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Dani Donovan and ADHD Content Creation

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As a content creator and comedian, Dani Donovan has a unique perspective on this ADHD journey and she generously shares it with the world. Hear her talk with Lindsay about how and why she’s chosen this path.

Transcript

Lindsay Guentzel (00:00:01):

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.

(00:00:48):

My name is Lindsay Guentzel and along with the 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.

(00:01:36):

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.

(00:01:52):

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.

(00:02:12):

Diagnosed with ADHD when she was 18 during her freshman year of college, Dani Donovan knew something was going on. Her life had started to fall apart. A stroke of luck connected her to a psychiatrist with ADHD, who saw the connection. And while accepting her diagnosis took some time, the undeniable difference medication made for her helped her look past any worries she had about the stigma that came with being neurodiverse. Through her comics and TikTok videos, Dani has helped build an online community focused on nurturing a sense of belonging, while also helping people with ADHD better understand themselves and feel empowered to explain their struggles to their loved ones.

(00:02:54):

She also speaks about neurodiversity in the workplace and is the author of the Anti-Planner, an activity book for procrastinators, set to launch in November. You can find Dani and her ADHD comics on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram at @DaniDonovan. And I’m very excited to announce ADHD Online will be giving away at least 100 copies of Dani’s book, with a set number reserved specifically for Refocused listeners. And if you’re attending the International Conference on ADHD in Dallas this November, make sure to stop by the Refocused booth, where I’ll be giving away a limited number of the vouchers for signed copies.

(00:03:33):

Now, let’s get into today’s episode of Refocused Together with Dani Donovan.

(00:03:43):

Dani, I am very excited that we get to have this conversation for ADHD Awareness Month. Thank you so much for joining me on Refocused Together. I have to tell you, so I am a later in life diagnosis. I was diagnosed in January of 2021. I was like two months shy of my 35th birthday. And it was a tweet that I saw in a moment and immediately called and made an appointment, like, “Hey…” Impulsivity for the win at one point in time.

Dani Donovan (00:04:12):

It overrode the appointment hating part of your brain. So I’m proud.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:04:18):

Yes, thank you.

(00:04:21):

And as I’ve kind of gone back and looked at what led up to that, I can go back in my phone, and I actually have screenshots from June of 2020, so well before I was diagnosed, of your content. And it’s just so funny to me that at that moment, whatever it was that you were putting out, I was so connected to, that I took a screenshot and I put it into a folder that actually said ADHD Stuff, and went on my merry way.

(00:04:50):

And so, fast forward here I am. We’re in the midst of sharing 31 different stories across the month of October, and I get to have one with you, which is very exciting for me. So thank you so much for joining us here.

Dani Donovan (00:05:03):

Absolutely, I’m so psyched. I love doing podcasts. I’m not always the best at listening to podcasts because my attention span is not always so good. But I love listening to people talk about their ADHD on podcasts because we tend to boop, boop, boop, boop, boop around, but can follow each other really well. So I think that’s something that I appreciate about what you’re doing here too, is just getting so many different people’s perspectives because everybody presents differently. Everybody has different lived experiences.

(00:05:40):

You did not even ask me a question, but can I say something please?

Lindsay Guentzel (00:05:42):

Please.

Dani Donovan (00:05:44):

This is one of the biggest things I try to talk about, where people look to me and my experiences as this resource, which it definitely is, but I also like to remind people that my husband has ADHD and he completely has a different set of struggles than me.

(00:06:04):

I was the honor kid, “gifted programs”, and perfectionistic, stay up all night, get my project done, “I need an A or else I’m not good at anything,” kind of mentality, where I was really overworking to compensate for the difficulties I was having. And no one was paying attention to the social difficulties, the difficulty making and keeping friends, and all that stuff. So work and school, getting the work done hadn’t been that big of an issue for me because I’ve always had that going for me, I guess.

(00:06:38):

And then, my husband struggled, on the flip side, very much with school. He’s got some other learning disability stuff that he’s dealing with.

(00:06:46):

But it sort of reminds me when I post something about my messy house and people are like, “I have ADHD and that’s not ADHD, that’s just…” The word laziness is such a… I’ve come to detest it so much, but being able to point to something like that and say, “Look, my experience is not everybody’s experience. You might not have a hard time cleaning, but I bet that I have an easy time with some stuff that you have a hard time with because A, it’s not a competition. But B, no contact creator is going to be able to make your exact lived experience.”

(00:07:23):

And so, that’s why I think it’s so great, bringing it home here, why there are so many people out here discussing ADHD and content creators making stuff, because all these different perspectives really weave together to create this wonderful woven blanket. I don’t know where I was going with that, but it shows a bigger picture, a clear picture for people, of what it can look like instead of just one person being a spokesperson for all people with ADHD. You can find yourself and you can find creators, but there are people who like creators who make completely different content that I do, who relate to them then. So it’s really great to see how the number of people out there who are making content about ADHD, making podcasts about ADHD, and talking openly about it, because it’s less weird now. And that was the goal, make it less weird to talk about.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:08:16):

I couldn’t agree more. Going back to the comment you made about how it’s hard for you to listen to podcasts but you like listening to-

Dani Donovan (00:08:23):

Sorry-

Lindsay Guentzel (00:08:24):

No. No, no, no, no. But it makes me think, because I will produce a podcast and you’re in your head, “Did any of that make sense?” And I always know when it’s good when someone in my life who’s neurotypical listens to it, like my boyfriend or one of my friends, and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, that was really good.” And I’m like, Did it make sense?” Because you can just go off on a tangent and talk for an hour and you’re like, “I don’t know how we went from point A to point B, but we did. And I don’t know what happened there.” You kind of just black out.

Dani Donovan (00:09:00):

Within comedy, I did an improv class with my husband a really long time ago, just for fun. And when they talk about how humor is that ability to get from point A to point B and have people connect those dots themselves, and the further away you can put those dots, the more gratifying, the harder they laugh, because they had to work a little harder to get the joke. The further apart they are, the higher likelihood that someone didn’t get it, so they feel really good and proud of themselves. Well, with a lot of humor, you go A to C, and then you let them fill in the B themselves. And I think for a lot of people with ADHD, we just go A to C, A to C, A to C all the time. And other ADHD people, a lot of the time can see, “Oh, okay, I can see kind of where you went with there. I’m following, let’s go.” Other people are like, “What is happening? How did you jump?”

