January 6, 2020 at 2:41 am #1377242weelzParticipant
I lose things so much that it’s driving me crazy, and I don’t mean that metaphorically. Tonight I splurged on gluten-free buns so I could make a veggie burger without having a stomach ache. It’s kind of a big deal because they are expensive and I usually do without.
I lost one half of the bun while in the act of assembling the burger. It was not out of my hand more than a minute before it became gone from existence. I had not moved from the spot. It should have been within arm’s reach, but it was just no longer there. After 10 minutes of searching I became so distraught at the apparent instability of reality itself, that I called the local mental health hotline.
I kept searching while on hold; it took a long time. I used my calming breathing, and talked to the person on the phone, and eventually got calm enough to eat the incomplete burger. The bun is still missing.
Losing stuff is common with ADHD, but is it this bad for most of us? To lose something seconds after it was in your hand, and being unable to find it after 30 minutes of searching? I have Allan Brown’s ‘ADD Crusher’ program, and his solutions are just not relevant. Have a designated spot for everything, duh. But I lose it in the act of putting it there! I can’t reliably move an object 2 feet without making it disappear. To me, objects constantly disappear at random comletely outside my control. How do you deal with that? How do you LIVE with that? How do you maintain a sense of reality when you can’t rely on objects to stay in existence? There, not there, there, not there…again and again, all day long, every day.
I try to tell myself that objects don’t just disappear, to remember all the times I found things that I thought were “gone from existence”. I was getting pretty good at talking myself down, telling myself it’s just poor working memory, that I just put it somewhere and forgot, and that just because I can’t find something doesn’t mean it stopped existing. But recently it has gotten worse, both the losing things, and my reaction to it. I have called the Crises Clinic over this 3 times in the last 2 weeks, after many months of managing this pretty well.
Does any one else lose things so much that it messes with your sense of reality? What, if anyhing, can be done about it?
January 6, 2020 at 7:46 am #137725quietlylostParticipant
Short answer, yes.
I lose things so quickly and frequently sometimes that it is mind boggling. Not only do I lose things, but I lose thoughts, moments, and memories. It’s so easy to become disconnected, and when it happens even for a moment so much can be lost.
You’re not alone. And you’re also no wrong for calling the crisis line for support. Do what you need to do to take care of you. And be kind to yourself. You can’t make your brain remember things and even on the best of days we’ll lose track of things or get lost and disconnected from reality. Hang in there.
January 13, 2020 at 9:24 am #138188rjmParticipant
All the time, hours/days/weeks of my life spent searching for sometimes important things but sometimes things that don’t really matter but if I’ve lost them I MUST FIND THEM
January 13, 2020 at 9:52 am #138202seppi528Participant
Do not feel alone. This happens to me everyday and can be a huge distraction and mental meltdown moment. Things defy logic and vanish! Central locations work for somethings but not all.
January 13, 2020 at 10:56 am #138221jessicat995Participant
I once found a set of keys three years after I lost them. I wish I was joking.
My most common thing to loose is my whiteboard pen. I’m a primary school teacher and I’ll be teaching at the board, with my pen, and the next second it’s gone. Disappeared. Thankfully I teach 8 year olds and they like nothing better than to find things first.
It’s true what everyone above says, the angrier or more frustrated you get, the less likely you are to find it. Well for me anyway.
My friends think I’m hyper organised. I have a place for everything. I have a bowl for my keys right by the door. A tray for the tv remote. Everything has a place. What they don’t understand is that if it’s not in its place, I have no idea where anything is.
I guess all I’m trying to say is you’re not alone. I’ve just recently realised that myself.
January 13, 2020 at 8:36 pm #138343anomalocarisParticipant
Constantly. Often permanently. I was so excited this weekend about the fact that after 2 years of promising myself that I would get a spill-not drink carrier so I can get coffee on the way to work when I’m Trikking in, I finally got it on Friday. Couldn’t wait to try it out today. Only, it’s gone. Searched my tiny apartment for half an hour. It never turned up. It’s not a tiny little thing that I could overlook. How can I lose something I was so excited about buying, when I simply set it down near the door so I cold grab it easily on the way out, and didn’t touch it again? One of the worst things about it is how condescending other people are about it.
January 6, 2020 at 11:37 pm #137801LifeStartsNowParticipant
I have had a long history of losing things. I get so upset at myself that I scare myself. I could be having a good day, getting a lot done (for once), and then something gets lost. I look through everything! If I could retrace my steps, maybe that would help, but I don’t remember from one minute to the next where I was. I can leave the room, focused on getting something from the bedroom closet, and I end up at the dresser, wondering what I’m looking for. Or I look in the wrong closet, or I go to the kitchen instead, or I just swear at myself and go back to what I was doing. But what was I doing?
The smallest interruption when I’m trying to focus infuriates me. I get panicky, scared, intensely angry, yell at myself and the world in general, and then I cry because I don’t know what else to do. I have to deal with it all because I make a lot of commitments that I probably shouldn’t. I keep my schedule too tight, I think. Another example is paper. I print out something I need, put the paper in a pile so I can access it quickly, then I promptly lose it, print it again, lose it again, and to heck with it. I give up, forgetting what I wanted to print anyway.
Does calling a Crisis Center help? Are there people there who could talk me down, calm me down, and settle me? I don’t know what to do when I get like this. I hate myself. I don’t like myself anymore. I used to be the organization guru everyone turned to, to help them set up filing systems, streamline processes, and handle documents efficiently. I’m not that person anymore. I’m so scared and don’t know where to turn.
