387 | Healthy Curiosity and Self Discovery with Barb from ADHD reWired

387 | Healthy Curiosity and Self Discovery with Barb from ADHD reWired

Give a warm welcome to the human extraordinaire who helps Eric behind-the-scenes as the executive assistant of ADHD reWired – Barb McDonagh! Not only is Barb the biggest fan of her 13-year-old son (who also has ADHD), she also got her B.A. from Columbia College in Chicago majoring in poetry, and a Masters degree in teaching from National Louis University. 


As of this episode, Barb has been with ADHD reWired for two years. Listen to Eric and Barb as they talk about her journey to discovering her ADHD, how curiosity led to setting healthier boundaries, and how trying something different led to a community of people who you too, just might relate to! 


  • [00:01:23] – Eric introduces the one and only Barb McDonagh and talks about how the last two eye-opening years working for ADHD reWired helped her discover her own ADHD and how it’s changed the way she looks at her past.
  • [00:03:17] – Barb talks about the reasons why she was interested in ADHD, and how being encouraged to try something different led to where she is now with ADHD reWired. She realizes that all the stories she’s read in the spheres of ADHD reWired sounded far too relatable. 
  • [00:05:21] – Eric talks about self-examination and growth, while Barb talks about the books she’s read and the process of what some of the growth and being curious meant to her. Barb also talks about what kicked her journey off, the process of gaining self-awareness, and how she was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD.
  • [00:08:14] – Barb answers Eric’s question, wondering how some of the personal work she’s done has affected her family life, and how it’s had a positive impact to reduce overwhelm, frustration, and setting healthier boundaries. Barb also mentions how she began asking for help. 
  • [00:09:48] – Eric and Barb talk more about boundaries, self-advocating, and what more healthy boundary setting can look like when you feel like you’re always on the go. 
  • [00:11:07] – If anyone knows what an old transistor radio sounds like when you’re trying to find the channel (…) That’s how I feel and I can’t tune in.”
  • [00:12:05] – Mentioned here: Crucial Conversations ; Barb talks about how didn’t know how to talk about what she needed, and discovers how she can ask for what she needed. 
  • [00:12:53] – Barb and Eric talk about how, in the past, Barb had not really felt seen and how that has evolved. Barb speaks about looking “normal” and getting through a day, and what it was like to be able to talk and share her story and gain new friendships. 
  • [00:21:56] – Eric isn’t used to doing ad-copy in real-time, but get back on track talking about being seen and what kind of impact that’s had on Barb. 
  • [00:22:21] – Eric and Barb talk about the things that helped her recognize the things that were going on for her. Barb also went through the coaching groups and talks about how she wasn’t yet at the point to be open to sharing and open. She discovers the power of sharing our stories and sharing the wins. She jokes about how the boss knows how hard she is on herself. 
  • [00:24:26] – Eric and Barb talk about productivity and prioritization when feeling overwhelmed and getting defensive. They also talk about how their working discussions have evolved, and how it can be hard to pull away from a task. They also discuss ways to make their roles more efficient as the business grows, and how those efficiencies and changes also need to be ADHD friendly since both Barb and Eric have ADHD, too!
  • [00:29:03] – A discussion about executive function (EF) burnout is something that cannot be easily ignored, and how both Eric and Barb can still get distracted with “one more thing”. Barb makes a point that you “can’t set [self-care] aside.”  
  • [00:30.01] – Barb and Eric talk about Pickleball – Eric’s favorite sport!
  • [00:37:00] – After the Time Timer falls again, Eric and Barb jump into a quick round of coaching around having “all this stuff to do”, and different ways to curb distraction and get into deep focus. Quick mentions of dedicated time and setting boundaries come up again, and to remember to write down the things that do work!
Check out the Other Podcasts on the ADHD reWired Podcast Network:
Don’t Forget These, Too!
  • — Get your name on the waitlist to join the fall season of ADHD reWired’s Coaching and Accountability Groups
  • — Join your ADHD-friendly co-working space!
  • — Support the show by becoming a Patron!
  • — Join Eric, Brendan, Will, MJ, Moira, Roxie, and Barb for an hour of Live Q&A on Zoom, every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 12:30pm Central (10:30am Pacific / 1:30pm Eastern)

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