May 15, 2023



A queer with ADHD? Groundbreaking.

It's Mental Health Awareness week, so here's a queer look at being diagnosed with ADHD & Autism in my late 30s, how to use your powers for good, and why therapy is a good thing.

(Or: How Star Trek helped with my spicy brain, why you should never go Full Sherlock, and the least appropriate time to make a cup of tea.)


Stories of queer life and even queer-er sex. 

The repeatedly award-winning, slightly filthy storytelling project tackling LGBTQ issues in a fun and engaging way. Created to remind all of our queer siblings that we are none of us alone. 

Much like its creator, it’s a smutty-but-charming collection of personal misadventures working to make the world a better place, one silly, sexy story at a time.  

Get exclusive content, early access, stickers and more by supporting Probably True on Patreon: 

Wonky YouTube videos:  

Join the community on Discord:  

Transcripts, story submissions, and all things Probably True can be found at   

Some non-binary fool on Twitter: @ScottFlashheart 



Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


Over lockdown, I realised that quite a lot of my brain was turning to porridge. I can’t tell for sure whether it was like that all the time and I was just realising because I had a lot more time to myself, or if spending months on end with no one to talk to but myself and the TV made me go a bit more weird than usual. But, as one of my best friends said to me one evening, “We’re Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job.” 

At least, I think she was talking to me. I was two thirds down of a bottle of absinthe at the time, and she was busy flying a starship through the delta quadrant.


As a result of my weirdness being so front and centre all of a sudden, and none of the usual things like jobs or friends or the slow collapse of late-stage capitalism to distract me, I decided it was time to get some professional help. Usually when I say that, the professional in question provides ‘help’ in small ziploc bags, while drivelling on about how this strain is one of the best he’s ever tried, and how it tastes EXACTLY like a strawberry milkshake, or a purple jolly rancher. He’s wrong, of course, it smells exactly the same as all the other little bags of ‘help’ he’s sold me. That is to say, quite a lot like the bedroom of every art student ever. But I enjoy the enthusiasm he has for his work, and so I nod and smile my way through another discussion of why this strain is FAR better than the one he sold me last month, and how I’ll be able to tell the difference immediately.

Anyway. Not that kind of help. Ironic, because I was hoping to use his ‘help’ to take the edge off of the anxiety I was already feeling.

Anyway. As he wasn’t available, I decided to get some actual therapy. I know! Get me being healthy and… shit.

I”m going to skip ahead a bit, so I need you to do me a favour and imagine a therapy montage. I’m lying on a couch, talking to Fraiser Crane, then Counsellor Troi is holding my hand and opening doors in my mind, then I’m meditating and drinking tea with Uncle Iroh. That sort of thing.

So after plenty of that sort of thing, the doctor person says “It’s clear to me that your anxiety and depression is stemming from the fact that you’re dealing with severe ADHD, and I’d say you’re also on the autism spectrum, albeit at the milder end.”

And I”m like “Woah woah woah, sweet child of mine! That’s a lot of things! Was there a sale on?”

He walked me through some of the things we’d talked about, and the ways I process things, my behaviour and outlook blah blah and I said “Yeah, but that’s normal. Everyone does that sort of thing, don’t they?” and he looked at me with a really concerned face and said softly “ That’s normal for you, but that’s just because you didn’t know there was any other way to be.” 

I just assumed everyone else spent huge amounts of energy fighting their brain, forcing themselves to sit down and be quiet, rehearsing conversations over and over in their heads and generally mimicking other people’s behaviour. Turns out that nope, that’s just me. Oh good. I’m special. 

Well, not just me. I”m sure plenty of kids are jealous that Captain Picard had a nice lady next to him to tell him when people are taking the piss. Plenty of 20-year olds bought books on body language and small talk because they had no idea about any of that, right?

I wasn’t expecting a gold star and a lolly (although I would not have said no), but it’s still a bit odd to have a grown-up look at the dog’s breakfast you’ve made of your life and say “You’ve done quite well, considering”. It’s equivalent to a mechanic taking one look at your car before asking if you’d seriously been driving round in that death trap.

One of the things that tipped me off that I might have some squirrels in my tree was when I realised quite how much effort I put into seeming more like everyone else. I’m always VERY conscious of how I’m sitting, am I making enough eye contact, does the other person look like they know I’m listening? . In fact, this has become such a thing that I often spend so much time trying to look like I’m listening that I don’t actually take in what is being said. SOMETHING OF AN ISSUE, THAT.

And the inverse is true, too. I”m always self-censoring, and trying to assemble a sentence in my head before letting it out of my mouth or it won’t be the same by the time I get from one end to the other. Seems straightforward, but because my attention span is fucked, it’s like trying to make a bridge across a river using only inflatable pool toys, with no way of tying them together. Yes, you can start off putting them one next to the other, but then they start to drift, and by the time I”m halfway across, I can’t see the first one anymore and I have no idea where I’m heading.

Once I was chatting away at my housemate and I’d forgotten to switch on the ‘talking to normies’ filter and was just jabbering about 15 different things at once, and he said “God, you’re annoying when you’re like this!” and I span round, eyes wide, and said “Yeah, but you can walk away. I’m stuck with it. Inside my head it’s ALWAYS like this.” and honestly I’ve never seen him look so scared.

