I've had a revelation: I was diagnosed... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

11,988 members3,175 posts

I've had a revelation

Ibshopin profile image

I was diagnosed with ADHD about 15 years ago. It's funny how my doctor figured it out. Can you tell you left and rights? No! My hubby joked that he is going to put a L & R on my shoes. I can do NSEW. Anyways..

I've know I have ADHD, it has been so comforting finding this site, knowing I'm not alone in my daily struggles. I was thinking about when I was in 1st or 2nd grade, my father had to come in for a conference because I was getting so many errors on my selling tests, I remember going home and trying to study the words and I just was couldn't do it, I had to make cheat sheets. Then years later I had to read a book then write an essay on it. Here I am the night before still trying to read the book, about 2am I finally gave up and just started copying parts of the book, I know it sucked. But I makes perfect sense now. Can't comprehend the book, waiting until the last minute to finish, even though I had about 2 weeks to complete it. Looking back now I realize why I did what I did.

What I don't understand is why did I just remember this stuff.

32 Replies

I totally relate to this! I just got diagnosed, and now all of these "puzzle pieces" are coming together for me. Like how I would always cry over homework in elementary school, how my entire childhood/adolescence feels like huge fog, how impulsive but creative I've always been. It's weird how these things start coming to the surface.

I still get my left and right confused all the time. I recognize East and West so much easier than L & R, which is so strange to me. When I have to read boring stuff now, I use a highlighter to highlight important parts which ends up with me usually highlighting pretty much the whole page. Lol. I know when I’ve gone a few pages without highlighting anything, that I wasn’t paying attention and I need to go back and reread from the point my highlighting ended. I feel like a child with a coloring book sometimes but it’s the only thing that has helped me retain boring info. 😊

Ibshopin profile image
Ibshopin in reply to Halem1982

Yeah, another person who turns left instead or right! And that dang Hokie Pokie not to mention line dancing. Haha. It sounds really strange something that seems so simple, you would think that after 52 years I would have figured it out, nope not me. Just point which way you want to go, is that to hard! Lol

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to Halem1982

LOL. You know I've started carrying a notebook with me that's my "memory guide". I'm trying to get better at math at work but it's not going so well so I'm finding I jot everything down in this notebook so I can go through it when I start getting fuzzy.

Sometimes I feel like the guy in the movie Memento- it's become more of a "oh yeah, that's what I was supposed to be doing today" than a "what was that definition again?"

Halem1982 profile image
Halem1982 in reply to cjnolet

I know the feeling! Last week I was scheduling work meetings etc around a trip to Miami for a land convention. Saturday morning I mentioned to my client who is also going to the convention that I was about to start packing. He said “it takes you 9 days to pack?” Apparently, our trip is next week🤦🏼‍♀️

Thats the exact same thing I do!

I read somewhere that putting a piece of colored film over the page makes it easier to read boring stuff because it stimulates our brain. Now I just have to remember to try it!

So funny! I still have to put my hand up in front of my face to see which thumb and index finger make an L.

Ibshopin profile image
Ibshopin in reply to Halem1982

Me too, Left makes an L And you write with your right!

HadEnuf profile image
HadEnuf in reply to Ibshopin

Unless, of course, you write with your left—or with both (in which case dyslexia could eliminate the remaining mnemonic)!

(Those of us who start out ambidextrous usually only bother training the right hand to write—due in no small part to schools insisting they choose and a shortage of left-hand desks—but I've met a few exceptions. Virtually anything else goes to whichever hand is more convenient.)

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to HadEnuf

Funny. I’m not necessarily ambedexrious but I write with my left hand and do many things witth my right. The most annoying thing is when you are forced to use something (like a cooking utensil) that’s made for a right handed.

Steve Jobs was left handed and so were bill gates and Leonardo da Vinci. lol

HadEnuf profile image
HadEnuf in reply to cjnolet

What, you mean you're all wrapped up in some kind of “sinister” plot?

