it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news, with more accounts of success even in this weird time.

1. I’m pleased to be able to finally share some good news. I’ve had a really tough time during lockdown, struggling to concentrate and feeling like I’m only just keeping my head above water with home working. It was made even worse by so many people around me talking about how great they’re finding being at home, away from the distractions of the office, no commute, etc. All I wanted was to be back in the office with my routine, working with my team.

It got to a point where I was having panic attacks and taking weeks of sick leave from work. But during the whole time I was reading Ask A Manager religiously, including the comments section. I started to notice people talking about ADHD and I recognised my own struggles in what people were describing. Long story short, I was diagnosed with ADHD last month.

It feels like things have finally started to make sense, and even though I am still at home for the foreseeable future, at least I have a better understanding of myself and I’m learning to let go of the shame associated with having been unable to cope with “normal” things for most of my life. I also have access to many resources and support groups that are helping me get by.

But there’s more good news! During my research I learned that ADHD is highly genetic, and I told my sister. She has struggled to hold down jobs even though she is incredibly clever, and just before lockdown she quit another job because she just couldn’t cope. She has just been diagnosed with severe inattentive ADHD. She is over the moon that there is an explanation for her struggles, too. Plus, she has just received an offer for an incredible job, with more responsibility and more pay than she has had in the past, including managing a team for the first time. Now she is in a much better position to succeed. And of course I sent her to this site!

2. Big fan of your blog, and your enthusiasm about cover letters is contagious. Previously, I’d always gotten jobs through networking — in large part because I was terrified of cover letters. It seems so easy to let a typo slip by given the archaic formatting, or come off as a try-hard with too many buzzwords or not enough industry terms, etc. Every time I would start to write one, I’d imagine a pile of perfectly-crafted, inspired, yet professional and buttoned-up cover letters, and get intimidated.

But then I saw a job that would be a great fit where I don’t have any connection to the company, and I said, what the hell, I can do this! Your assurance in the blog that most cover letters are bad was actually really reassuring. I adopted a tone of “explaining to a skeptical sibling why this job is a great fit for my career,” and gave myself a midnight deadline.

I’m headed to a first-round phone screen next week, which isn’t much, but I feel like I’ve opened the door to a whole new world. Thanks as always for your blog!

3. I’m so excited to be able to contribute to the Friday good news! At the beginning of the lockdown I started a new job, as in I went into the office two days before moving permanently to work from home. I really loved the job and the team I left, but the new job, was the type of opportunity I was headhunted for and I thought I couldn’t pass up.

I had worked at a previous iteration of this company going in so I thought that I at least had those relationships going for me. Unfortunately, I came to be working under a person I didn’t expect, while never really getting a manager or knowing what my job is. I became afraid to ask anyone questions as I only received negative and aggressive responses. I also attempted to push back on some things I found racist and weird comments about bodies and was met with literal silence.

I had reached out to my manager at my previous role for advice since I viewed her as a mentor and had been in contact with her since I left. Two weeks ago she and the recruiter at that company reached out to me with an opening for my previous role and I jumped at the chance! In a week I’ll be (virtually) heading back there!

Giving my notice over a week ago really showed me I made the right choice. I’ve only been met with negativity and unprofessionalism. Meanwhile I’ve gotten texts from people at the old/new place who can’t wait to see me!

4. I lost my job in September 2019. It was a rough situation, with a toxic boss and she literally went down a list with HR trying to find a way to fire me. While job hunting, I returned to waiting tables so I could still make some money and have benefits. It was just temporary, or so I told myself. I applied for so many jobs. Made it to so many final interviews where they went with the other candidate because of one little thing or another

Then Covid hit, which made job hunting even harder. As a server, I actually made it through Covid pretty well. I was one of a handful at my location to not be furloughed, and to work curbside during restrictions. The company took pretty good care of everyone. But I still was looking. I expanded my parameters, was more willing to look at lower salary ranges or farther commutes. I wasn’t picky. I could compromise. Well-meaning friends and acquaintances would assure me my turn will come. But job hunting is not a board game. No one looks at my application and says, “Well, she has been unemployed long enough, it’s her turn to get an offer.” Every single job you are starting from scratch.

