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How Can An ADHD Diagnosis Help with Talia Gutierrez

May 15, 202429 min read

“And that's what I wish I could tell people, that nothing is wrong with you. It is just the way your mind works and your brain works and you just have to figure out how to make it work best for you.” - Talia Gutierrez

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How Can An ADHD Diagnosis Help with Talia Gutierrez

Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.

In this episode I’m joined by Talia Gutierrez. Talia is a multi passionate entrepreneur that has a wide variety of experiences in her back pocket. From being a wedding photographer, podcaster, blogger, event coordinator, flight attendant and now mental health therapist, she pulls from her personal and professional experiences to connect with women and empower and encourage them to takeoff to the future.

You can learn more about Talia by visiting her website takeoffwithtal.com

Talia shares her personal journey with ADHD, including her diagnosis, career paths, challenges, and strengths. She emphasizes the importance of self-advocacy and understanding one's unique brain functioning.

I loved how genuine she is in all she shares and how learning her diagnosis she’s able to experience freedom.

Here’s our conversation.

ADHD in adults

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dawn Calvinisti: Today on the podcast, I am excited to welcome Talia Gutierrez. This is somebody who I actually, I guess in a lot of ways, and I've said this at the beginning of the month, we are focusing on ADHD. I don't personally believe that I deal with ADHD, but I feel like Almost every other woman I talked to has been diagnosed late with ADHD and Talia is one of these.

So I so appreciate that you are here and that you've come to share your story.

[00:00:28] Talia Gutierrez: Thank you. I'm so excited to talk a little bit more about ADHD and shed some light to maybe help another woman that is noticing there's these struggles in her life.

[00:00:40] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, and I think this is the thing as I'm listening to other women talk about it as I'm hearing from friends, family members, just the things that Looking back now, they're like, Oh, that was all a part of it. And I didn't realize it at the time. I wish I had known that so I could use different tools and tricks to help myself.

But I'm glad I know now. So I would love to hear from you. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do. And then maybe you can tell us how your story begins.

[00:01:09] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, I would love that. So, I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I feel like I'm a jack of all trades. I've done a little bit of everything and my short span of life. I am in my mid thirties and I have done everything from being a professional wedding photographer to being a podcaster. I'm a flight attendant.

I'm also a mental health therapist. So I literally have had my hands in a little of everything and I enjoy that. That's like what makes me thrive and it also all relates back to ADHD. And so I just always thought that I was interested in, super multi passionate and that is me, but I just thought that was a part of my personality.

I never knew what This was about ADHD. I, I always had like the stigma in my head that it means like you're bouncing off the walls or you just can't focus at all. And I can focus on certain things, but I also get bored really easily. And that's why I have had. So many different careers and passions and hobbies And so that is really what led me to this figuring out this diagnosis after recovering from burnout within the past like year and a half and I was just finally like i'm ready to find some answers and maybe there is something going on here

[00:02:40] Dawn Calvinisti: I think it's interesting that you were in burnout because that's another thing that I hear often is as a symptom and sometimes as a last symptom before diagnosis is like, I did it all. I could do it all. And because I was capable of doing it all. It never even occurred to me that this would have anything to do with ADHD because isn't that People who, really stumble around, feel like they're distracted, can't get anything done, and I'm the opposite, and you also are somebody who, you are very capable, you can get things done, you can do all kinds of things, and yet that often can lead to burnout as well.

[00:03:14] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, that's such a good point. Yeah, I always was like I'm really that type of person that is like such a go getter, overachiever, and really, if I want to do something, I believe, I fully believe that I am capable of doing it, excelling, succeeding, all of that. And so, I Never really thought like, oh, there might be something wrong here.

And I always knew that I had a lot of anxiety and the things that I did. And then with that anxiety, I would get really frustrated at myself. And why do I feel so anxious? And then that led down the the spiral path of depression. And so I was always diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and I had been on medication for that.

I had been in therapy for years on anxiety and depression and never really learned until this past year that ADHD is actually so misdiagnosed for anxiety and depression. And so it was honestly just, it was a little sad figuring out this diagnosis because I had been living for 34 years of my life.

thinking that I was just a depressed individual or somebody that just really struggled with depression and believing that, my brain wasn't making these chemicals. And so that's why I was always depressed. And I was that person that appeared. Like everything was fine. You would never really be able to tell that I was depressed.

I presented perfect and I was just really, really struggling and nothing was helping. Therapy wasn't helping. None of the tools were helping because I was essentially being treated as somebody that has anxiety and depression and not really learning that it was so much more.

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[00:05:13] Dawn Calvinisti: So tell us now that you're on the other side of this diagnosis, when you look back, what are the things that you think now, okay, those were indicators, those are the things that you know, now that I know this, if somebody else was telling me all this, I'd say, you know what, maybe you should go and investigate this further.

[00:05:31] Talia Gutierrez: Definitely. I would say, honestly, the overwhelming feeling of just starting or organizing your day, especially for people that are very multi passionate or they have their hands in a lot of different things. Let's say you have a lot of different roles at So I would say, you at work or you are managing your household, you're a mom and you have so many different things on your to do list and It is almost this really hard feeling to like get your day started not because your tasks are actually hard but because you cannot figure out the time management piece and the way to prioritize these things so instead you are just constantly adding things to your to do list and you are constantly looking over this to do list and so it's more just I call it like, and it is called like an analysis paralysis almost.

