SEE ME BE ME: Abena Akuffo Kelly on her ADHD Lived Experience

Abena Akuffo-Kelly is a councillor, award-winning Equality and Diversity expert, Computer Science expert, neurodiversity advocate, trainer, author… An inspiring multihyphenate whose passion for intersectionality and empowering people to use their voices, grow their ambitions and reach their aspirations runs through everything she does.

SEE ME BE ME is a podcast spotlighting diverse talent from any and every career path.

I’m neurodiverse. I have ADHD. But to be honest, ADHD is the reason why I do as much as I do. I have to do lots of different things, because I would get completely bored – but there are things that I have difficulties in. I have time blindness, which means if i get really engrossed in something that I’m doing, i just don’t notice what the time is. I can suddenly come out of that hyperfixation and notice that it’s like, two in the morning, and I should be sleeping – but I was having so much fun.

I can think of several things at once, and I can be very hyperfocused – it sounds crazy, but focusing on two things is actually easier for me. But then, sometimes when something is really important for me to get right, it can take me months to sit down and start it. So that was a major detriment to me.

I advocate for myself by explaining it to people – it balances out. Yes, there are things I won’t be good at – but I do actually work really hard to make sure that, for example, I’m on time for things. But because of my ADHD, that’s why I can do so much.

I try not to use the term superpower, because there is a spectrum of experience, and in some instances, it can be completely debilitating. But you mostly see people talking about their successes, so you don’t see that. But I actually tell people, because that’s really important – I’m trying to usualise the lives and experiences of people with ADHD. The success and the debilitating issues marry up together – and they can even be happening on the same day.

To hear more from Abena, check out her full episode of SEE ME BE ME, below – and stay tuned for her second episode, coming Monday!