I had my one-year anniversary at my waiting tables job last week. But yesterday, after 5 rounds of interviews, I accepted an offer from a great company that has recently opened a site in my town. The company impressed me from the start, even being upfront about salary in the initial email. The salary was comfortably in my range, but when they offered me the job, it was at $3000 higher.

I ended up not having to compromise, It’s a good company, my salary is spot on, I have a minimal commute and my interactions with everyone so far have been fantastic. Plus the job itself is pretty much everything I would want in a job and draws on many of my previous experiences.

I had a hell of a year, and I am not just talking about Covid. I am a single parent (with one teenager still with me) and waitressing did not come close to my previous salary. We were evicted and even now are still in temporary housing. There were days I honestly didn’t think I could handle another rejection. I joked that I only needed to make it till my son turned 18 then I could give up. But I wasn’t really joking. I was living on rock bottom.

But I kept plugging. And the feedback when I was offered the position was they loved my energy and my positive attitude.

Thank you and all your readers for continuing to educate and share information to help all of us be in our own best job.

Read an update to this letter here

{ 69 comments… read them below }

  1. PersistentCat*

    Congrats to everyone, but most especially OP4. You’ve been through a hell of a struggle, hopefully this is the light to a brighter path for you.
    OP1, welcome to the ADHD club. Hope you & your sister both find techniques & accommodations that help you perform at your best.

    1. NoName*

      Can anyone advise on how you get evaluated for ADHD in the US? I actually have a couple names for psychiatrists that specialize in adult ADHD, but… do you just call them? Do you need a referral from another doctor first? (I don’t have an HMO, so not that kind of referral.) I don’t want to skip any steps in the process, and I know “self-diagnoses” can be very wrong at times.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        Both my kids have ADHD. The older one’s kindergarten teacher recommended having them evaluated, and we did a full psychoeducational testing battery with a clinical psychologist the pediatrician recommended and then connected our local healthcare system for a psychiatrist for medication management and a therapist. Their primary care doctor was only involved with the initial referral and then prescription writing while we were on the medication management wait list. By the time the younger one started showing symptoms, we knew the drill and went through our existing mental healthcare provider for testing, psychiatrist, and therapist.

        The referral process is only needed if your insurance requires it or the receiving doctor requires it. I would just call the names of the doctors you have and ask what their new patient intake process looks like.

      2. LN*

        I would also be interested in this! I’m especially curious to know if others have had difficult experiences getting “officially” diagnosed and whether it was worth pursuing. I was recommended for an evaluation by a therapist at one point, and thought some of the signs fit, although imperfectly. I was interested in a real evaluation, but the test required taking a full day off and the evaluator I spoke to was a) skeptical that I could have ADHD if I was doing well at a demanding professional job, and b) unsure if the test would screen me accurately, since if I did have ADHD I must have been good at compensating for it. I ended up just giving up and adopting some techniques from books and articles on my own that were helpful. I’m okay with not knowing for sure, but I sometimes I am still curious about the benefits of evaluation.

        1. lazy intellectual*

          Just because you can hold down a job doesn’t mean you can’t have ADHD! And that you don’t deserve some sort of treatment if you do have it. If a diagnosis is important to you, I recommend getting a second opinion.

          1. Rose*

            It’s driven me crazy how my doctor has made the assumption that I can’t have it because i went to Ivy League schools and I “do well” at work. In grad school I took twice as long as anyone I knew to do homework, I would be four hours in and friends would join me in the library and be done before I was on the same problem set. I have a high paying job because of my degree but also change jobs almost every year (never been one place for two years and I’m 30, yikes) because I am constantly either bored, failing and wiggling my way out to somewhere new.

            Meanwhile my doctor also keeps telling me I have to manage mostly with techniques other than medication. I think she thinks I’m fishing for meds. I do manage my life mainly with systems ive developed over years or gotten from ADD books or forums. So according to my doctor ADD is managed with techniques I can read about in a book (NOT meds) but if I am managing myself without meds I can’t possibly have it. Perfect. Very logical.