Any suggestions anyone has would help me tremendously. I puchased the book, “Organizing SOlutions for People with ADHD” and have yet found time to read it. Why? It’s not the time; it’s my inability to focus and concentrate. So what do I do? I’m so lost, I don’t feel like there’s much hope for me. I am a member of MENSA, but I have no doubt I would not pass the qualifying tests to become a member anymore. I feel stupid.
January 14, 2020 at 6:54 pm #138473monagaleParticipant
One of the worst things about it is how condescending other people are about it. My mother would get so angry at me. I was go to a ballet lesson and couldn’t find my ballet stuff. She was so angry at me she locked herself into her bedroom and said she would never come out. I also drove a number of roommates crazy and my ex-husband crazy (he sometimes took things and hid them).
January 7, 2020 at 3:07 am #137804Mongo247365Participant
Does any one else lose things so much that it messes with your sense of reality? What, if anyhing, can be done about it?
All the time. But I have found that if I start to get worked up, it gets even worse.
I usually try to stop, take a minute and breathing exercises. Then I just tell myself, wow okay, someone else needed that more than I did. It has helped a lot. But, if it’s my car keys or phone, I still get frazzled, but not nearly as bad.
LifeStartsNow: you just wrote my biography, all of it. But, you are not stupid! Not in the least. I know it is very hard to accept, but you are still very intelligent.
What I find helps is to have a list of the things I have achieved and look at it when I get like this. To show myself that I am still the person that did that, but I’m just a bit “slower” now. When I first started the technique it didn’t work. After a few weeks it started to help. Just keep at it.
And regarding the organization, perhaps that same inner critic is also telling you that you’re not the organizational guru any longer.
I think you noticed the tight scheduling and sounds like me, well that and the inability to say “no” like, ever. Maybe that would be a good place to start? Although time related, I think that might tie-in with the focus and concentration issues(it does for me). Even if this does nothing for being interrupted, which makes me snap, maybe it’s a good place to start?
Not sure if that helps much, but I hope it provides some perspective, which is so difficult for us to see when we’re in the thick of it.
You will get through this, even when it seems that you can’t.
January 7, 2020 at 2:55 pm #137841LifeStartsNowParticipant
Thank you, Mongo247365. I looked at my CV after you suggested I make a list of what I’ve accomplished, and I felt like I was reading about someone else. I read about the public speaking I had done, the articles and books I’d written, the degrees I earned, and the lives I touched through teaching a variety of subjects at the middle school- and university levels; but now I struggle just to get through a day. It’s two different people. How did you feel when you made your list? Was it difficult for you to recognize yourself?
I’m shocked that I was able to accomplish so much and now I have trouble getting through just a few hours. If I could, I’d spend most of the day in bed. My depression is at the worst it’s ever been. I had a wonderful psychologist that I had to stop seeing when I went on Medicare, as he didn’t take Medicare. I felt abandoned and didn’t try to find another psychologist. I don’t know where to turn, yet I feel my involvement with ADDitude may help. I very much appreciate your response to my post. This is only the second time I’ve written in the forums, and I sit here, typing away, in the midst of a pile of papers on my desk, credenza, and a box at my feet, but I don’t feel guilty at all. Perhaps this IS the right place to be.
January 13, 2020 at 4:57 am #138169MountainairParticipant
I have lost count of how many times I have left the water running and come back and water all over the floor. I am always trying to clean it up before my wife sees it. I have even put up signs that say turn off the water. I left the water running in the laundry room sink and it flooded the hall and into the bedroom. That was the worst and my son and daughter in law were visiting and saw how upset I was and jumped in and helped clean up and didn’t make me feel crazy. If I turn away for a moment I will walk away and start doing something in another room. My cellphone and keys disappear constantly disappear. My wife got me a thing that hooks to my keys and will locate both my keys and cellphone. I have had it for 2 years and still haven’t taken the time to sit down and set it up. WHY IS THAT SO DIFFICULT TO DO!!! I was calling my phone to find it and I couldn’t hear it, because it was in the refrigerator. When can’t fi d something I hate when someone ask where did you have it last. If I knew that I wouldn’t be looking. Point of the story is you are not alone in your frustration.
January 13, 2020 at 5:41 am #138171
You’re both not crazy, and yes, it is part of Adhd, I have it too. Yesterday I lost my son’s travelcard, which was in my hand a minute before. I was supposed to bring him to his father, who makes a big deal of lost items. I searched for it for 30 minutes. It drove me crazy. My son had been ill, and still had a headache, so I arranged for him to stay with me longer. Ten minutes later I found it , I had put it near the door on top of some other items.
@2wheelz, some things to consider; do you have a pet or a child in the house ( or a parner) who could have taken your half bun, or maybe you’ve accidentally thrown it in the thrash with the veggie rests? ( or in something else nearby) or eaten it, without realizing? ( the last thing happens to me a lot, when I’m distracted while eating, like watching tv, my child who asks things, a phone call, etc.)
I usually find things again when I don’t need them anymore. I also noticed that hormonal fluctuations, taking care of a child, getting older, lack of sleep, stress, and people around that distract you make things much worse. What helped me is getting medicated, a divorce, another job, exercise, and dramatically decreasing my possessions (still working on that one 😉).
