Trina Haynes and the Cycle of Overcommitting

Until her diagnosis, Trina Haynes didn’t think that women could have ADHD. Since her diagnosis, she’s founded My Lady ADHD, a supportive community and website with resources and encouragement, ADHD Social, and the Get Lost Retreat. She admits she has a lot going on due to her cycle of overcommitting but, when she boils it all down, she works with women who have ADHD.

Tune in to hear her talk about why she is so passionate about working with women with ADHD, how she’s learning to overcommit a little less, and her experience that people with ADHD are some of the kindest people on the planet.

Refocused, Together is a collection of 31 stories told throughout the 31 days of October, a part of our commitment to ADHD Awareness Month. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss a single story this month! 

Connect with Trina on Instagram and check out her website for more resources and information on upcoming retreats and events. 

Add us on Social Media!

Trina Haynes (00:00):

The biggest struggle is putting too much on my calendar and not being able to manage my time very well, and subsequently ended up being burnout. So I’m in a perpetual burnout cycle where I just over-commit to everything and then kind of freak out once I realize I can’t do it all, and then I end up canceling appointments and feeling really bad about myself, and then I have to sleep for a couple of days.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:30):

You are listening to Refocus Together, and this is episode 10, Trina Haynes and The Cycle of Overcommitting. Welcome back to Refocused, a podcast all about ADHD. I’m your host, Lindsay Guentzel, and that was Trina Haynes, whose story is a part of Refocus Together, our series for ADHD Awareness Month. This is our second annual Refocus Together with 31 brand new stories from 31 new people who have generously shared their story with us. Trina Haynes is the founder of My Lady ADHD, a supportive community and website that provides resources and encouragement to women with ADHD.


As a woman diagnosed with ADHD later in life, Trina struggled to find the resources and support she needed. She started My Lady ADHD to connect with other women and to raise awareness about how the condition can impact women differently than men. Through her website, Trina shares her personal journey and insights, as well as those of other women with ADHD, to help women feel less isolated and more empowered to manage their condition. She’s become an advocate for ADHD awareness and provides mentorship for female ADHDers to help them find more peace and balance in life. She even hosts the My Lady ADHD podcast and organizes ADHD-friendly retreats for women. You can learn more about her work at myladyadhd.com, and you can follow her on Instagram at MyLadyADHD. Let’s dive in with Trina to learn more about her ADHD experience. Why saying being diagnosed with ADHD changed my life is a massive understatement for her and how to recognize and avoid ADHD burnout.


I am so excited for you all to meet our next guest for Refocus Together 2023 Trina Haynes.


What’s great about Refocus Together is we ask everyone the same questions and we start with the same question, which is when were you diagnosed and what was that process like for you?

Trina Haynes (02:54):

Sure. I was diagnosed just a couple of years ago. I’m in my thirties, and basically, I was diagnosed because I was really struggling at work. I started having panic attacks and I had what I thought at the time was my perfect job. It checked every box, but I was still having panic attacks and still having a lot of anxiety. So I started going to therapy and I was super lucky. My therapist had ADHD and she recognized it in me pretty quickly, and she referred me out for a diagnosis, and that was maybe three or four years ago at this point. So I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones that found a therapist that understood ADHD, and it’s very rare.

Lindsay Guentzel (03:37):

Absolutely. What stood out for you in those early conversations that you were having with your therapist? You mentioned that she saw some things in you that she recognized from her own experience with ADHD and from the work that she does. What were some of the things that stand out now that you can look back and go, “Oh, yep, there it was.”

Trina Haynes (03:55):

Well, it’s really interesting because when she first brought up the idea of ADHD to me, I was in total denial. I actually thought that women couldn’t have ADHD. I did not think that that was something that women dealt with, so I really was like, “Okay, whatever.” I’ll go to get this diagnosis, but I really didn’t believe her at the time. Now, looking back, obviously, so many pieces of my life makes sense now because of my ADHD diagnosis, every single piece. But it did take me a while, I was in a little bit of a denial when I was first diagnosed.

Lindsay Guentzel (04:28):

Following your diagnosis, I’m wondering what stands out as kind of the biggest or most eye-opening thing that you’ve discovered about yourself and how ADHD shows up in your life that you’ve been the most surprised by?

