Although I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, teen, and law student, I was able to live a successful life thanks to the traits and abilities that came along with my condition. Being a funny, impulsive, and adventurous student made me popular in school. Aside from this, I was analytical, understood concepts quickly, and processed information rapidly. My ADHD persevered into adulthood, however.
I began experiencing pervasive symptoms soon after starting my legal career. Although I was a junior associate, I had limited responsibilities and had a lot of supervision, which I think mitigated the impact, at least initially.
My multitasking skills and hyperactivity allowed me to triple my target billing despite my hyperactivity.
I would become hyper-focused on law and would discover new legal principles that my partners appreciated. Staying focused was a result of deadline pressure.
Staying focused was a result of deadline pressure. Consequently, I have been promoted and given more authority. As a result, I have many opportunities to improve things. I was never idle. My creativity was untamed.
I eventually started many projects and struggled to finish them, experiencing alternating periods of high productivity and procrastination. At hearings, I was impulsive and reckless, which sometimes made me more likely to succeed. It was not unusual for me to spend the night at the office and drink every single day to relieve my stress. Although I felt chaotic on the inside, I managed to remain calm.
The sense of not living up to my own standards, along with the voice of self-criticism, slowly wore me down. My drinking became excessive. My temper flared up soon after and I became impulsive in dealing with personal matters.
My colleague took me to see a psychiatrist in June 2011, who prescribed ciprium after only an hour of seeing me. Medication made me feel tired and exhausted, and gave me mild jerks.
A settlement was being negotiated with Dubai Properties during that time. The whole Dubai Properties board of directors was involved. I had the upper hand. I negotiated. Other people couldn’t deal with my charms, commercial sense, and resolve at the same time.
At that time, I was unaware that the chairman of DP was highly respected within the community. On one occasion, he walked into the board meeting and personally requested that my client accept the offer. My client nodded just as I was about to get a 20% raise, and we agreed not to negotiate anymore. The reciprocity of mutual respect, he said later, was more valuable than money.
Afterwards, we enjoyed a fine lunch. My client learned that I was only 23. He couldn’t believe the 23-year-old he let negotiate with the board of DP negotiated better than any other creditor in the market. Ultimately, he hired us for three more matters.
Then it came a day when I was totally out of it, lying in bed with epileptic fits, when the same client was waiting for me to accompany him and represent him against another party. He was terrified when he heard my voice when I answered.
This was the first occasion I succumbed to sickness, the first occasion I missed a meeting that was not only an obligation, but also my source of passion.