If possible, try to do only one thing a the time, finish that before starting something else (like also getting a drink in the mean time or answering the phone, or finding your child’s missing toy, when making your sandwich).
There is not one solution to this problem it usually takes more than one in my experience.
Hope this helps.
Greetings from a kindred spirit!
January 13, 2020 at 6:05 am #138172
Another thought that I had when I was down in the dumps, and thought I was being gaslighted (yes, I was really troubled then). Hang up some recording cameras so you can see what really happened, it might help you from losing it, and realizing what really happened. I didnt do it, but I seriously considered it because I also ‘lost’ a lot of time and I had no idea what I had been doing all day long on some days. I am much better now, no more lost days.
January 13, 2020 at 6:13 am #138173vianneyfranco23Participant
You are not alone or crazy! I lose things all the time! My memory was getting so bad that I was losing days, I would have no recollection of what I’ve done, it was as if I was having a blackout that would last hours or days! I would start bawling and start thinking to myself, “I’m getting early onset dementia!!” I was so distraught by the lack of memory that I brought it up to my psychiatrist, he just suggested that I may have been under a lot more stress than usual. I would have to make myself post it notes everywhere just to remember things. I still lose my phone all the time. It’s very frustrating to live with these things l, but you sound like a very intelligent person, we all are. But with this forum and support, you will get through this. Has the crisis hotline helped you in any way? When I figure out any suggestions, I will let you know :). Just know you are not alone…and I’ve found many things in the refrigerator that did not belong there, and sometimes the trash or dirty clothes hamper 😜
January 13, 2020 at 6:22 am #138175vianneyfranco23Participant
The worst feeling I have had is blaming someone else for “lost” or “misplaced” things, then finding these things 2 days later really made me feel like a big douche bag. One day at a time:) you got this!
January 13, 2020 at 7:59 am #138181
Me too @Vianneyfranco23, I was even tested for early onset dementia, and other illnesses of the brain, it was just terrible!
I learned that I have to adjust my life to what I am capable of now, not what I was capable of in the past which was a lot more, unfortunately, but also with weekly migraines, which almost disappeared when I started medication ( dexamphetamin very low dose, 5 to 7,5 mg a day).
When I’m down I watch (or read my notes about) this episode of Star Trek: Voyager S6 E6 “Riddles”.
Tuvok the Vulcan has lost his memory and therefore his Vulcan logic, and Neelix is at a loss how to help him, and asks Seven of Nine, the former drone, for help.
Seven:”I lost many abilities that I had required as a drone, but I adapted.”
Neelix:”Because Captain Janeway didn’t give up on you. She kept trying to help you.”
Seven:”But not by restoring me to what I’d been — by helping me discover what I could become.”
So, adapt, and discover what YOU could become.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Evie.
January 13, 2020 at 8:26 am #138183AdamBombParticipant
All the time. I lose things insanely fast. It’s very irritating. It almost gives me panic attacks. Hang in there.
January 13, 2020 at 8:55 am #138186flyingmountainParticipant
It was refreshing to read all the posts! It made me feel that I’m not alone. My age, I now realize, has
A lot to do with it. I must spent at least 20% of my day looking for
Things. When I catch myself trying
To call me out, blame me for the problem, I say STOP!, because it does not help at all to blame. Instead I say either I will find it later or if it’s urgent, keep looking. Getting all balled up in a knot restricts blood flow to my brain and that’s going in the wrong direction.I too amaze myself when I think of all my accomplishments in my earlier life. I say to myself, ok you have ADHD, big deal, would you rather have a terminal disease or be living in one of the more unfortunate places in this planet?
I choose to go with the flow, slow down, keep looking. Many times I find something else I misplaced, and it is a consolation prize.
Life is too short for self indulging unhappiness. I choose to
Enjoy this amazing place I’m in despite my faults, politics, etc.
Amen, brothers and sisters!
January 13, 2020 at 9:28 am #138190Joe 14250Participant
What works for me sometimes: I try to have backups for everything I need. at least 2-3 hammers on the wall on the same hook, etc Total back up of keys. hide a key on the car. several redundant TV remotes.
I locked keys in car yesterday- but had my back up hidden under the hood near my wipers.
Instead of “irrational searching behavior” , I have a “it’ll turn up mentality” and keep on moving if I have access to a back up!
I try to keep the projected blame on others to myself: instead of putting my foot in my mouth, and causing resentment.
I have a credit card I can turn off on my phone if lost and turn on again if found.
I have a smart phone I can see where it is if lost. ( I saw it floating in a lake, after kayaking once, in its waterproof container.)
I love back ups if I can afford them. I have emergency money hidden in my car and house
I also bury things frequently under a piece of paper I just touched or moved an minute ago.
I also forget where I put things, that I placed here (so I will see it when leaving) Where?
It is part of life for me so I try to take it in stride and just keep moving forward when I can.
Ahhhhh! Stuff still gets lost when I am trying to get out the door at the last minute. Frequently I will go to the car but come back for 1 keys, 2 wallet, or 3 phone.
Important things lost or stolen from me. Keys, phone, wallet, passport (while in Greece) Life goes on!
January 13, 2020 at 9:36 am #138193emcenteeParticipant
In my mind, I blame other people but many times the item shows up again. Usually after I have bought a replacement. Being tired makes things more likely to go missing. Or when I am tense. Or especially when I am rushing. I give copies of important papers to other people to keep. I tell myself the Borrowers have it. I vow to always put things away in the right place (and then I don’t).