Trina Haynes (04:41):

I think the longer I sit with my diagnosis, the more I realize how much I resonate with time blindness, which is, that’s not in the DSM-5. They don’t talk about that when you get diagnosed, but I relate to it so much because I just feel very unaware of the time, most of the time. I can’t keep track of birthdays or how old I am or I miss appointments and time is just very weird and fluid for me, and I really didn’t know how many people with ADHD deal with that, and I don’t think it’s talked about that much, but it also affects every single piece of your life if you really look at it. So time blindness, I think, is a big one for me. Burnout, I resonate the most with ADHD burnout, hyper-focused. Every single piece of ADHD affects me greatly. I am the combined ADHD, and I like to say I have a mix of all of it.

Lindsay Guentzel (05:42):

You mentioned that you can look back at life and see ADHD sprinkled throughout everything. Are there certain points that are harder to go back to? A big part of these later-in-life ADHD diagnoses that we don’t really talk about is the grief that comes with it, the what-ifs, the what if we had known, and you even said when your therapist brought it up to you, you were in denial because you didn’t think women could have ADHD. And so now you are given this new lease on life, in a sense. You have a better understanding of how your brain works, but that also comes with looking back and going, I would’ve done something a little differently. Whether we want to or not, I mean, we can tell ourselves, don’t do it. It’s a very, very gray area, but for all of us, it is something that we deal with.

Trina Haynes (06:28):

Yeah, college was really hard. I wish I had known about my ADHD diagnosis when I was in college and high school. I think if I had had some help or some treatment at that time, I would’ve maybe graduated college. I barely graduated high school. Those were just years of my life that I feel like were unnecessarily hard. And so yeah, I’ve thought about what if I had known in high school or what if I had known in college, would my career path look different? Would I have not made the risky choices that I made in my early twenties if I had had coaching or therapy or medication during that window where chaos is happening in your early twenties and some of those big life transitions, having my daughter. I think those are the really, really hard parts for people with ADHD is when we’re transitioning from one way of living to another, and that’s when I think it would’ve been really helpful to know that I had ADHD. I think it would’ve made a difference in the way that my life played out.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:36):

When you look at life right now, what is your biggest struggle when it comes to how ADHD shows up for you?

Trina Haynes (07:43):

Oh man, the biggest ongoing struggle is putting too much on my calendar and not being able to manage my time very well and subsequently ending up being burnout, so I’m in a perpetual burnout cycle where I just overcommit to everything and then kind of freak out once I realize I can’t do it all, and then I end up canceling appointments and feeling really bad about myself, and then I have to sleep for a couple of days. I’m kind of in that right now. Those of you who know me can probably tell that my voice is kind of crackly and I’m kind of sick right now, but I think it’s like I’m in the middle of burnout right now, and I think burnout has been one of the hardest pieces for me, because I always know it’s coming, but I always struggle to stop it at the same time.


So I think just the overwhelm from having ADHD is so stressful in every piece of your life and it can easily cause burnout and you still have to function and go to work even though you’re feeling just completely drained. So yeah, I feel like burnout is one of the ones that I really struggle with right now. It’s just that cycle.

Lindsay Guentzel (08:55):

Okay, so I’m going to ask you, is your burnout because you are so excited about everything that you want to do, or is it because you are a people pleaser or is it this middle ground where a lot of us with ADHD find ourselves?

Trina Haynes (09:10):

It’s all of the above. Generally, I think it comes down to some time blindness thing, again, because I just think that there’s time in my schedule for everything. My brain just thinks there’s this unlimited amount of time for me to get things done, but my capacity is a lot smaller than I realize. I want to do so much, but my capacity is just not as big as I think it is. And I think some of that comes down to the executive functioning skills. It takes me longer to do things than maybe other people too. So maybe I committed to helping someone. I think it’s going to take an hour, but it actually takes three or four. My whole schedule is off and then I’ve overcommitted. I think it’s just like this cycle of overcommitting and I want to do the things, generally. It is a combination of people-pleasing and wanting to do the things, and I’m getting better at saying no to things strictly because I’ve realized that there’s just not enough time on my calendar, and that time is my most precious commodity.

Lindsay Guentzel (10:15):

I always laugh at the fact that, for example, if I’m at the gym and we’re going to do a 60-second plank, I, some days, can’t tell the difference between 60 seconds and five minutes, and then you add that up however many times throughout the day of committing to doing something, then you add in distractions and our brains love distractions, and it does, it starts to add up. It’s so frustrating.

