shame she carried with her through her 31 years and she now had a reason to stop admonishing herself for being unable to keep step with daily to-dos, friends, and family. Learning more about ADHD, gave Candace permission to offer herself deep compassion, forgive herself for the disordered eating she had always struggled with, and finally get to know her true self as a multi-passionate individual. I am so excited to welcome Candace Lefke to Refocused, Together. Candace, I am so excited to catch up with you and to welcome you to Refocused, Together. I just am so appreciative of your time and excitement about joining the project. Thank you for being here with us.
Candace Lefke (07:25):
Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s really exciting to talk about this. It’s a new adventure in my life, learning more about myself and ADHD. I feel like even meeting you and working with ADHD Online, you just had this connection. I’m just excited to talk today.
Lindsay Guentzel (07:45):
We did have a connection and I’m glad that you said that because I felt that too. The days that we’ve worked together have been so busy, and so you catch up as much as you can and when I’m sitting in your chair, but we are all there to work. I’m so excited that we get this kind of one-on-one time to just dive into your story. I want to start at the beginning. Go back to before you were diagnosed and just tell me a little bit about what led to you seeking out an assessment to begin with.
Candace Lefke (08:16):
I was a late in life diagnosis, actually. I’ve only been diagnosed for just probably a little bit over two years. It was pandemic times and I was bored and downloaded TikTok. I think this is a story that a lot of at least American women are telling me, friends of mine as well, that I was scrolling through TikTok and it’s new, it’s for your page, and the algorithm is trying to figure me out. It keeps leading me to ADHD TikTok. I was like, this is interesting. This is really not anything that I had…
I think at one point in my life when I was going through college for massage therapy, I wondered a little bit, but this was the time that I was hearing these women’s stories online about ADHD and their struggles or the quirks or the different things that they were going through finding out that they’re ADHD. I was resonating with a lot of it. I talked to my partner as well and he was like, “Yeah, I think maybe let’s get you tested.” I went searching and I found a place where I could get my ADHD testing done. And sure enough, I had ADHD.
It was kind of like my gosh moment. I don’t know. Just learning that diagnosis at 31 years old, I looked back on my life and realized how much of the struggles and the things that I was dealing with and some of the shame I had was related to ADHD. It’s been a healing journey, to be honest with you, learning about my ADHD diagnosis.
Lindsay Guentzel (10:18):
I’m glad to hear that it’s been a healing experience. It’s so interesting to me knowing how we met. That first day on set, I would have been very surprised had you told me that you had just been diagnosed two years ago. Because in those moments when we were having those initial conversations just as a big group, you were so confident in what you were saying and you were so very much engaged and I felt very informed about ADHD and how it shows up in women’s lives.
I’m curious, when you look back at that time of looking at TikTok and then eventually getting the assessment, are there any things that stand out that really kind of caught your attention as far as what you were seeing these women share online that was resonating with you?
Candace Lefke (11:13):
Yeah, I think the biggest things were just task initiation, being able to keep up. It was something so prevalent in my life at that time. I was having struggles within my relationship with that actually. My partner at the time was also ADHD, but presented it in a very different way, was a little bit more hyperactive and really wanted to keep the house clean. Here I was, piles of laundry and stacks of stuff that I knew what it was, but had just left it around the house. That resonated hugely with me at the time because it was a conversation I was having with my partner. Another one actually that I saw that I don’t think is acknowledged in a lot of people that know about ADHD is disordered eating.
And that was huge for me. Just learning that that might be a huge connection with my ADHD was a huge revelation I think. I resonated with a couple of creators about that. Just knowing my brain and knowing to not blame myself for some of my disordered eating habits of forgetting to eat and then binge eating a ton of food later in the day and always struggling with my weight and staying consistent and trying to be healthy, those things were huge in my life. Those are big struggles of mine. And of course, some time management. Any of my friends will tell you, they probably tell me to come to a place at least a half an hour to an hour earlier than I’m supposed to be there.
