Matt Huovinen and Breaking the Cycle

In today’s episode of Refocused, Together,  we dive into Matt’s inspiring journey of self-discovery and personal growth as he navigated the complexities of undiagnosed ADHD until his late 30s. Matt’s story is one of resilience, having faced challenges stemming from a traumatic childhood, addiction, and a struggle with anxiety and forgetfulness. With unwavering commitment and the support of his wife, he embarked on a path to recovery, addressing his ADHD with medication and transforming his life. 

Now, as a passionate advocate for ADHD awareness, Matt shares his experiences and determination to inspire others to seek help and overcome their obstacles. Join us for an insightful conversation about life as a sober ADHDer and the transformative power of diagnosis and treatment.

More on the Connection between ADHD & Addiction

The ADHD & Addiction Link: Addictive Behaviors in Adults Explained

ADHD, Substance Abuse, and Addiction: When the Solution Becomes a Problem by Ari Tuckman

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Matt Huovinen (00:01):

There’s a whole lot going on in my head about being a dad. I had a couple of really terrible examples, and I had a lot of fear with being a dad, if I was going to be able to be a dad. The number one thing about being an adult was my kids were not going to be raised the way that I was raised.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:17):

You’re listening to Refocused, Together, and this is episode 11, Matt Huovinen and Breaking the Cycle. Welcome back to Refocused, a podcast all about ADHD. I’m your host, Lindsay Guentzel. If you’ve been listening to Refocused for any length of time, you know that ADHD is complex and it shows up in each person’s life in a different way. That’s why we created Refocused, Together our October series in which we share 31 stories in 31 days. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Matt Huovinen.


Matt’s journey towards understanding his ADHD has been long and arduous. It wasn’t until his late 30s that he was diagnosed, after years of struggling with anxiety, forgetfulness, and difficulty focusing on work and personal relationships. Like many later in life ADHDers, there were those signs throughout Matt’s life. He even recalls conversations with his foster mother, a school psychologist, that he had as a teenager, that all these years later he ties back to his undiagnosed ADHD.


Matt’s struggles were compounded by a traumatic childhood and a history of alcoholism and drug addiction, which impacted his ability to function in everyday life. Despite these challenges, he’s always been committed to personal growth and self-improvement. Thanks to a recovery program, he’s been sober for 26 years and has worked tirelessly to understand and manage his ADHD. With the support of his doctor and his wife who works as a counselor, Matt began taking medication for his ADHD.


This has brought him comfort and relief and helped him feel more capable of achieving his potential at work and home. Through it all, Matt has remained passionate about helping others. He believes that sharing his story can help others struggling with similar challenges. He has become an advocate for ADHD awareness and hopes to inspire others to seek help to overcome obstacles. With his strength and determination, Matt has shown that anything is possible no matter how difficult the journey may be.


Let’s talk more with Matt about his personal journey, life as a sober ADHDer and how the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD have changed his life. Matt, we start every single Refocused, Together interview with the same questions, and that is when were you diagnosed with ADHD and what was that diagnosis like? And then what sparked the conversation initially for you?

Matt Huovinen (03:26):

My mom is a school psychologist retired and a private practice psychologist. She’s been telling me since high school that I should be on some type of medication because I’m always a little manic and always a little stressed out, a little behind the eight-ball. Hyperfocus is certainly part of my diagnosis. I was diagnosed officially in my late 30s, and it really was because I was fired from another job.


Most of the jobs that I’ve lost are because I couldn’t meet the deadlines, was behind the eight-ball, couldn’t stay focused, and then ultimately lose interest because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I wouldn’t be able to stay in comparison to my coworkers. I never felt like I measured up because I couldn’t stay on task. Lots of jobs and that’s the big important thing.


The little stuff was always nagging in the back of my head, locking my keys out of my car or locking myself out of my car, locking my keys in my car, go to the grocery store, go through the entire grocery store, get to the checkout line, and not have my wallet. I can’t tell you how many times that that happened to me. Run home, get my wallet, go back and get the cart that’s sitting there beside the checkout line. I could do nothing else in my life to overcome those three things. They were just a constant in my adult life.

