When I was young, I was filled with shame. First, because that’s just how the unenlightened masses parented, and taught. Later, because I “owned” that shame. I knew I was different. I don’t know if my ADD was apparent then, but I felt something odd inside of me for many years. I remember consciously thinking in Jr. High, that I was going to embrace and take pride in being “crazy”. People thought it was funny, and it became part of my identity and my sense of humor developed around it. I don’t like it so much when people say I am crazy now, but i guess I got what I wanted.
When I finally accepted this somewhat embarassing, diagnosis, lots of things started making sense, about how I behaved and why. This is a slippery slope because I didn’t want to use the illness as a crutch or an excuse, and i certainly didn’t want it to define me. I rarely even share with anyone that I have it, unless I truly trust them, That’s a hard thing about ADHD, it is somehow linked with shame, for me anyway.
Little by little I have been sorting through my possesions, to streamline my life, and also cataloging my beliefs and behaviors. It has driven me crazy for years that I constantly lose things, and it’s getting worse with age. I can pretty safely say that that is a symptom of ADD – so in that case – I categorize it as something I can try to manage. I have a key hook for my keys to prevent them from getting lost. It’s useless though, if my thought process is interrupted before I get to the hook from the door, lets say with an emergency bathroom stop. That would render those keys lost from my consciousness. They could literally be anywhere. I won’t realize they are gone until is time to go somewhere, in which case panic and pandemonium will ensue. Of course it always happens when I have an appointment or someplace urgent to be. So now I have to find a place near the door, and try to start a whole new habit. In this case, knowing that the ADD is in a sense fucking with me, I can try to combat it.
Going through my possessions and keeping only what i absolutely need or love is another part of my defense plan to make my life easier. I was finding things that went missing days, weeks and months ago. I noticed a common denomenator. POCKETS! In pants, coats, sweatshirts I wore briefly to go get the mail, and pocketbooks, were items that were lost to me, but I knew were not truly lost. This has been such a big problem for years. I can’t believe I never put it together. Now, looking at it as a person with ADHD, I realize that pockets are the enemy, not the friend I once thought they were. I always hated not having a pocket just in case I needed a hanky or a lipstick or whatever. How naive I was! Because whatever was in my pockets, once they went in, they were totally wiped from my mind, never to be seen again. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened with credit cards when I get gas. I leave my purse in the car, lock it, and just take a credit card and my keys. Once the transaction is done, I put the credit card in my pocket and begin fueling. I don’t want to lose it. So much for that card until it’s tiime to wash clothes.
I have bought pockebooks specifically designed to have a place for everything. That is a really good concept for home living and deserves a post all its own, but out and about, it didn’t work for me. All it meant was that I would be rifling through the ten different pockets, sometimes frantically, multiple times a day. See, it’s all making sense now. And now that i know it, i don’t berate myself for it. This is one example where I am not using ADD as an excuse, rather excepting how it makes my mind work and working around it. Being aware of it is freeing, instead of chastising myself for losing things, I find ways to beat it. There are, admittedly, times when I am lazy and I do not put things back where they should be, But in the case of pockets, they trully are the enemy for my “out of sight out of mind” mentality.
So now I consciously try to avoid using pockets at all. And when I switch bags, I try to make sure I empty them completely, otherwise when I switch from a summer bag to fall, I won’t see the items left behind till the snow melts. This can cause so much frustration – and the whole idea is to be less frustrated. Any suggestions? I’d love to hear them. How do you feel about pockets? 😉