Forgetful Me

July 15, 2010 Douglas Cootey

One aspect of ADHD that I have by the caseload is forgetfulness. I may not be able to count on my memory, but I can count on forgetting. Unfortunately, I can't count that high. I keep forgetting what number I'm on.

[caption id="attachment_910" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="By Caitlin Regan"]By Caitlin Regan[/caption]

There I was, hobbling around on a cane while doing some late night shopping. My wife was in the car waiting for me, nearly complete in her transformation into a pumpkin. Despite my tics, I had nobly offered to do the shopping for her. You see, when a guy has a condition, like in my case chronic motor tic disorder, and he needs to rely on a woman for simple things like having his food cut and fed to him, and the same guy's father and a father-in-law are workhorse alpha males, sometimes he'll make a big show of the small things to compensate. As if going in and shopping is such a big deal, tantamount to wrestling alligators or braving the elements.

For Me, Going Shopping Is Tantamount To Wresting My Brain

I remembered the three things I went in for, was only distracted by the book area for five minutes, and was feeling pretty good about myself. Hey, hey! She doesn't have to come in looking for me. I can do this, no sweat. With deft skill, I swiped my own items in the self-service lane. I filled my recyclable paper bag with manly vigor. Navigated the complicated check-out menu with wit and verve. Then reached for my wallet, and…

Yes, I forgot my wallet again. This wasn't as bad as last month's episode. That night, I merely had to hobble back out to the minivan and ask my wife for her card so I could complete the transaction. I even made jokes with the attending cashier about the incident and got him to chuckle. Last month, however, there was no wife awaiting me in the minivan. I had to assure the cashier I would be back to pay for the full shopping cart after I drove home and retrieved my wallet.

Wrestling with my brain, and losing in a Full Nelson.

I've been thinking of surgically sewing my wallet to my hind quarters. That way I wouldn't forget it all the time, but I should probably step up my ADHD Fuddy Duddy System™ instead. These types of events can cause us to get down on ourselves, but I only see them as minor inconveniences now, instead of evidence of what a loser I am. Laughing at my goofs and enforcing a positive self-esteem have transformed me. Reversing years of self-loathing took some doing, but after a lifetime of beating myself up I wasn't any better for it.

So next time you travel across town to return something to the store that you left on the kitchen table, don't curse yourself. Have a laugh at the absurdness of it all. Everybody forgets things from time to time, but adults with ADHD are special. We get to do it every day of our lives. Maybe even several times a day. Isn't that wonderful? Think of all the practice you'll get.

Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing project over at @DouglasCootey. And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well.

APA Reference
Cootey, D. (2010, July 15). Forgetful Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Douglas Cootey

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