I struggled all my life with ADHD, long before it had that label.
“Maam, your kid likes to fidget and is very forgetful, but he does great work.” “Steven is so absent minded; he’d forget his head if it weren’t attached.” “Where is that comb? I just bought it the camp store 100 yards from here, walked back, and now it’s lost!”
It frustrated me no end!
Over time I learned to make lists. Having an iPhone, I can keep those lists ever-handy. I’ve learned that if I can’t find something, it is probably right there, just oriented in a way that I’m not expecting. “Touch everything and ask yourself if that is it.” And if I’ve done all that and still can’t find it, don’t beat myself up; go buy another one.
There are the advantages that accrue from this disability. I have unusual, creative thoughts. They often come from associating those things that aren’t normally associated. I’m sure that my songs often come from the same place. It is for this reason that I choose not to medicate. I’ll live with the frustrations as a trade-off for the benefits.
Lately my mantra has been “Complete”. Clutter accumulates around me. I’m not dirty, just prone to clutter. I’ll start something, get distracted and start something else, get distracted and start something else, get distracted and start something else…. Clutter fills my space.
“Complete!” So what happens if I always bring myself back to what I’m doing, forbid myself from doing that which is distracting me? If it is important, I could add it to my iPhone list. I’ve been trying this for about two months. It isn’t easy for me. But the difference is pronounced. When I have breakfast and I finish eating, I look around. Did I close all the cupboards, put away the cereal, put away all the dishes, wipe the table, push in the chairs? Is there a mess on the floor that I need to clean up (shaky hands make that more likely). When I change clothes in the evening, did the dirty ones make it into the laundry room or the dry cleaning bag?
To most of you, this sounds so simple. To me it is quite hard. I have to actively think about it, change my habits (not to be confused with hobbits). Still, the results seem worth the work.