            1. PersistentCat*

              I am hoping you’re referring to your primary care provider, not your psychologist/psychiatrist. If it’s the later…seek a new mental health care provider. If your primary care provider…seek someone like a psychologist/psychiatrist & explain that you’d like to find out why you struggle with [x] and why you seek new jobs so frequently. That should get you in to be evaluated from a less…negatively biased prospective.

              1. NoSleepTillHippo*

                All these responses are causing me some serious side-eye toward the psychiatrist I spoke with. My appointment was, like, maybe 15 minutes?? It was basically:

                Me: I’d like to be screened for ADHD please.
                Psych: What makes you think you have it?
                Me: (describes things in my life that, thanks to AAM, I’d learned could be symptoms)
                Psych: Are the depression meds working?
                Me: Um…? Kinda? I’ve been taking them for years so I don’t think they’re helping with the stuff I described just now, since it’s… y’know, happening.
                Psych: Well try working on your depression first and if that doesn’t solve it we’ll talk about meds.
                Me: O…..kay?

                Never got so much as a questionnaire. After that I tried finding a different psych/therapist, but between work changing my insurance unexpectedly and then Covid changing everyone’s everything unexpectedly, it’s been a real uphill climb.

                That said, I guess I’m glad to know that there’s usually more to the screening process than “Why do you think that” and “what if you’re just not trying hard enough.” =\

                1. Happily Self Employed*

                  An ADHD evaluation by a neuropsychologist will involve specific task-oriented tests that will assess your strong and weak points more or less objectively. It’s still possible for the tester to misinterpret the scores, or for the testee to perform better or worse than usual, but it’s a lot better than just “Why would you think that?” and asking how you did in school and at work. However, it’s pretty expensive and YMMV with your insurance.

            2. lazy intellectual*

              From my personal experience, doing well in one area comes at the expense of doing well in other areas. I always prioritized doing well in school and career, but because so much of my limited attention is focused on these areas, other parts of my life go to hell. And if anything from my life affects me, my work goes to hell as well. Another surprising thing I learned about myself when I got diagnosed was how much ADHD affects emotional regulation issues as well. This was life changing for me.

        2. GL*

          Yes, I definitely had trouble for very similar reasons, but there’s hope! Here’s how it went for me:
          I first broached the possibility of ADHD with a psychiatrist in grad school, at my school’s student health center. She agreed it seemed likely, but school policy required a full neuropsychological evaluation by an outside specialist.
          So I booked an appointment with someone who supposedly offered that. This guy (an actual psychiatrist!) claimed there was no such thing as a neuropsychological eval for ADHD(??) and spouted the bs that someone with ADHD couldn’t possibly have achieved my GPA at my undergrad, ignoring everything I tried to tell him about my actual experience and what it took to pull that off. He said I just needed diet, sleep, and exercise changes. I left in tears.
          Next I went to someone who actually did perform the battery of tests but didn’t think the results showed ADHD. She thought it was depression and anxiety and prescribed an SSRI. I tried that for a while and continued to meet with the doc at my student health center, but it really didn’t resolve my issues.
          Finally, my doc referred me to an ADHD specialist with the school who said my testing results actually were quite typical of certain types of ADHD patients. I finally got meds, and while it took trying some different rxs and they haven’t been a panacea, they’ve made a huge difference for me.
          So, my advice: do keep an open mind to the fact that you might not have ADHD, but it is definitely worth standing up for yourself and getting a second or third opinion, especially if you feel like you’re not being listened to or alternatives aren’t working.

      3. lazy intellectual*

        Just call up a psychiatrist, make an appointment, and ask for an ADHD evaluation. Depending on your insurance plan, you don’t need a referral. If you do, tell your primary care doctor you want to be evaluated for ADHD and ask for a referral.

        My psychiatrist gave me a self evaluation form and also asked me in depth questions before diagnosing. This process is pretty standard. Some people do day-long neurological examinations, but recently that has been less common.

        I was also initially hesitant to actively ask for an evaluation but it’s actually pretty common. Lots of people go undiagnosed early in life and have to get it checked out as an adult if they suspect they have it.