Most people (being “correct”-handed) don't even realize scissors are *inherently* chiral (“handed”): even if the grips appear not to be (as with many, “kiddie” scissors), the blade orientation *still* makes a difference.

My use of other words for “left” and “right” was *very* deliberate: the notion that being left-handed is somehow “wrong” or “evil” runs so deep that the multiple meanings of “right” that seem confusing in English are also present in many other languages.

I was diagnosed young so I never really had that aha moment, but I do have those random flashback sorts of memories from my childhood. I think that may be a part of ADHD. I don't know this for sure, but I read somewhere that people with ADHD tend to have terrible short-term memories but really good long-term memories. I have some totally random childhood memories, like sitting in my playroom reading a book that was way beyond my grade level and sitting on the living room floor playing make-believe with my little sister.

Ibshopin profile image
Ibshopin in reply to happy_kitty

Heck it has taken me 15 years to realize it. Okay, I'm a little slow, haha.

Long term is great, but don't ask me what I had for dinner last night, heck did I even eat dinner last night. 😋

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to happy_kitty

Wow. Yeah I feel the same way. I have very clear and vivid memories from when I was 2 and 3. I even have a memory from when I was an infant (including a dream I believe I had as an infant which has ALWAYS stuck with me). People say I'm crazy for thinking I have memories from so long ago but they are very real memories to me.

I also get so frustrated at work- I'll read a blog or a tech manual and I'll feel like I have it all down pat and then if someone questions me about it, I realize I didn't retain a damn piece of it. I always found I had to learn things 100% until they are so intuitive that my brain has fully made sense of how they operate and work in order for me to remember things. It's easy to do in the tech field because that's my job- to dive into the details, but it really makes it hard to function day to day when I can't remember random trivia like dates and geography, etc...

LOL. Oh man.

I never thought that my troubles as a child learning my right and left had to do with ADHD but wow- what a revelation. I have 2 sons- one is 9 and about to be diagnosed with ADHD. He's definitely obsessive like his father! He also had a lot of trouble learning his left and right. I had to show him the "L" trick to remember his left like my mom showed me as a child.

My other child is 5 and I swear he's known his left and right since he was old enough to talk.

ALso funny enough I'm a complete book worm but I can't stand reading fiction. I guess that's how I get over the inability to comprehend complex stories and writing material. If I read a tech manual or a biography, I can apply it directly to something tangible in the world. If it's a story that requires too much attention, I just don't do so well.

Halem1982 profile image
Halem1982 in reply to cjnolet

I’m the same way with reading. The stories they make you read in school are so lame but I don’t mind reading everything there is to know about something as boring as a lightbulb. The Blue spectrum makes it so difficult for me to see for some reason so I was interested in learning about which bulbs would produce the best light for my strange vision problem. Lol

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to Halem1982

TThis is interesting. I’ve always been infatuated with mood lighting. I feel like the nights in my teenage years were persistently spent under black lights in my room. I’ve never thought about it until you mention it but I also can’t stand th bluish tint in most modern really bright LED bulbs. It’s actually hard to look at it, to be honest. I just assumed it’s becUse of my astigmatism. I love soft blues. In fact my wife and I used to have an air freshener that doubled as a nightlight l. It had a mode on it where it would slowly morph between colors. My wife used to think I was crazy but I’d sit in a room with that thing for hours just letting my thoughts race. I always felt like getting lost in my mind was the ultimate “Trippy movie” so I’d just sit for hours thinking, and inadvertently problem solving.

Ibshopin profile image
Ibshopin in reply to cjnolet

I can read short articles or how to books, but give me a couple hundred page book, not gonna happen.

happy_kitty profile image
happy_kitty in reply to Ibshopin

I’m just the opposite. If i try to read an infomational text or something for school It just goes in one side and out the other. But If I sit down with a Harry Potter book or something of the like i could be absorbed in it for hours.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to happy_kitty

I’m the same way happy_kitten, manuals are very frustrating and hard for me to navigate. May articles I glance through, because I don’t have the patience. But if I like a book, no matter how long, I’ll read it without interruption (unless I have to sleep, eat or go to the bathroom) and I will ignore everything else.