Lindsay Guentzel (04:56):

Your mother brought this to your attention, and then many years later you went in for a formal diagnosis. What was that initial conversation like?

Matt Huovinen (05:06):

Pretty easy. We knew our primary care and so I just had a conversation. My wife works as a counselor, so she knew her. There was a conversation had with her, conversation with me, and I explained it just like I explained to you. She said, “Well, let’s try this medication.” The first one we tried was the one that I’m sticking with now, and that’s Vyvanse. That seems to work really quite well for me. We had to mess with the quantity, the prescription, but now I can’t physically tell that I took it, I can physically tell when I don’t, but that’s about how that went.

Lindsay Guentzel (05:51):

I am also on Vyvanse. I can tell when I take it, and the one unfortunate business trip where I forgot it sitting on the counter, oh man. It was very, very eye-opening and very alarming, but it also kind of was this lovely little gift of a reminder of what I have now knowing about my ADHD and knowing how my brain actually functions and what it needs. And that in itself is a gift. It was a tough one to swallow at the time, but it is a gift.

Matt Huovinen (06:25):

Yep, completely agree. I travel a bunch for work, so the biggest hurdle now is with insurance companies and trying to make sure that I have enough. I’m balancing enough between I’m gone for a week, but I have two more. I skip a weekend, skip a weekend so that I have enough so I’m covered for work because that takes priority, and then the distraction happens at home. I’m not as present as I had been before because my kids need it and my wife deserves it and needs it, and then I feel crappy. That’s a constant hurdle.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:03):

It’s a powerful cycle we’re all stuck in, playing by these very, very stringent rules set for a group of people who really struggle with stringent rules.

Matt Huovinen (07:15):

Yeah, exactly.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:18):

I want to ask you just a little bit about the job firings. Even if you know why they’re happening, I can’t imagine that they’re easy to digest. You see yourself falling behind. You’re not keeping up with your peers. You want to make it work, but everything is working against you. What has changed with that since your diagnosis?

Matt Huovinen (07:43):

Well, I have a lot less fear with getting up in the morning and going to work. Not nearly as much anxiety happens on a daily basis. You remove those two hurdles and it also aids in what the medication can do for me, what I’m capable of doing from day to day. In the past, it was constantly feeling like I was never going to get ahead.


I was destined to always have this hurdle and the stuff that comes along with that, knowing that I’m not going to make it further ahead in this job or any job and knowing that the income’s not going to come along with it, that I’m not going to be able to provide for my family as much as I know that I’m capable of, but I just can’t get there.


I haven’t had to have the conversation with any of my supervisor about the potential that I have because I’m using it. I’m taking advantage of my potential. It’s not just sitting there to them being wasted. They see it as being wasted.

Lindsay Guentzel (08:48):

You touched on a few of the struggles that you’ve had living with ADHD. Is there anything else that comes to mind from your journey that stands out as something that has really been detrimental in your life and you can link it back to this unknown?

Matt Huovinen (09:05):

Well, I think that my upbringing certainly plays a role. I have a lot of trauma from when I was young, and there was recently an article that was focused on that about how ADD is a symptom of trauma as an early adult or young. I think that that’s something that has always been there for me too. I left home when I was 14 and I had siblings at home. I had an older sibling who’d left before I did. The whole thing is that between my two parents and their remarriages, they had nine kids and all of nine of us went into foster care.


All of us did. We were all separated. I left when I was 14 and my youngest sister, man, was one, two. I hardly even got to spend any time with her growing up at all. Emotionally stunted, coming out of that emotionally stunted and trying to be a teenager, trying to find my way in new schools, new house, new everything, and everything else gets put on the back burner. The struggles that I had at school, you could easily put that on a shelf of saying that that’s just a response to being moved around.