January 13, 2020 at 9:44 am #138198bhoffmanParticipant
I’m always losing stuff- the worst is when my husband immediately goes into emergency mode over it. If I could get back even half the money spent on books on how to “organize’ or “declutter” or stop losing things…well, Id probably lose that money too! But here is my advantage- I work in Special Ed with kids with ADHD that lose stuff all the time. I watched a kid lose a paper 3 times from one end of the room to the door! ANd so I am teaching them to face it with humor and when you can’t find something, don’t waste a ton of frustrating time over it- find the work around. Wasting the time over beating yourself up just adds to the frustration making it literally harder for your brain to find things. Seeing these kids get so upset about losing things and then seeing other teachers berate them for it was just too heartbreaking to not help them! So,now I have more perspective on these situations when it happens to me- I’m still frustrated, sad, freaked out, angry with people who don’t understand but I can remind myself that I am still a good person even if I don’t know where my buns are- right now. They will turn up later and I will have a laugh then. (Ever find your remote in the fridge? So much funnier later, not much at the time though) The worst is when you miss a turn when driving and it’s like waking up somewhere you sort of recognize but you feel lost- even though you know you can’t be more than 10 minutes from the house! Ugh, hate that! Hang in there.
January 13, 2020 at 9:53 am #138203KIMParticipant
Yes. At one point, I could not find my water bottle from the gym while I was on the phone and asked my husband to help me find it since I was on the phone. He came out from the gym, couldn’t find it, and he realized I was actually holding the water bottle I could not find.
Identify your triggers. Fatigue? Too much stress? Avoid triggers like the plague.
January 13, 2020 at 10:00 am #138205
I keep a running list of things that are “lost”. If I can’t find something (and I don’t NEED it now), I add it to my “FIND” list. The list is taped inside my closet, on the wall, so I always know where the list is.
Then I tell myself “it will turn up”, and I stop looking for it.
And, things almost always turn up eventually! In fact, I found my watch last night, when I made my bed… it had fallen on the floor behind the bed.
Crossed it off the list.
This system takes the anxiety out of losing an item, because when it’s on the list, it’s out of my head, and I love the exhilaration of crossing off an item when it’s found!
January 13, 2020 at 10:32 am #138208MarthakParticipant
LynSuzanne, this is an excellent idea! I have running lists of things to do and eventually they get done, but what a sense of accomplishment when I can cross it off the list, so I think this is a good idea for lost things. I misplace things every day, and can spend days hunting, can’t give up. (Still searching for gloves lost several months ago.) I know it’s around somewhere and when it’s found I can often remember what I was doing at the time of “misplacement.” If I have something in my hand, I try to be extremely mindful of it, often telling myself to put it where I was taking it before becoming distracted and setting it down to do something else. I’m still looking for things lost a while ago, so I will start this list, which also helps keep the pressure off of having to remember to look for something lost. Yes, it’s all annoying as hell at the least the debilitating at the worst, but thank goodness for all of you who tell the same tales so we all feel like we’re not weird/stupid/alone.
January 13, 2020 at 10:52 am #138217juliegarbusParticipant
I’m sure this doesn’t make you feel any better, but your post and this thread has made my day! I am totally in the same boat, and it’s such a relief to have other people say they are, too. Yesterday I cut a chocolate truffle in half, put one half back in the box, put the box in the cupboard, and….where did I put that half truffle I wanted to eat? D*mn! I don’t have any tips, unfortunately. I do notice that if I get super frazzled about the missing/forgotten thing, I go into an AD/HD spiral and start doing other spacey things.(Typical example: I leave my wallet at the store, discover this on the way home, and run a red light because I’m so frazzled because of forgetting the wallet.) It helps if I take some deep breaths and try not to freak out. Turning the incident into a funny story helps, too, except that my family doesn’t have a sense of humor about my AD/HD–they just think it’s super annoying.
January 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm #138253Martin5820Participant
Hi 2Wheelz, thanks for sharing that! I’m very visual too; I use an app called Trello. It helps me to storyboard activities so I can remember previous decisions I made about things I want to do or have made commitments to do. I have also written out a ‘standard day” for each day of the week. This includes all the things I NEED to do each day; so it gives me structure. I use the free version of the app.
I also use “Simple mind” – this is a mind-mapping app. When I’m either problem-solving or musing about something, I can jot down the initial idea and all the subsequent ideas that flow from it. I then have a visual map of my thoughts. The app also allows me to produce a list with all the hierarchies of ideas in place – this looks like a contents list for a book or an outline for a word-processor document. It is much simpler to look at than to describe in text.
I enjoy doing presentations but now I’m concerned that I may lose my train of thought, because a new idea will occur to me while delivering the presentation. I recently did my ‘Father of the Bride” speech and was doubly concerned, as above. I used an app called “Teleprompter Lite”, which enabled me to type the speech and then scroll it a comfortable rate. If I was distracted or went off on a tangent, I could then find my place again. All went well. This is a free app.
I’m also getting to grips with GTD by David Allen. GTD stands for Getting Things Done and is a highly visual methodology for capturing, prioritising and carrying out ideas, tasks, commitments etc in a systematic way to minimise surprises / forgotten tasks. It’s like leaving something at the foot of the stairs, so that next time you walk up them, you remember to take the item with you – all very practical. The weekly review is a very useful tool. He has a TED Talk on YouTube which is poignant and entertaining. He also has a book on GTD plus the audiobook on Audible.