I think the only thing I have the energy to get to on time is my job. I have the anxiety that drives me to go do that. Having time management and getting to a place when I’m supposed to is always a struggle. It’s always procrastination, wait until the last minute, and then rush, rush, rush were big things that I saw with other women that were relating to it. The fact that we were undiagnosed until 30, a lot of our anxiety and hyperactivity seemed to happen in our head and we weren’t outwardly necessarily hyperactive, but my brain is very hyperactive. Again, that’s something that seems to happen with women a lot more than men, especially when we’re younger.
I think that’s probably why I didn’t get diagnosed with it or people don’t realize that about myself because it’s a lot of internal struggles and things that, besides being late to things, people don’t see how it shows up in my life unless you’re a close partner of mine.
Lindsay Guentzel (14:00):
I’m wondering before adulthood, if you can look back and see any moments that pop up from your childhood or adolescence that you can go, “Yes, that was ADHD.”
Candace Lefke (14:17):
Oh, for sure. Especially middle school when with your homework gets a little crazy and you get more responsibilities and things that you’re supposed to be doing and I lost my homework. I cannot tell you how many times I would forget about my homework. In my backpack, in my binder, out of site, out of mind, forgot that I even had to do it. I was amazing at testing my intelligence. I was smart. I was having teachers being like, “Candace, we don’t understand. You’re not either applying yourself, or why are you not finishing these tasks?” At that time, I didn’t know any better and placed a lot of blame on myself for those things. But I definitely struggled with homework, projects.
I would wait until the last minute if I had a giant project that we’d have month to complete and I would wait until the night before and be up until 4:00 AM finishing that task or reading that book or doing that book report that I was supposed to be doing. I think another thing that looking back was the emotional dysregulation. My inability at that time being a teenager, I think the hormones and going through such a change, I really struggled with regulating my emotions. I ended up getting punished for it, because I think my parents didn’t really know better, but I would hold it in and have these big emotional outbursts.
Looking back, I hear about that with more ADHD people and our inability to really do that or really struggling with regulating those emotions. I resonated deeply with that. Looking back, I can understand where I was at at that point.
Lindsay Guentzel (16:14):
I want to ask a question and it’s kind of like I feel like I’m putting on my psychologist hat. I have no training whatsoever. It’s just a follow up because I’m curious. In those moments when the teachers came to you and were like, “Gosh, you get the material. You’re testing well. You’re engaged in class,” and they said, “I don’t know why the homework is such a problem,” did you pull away? Did go into the I’m going to avoid this, I don’t want to talk about this, I feel ashamed of this?
Candace Lefke (16:49):
Yeah. I think I’m just one of those people too that I was really hard on myself. My parents and the people that knew me knew I was intelligent and had a lot of expectations of me. The fact that they were pulling me aside and even my parents having talkings to me, try to motivate me, but, I don’t know, it was very difficult to hear those words when my brain just forgot that. I wanted to do the things and I wanted to do well so badly. Finishing the homework, I would just put it off and procrastinate, and then I would stress and cry.
School was a struggle I think from middle school on just to finish those things. I worked in a constant state of stress. Talking to anybody about it, they didn’t understand. My parents didn’t seem to understand why I couldn’t just do the thing, and I told them I just can’t do the thing. Yeah, it was hard.
Lindsay Guentzel (17:57):
I have a follow up for this that I want to get to in just a second because it involves your work. You’ve mentioned when we started the conversation that you’re late a lot, but you’re never late when it comes to your work because it’s something you’re so passionate about. I think we go back to high school and we’re like, we did the homework for the stuff that we were really excited about, but we also didn’t kind of know what that was in high school. If I could go back, I would be taking shop class, woodworking, art, all of those things that I didn’t think in high school I enjoyed.
But I also think I was just like, “Oh I have to get into a four year school. I have to do this list that other people’s expectations for me,” and so then you don’t really even enjoy it. I’m throwing that out there, putting it out there into the universe because I want to start moving towards that by asking, you were diagnosed about two years ago and you mentioned some of the things that you quickly realized were connected to ADHD. What have you changed or added into your life in the last two years that has been specifically to address something involving your ADHD and how you know it affects your life?