      4. Rose*

        I was evaluated this week! I’m so anxious to hear my results. It’s been a long journey for me. Since I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was fairly young (which tbh I don’t think I have, I’m depressed and have focus issues) and I did extremely well on the SAT/GMAT my doctor basically told my my focus issues are all anxiety based not ADD. Meanwhile I was struggling to keep a job, and my brother was “diagnosed” from a 20 min PCP appointment and got meds easily. We have 10 first cousins, 9 are boys, and all 9 of those boys have ADD.

        I started seeing a therapist for depression and was talking basically exclusively about job stress and feeling like a failure and she said I need to go get a full evaluation. Any self evaluation you can take at a doctors office I check every box but my doctor keeps saying that’s just anxiety. So my therapist said to try this.

        I looked up a neuro psych testing place. Only one near me was open due to covid. It costs $1130 (I’m in Massachusetts) and I won’t find out if any is covered by insurance until later, and if it is it’s only half. To book the test I just called around. They asked why I wanted to come in, I explained, they scheduled an hour intake with a social worker, then she scheduled my test. They were booking about 6 weeks out which they said was longer than usual due to covid. I was there for six hours, but I needed to take lots of breaks. You play games and do puzzles, some of it was fun and some I’m sure was intentionally super boring.

        If you’re really struggling every day one or two days off work is worth it if it’s at all possible to take one. $1000 isn’t that much money vs the cost of loosing your job again or never staying in one place long enough to be promoted.

        1. LN*

          I was in MA too; now I’m wondering if I went to the same place. :) And I’m curious how your results turn out because my experience sounds similar!

          I will say, when I told the interviewer my SAT/GMAT scores was when she started getting extremely skeptical (which might be fair in my case; I don’t know!) But whether or not I have ADHD, I would definitely describe myself as frequently experiencing both procrastination/task-avoidance and hyper-focus. The whole time I studied for the GMAT felt like a hyper-focus state (like, it was all I could think about, most of the time), and when I was actually taking the test I focused so intently during the math section that I ended up finishing with several minutes to spare, when in practice I had never finished on time. So I do kind of wonder if the test would “work” on me. Did your evaluator mention anything about that in relation to test scores?

      5. PersistentCat*

        I was diagnosed as an adult (25). I was struggling in college, so I sought a psychologist that performs full assessments for learning disorders and other issues. Once I was able to make an appointment, she requested I bring with me my childhood school records, and (because my family has a history of ADHD with my brother & my father), requested my parents fill out a questionnaire based on my childhood behavior & my spouse fill out one on my today behavior. During the (8 hour) appointment, she took family history and ran through a gamut of tests, questionnaires & other evaluations.
        At the end, she was able to establish a set of behaviors that began before age 8 (the age in which my (former foster) parents first took me in), and that the difficulties I struggles most with were consistent with ADHD. So.
        That was my journey? I didn’t get a referral because my insurance didn’t require it.

      6. ShinyPenny*

        Basically, just like any other medical specialty. Call up the office. Leave your name and phone number and that you are hoping to schedule a new patient appointment.
        The first question to ask: “How far out are you scheduling new patients?” This is the fastest weed-out question.
        Then, if it is important to you, before *anything* else you should ask “if they are contracted with your insurance company.” (Many psychiatrists are “private pay only,” because the insurance reimbursment rate can be so low.) It feels bad for everyone when a hopeful patient shares some difficult details and *then* discovers it was pointless because of insurance stuff.
        If it’s private pay only, they should be very up front about the rates. (Medicare can be even odder. Is that a factor for you?)