I often will read a book on the Kindle app while listening to the audiobook and this “immersive” way of reading helps with concentration and retention; the written text is highlighted and in sync with the audiobook. NB If you buy the kindle book first, you will usually be offered the Audible audiobook at a fraction of the list price.
A more general help which I’ve found, is to use the “Headspace” app. This is a meditation app which helps you to train your brain to be more aware of tasks as your doing them (or appreciate the world around you more when you’re not working!). This awareness or ‘Mindfullness’ helps to reduce the mental chatter of AD(H)D by noticing it, observing it with a gentle curiosity, and then re-focusing attention again. Having acknowledged a stray thought it becomes less insistent at grabbing your attention. 10 mins per day is very useful and the benefits far outweigh the time invested.
I’ve also improved my cognitive skills by learning French, using the “Duolingo” app. It is very repetitive and reinforces practice for any errors and is also encouraging in its outlook. This “routine” approach is useful as AD(H)D does respond to routine.
I hope this helps. I also have CFS / ME (Chronic Fatigue syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), so I need to manage my reduced energy levels very carefully. All of the above has also helped here too. Bon chance!
January 13, 2020 at 12:50 pm #138266SeliaParticipant
I know that feeling, have had it for decades. Hmph. I “lost” my cell phone this morning and didn’t have time to find it because I had to get to work. It’s at home somewhere. I know it is. I have lost things that I was blaming on someone else because I could not find it. (I work as a substitute teacher and work in different rooms and schools on a daily basis.) I have bone conducting headphones that I knew were snatched out of my bookbag/purse. I mentally gave the students a side eye for weeks. I made up my bed and there they were.
One thing that helps me is Command hooks. It would not solve the bun problem (because I would not ask anyone to hang up their buns while they made their burger). It does solve other things: I have two hooks at the door jamb for my keys. I have a hook on my headboard for my sleep masks (or whatever they call the thing that you use to cover your eyes to sleep) until they got old; I now use it for my reading glasses. I have Velcro strips for my remote controls (and that really works, especially when I use them–leaving the remote in the bed does not use the Velcro strip at all).
Please let us know what happened to the bun. On another note, the frustration doesn’t help but fill your body with more emotions than it really needs to expend on things. I have been there, spending minute after minute throughout the day trying to remember why I walked into a room, why I walked back to a different place, get diverted from tasks that might (MIGHT!) get finished hours later, think about doing things that I plan on doing that flutter out of my mind like floating feathers… the list goes on and on. Feeling angry about them will not change the situation. Mentally beating up yourself will not change the situation, either.
This got way too long. I will stop. 🙂
January 13, 2020 at 2:17 pm #firstname.lastname@example.orgParticipant
Losing things can feel quite upsetting. For me it can trigger self doubt and beratement if I don’t catch it early. One of the responses to the ‘bun’ story suggested meditation as an option. This has worked well for me, in the form of mindfulness. If I’m more focused, less judgemental and do my best to ‘slow down’, I find that I am less likely to lose things. An article I read recently suggested to stop…before crossing the threshold of the room you are in. There is some evidence that the brain resets memory when you cross the threshold. It may sound wacky but I think it’s helping. Things do turn up, often. And..it’s nice not to lose them in the first place. Joy, steve
January 13, 2020 at 2:45 pm #138281lopezdeflemingParticipant
What a mercy this thread has been. My despair usually appears when I feel I am the only one and that the issue is that I am loosing my mind. Aging and the complications of it do make it seem that it is worse, but objectively I don’t think that’s the case. It is always been a feature, hard to explain to others watching. I also think that the rhythms of urban life and in the workplace move now at a speed that makes it more likely I wil loose focus which in turn accounts for the misplacement of things . As I age I am also careful about choosing my words because it can look like dementia to an outsider. I know it is not because I’ve had it always. In spite the impressive collection of systems I have created over a lifetime – and which makes me look to some as a gifted organizer!- I still loose trivial and important objects all the time. A mantra that helps me catch my breath, especially in the presence of others, is to remind myself and them that ‘the management of things is not my strong suit of armor, I have other strengths.’ As said by others, panicking or self-hatred only makes things worse. I am taking to heart all the positive approaches and loving words above.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by lopezdefleming.
January 13, 2020 at 3:10 pm #138291jmm1900Participant
Like many of you, I have a spot inside the door to hang my keys when I come home; as easy as it is to put the keys there, I usually forget. I’ve discovered there are 1 or 2 other spots where I often place my keys, so I know to look there before I lose my mind. What often happens is I find while I’m running around the house searching, said keys are actually in my hand. And, yes, it’s sometimes after 30 minutes of searching that I realize it.
BTW, I’m still looking for the $200 I lost in 2001 (3 moves ago).
I love to laugh so I’ve learned to find the humor in it
January 13, 2020 at 3:28 pm #138296tara2102Participant
My daughter and I laughed so hard when we read about the case of the missing bun because I did the exact same thing! One minute something is right there and the next minute…POOF! It’s disappeared! I constantly forget where I put stuff as well (and I even tell myself as I’m putting it there..”don’t forget you put this here”-nope still forget)which is annoying and expensive because I end up having to rebuy stuff I already own. I have a “Where the hell did I put it?” Notebook but that only helps if you remember to use it. I annoy myself let alone my husband and kids. Wish I had some advice for you but I’m in the same bun situation you are.