Trina Haynes (10:41):

It is so frustrating. It just feels like there’s more time, but at the end of the day, I always feel like, where did the time go? It’s this super strange relationship with time that we have as ADHDers. I think I would love to see more research done around it because I think it is impacting us in a bigger way than we realized.

Lindsay Guentzel (11:02):

You mentioned saying no to more things. What else are you doing to actively help you acknowledge time in your life?

Trina Haynes (11:11):

Like most ADHDers, I have a lot of reminders and I have a lot of clocks in my house. I just physically need to see the time throughout the day a lot. Just help me remind myself what time it is. If you don’t look at the time, I really have no idea. So I try to keep a lot of clocks and timers around, but generally, I rely on the people in my life to help me with the time thing. My husband keeps really good track of things for me. My daughter, my husband both remind me. It’s the support system around me that really helps with all of the ADHD struggles that I have. But specifically with time, I feel like they help keep me in line.

Lindsay Guentzel (11:54):

When you look at life, where do you see yourself thriving right now? And I know you have so much going on, so you can take this in any and all directions you want.

Trina Haynes (12:03):

Well, you’re talking to me a couple days after I got back from the ADHD Women’s Retreat that I hosted in Jamaica, and I’m feeling really lit up and on fire for that work that I’m doing on retreats for ADHD women. So right now, I’m hyperfocused on that and I see myself facilitating space for ADHD women to get together, whether that’s a conference, whether that’s meetups or retreats. I have this inner thing that’s pulling me to bring people with ADHD, specifically ADHD women together in a room together because I think it’s so healing and so powerful, and I’ve witnessed it many times. And so it’s something that I’m really passionate about and I don’t really see myself stopping that anytime soon. So yeah, I think a big part of my future is going to be bringing people together to heal.


A lot of times, as ADHDers, we really need to see ourselves in someone else because we felt alone for a really long time, and so when you put women who have ADHD in a room together, it is just so validating and so funny and so freeing. You allow people to unmask and be themselves for sometimes the first time in their lives, and that is really addictive and it’s something that I’m really enjoying doing.

Lindsay Guentzel (13:26):

Let’s stay on that topic of unmasking for just a second, which is such a big thing for people who have ADHD, but specifically for women. Because if you look back and you can see where we were forgotten, a lot of us were putting up these masks. We were doing what we were told, we were following along in school because that’s what good girls did. What has unmasking been like for you and what are you seeing from yourself now that you know about it and you’re able to take that layer down?

Trina Haynes (13:57):

I think unmasking is something that I’m kind of working on every day, but it did start when I got my ADHD diagnosis and I went online to try to find other women who had ADHD like me. I really didn’t believe that women had ADHD. And so when I started talking about it on social media and connecting with other women, they kind of gave me more and more permission to be myself, my authentic self on camera because they would say things like, “Oh my gosh, this really resonates with me”, or “I do this too”, and I had never heard that before. So the ADHD community actually inspired me to talk about my struggles more and to be myself more and to show up authentically on social media, which in turn led to me just showing up authentically everywhere. I own the fact that I have ADHD, I tell employers and people at the grocery store, and it is a topic of conversation all the time now.


I’m finding myself, I’m trying to think of the right way to say this. I love spending time with people with ADHD, and I’m kind of pushing back on the people that I’m not comfortable being myself around and maybe I don’t need to be around those people. So I’ve spent more time curating the people in my life who support me and who love me the way that I am versus hanging out with people that don’t understand it and that make me feel bad for who I am. So I’ve gotten really good at keeping my circle precious to me. That’s not been an easy process to weed through some of those relationships that aren’t impactful anymore, and that’s a piece of unmasking that I think some women, in particular, will have a hard time with because I think you really have to take a look at the type of personalities and energies that you allow into your life.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:56):

Good for you. I also am doing some work in that. I think it’s interesting when you come home from something and you can feel a difference. You’re with people you either should be with or you’re with people who you shouldn’t be with, and you start to feel it and you recognize it and you go, I either want that or I don’t. And there’s a really freeing point as an adult where you go, “Oh, I get to make this decision.”