You are just so stuck in this paralyzing space of trying to figure out what even to do that you can't even like get motivated to start your day. And so that was something that I just always thought was anxiety. And that was a big indicator. Also like impulsivity. I was a little afraid that maybe I had a different mental disorder, something more along the lines of like bipolar or, and we aren't here to like stigmatize those either, but I really would go from one end of the pendulum to the other end of the pendulum and I, I was always told, where's the middle?

part of you. Like, why, why do you never fall in the middle? I was always like really excited and passionate about something or I had like absolute no interest in something and I was just like, I'm done with that or I'm done with that person. I would get bored really easily. And so these are all like signs and symptoms actually of Just how my brain works and like to hear that was just so freeing that Nothing is wrong with you.

And that's what I wish I could tell people that nothing is wrong with you It is just the way your mind works and your brain works and you just have to figure out How to make it work best for you.

[00:08:01] Dawn Calvinisti: I like that you brought that up. Like, it's just the way your brain works. And I think this is really important for anybody. In any type of mental health that you're, that you're dealing with, your brain is, is triggered a certain way. It functions a certain way. And in a lot of this, There are really good aspects that you could hone in on and use and actually capitalize to make your life better, your work better whatever you're trying to accomplish, succeed better, because you know it.

And I think that's part of the, the cool part of having a diagnosis is then you know what you're working with and you can work around it.

So 

[00:08:37] Talia Gutierrez: For sure. I think a lot of people might be scared to get a diagnosis, whether, whatever that diagnosis is. Say you present with Like symptoms of like social anxiety and if you actually got diagnosed on the spectrum or with with something of that sort, you might fear that diagnosis, but the way I look at it, especially as a mental health therapist, is that this is this is a resource.

This is a tool that is going to help us figure out how to best work for you. And so that's exactly what this ADHD diagnosis was like for me. I really started researching, and one of my favorite books it was actually Paris Hilton's memoir, and she shared a lot of her story about having ADHD and how it can be your superpower, and I really believed that.

I believed, like, I excelled so well at like everything that I put my mind to being a wedding photographer, being an entrepreneur, all these different tasks was because I am so creative and I believe that is something that comes with the ADHD brain. You're really creative. You can think out of the box and it's like, these are our superpowers.

And so I want people to realize that. It's okay if your brain thinks differently, it makes you unique, and that's what's so cool about humans, is that we all get to be so different, and, but, but this was a journey, it wasn't always that way, it was a lot of healing to get to this place of self acceptance.

[00:10:20] Dawn Calvinisti: We often talk to women who are people pleasers and perfectionists and procrastinators. And one of the things, as I was preparing for this, I was thinking about the fact that perfectionism often comes up as one of the symptoms under ADHD. Not, that's not the only thing it comes up with. So just because you might think of yourself as a perfectionist does not necessarily mean you have ADHD, but I'm just saying it often does come up.

And the other thing is procrastination again, partially because of that whole, like. overwhelmed, can't even get started. So I'm just not going to do it kind of thing that you're talking about. Does, does perfectionism or people pleasing or procrastination, do any of those fit into you and into what you see?

[00:10:58] Talia Gutierrez: definitely can 100 percent say procrastination is my forte. My ADHD brain really works so well with a deadline and under pressure. Otherwise I am constantly like, I'll write a to do list. And then on the very next day, those same tasks are on the to do list and the next day and the next day, and it'll be like a week and then people will text me and they'll be like, I need this. And I'm like, Oh yeah, that thing is tomorrow. I better go do that. And so it, it's, it's difficult. I have found jobs and careers that I'm able to work that way. And it. It's okay, but I can imagine for somebody that has like deadlines every single day that can be a little difficult.

So procrastination is has always been a thing that I've seen in like group projects and schools at school exams. I would like cram for a test and of course, I would do well, but I would put so much stress on myself and my body like the night before. And I think that's a lot what led to burnout. And then also like the perfectionism piece is 100 percent like a part of my story also.

And I think that I just expect myself to do well in everything that I do. And so I don't know if I can 100 percent say that. Is related to my ADHD brain or if it's I think perfectionism and I work with women on perfectionism a lot in my private practice is that a lot of it comes from like your upbringing and maybe the history or family dynamics family relationships and the pressure that you put on yourself as a kid or that your family might have put on you as a kid.

And so I Yeah. Really do hold perfectionism as a dialectic that it's okay to hold yourself to a standard, but also like, let's make this a realistic standard where it's, it's still a healthy place to be, if that makes sense.

[00:12:59] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, for sure. We talk a lot about like being good enough, right? Like not necessarily having to, to have that goal that's always moving, which is what perfectionism becomes because It's never going to be good enough if you think it has to be perfect. But I love that, that you recognize that these are parts of your life.

And again, like I said, not that it necessarily means that you have ADHD. I just find that often and again, also with anxiety, we've talked about this and depression, that perfectionism often jumps in there because we just put a lot of pressure on ourselves. And again, burnout often comes with this as well.

So can you tell us a little bit about, like, When you were seeking out a diagnosis, what brought you to the point where you thought, I actually think there's something more going on?