January 13, 2020 at 3:28 pm #138298mac119Participant
I have done this my entire life and it seems no matter what I try nothing helps very much. I have particular places to put certain things like keys, sunglasses, mail (a basket inside the front door on the piano.) There is always something I’m missing and it drives me crazy until I find it. Just yesterday my order arrived with my new sunglasses. They are cheap and a special kind that goes over my regular glasses. It isn’t like it broke the bank but it is so frustrating to have to re-purchase items you know are somewhere in your home! I also struggle with the fact that my husband ‘borrows’ sunglasses, keys and many other things and never replaces them where I had them…no matter how many times I tell him. He refuses to work with me on this issue…well, he refuses to work with me on any and all issues including child rearing. I have replaced pizza cutters numerous times because he won’t take the time to check the empty pizza box before he throws it away. Refuses to even try!
Sometimes I look right at the lost item and still don’t see it. My family used to say that I would step right over what I was searching for and not even notice it. On top of that I have a problem with my eyes tracking. I can start out reading a line in a book and by the time I’m at the end of the line I have dropped down one or two lines. I had one eye doctor tell me I shouldn’t even be driving but I did get therapy after that.
Here is the real kicker. There is me, my husband and three young adult children and one daughter-in-law. Four of us live at home and five of the six have ADD with hyperactivity and one without. It is a madhouse here and always looks like a tornado went through every room.
I have been trying for more than twenty years to organize but constantly fail. I am somewhat better than I used to be but not by much. I have become more conscious of where I place things and that helps a little but I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life this way. I live with a chronic pain illness and diabetes and it make it that much harder to get things done.
January 13, 2020 at 3:28 pm #1383002weelzParticipant
Thanks for all the replies; good to know I’m not alone.
The bun was in the microwave, despite the fact that I didn’t use it that night.
I discovered that I lost a list of referrals from my doctor. I have to call him to get the info again. I put his number in my contacts list, but of course I can’t find it…
My watch went missing two days ago.
So it goes. When I stop the crazy talk (it disappeared, it’s not where I last put it, object permanence is a lie, etc.) early enough, I can stay in a rational space. It will take awhile to catch up to all the new posts on this thread. Looks like I hit a nerve.
January 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm #138309MarthakParticipant
“The bun was in the microwave, despite the fact that I didn’t use it that night.” I LOVE IT!! Thanks for letting us know where it ended up.
My 2 cents is to just try to accept the fact that this is your (new) normal, just like someone who is colorblind or left-handed in a right-handed world (no offense to lefties!) Nothing you can do about it but find strategies that help you adapt. This will continue to happen and the more you accept it and even anticipate it, the less anxiety you’ll suffer. Oh, and you obviously have the same house gremlins that steal and relocate things that we all have. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…
January 13, 2020 at 4:28 pm #138313carriepoppyParticipant
So familiar. I just DON’T SEE these things. If what you’re missing is critical, you can do this:
Grab a box and put everything — every single item — on the area around you in it. As you’re putting the stuff in the box, and the spaces around you clear, you’ll find that bun (or more-important-thing) because the “noise” of the surrounding objects is getting cleared out of your overburdened brain.
Downside: you now have a box of shit that you need to put back in its proper place. But…
Uptside: you know how a box of shit that wasnt in the first place to begin with (you have ADHD), and it’s easier to think through where that stuff goes and put it in a new, better place. PLus, leave the trash in the box and throw it out!
January 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm #138336klb1182Participant
While it’s comforting to know I’m not alone, it’s also frustrating that so many of us have to deal with this! When I try to describe what it’s like in my head to people (like, when I get so frustrated I just want to cry because I can’t find the thing I just had in my hand…like your mysterious bun) I tell them it feels like I’m constantly gas-lighting myself.
Did I really have that conversation with my co-worker? I have no recollection of it.
Did I ask my husband what he had for lunch today? I swear I did, but I can’t remember for the life of me what he said.
Where the h*ll did I put my ring?! It’s in the box…shouldn’t be that hard to find…yet it up and vanished like a fart in the wind.
I had to give my husband my passport out of fear of misplacing it…
I am happy to hear you located your bun.
January 13, 2020 at 11:28 pm #138348ahnatedtParticipant
I find it quite amazing how many people have this awesome and awful thing called ADHD. For all of its down sides, there are definitely upsides. I certainly lose things but more often than not, I walk into a room and can’t remember what I was there for. My daughter is going to start medication and I am thinking about joining her. I’d love to know if anyone has tried medication as an adult and what the outcome is. I’m thinking that it’s a low bar and almost anything should help.
January 18, 2020 at 12:09 pm #138747
Ahnatedt… I started medication as an adult ten years ago, and I have been grateful every day that I did. I had a doc who knew what he was doing, and I tried two meds before finally landing on one that “fits”… minimal side effects, maximum brain help. The quality of my daily life has climbed steadily since starting meds, because there are amazing improvements in my abilities to focus, manage, problem-solve, pause, and recalibrate. I would recommend giving meds a try.