No matter how positive my experience was in foster care, it’s still that I’m not with my siblings, I’m not with my birth family, and there is something in the back of a person’s head that always will be there. Even as an adult, I should have done this, could have done that as a kid being there. Again, that is a distraction. It constantly can be a distraction that can be chalked up as this is why I can’t focus. This is why I’m struggling with this. This is my fear of success. This is my trouble with dealing with supervisors. Any way you slice it, it could be connected.

Lindsay Guentzel (11:19):

I’m so sorry that that happened to you. I can see that there’s a lot that you’re still dealing with, and rightfully so. I can only imagine the guilt that you felt as an older sibling leaving some of your siblings behind. To hear you in a sense that you still ruminate on some of those things that you as a kid, you couldn’t handle, you weren’t supposed to handle, but we don’t know how to tell ourselves that, right?


We don’t know how to say in that moment that this is not the job for a child. I just thank you for sharing this. A lot of people are going to be able to connect to your story, and that’s what I find so incredible about this project is we get to hear from so many different people who have had every struggle in the world, but there’s hope in that. I’m curious what you’re doing currently to manage some of the ADHD struggles that do come up for you.

Matt Huovinen (12:22):

In addition to all of that, I come into adulthood as an alcoholic and spent a bunch of time as a drug addict and being in a program that helps me stay sober, which I’ve been sober for 26 years. The way that I go about with my recovery in that regard is to never really be still with it, never really be settled with growing. There’s always more to learn about myself. There’s always more ways to learn how to be helpful to others. I do that. My family has really been structured around being able to help other people and be available to help others that are struggling like I am.


I’m grateful that my family doesn’t push too hard back on that. Usually by putting myself out there and being available to other people, helping other people, that calms a lot of the mental anguish that I do end up with. On a personal level, I have to have some kind of personal distraction. I have to have a hobby or something. My wife will attest to that I have too many, and it’s usually something that I know very little about. I’ll go buy a motorcycle or I’ll go buy an old pickup and try to fix it up.


I don’t know a whole lot about that stuff, but I just try to do it. We have three boys and our oldest just started college. Trying to be as present as possible for those three boys, I mean, there’s a whole lot going on in my head about being a dad. I had a couple of really terrible examples, and I had a lot of fear with being a dad, if I was going to be able to be a dad. The number one thing about being an adult was my kids were not going to be raised the way that I was raised. I’ve had this really large target to focus on.


Spend as much time as I can with them and realizing that they’re not just paying attention to what I’m doing when I’m home, when I’m in front of them, and knowing how much they pay attention to how I treat their mom and how I treat their brothers and how I have relationships with their sisters. We have two girls. I have a daughter from a previous relationship who’s married, has a baby, and that’s crazy in itself. And then we have a girl that moved in with us when she was real young.


She grew up with us as a teenager and beyond and our boys knew her as their sister, and that’s how they see her today. Maybe it’s just enough that I have all this family stuff going on that it maintains my level of chaos just high enough to keep me engaged with it all. Because if it’s all smooth and it’s all fine, I need to be pedaling somewhere. I need to be doing something somewhere. I don’t sit still. I can physically sit still, but mentally I don’t sit still. It’s always thinking about doing something.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:54):

It seems like you have found incredible strength in being vulnerable, and I think that’s a lovely gift and a lovely message to reemphasize, especially we’ve come leaps and bounds in talking about mental health, but we still have so far to go. I firmly believe that things left in darkness just grow and fester and become worse. And to hear you really hold on to this ability to help people. I know you say that it’s a big release for you and it just lets it all out. But at the same time, the ripple effects of you sharing your story, I imagine they’re spreading pretty far.

Matt Huovinen (16:37):

Well, I guess I don’t know the answer to that.

Lindsay Guentzel (16:42):

Well, it’s hard for someone in the moment to want to digest that. No one wants to be like, “Yes, I’m making a difference,” but I imagine that people come up to you fairly often and talk about that.

