Monday, November 06, 2017

ADHD: So You Screwed Up. What Else Is New?

Ever feel like you just can’t do anything right? Maybe it’s not just you.

I’m sitting here in my car, stunned and quite embarrassed. I just showed up to yet another appointment on the wrong day. You would think I’d be used to this by now, but the truth is that it comes as a surprise every time. And here I was thinking the worst I had done today was be seven minutes late.

Let’s Rewind

I began the morning sick again. This has been going on for weeks, and I’ve seen a roulette wheel of symptoms instead of any healthy payout. I wondered if I should even go, but I canceled the last two times because of illness, so I headed out the door in plenty of time. I obeyed all traffic laws, cut nobody off, avoided creatively driving over anything paved that might shave a second off my journey. I did not dash. I was not mad. I was at peace, or as at peace as one can be while coughing, sniffling, and driving.

When I arrived at the doctor’s office early, however, my exultant cheer was cut short. Wrong doctor’s office. Whoops. So off I was again, this time dashing ever so much along State Street, which I noted was much less congested than I was.

I arrived. I parked. I ran to the elevator and recovered, panting, for nine floors. Then I got the bad news: my appointment was tomorrow.

What Went Wrong‽

Sometimes there isn’t much you can do to thwart ADHD. I had set an alarm. I left early. I made being on time my only goal. This should have worked. I simply wrote down the wrong date. I didn’t notice the discrepancy even when I received a reminder call last week. I was sick. I wasn’t paying attention.

Moving Forward

So I’m deciding to not beat myself up about it. For now on I will:

  1. Double check with the doctor’s office if I don’t get a reminder call.
  2. Take time to verify the date during the reminder call.
  3. Leave with the destination in mind. That way I can’t brain fart my way into being late again (even though I was technically early).
  4. Forgive myself for being forgetful.

Point Three seems self-evident, but I will visualize the destination and route in my mind before shifting into gear. I haven’t been doing that. Point Four means I’m having a good chuckle right now at my own expense, blogging about it, then moving on. Mistakes happen, some more costly than others, but dwelling on them only suppresses your self-esteem and sets you up for more failure. Focus on what you can fix. Focus forward.

If you have a tendency to beat yourself up, you might find my book on fighting suicide full of helpful insights. I’ve gotten really good at dodging self-inflicted blows.