[00:13:42] Talia Gutierrez: That's such a great point. I think it was definitely after I reached burnout and I reached burnout straight out of grad school after I got my master's in clinical mental health counseling. While I was getting my master's, I had two internships. I had two jobs and I was a dog mom. My dog was like not in good health.

She was an elderly dog that was blind and I just was like not in a healthy place of my life. I was recovering from a shoulder injury. So, so many moving parts of just like trying to figure out my life and It was always, it was just heavy. My support system felt that, there was always something going on.

And of course that's like led to a lot of the depression tendencies. But finally, my mom who has been a nurse my whole entire life, and not that she is in the mental health space, but I do trust her opinions a lot. She said, I think you have ADHD. And I was like, no way. Like. There's no way and I just went to grad school so I know what ADHD is and I was looking through the DSM and I never thought like, Oh, this sounds like me, I don't I don't know if anybody listening has gone and to school and like gotten their degree in mental health counseling, but it's It's a joke that we all make as we're learning all these, like, mental health disorders.

You're like, that sounds like me, and we like, diagnose ourselves. And so I never looked at ADHD and was like, that sounds like me. And so after she said that, I was like, wait, this feels really freeing. Like just hearing that felt so freeing. And I started doing my research and I was like, This is a hundred percent me.

This is me. And so I mentioned it to my psychiatrist and she was like, no, I don't really hear it. And y'all, this is part of getting diagnosed with ADHD. It's really difficult to get a diagnosed with ADHD. So she said she didn't hear it. And I was like, I was like crying after the session and I was like, Oh, she doesn't believe me.

Like I fully believe this. I have a background in, in diagnosing and I really believe this. And so I, it was months and then I saw her again and I. brought it up again. I was like, I still think I have ADHD. And so she asked me a few questions and it's like going to the eye doctor. You never really understand what their questions are.

And so she still was like, I really don't hear it. And I was so mad. And then She was like, I'm going to send you a questionnaire that I'm going to have your mom fill out or somebody that knew you as a child. And I'm going to have them fill it out. And it's just going to ask a few questions about your childhood.

And I have a terrible memory, so I couldn't really remember. A lot of things from what I was like as a child, and I think trauma plays a part in that also, of course, and so my mom filled it out and it was so wild to read her, her answers to these questions and seeing that I actually noticed that I had difficulty focusing and that I was involved in every single club and sport and every single thing I could get my hands on as a kid.

And then I was really just all over the place and then I struggled. And so. I was so sad for little Talia that like she struggled that way and nobody really knew why because back then, you know that this diagnosis what there wasn't as much like information about it. And so I submitted it to the psychiatrist and no joke.

She was like, okay, this is it. This it. I believe it. I hear it. I see it. Let's figure this out now. And so it. really was a long journey. And I hear so many horror stories of clients and friends as they are on this journey to get answers and relief and a diagnosis. And the real thing is because there is no straight Clear testing to get tested for ADHD.

So that's why everyone's journey is unfortunately a little bit different.

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[00:18:06] Dawn Calvinisti: I think it's really important here in what you're saying that you were advocating for yourself, like you didn't just give up and, oh, she said no, so it's not, and I have to try some other route. So, like, what would you say to women that are listening who are, maybe feeling misdiagnosed or don't, don't feel like they're being heard?

What are we doing here?

[00:18:25] Talia Gutierrez: Yes. I think advocating for yourself can show up in any type of setting. I love teaching women to really believe in themselves, trust their gut. And, you need to advocate to yourself. It's. Or to the doctor, to your primary care doctor, to whoever, if you really feel and believe something, keep going to different doctors until you can find somebody that really listens to you.

And so, I think that main reason why I was so passionate about this was one, because my education, so my professional experience helped me a lot because I knew that this felt like an answer, but also a lot of research that I did on my own. And I, I think, there's so much information that is accessible nowadays and it can go.

To like we always hear like I'll just Google my symptoms or Wikipedia and that's not like reliable sources. So really read reliable sources. But if you believe like this is true, then find somebody that's going to believe you. And but also somebody that isn't going to just believe you like that, because we are talking like if you go down the medication route, we are talking like Okay.

medication that really can alter your brain chemistry in not a good way. And that can be addictive. And so if you come across a provider that just gives you any single thing that you ask for, you might be doing a detriment to yourself. And so, I am passionate about that. I am Glad that my psychiatrist gave me a little pushback because when she believed me I was like, okay, this is this is finally right.

[00:20:19] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, I love that it's not just necessarily easy. I think you're right. It's important when we're, when we're looking for validation on what we're feeling. That it's not like just okay, it's fine. You're right. But that there is that real, checking digging a little bit deeper and making sure that we're, we're getting the right answers.

And when you're going through all of this, I mean, I think I want to say first to everybody that's listening, this doesn't mean anything's wrong. And we said that at the beginning, it's just how your brain's wired. And what would you say now on this other side of it? Do you feel Do you wish you didn't know it?

Like, where are you at now?

[00:20:55] Talia Gutierrez: I definitely feel better knowing it. It has given me a lot of freedom and it's it's created like so much space and grace for myself on days that I really struggle. I'm just like, Oh my gosh, my ADHD brain is just like having a day. And I can even explain that to like my partner and my friends and family.