Candace Lefke (19:10):
I live by planners for sure. I think I started these routines and things that keep me grounded and help me work better. I really do rely on technology quite a bit. I am very thankful for my smartphone and my iPad because I have reminders set up for everything, including taking my medication because I will forget unless something alerts me to do that. I think those things, and also I have really focused on meditation, mindfulness practices.
I know when I’m not doing them my brain gets even more jumbled. And when I’m doing them, I feel like I can sort through. Even though I have a lot of fast paced thoughts happening all the time, I’m able to notice which ones are important, which ones to let go of. I think those are probably the biggest things. I think adding exercise too, even just walking my dogs in the morning and moving first thing in the morning seems to do wonders for my brain.
Lindsay Guentzel (20:16):
It’s funny, they’ve said exercise, it makes you feel better and it takes us all who are resistant to it a long time to realize that. But I kind of use the analogy like we talk about technology. If my phone sent me a notification being like, “You have worked out five days in a row. This is what you’ve done,” or some sort of an example of what I’ve accomplished in a way that I can quantify it, I’m like, “Oh yeah!” But it’s because when we’re doing something regularly, unless someone notices it or points it out or we’re documenting it, we really sometimes forget that we are doing things to make ourselves feel better.
And that’s the point. If we don’t get I don’t want to say a participation trophy, but kind of. If there’s not an acknowledgement, it’s hard for us to say, “This is actually helping.”
Candace Lefke (21:20):
Yeah, for sure. Actually even as you ask that question, I felt like things were popping up that I’ve been doing. The more that I’ve learned about ADHD, I think that’s so important for anybody that’s been diagnosed with it too is read it, listen to your podcast, listen to all the podcasts about ADHD, learn from books, because it really does help give you ideas. Everybody’s ADHD journey is so different in what you need too. I think it’s such a personal thing to figure out what’s going to work for you. I’m still figuring it out. I still feel like I’m very early. I’m still figuring out medication and all those things. Routines are just a new thing for me, figure out what works, what doesn’t, and trial and error.
Lindsay Guentzel (22:10):
Well, and I imagine in your line of work, because there is no routine, you are working so many events, you’re getting picked up for day long shoots like you did with us. It’s hard to establish a routine when what you’re passionate about doesn’t have a routine.
Candace Lefke (22:35):
Yes. Yeah, that’s one of the harder things about my job, honestly. I like it because my ADHD brain loves change. I get so bored if I am doing the same thing over and over again. I had work where I was in a salon or I’ve worked retail and I was so bored because my day didn’t change up as much. I think in some ways it’s so great, in other ways it’s really hard. Like I said, I live by the planner and I still make mistakes. Just knowing this, I have told people, people that work with me frequently, I’m like, “Give me reminders if you can.” Those are those little things help out so much.
But yeah, it’s definitely a learning process on how to manage all the things coming at me at once and how my day constantly changes, but I think I’m slowly developing a morning routine and an evening routine when I’m home and that really grounds me. Again, I’m not perfect. Some days I fly out of bed and I rush, put my clothes on and fly out to a wedding early in the morning because it is so early. But the days that I do have a little bit of time, I really try to keep into those routines and start off my day in that way.
Lindsay Guentzel (23:59):
Well, let’s talk about how you found this career you’re so passionate about, because you mentioned knowing yourself and knowing your ADHD and seeing how it comes out, you’re very creative, and that’s something that I hear a lot of people with ADHD talk about, whether it’s creative in the sense of art or creative in the sense of just not as much inside the box, so to speak. I also am curious because a lot of women tend to have more of the inattentive symptoms and sometimes that’s people pleasing, but with your line of work, you get to do something for someone and they then are grateful.