Trina Haynes (16:24):

Yeah, that’s been really empowering to make some of those decisions and I’ve really actually enjoyed saying no lately. I’m finding a lot of strength in me turning things down and me not going to the party that everyone’s going to just because maybe those aren’t my people, maybe they’re not, and I thought that they or I want them to be or I thought they are, but maybe I am just more careful with where I put my energy and my time. I think all of that comes from just now knowing who my authentic self is and being able to not wear a mask. I do truly feel like I’m not masked anymore, and that was a really long process, but I can generally say that I feel like I don’t mask anywhere. And I love that about my life because that’s really new and I can tell the difference between old Trina masking and new Trina unmasked.

Lindsay Guentzel (17:24):

If I can open up about something that involves you, I’m realizing as I’m working through my own ADHD diagnosis and the struggle that I’ve had my entire life with rejection sensitive dysphoria and some really unfortunate bullying that happened in middle school. Again, working through some stuff, I’ve realized that I have put up walls, and anyone who’s been hurt before, there’s a reason you put up walls. And what I just want to thank you for is you have gone out of your way to always include me and to bring me into things. And I think people think because I’m outgoing, again, it’s this ADHD thing because we talk a lot that it means that we’re these big extroverts. And I’m a huge introvert, and every time I’m around you, you have really, really gone above and beyond to include me, and it is such a wonderful gift. And I truly am so thankful because I feel like such an awkward turtle at times and I’m still working through my stuff. And there is this fear, you walk into these big groups with all of these people that you don’t know and then to have someone like you, it has been just a really, really lovely gesture.

Trina Haynes (18:38):

I feel like I’ve had to force you to be my friend. I’m like, “Lindsay, we are friends. I need you to be my friend.” I’ve had to pull you along and be like, “No, you’re cool. I want to be your friend.”

Lindsay Guentzel (18:51):

And I appreciate it. When you identify in yourself, you’re like, this is why I hold myself back. And it has been so great to get to know you and we’ve had such wonderful conversations. And then to have you here for Refocus Together, and I’m so excited for all of the stuff that you have coming up. And I want to talk a little bit about the planning that went into some of the stuff that you have going on, because a lot of the stuff that your entrepreneurial spirit is drawn to is bringing people together. But it’s a lot of work, so how do you balance it?

Trina Haynes (19:27):

A couple of people have asked me that, “How are you doing this?” I will say that I mentioned earlier that I’m a co-founder of Get Lost Retreats, and I’m a co-founder of ADHD Social because those are massive endeavors that I would not take on by myself at this time, so I have great partners in those areas. And I think the thing that I’m finding out is that a ADHDers really thrive in an environment where they can be open about their strengths and only do that, right? I have partnerships with people for both of those projects, and we all know one another’s strengths, and we actually know each other’s weaknesses as well, and we talk about those. And it’s okay, it’s okay to talk about those, but I don’t take on Excel spreadsheets on any of those projects. I am not going to do that.


But you know what I’m great at, bringing people together and promoting things. I’m happy to do that. And my partner, Katie, she’s great at graphic design, and then I have another person who’s great at the details, and I think when you put ADHDers together, that’s when magic starts to happen. And so all of the projects that I’m working on, I work with other people, I do not take them on a hundred percent because I can’t personally carry them to the finish line when it’s just me. So all of the success that I’ve had comes down to the people that I’ve partnered with.

Lindsay Guentzel (20:55):

What did it take for you to start setting those boundaries? Because as a people-pleaser, I will just say yes when someone asks me something. Obviously, I’m getting better at it now that I identify what’s going on, but I like that you say, I’m not doing spreadsheets.

Trina Haynes (21:12):

I started paying attention to when someone asks me to do something, if I get that pit in my stomach, it’s like a hint. It’s like a quick flash of lightning in your stomach or a quick chill down your back, and you’re like, the red flag is going off, but it’s so quick. And so you have to really pay attention to how your body reacts to things. And so if we’re in a meeting and they’re like, “Hey, Trina, can you do this spreadsheet?” My body is immediately like, no, that’s going to cause problems in our life. We need to not do that. And so I honestly think it’s just paying attention to how your body responds to things and voicing it right then and there. “I’m not great at that. Can we talk about it?”