January 14, 2020 at 3:56 am #138352ADDrift48Participant
I am so relieved to learn that there are many others who suffer from the ‘disappearing objects’ syndrome. I was becoming convinced that I was starting to lose my mind! I lose the normal keys, phone, remote, jewelry, flashlights, dog leash and just about anything else imaginable! Of course, I “just saw it!”. I have a time perception disorder along with the ADHD, so “just” could have been last week. And the CLUTTER– how can one be expected to find anything when there are boxes of paper everywhere? Stuff I printed, none of it relating to anything else! Articles (these are at the top of one box) on how to declutter your home, last year’s astrology predictions for Gemini, advances in treating schizophrenia, going vegan, the climate crisis… I dig through boxes searching for my credit card which must have slipped into the box somehow! I call my cell phone from a trunk line to find it under my dog’s cushion, under my dog. I spend around 75% of my life searching for things, getting aggravated, frustrated, swearing a blue streak – it’s just me and my dog – then trying to make my place look “presentable” after tearing it apart searching for something. I think that there couldn’t possibly be another person in the world who lives this bizarre lifestyle! THE LATEST*** I am having quite a bit of dental work done and temporarily have to wear a removable bridge on my upper jaw with 6 fake teeth on it & I HATE it, so at home, I remove it and have 1-2 special places to put it. A few days ago, it disappeared!! PANIC TIME! How can I go anywhere with 3 upper teeth!? I tore the place apart, moved furniture, looked in, around, under everything I own, in the trash, laundry basket, freezer. NOWHERE AFTER 4 DAYS. I am now convinced that someone I know who hates me has hired someone to put a curse on me!! That explains all of the problems I’ve been having, right? Or is a witch. I may never leave the house again…
January 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm #138749
Did you find your teeth? I am so engrossed in your story! Please write the next chapter!!
January 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm #138445dancnarisParticipant
I actually sat in a doctor’s office, looked at a handout and lost it-without ever leaving my chair. I felt so inadequate!
January 14, 2020 at 6:49 pm #138472monagaleParticipant
One day I was going to make cookies. I gathered the stuff I needed, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and so forth. Then I got on the computer for awhile. Then I went back to make cookies but the flour was missing. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked and looked and found it in front of my computer.
January 15, 2020 at 12:29 am #138486sueandhughat222Participant
I usually only lose things that are vital. Or maybe I only care about those now and just brush off everything else. I can never leave for work without af least one trip back into the house; nor can I leave work for home in one step.
Lately I’ve been leaving things on the stove. Uhoh.Dont tell my kids! Yesterday I roasted chicken pieces for three hours…crispy! Once I left for Europe and forgot to turn off the hose I was using to top up the little golfish pond in the backyard.24 hours later my husband came home to a flooded backyard and fish flopping in the grass. In one week I forgot a hair appointment, a massage appointment and a dental appointment. So many apologies and late fees.
Except for the vital stuff, I consider them all funny stories that I can tell on myself.
What i have found helpful is the alarm and calendar on my phone …except when I forget to hit save.
January 15, 2020 at 10:05 am #email@example.comParticipant
I’m so glad to know I am not alone in this syndrome; not just losing objects but freaking out because the object’s disappearance defies logic. Then one day I learned folklore provides us with the perfect excuse/reason – the faeries have it. Using that has solved a multitude of issues for me, especially the sense that I’m a failure or that eerie feeling that the object has slipped through time…or rather it allows me to accept that the object is in another dimension. If it’s something I have an immediate need for I still have to deal with the frustration of searching for it but I can yell at the faeries while I’m doing it. That’s much better than directing the frustration at other people.
It doesn’t resolve the condensation of other people unless they know faerie folklore – those friends will commiserate. (I have dyslexia too, people are just as snooty about spelling mistakes, it never occurs to them how blessed they are to have the ability to keep the letters in the right order. I haven’t uncovered a folklore resolution for that one.)
To LifeStartsNow, as a fellow Medicare patient, I’ve found that physicians closely associated with nonprofit hospitals tend to take Medicare. Medicare also lists doctors that accept their payment as the 80/20 split. Finding Mental Health practices can be overwhelming, I hope my suggestions are useful.
So glad to know I am not alone.
January 18, 2020 at 12:21 pm #138750Javid1980Participant
I have to say that forgetting or losing track of thought often go hand and hand are a common symptoms we ADHD people have lived with all of our lives. Medications and Organization skills is first and foremost the solution. We are all still just humans and not machines, You might try to find humor and learn to laugh at yourself for being silly. We ADHDr’s have to always remember we are really hard on ourselves more than others. We have to lean to allow that inner voice to be kind and caring always and when it starts becoming short, rude, and insulting we stop it and start positive reinforcements internally and even out loud if needed.
Many times when I would “lose it” it was because, from the instant I thought something was misplaced I started self scolding and the inner voice defeated any chance of recovering the situation from the get go. I now very effectively keep that inner mean voice shut down always and forever.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Javid1980.
January 19, 2020 at 1:53 am #138766Anni LynParticipant
I totally relate to the whole losing things thing. Whether it’s my pen, my train of thought or my mind, losing things is a constant battle. I also relate to numerous replies to a post that made it onto the ADDitude emails. You are certainly not alone.
In the case of losing physical objects have taught myself to look for it like it doesn’t matter if I find it or not. I also take a deep breath, or two, or fifty. Once I have looked in the obvious places, I look in logical but not obvious places. In your burger bun example, the microwave oven would be logical but not obvious. Then if I still need to look, it’s high and low, nook and cranny type searching. I also ask my husband and daughter, they’re used to it. If I can’t find my phone, once my daughter knows, she’s phoning it so I can hear it ring.