(00:09:54):

And that all goes back to that original ADHD storytelling flowchart that I made that kind of kicked off this whole adventure into content creation in my life, which stemmed from this difference that I felt in how I related to people and how my brain prioritized what thoughts were important, because everything seems important. Every little subplot of how I know every character in this story seems very relevant, especially if it’s an interesting story. So I’m like, “Okay, while I have your attention, I want to give you all this good stuff all at one time,” and takes all the detours. And so, I think that really hit home for a lot of people who saw this, other people get from point A to point B and they ignore all of the little tidbits, versus the tidbits all being some prominent element of the conversation. And so, that’s why it’s so easy for us to get off track because we get lost in a tidbit inside of a tidbit.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:10:57):

1000%. And we get very excited about those. We’re like, “Yes, you need to know this.”

Dani Donovan (00:11:03):

“Yes,” said Dani, as she still had not let herself be asked the first question of the podcast.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:11:13):

But this is why I love all of these different conversations. I just had a conversation with somebody and I said, “I should have made a logging system for every person who said, ‘This is probably a tangent,’ or, ‘That was a little long.'” And it’s like, yeah, no, that’s us.

Dani Donovan (00:11:30):

My favorite thing is to just say, “Thank you for coming to my TED Talk at the end of tangents now,” and everybody laughs and I get to go, “Okay.” So there’s some element of the therapist in the back of my brain that’s like, “Why do you feel the need to make jokes to cut the tension”? Because you’re trying not to apologize for talking too long, so now you’re making a joke, which is progress. But still, maybe eventually I’ll get to the point to where I’m like, “Okay, people just know this is how I am. I don’t need to call it out, like self-aware call outs every single time it happens.”

(00:12:02):

But a lot of us really have been trained to be self-conscious or to worry that we’re being annoying or that we’re taking up too much space or that we’re talking too much or talking about ourselves too much. Even though time and time again, we’re shown that’s just how we relate to people. Of like, “Oh, you told me something and that reminds me of this thing that happened to me. I will tell you about that thing, so that you know that I know how you’re feeling.” And other people don’t do that necessarily as often. And so, they might view it as this, “Oh, they just care about themselves,” or, “They don’t care about what I’m talking about.”

(00:12:36):

In reality, so much disconnect there is communication differences. And I think that communication styles is… This is, again, not what we were talking about originally, but communication and ADHD is a huge, huge, huge thing. And we don’t talk about it as much because it’s not focus or time management or organization or something like that. But they don’t realize that that impulsivity to blurt out or to say everything without a filter or to cut people off and not realize it, said Dani as she cut someone off without realizing it, but it’s-

Lindsay Guentzel (00:13:16):

Oh, I do it all the time.

Dani Donovan (00:13:17):

… It’s just a matter of people being able to… And I’m answering the last question a little too early, I’ll come back to it. But that people don’t necessarily realize that ADHD impacts every single element of our life at all times, period. Every text that I struggle to get myself to answer, even though I care so deeply about the other person, and I’ve thought about answering it three times this week, but now it’s been so long that I feel guilty and I’m just going to avoid it, but I’m not going to open it. I’m not going to open it, because if I open it, then I’m going to forget about it, even though I know I’m… My phone right now, I have 111 unread text messages. And I walk around with this, “Everybody thinks I hate them.” I tweet constantly about how bad I am answering text messages now, because it’s avoidance.

(00:14:16):

But also, I’ve realized that some of the avoidance creeps back to the, “Every time I answer a text, I’m on my phone. I get out my phone to answer the text, now I’m on my phone, now I’m on Twitter, now I’m on TikTok, now I’m on this, and I’m not working anymore.” So that turned into, “I can’t answer a text while I’m working.”

(00:14:35):

So much of what I do now and what I have found very useful is these tendencies I have, where I go, “Why do I do this thing? Why do I keep doing this thing I don’t want to do? Why does this keep happening?” And then, asking questions or asking why, and pulling back at the little strings to see where did this start, what is causing it. And that really helps to alleviate some of this self-blame and self-flagellation over things that really are… That’s a coping mechanism. I avoid text messages to focus more. So I’m solving some of the focus issues, but I’m creating new issues.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:15:17):

I also have the text message issue. I was up to 90 something. Right now, it’s hovering in the thirties and-

Dani Donovan (00:15:24):

Rookie. Just kidding.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:15:29):

But I was going to go, the more personal issue I have is cards. So there’s actually a stack of cards below my desk that have never been opened. People send them to me.

Dani Donovan (00:15:38):

Oh.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:15:40):

Yeah. And everyone’s always like, “What if there’s nice stuff in there? People are sending you warm wishes or-“

Dani Donovan (00:15:47):

What if there’s money?

Lindsay Guentzel (00:15:47):

It doesn’t-

Dani Donovan (00:15:51):

I’m the opposite, where I’ll buy the cards for… My husband and I have stacks of anniversary cards and birthday cards, and we’ll buy them before the date, and then we’ll both forget to give it to each other on the date. And so, then we’ll randomly be cleaning and find anniversary… Like, “Oh, I was going to give you this,” and then we’ll write in it and give it to each other four months late. Or we’ll find the card the other person got… It’s such a funny thing.

(00:16:19):

But again, it’s cards. Giving someone a greeting card and remembering where I put the card and remembering to buy a card. Or heaven forbid I need to buy stamps and mail something. That is ADHD and that’s not in a symptom list. Inability to mail things is not going to be in a symptom list. And I think that’s one of the biggest impacts that content creators like myself have been able to have on people and on why so many people reach out and say that I was the person that, or other counter creators like me were the reasons why they saw a diagnosis, is because they were humanized.

(00:17:01):

The symptoms of generalized forgetfulness or avoidance or disorganization are stories now. And they’re stories that people find themselves in and find themselves relating to. And after a while you go, “There’s a little too many of these.” Someone was like, “Either these people with ADHD need to stop being so relatable or I need to talk to a doctor.” And it comes down to the fact that when you give some context for how those symptoms look on a personal level, of how they impact the individual experiencing ADHD and not just how we impact other people.

(00:17:39):

For a long time, a lot of ADHD content, I think, really was boiled down to symptoms lists, what we’re like, and how to fix us. And it’s not that symptom alleviation is not a goal. Obviously, we would love our lives to be easier and better, but there’s a lot of stuff out there that was written for ADHD brains that was not being written by ADHD brains. And so, then you read it and your first tip for getting organized is to get a planner. I’m like, “Who wrote this? I need names.”

(00:18:17):

So I’m seeing this big, and I think everybody is seeing this big trend of people who are making content and sharing what works for them. And it’s happening at such a rapid pace, that people are able to absorb ideas and create their own and remix them and share them with people. And now, you’ve got a lot of people at the same time kind of creating their own toolboxes of, “Oh my gosh, did you see this TikTok about how Casey Davis organizes her fridge and she puts all of her condiments in the vegetable drawers, since you don’t need to remember that. If you need ranch, you know you need ranch, then you can put your vegetables where you can see them.” And I’m like, “Oh, wow. Okay.” So then I did that. I told people about that. I mentioned it in the Anti-Planner. I gave Casey a shout out.