And I will say that is so much easier to do when you’re working with other people who have ADHD. I find that I have a lot more freedom and a lot more, I have my voice when I’m with other ADHDers. And when I’m with a room full of neurotypical people or a giant room of a mixed bag, then I’m less likely to speak up and say, “Excel spreadsheets, no way.” So I feel really lucky that the work that I do is kind of surrounded by ADHDers, and so I feel like I have a little bit more freedom and flexibility with them.

Lindsay Guentzel (22:37):

When you look at the future and everything that you have going on right now, what is giving you hope? What is really pushing you forward?

Trina Haynes (22:47):

Well, I don’t want to talk about the retreats too much, but like I said, this is something that I just got back from the ADHD Women’s Retreat, and so it’s super fresh on my mind and it’s so exciting for me. During that retreat, we brought together 20 women who did not know each other, and they left complete best friends after just a few days. And I think that is something that I’m going to look forward to all the time. There’s no way that that’s not going to bring me so much joy. And so the retreats and bringing women together to unmask has been, I wish I could explain how proud that makes me that I’ve gotten to do that. You don’t really know until you’re there experiencing it, how powerful it is. So it’s something that I can’t really walk away from, even if I don’t want to do it, I feel like it’s like a train I can’t get off.

Lindsay Guentzel (23:45):

You said, I don’t want to talk about this too much, but I want to talk about it, because it obviously is something that is so important to you. Tell me about one of the moments. Tell me about one of the moments right now, because obviously, you’re responding to the reaction and the experience you had. So tell me about one of the moments that you’re just carrying with you right now.

Trina Haynes (24:06):

I think it was just maybe the very first dinner that we had. Everyone had just gotten into town, no one knew each other. And we had a big dinner just so everybody could get to know one another, and just hearing everyone talking loudly over one another, because that’s what we do as a ADHDers. And I don’t know, everyone just felt like they knew each other right away. And I remember sitting there and just watching all the women have the best time ever and feeling like they’re comfortable enough to interrupt one another or get up and leave or spill something at the table, and no one’s going to say anything. It’s just this freeing feeling that you don’t get in the real world. It’s like going to another planet for a little bit where everyone is like you and everyone understands. There’s not a critical person there, and everyone is so kind and empathetic and funny, and it just works. And there’s something magical about it.


Spending a week, almost a week with 20 women and not having any bickering, any arguing, any nothing from strangers they don’t even know, I don’t even know how that works as a woman. That’s not normal in my life. And so just experiencing women finally be comfortable in their skin for even an hour at dinner, that’s just something I’m going to take with me for a long time. And I got to see that over and over and over again during the retreat, and I don’t really know how to explain it unless you’re there. You’re going to have to come.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:47):

I have to imagine there’s also kind of a sense of pride in having this big idea and then seeing it all work out. Because I know for me, we move the goalposts on ourselves, and even if something works out, we’re always like, “Oh, it could have been better.” And so then you’re in this beautiful moment and you get to go, “I helped create this.”

Trina Haynes (26:07):

Yeah, It was a project from the heart. It’s something that I worked really, really hard on to make sure that it happened. Again, I had a great team to pull it together, it’s not just me. But yeah, it is something I’m really proud of. When you have ADHD, you understand how great it is to start something and then also to finish it, right? So with the retreats, I started it and then it actually came to fruition, and I still have a hard time believing that we pulled that off. So yeah, it’s something I am really, really proud of. We’re planning for more because it was so magical, and we know that we can recreate it because we know that women with ADHD need to be with one another, and so it feels like a mission that is going to be easy because it has to be done.

Lindsay Guentzel (27:02):

We have to talk about the incredible work that you’re doing with your podcast. Tell me a little bit about it and what made you start it?

Trina Haynes (27:08):

The podcast. Oh, the podcast. It is also a labor of love. The podcast came from this need within to start a podcast. Even before I realized I wanted to talk about ADHD, I’ve always wanted a podcast. One of my strengths that I know now is connecting with people on a one-on-one level, but also connecting people together. And so the podcast, for me, has just been this great networking tool. I’ve got to meet so many amazing people in this community. I’ve gotten to interview experts that I never thought I would get to talk to, and it’s just an hour where you get to connect with another ADHDer and have a real conversation with them. And I love it. I love the podcast. It’s something that, throughout the last year, because it’s been a year now, throughout the last year, I’ve had moments where I wanted to stop the podcast because it is a lot of work, but I always push through because it’s something that I love.