Matt Huovinen (16:55):

That certainly has happened. Yeah, that certainly has happened. In that respect, I’m terrible at that about myself taking that in. But if I look for examples in my life on how my kids treat people, when people come to my house, my children greet them as guests. It’s not something that I have been hardcore about requiring them to do it. They’re teenagers, so you have a little prodding, a little reminder, but they have no problem going up and welcoming somebody into our house, taking their coat, making sure that they’re comfortable.


You can sit in here. Come over here. Here’s the bathroom. Do you want something to drink? My kids just do that and they can hold conversations with people. What a gift to be able to see my kids be able to treat people like that and to hear other people say that back to me, “Your kids really helped me feel welcome, or your kids are really nice and they’re respectful.” It’s an example of a couple of things. It’s example of them being safe at home and not carrying the fear that so many in my family have before them.


It’s been generations since… In my perception of it, it’s been generations since it’s been that healthy. I wouldn’t have been able to do that on my own. Heck, I wouldn’t have been able to do it to this level without medication. But certainly without the recovery that I’ve been introduced to in my life, I wouldn’t have been present. I wouldn’t have been present to be able to have this. I’ve had this goal forever, but fear held me back from it. Been able to, for the most part, overcome that work through it anyways.

Lindsay Guentzel (18:48):

It’s an incredible accomplishment. Sobriety of any kind is incredibly difficult. The more we understand ADHD and mental health in general, I think more and more people are opening their eyes to the connection to addiction. I’m wondering if you have spent any time thinking about undiagnosed ADHD that you had your entire life but weren’t diagnosed with until you were in your thirties, but the addiction came at a much younger age.


Yes, there was all of that stuff happening in your family, and that is plenty to bring on an addiction of any kind. But I’m wondering if you have found any connections to the undiagnosed ADHD and reaching for that dopamine rush?

Matt Huovinen (19:35):

Yeah, there’s a couple of things in there, like the hesitation in dealing with anything with it, the stigma that’s carried along with both of these things, with ADD in itself and with addiction. There carries heavy almost like repercussions of acknowledgement that I have this. I’ve sought help, continue to seek help, and being vulnerable. Going through this process and talking about this, it certainly feels vulnerable. The other side of that, I think there’s a lot of freedom that comes through the acceptance personally that I can’t do this by myself.


I can’t fix my ADD by myself. It’s not just a matter of having a calendar or seven calendars, but I something like that have tried in the past. Having a calendar in my pocket certainly is great. I still struggle with only having one, so I do have multiple calendars still. Embracing all of the tools that are around and finding the ones that work specifically for me so that I can function. I don’t even know if I answered your question.

Lindsay Guentzel (21:00):

No. I just find so much connection in my own life and from people that I know of undiagnosed ADHD and addiction issues. I think there is something to be said about when you don’t know what you’re missing and you find something that fills a void, it can be a really easy trap to fall into and we don’t talk about it enough.


I also was raised in a very small town where there wasn’t a lot to do and drinking was introduced at a really young age. I just wonder what my future would have looked like had that not been something I was working against at such a young age.

Matt Huovinen (21:47):

Certainly I was in a couple of really small towns and the options were limited. But even as I moved to bigger towns, that’s what I was drawn to. I was drawn to the other kids that were doing that stuff. I think if I wouldn’t have left home when I was 14, things would’ve been very, very dark for me. The goal that I had in the back of my head was very dark, and it was based on keeping my siblings safe. That changed my life, changed the course of my life when I was 14 when I left home, that changed the course of my life and my siblings’ lives because my older sister had left, I had left.


And then within a short while, the other four kids all came out of my mom’s house. I was less involved with my dad’s other three kids, my other three siblings, because I didn’t live with them and I was 14. You live with what’s right in front of you at 14. That was transformational for me. And then to find a way to live without having to have a substance in my system was the other life-changing thing that happened to me. I didn’t do it all happy because, hey, my life fell apart. Guess what I get to do now?