(00:19:13):

And those little flips of, “You don’t have to do this way. Everything’s made up. You can put anything anywhere you want in the fridge. So if you know something isn’t working for you, why don’t you just try something out and see if it works?” And then, it does, and you feel a little silly for like, “Well, why didn’t I think of that sooner?” But we’re really, really kind of all pushed in these directions, where, “This is the solution. A planner is the solution. The vegetables go in the vegetable drawer. This is how it’s done. This is how it is,” cookie cutter, and it’s easy. And I think that more and more people are seeing their ability to break out of that and then be inspired to use their creativity to make solutions for themselves.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:20:00):

I want to take a step back because one of the things that I have asked everybody is to go back to before you were diagnosed. And so, I know you were diagnosed as a freshman in college and it’s like a jump start. It’s not early enough in my opinion. We are so far behind in recognizing how ADHD affects women. And I know we can all probably go back to that point in school, where we were like, “Why weren’t any of you paying attention? No one saw this.” What led up to you asking those questions and seeking out a diagnosis in the first place?

Dani Donovan (00:20:39):

What’s so funny is I didn’t. So I didn’t seek out an ADHD diagnosis. So we’ll get there really fast. I have combined type ADHD, but I was pretty hyper for a girl. So a lot of women, a lot of girls go undiagnosed because they don’t show those classic running around symptoms. Now, I did not have the running around behavior, as my hyperactivity, so much as just constant chattiness and constant fidgeting and playing and making impulsive decisions. Like my first pair of scissors on my first day of first grade, “Let me just chop off my hair next to my ears. Let me just make a giant cut right there,” the second I’m handed scissors. Or I was a soccer goalie for years and years as a kid and I kept getting in trouble because I’d get so bored standing down there when nothing was happening that I’d start doing cartwheels and chasing butterflies and stuff. And then, wouldn’t be paying attention and would get scored on. Then I had a difficult time with making friends, but I was “weird”, so what are you going to do?

(00:22:10):

But fifth grade came around and my mom, I guess, had even spoken directly to my teacher and had said, “Do you think that she might have ADHD?” And my teacher tells my mom, “She can’t have ADHD. She’s too smart.” So that’s where that kind of starts, is that education at all forms. It’s not just, “Oh, did a doctor catch it?” It’s like, if someone suspects something and someone, like an educator, is operating off of bad information or stereotypes, that’s just a horrible situation moving forward, because that could have potentially been caught right then. I could have potentially been diagnosed in fifth grade, before I even went to middle school. And how awesome would that have been? But it wasn’t. And I’m not going to just be like, “And this is all because of…” I’m not going to say her name, but oh my God.

(00:23:03):

And it was rough. I got to middle school, high school, I found a crowd that I fit in with, who all now have ADHD diagnosis.

(00:23:14):

But I went to college and my life just really started to fall apart pretty quickly because I was now… I was always really good at school, but I didn’t have to worry about… I had to make sure my laundry was in the laundry room before laundry day, but I didn’t do my laundry. And so, that is a very privileged thing to have been done, but I didn’t think about that. Or I didn’t have to feed myself dinner. I wasn’t driving enough places where it was like, “Get my oil changed,” or do all this stuff, manage my own sleep schedule, no one’s going to know.

(00:23:55):

And I had eight o’clock classes, and I had to. There was no alternative. There was no option for me to not have 8:00 AM classes. So I was staying up really late on my homework, having to get up really early, I was not feeding myself well. I was just eating Easy Mac for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cold Chef Boyardee out of a can type feeding myself situation. And I was really missing home.

(00:24:28):

And so, I went to see a psychiatrist about depression and some sleeping issues, but just talk about maybe going on an antidepressant. And she just heard the velocity at which I was just changing topics. And she herself had ADHD and she was like, “Hey, so has anyone tested you for ADHD?” And I’m like, “What? No.” And she’s like, “Okay, I want to talk to you about this, because I’m pretty sure you have it,” because she asked me about my childhood and I just started bawling. And so, she was able to spot it really quickly.

(00:25:03):

But I had that moment where I was like, “I don’t have ADHD and I don’t…” Just preface this, but it doesn’t make me sound good, but I thought to myself, “Everyone I know who has ADHD is a boy who’s annoying and has no friends. It pains me to say that phrase, but I remember those emotions, because I didn’t want the label. I didn’t want stigma attached to the label. I didn’t want that to be the answer. I didn’t want that to be associated with me. I was not as woke as I am now. And so, she was like, “Well, I want to start you on some meds. Just let know how they go.” And then, I took them and I was like, “Wow, it could have been like this the whole time? Are you joking me right now?” And to some people it’s like wearing glasses, glasses that work some of the time, but not all of the time. But where you didn’t realize that the world isn’t supposed to be that blurry and it’s not that blurry for everybody.

(00:26:01):

So I went and got the diagnosis. And then, later was diagnosed with bipolar II and started on some mood stabilizers and that was the key. That was the final key to click into the lock, because the ADHD meds were helping me, but I still had all of these other kind of things going on that I was struggling with. You find the little solution of, “Okay, these are the things I need.” And then once you adjust stuff around and I kind of stop, I’m like, “Wow, is this what’s stable?” Stable for me is still going to be less stable than someone else.

(00:26:35):

But anyways, thank you… Not thank you for coming to my TED Talk, no, I already gave away my thing at the beginning. So that’s my long-winded diagnosis story.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:26:49):

It is long-winded, but it’s great because you touch on everything. You go back and I feel very connected to some of the things you talked about. Middle school was so hard for me, especially with friendships. And now, I look back and I’m like, “Oh,” about that. And even now, as a 36 year old, I’m like, “Friendships are still really hard, but they were much harder.”

Dani Donovan (00:27:18):

And there’s all these weird, invisible rules. And the big thing I cannot handle is people who don’t wear their heart on their sleeves, who don’t tell you when something is bothering them. And I think that they’re… Back to that communication thing, sorry, not to hijack this conversation, but that a big thing with people is that the communication differences of if something is bothering you, I need you to tell me. And I grew up in all these environments where people would just leave. They would just leave instead of having that hard conversation with me.

(00:27:48):

And I finally had a close friend who was like, “Hey, I love you so much, it hurts my feelings when you interrupt me because it makes me feel like you don’t care about what I have to say.” And that hurt, but it was accurate. And so, since then, I’m not perfect about it, but I became a lot more conscious of when I did it and I’d be like, “Oh, sorry, hang on, go ahead.” And I still have the interrupt and then the hang on, which is a progress. And now, I just do it a bit less. Or remember when I’m done with what I’m saying to ask them to finish the thing they were saying. But that’s what growth looks like and it requires a level of maturity.

