Is there any hope?: I had a brain... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Is there any hope?

fly_girl profile image

I had a brain injury when I was 17. Now I am 42. My life is completely unmanageable. Every day I play the “where are my keys?” game, lose more stuff, not get to the same things that have been on my to do list for years now, and drop a couple points on my credit score. I am on the meds, I listen to the podcasts about how to get your life together, but still can’t. Are there others people out there that are as unorganized and unfocused as me that actually get it together?

15 Replies

Absolutely. Not to be blunt but “Welcome to the world of having ADHD.” I’m in my late 20’s but haven been this way majority of my life as well as my father and I have found little tricks over the years to make organization and not losing things as much a little easier for me. Additionally, I don’t beat myself up too much about it and just take it one day at a time. I write everything down and try to minimize as much as possible. The less I have in my possession, the less likely I am to get it lost somewhere.

Hi fly

I don’t know about your other things, but for your keys I placed a hook on the table next to my front door. My keys are there or on my belt loop or in my hand. I had an end table and used Velcro to keep my remotes on.

I lose something about everyday. I have nice bowls that I put everything in. I also have a place where my license, credit cards, insurance card etc go. If I don't need it for that day then it doesn't leave the house. I never use a wallet then I would lose everything at once. Put a multiple notepads in the place where you sit most often and write everything down in catagories and Post it notes are also very helpful. Once you do these things of for a period of time, you will realize how helpful it actually is. You have to do it if you want improvement.

oh and also put your keys on a I forget the exact term, landern? It's something that attaches to your keys with a long type of fabric. They sell them everywhere that is also essential.

happy_kitty profile image
happy_kitty in reply to Gjs80

Did you mean a lanyard? I have my Student ID on one and It is super handy. I also have my car keys on a mini one and it makes it so much easier to find them in my purse.

I can relate to that easily. I now put my wallet, keys, phone next to the door on the floor. Otherwise, they're on my person. It's just finding a place to consistently put your important items. You can get used to this habit but first decide where and what for your items. Following the pattern will make it easier to continue. Hang in there!

Thank you all for the responses. I just get depressed about life. I want so badly to live like a normal person. I have two kids that I am afraid I am raising to be train wrecks like I am. I obsess over a life where I know where I know where everything is, my bills are all accounted for and paid, my kids don’t miss events because of me, and work isn’t overwhelming too. Everything is hard, everyone is always let down, no one thinks I care about things, and I just want to hear that there are real success stories.

Fly_girl, You're not alone!

I drove to church last night (late, for the umpteenth time...think if I arrived on time God might scratch his head and wonder where I was since my track record for getting most everywhere is AFTER everyone else is there....and grrrrr...I TRULY hate that, and never feel blase about it)!...anyway, as I was saying, I drove to church in tears about myself and my day! Not only was I late for church (something I try not to be, and then STILL somehow end up 5-10 min late), but I was dissappointed with myself about so much of my Saturday!! I have stuff all around my house (to anyone else I truly think they would see it as minor manageable clutter)...but to me an ongoing embarrassment, embarrassed mostly because I feel as though it looks like I don't have my poop together. They seem mountains for me (whereas, it seems to me they are molehills for anyone else, which further embarrasses me and makes me feel shameful). I make improvements, focusing small on an itty bitty area, (I mean, itty bitty...like clearing only 1 of my 2 nightstands) and feel some confidence, but then seem to feel such a sense of dissapointment lack of confidence when I have a day like Saturday, with the desire to chip away again, and yet all I then manage to get done are "daily living" type things (laundry, cleaning dishes, making sure I eat, following up with people).

I'm a 50 yr old single woman, never married, no children, just a dog and cat. Only about 6 yrs ago I was diagnosed.

Unlike many others, my ADD was not obvious in my growing up, homelife. My Mom & step-Dad kept an extremely orderly home and were quite structured with time, very punctual people. In retrospect, it was all their structure that kept my ADD under the radar.

Suddenly on my own after college, I thought I was just living relaxed and maybe rebelling from their structure, thinking I "knew" how to be organized & neat because I'd grown up that way, BUT...when I decided it was time to pick up, recognizing and just wanting order, it was NOT coming naturally.

I grew up managing to have the outside social signs of "having it together (graduated 2nd in my class, outgoing & friendly, smartly dressed). In many ways, outwardly I still imagine I'm generally perceived this way though my ongoing struggle with time begs to "out me" ALL the time (and other ways I'm more aware of than others are). I also have become more open about feeling inadequate about the juggle of life (embarrassedly, I have missed as many airline flights as I have made...and most I make are with little wiggle room of time, the skin of my teeth, and I HATE THAT). Sooo...those put a crack in the veneer too - not saying my outward side is a veneer, as it's me too, but the inside struggle shows.

Getting back to the fact I was so dissappointed yesterday. I am determined though, and each day is a new opportunity! The latest thing that has helped is truly beginning to realize HOW MANY different thoughts that run through my mind when doing something simple. I recently paid attention and realized. So, mindfulness, just being okay with stopping the mind chatter (and realizing that is what it is) and instead just focusing on where I am, how my hands feel, how the room smells, how am I breathing can help shake that. Grounding yourself (which I won't take time to describe) can really help. As for the time piece, I have tricks to help with that, but I SO SO need more...an example of frustration...I've spent about 1 hr typing this, and now feel pressed about fitting in some exercise I had planned to suit up for 1 hr ago.

Bottom line, I know what you're saying, sweet fly_girl!! YOU'RE doing a great job. Celebrate little victories. Please know you are not alone. Your post helped me too, and I only check these once in a blue moon.

I'm very disorganised but have got better of late. I try to use technology to help me wherever possible. Mostly I just accept the way I am and don't stress to much.

If you have a brain injury you might be eligible for additional help. Assistance can vary by state. If you are unable to work, talk with your doctor about a referral to a social worker. There are programs (help in the home or dept of rehab that you might be eligible for assistance.)

BTW for people with ADD and no traumatic brain injury, Dept of Rehab said that MIGHT qualify for assistance there if it significantly impacts your ability to work (job retraining, classes, special equipment.)

Hi Again fly_girl...

Please excuse what may look like a DELUGE from my prior post!

I typed from my phone and as it automatically scrolls upward out of view while typing, I hadn't fully realized the ENORMITY of words it was as an entry coming at you.

Had also not meant for it to sound or appear like so much of a personal blurt.

Please forgive the inundation of detail!

Wishing you the best!!

Your long post sure helped me, so thanks!

I totally feel you. Twice a day (before leaving and before going to bed) I run around the house looking for my phone.

It really helps if you have a specific place or a small number of places to put things.

Examples: Keys stay (on a hook or in a bowl) by the door. Phone could be plugged in (wherever you keep your charger), on the kitchen table, or by your bed. Glasses are either on the nightstand or on the desk.

This way you have a short list of places to look when you realize you don't have it. If it helps you could mark those places somehow and/or keep a list somewhere.

Yes, yes I can relate. I personally don't have ADHD (husband and son do) but I understand brain injury and it discombobulates anything you had preexisting and then some. I highly reccomend meeting with a speech therapist, they do far more than just speech. Mine was very helpful with giving me personal strategies and ideas to help counteract my challenges. I have a round two coming to a calendar schedule soon. Just think about that challenged brain on extreme STRESS? I need some better plans asap!

For me it is also about creating a routine. If you do the same thing over and over eventually it won’t be remembering it will be muscle memory. I struggle with losing things and my place gets chaotic sometimes but then I find a new way to organize and yes it will happen again but by creating these habits it can get a little easier.

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