I am 66 but I remember going to my orthodonist's office when I was in the 6th grade. I would get anxious walking down the hall and the tech would say go to the back and into the office to the right or left. Being raised Catholic, I would think about which hand I blessed myself. Yes, the right, I was never embarrassed about not knowing my right from left when I remembered my "secret" little aid. I was always relieved when she would just say "Go straight back". That was a no-brainer.

That’s a neat trick. I am Catholic, but i never thought to use that to remember my left and right. I used to put my shoes on the wrong feet till i was like 10. I never thought it could have been ADHD related.

Why did you do what you did? I’m a little confused but when I read your post it sounds like me and I want to understand what you meant

Hidden profile image

When I was five, someone shut a car door accidentally and my left thumb got stuck. The thumb nail got all black and blue. Someone told me it was my left finger. To this day, I still have to look at that finger to know what is left or right. I do have to think for few seconds about left and right when I drive.

Does anyone think the left, right thing is more of a listening issue? For example, if someone gives you verbal driving lessons and says, first take a right, the go down two blocks and take a left, then at the red school, take a right again. Oh my, I didn't hear anything after the first right! It makes me feel bad that I can't process this information or I just can not follow verbal directions.

Wow, we just got back from a trip and I would point while saying which direction from the GPS as navigator, because I would point the correct way we were headed but constantly say the wrong direction. That was even after the checking my L in my left hand. Glad I'm not alone, but definitely know why driving is so crazy - lol

I've been reading a lot about people who confuse L and R; I don't seem to have that problem, nor with NSEW. But my problem, is, on the GPS, I always get W and E correct when the car is going NORTH. But for some reason, when the car is going SOUTH, I never can instantly "get" that the E/W meaning L/R directions are reversed!

So to me, East is ALWAYS to the Right, no matter if the car is facing North or South!

Does anyone else have this problem ?


I have to picture my childhood livingroom wall... Facing the tv, to remeber to stairway door is right and the computerroom closet is left... Or acctually make the "L" with my left hand, but this also means changing a gear in my thoughts and if I'm in the middle of something or someone is directing me I'm usually already at the "your other left" stage.

I had no idea this was tied to my ADHD, and had always marvled at my coworkers and friends who didn't struggle with this.

I have north and south and east and west down pretty well, but that's already taken from orientation and visual cues, or someting. It seems so odd to me why right and left is so difficult.

Maybe it's due to the directions change based on perspective. I have to interpret what they meant, are they facing the same way? is it my right or their right? Am i on stage, and are they meaning stage right or real right? Crap which is which again?!

Perspective is weird.

I know no one is probably going to see this since this is such an old post but just to join the crowd, I used to put my hand over my heart (I pledge alegiance... )how do you spell that word? My mom said before that I used to look at my shoes to see which way the toes pointed. Now when people call me on it I use the old" my other right or left". I also cannot remember directions after the first turn no matter how many times I ask someone to repeat them before I start driving. I also mix up opposites. I say hand when I mean foot,toe when I mean finger, black for white, red for green, etc. I even see certain numbers as opposites. 5 for 3, 7 for 9. Go figure. No pun intended. I have learned to laugh at this mostly, unless I stay lost for too long. And also there was that time I lost my car payment book because I was looking for a white one when it was black. Or was it the other way around?

I didn’t know about the left hand finger thumb making an L shape for left before today! So awesome!! It took me a while to figure out north and south east and west but then used mountains in our west where the sun goes down. I get turned around being other places unless I know that certain towns are certain directions in the distance. I move my writing hand when I think right. I always went by the pattern of the shoe to know which shoe for which foot.

You may also like...