(00:28:30):

And so, I think when we’re younger, I want to say it makes sense that people aren’t willing to have those hard conversations because you’re like, “I am in seventh grade and I am still developing and I have do not have the emotional maturity to be like, ‘Hey, we need to have a frank but uncomfortable conversation.'” It’s a lot easier for people to nope out. But now, being able to have those types of relationships with people, it’s a different ballgame.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:28:57):

And at some point, you are probably going to say again that this conversation is all over the place, but it’s a beautiful segue to my next question, because you talked about growth and you talked about some of the things that you’ve changed, and you mentioned kind of finding this balance with the medication and figuring it out between the ADHD diagnosis and the bipolar and making sure that everything is working together and not working against itself. What have you seen over the years that you’ve added in or taken out of life that has helped you in whatever capacity? It could be getting rid of a planner. It could be a better sleep schedule. It could be stuff that worked for you at one point, that stopped working.

Dani Donovan (00:29:39):

So I love that. First off, can I just say, well done. I love this as a question, because people don’t often enough give people the permission to use something and then discard it as soon as it stops being useful. There’s all that baggage that’s surrounding what we then label as failure. “I attempted this thing and maybe it worked and it doesn’t work anymore, I failed. I attempted this thing, it didn’t work, I failed. I attempted this thing, it’s working, it’s working, it’s working, it’s not working, it’s not working, it’s not working as well, I failed.”

(00:30:15):

And so, the idea of that experimentation, I think, is really the thing that I have grown. And that’s what the Anti-Planner is. But the ability to stop viewing my attempts at things as successes or failures. Everything is just, “Let’s see if this works. Let’s see if this keeps working. Oh, this isn’t working. Do I want to ditch this or do I want to adjust it and remix it?”

(00:30:46):

And so, I have strategies in my life that I use when it’s helpful, when it’s necessary, and then I drop it, and then I forget it exists. And then, some other big project comes up and I’m like, “Okay, I need to organize all these things into… Oh, I have the perfect thing for this,” and then I whip it back out. And so, I stopped getting so invested in solutions. There is not a magic bullet for anything. There’s really not.

(00:31:15):

And so, I think that taking that illusion away, of, “If I could just do this, then I would be happy,” it’s not tenable. And so, coming to terms with the fact that… And it’s not like, “Oh, I’m a failure so I should expect failure.” It’s like, that’s not growth. If you stick with the same thing forever and ever and ever and ever and ever, you’re never going to find something else that maybe would work even better, because what incentive would you have to change?

(00:31:53):

And looking at it as an opportunity to, again, flex that creativity. So working on black and white thinking, I guess, is the biggest mind shift and a huge thing that I don’t think people talk about enough, I talk about it plenty. But perfectionism in ADHD, perfectionism is this looming thing, it can suck up all the time. But I care so much about making something excellent and I don’t know how to do just the bare minimum of something that I care about.

(00:32:39):

And so, I actually just have an exercise about being able to learn to separate the must haves from the nice to haves and getting the must haves done first. And then, if you still have time and energy left, doing the nice to haves. Now, there are times where I am such a hypocrite. I call myself a hypocrite in the Anti-Planner quite a few times. Where I’m like, “This is easier said than done, and I redid this page three times, so take everything with a grain of salt.” But the ability to adapt and learn and figure out what does the bare minimum look like and then everything above that is gravy. I don’t know if that was an adequate answer.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:33:22):

No, it was great. And you touched on the growth side of things and how important it is to acknowledge that things change and we as humans change. And I want to go back, you mentioned your stereotype in your head when the psychiatrist said ADHD. And I have said the same thing, and I hate admitting it, but in my head when I was a kid and there were people in class, predominantly boys, and if you knew they had ADD, because at the time that’s what we called it, they were “dumb”. They were not smart, they were not going to make it far in life. And I hate admitting it, but again, you know better now.

Dani Donovan (00:34:02):

It’s important. You got to own it now.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:34:03):

It is.

Dani Donovan (00:34:04):

Obviously, that’s not how we feel to this day. It’d be real awkward if you did.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:34:10):

Right. The anti-growth ADHD movement, that’s already-

Dani Donovan (00:34:14):

Yeah. No, no, no.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:34:15):

No, absolutely not.

Dani Donovan (00:34:16):

We’re not here for it. But I think that there really is that level of seeing it as growth. And that’s what I kind of touch on with the Anti-Planner, is that this feel, if I were to define this by how my old brain would’ve defined, it would’ve been, “These are all of my failed attempts at getting my life together. These are all my failed attempts at things that worked and then they stopped… These are all my failed attempts.” And I kind of was like, “What if failure looks like not trying anything and winning looks like continuing to try new stuff? Because I do love new stuff and the research phase and the planning. And even if I only end up doing something for two weeks, that’s more than I was going to get if I didn’t do it.” And so, looking at things as, “I’m really proud of myself for trying.” It’s so hard, the participation trophy thing, but being proud of yourself for trying and proud of yourself for the bare minimum.

(00:35:23):

And I touched on my webinar thing I did about the Anti-Planner, about how I would love to go on a 30 minute walk every day. I would love to, but I don’t always have it in me. And so, as long as I put on my shoes and I walk to the stop sign and back, my brain’s like, “I went on a walk today.” It took me three minutes, but it is three minutes that I didn’t have to do. I made the conscious choice to do it and sometimes you get to the stop sign and I keep going, and that happens a lot. And then sometimes it doesn’t and I walk back. It’s not, “Ugh, I failed, because I was going to go on a 30 minute walk and I only went on a three minute walk.” It’s like, “I was planning on going on a three minute walk. Everything else is extra. It’s bonus. It’s gravy.”

(00:36:09):

Learning to set your expectations lower is my advice in this regard.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:36:16):

I love that we’re having this conversation and you talk about all of these things that you could put into the failure box and just let it sit there and let it weigh you down. And I’ve been dealing with that. Not even two years into my diagnosis and I can look back, and I’m ruminating on all of the time I wasted on things and the energy I put into things that didn’t matter, like you said, were above and beyond what I needed to get done. And then, it was just a snowball from that and an avalanche of bad feelings.

(00:36:51):

And even just talking with you and hearing how you frame it, in my head I’m going, “Yes, it is frustrating, all of those things that added up and are making you feel bad. But now you know what you really want to do.” I did all of those things and now I know that it’s not what I want to do, and that’s a pretty awesome place to be. And so, it’s kind of just reframing it. But again, you have to come back to it every day.

