June 1, 2023

In this video I go detail how getting an ADHD diagnosis and beginning Ritalin Treatment at 25 completely change the trajectory of my life.

Today i want to talk about how getting diagnosed with adhd at 25 and then starting treatment with ritalin completely turned my life around one of the core beliefs and messages i have to send with this channel is that it’s possible to make significant changes in your life regardless of where you’re at right now if you’re new to this channel my name is javela and

Early owl is about learning to be more deliberate with the mindsets and processes that shape our life so to kick this story off i think i need to start with where i was at before i got diagnosed i feel like this tale is as old as the adhd diagnosis itself you start out with someone somewhat intelligent who kind of breezes through the first years of school but

Then at some point the schoolwork becomes too hard that you can’t keep up without being able to study and things just kind of come crashing down i remember even at a very early age something like first or second grade that my mom had to basically bribe me to get me to do my homework i think she offered like five dollars for each time i sat down and really did my

Homework which was a lot of money for a kid at that time but basically the plan didn’t work because i couldn’t sit down and do my homework but school went okay until it got progressively harder and for me the point where it kind of came crashing down was second year of high school i basically dropped out of the second year of high school once and then i tried

It again the next year and i didn’t drop out then but my grades and my attendance was so poor that they wouldn’t let me continue on to the third grade i think there’s one story that kind of perfectly encapsulates how this impacted my life uh it’s a bit embarrassing or well it’s not embarrassing now but it was embarrassing when it happened and i don’t think i’ve

Ever told anyone this in norway we have this thing called a stipend which students get if their household income is under a certain threshold and for a student attending high school this is quite a lot of money it’s something like two three hundred dollars per month you get just for being a student and i was on this thing and i remember basically the only thing

I had to do to get this money was like fill out some form get my mom to sign it and bring it in back in school and i would get 300 into my account every month and what happened one term is that i just kept putting it off and i kept forgetting about it and i did have like guidance counselors or people at the school reminding me that i needed to hand it in but i

Just put it off until the last minute and then further than that and eventually because i was too late handing it in i didn’t get the stipend for that term so like six months where i didn’t get anything just because i was too lazy or forgetful or adhd to kind of do such a simple thing the one feeling i still remember from the high school experience was just trying

To pay attention and how difficult that was i don’t have the hyperactivity of adhd it’s only the inattentiveness i basically had two modes in school one was kind of just sleeping or not paying attention at all and just feeling like this was a complete waste of time or i would just kind of sit down and do my best to pay attention and i would just kind of try to

Glue my eyes and ears to the teacher but it just was really uncomfortable and gave me like some low-key anxiety and even then it just felt like i couldn’t get anything of what was being said so that was my experience with add in high school after that i dropped out and i basically didn’t do much of anything productive i think i spent most of my life in world

Of warcraft from there on out which i don’t have any regrets doing to this day a lot of my best friends are still people i met through wow i spent a little bit of time trying to play poker online i basically was not able to break past 25 no limit because it’s very hard to get good at poker if you can’t study i spent a couple of years working at a place called

Technique magazine it which was a wonderful place to work but for me at that time it was just trying to do the minimal amount of effort so that i could get a paycheck i had some short-term jobs doing like phone sales and stuff like that but for the most part i was just unemployed playing video games and not learning or doing anything so i first became aware of

Add adhd without the hyperactivity being a diagnosis when i was like 21 living in thailand i met someone else who had been diagnosed with it as an adult and it just checked all the boxes for me and i kind of started reading into it and looking into it and at the time i just rolled up to a psychiatrist in thailand i was like hey i think maybe i have adhd can you

Help me out and he was like sure have some ritalin when i tried that i just realized right away that this had the potential to completely change my life so i had ritalin for like the last month or two i was in thailand and used it to learn a little bit of web development but then when i got back from thailand and i didn’t have my written pursuing the diagnosis

Like finding a psychiatrist and setting up that appointment does require some minimal amount of concentrated effort so it basically took me three years of not doing much of anything until i was like okay i should probably actually get this done i believe i got a diagnosis and started the ritalin treatment february 2014 right after i turned 25 i had always felt