Like, I'm sorry, I'm, I'm really struggling today, but now it's so nice to know, like why I'm struggling instead of just. Some days I would feel like I have no idea why I'm sad, and now I'm like, oh, I'm sad because I can't figure something out. Like, my executive functioning just needs a little help, and so it has just been such a normalizing feeling, and If I could really share anything about this whole journey one day, I just happened to be on social media.

I was at a coffee shop. I had a big day planned my, all these things on my to do list. And I just happened to get on my Instagram stories and I was just talking just like. If you want to use the words as a hot mess, I was just showing up so real and authentic, and that's like my favorite thing to do on social media.

And I don't do it as often, but I was just like, y'all, I am sitting here in this coffee shop. I'm struggling. I have a million things to do. I'm not doing any of it. I'm here now talking to you on a story because I'm distracting myself and just sharing my struggles and telling them that I was newly diagnosed with ADHD and I'm trying to figure this out, but I'm frustrated.

And my DMs were flooded with people that I didn't know, with friends that I do know, and so many people asking, how'd you get diagnosed? How did you know? I am the same exact way. Everyone was just like, same, same, same, same. And that was just like, wow, this is I really even believe it's something of this generation, and that's why we're seeing so many women getting diagnosed later in life about this, because we now have that voice for ourselves, where we're able to advocate for ourselves, but also In our younger years, maybe our parents didn't have the resources or the tools and now we're just able to figure out like, oh, this is how I can continue living.

And it almost feels like I'm like restarting a new chapter because now I can like reclaim my life after I know this.

[00:23:34] Dawn Calvinisti: I love that freedom that you're talking about. And I think it's, it's interesting because I think in your generation, there is more of that ability to, like, ask for help. There's not such the, like, you're bothering people. You shouldn't ask people for things. You shouldn't, you shouldn't go out there and put your laundry out there for everyone to see.

Like, I love that about this younger generation, because I think that removes a lot of that. And again, It depends how you're raised, like you may still have that. How awesome that you could ask for help.

[00:24:04] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, that's so true and that's why I'm all about like breaking barriers showing up as your authentic imperfect self because it honestly is going to be a ripple effect. I think it will affect my children and their children and it's just going to continue to get better because We have a voice. We are not going to stand for injustice.

And we are, we're constantly evolving. And so, yeah, I really believe it's just creating more and more freedom and space for us all to exist.

[00:24:37] Dawn Calvinisti: So one thing I ask every guest that comes on the show is of the three P's, which are people pleasing, perfectionism and procrastination. What one do you tend to go to?

[00:24:47] Talia Gutierrez: Mm. Gosh, how do I pick just one? I can eliminate one and that is people pleasing. I very much, I don't know if it is the fact that I just like get bored and lose interest really quickly because my A. D. H. D. That if somebody is not serving me or we are not in alignment, I am just going to go the other way and You know that that shows up in family dynamics even I I'm not going to try and please them.

I have boundaries and really enjoy my, my space. And I also think I don't have a capacity for people pleasing that it overwhelms me. So I would say that the thing that, it would probably be perfectionism. That still shows up. That's something that I continue to work on in myself and therapy and just like my healing journey that I may talk unkindly to myself because I'm holding myself to a really high standard.

And then I have to ask, is this even a realistic standard that you are trying to hold yourself to? And so, there has been so many tools that have helped me overcome perfectionism, but it's also really ingrained in me that that is the thing that I probably relate most to.

[00:26:08] Dawn Calvinisti: And the other thing I'd like to know is if people wanted to follow you on Instagram or find a way to connect with you, what's the best place for them to do that?

[00:26:16] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, please. I share so many fun video reels and stories and content of just like how you can show up as your imperfect self. And I talk a little bit more about my journey and do a lot of educational resources on there. So I'm very active on Instagram. My Instagram is TakeOffWithTal. It's T A L and the word is Takeoff with Tal.

And then also I have a website, takeoffwithtal. com. And that's mainly like how I show up. And I love connecting with people, getting DMs and hearing about everyone's stories.

[00:26:53] Dawn Calvinisti: We'll put all that in the show notes so that if you want to connect in, you can. Thank you so much for the time you've taken today just to share your journey and to encourage others that are maybe going through the same or are helping others that are going through the same.

[00:27:05] Talia Gutierrez: Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I really hope it helps somebody else.

[DAWN CALVINISTI]

Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening. 

Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram. 

Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.


Links from this episode:

CONNECT WITH DAWN:

Private Podcast Anxiety Deep Dive: https://www.pursueprogress.com/deepdive

Website: https://pursueprogress.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pursueprogresswithdawn

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/pursueprogresswithdawn

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Imperfection in Progress Podcast: https://pursueprogress.com/podcast

Grab your 200 Affirmations for the 3 P’s here: https://www.pursueprogress.com/affirmationspodcast

CONNECT WITH TALIA:

Website: https://www.takeoffwithtal.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/takeoffwithtal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fuelingyoufurther

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Private Podcast Anxiety Deep Dive: https://www.pursueprogress.com/deepdive

Umbrella Virtual Solutions: https://www.umbrellavs.com

Book Your Free 30 Minute Strategy Call with the host, Dawn Calvinisti: https://link.theviphub.ca/widget/bookings/dawncalvinisti/strategy

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Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business.

Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years.

As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online  summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life.