Dani Donovan (00:37:20):

I stopped and I thought, I go, “How can I feel like a failure?” You know how few people have probably tried this many things? How many people would go, “Oh I tried a planner and it didn’t work, so now I just don’t do anything?” That’s a camp that a lot of people are in. A lot of people are in that camp, “Planners don’t work for me, so I’m trying to make a to-do list every once in a while, and that doesn’t work a lot of the time.” But that’s where a lot of people reside.

(00:37:48):

And I was trying thing after thing, after thing, and feeling that I was failing because of how I define success. So redefining what success looks like. And it’s so much easier said than done. Again, I try to put little asterisks next to everything, because it feels like when people tell you, “Just don’t care about what other people think,” you’re like, “Oh okay, very helpful. Let me just turn that switch off. Okay, done. Excellent. I can’t believe I wasted so much money on therapy.”

(00:38:19):

But it’s the same thing with learning to set your expectations lower, learning to do that stuff. And thinking about it as far as if you were to talk to yourself as a child, or it doesn’t have to be yourself as a child, a child, but how would you talk to a child who is upset that they tried something and it didn’t work? What would you say to them? Or would you let the mean comments that people have, that pop up in their heads about lazy and failure and, “You always do this,” if you heard an adult talking to a kid that way, you wouldn’t just sit around and be like, “Okay, this is completely normal and fine.” And so, really treating yourself with that kind of, “Kids aren’t the only ones who deserve compassion and respect.” And so, really trying to view it as doing yourself a kindness. And it all starts with this, learning to be nice to yourself because you deserve to be treated nicely.

(00:39:27):

Being mean to myself all the time, I thought that was helping. I thought it was motivating. It might have created some progress, but it was all for the wrong reasons. And it was built on this really rickety foundation, where my self-esteem is now completely at the mercy of other people’s validation. “Tell me I did good. I need to know that I did good in order for me to feel like I did good,” because that wasn’t coming from inside. It was not coming from an authentic place, where, “Even if someone else doesn’t like this, that’s too bad. I like it.” And that does take, again, a lot of growth and a lot of healing and a lot of therapy.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:40:16):

I’m curious about that, because you have put yourself into this position as a content creator, and the unfortunate side of the internet is that there are sometimes really terrible people yelling loudly on the internet. So how do you balance putting stuff out that is so personal and is helping so many people, but we know we are predispositioned to be listening for that one person in the back of the auditorium who’s just booing, and they might be yelling quietly or they might be booing quietly, but that’s all we’re hearing, how do you drown that out?

Dani Donovan (00:40:51):

My brain goes, “Don’t read the comments.” I will say, I have been very, very, very fortunate, because people are like, “How do you handle negative criticism?” I’m like, “I don’t get very much.” It’s surprising, not in an ooh, pat myself on the back, “Everything I make is amazing.” I get tons of comments, tons and tons of comments. I cannot and do not read them all. That would be my entire day. Especially some of these TikTok videos where you’ve got 30,000 comments, that’s not going to happen. So I’m sure that plenty of people have said plenty of mean things.

(00:41:27):

But I will say that talking about my ADHD, especially on Twitter and TikTok, particularly is where I live, that the community is so tight and so loyal, that I feel very free to be open because I don’t have to defend myself if someone comes in my comments and decides that they want to start acting up, because other people will come and rush to your defense. And it’s not just because it’s me and I’m a content creator, and so I’ve got fans who will stick up for me.

(00:42:08):

People talking openly about ADHD, like if someone’s talking about how their ADHD impacts their life and someone starts being mean, you look… I’m not going to cuss on here, but you look like a complete jerk. You look bad. And so, there is that, right? Don’t feed the trolls.

(00:42:25):

But knowing and how encouraging it is to see other people sticking up for people that they don’t know, just on the basis of, “You are really brave for sharing that and this guy does not have anything better to do with his life.” So-

Lindsay Guentzel (00:42:40):

He can stick his head in the sand.

Dani Donovan (00:42:44):

He can stick his head in the sand. So even if there are those people out there who might say the thing, they don’t often, in my experience, go unchecked. People are ready and willing to check them because people are really excited to stand up for people putting themselves out there, especially being so vulnerable about a topic that they want people to continue to feel safe to discuss.

(00:43:08):

And so, I do think that there are people out there who are going to look for anything they can to poke holes and whatever. But the main thing that anybody ever really boils down to is, “That’s not ADHD, you’re just lazy.” That’s the take, “That’s not ADHD, you’re just lazy.” And that used to wreck me. Someone calling me lazy would’ve ruined my day a couple years ago. I hear it now, I’m like, “Okay. I just made this giant book, call me lazy one more time.” Oh, I don’t clean my house the way that you might clean your house and that makes me… I’ve completely bucked the term lazy in all honesty, because it’s a capitalist term made to shame us into feeling like we’re not productive enough.

(00:44:09):

People on the internet are going to be people on the internet. But honestly, I have found very little, again, in my circle of stuff I’ve seen, but even the comments, because social media will push the good stuff to the top. And so, by the time that you start getting the trolls who are saying the mean stuff, just to be inflammatory, you’ve probably got lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of comments, so you may not even see them anyways. That’s my take.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:44:43):

It’s a great take to have and I think it’s one that I hope a lot of people can take some comfort in moving forward, because I think so many people just get very hyper aware of who’s listening and who’s paying attention. And once you start to tell those voices to go whatever themselves, that’s when the real stuff comes out, when you’re not worrying about what you’re saying in front of who and who is listening.

Dani Donovan (00:45:16):

It says more about who they are. Again, certain advice, you’re like, “Ugh. Okay, I know. That doesn’t help.” But looking at it from a perspective of the number of lives that we’re able to touch. Honestly, I would say I see one negative comment for every couple thousand comments I see. It is a tremendously positive community. I will say, I don’t mess with Facebook. I’ve seen some comments on Facebook, ADHD stuff, I’m like, “I’m not going over there.”

(00:46:00):

If anybody especially out there wants to talk openly about their… I’ll say also, openly about their ADHD, there are a lot of people who are afraid of their employer finding out. “I want to talk about my ADHD online, but I don’t want my boss to find out,” which is where I was. Which is why I posted my flow chart on Twitter, where my boss didn’t follow me, and not Instagram, where my boss did follow me, and that didn’t work out anyways.