And every time I look at my to-do list and I think about things that I could cut back to prevent burnout, the podcast is always somewhere on the list, but it always makes the cut, and I always continue because it’s something that I like doing, so I don’t want to stop yet. But yeah, the podcast has been great. I love talking to experts about ADHD. I’ve learned so much from the podcast, so much about myself. I’ve cried a lot, as you probably have on this podcast. So it’s fab. I really-

Lindsay Guentzel (28:39):

Never. All the time.

Trina Haynes (28:42):

It’s emotional. The thing that I love about it, which you probably can resonate with, is that is a thread through everyone’s story where there’s so much similarity in the stories, the things that we’ve been through, and there’s so much empathy and understanding. And I just really truly believe that people with ADHD are just some of the kindest people on the planet, and I get to talk to them all the time. And so it’s just, I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s just something about people with ADHD.

Lindsay Guentzel (29:18):

So I want to wrap this up by asking, what is something you wish people knew or understood better about ADHD?

Trina Haynes (29:26):

That one’s really tough because there’s so much. I wish that people would just learn about ADHD and not make assumptions because I made assumptions. I didn’t think that women could have ADHD. I was way wrong. And had I done just a little bit of research, I would’ve found out that, yeah, so many women have ADHD. So I think a little bit of knowledge in this area goes a really long way for compassion and understanding and empathy. And so I wish people would just learn about it, especially if they know someone in their life who has ADHD. If you’re married to someone with it or your sibling or a family member, I feel like that is really the nicest thing you can do for them is to learn about it and actually understand what it’s like to have ADHD.


I think that would be my biggest thing, is just to not assume the stigma, not assume that it is one thing, and to actually spend a little bit of time learning about it. Before you treat someone with ADHD, I don’t know, the stigma is really tough. It’s still such a big deal, and I think it’s just a little bit of education is still needed.

Lindsay Guentzel (30:48):

You create so much content online. Do you take a lot of these assumptions into account when you’re deciding what you’re going to share with your audience?

Trina Haynes (30:58):

Content has been such a rollercoaster for me because when I started out, I was more playful and more like, “Oh, these are the things in my life that I think are related to ADHD.” And I started to pay attention to the stigma, and I didn’t want to be a part of that. I didn’t want to be fueling the stigma, so I had to be more careful with the content that I put out. And I want it to be, obviously, factual and still me, still genuine, still authentic, but less playful and comedy-like and more real. So it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster because I just became more aware of, I don’t really want to be part of the problem with the stigma around ADHD on social media. So yeah, it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster to figure out the content around ADHD, and it’s changed, it’s evolved, and it will continue to.

Lindsay Guentzel (32:02):

I do want to ask you one thing about putting yourself out there. How have you managed the expectations that come when you have a following? And you mentioned even changing the style of your content because it can be hard to put yourself out there even for the most confident person, especially because we know the internet can be a terrible place.

Trina Haynes (32:26):

Yeah. Content creation specifically in the ADHD community also has been a rollercoaster, but overall, the ADHD community is kind of incredible. There’s not been a ton of negative, I’ve definitely had trolls and negative comments on posts, but I have this little circle of ADHD creator friends and we lean on one another. And if I get a comment that’s really upsetting me, I’ll send it to one of them and be like, “Walk me through this. Am I overthinking this? Should I quit social media?” And so I have this little group of people in my life who are my sounding board, and we help each other. And I think that has really been cool, and I don’t know if this is a common theme in the creator community where you have your own little club inside of a club, but I think our little circle of ADHDers are just incredible people.


And if I have a message that I want to spread to the community, every one of them will blast it for me. We help one another out if someone has a program that they’re promoting, and it’s just the most loving, generous environment to be in with some hate sprinkled in. So you have to be really confident, which is not easy. And I also deal with the RSD and some of the emotional dysregulation, and so I’ve gotten some comments on social media about my looks or about my stance on things, and it can knock me out for a few days. I won’t want to be on social media. I’ll want to throw my phone into the lake. There’s been a few times where it’s just been too much, and so what I try to do is just take lots of breaks.