        Psychiatrists evaluate and treat psychiatric disorders with medication prescriptions. Their training is about choosing the medicine with the best chance of working well *for you* and watching out for, and helping with, side-effects as your body adjusts to the medicine. (And, ideally, also first ruling out other medical causes for mental health symptoms, and having a better idea which medicines would be wrong for you.)
        This training is worth paying for! It is not the same as having your PCP pick a medication for you to try. (I have scheduled a number of new patients who needed help fixing problems that would not have happened if they’d come to our office first.)
        Sometimes, after a psychiatrist prescribes a medication for you and observes that it is working well for a few months, your (less expensive, in-network) primary care physiscian might be willing to take over writing the prescriptions for you (others won’t because some psychiatric medicines are controlled substances and some PCP’s are not comfortable with that).
        Some psychiatrists also offer therapy. Most do not get much or any training for that. If you really connect with them and can afford it, awsome. But it’s usually a lot less expensive to get therapy with a therapist that is not a psychiatrist. (You can try asking for a referral to a therapist, once you become a patient.)
        Another question to ask is: “How frequently will a typical patient need appointments, if the doctor has diagnosed them with ADHD and has decided to prescribe medication to treat that?” (Notice how different that wording is than “How often will I need a follow-up appointment?” which is a question no-one will or can answer.) It might be monthly until symptoms are controlled and stable, and then twice a year after that. Or, it might be every month, depending on the medication and the particular doctor. It’s one of the things that will vary from office to office, so it’s a reasonable question, if you can get someone to answer it!
        However, some ADHD medications have appeal to recreational drug users, so try not to act like that’s your secret goal, lol. Avoid using self-diagnosing language, for example, or saying you want a specific medication prescription. Instead, you could say, “I’m hoping the doctor can evaluate whether ADHD might be a factor in the problems I’m having, and if she has any ideas about how to make things better for me.” If they get weird, maybe that’s not the office for you!

        In the US calling around to find a new doctor is a lot like an interview, really. You are asking questions, too, to find the best fit for *you* and to recognize and weed out a “bad fit.” They are doing the same. If you get bad-vibed for asking questions, it might be wisest to move on.
        Hope this helped, and good luck :)

      7. OP1*

        I confess, one of my motives for sending this in was that perhaps someone who needed to would see my news and look into ADHD for themselves. Particularly women. It’s a hugely under-diagnosed condition in adults.

        1. Fox*

          Thats a great motive. I was also recently diagnosed, in part because my sister was diagnosed. And you can definitely be successful and have ADHD. I am a lawyer. The problem for me was that the coping mechanisms I used during school didn’t work in the job. So I fell apart and am now finding my feet again thanks to a diagnosis that said I wasn’t lazy or broken, I just have a brain that’s wired differently.

      8. Marie*

        Here’s how it went for me.

        I called my insurance company to ask if I needed a referral to see a psychiatric provider, or could just choose one if they were in-network (it was the latter).

        Then I looked for a provider that explicitly said they work with adult ADHD. The diagnostic criteria for ADHD are only for children, and some providers believe adult ADHD either doesn’t exist, can’t be diagnosed, or is something that can only be treated (or is “cured”) in childhood. So I wanted to make sure I found somebody who believed it existed and knew how to diagnose it, especially because I’m a “high-achieving” female ADHD presentation, which is missed the most (been told I’m either anxious or “can clearly do it if you try, so it can’t be ADHD” all my life).

        Because the diagnostic criteria are for children, the clinic I went to had to prove I had met the diagnostic criteria as a child — they could then make the case that I still had it as an adult, especially since it went untreated as a child (since some insurance companies will argue that treatment as a child should have cured you).

        Normally, they would have provided me inventories for my parents or siblings to fill out about my behavior as a child, but I’m estranged from my family. So instead I got my transcripts from elementary school (had to fight the secretary about that, because “you were in advanced classes, these won’t show you have ADHD”), gave inventories about my current behavior to a coworker, a friend, and my partner, did a narrative history interview about my childhood, and underwent psychological testing about memory and focus.

        Only certain mental health professionals can provide that testing, so while my eventual prescriber was a nurse psychiatrist, my testing had to come through a psychologist. And of everything, the testing was the only thing that wasn’t covered by insurance and I had to pay out of pocket. If I’d been diagnosed as a child, the testing would be covered as part of treatment. But also, if I’d been diagnosed as a child, the testing could be argued to be unnecessary, so probably wouldn’t be covered. So… that’s fun.

