Reaching a Dream: Aidé Guillermo Achieves her Dream and uses Her Superpower, ADHD, to Do It

When Aidé (pronounced “I – th–eh”) was a little girl, her grandfather would massage her feet. “Our health is at the sole of our feet,” he would tell her. When she was around eleven or twelve years old, her Dad, a handyman and landscaper, would occasionally come home with free stuff his employer had given him that day. One day he came home with a book about massage therapy. Aidé picked up the book and began to read through the pages, fascinated by the pictures of the body and its muscles. “That book intrigued me,” she says. “I never forgot it.” She began practicing on her parents and they told her she was good at it. Sixteen years later, with a family of three, two dogs, and a very busy schedule, Aidé manages all of it brilliantly with what she calls her “superpower” – ADHD. After getting the diagnosis at eleven and struggling with depression/anxiety, low self-esteem then postpartum depression after her children, she turned her life around with the help of counseling, positive thinking, and her faith and grew into her unique and capable self. This is her story.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

I’m 28 years old. I have 3 kids, two girls, and a boy, six, five, and two years old. I have a golden doodle and a pit bull puppy. I’m first generation American; both my parents were born in Mexico. I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and raised in Los Lunas, about 30 miles south of Albuquerque. I did study in the past as a medical assistant at another institute and graduated in 2015 from that. Up until 2019, I worked in a mental health outpatient clinic and a pelvic specialty care clinic. When COVID hit, I was let go. I became a substitute teacher until I could figure out what to do.

Is that when you decided to pursue massage therapy?

In the last three years, I was really on and off about massage therapy. I hesitated because I was a single mom. Then I started doing research on massage therapy. The hours were flexible, which was very compatible with raising kids, so I could set my own schedule. I found Carrington College’s Massage Therapy program pretty quickly and it sounded supportive for someone like me.

Catherine Herring, the Enrollment Rep, said you’re doing amazing at school and staying on top of things all while having kids at home and a full-time job. So, what’s your secret?

Well, – it’s a little bit of everything. Ms. Herring was motivating me in such a positive way. She thought I was strong enough to do it for my kids as well as myself. I always had it in mind to have a great career and an adventurous life with my kids. And I can do that with the flexibility of a massage therapy career. I wouldn’t allow myself to think negatively if I decided to go back to school. The way I thought of myself felt like I wasn’t going to succeed in anything until I changed my way of thinking. I thank my ADHD for that; it helped me stay positive about it. I never had a moment when I thought I would give up.

I thought when you were diagnosed with ADHD, it was depressing for you. What changed?

The more I learned about myself with having ADHD the more I realized it was my superpower. You can think of so many ideas! Then you find one idea and do your best to focus on it (if it catches your attention).  I could embrace my mental health issues into a solution. At the beginning when I was diagnosed at 11, it was embarrassing because my abilities were different from everybody. I’m a visual learner and hands-on. I didn’t like sitting. I had to figure out how I learned things and be capable the best way I could be. Never in my life, growing up in elementary and high school did I ever make an A, especially in quizzes or final exams. Now my grade in school at Carrington is 97%. I am completely proud of myself not because of my grading, but because I’m actually studying and quizzing myself to become more knowledgeable in my scope of practice.

So, finding massage therapy, which isn’t a desk job but uses your hands and your eyes and your brain is a way of working visually and using your superpower?

I’m learning how to use my energy in a positive, useful way. For me, learning about the body from cellular level to nerves to bones and the muscles makes me wonder so much about our body. Mainly how our body needs ‘touch’ or pressure on muscles to release tension from stress and anything in between.

So what is a routine day like for you?

Monday – Thursday mornings I drop the kids at school then I go to work as a substitute teacher from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Then I pick up the kids and we get home around 4pm. I have half an hour to feed and give them as much attention as I can before driving to Albuquerque which is about a 50-minute drive if you include traffic. I always take a healthy energy drink with me to get me through the night after a long day! After I come home from school, I try to work out for at least 30 minutes.

You’ve really developed such a positive outlook on your life. What’s your best advice for potential students who are challenged by the same pressures you’ve had, having children, keeping a job, and going to school at the same time?

I honestly don’t know how I’ve made it to this point! I slowly started to realize that I am capable of doing anything if I put my mind into it. Everyone is different and that’s what’s amazing because we all have our own ways. I do know this: find something that you enjoy doing and do it to the fullest, and your hard work will be recognized. I put my faith in everything that I do. A great piece of advice that my instructor (Mrs. Patricia) once told me every time I felt like I was failing she said, “if you fail, it’s okay to grieve, we all need it once in a while, but when you’re done grieving get back up and start again”.

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