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I understand 1,000%! I was doing exactly the same thing. I very recently realized that I have ADD. Figuring that out was like finally being given my owners manual. I am 50 yrs old and was close to utter despondency because given that I cannot fix these seemingly small things in my life (losing debit or food stamp cards and keys constantly) I was hopeless and beyond that that something really actually is broken inside of me. “So much talent, so smart, so beautiful!” but just cannot apply herself!” I’d look into the mirror and say to myself WHY?!? why do you do – insert whatever I did – this time? you know that its bad so why? (ie – spend the money for my electric bill on clothes and new shoes that I don’t need! or why cant you stop losing the credit card? or worse the food stamp card! On several occasions when our kids were growing up, we all went hungry for the weekend because the welfare office is closed and we cannot get a new card until Monday!? My husband was pissed and my kids hungry!? In a five year period I lost 17 food cards!!!
Ok, so you are not hopeless, uncaring, or an idiot. Work with your habits instead of against them. Example: I would leave my purse in the car and take in the keys and the card (I’d just leave my purse in a cart unattended and get it stolen). I’d end up tucking my card into my back pocket. I’d forget it and go to the ladies on the way out and it would fall to the floor and be lost (2x with my work card which meant no income while I waited for the replacement to arrive). People would say you dropped your card over and over but I would STILL DO IT!
I decided to get a slim wallet, very slim cardholder type and try putting my card into it and then it into my back pocket. Since i’m not going to stop putting it into my back pocket, i just got a wallet so when the wallet falls out of my pocket, I HEAR it and or feel it more than the card.
Half the time I don’t put it into the wallet before the wallet goes into pocket but when wallet is in my pocket, and I go to put the card there, I feel the wallet and I’m reminded by default – oh yeah! I gotta put that in my wallet or I WILL lose it. work within the habit you do have.
I also keep my debit card for work on a swiping type badge lanyard for work (I am an Instacart shopper – made for people with add) If it’s in plain sight I avoid the panic attacks at payment time where I’ve learned the damn card will never be where I expect it to be. Ever.
Finally, please get the book Organizing Your Home for people with ADD, AND Your Life Can Be Better. Written by a therapist with ADD for ADDer’s with ideas and strategies to cope with ADD. Like define the problem and develop a rule so it becomes a habit so you can finally stop thinking about it all the time! Both have made a big impact on my sanity in just a month or so and just figuring out how to deal with bullsh@t that we cannot physically change – but we CAN learn to cope.