        The testing was about $500, and well worth it. It didn’t just give me a diagnosis, but really personalized information about how ADHD presents in me, because it’s very different for each person. I still refer back to my testing sometimes when trying to understand something I’m struggling with, or come up with a new coping mechanism.

        The entire process felt like a perfectly designed nightmare for a person with ADHD: locating a provider, managing paperwork, reviewing multiple insurance documents, keeping notes on conversations with insurance providers, making multiple appointments, anticipating and planning and paying bills on time, etc. Very worth it, but exhausting and infuriating and defeating. Having supportive people rooting to get me through the process was invaluable.

        And if nobody else in your family has ever been diagnosed, well, it’s genetic, so probably somebody else has it, and evidence of other family members having been diagnosed can shorten the process of diagnosis for others. So when I got exhausted by the process, I’d think, well, this isn’t just for me, it’s for my cousins and nieces and nephews, so they have a better chance of being treated earlier than I was.

      1. K12 teacher*

        +1000! I am a high school teacher and am unfortunately seeing many families like OP4–down to one teenager who hasn’t graduated yet who is staying home alone while single parent is working to move heaven itself to stay in housing. I never have enough to offer these families. It is so great to hear a success story!!

    2. Free now (and forever)*

      OP#4-The courage it must have taken for you to face everything in the last year makes me feel in awe of you. I know that everyone who reads your account is wiping away a tear and silently fist pumping “yes!” May you go from strength to strength.

      1. Chaordic One*

        Not just that, but the grace that you displayed. I’m certainly feeling a bit verklempt after reading your account.

    3. OP1*

      Thanks for this. Your mention of accommodations reminds me of the additional good news that I felt there wasn’t space to share in an already-long email.
      My work has been incredibly supportive through all of this. I didn’t give my boss much detail about being on leave with anxiety, but when it became clear it was more complicated I reached out to let her know what was going on and my suspicions about my ADHD.
      I knew, both because I work for a disability-inclusive organisation and because my boss herself is very open and supportive, that the risks would outweigh the benefits. I was right, and she has only been helpful. We’ve set up weekly check ins during which we go through my projects and discuss any issues I might be having, and that provides much-needed external accountability. She’s also been very generous with sick leave, allowing me to take extra days unpaid (I used up all my leave) and encouraging me to take off more any time I need it.
      I used to work for a very toxic organisation and I’m SO thankful that this is who I work for during Covid.

  2. More Coffee Please*

    I love that description of a tone to aim for in a cover letter – “explaining to a skeptical sibling why this job is a great fit for my career.”
    Congrats to all letter writers! Number 4 especially made me a little misty-eyed.

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      Yes, many cheers to OP#4…and a few blinks of tears over here. It’s so nice to see good results when a person keeps trying and trying and trying.

  3. Thankful for AAM*

    Friday good news and sexy potatoes (in the open thread)! Friday’s don’t get better than this!
    Congrats to all, it is a joy to read these every Friday.

  4. Massmatt*

    Congrats to all and thanks for writing in. I hope people that are unemployed, or working for terrible bosses, take to heart that it IS possible to find new and better jobs, there are people hiring!

  5. Properlike*

    OP#1 – Fellow late-diagnosed ADD-er, I salute you! I finally got a diagnosis (and medication) last month, after years of feeling awful about myself. Already feeling better, and it’s amazing how much easier it is to work without the constant shame cloud. Good luck to you and your sister!

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      *raises hand* Another ADDer here, also not identified until after decades of adulthood. (Hint: Check the mirror if your genetically-related-child has ADD or ADHD :-P
      Hint applies doubly if your own childhood happened when nobody realized that girls can have ADD as well as boys.)

      It’s still hard for me to focus, but +1M re “easier…to work without the constant shame cloud.” There’s a similar morale boost in revising one’s personal narrative from “years of inexplicable flakiness” to “kept on trucking in work and in life, despite being an only-recently-recognized as neurodiverse.”