You know what I mean? I get in your chair and I’m just like, “This is so awesome. There’s this pampering feeling to it.” And then one of the reasons why I felt so comfortable on set was because you made me feel so good by how I looked. I was comfortable on camera because I felt good about how I looked. I imagine there’s a part of that that is this people pleasing. That is a love language. It’s what fills up your cup. You wouldn’t do it if you just were like, “Oh, I’m really loving this work.” Because I imagine there are days where someone isn’t as excited about their look or they have something that they want to fix, and that would be something that would be very hard for me to not take personally.
Candace Lefke (25:32):
It is. It’s still really hard, honestly. I definitely have the people pleasing, and I think it is truly to my benefit in the industry that I’m at. Doing hair and makeup for people, doing weddings, doing commercial work, you want to make these people happy. I really do love this job, because first of all, it is artistic and I get to paint people’s faces really. I mean, another part of it is I love making, especially women, feel beautiful and feel empowered and feel strong. And that’s something that makeup has done for me on top of giving me a creative outlet. Just that reward of making these connections with people, because I really love that one-on-one with my clients.
Having that one-on-one connection with them and being able to make them feel like a million bucks is so worth it. I do have those clients that need adjusting or might not be the happiest. I feel like because I really do care and I do listen, I feel like I’m pretty lucky and I don’t get those people too much. It’s to my benefit, I think, a little bit of the people pleasing being in the service industry. Again, we have the ADHD and rejection is hard, having somebody critique it, but that’s just been experience of learning to breathe through it and not to take things personally and reminding myself of that aspect. I get through it.
Not that it’s ever easy, but we figure it out. I want to make people happy. I want to make people feel good and strong. If that means that I push my ego aside of what I’ve created on your face or your hair, that I need to make tweaks, then that’s okay.
Lindsay Guentzel (27:27):
Well, ADHD or not, that is a skill set you need in your line of work. It shows growth, and it shows that you are passionate about what you’re doing when you’re able to go, “Okay, these are stories I am telling myself in my head. This is what is actually happening, and I can move forward.”
Candace Lefke (27:48):
Lindsay Guentzel (27:49):
But it’s so much easier right now to just be like, “Oh my gosh, we have it. This is all figured out.”
Candace Lefke (27:53):
Yeah, this is fine. Of course, I love the clients that are giddy about what I’m doing and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, you make me look so good and I feel so hot. I feel powerful.” Those are great. The difficult clients, it’s a learning opportunity for me. I’ve noticed as I’ve moved on to my life and as I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve gotten a little bit better about taking that type of criticism and running with it and knowing myself worth and that I’m good at what I do and that I can fix it, that I can make them happy. I have that ability.
Lindsay Guentzel (28:29):
We’ve been talking about positive ways that ADHD shows up in your life without actually talking about positive ways that ADHD shows up in your life. I didn’t ask that specific question, but I’m so glad that that’s where the last couple of minutes have led. I’m wondering, I talked to a lot of people with ADHD who are like, “I work so well under pressure.” I’ve got to imagine when you’re on a set or you’re at a wedding, stuff goes wrong, life goes wrong, and then you are in the middle of it. I would love to know what you’ve experienced in that adrenaline rush of, “All right, it is my time to shine. I need to do whatever to alleviate some of the stuff that’s going on.”
Candace Lefke (29:15):
Yeah, I think my body is literally built for pressure, because I’ve been training like this since I’ve been a teenager. I have been training to be under pressure for projects and all sorts of stuff. I do really work well in a pressure situation at a time. Sometimes it’s a little nerve-wracking. I have had experiences. Early on in my career when I was actually still in school at Douglas J going for cosmetology, I got accepted to go do this makeup artist bootcamp out in California with this makeup artist out in Hollywood. I worked with him and five other girls from around the country. We had competitions and things where we were performing and doing certain types of makeup looks.
I was able to just really hyper focus on what I was doing and getting this look up on this model and getting her out. I had another girl in the same group that was having a hard time and cracking and having a meltdown and couldn’t finish the model. Again, my superpower of ADHD and training for all that pressure, I just grabbed her and was able to fix it and put her up and she was ready to be shot. Being a makeup artist is a high pressure job. I don’t think a lot of people realize that. But when you’re on set, if you’re doing runway, if you’re doing editorial, there’s a time slot. Even weddings especially, because there’s a ton of people that need to be done in a really condensed amount of time.
