Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Classic. Timeless. ADHD.

So yesterday I was supposed to go to a nutrition seminar with my sister. This was a very big deal. She used to cancel plans a lot when we would make them ahead of time. So I stopped making them ahead of time. And for a while it's been one thing after another where she asks me to do something cool that I would actually love to do, but because it's at the last minute and I'm insanely busy, I can't go.

So a couple week ago, she asks me about this seminar, and I say yes, and I put it on my calendar.

All last week and all day yesterday I'm talking to people about how I'm going to this seminar.

At 6.

Um...I work until 6 on Tuesdays. Um. As I closing the shop, my sister is texting me going "I'm waiting for you outside the house, where ARE you, we're late!?".


I really can't tell you what I was thinking. It was on my calendar. Work was also on my calendar (EVERYTHING is in my calendar or NOTHING gets done). I looked at it 100 times that day. I looked at it 100 times the day before to make sure I had it on there for the right day, to make sure I didn't miss it.

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. All day I had this vision of how I was going to have plenty of time at the end of the work day to go to my sisters house, play with the dogs, and then go to the class.

Oh wait, I wasn't in the Twilight Zone, I was in my own ADHD brain :) If you are a non-ADHDer and you are reading this...please know, I'm a really smart person, who is really really organized. But when your damn brain misfires like that...? WTF can you do?!

Frustrating. Sister wasn't thrilled. We got there 20 mins late. I'm glad we went, I was just sad about disappointing her. I explained what happened (uh, OH SHIT, ADHD SUCKS! I'm sorry!) but...she was disappointed, I could tell. She'd even called me and texted me earlier in the day to make sure I was on my shit. "Of course" I told her "I'm looking forward to it!" because I really was.


I think the problem was...I started this part time job on Thursdays from 10am to 4pm. I've been there for over a year. Only a couple of months ago we added the Tuesday shift, which goes from 12pm-6pm. In my brain I was thinking "I'm at the shop, that means I'm done at 4".

It often takes my brain a while to catch up with a change in routine...and of course it takes MONTHS to create routines that work for me in the first place. Even a small change is confusing for me...which is why I'm SO meticulous about putting things on my calendar. Which I check all the time. But which doesn't display end times on calendar items...gah...mayeb there's a way to make it do that, I need to check....


  1. Ah...the problem of a "change in routine."

    1. I do my morning rituals the same way every morning. One day I was distracting (I finished brushing teeth and was about to shave). I went out of the house...unshaven. Alter the routine and I'm in trouble.

    2. One morning I'm in my business clothes and I'm holding in front of me a large number of shirts which I intended to carry to the dry cleaners to drop it off. And that's what I do. I drop off the shirts. From there I walk to the train and notice something funny. Seems I got distracted that morning and my fly was wide open.

    3. Once I have a schedule burned in my head, like takes a long time to get that new schedule in there to replace the old one. This applies to many things. If I think the family scissors will always be in the "junk" draw and now they are stored somewhere else, for YEARS I will always first look in the junk draw even though they are not being kept there anymore.

    I think you will find this post to be entertaining:

  2. Oh. No. Hilarious.

    I'm pretty damned particular and routine about my shower routine, down to the way I dry myself the same order...always. I've left the house with conditioner in my hair...or soap in my arm pits after deviating from routines. Oh yeah. So I'm particular. Which I think is part of the reason that I used to be the 10-minutes-to-leaving-the-house champion. Getting ready was stressful (and um...took too long and was annoying). It's still stressful but I've been giving myself like an hour now. I'm still late all the time...but I feel better when I leave the house, more put together, and less rushed. More ready for the day. And...the routine is still there it's just more elaborate. It actually involves makeup these days...which I always do in the same I don't get confused.

    As for OCD? Former compulsive handwasher anyone? That was the year I got kicked out of the honors program in school, too...hey, I was a little preoccupied! Former controlling relationship with food bordering on an eating disorder anyone? OH yeah...but everyone told me I looked so pretty skinny! Of course...that could just have been lil' old anxiety crawling up my ass.

    I am a big fan of walking around with my fly open too. Did it yesterday and did it the day before. I probably do it all the time but don't notice!

    I read the "gifted or ADHD" post too while I was trawling your OCD post...I've often wondered about that one...but you see the ADHD meds work so well :) So I think that's my clue right there! The meds have allowed me to actually experience the world in ways that I didn't even know existed...and that have helped me to really live certain aspects of my life faaar more effectively now that I'm able to be a little more tolerant of routines and seem to be able to stick with more of them long enough to see their benefit(unless my routines get disrupted, that I sort of remember them...sort of more often...).

    Love routines...hate routines...they used to always feel I just get overwhelmed when I can't figure out why I blew one so badly...okay okay I still get annoyed with them...just less often...holy crap I'm about to get really annoyed with myself because I can't stop typing...okay buh bye, gonna go take my Concerta!