I was chased into recovery by the judicial system. Embracing that past, embracing where I am today, how could that not impact who I am today? How could that not impact how I present myself to people, how I tell my story to people, how I try to encourage other people to find what works best for them to be free. There’s a way to live free of addiction. There’s a way to live free of… Not free.


I don’t know if I can really live free of ADD, but I can live free of the negative outcomes from ADD with the tools that are available today. I just want to live like that. I don’t have to live that kind of chaos anymore, because it really was. It was chaos.

Lindsay Guentzel (24:13):

You’ve touched on a lot of the things that have happened in your life, and then so beautifully flipped into these wonderful examples of what you are proud of, your family, the work you guys do in the community. I’m wondering, when you look at your life, where do you see yourself thriving?

Matt Huovinen (24:33):

Well, I’m a salesman and I really enjoy it. I enjoy being a salesman. I get to build rapport. With a salesperson, you try to do that as quickly as possible. There’s always something new to learn about what I’m selling. There’s always that level of engagement that is happening. Being a part of a team that is selling stuff, there’s engagement that happens there. That’s always fun to do. I really like being a dad. I really do. I think I always knew that I was going to really like it. I had a whole lot of fear that I was going to come out…


I was going to be a dad like my dad or my stepdad, because my experience with those two men was not good. Those were my initial examples of how to interact with their children. It’s just not going to happen. My kids, it’s just different for them. It’s much, much different for them. I think that’s where I thrive the most is when I don’t have a fear of being fired and I’m at home hanging out with my boys. I think that’s where I’m thriving.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:52):

I love it. How wonderful for you to get to confidently say that you broke the cycle, that you didn’t let it continue. There are a lot of people who are going to listen to this who are going to be feeling those same feelings of fear about being a parent, about passing along what they lived through as a child, but how wonderful to get to give them hope that it is possible, because I think sometimes we think that that’s a bus we cannot get off of.

Matt Huovinen (26:26):

Yeah. Specifically I used to really hold onto this fear, and I know it still lingers in the back of my head, but I had this fear that I didn’t have control over who I was going to become. Maybe that’s just because my life was so chaotic, but how I visualized it was that like a light switch that I couldn’t reach, I didn’t have control over, somebody would walk into the room and flip that light switch and I would become my worst nightmare. I would become one of those men that was a terrible person.


I know that that’s not the truth today. I know that that’s not even possible to have happen today. That’s not who I am. And that is not from me willing myself into believing that. That’s from a lot of work that’s come to that’s been in front of me and I’ve had several people guide me through that. And then to have people in my corner, my wife, my parents, my kids with all that, it would be so different.

Lindsay Guentzel (27:34):

You mentioned your parents in your corner. What has that relationship been like now that you are an adult and you have worked through what your childhood was like?

Matt Huovinen (27:45):

When I say parents, I mean my foster parents. I mean, it’s not like a streamlined story either. Both my dad and my stepdad, my biological dad and my stepdad had passed on and things were not resolved between myself and them before they went. In some way, there’s some guilt or some remorse of not taking that extra step into doing that. My biological mom lives about 40 miles away. I see her on a pretty regular basis. I talk to her on a very regular basis.


When it all boils down, and I don’t know if I’ve ever said this publicly and I’ve done some public speaking, but I don’t know if I’ve ever really talked about this, is that I have a resentment towards my mom. It was about her inability to keep us safe as kids. When I really stepped back and look at it, I know that it’s not her fault. I know that it’s not. My mom had a bad accident when she was a young kid, four or five years old, where she inhaled a peanut. She had one functioning lung for over an hour until they got her to the doctor because they lived on a farm.


Overnight she became a different person. Her personality changed from what I know. I mean, that was before my time. She then attracted men that were attracted to that, and the men that she landed with were not healthy. It’s ill-placed anger, but a resentment is a resentment, right? And that has more to do with me than it does to do with her. Finding way to deal with that so that I don’t treat her like I have a resentment. I don’t treat her like I’m angry at her, at least I try my hardest to not.