(00:46:23):

But I tell people two things. One, if you don’t think anyone would care, but are worried that, “Maybe a future employer wouldn’t hire me because I have ADHD,” again, this is a privileged thing, to be able to be like, “Do you want to work for them, if that’s the reason they don’t hire you? Do you want to work for an employer who did that?” But you can make a throwaway account. Make a throwaway Twitter. Go engage in neurodiverse squad, there’s a whole Twitter community, and ask questions and share stories and be open. You don’t have to put your name out there. You don’t have to put any identifying information if you don’t want to. People are just as happy to still connect and be vulnerable and have those conversations. So it’s really cathartic. If you haven’t tried talking about your ADHD, I very much recommend it, because it’s so validating. It’s crazy, how validating it is.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:47:24):

It is, and it’s so validating. I have found so supportive, and just a really positive community. One thing that’s been great about all these different conversations is I’ve learned new things from every person I’ve talked to and have a long running list. Of course, it’s still in my head, I have to actually put it on to paper, of stuff I’ve learned that I want to implement in my own life.

(00:47:48):

And I’m curious, with where you are right now, what is getting you up in the morning? What is exciting for you? What’s on the horizon that you are just chomping at the bit every day to do more work on?

Dani Donovan (00:48:02):

Well, I was getting up every single morning and doing Anti-Planner stuff, hardcore, all day, every day, every day, every day. And so, now that the book’s off to print, is less fun, but getting together some stuff for promoting. I’ve been doing talks and stuff like that. I’ve got now an upcoming project I’m working on with one of my friends, that has to do with my physical disability, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and some content for chronic pain communities. Because I was like, “There’s plenty of people making ADHD content now. Where can my voice help serve and bring about change and awareness and destigmatization in another area?” And so, chronic pain content is definitely going to be something that I will be… I’m not completely full pivoting or anything like that, but I haven’t made… I talk about my mental health a lot, I don’t talk about my physical health a lot, because it’s hard. It’s really hard and it’s sad and I’m still working on it in therapy. So I think that I’m using my creation skills to process.

(00:49:22):

I’m at such, I feel, a healthy point with my ADHD now, where I don’t blame my myself for very much stuff at all. If something happens and it’s my fault, I can own that it’s my fault, recognize why it happened, recognize which ADHD symptoms probably got in the way, recognize how important is this to me, really, “What am I going to do moving forward? Do I care about this enough to change it?” But I am not having these emotional breakdowns, I used to have all the time about, “Oh my God, I’m never going to accomplish anything because I can’t get my life together and I’m wasting all my time.” I used to have meltdowns all the time. I used to be angry at myself all the time. And I don’t hold that anger and resentment towards myself anymore because I processed so much of that online, in real time, and people have related to it, which is validating. And I got so much of that out.

(00:50:20):

And now, shifting to talking about physical disabilities, it’s a different can of worms, of being difficult to talk about and process. And so, that’s another kind of, again, not a full pivot, but definitely going to be a change of pace. But I’m excited because I kind of get to start from the bottom, of what do I think people need that they don’t already have. With ADHD content stuff, I love still creating that stuff, but there’s a lot of it out there now. And the same thing with the Anti-Planner or with whatever. I have 10 billion things I could tell you right now, but everything in my head spirals around.

(00:51:10):

What do I wish there was out there that I don’t see? What do I wish existed and how can I go and make that be a thing? And so, I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I’ve got in the works, but I ought not disclose yet. But I’m really looking forward to making all kinds of new fun stuff.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:51:33):

I am so excited for you for this because I think it’ll be really great for you to be able to reflect back at these two different journeys and how the first one prepares you for the second.

Dani Donovan (00:51:43):

Yes. I’m like, “At least I know what I’m doing now, a little bit more.” But again, the stumbling out, stumbling your way through things and not know… I did not set out to be a content creator. I was a-

Lindsay Guentzel (00:51:56):

What?

Dani Donovan (00:51:56):

I know. And a lot of people on TikTok, a lot of people you’ll talk to who were the same thing, they made one thing or they made a couple things and it just happened to take off and it hit home with enough people for them to realize, “Okay, there is a want for my voice, for these types of voices.” And so, I now have the knowledge that how people react to things that are made for them. And I think that there’s so much, especially markety advice out there for people on how to pretty much broaden your niche and reach the most people and do the thing.

(00:52:39):

And in reality, it’s be yourself and make stuff that you want, because you are… As much as we all love to think we’re original, we’re totally not. So if you make something for you and you like it, chances are plenty of other people out there like you will like it and they’re your target audience. But even if nobody likes it, at least you made something that you like. Because there’s nothing worse than if you tried to make something that you would not be a target customer for. And you make it and you don’t really like it that much and then nobody else really likes it that much. And you’re like, “Okay, well, I just put all that time into something for what?” And so, that’s why I think that making meaningful content, making meaningful products, and designing things with users in mind and real people, and not from the, “How can I make the most money?” right off the bat.

(00:53:31):

Most of my content, I didn’t do anything to monetize. I didn’t even have a Patreon when I started making content, content, because I think it’s so important to give it away for free. And people who want to support you, who are able to support you will do so because they appreciate that you’re making it free for other people. And so that’s my other… You did not ask me, “What advice do you have for other creators?” but it really is… People can tell when you’re in it for the money, but people really appreciate authentic creators who are genuinely trying to make stuff to help people. And then, the money just helps support them to keep that kind of stuff going.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:54:16):

You’re right, I didn’t ask, but I’m glad you included it, because I think that there are a lot of people though who have those questions. And it’s important to at least acknowledge the elephant in the room, about where we are right now in this world of content creators and influencers and what’s being put out on the internet and how it’s affecting us.

Dani Donovan (00:54:37):

And finding that stuff, that who inspires you and asks… So I will say, this is my other little tidbit of best advice I could give, with the Anti-Planner, because I found my old notebook actually, and I took… People were like, “How did you come up with the idea?” I thought to myself, “What is something that I like what this is supposed to do, but I’m not doing it? What types of products like this have I engaged with? What do I like about them and what don’t I like about them?”

(00:55:08):

So I have pages on pages of products that I like or that I wanted to like, but I gave up on, or I never wrote in. And it’s like, “Why didn’t I write in this?” I’m like, “Because it was a soft cover and I hate having to hold books open and write in them.” I hate that. I won’t do it. I love the person who made this. I bought it, it sat on my shelf, I never touched it, and that is why. And so, when it came time to make a product, I’m like, “Why would I put someone through that? I don’t want that reaction to my thing. Do I know for a fact that other people hate this as much as me? No. But I would want it to be this.”

(00:55:46):

And so, it’s really interesting to look at what are people doing, what about it is working for you? But what about it do you really not like? And what can you make that just gets rid of those things that you don’t like about that other content? And so, that way, we can all decrease the suck of… But making products that are tailored, that will work for us, by eliminating that which does not serve us.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:56:14):

I have to ask, because of all the people I’ve interviewed, you’ve been diagnosed the longest and your role as a content creator and being immersed in this for as long as you have been, I want to wrap up the conversation by asking, we’re in the midst of ADHD Awareness Month, what is something that the general public thinks they know or is a stereotype that you still see floating around that you really wish you could change?

