Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ADHD means not knowing

It means not knowing the exact source of the problem you're having, but becoming accustomed to blaming yourself. So much so, that when you are told otherwise, you are surprised and you don't quite believe it. You worry that the messenger may be wrong.

I made an appointment sometime last week (I don't remember when) for what I thought was sometime this week. I then misplaced my iPhone (my lifeline) for several days. During that time I got a little overwhelmed with a variety of sticky notes that I was writing appointments on, because I could not get rid of them, because I couldn't put them into my calendar. This sticky note I'd written the appointment on was one of them.

Yes, I could have entered my appointment and commitments via my computer, but I know you ADHDers out there know how it is when your hard-earned routine gets thrown's not just a matter of adjusting immediately, it takes time for the adjustment to stick. And should you start a new routine when you know that your missing phone is probably just in your home or car somewhere? I would then have to undo another routine and re-ignite the old thanks. This is one of those issues that defines the term "impairment".

Today, I called the office at which I'd made the appointment, thinking I'd missed it a couple of days ago and expecting to have to apologize and beg for a second appointment. To my surprise, the lady on the phone said "no, you're's not until next week...he's out of the office until next week". I didn't quite believe her because I was so convinced of my fault, so convinced that I had missed the appointment. I repeated what she'd said back to her. She laughed and said "yes, that's correct".

So I guess I AM the source of the confusion here...but I hadn't done anything wrong yet. My self-blame was pre-emptive this time. I prefer this to having to apologize later and really, I consider this an ideal outcome, despite my self-flagellation. But the past four days of phoneless/calendarless confusion were well as a perfect example of what day to day life is like with ADHD as an adult. I know myself well enough to know that I should worry when my calendar is not nearby. Taking charge of the situation by making the call to double check was the right thing to do, clearly. Making the call was a means of being responsible to myself AND to that nice person I'm supposed to be meeting with next week, NOT this week.

I did find my phone this morning, so life can go back to normal...just as soon as I dig out the rest of the sticky notes from my bag and enter them into my calendar...argggh....


  1. They sell these little recorders with a microchip. Not expensive..They work like a little tape recorder with no tape. Like a little Dictaphone you can record your thoghts and what you want to remember for day or week and play back quickly and then erase what you choose. They are smaller than a cellphone.

  2. Good suggestion (I do own one!)...still possibly bumps up against the "creating a new routine" obstacle and the "oh shit where did I put the dictaphone" problem, lol...HOWEVER, posting suggestions like these is important because we can all learn from each other...