Right now, I’m on a break. I haven’t really posted in about a month and a half. This is a long break for me. But what I found is when I go back to it, they’re still there. The people are still there, the audience is still there. Everyone understands that you need a break sometimes. And so I feel less guilt about taking breaks, and I love taking breaks now. So I try to just not put so much pressure on myself to post, post, post, post, post. I already have a large community. I’m not set out to grow it anymore. It is what it is, and I can only do so much. So I really have to just be aware of how I’m feeling while I’m using it, and if I’m feeling icky or I’m feeling just awful when I’m on social media, I need to put the phone down and I need to go out in nature, and I’m starting to recognize those moments.


In the beginning, it was super hard to do that, but it’s getting easier the longer that you do it.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:25):

It sounds like you have a really good outlook on it now.

Trina Haynes (35:27):

Oh yeah. In the beginning it was so much. The ADHD community and social media kind of hit a boom in 2021 and I would get 3, 4, 500 followers a day on my account, and it was like a dopamine drug. I could not stay away from the likes and the follows. And it was really taxing on my family, it was really taxing on me, and it was amazing, but also just so overwhelming. And so now, it’s kind of slowed down, which I actually like, and it’s gotten a little bit more manageable to figure out the cadence, and I think I’ve just have gotten better at it because I’ve been doing it for so long now.

Lindsay Guentzel (36:15):

Trina, it was so wonderful having you here on Refocus Together. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am crossing my fingers and crossing my toes that everything works out, that we’ll be together in Baltimore for the ADHD conference. Hearing you talk about the retreat really makes me feel like I need some of it.

Trina Haynes (36:32):

The retreats came from the ADHD conference last year. That’s what sparked the whole thing for me was seeing people with ADHD together in one room and how magical that was. And what I always talk about, it felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz where it’s black and white, and then when I got to the conference, it was like all rainbow and color, and so it was really impactful for me to be around other ADHDers or was really healing. And I left there knowing that this is part of what I have to do is bring people with ADHD together. So I’m so excited to go back to the conference because it’s just that burst of energy that I need again to get me through.

Lindsay Guentzel (37:17):

It was really lovely to sit down and have that one-on-one time with Trina. We’ve obviously connected before, but one thing I’m learning about myself is when I meet people, even ADHDers in big group settings, I still need to have that moment with them, that opportunity to connect with them individually. Just one-on-one, otherwise my RSD can run wild. And so to hear Trina say like, “Hello, I’ve been pushing you to be my friend.” It really just reaffirmed a lot of the things that I’ve learned about myself since I was diagnosed.


Maybe this has happened to you. Someone says something like, “Hey Lindsay, let’s hang out.” And what you hear is, “Hey, Lindsay, I’m telling you I want to hang out with you, but I don’t actually mean it. I’m doing this because this is what I’m supposed to say. I’m being polite.” And so then you, you never act on it. You probably, in that moment, don’t even respond with, “Oh my gosh, I would love to spend time with you too”, because there’s no truth to what that person’s saying, at least in your mind. Making and keeping friends is so hard. Even when you have someone like Trina who is so inclusive and welcoming, she’s been working against some pretty tough walls I’ve built up to protect myself, because no one ever taught me how to handle my friendships.


Being accepted by our peers is a big deal for women and can impact our self-worth. Women with ADHD often struggle with social interactions and maintaining relationships due to emotional factors like anxiety and mood disorders. Friendships require a lot of executive function skills, and women with ADHD may feel like they can’t keep up. We want friendships, but fear being seen as a fraud. We crave connection, but also need downtime to regroup. When we do spend time with our friends, we can be totally present, but often forget about reaching out when life gets hectic. There’s just so much on our plates at all times. It’s why I am so appreciative of the way Trina has handled so many of the amazing endeavors she’s taken on over the last few years, like her podcast and these retreats, focusing so much attention specifically on a group she understands well, women with ADHD.


Rejection sensitivity is strongly linked to ADHD. It can make us personalize social interactions, interpret them negatively, and struggle to control our emotions. Sadly, this just chips away at our resilience and makes us constantly expect rejection, especially if we’ve experienced bullying and criticism for not conforming to societal expectations. These early experiences can alter our brain chemistry, increasing the release of adrenaline and cortisol and look a lot like anxiety when it’s really ADHD with heavy sprinkles of RSD. Trina helps women get a better picture of this and has created a community that encourages and supports them as they manage it in the most authentic way possible. It makes me so happy to hear Trina talk about finely living life without all of the masks she wore for so long.