It’s not always a bad thing, though. One of the (many) symptoms of my particular flavour of SpicyBrain is hyper-awareness. This is exactly what it sounds like - most people have a sort of filter that keeps a lot of unimportant stuff from registering, whereas I don’t. I’m constantly very aware of a lot of things happening, whether I like it or not. To be honest, I thought other people just walked around with their eyes closed, like my old housemate, who didn’t notice that we had a new TV until he’d been watching stuff on it for 3 days. 

When I realised that I was blessed with this ‘superpower’, I tried to not find everything very annoying all the time, but to try and use it to my advantage. Other people were less impressed, like one time on a date when I asked this guy I’d only known for an hour how long he’d been divorced. He kind of stuttered and asked how I knew. I thought I’d impress him and launched into a Sherlock routine, pointing out that his Grindr profile had said ‘single’, but the surname on his credit card was double-barrelled, when he talked about having been travelling, it was always as ‘we’ instead of ‘I’, and how he’d moved to a new city and was now looking for a job, instead of usually moving for a job, which made me think he was going for a whole new start and striking out on his own, rather than just going where work needed him to be. I thought I’d done quite well, and was feeling quite pleased with myself, until he burst into tears. 

Apparently, the divorce was VERY fresh, had NOT been amicable, and this drink with me was the first time he’d been out with someone new in over a decade. And while sharing your devastating emotional damage is always part of meeting someone new, it’s more of a third date thing in my book. Still, as I paid my half of the bill and he sobbingly ordered an Uber, I consoled myself with knowing that I got it right.


When I told a mate of mine about being diagnosed with Spicy Brain, they said “Oh, that must be such a relief!” and my first reaction was, “Not really, no. A relief would be being diagnosed as a millionaire.” The ADHD diagnosis is the official equivalent of someone looking inside my head and going “yeah… It’s not supposed to do that…” but it’s not stopped doing that. I still have to deal with it. 

But… As time has gone on a bit, and I’ve sat with it, there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve realised is connected to my superpower, but I just hadn’t realised. All of the “Sit down and shut up, why can’t you be like the other kids?” sort of thing. Ooooh there’s some trauma behind that particular door. Stupid thing is, at the time I wanted to be like the other kids. I wasn’t doing it on purpose, I just couldn’t help myself. And all the other struggles, all the trying to fit in, and trying to do my best to be like the other kids, because I didn’t want to be different. And in all that time, the 30-odd years it took to get diagnosed, all the times I got it wrong or struggled through awkward interactions, no-one ever said to me that I wasn’t the problem, that it wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t like anyone else. That’s a lot to unravel. It’s going to take a while for me to process all of the “I’m not like everyone else, and that’s ok. In the words of Doctor Crusher, “If there’s nothing wrong with me, then there must be something wrong with the universe.”

One guy I dated had it worse than me. At least, I hope it was ADHD, because otherwise he got up halfway through blowing me and made a cup of tea because he was bored. Another time we were making out and he excused himself to use the bathroom and when he wasn’t back after 20 minutes, I pulled some clothes on and he was in the kitchen reading a book. He had completely forgotten I was there. Hard not ot take that one personally, if I’m honest.

Although I have seen some people using ADHD as an excuse and that does NOT sit right with me. “Sorry about that, it’s my ADHD. Is it, though, Brenda? Or are you just a dick who couldn’t be arsed for someone else to finish talking before dragging the attention back to yourself? This is where things start to get a bit iffy, because I haven’t worked out yet how to tell what’s a boring-person rule that got beaten into me, that I can now start unlearning, and what’s someone else being a dick knowing they can shout ‘ADHD!’ and everyone will just let it slide… 

It’s possible they’re not mutually exclusive, of course.


One of the reasons it took me until I was nearly 40 to get diagnosed was how hard it is to do so when you’re an adult. I went to my GP when I was around 28, 29, I think, and explained that I was having trouble concentrating and remembering things and it was making my life hard and I was struggling at my job. She told me to pay more attention and write things down. That was it. Which was great, because I’d never thought of that.

Eventually, when I was in more of a position to afford it, I went private and spoke to a specialist, and now I’m seeing all of this “Private clinics ALWAYS give a diagnosis. You’ve paid for it, they’re not going to deny you.” Yeah, I paid for it because there was literally no other option open to me. When you’re in the sea, struggling to stay afloat and someone offers you help but for a price, if you can afford it, you take it. That’s like saying “Oh, you bought a lifejacket, did you? No wonder you survived. Are you even SURE you were drowning? Plenty of other people learn how to swim just fine their whole lives.” And for some reason the focus is on those who can afford it, rather than on the system that chucks people in the sea in the first place.

And now I’m like “Did I accidentally make it up? Is this stuff that EVERYONE goes through and I just want to feel special?” I asked around and someone said “Oh, don’t worry - impostor syndrome is a common symptom. If anything, feeling like you might be faking it is a good sign that it’s real!” and I’m like “OH, WELL. HOW HELPFUL.”

Still. I can console myself with the knowledge that the gods gave me a spicy brain because they feared how powerful I would become if they didn’t. WElp, joke’s on them because now I have my pills and as soon as I can get the dosage right, I will lay waste to-oooh, a squirrel!