Failing at Normal: An ADHD Success Story | Jessica McCabe | TEDxBratislava

Published 2017-10-09
Jessica McCabe tell us the story of her life. Once a gifted child with bright future, who later lives a life of a constant failures, because one thing - her ADHD diagnosis. Until one thing changed everything and she realized, that she is not alone. Her Youtube channel HowtoADHD is dedicated to help not only people with ADHD, but also their parents, partners a teachers and to remind them, that they are not alone.
Jessica McCabe nám rozpráva príbeh svojho života. Kedysi nadané dieťa so žiarivou budúcnosťou, ktoré neskôr žije život plný neustálych neúspechov, len kvôli jednej veci - jej ADHD diagnóze. Až do momentu kedy sa všetko zmení a ona si uvedomí, že v tom nie je sama. Jej YouTube kanál HowtoADHD je venovaný pomoci a usmerňovaniu nielen ľudí s ADHD ale takisto aj ich rodičom, partnerom a učiteľom a takisto aj odkazu, že v tom nie sú nikdy samí. Jessica is the author of popular YouTube series How to ADHD focused on educating and supporting ADHD brains around the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

All Comments (21)
  • Moira M
    Shout out to all the gifted ADHDers that everyone thinks are so put to together, yet feel like they are falling apart. You are not alone.
  • Katarzyna Kukla
    I'm just crying all the pain, missunderstanding, self-blame and loneliness out. With a huge relief. Of being seen, heard and accepted. And a hope for a better day, life and love. Thank you!
  • Paige Caudle
    I have ADHD and I’ve been told my whole life that I am lazy, that maybe if I exercised more, or socialized more I would be more successful. These things were told to me by people who did not have ADHD. This disorder is so easy to gaslight, so it feels amazing to see others with this and say to those people who thought you weren’t enough, you’re wrong, it’s not me, I have ADHD!!!!!
  • Hersimone
    I got diagnosed with ADHD yesterday. I'm 52. All those years of hiding my shame, feeling like a failure, that I wasn't normal, not good enough or ever going to be accepted.
    Thank you Jessica for this, now I can be proud of my own new normal! I cried when I was given the diagnosis, with shock & relief. The psychologist (Dr Kobus Van Rensburg) was so lovely & he said, yes there are some negatives in the way of difficulties for people with ADHD in trying to fit in with what society deems normal, but there are so many more positives he began to list.
    We are more resilient, because we've had to go through a lot of difficulties, often alone with no support & understanding, until our diagnosis. We have more energy than others, have fantastic sense of humours. can see the funny side of life, are quirky, wacky and fun to be with. We have the best ideas & don't need any boxes or labels. We are also very self-aware, having spent many years of inner searching for answers. I do believe, after consideration, that we are born leaders, at the forefront of evolution & the ones daring enough to speak out and push the boundaries.
    So yes, after the upset from the diagnosis, I am beginning to see the positives, forgiving myself for believing there was something awfully wrong with me and am excited about the future, accepting & appreciating who I am. Thank you, much love & blessings. Keep on keeping on!
  • B V
    My sweet beautiful 10 year old boy, who each morning gets back up on his horse and faces the world with his ADHD is my hero. His compassion for others, his love for animals and his amazing soul is a gift. The personal challenges he faces at his age are way beyond what I am able to comprehend or reconcile. The other day he was sad because of a tough day he had at school, yet when he got home he went down the block to visit a child in our neighbourhood who is severely disabled because he wants this boy to feel friendship and love. I tell him everyday that I'm proud of him and that he's going to do amazing things that will help make the world a better place. I love you Nik and I'll be here for you for as long as I live.
  • Aditya Yadav
    I cried so many times during this video, it is so relatable it was like my inner self is expressing it's true feelings.
  • Liberty Haas
    When she said, “I worked harder than anyone I knew...So, my failure was clearly my fault.” I felt that.
  • Laura Nemogá
    "Welcome to the tribe" were probably those words of inclusion that many of us and probably herself hadn't heard, and saying them herself was so overwhelming, I know I'm not the only one crying when I heard them too. Also, I loved how pure it was when she asked for her partner to come on stage with her hand to get a comforting, loving, proud hug <3
  • Leo Casuga
    I am 40 years old, and last week I was officially diagnosed with ADHD. After a lifetime of stuggle and "not living up to my potential", I finally have hope that I can live a successful and happy life. Thank you for your courage, sharing your journey and giving us brains someone we can finally relate to by providing ADHD awareness on such a huge global platform.
  • camelboop
    I was diagnosed last year, because I was a “smart kid” and only after being overwhelmed by a pandemic, and the death of my two grandfathers was I diagnosed.
    I have tried so hard to keep up with life, and when you talked about all the self-hate and struggles I started crying. I had worried and hated myself so much and though I was setting myself up for a life of failure because I “wasn’t trying hard enough”.
    Thank you so much.
  • Lyn Fischer
    Thank you. I am 65 and you have just told my story. When I was a child, no one had heard of ADHD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 50’s. It’s been a struggle. Being constantly told at school that I have such wonderful ability if only I would apply myself. Leaving school early because I couldn’t cope. Starting my own business after my children married. Always being late. Not wanting to but ALWAYS late. If I am about to be early, I find something to do like hang out the washing, then I’m late. My husband gets furious when I’m working and he says ‘how much longer’. I tell him ‘about 1/2 an hour and it turns into two hours. I cried listening to your story. Thank you.
  • Paige Lytle
    As a young woman with pretty severe ADHD, Panic disorder, depression and anxiety. This really hit hard to see this woman's life so closely resemble mine. Its comforting to know theres more of us out there.
  • Katy
    “But I was smart so nobody was worried” hits close to home

    Edit: It's Jan 2022 and I've finally got my diagnosis tomorrow, this was the first video of many that have led to where I am in my ADHD journey. I wish everyone luck with their own journeys too.
  • Blair Waldorf
    Hard to believe this was her first Ted talk! she was so articulate & so professional delivering her presentation. Broke my heart when she cried! 😭 Thank you
  • WeirdoFam^^
    I don’t think I’ve heard anyone explain ADHD so clearly. The struggles are so real, and how relatable this video has been made me tear up. Thank you
  • Just Me
    I was diagnosed with ADHD by second grade, im 19 now. I've lived my whole life feeling like everyone around me is progressing in life while I'm stuck in one place, hearing that I'm not the only one that doesn't feel "normal" means so much to me. Thank you
  • jlr108
    I just got my diagnosis today - ADHD inattentive presentation. I'm 60 years old (turned 60 yesterday). 60 years of thinking I was a screw up. I don't really understand what ADHD is yet or how having a diagnosis will change my life, but I do think it's a step in the right direction and I hope it will lead to positive change for me.
  • Joseph Laut
    37 and diagnosed with ADHD one year ago. I couldn't make it through the video without losing it multiple times. Years and years of my life inside my head explained in 17 minutes so beautiful by Jessica. I am finally here with you tribe, its been a long time but I am here.
  • baimynrd
    only people with adhd will truly understand why shes crying so often. This was such an amazing video, thank you.
  • Al Nicholson
    Honest, showing her vulnerability and trying to help others! I really resonated with the ending, about how we judge ourselves against society. I've always felt like a failure, that everyone else was doing so much better than me...I'm so glad Jessica has found something she can do in life, that works with her ADHD and allows her to give us all the gift of her channel. Thanks Jessica <3