I try to enable to have my kids have a relationship with her, but they don’t really know her. It’s just that much removed. So then you look at the relationship that I have with my parents, and they’re very encouraging to keep relationship with my biological family. I’m so dang grateful that I have them. If I wouldn’t have had them, I wouldn’t have the full family circle today. My kids wouldn’t have my parents to have a relationship with. They wouldn’t have that grandpa and grandma to be there.


They went way beyond just being foster parents to me. They have and continued to play a vital role in my life so that I can still be the best that I can because I have them.

Lindsay Guentzel (30:45):

What a wonderful gift for both of you.

Matt Huovinen (30:48):

Yeah, agreed.

Lindsay Guentzel (30:52):

What’s giving you hope right now? What’s something that is pushing you forward and keeps you on the path that you’re on?

Matt Huovinen (31:00):

Well, it’s pretty easy to go back to kids. My son, Jack, he moved on to campus two weeks ago. The conversations have quickly changed about instead of, I don’t want to clean the basement, to, can I come home? Can I stop home? Can I sleep here tonight? He’s a little lonesome and he needs to spend time with his mom. He needs time with both of us. Whether he wants to admit it, I know that he misses his brothers. I mean, that’s just more proof, right? More proof that that home is positive and home is his constant.


That was the goal. That was the goal, to have home be that place. I don’t know if it takes any pressure off for the other two kids, but I see Sarah who came to live with us when she was young, to have her consider our place her home, to have her not knock, just walk in and start digging in the fridge, I mean, that’s the goal. That’s the goal with those kids is that they feel 100% comfortable. They do not have fear of me. They do not have fear of their mother. I guess there’s probably a healthy amount of fear, but there’s…


I don’t know, without going into examples, because when I was a kid, I was running away from my mom with a fly swatter. I was running away from my stepdad who was swinging a belt buckle at me. The amount of contrast from the way they’re living and the way that I grew up is really obvious. That’s my driver. That’s the force.

Lindsay Guentzel (32:48):

I could truly keep talking to you all day. This has just been such a wonderful conversation, but I want to wrap up by asking what is something you wish people knew or understood better about ADHD?

Matt Huovinen (33:03):

Unmedicated ADD is full of creativity, but it comes along with a huge amount of chaos and being unorganized. For me, it was really uncomfortable. I know that being on medication has changed my level of creativity. It’s not gone, but it’s different. But I’ve been on medication for a long time now, and the amount of creativity and comfort that I have now is just a relief. It doesn’t have to occupy all my time anymore. I’ve certainly known people that are undiagnosed or on medication or all the different gambit that they either like their medication or they hate it.


But if it’s a problem, if ADD is a problem in your life, it’s overcomeable. No matter what the cause of your ADD that is also able to be dealt with and not do it alone. You don’t have to keep it a secret. You don’t have to deal with it all by yourself. There’s doctors and there’s other people out there that deal with all the different things that we have going on in our lives that want to help, that are here to help, and that can.

Lindsay Guentzel (34:35):

Matt, thank you so much. I know you share your story very often to help people in the community, but I just feel so grateful to have this time with you and to get to share this with the Refocused community. Thank you for the work that you’re doing, not just the outreach, but the work that you’re doing internally. Because I mentioned that ripple effect, your children are going to be that ripple effect in the way that they treat other people, and that ripple is going to keep spreading.


So many of us have been in cycles that we have felt like we can’t break. And to get to share this story, such a lovely, wonderful, heartbreaking, tough, scary story, but that ends with the cycle breaking is something that is so important. When I say I’m grateful for this moment, I am so grateful to be here in this moment with you. Thank you for sharing this with me.

Matt Huovinen (35:35):

Thank you. I’m happy to do it.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:43):

For someone who talks a lot, it is very hard for me to put into words how much this conversation meant to me. I feel so lucky that I got to spend that time talking with Matt, and I’m honored he allowed us to share his story with all of you. What Matt has been able to overcome is astounding, and I’m so proud of him.


