I know I have a brain … but where is it?

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    • #80913

      I graduated college a few years ago and am still trying to find a career. I know I am smart and I know I know things. But lately I feel like I don’t even have a brain. When asked questions I blank. When I need to retrieve some type of information that I know I should know. It’s not there. And I panic I can’t even answer yes or no questions. With out panicking. This beginning to be a problem. Making me feel incapable. And it’s freaking me out… where did it go? And what can I do to get it back?

    • #80941

      I know how you feel. I’m in a similar situation. I’ve had a few short contract jobs but haven’t settled into anything like a career. A part of the problem is that there is a structure and routine that gets you through college but now I’m having to come up with a new one on my own.

      I’m thinking about trying a CBT therapist again with a focus on case management. Basically a pro accountability buddy. In the meantime trying to stick to consistent morning and evening routines and supporting the brain nutritionally helps a lot. Vitamin D3 and a black tea version of bulletproof coffee turn my brain on in the morning. At my best I have a solid 5 hours of the day I can focus if my roommates don’t distract me.

    • #80968

      I know how you feel. Skimmed the post, but I’m a six time college drop out. Before adhd treatment, my brain so fast it was numb. And my hyperactivity was painful, just couldn’t sit unless I ran miles and miles or killed my self with exercise (exercise good, but not the point where draining your body). Even with treatment, it’s still kinda that way, but I’m good my adhd is still there ((it’s just toned down now). When my thoughts slowed down a tad, I could “catch” them. They are still scattered and I have “spaghetti brain” lol but today I’m grateful for that bc where my adhd used to hinder my old jobs, now it is the sole reason why I’m successful. I learned how to write code and algorithms, studied on my own time and ow way, now I’m a data scientist. I develop algorithms to use for marketing purpose and personalized marketing. It requires me to think outside the box (or “thibk didferent” as stevebikvs says) and to think BIG. Now I can succeed BECAUSW of my adhd instead of in spite if it. It’s all problem solving, no clerical work, very challenging so I’m not bored, and field always changed so constant learning and no monotony. But I did need medication bc like I said my head used to ring from fast thoughts and talking was even hard bc I couldn’t get words out as fast as my brain wanted to. And the extreme hyperactivity I couldn’t stay in one place to do any job.

      Don’t give up, I used to think I was a failure. And I’d never live up to my potential. But keep moving, and you never know what could happen. The world is you oyster

    • #81200

      GREAT now I have the Pixies stuck in my head. Your mind is there. Perhaps you are just not listening to it. I also am a 3 or so college drop out. Alum of Google University! I also thought I was a failure all my life. When your young and your peers are all excelling and you seem to be going backwards. You begin to believe you are a failure and while growing up, tough as it is, you may fall on the comfort of being sad and beat yourself up.

      Accept it, Find what works for you. Remember, we are human. We aren’t anywhere near world peace but slowly the world is opening it’s eyes to the difference everyone contributes.

    • #81893

      I get the same way! I think my medicine may be brainfogging me out a bit. I’m gonna look into that. But for now, I am trying to not argue for my limitations and instead, I slow down, I take a moment to think (if it’s important and I want to answer). Other wise I try to not get so wrapped up in it and just be ok with estimating the answer or changing the direction of the convo so I can let myself off the hook. Once that anxiety comes up, I feel freaked out talking at all. But I’m definitely going to talk to the doc about my meds. I think they’re screwing up my wiring.

    • #81901

      I get what you’re saying. I’m in my 50’s and was diagnosed in my early 40’s with ADHD. Some how I figured out coping skills until then. I am not and have not been on any meds for ADHD. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve only had two jobs in my career that I really felt my ADHD worked to my benefit. Both sales focused, made great commissions due to the speed of my brain and being creative with resources and solutions. Both were people-oriented positions too. I’m not good with boring, data entry-ish jobs. Need diversity. I still haven’t found my sweet spot.

      Life sometimes comes at me too fast too. Like fireworks. I’m trying to catch all the sparkles floating down before they fizz out. My suggestions and what I’ve found works for me. Give yourself the space, meditate or figure out what calms you, 10 deep breaths, a quick walk outside to refresh and regroup; consistently going to a yoga or exercise class (I have challenges following through with “dress up, show up”). Chill and read a real book with a spine and pages. something about the feel of a real book, turning pages, calms me to a sleep sometimes, I also read short stories, less characters to remember, since they start and finish quickly. If I read novels, I have a challenge keeping all the characters and their personalities in my mind. I write a post it note with character identifiers on the inside of the sleeve so I can refer back to remember. Exercising and getting out my energy in the morning calms me through the day. Structure you day with book ends. Morning routine, right when get up, and bedtime hygiene, e.g. calming tea, read or meditate. My hubbie of 26 years also does a great job of calming me and reminding me lovingly.

      With figuring out your career, I’d check out some books which can give you insight as to what your aptitudes are and the best careers for ADHDers.

      Feel free to respond back to me if you have questions about what I’ve shared.

    • #81992

      Hey there,

      I was you about 10 years ago, until I learned that except for some very specific technical fields, your degree mainly proves that you are “trainable”. Employers more or less expect to have to train you what you need to know with them and how they want it done. A college degree earns you a number of other less obvious skills: timeliness, writing skills (this is a big one), and task management (you had to juggle assignments from multiple subjects after all!), and many other things.

      My advice is, look for something relatively entry-level where independent work isn’t a really big part of the job… independent and lightly monitored type jobs may need to be more gradually transitioned into until you feel more confident about doing it. I tried to push too hard too fast and I ended up with an anxiety disorder for awhile. I don’t say that to frighten you, only to caution you to not bite off more than you can chew right away… grow into it instead and you’ll wonder why you were nervous about it in the first place.

      Good luck!


      • #82100

        Great advice, Candy!

    • #82099

      Hi Livingw/AdHd… I’m not sure if this is encouraging or the opposite, but I didn’t find a career till I was in my mid-30s (I finished my second degree in my mid-20s). I think North American places too much emphasis on the end goals and forgets that all of life is a journey. Although there are advantages to starting a career early (more experience usually means more advancement, and depending on the type of work, having the energy and recovery of a more youthful body in the starting years can help), life experience also has value. If you apply yourself in any job you have, even if it’s just temporary and not at all in your field, you can earn a good reputation, are making connections and are bound to learn transferable skills (time/task management, people skills, problem solving…). It may even give you a fresh perspective when you do find your career that someone fresh out of school may not have. So don’t be too hard on yourself if your career path doesn’t look exactly (or not at all) like what you envisioned… Life has a funny way of working itself out. 🙂 (And never underestimate the power of networking. My career got launched through a friend, and I got my last 3 jobs through connections.) As for the memory/ brain issues, the other participants all gave really good tips. If you are on meds for ADHD or other mental conditions, they could be causing your symptoms (I’m still trying to find the right ones… my working memory seems to have gone down the drain since I started). So if that’s the case, you should discuss it with your health care provider or prescriber. If you aren’t taking ADHD meds, it might be worth a try… If ADHD is making it hard to focus, it might feel like your mind going blank when you momentarily get distracted… or it might be getting overwhelmed by to much external stimulus. So to end this little rant (haha), take things one step at a time, get some help if you think it might be beneficial, and know that you’re not alone in your struggles.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by melhavoc.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by melhavoc.
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