    2. Anon for this*

      I’m super curious about the process of getting diagnosed as an adult. I looked into it a few years ago and what I was told was that it would take months to get an appointment, the testing was something like two full days onsite in their office, and it would cost a couple thousand dollars. I wasn’t able to do it at the time and am wondering if I should look into it again now. Properlike (or anyone with a late diagnosis in the US), what was your experience like?

      1. Jane*

        I’m another adhd’er that figured it out due to the COVID lockdown.

        I found a clinic that specializes in adult adhd, and made an appointment. I went outside of my insurance, as everyone I called on my insurance didn’t do diagnostics and I was struggling too much with executive function to try to navigate mental health services in-network.

        My diagnostic process was simpler than it could have been because I don’t serious mental health comorbidities, and although I did not tell the person I saw this, I was quite certain what I was dealing with before my appointment (pattern recognition is my thing, once I know what pattern I’m looking for. And my adhd is pretty darn obvious, as long as the way it presents in women and “gifted” people is taken into account)

        So I had no concerns about going to an adhd specialist instead of someone with a broader specialty.

        It cost $650, and consisted of two appointments and a large stack of assessment for both me and a couple people who knew me well.

  6. Zombeyonce*

    #2: I always seem to miss tiny typos everywhere, especially after reading things like cover letters eighteen times. There’s a browser plugin you can get that works on websites and even Google Docs called Grammarly that I use now to check my spelling and grammar that ends up catching all sorts of things. It’s made my writing a lot better, and I highly recommend it. I now edit all my stuff in Google Docs so that I can use it. I have the premium version, but even the free version is incredibly helpful. (I know this sounds like an ad, but it’s not! I just thought it could be helpful for people like LW 2.)

    1. RainingInChicago*

      I run everything through grammarly now! Even use the chrome extension to run my emails through it! I’ve gotten almost everyone at my company on board and it’s been so helpful with writing clear concise business communications.

      Love the tonality insights as well.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        I love the tonality feature for when I’m writing to customers. It’s good for catching when my responses are neutral and need to be brightened up a bit, or the opposite when it’s a more serious topic.

  7. ZiggyStardust*

    OP #4, I was so moved by your letter. Your description of job hunting as not a board game is so apt. There are quite a few things about life that are not fair or equitable for everyone- finding a job, partner, or having a child to name a few. I have a few people that I care about deeply struggling in the same way, so I am just so happy for you that you found your way out. Congratulations to you. You didn’t deserve to struggle as you did, but you do deserve the happy ending you worked so hard for.

    1. Kaysong*

      Agree with all of this. I couldn’t have said it better!

      Congratulations to all the OP’s but especially OP#4.

  8. CanuckGal*

    OP #4 – you brought tears to my eyes. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! What a huge win – when you really needed i.

  9. Hannah*

    OP 4, I’m not sure when I’ve been so happy for someone I haven’t met. You are amazing and you deserve all the good things coming to you!

    OP 3, that sounds like a stressful and awful situation. I wasn’t in that rough of a position, but the pandemic brought out some negative aspects of the job I had been working at for 3 years (actions taken contrary to the values I thought the organization had) and I was feeling pretty bleak but paralyzed. Out of the blue, a prior supervisor from a couple of jobs ago reached out to see if I’d consider returning in a new, more senior role. I am generally a “don’t look back” kind of person but I had loved and missed many parts of that job so I threw my hat in the ring, and was offered and accepted the job. I figured I knew the bad and the good, and the good outweighed the bad from where I sit right now.

    Three months in, I can confirm that I was right about both the good and bad parts and I can say overall that I’m happy every day to be back in a place that has come to feel like home. Like you describe, a ton of people reached out to say how happy they were I was coming back, and I feel appreciated and glad that I was open to looking back, just this once, and trusting myself that it was the right move. I trust it will be for you too.

  10. that girl over there*

    Long time reader, never commented until now. Congrats to everyone!
    OP4: I have happy tears for you. As I too feel I’m at rock bottom., knowing you found some light and things are turning around is VERY inspiring. Thank you for that, and congrats again.

  11. Artemesia*

    All great but #4 you must be so proud of yourself for hanging in there and doing what had to be done in terrible circumstances and your son has such a great role model in you. You deserve this break and everyone here is thrilled for you.