I am just able to focus on it and I do love it. I think when you do really love something, it does become your superpower and able to just focus on what you’re doing. I do love that about myself. I think I’m a little bit trained under pressure and that makes me a good artist. I know that can do all sorts of things with very little amount of time.
Lindsay Guentzel (31:23):
I want to ask, when you look at life, because we have focused so much on your career, when you think of ADHD and the positive ways it shows up for you outside of work, what jumps out?
Candace Lefke (31:41):
Outside of work? I still think I’m a pretty creative person. I’m pretty innovative, and I think I’m a pretty understanding person too, honestly. With my experience with ADHD, I really am easygoing when it comes to my relationships and my friendships. I see people’s struggles and lives getting busy and I don’t take those things personally when I don’t hear from them, because I know that I am that way and I know that I struggle to keep connections with people because of my ADHD.
Unfortunately with people, even out of sight, out of mind, it happens. I think I’ve built a really great amount of community and friends of people that get that about me and knowing that I’m there and that I love them, but I’m super understanding about life and I think that makes me pretty compassionate and a good friend to have. When life is crazy, I get it.
Lindsay Guentzel (32:52):
Absolutely. Absolutely. I kind of joke, if I’ve cut you out, it’s probably for a really, really good reason.
Candace Lefke (33:00):
Yes. That’s if I’m really protecting my energy or I can’t live up to… Some people are just not for me and some people have an expectation of what they expect in relationship or friendship. With my ADHD, sometimes I can’t be that friend, and that’s okay. I’ve learned to let those people go. The people that know me and love me know that I’m literally a phone call away if they ever need me and I would be there in an instant if they did, but I’m not always the most in your life communicative person.
And that’s just me. Again, it makes me pretty understanding of life circumstances. I’m never going to be mad at somebody for… I could go years with without talking to a friend of mine and I could pick it up like it was just yesterday and catch up and be fine.
Lindsay Guentzel (33:54):
Where do you see yourself thriving with your ADHD and what you know now versus what you thought prior to your diagnosis?
Candace Lefke (34:05):
I definitely am a very career focused person, and I feel like I really truly am meant to be in this world to create and to inspire other people to create. I think I really do thrive in those either high pressure environments with work or even life. Now I’m becoming really good at it. People around me say I’m very chill and easygoing and I think that’s a great thing. I also think that I’m thriving in a way that I’m just multi-passionate and I’m curious. I have a very curious mind and I love to learn and I love to share that knowledge with people. As we’ve even experienced between the two of us, you were telling me how I was just knowledgeable and I’m just a nerd.
I love to learn and I love to learn about myself, especially with psychology. Knowing now that I’m ADHD, I’ve been diving deep into that. I love learning about the human experience. I think I really thrive in just by soaking up that knowledge and just sharing that with others and continuing to create and express myself. I think even that is just really great.
Lindsay Guentzel (35:21):
I want to ask, obviously in the midst of ADHD Awareness Month, one of my goals with telling as many different stories throughout the month of October was to really paint a picture about how complex it is. I think every person has said it, ADHD is different for every single one of us. It shows up differently, and it ebbs and flows differently. I’m curious, when you look at the narrative around ADHD right now and what you’ve experienced during your time with your diagnosis, what is something that you really wish the general population knew or understood a little bit better?
Candace Lefke (35:59):
I think that knowing that it’s just not about the productivity and the forgetfulness and even just the time blindness, those things alone are hard and especially living in our modern, fast-paced world, it is difficult, but there’s so much more, the emotional side to it. The emotional regulation, the disordered eating, the impulsive behavior that a lot of ADHD people deal with. I think there’s a darker side that people want to poke fun at some of the ADHD symptoms, which they are, some of them are ridiculous and we have to laugh at ourselves, but I think there is a huge correlation with mental health, something that I’ve really struggled with personally.