I mentioned this in episode one of Refocus Together during my conversation with Ying Dang, but people who have never had to mask have no idea how good some of us have become at it. Masking is the painstaking effort a person goes through to camouflage symptoms and conceal how a disorder truly impairs functioning. For women and girls with ADHD, it can feel like there’s more shame and low self-esteem that happens to us when the condition derails us versus when it happens to men and boys. Women already struggle with knowing who they really are and masking adds more layers to dig into when we inevitably end up on a therapist’s couch to talk about how we even got there in the first place.


I’m so grateful to Trina for sharing her ADHD story with us and for the commitment she’s shown to the ADHD community so consistently these last few years. What I think people forget is that being a content creator is a serious grind and it takes a lot of work, and so it makes me sad to think that people are showing Trina anything but straight up rainbow and kittens level kindness. To connect with Trina on social, and you better bring the sunshine, you guys, you can find her @MyLadyADHD. That’s also her website, myladyadhd.com, where you can find links to the incredible resources she’s created, more information on upcoming retreats and events and the links to her podcast. And just in case you are someone who also struggles with RSD and making friends, and you have a Trina in your life who’s been reaching out and making the effort, I hope you’ll take this as your sign to meet them halfway. It’s nothing like the stories we’ve been telling ourselves, I promise.


And just like that, episode 10 is done. We will be back tomorrow with a brand new episode. Until then, be kind to yourself. To catch all of the 31 stories this month, make sure you’re subscribed to Refocused wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also learn more about Refocus Together at adhdonline.com/refocustogether, and make sure to follow us on social @RefocusPod. Thank you guys so much for listening and for supporting this project. It means the world to me and I’m so grateful you’re here.


Support for Refocus 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, refocus20 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 Meyrl, Claudia Gatti, and Tricia Mirchandani for their constant support in helping make Refocus Together happen. These 31 episodes were produced thanks to our managing editor, Sarah Platanitis, our production coordinator, Phil Rodemann, 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 @RefocusPod and you can email the show directly, [email protected]. That’s [email protected].


Explore More


5 Reasons to Be Thankful for ADHD

By Elizabeth Weiss Everyone is given the opportunity to stop and consider...
Read now

Jen Verhagen and Realizing Your Potential

Jen Verhagen was diagnosed with ADHD five years ago when...
Listen now

Unraveling the Puzzle: ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression Explained

Do you often feel ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression overlap, making...
Watch now

Looking to take our Mentavi Smart Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

Live support will be unavailable during regular business hours on Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24. You can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Monday, November 27.

Please note: Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours, check with them for their schedule.

Our site is open 24/7! You can always schedule an appointment, check out our podcasts, or read up on the latest ADHD information.

The system is experiencing technical issues scheduling new appointments.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We understand the importance of making an appointment, and this issue is our top priority.

Please reach out to us via chat or call us at 888-493-ADHD (2343) and we will assist you. If we are not available, please leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The ADHD Online Team

We will perform scheduled maintenance on our Patient Portal on Thursday, September 28 from 5:00 – 6:30 AM ET. During this time, appointment scheduling will not be available.

Our team will be hard at work while many of you sleep to keep the disruption to a minimum. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The ADHD Online (early morning) Team

ADHD Online will be closed on
Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

Live support will be unavailable during this time, but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message at 888-493-ADHD (2343). We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, September 5.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you! 

Provide this form to your local practitioner. You could:

  • Send this link
  • Email the pdf
  • Print it out and bring it to your appointment

Ask your practitioner
to complete the form

In this form, your practitioner will request that ADHD Online continue to provide uninterrupted care

Return the form to us

You or your practitioner can return this form to us via email or fax it to 616-210-3118

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

For those seeking an Assessment, you can dive right in! Our portal is up throughout the holiday!

If you have a question for us, our office will be providing holiday patient support on July 3 & 4, and we are committed to responding to your needs as promptly as possible. In-person phone support may be available but limited due to holiday hours.  You can always submit a request or leave a voice message and we will prioritize addressing them upon our return. We genuinely appreciate your understanding. Full office operations will resume on Wednesday, July 5.

If you already are on our Treatment path, be aware that each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

ADHD Online will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Live support will be unavailable while we’re closed but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, June 20th.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

ADHD Online will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Live support will be unavailable while we’re closed but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, June 20th.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!