Dani Donovan (00:56:43):

Can you say it one more time? You were talking and I was like, “Oh, did I already talk…” I was thinking while you were talking. Do it again. Sorry.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:56:53):

No, you’re just fine. When you look at how society views ADHD, what is a stereotype you would like to change, or something that people just have a misconception about that you are like, “No, that’s not it. We’ve got to fix this?”

Dani Donovan (00:57:12):

I got it. So I’m sure that there have been plenty of people who have touched on, that ADHD is not just hyper little boys. This is why a lot of women go on underdiagnosed. Can I trust that other people have had that conversation, so I can talk about something… Okay, cool. I was like, “If no one’s talked on it, I will touch on that. But I have a feeling that it has been brought up.”

(00:57:32):

I would love to talk about ADHD in the workplace. I think that is a huge area that is now being broached a bit more, but had not been for a long time. I’m doing internal talks at a lot of these neurodiversity employee resource groups, which is awesome, what an excellent thing that exists now. That is very new, that did not used to be there when I was working in corporate America.

(00:58:01):

But along with that comes the knowledge of how well we can thrive when we are put in environments with an understanding supervisor, who does not expect the exact same things as they do from neurotypical employees. I can’t generalize everything, but in my experience working in corporate America, there is a lot of the, you show up at this time, you get your butt in the chair, you look like you’re busy, even if you’re done with your stuff, and you reply to emails within this window of time, and you get your time sheet in on time. There’s so much expectations and scheduling and admin work. And bosses always love having me because when you put me in a meeting, any kind of brainstorming meeting, I am running that thing. I’m running laps around everybody, as far as how many ideas I can crank out. And other people on the team, we’re very enthusiastic, we can get people excited, we love doing project kickoffs and that kind of stuff, but the executing and the follow through, or the communication, or the admin, that stuff starts to fall apart.

(00:59:17):

And I just want to draw attention to the fact that people are, whether they realize it or not, reaping the benefits of ADHD employees having those differences, having those thinking out of the box, like bonus features. But they view them as bonus features that need to be included along with the entire rest of the DVD kit or whatever, versus… Ew, DVDs, I’m dating myself there.

(00:59:47):

But the reality is, in the same way that it would be unfair for you to be angry at a neurotypical for not having creative out of the box thinking skills, if you were mad at them all the time for them not having this particular set of skills that not everybody has, because it is not considered a essential job function. Where when you understand where ADHD employees’ strengths come, and I think the big thing here…

(01:00:25):

Sorry, I’m weaving a little bit here.

(01:00:34):

The reason why I think this is challenging for bosses is because they are afraid of their employees and their employees’ judgment and their employees going, “Why does this person get special treatment? Why does this person not have to do this? Why does this person get help with something? I don’t like doing that, can I have help with that?” And this fear of the judgment of the people on your team determining the amount of assistance and accommodation that you are willing to give to someone who is struggling, because you are worried about the backlash that you may face, and the same way with any accommodations at work.

(01:01:15):

For me, where it was like, “Oh, well, we would love to give you that, but then we have to give that to everybody.” I’m like, “That’s not what an accommodation is though.” And they’re like, “Well, we…” Pretty much, I don’t want to have to explain it. I don’t want to have to deal with anybody.

(01:01:27):

And so, putting on your big kid pants here. And I think for a lot of managers, hopefully rising to the challenge of stepping up and knowing what a big, huge impact you’re going to be able to have on a employee’s life and job and career and happiness and impact on your team when you start to see them for what they are, which is a team member. Everyone on your soccer team can’t play all of the positions. That’s not your skill set.

(01:02:07):

You are a part of a team. And so, I think that eradicating the notion that everybody needs to be good at everything and you need to fix your weaknesses and everybody else just needs to suck it up is just kind of a… That was, again, rounded out answer of I would love to see the next wave of ADHD change coming from.

(01:02:32):

Because I think the destigmatization, I think we’re doing a really good job with that. Talking about ADHD isn’t weird. It doesn’t feel odd. Talking about therapy doesn’t feel odd for a lot of people. It’s just casual conversation topics now for a lot of people. But I do think that permeating the workplace is the next step because we spend a lot of our time at work, and more understanding bosses will make for happier employees, which will make for everybody’s lives being better and more awesome.

(01:03:08):

And my cat is just begging me for attention. So anyways-

Lindsay Guentzel (01:03:13):

Oh, that is a big kitty.

Dani Donovan (01:03:15):

Yeah. His name is Cat.

Lindsay Guentzel (01:03:16):

Who is this?

(01:03:18):

Hi, Cat. I have to lock mine out of the room because she will just be all over here. She’s made an appearance in a few of these episodes.

Dani Donovan (01:03:27):

Oh my gosh.Anyways, so long story short, workplace stuff, it’s going to be good. It’s going to be big. But honestly, people with ADHD have talent skill sets that I think just need to be examined further because people don’t always even necessarily realize how their team could benefit from having an outside perspective. But that involves a lot of open-mindedness. And so, that’s the challenge. So let’s hope that some people rise to the occasion.

Lindsay Guentzel (01:04:03):

I love that answer. I can look back at my career and the many places I’ve worked, the many, many places I’ve worked, and many of which I left because… Well, from rejection sensitive dysphoria and rumination and fear of disappointing people. And my goodness, if one manager could learn that you need to stop sending out unannounced calendar invites without an agenda. Just tell me everything is okay, otherwise, I’m going to spend the time in between getting the notification and the meeting plotting my next path in life because I’m assuming I’m being fired or something along those lines.

Dani Donovan (01:04:46):

Literally, I have that exact thing as an accommodation in my ADHD in the workplace talk, because my manager would schedule quick chat meeting invites for later in the day, with no context, on a Friday afternoon. And my brain’s just screaming-

Lindsay Guentzel (01:05:04):

It’s criminal.

Dani Donovan (01:05:05):

… “I’m going to get fired.” And it happened a couple times. And it was like, “Oh hey, so I want to do this project kickoff.” And I’m like, “Can you call these meetings project kickoffs or whatever? Can you give me some sort of context?” And he was like, “Why?” And I go, “Because I think I’m going to get fired.” And he goes, “Why would you think you’re going to get fired?” I’m like, “I don’t know, a lifetime of experience.”

(01:05:24):

I’ve been fired from multiple jobs and it’s always typically been about coming in late or me not responding to someone’s email fast enough and then them telling on me to my boss. So I felt like it was coming. I was just waiting for it to drop.