She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

Dawn Calvinisti

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

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How Can An ADHD Diagnosis Help with Talia Gutierrez

May 15, 202429 min read

“And that's what I wish I could tell people, that nothing is wrong with you. It is just the way your mind works and your brain works and you just have to figure out how to make it work best for you.” - Talia Gutierrez

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How Can An ADHD Diagnosis Help with Talia Gutierrez

Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.

In this episode I’m joined by Talia Gutierrez. Talia is a multi passionate entrepreneur that has a wide variety of experiences in her back pocket. From being a wedding photographer, podcaster, blogger, event coordinator, flight attendant and now mental health therapist, she pulls from her personal and professional experiences to connect with women and empower and encourage them to takeoff to the future.

You can learn more about Talia by visiting her website takeoffwithtal.com

Talia shares her personal journey with ADHD, including her diagnosis, career paths, challenges, and strengths. She emphasizes the importance of self-advocacy and understanding one's unique brain functioning.

I loved how genuine she is in all she shares and how learning her diagnosis she’s able to experience freedom.

Here’s our conversation.

ADHD in adults

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dawn Calvinisti: Today on the podcast, I am excited to welcome Talia Gutierrez. This is somebody who I actually, I guess in a lot of ways, and I've said this at the beginning of the month, we are focusing on ADHD. I don't personally believe that I deal with ADHD, but I feel like Almost every other woman I talked to has been diagnosed late with ADHD and Talia is one of these.

So I so appreciate that you are here and that you've come to share your story.

[00:00:28] Talia Gutierrez: Thank you. I'm so excited to talk a little bit more about ADHD and shed some light to maybe help another woman that is noticing there's these struggles in her life.

[00:00:40] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, and I think this is the thing as I'm listening to other women talk about it as I'm hearing from friends, family members, just the things that Looking back now, they're like, Oh, that was all a part of it. And I didn't realize it at the time. I wish I had known that so I could use different tools and tricks to help myself.

But I'm glad I know now. So I would love to hear from you. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do. And then maybe you can tell us how your story begins.

[00:01:09] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, I would love that. So, I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I feel like I'm a jack of all trades. I've done a little bit of everything and my short span of life. I am in my mid thirties and I have done everything from being a professional wedding photographer to being a podcaster. I'm a flight attendant.

I'm also a mental health therapist. So I literally have had my hands in a little of everything and I enjoy that. That's like what makes me thrive and it also all relates back to ADHD. And so I just always thought that I was interested in, super multi passionate and that is me, but I just thought that was a part of my personality.

I never knew what This was about ADHD. I, I always had like the stigma in my head that it means like you're bouncing off the walls or you just can't focus at all. And I can focus on certain things, but I also get bored really easily. And that's why I have had. So many different careers and passions and hobbies And so that is really what led me to this figuring out this diagnosis after recovering from burnout within the past like year and a half and I was just finally like i'm ready to find some answers and maybe there is something going on here

[00:02:40] Dawn Calvinisti: I think it's interesting that you were in burnout because that's another thing that I hear often is as a symptom and sometimes as a last symptom before diagnosis is like, I did it all. I could do it all. And because I was capable of doing it all. It never even occurred to me that this would have anything to do with ADHD because isn't that People who, really stumble around, feel like they're distracted, can't get anything done, and I'm the opposite, and you also are somebody who, you are very capable, you can get things done, you can do all kinds of things, and yet that often can lead to burnout as well.

[00:03:14] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, that's such a good point. Yeah, I always was like I'm really that type of person that is like such a go getter, overachiever, and really, if I want to do something, I believe, I fully believe that I am capable of doing it, excelling, succeeding, all of that. And so, I Never really thought like, oh, there might be something wrong here.

And I always knew that I had a lot of anxiety and the things that I did. And then with that anxiety, I would get really frustrated at myself. And why do I feel so anxious? And then that led down the the spiral path of depression. And so I was always diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and I had been on medication for that.

I had been in therapy for years on anxiety and depression and never really learned until this past year that ADHD is actually so misdiagnosed for anxiety and depression. And so it was honestly just, it was a little sad figuring out this diagnosis because I had been living for 34 years of my life.

thinking that I was just a depressed individual or somebody that just really struggled with depression and believing that, my brain wasn't making these chemicals. And so that's why I was always depressed. And I was that person that appeared. Like everything was fine. You would never really be able to tell that I was depressed.

I presented perfect and I was just really, really struggling and nothing was helping. Therapy wasn't helping. None of the tools were helping because I was essentially being treated as somebody that has anxiety and depression and not really learning that it was so much more.

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[00:05:13] Dawn Calvinisti: So tell us now that you're on the other side of this diagnosis, when you look back, what are the things that you think now, okay, those were indicators, those are the things that you know, now that I know this, if somebody else was telling me all this, I'd say, you know what, maybe you should go and investigate this further.

[00:05:31] Talia Gutierrez: Definitely. I would say, honestly, the overwhelming feeling of just starting or organizing your day, especially for people that are very multi passionate or they have their hands in a lot of different things. Let's say you have a lot of different roles at So I would say, you at work or you are managing your household, you're a mom and you have so many different things on your to do list and It is almost this really hard feeling to like get your day started not because your tasks are actually hard but because you cannot figure out the time management piece and the way to prioritize these things so instead you are just constantly adding things to your to do list and you are constantly looking over this to do list and so it's more just I call it like, and it is called like an analysis paralysis almost.