There’s been this push recently on social media talking about breaking the cycle, ending the repetitive pattern of harmful behavior that just keeps getting passed along from generation to generation, breaking the cycle of abuse, of addiction, of silence, all things Matt is choosing to bring to an end for his family and himself. It hasn’t been easy for him, but he chooses every day to put in the work.


While your cycle might not look like Matt’s, his resilience is something we can all pull Inspiration from. ADHD can give us some beautiful gifts, and we’ll always hear people refer to it as their superpower. But for many people with ADHD, even those that acknowledge the upside to having it, there can be a lot of incredibly destructive life-changing circumstances to work against. I just really appreciate the matter of fact candor Matt adopts when sharing his story.


One thing we all need to be aware of is that ADHD brings with it a higher risk in developing a substance use disorder. Children and teens who have ADHD are more likely to try alcohol, tobacco, and other substances compared to their peers who don’t have ADHD. Around 15% of adolescents and young adults with ADHD have a concurrent substance use disorder, and children with ADHD are also more at risk to start abusing alcohol during their teen years. Something I shared a bit about in today’s episode, here’s a statistic that really jumped out at me.


Almost one in every four patients seeking treatment for substance use disorder have untreated or undiagnosed ADHD, and that could be due to issues with regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. When an ADHDer has a comorbidity, the more challenging disorder is treated first. For those with substance use disorders, getting sober before starting treatment is recommended. The best way to prevent addiction is by receiving treatment earlier.


Clinicians and parents should work together to determine the best treatment plan, whatever combo of therapy, medication, and behavioral interventions. Prescribers will often try to reduce the risk of medication misuse by prescribing long-acting meds instead of shorter acting ones and encouraging continual behavioral health checkups during treatment. If you have any concerns about substance use in your own life or in the life of someone you love, it’s important that you would address this with your healthcare professional.


If you aren’t comfortable with that, there are resources available to help you make those first steps a little easier. We’ve shared some of them in the show notes for you. Did anyone else just love hearing Matt talk about wanting his children to feel safe at home? It’s clear he has so much love and respect for his family. And for someone who feared being a father, I think it’s safe to say he’s grown into the role quite well. I also really appreciated the mindset he’s adopted when it comes to the relationship he has with his biological mother.


I feel truly honored that he opened up about that with us. Forgiveness on any level can be a tough lesson for humans to learn, and what I think I appreciate about Matt’s viewpoint on it is, it’s clear he’s taking himself, his feelings, and his growth as a human into account when deciding how to manage this relationship. You are a very special human, Matt Huovinen, and I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to hear your story. Thank you for being a part of Refocused, Together.


The show notes are chockfull of resources. I felt it was important to share following this conversation, including links to more on the connection between ADHD and addiction, some resources for you to connect with if you’re worried about substance use disorders in your life or in the life of someone you care about, and even some insight into the connection between ADHD, childhood trauma and foster children. We’ll be back here tomorrow with a brand new episode of Refocused, Together 2023.


In the meantime, I encourage you to take a page from Matt’s book and give out as much grace to yourself, to your loved ones, to the checkout person at the grocery store. Just give out as much of it as you can. The Matt we all got to meet today is a shining example of what happens when you do.


Support for Refocused comes from our partner, ADHD Online, a telemedicine mental healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible ADHD assessments and treatment plans to learn how they can help you on your journey, head to ADHDOnline.com, and remember to use the promo code refocused20 to receive $20 off your ADHD Online assessment right now. The biggest thanks go out to our team at ADHD Online, Keith Boswell, Susanne Spruit, Melanie Mile, Claudia Gotti, and Tricia Merchant Dunny for their constant support in helping make Refocused, Together happen.


These 31 episodes were produced. Thanks to our managing editor Sarah Platanitis, our production coordinator Phil Roderman, social media specialist and editor Al Chaplin, and me, the host and executive producer of Refocused, Lindsay Guentzel. To connect with the show on social media, you can find us online @refocusedpod, and you can email the show directly, [email protected]. That’s [email protected].


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