(01:05:42):

But I had to say a couple times, “Hey, this is genuinely something that when this happens, I lose hours of my day. I am sitting at my desk, I’m not working. I’m racking my brain for every mistake that I have made that could have possibly led to us having this meeting. What did I do wrong? You’re paying me for that time that I am not working. I am just sitting here anxious.” And he stopped doing that. And I was like, “I could just ask you to not…” Granted, he was a good boss. But I didn’t realize that in itself is an accommodation, recognizing that even though…

(01:06:24):

Brene Brown, “Empathy is not understanding what it’s like to walk in someone’s shoes, it’s listening to someone talk about what it’s like in their shoes, and believing them even when it doesn’t align with your own personal experiences.” And I love that so much.

(01:06:38):

But it’s true with this, because he did not understand why a meeting called quick chat would trigger me into this horrifying, anxious whirlwind, but respected it anyway. And that’s an easy enough change, “For me to just go ahead and not serve that on your plate for no reason.”

(01:06:58):

Or even when it came to time sheets, I would have past employers who would ask about, “Hey, where’s your time sheet? Hey, your time sheet’s not in. Hey, get in your time sheet.” And he would come and just be like, “Hey, so I noticed your time sheet’s not in yet. Is there anything I can do to help out?” And I sometimes would go, “Well, actually, I’m missing this project number from this client. And I asked them about it last week and they didn’t answer and I didn’t follow up.” And he’d be like, “Okay, hang on one sec.” And then, would go. And then, two minutes later he’d come back and be like, “Here’s the project number.” And I’m like, “Thank you.” And I’d go and do it. And sometimes it was just, “Oh no, you know what? I got it.” And I would go and do it.But it always came from this feeling where now I am feeling supported as I go and fill in my late time sheet. I am not feeling lectured. I am not feeling defensive. I am not feeling these big negative emotions. It’s so silly how some people don’t even think about time sheets necessarily, unless I talk about time sheets, and people with ADHD, they’re like, “Ugh.” But having just such a tiny change.

(01:08:01):

Because most of the time, “Oh, hey, do you need anything from me?” I’m like, “Nope, I got it.” But the way that conversation felt to me as an ADHD employee and how easy it was, what an easy way to check in with someone in the same number of words it takes to say, “Hey, why isn’t your time sheet in?”

(01:08:23):

Anyway, I’m excited to see the future of ADHD in the workplace. So we need to do a stay tuned recap a couple years down the line and be like, “So how did all that pan out?”

Lindsay Guentzel (01:08:37):

Yes, absolutely. And I am sure that we could crowdsource plenty of things for you to add to the ADHD in the workplace stuff that you’ve been working on.

Dani Donovan (01:08:47):

Excellent.

Lindsay Guentzel (01:08:47):

But I totally agree with you, it’s where we need the biggest change because we are valuable and we bring so much to the team and we just have to get everybody else on board. And I’m so appreciative, one, of your time today. But two, of just the energy you put out into this community, not just for people who have ADHD, but for all of the people who love us and live with us and are friends with us or work with us, because all of that matters. The people who see your stuff and are engaging with it, whether they have ADHD or not, it’s just opening up their minds a little bit more. So that vulnerability of putting that out there and taking that on, thank you. Because I’m sure some days it feels like a heavy load, but know how much good it’s doing, truly.

Dani Donovan (01:09:34):

Thank you so much. I can’t believe that this is my life. It’s very strange to me, how someone… I grew up being bullied for being annoying and talking about myself too much, and now, all I do is talk about myself on the internet. That’s my job and I’m killing it. When people are, “Forget the haters.” I was like, “No, let them fuel you.” I’m a spite driven person. But the things that you’re good at, storytelling and being open about my feelings are strengths that I didn’t realize were strengths. I’d been told that they were weaknesses. And so, I think that everybody can maybe have some perspective of the things that you’ve been told about yourself that are flaws, and maybe ask yourself if those aren’t bugs, maybe they’re features.

Lindsay Guentzel (01:10:27):

I like that. That’s a great way to go out. So Dani, thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of ADHD Awareness Month and we will catch up with you in Dallas in November, and kind of get the low down on the next stuff that’s happening with you.

Dani Donovan (01:10:39):

Absolutely. Thank you so much, again.

Lindsay Guentzel (01:10:48):

A huge thank you to Dani Donovan for joining me on Refocused Together.

(01:10:52):

Remember, if you’re heading to the International Conference on ADHD in Dallas this November, make sure to stop by the Refocused booth, where I’ll be giving away a limited number of vouchers for signed copies of Dani’s upcoming book, The Anti-Planner.

(01:11:17):

There are so many people to thank for making Refocused Together happen. The entire team at 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 Snack Media, Cameron Sterling and Candace Lefke, Camilla Eden, Lauren Terry, Sarah Galbard, Phil Roaderman, Jake Beaver, and Sarah Platanitis.

(01:12:01):

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.

(01:12:13):

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 on social @LindsayGuentzel and @refocusedpod.

Our ADHD Online corporate office will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 so our employees can enjoy this special time with their families. 

As always, you can still take our assessment at any time online, whenever and wherever is best for you.

Please note that each clinician sets their own holiday hours and may be processing your requests during this time or they may be out as well.

We will resume normal business hours Monday, November 28. Thank you for your understanding and patience as our staff enjoys time with family to celebrate the Holiday.

Behavioral Therapy

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Missouri
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Assessments

Assessment services are available in all 50 states.

Assessment and Treatment Plan Development & Implementation**

The patient completes our asynchronous assessment and receives the report from a doctorate-level psychologist within 3-5 days.

The patient schedules an initial appointment with one of our providers to develop a treatment plan through a secure virtual appointment.

The patient schedules subsequent follow-up visits with our providers for ADHD medical treatment or behavioral therapy.

**If available in your state

Assessment and
Treatment Plan Development**

The patient completes our asynchronous assessment and receives the report from a doctorate-level psychologist within 3-5 days.

The patient schedules an initial appointment with one of our providers to develop a treatment plan through a secure virtual appointment. We provide you and your patient with a copy of our full report. You take it from there.

**If available in your state

Assessment

The patient completes our asynchronous assessment and receives the report from a doctorate-level psychologist within 3-5 days.

We provide you and your patient with a copy of our full report. You take it from there.

Assessments available in:

All 50 states

Medical Treatment available in:

Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky

Maine
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Carolina
Ohio

Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina*
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington, DC
Wisconsin

Teletherapy available in:

Georgia 
Michigan 
Missouri 
New Jersey 

Ohio
Pennsylvania
Virginia


*Prescriptions via telemedicine for Schedule II (stimulants) medications are not permitted by state law in South Carolina. Patients can receive prescriptions from our providers for non-stimulant medications. 

south carolina

Prescriptions via telemedicine for Schedule II (stimulants) medications are not permitted by state law in South Carolina. Patients can receive prescriptions from our providers for non-stimulant medications.