You are just so stuck in this paralyzing space of trying to figure out what even to do that you can't even like get motivated to start your day. And so that was something that I just always thought was anxiety. And that was a big indicator. Also like impulsivity. I was a little afraid that maybe I had a different mental disorder, something more along the lines of like bipolar or, and we aren't here to like stigmatize those either, but I really would go from one end of the pendulum to the other end of the pendulum and I, I was always told, where's the middle?

part of you. Like, why, why do you never fall in the middle? I was always like really excited and passionate about something or I had like absolute no interest in something and I was just like, I'm done with that or I'm done with that person. I would get bored really easily. And so these are all like signs and symptoms actually of Just how my brain works and like to hear that was just so freeing that Nothing is wrong with you.

And that's what I wish I could tell people that nothing is wrong with you It is just the way your mind works and your brain works and you just have to figure out How to make it work best for you.

[00:08:01] Dawn Calvinisti: I like that you brought that up. Like, it's just the way your brain works. And I think this is really important for anybody. In any type of mental health that you're, that you're dealing with, your brain is, is triggered a certain way. It functions a certain way. And in a lot of this, There are really good aspects that you could hone in on and use and actually capitalize to make your life better, your work better whatever you're trying to accomplish, succeed better, because you know it.

And I think that's part of the, the cool part of having a diagnosis is then you know what you're working with and you can work around it.

So 

[00:08:37] Talia Gutierrez: For sure. I think a lot of people might be scared to get a diagnosis, whether, whatever that diagnosis is. Say you present with Like symptoms of like social anxiety and if you actually got diagnosed on the spectrum or with with something of that sort, you might fear that diagnosis, but the way I look at it, especially as a mental health therapist, is that this is this is a resource.

This is a tool that is going to help us figure out how to best work for you. And so that's exactly what this ADHD diagnosis was like for me. I really started researching, and one of my favorite books it was actually Paris Hilton's memoir, and she shared a lot of her story about having ADHD and how it can be your superpower, and I really believed that.

I believed, like, I excelled so well at like everything that I put my mind to being a wedding photographer, being an entrepreneur, all these different tasks was because I am so creative and I believe that is something that comes with the ADHD brain. You're really creative. You can think out of the box and it's like, these are our superpowers.

And so I want people to realize that. It's okay if your brain thinks differently, it makes you unique, and that's what's so cool about humans, is that we all get to be so different, and, but, but this was a journey, it wasn't always that way, it was a lot of healing to get to this place of self acceptance.

[00:10:20] Dawn Calvinisti: We often talk to women who are people pleasers and perfectionists and procrastinators. And one of the things, as I was preparing for this, I was thinking about the fact that perfectionism often comes up as one of the symptoms under ADHD. Not, that's not the only thing it comes up with. So just because you might think of yourself as a perfectionist does not necessarily mean you have ADHD, but I'm just saying it often does come up.

And the other thing is procrastination again, partially because of that whole, like. overwhelmed, can't even get started. So I'm just not going to do it kind of thing that you're talking about. Does, does perfectionism or people pleasing or procrastination, do any of those fit into you and into what you see?

[00:10:58] Talia Gutierrez: definitely can 100 percent say procrastination is my forte. My ADHD brain really works so well with a deadline and under pressure. Otherwise I am constantly like, I'll write a to do list. And then on the very next day, those same tasks are on the to do list and the next day and the next day, and it'll be like a week and then people will text me and they'll be like, I need this. And I'm like, Oh yeah, that thing is tomorrow. I better go do that. And so it, it's, it's difficult. I have found jobs and careers that I'm able to work that way. And it. It's okay, but I can imagine for somebody that has like deadlines every single day that can be a little difficult.

So procrastination is has always been a thing that I've seen in like group projects and schools at school exams. I would like cram for a test and of course, I would do well, but I would put so much stress on myself and my body like the night before. And I think that's a lot what led to burnout. And then also like the perfectionism piece is 100 percent like a part of my story also.

And I think that I just expect myself to do well in everything that I do. And so I don't know if I can 100 percent say that. Is related to my ADHD brain or if it's I think perfectionism and I work with women on perfectionism a lot in my private practice is that a lot of it comes from like your upbringing and maybe the history or family dynamics family relationships and the pressure that you put on yourself as a kid or that your family might have put on you as a kid.

And so I Yeah. Really do hold perfectionism as a dialectic that it's okay to hold yourself to a standard, but also like, let's make this a realistic standard where it's, it's still a healthy place to be, if that makes sense.

[00:12:59] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, for sure. We talk a lot about like being good enough, right? Like not necessarily having to, to have that goal that's always moving, which is what perfectionism becomes because It's never going to be good enough if you think it has to be perfect. But I love that, that you recognize that these are parts of your life.

And again, like I said, not that it necessarily means that you have ADHD. I just find that often and again, also with anxiety, we've talked about this and depression, that perfectionism often jumps in there because we just put a lot of pressure on ourselves. And again, burnout often comes with this as well.

So can you tell us a little bit about, like, When you were seeking out a diagnosis, what brought you to the point where you thought, I actually think there's something more going on?

[00:13:42] Talia Gutierrez: That's such a great point. I think it was definitely after I reached burnout and I reached burnout straight out of grad school after I got my master's in clinical mental health counseling. While I was getting my master's, I had two internships. I had two jobs and I was a dog mom. My dog was like not in good health.