How’s this, I can be looking for something I am actually holding in my hand.
I like to remind myself that being a bit crazy stops me from going insane.
The forgetting I am noticing is worsening in me is forgetting the names of things. I often revert to, “Oh, you know, the, the thing that, you know, (insert action required to use item, like snipping with scissors, here).” For years now, I have called the laundry the lounge room and visa versa. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, in Australia, we have an actual room called the laundry where the washing machine, laundry trough, dryer, etc. are used.
I also struggle with having a name in my head, but it’s not the name that comes out of my mouth, especially names of people. I can look at a person and think of their name, then say the name of their sister, friend, cousin… Frustrating much!!
January 25, 2020 at 8:44 am #140157Amy RicciParticipant
Try this easy solution.
Use your working memory problems to your advantage in this type of situation.
First of course you look for the lost item (ask for help if possible). It’s ok to be upset but try not to get too upset especially if people are helping you look (to spare their feelings).
If the item can’t be located then use your poor working memory as your super power.
Let go of the problem. Move on. Move to the next activity. Don’t think about it very much anymore. Acceptance. Poor working memory can help with that because once you move on and focus on something else you can basically “forget” the problem.
Poor working memory can help you live in the now.
So accept it. Move on. And change topics. Live in a different “now”.
July 19, 2020 at 3:20 pm #179260hoekParticipant
So many great descriptions of what it is like to live like this. I’m curious whether being in the pandemic has made a difference for people?
My life now has fewer demands and so layers of stress are removed, for now. My basic ADD patterns remain, however, and get worse when I am feeling lost due to the lack of an external schedule. Naturally my own efforts at creating a schedule are a non-starter.
Many good suggestions have been given above. I want to share what often works for me. I do have piles/bowls at the door or jammed into my purse, but need a special large note at the alarm setting box reminding me to put in the ‘flipper’ with my artificial tooth (have been caught without it and smiled/talked tightly in stores). Mask and gloves are in purse, plus spares in car.
Related to this, I visualize my house as having streams in which items flow from room to room. Each room has an area to put things enroute elsewhere, and I grab them when going to the next /room/station. Eventually it gets to the destination room and maybe even the correct location. This has eliminated some of the creative placements.
My best tactic is similar to others’ use of breathing, calming, non-blaming, but is based on my childhood religious training, now long lapsed. I have made friends with St.Francis, patron saint of lost items. When I urgently need to find something, I tell him how important it is and ask for his help. I put my trust in him and know that he will guide me to find it sooner or later. If it is urgent, I keep looking and talking to him about where it might be, has been before, and what alternatives might be available. This takes the load off my shoulders, lets me feel supported rather than blamed, and pushes me to find other ways to proceed (locate spare key, do without the item for now, get my daughter’s copy, set up a better routine for placing item, or just go). Of course I express my gratitude when the item does turn up and reinforces my trust that I can cope and it will be ok.
I will deny this if my family or friends were to suspect that I do this. Other options might include the Goddess, God, or Jimi Hendrix, depending on your own experiences. Externalizing the help when I feel so helpless is the key. And of course I know it is all me, but I’ve gotten to enjoy having St.F around.
Sometimes I use this to find lost names and such, tho I have more faith in my brain to supply it, given time.
July 26, 2020 at 3:50 am #179898Oscar RParticipant
I can’t offer solutions, just reassurance that you’re not alone. I’ll put things down, turn away for a second, and forget what I did with it. I’ll walk into a room and forget why I went there, I will be walking around campus with friends and have to ask them where I am going or what day it is!
The only thing that helps is I have a 6 step checklist taped to my door so I never leave the house without my Keys, Wallet, Phone, (and the more ridiculous part) my backpack (yep, I forget my backpack when leaving for class), my glasses (I mean relay! I can’t see, that I can’t see), and my necklace that I ware to remind me that I took my meds.
Good luck all! Hope this helps somehow.
November 12, 2020 at 2:14 am #187598lynneihaParticipant
Thank you, thank you for making me laugh! I completely understand how it is to lose everything, all the time.
I have to admit that I laughed pretty hard about you calling the mental health hotline when you questioned your sense of reality.
Really, I am just jealous and I wish I was as “free mentally” as you are! I couldn’t even make myself call the mental health hotline when I was having suicidal thoughts this morning, trying to get out of bed.
I have this doctor appt tomorrow-really, she’s a nurse practitioner-and I know, deep down, she’s going to deny me the Vyvanse I need- again. Even though by now she’s seen my psychiatric record that shows I took Vyvanse and did well on it for 7 to 8 years. Now the psychiatrist retired, I haven’t been able to get anyone to let me have my medication. And I know I’ll feel suicidal after my visit with her/
WHAT is WRONG with these doctors and mental health people??
Anyway…I tell people I am as good as a magician, and if they want something to disappear, just hand it to me. Only problem is that I can’t always find whatever it was again. I have thrown away 20’s and a hundred dollar bill once, plus many of my good pens.
I saw this old “Twilight Zone” episode years ago…it was about someone living and losing things and those things would end up in a parallel world. Sometimes they might transport themselves back into the original world, but in a different spot from where they had been, Sometimes they never came back.
Crazy as I sound, it gives me some comfort to think of that, and I half-believe it, most days.
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