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Sit Still Timmy! - A Lifetime of Undiagnosed ADHD

Katherine's Story

 

This usually makes me smile, such as when he is in a tearing hurry or doing several things at once and will bring me a knife and fork instead of a spoon to eat my porridge with. Not everything is quite so light-hearted, though and like anyone living with a partner who has ADHD, there are challenges.​

There has been a considerable increase in late-diagnosed ADHD, particularly since the Covid-19 lockdown. I’ve joined several help groups and am often amazed at how many partners there are struggling to cope daily. The impact of adult ADHD can be very difficult for couples, and it is thought to cause significant problems in around 60% of relationships. “Sit Still, Timmy!” is as much for them as it is for those who are trying to accept their diagnosis.

I have answered some of the more frequently asked questions regarding this book below.

Did you know much about ADHD before Tim’s diagnosis?

I worked in a primary school for eight years, so my only knowledge was of children with ADHD. Although some of the symptoms are similar, it had never crossed my mind that Tim had the condition.

 

When did you realise there was something ‘different’ about Tim?

From very early in our relationship. His frustration when he couldn’t find things and inability to queue anywhere were there from the start. There was a time I suggested we went out to a pub. Tim sat there staring at me until I finished my first drink, then got up to leave. That had never happened to me before.

 

How did you feel when Tim was first diagnosed?

After Vicky suggested Tim had ADHD, I immediately agreed she could be right. I was a little surprised at how high he scored in the diagnosis, but he has always been competitive!

 

What were your thoughts when Tim said he would write a book about his late diagnosis?

I thought it would be a great idea. I knew Tim had the talent to write as he previously had a chapter published in a book and written for newspapers. I didn’t realise it would be quite so raw, but despite that, I support him all the way.

 

What did you find the most emotional chapter to read? 

Reading about Tim’s suicidal thoughts brought me to tears. The thought of losing Tim is devastating for me. I still worry about it happening, especially when he is having a bad day. 

 

Did you find anything about Tim you didn’t know from reading the book?

Tim often talks about his past, so I have heard many stories about his childhood. However, Tim did let me in on a few secrets before writing the book. He can be very deep, and I didn’t realise how badly some of the circumstances in his work life affected him. 

 

What are your hopes for the book?

I think “Sit Still Timmy” has great potential and hope it will do well. There’s a large audience out there around the globe. I hope people with ADHD and their families will benefit from our experiences.

Are you worried about some of the more personal and intimate details in the book being read by your own family?

I come from a large family and can imagine them all sitting around with a cup of tea and discussing the two of us. We have kept our life and occasional troubles secret, but I’m really not bothered. I have encouraged Tim to keep the most sensitive chapters included. I think my family will be surprised but, I hope, also impressed by the book.​ I hate to say this, but I’m glad my parents are not around to read it!

 

If you could give just one bit of advice to a partner of someone who has ADHD. What would it be?

If I had known about Tim’s undiagnosed ADHD when we met, I’m sure I would have been more understanding of his behaviour. It can affect partners and sometimes in a big way. Try and find out as much as you can about the condition and give as much support as possible, but if you are unhappy about something, it is important to let them know. I used to talk about important things while on a car journey when he couldn’t escape.

 

​We plan to do some question-and-answer sessions later this year on social media.

If you would like to ask about anything specific related to the book or as a partner of someone with ADHD, please complete the form below.

 

More about Tim MacWilliam

“You must have been a nightmare as a child!”
This is how my chapter in "Sit Still Timmy!' begins.

​I have lost count of the times I’ve said this to Tim.

 

But, perhaps now, I finally understand why.

​I’ve been in love with Tim for nearly forty years, but I still can’t always predict his behaviour or what he will do or say next.

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