She was an elderly dog that was blind and I just was like not in a healthy place of my life. I was recovering from a shoulder injury. So, so many moving parts of just like trying to figure out my life and It was always, it was just heavy. My support system felt that, there was always something going on.

And of course that's like led to a lot of the depression tendencies. But finally, my mom who has been a nurse my whole entire life, and not that she is in the mental health space, but I do trust her opinions a lot. She said, I think you have ADHD. And I was like, no way. Like. There's no way and I just went to grad school so I know what ADHD is and I was looking through the DSM and I never thought like, Oh, this sounds like me, I don't I don't know if anybody listening has gone and to school and like gotten their degree in mental health counseling, but it's It's a joke that we all make as we're learning all these, like, mental health disorders.

You're like, that sounds like me, and we like, diagnose ourselves. And so I never looked at ADHD and was like, that sounds like me. And so after she said that, I was like, wait, this feels really freeing. Like just hearing that felt so freeing. And I started doing my research and I was like, This is a hundred percent me.

This is me. And so I mentioned it to my psychiatrist and she was like, no, I don't really hear it. And y'all, this is part of getting diagnosed with ADHD. It's really difficult to get a diagnosed with ADHD. So she said she didn't hear it. And I was like, I was like crying after the session and I was like, Oh, she doesn't believe me.

Like I fully believe this. I have a background in, in diagnosing and I really believe this. And so I, it was months and then I saw her again and I. brought it up again. I was like, I still think I have ADHD. And so she asked me a few questions and it's like going to the eye doctor. You never really understand what their questions are.

And so she still was like, I really don't hear it. And I was so mad. And then She was like, I'm going to send you a questionnaire that I'm going to have your mom fill out or somebody that knew you as a child. And I'm going to have them fill it out. And it's just going to ask a few questions about your childhood.

And I have a terrible memory, so I couldn't really remember. A lot of things from what I was like as a child, and I think trauma plays a part in that also, of course, and so my mom filled it out and it was so wild to read her, her answers to these questions and seeing that I actually noticed that I had difficulty focusing and that I was involved in every single club and sport and every single thing I could get my hands on as a kid.

And then I was really just all over the place and then I struggled. And so. I was so sad for little Talia that like she struggled that way and nobody really knew why because back then, you know that this diagnosis what there wasn't as much like information about it. And so I submitted it to the psychiatrist and no joke.

She was like, okay, this is it. This it. I believe it. I hear it. I see it. Let's figure this out now. And so it. really was a long journey. And I hear so many horror stories of clients and friends as they are on this journey to get answers and relief and a diagnosis. And the real thing is because there is no straight Clear testing to get tested for ADHD.

So that's why everyone's journey is unfortunately a little bit different.

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[00:18:06] Dawn Calvinisti: I think it's really important here in what you're saying that you were advocating for yourself, like you didn't just give up and, oh, she said no, so it's not, and I have to try some other route. So, like, what would you say to women that are listening who are, maybe feeling misdiagnosed or don't, don't feel like they're being heard?

What are we doing here?

[00:18:25] Talia Gutierrez: Yes. I think advocating for yourself can show up in any type of setting. I love teaching women to really believe in themselves, trust their gut. And, you need to advocate to yourself. It's. Or to the doctor, to your primary care doctor, to whoever, if you really feel and believe something, keep going to different doctors until you can find somebody that really listens to you.

And so, I think that main reason why I was so passionate about this was one, because my education, so my professional experience helped me a lot because I knew that this felt like an answer, but also a lot of research that I did on my own. And I, I think, there's so much information that is accessible nowadays and it can go.

To like we always hear like I'll just Google my symptoms or Wikipedia and that's not like reliable sources. So really read reliable sources. But if you believe like this is true, then find somebody that's going to believe you. And but also somebody that isn't going to just believe you like that, because we are talking like if you go down the medication route, we are talking like Okay.

medication that really can alter your brain chemistry in not a good way. And that can be addictive. And so if you come across a provider that just gives you any single thing that you ask for, you might be doing a detriment to yourself. And so, I am passionate about that. I am Glad that my psychiatrist gave me a little pushback because when she believed me I was like, okay, this is this is finally right.

[00:20:19] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, I love that it's not just necessarily easy. I think you're right. It's important when we're, when we're looking for validation on what we're feeling. That it's not like just okay, it's fine. You're right. But that there is that real, checking digging a little bit deeper and making sure that we're, we're getting the right answers.

And when you're going through all of this, I mean, I think I want to say first to everybody that's listening, this doesn't mean anything's wrong. And we said that at the beginning, it's just how your brain's wired. And what would you say now on this other side of it? Do you feel Do you wish you didn't know it?

Like, where are you at now?

[00:20:55] Talia Gutierrez: I definitely feel better knowing it. It has given me a lot of freedom and it's it's created like so much space and grace for myself on days that I really struggle. I'm just like, Oh my gosh, my ADHD brain is just like having a day. And I can even explain that to like my partner and my friends and family.

Like, I'm sorry, I'm, I'm really struggling today, but now it's so nice to know, like why I'm struggling instead of just. Some days I would feel like I have no idea why I'm sad, and now I'm like, oh, I'm sad because I can't figure something out. Like, my executive functioning just needs a little help, and so it has just been such a normalizing feeling, and If I could really share anything about this whole journey one day, I just happened to be on social media.