I think knowing this diagnosis, if I had known earlier, might have made me be kinder to myself. I think it’s really important for people to notice this with themselves or their kids and go reach for a diagnosis, because it could save somebody’s life. It truly could.
Lindsay Guentzel (37:18):
I’ve cried in a few of these. When you said it would have made me kinder to myself, it kind of broke me a little bit because I think that is so much of us. There are so many times where we were not kind to ourselves. I think women specifically, we are just led from such a young age with ADHD or without to not be kind to ourselves. When we look back and we see those moments where we were really unkind and unfair to ourselves and we can see why we were that way, it’s very hard and it almost brings on this new feeling of shame and regret about how we treated ourselves. It’s just like this constant work in progress and it can get tiring.
Candace Lefke (38:03):
Like I said early on, this diagnosis has led to a lot of healing for that reason. I was hard on myself and I had a lot of mental health struggles, especially in my teenage years, in my early twenties was really hard. Forgiving myself and having compassion for myself in those moments and understanding my diagnosis has allowed me to start to heal and remove some of that shame that I’ve felt throughout my life really. With a lot of the symptoms that I exhibit and the things that I struggle with, I think that alone will allow me to function so much better in this world.
And then beating myself up for not being able to perform or not do the things that I have been dreaming about, I think you have to mourn some of that part of your past self too and the experiences and things that you went through so that you can move on and live your life from this point and a lot more love and understanding for yourself. That’s one of the biggest messages really, I think, and why I think a lot of women do need to be diagnosed or seek help for it if they think they do have it because it’s been life changing for me really.
The kindness that I have for myself now, it’s not always perfect. Everybody’s got bad days. I find myself talking to myself with a lot more compassion and love, and that alone is worth everything.
Lindsay Guentzel (39:50):
That makes me so happy to hear. I hope I’m in your chair sooner rather than later and we can just pick up where we left off because that’s how it is when two people with ADHD get together.
Candace Lefke (40:03):
I love it.
Lindsay Guentzel (40:04):
Exactly, right? No pressure. It’s just like, “Oh, it’s going to be a good day.”
Candace Lefke (40:09):
There is something special about having a conversation with another ADHD person. Now I can recognize it and I love it so much because we can just bounce from subject to subject and be a little all over the place. It’s just so fun to talk to you and I’m so glad we got to connect.
Lindsay Guentzel (40:32):
Absolutely. I feel exactly the same. Thank you so much for coming on Refocused, Together and just being so candid and thoughtful. Really it’s a gift and I’m really grateful to you for your friendship and for your trust in this moment. See you in Michigan soon, hopefully.
Candace Lefke (41:04):
Okay, yeah, I hope so too.
Lindsay Guentzel (41:04):
So much thanks to Candace Lefke for joining me on Refocused, Together and for sharing her ADHD story with all of us. To learn more about her and the work she’s doing as a stylist and makeup artist, you can find her on Instagram @c.lee.artistry. I’ve also included the link in the show notes.
There are so many people to thank for making Refocused, Together happen. The entire team ADHD Online, Zach Booker, Dr. Randall Duthler, Tim Gutwald, Keith Brophy. My teammates, Keith Boswell, Susanne Spruit, Claudia Gatti, Melanie Meyrl, Paul Owen, Kirsten Pipp, Sissy Yee, Trisha Mirchandani, Lauren Radley, Kory Kearney, and Mason Nelle. And the team at Deksia, Hector and Kenneth, and the team at Smack Media, Cameron Sterling and Candace Lefke, Camilla Eden, Lauren Terry, Sarah Gelbard, Phil Roderman, Jake Beaver, and Sarah Platinits.
Our theme music was created by Louis Inglas, a songwriter and composer based in Perth, Australia, who was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020 at the age of 39. To find out more about Refocused, Together or to share your story with me, head over to adhdonline.com and check out the ADHD Awareness Month page, which highlights this project, as well as each day’s episode after they’ve been released. You can also find out more by following along social @LindsayGuentzel and at @RefocusPod.