  12. CosimaSays*

    OP #1 – I am so excited for you!

    A year and a half ago I was near tears in therapy, talking about how my new work responsibilities were so much more than I can handle. That led my therapist to diagnosing me with ADHD – I was shocked. But the more I have researched, the more sense it makes. (And YES to the genetics part – I’m also fairly sure my Dad has severe ADHD, and my siblings to a lighter degree.) A year and a half after being diagnosed, I am so happy. My meds help me function and kick butt at my job, and in my personal life as I can actually do things! Get things done! Work on my hobbies for enjoyment instead of feeling overwhelmed and spending another night binging Netflix! I’m not “cured,” but even just having a diagnosis and knowing what my brain’s limits are help a TON.

    I used to think I was defective, “bad at being an adult,” etc. Now I know that my brain just works differently, and I work around that as best I can. I’m so much happier now that I have answers, and I bet you will be too :)

    Note: Women tend to go undiagnosed in far higher numbers than boys/men, or not be diagnosed until they are adults/middle-aged, so if any of this sounds familiar to you – make an appointment with a therapist who specializes in ADHD! <3

    1. OP1*

      You have just described everything I’m experiencing :) It really is a massive relief to have a name and language for what I’m experiencing and to let go of the shame of having been unable to cope.
      The only frustrating thing (well, not the only thing, but a big one!) is that we’re trying for a baby so no meds for me. I’m seeing a CBT therapist and an ADHD coach and they’re both really helping, but my sister has just started meds and I admit I am pretty jealous when she describes how much easier they make things!

  13. Happy for good news*

    Congrats to all OPs.

    #4 You are an inspiration to others. My eyes water when I picture the example you just set for your son. Never give up, even when you are at rock bottom hard work, tenacity and can do will (Eventually) carve a path forward. May the future bring you great things.

    1. MamaSarah*

      Yes, what a lucky teen to have such a strong mom! LW 4, you are amazing! Have you ever considered running a marathon? Your perseverance and ability to just keep going are inspirational…and now my eyes are damp. Hugs!

  14. Amy Farrah Fowler*

    #4 – I’m so so SO happy for you! How wonderful that you were able to make that jump. I’m so sorry to hear you were evicted, but with this new job, hopefully you’ll be out of temporary housing soon.

  15. L in DC*

    You all are a bunch of champions – good for you for Soldiering on. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do!

  16. Garnet, Crystal Gem*

    I read these faithfully every Friday, but this week’s batch of good news really hit home for me. Congrats to all the LWs, so happy for you all!

  17. MissDisplaced*

    Oh #4 You shouldn’t have to compromise in order to have a decent job! I know that sometimes we may have to make certain choices (commute vrs. choices) but try to not feel you ever have to take a bad job.

  18. LilyP*

    Congratulations to everyone! And I want to reiterate x1000 that in my experience most cover letters are baaaaaaad. You can stand out!

  19. Lucien Nova*

    Okay, who let the sentient onion in when I was reading #4? *sniff* *wipes eyes*

    I really do love this Friday good news. Another vote that it should continue even after the PLAGUE has receded.

  20. Bookworm*

    Another long week and again it’s always nice to end it on happier notes. Thanks to all the LWs for sharing their successes and good news with us! Good luck to all of you!!

  21. Bug Huntress*

    “Well-meaning friends and acquaintances would assure me my turn will come. But job hunting is not a board game. No one looks at my application and says, “Well, she has been unemployed long enough, it’s her turn to get an offer.” Every single job you are starting from scratch.”

    This letter writer’s a hell of a writer.
    I want to read her memoir.

  22. Jane*

    OP1 – congrats on the diagnoses! I’m also an adhd’er that figured it out due to COVID.

    I think there’s a lot of us getting diagnosed this year. Covid lockdowns are brutal for adhd, and many of us had built up coping mechanisms that are not currently available – and were always living close to our own personal edge.

  23. TootsNYC*

    I adopted a tone of “explaining to a skeptical sibling why this job is a great fit for my career,”

    This is brilliant.

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