I was at a coffee shop. I had a big day planned my, all these things on my to do list. And I just happened to get on my Instagram stories and I was just talking just like. If you want to use the words as a hot mess, I was just showing up so real and authentic, and that's like my favorite thing to do on social media.

And I don't do it as often, but I was just like, y'all, I am sitting here in this coffee shop. I'm struggling. I have a million things to do. I'm not doing any of it. I'm here now talking to you on a story because I'm distracting myself and just sharing my struggles and telling them that I was newly diagnosed with ADHD and I'm trying to figure this out, but I'm frustrated.

And my DMs were flooded with people that I didn't know, with friends that I do know, and so many people asking, how'd you get diagnosed? How did you know? I am the same exact way. Everyone was just like, same, same, same, same. And that was just like, wow, this is I really even believe it's something of this generation, and that's why we're seeing so many women getting diagnosed later in life about this, because we now have that voice for ourselves, where we're able to advocate for ourselves, but also In our younger years, maybe our parents didn't have the resources or the tools and now we're just able to figure out like, oh, this is how I can continue living.

And it almost feels like I'm like restarting a new chapter because now I can like reclaim my life after I know this.

[00:23:34] Dawn Calvinisti: I love that freedom that you're talking about. And I think it's, it's interesting because I think in your generation, there is more of that ability to, like, ask for help. There's not such the, like, you're bothering people. You shouldn't ask people for things. You shouldn't, you shouldn't go out there and put your laundry out there for everyone to see.

Like, I love that about this younger generation, because I think that removes a lot of that. And again, It depends how you're raised, like you may still have that. How awesome that you could ask for help.

[00:24:04] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, that's so true and that's why I'm all about like breaking barriers showing up as your authentic imperfect self because it honestly is going to be a ripple effect. I think it will affect my children and their children and it's just going to continue to get better because We have a voice. We are not going to stand for injustice.

And we are, we're constantly evolving. And so, yeah, I really believe it's just creating more and more freedom and space for us all to exist.

[00:24:37] Dawn Calvinisti: So one thing I ask every guest that comes on the show is of the three P's, which are people pleasing, perfectionism and procrastination. What one do you tend to go to?

[00:24:47] Talia Gutierrez: Mm. Gosh, how do I pick just one? I can eliminate one and that is people pleasing. I very much, I don't know if it is the fact that I just like get bored and lose interest really quickly because my A. D. H. D. That if somebody is not serving me or we are not in alignment, I am just going to go the other way and You know that that shows up in family dynamics even I I'm not going to try and please them.

I have boundaries and really enjoy my, my space. And I also think I don't have a capacity for people pleasing that it overwhelms me. So I would say that the thing that, it would probably be perfectionism. That still shows up. That's something that I continue to work on in myself and therapy and just like my healing journey that I may talk unkindly to myself because I'm holding myself to a really high standard.

And then I have to ask, is this even a realistic standard that you are trying to hold yourself to? And so, there has been so many tools that have helped me overcome perfectionism, but it's also really ingrained in me that that is the thing that I probably relate most to.

[00:26:08] Dawn Calvinisti: And the other thing I'd like to know is if people wanted to follow you on Instagram or find a way to connect with you, what's the best place for them to do that?

[00:26:16] Talia Gutierrez: Yes, please. I share so many fun video reels and stories and content of just like how you can show up as your imperfect self. And I talk a little bit more about my journey and do a lot of educational resources on there. So I'm very active on Instagram. My Instagram is TakeOffWithTal. It's T A L and the word is Takeoff with Tal.

And then also I have a website, takeoffwithtal. com. And that's mainly like how I show up. And I love connecting with people, getting DMs and hearing about everyone's stories.

[00:26:53] Dawn Calvinisti: We'll put all that in the show notes so that if you want to connect in, you can. Thank you so much for the time you've taken today just to share your journey and to encourage others that are maybe going through the same or are helping others that are going through the same.

[00:27:05] Talia Gutierrez: Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I really hope it helps somebody else.

[DAWN CALVINISTI]

Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening. 

Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram. 

Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.


Links from this episode:

CONNECT WITH DAWN:

Private Podcast Anxiety Deep Dive: https://www.pursueprogress.com/deepdive

Website: https://pursueprogress.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pursueprogresswithdawn

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/pursueprogresswithdawn

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/imperfectioninprogress

Imperfection in Progress Podcast: https://pursueprogress.com/podcast

Grab your 200 Affirmations for the 3 P’s here: https://www.pursueprogress.com/affirmationspodcast

CONNECT WITH TALIA:

Website: https://www.takeoffwithtal.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/takeoffwithtal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fuelingyoufurther

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Private Podcast Anxiety Deep Dive: https://www.pursueprogress.com/deepdive

Umbrella Virtual Solutions: https://www.umbrellavs.com

Book Your Free 30 Minute Strategy Call with the host, Dawn Calvinisti: https://link.theviphub.ca/widget/bookings/dawncalvinisti/strategy

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Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business.

Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years.

As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online  summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life.

She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

Dawn Calvinisti

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

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You'll feel relief as you realize what things you can do less of and what area you should focus on right now.

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