A bit ambitious i just never acted on it i just kind of assumed eventually i would do something with my life but when i started the ritalin treatment it just felt like i could just drop these giant shackles so the first thing i set out to do was to start studying since i had never finished high school i did need to do a little bit of mixing and matching to get

Into a program but i was able to enroll into a course which would give me a bachelor’s degree in programming and i started that course in august of 2014. i quickly realized that i both really enjoyed programming and also that i was pretty good at it so from there i just tried to accelerate my learning and my pace more and more not because i felt like i had to catch

Up in like a bad way that i felt guilty about where i was but more just i felt like i had something to show for that i hadn’t shown yet the first year of school went great i did a bunch of extracurriculars and i became one of the better students which was quite new to me i did still have this horrible mentality where i felt like if i could get the same results

With less effort that was somehow a win i think i will talk more about that in another video but the short of it is that this is not a good mentality to have learning to put in effort is a good thing it’s not something you should try to avoid one year into my degree i was lucky enough to basically be offered an internship through my wonderful sister sarah who

Worked at a startup in london called tap deck and that was basically my hyperbolic time chamber for learning programming i feel like people talk about imposter syndrome a lot but i think i just was an impostor i didn’t have like a very long interview and they didn’t evaluate my technical skills much at all i remember the first task i got which was my internship

Task was to build a database api and if someone had asked me before i got the internship if i knew what an api was i would have had nothing intelligent to say for the first few months of that internship i basically just had a little panic attack every time someone asked me anything technical but i learned really quickly and became pretty decent at my job after

A few months and after the internship was over they offered me a full-time job i decided to stay in london but still pursued my bachelor’s degree back on the school in norway then i had two years where i was working full-time at a startup in london and doing the bachelor’s degree was basically a side project in addition to my work that mostly worked out fine i

Could definitely have used some of my now scheduling techniques because i had a habit of just not doing anything for the first many months and then just cramming everything into the last few weeks before exams but i did pass and i did get good grades so i guess all in all it worked out fine it’s more just that my life had a tendency to just fall apart when exam

Period just came around so that brings us a bit closer to where we are today i’m done with school working full-time in london and then in comes my lovely sister sarah once again she left tap deck a few months after i joined and basically did other stuff but now she was co-founding a new company with two other people and she asked me if i wanted to help them out

Part-time for a few months i was working part-time for this company while i was working full-time for tap deck and then the company that i’m working for now safety wing got invited to y combinator and that’s when we realized okay this is for real this company is happening when the company got into y combinator i joined full time and i’ve been there ever since

When i started it was basically just four people plus me we had a vision an idea of where we wanted to go but there was no revenue there was no website there was no customers it was just us and a vision and now i’m the head of engineering of this company we are posting in on about 70 people employed and almost 10 million in yearly revenue and we recently raised

A serious a round of 8 million which is also pretty crazy to think about everyone in the team has contributed massively to where we are today and where we will be in the future but i don’t think it’s wrong to say that i also did play a significant role in making this work so it’s just a bit crazy for me almost a bit emotional to think about where i am today where

I was seven years ago when i started ritalin and then how i 12 years ago failed to complete the second year of high school twice i hope the main takeaway of this video is that significant changes and improvements in your life is possible and i’m not saying that in like a magical anyone can do anything kind of way just that you never know what the next turn in

Your life is going to bring maybe you learn a new skill you meet someone new you read a book you change your mindset anything could happen which could completely change the trajectory of your life and i do think an important part of this is just being open to the possibility i don’t think you should ever expect drastic changes just focus on improving yourself

And what you’re doing one percent every day and eventually something good is likely to come of it and even if there doesn’t come any big groundbreaking changes incremental improvements become groundbreaking enough after a little while so that covers the changes i’ve seen in the last seven years since i began treatment with my boy ritalin and just to reiterate

The point i was 25 i had no career no education no anything and then i went to a doctor i got the right treatment and it completely turned my life around hopefully some of you people found this story inspirational in addition to this whole safety wing thing about two years ago now i started to make a game two years in this is still very early days but i made

A video in november which was kind of a yearly update on that project and some other things so if you want to see that you can see that somewhere around here thank you so much for watching and i will see you next wednesday

Transcribed from video
I Took Ritalin to Change My Life By Early Owl