Thursday, October 20, 2011

Omigosh! I'm Late! Wait, No I'm Not!

“It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.”  ~Sophocles 
That is sage advice, and advice many people should be open to, but I, perhaps, have taken that advice too much to heart. Sometimes adults with ADHD are so used to making mistakes that they assume fault when it's not theirs. That's what happened to me yesterday.

As I retired to bed, I knew I had to be up in the morning for an appointment. That's what my calendar told me, after all. I never remember those things; that's why I write them down. So off to bed I went.

I wish I had slept well, but I didn't. When the morning came around I was comatose and unable to move. I could hear the alarm going off—I could even snooze it—but I wasn't aware enough to realize what time it was.




An hour and a half later my mind turned on. Ohmigosh! I've got fourteen minutes to get ready and across town. And up I shot like a rocket, whirling around my apartment like a whirling dervish in socks. Only after I was in my minivan, four minutes late and booking it down the road, did it suddenly occur to me, "Hey, they never gave me a reminder call about this appointment. Do I really have one?"

Turns out I didn't have one. But they had just received a cancelation, so suddenly I did have an appointment and could I try not to be too late? Great.

Once I had arrived, I learned that originally I did have an appointment at that time, but they thought I had canceled it. Or something. Seems somebody cancelled all my appointments when I cancelled one a few weeks ago.

And for a moment I blamed myself. Fortunately, not for a very long moment. I suspect it was the guilt at waking up late that put me in the wrong frame of mind.

I'm so used to being late and therefore at fault. Here I was doing them a favor, and I still blamed myself for being late. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but feeling guilty is something that I am far too comfortable doing. It is likely wrapped up in that whole adult ADHD with low self-esteem thing I've got going on. It's as much a part of me as my great hair and yellow, spaced teeth.

But should it be?

I'm increasingly of the attitude that not all things that go wrong in my life are my fault. And although there is great polite civility in being easy with the apologies, there is also damage that can be done to interpersonal relationships at work and out when one is too ready to assume blame.

I don't have a ready solution for it yet, but my mind is working on the problem. Since I'm at the beginning of Life2.0, I don't believe I want low self-esteem to be one of my attributes anymore.

What do you think? Adults with ADHD get used to making a lot of mistakes. Some of them either become jerks who never apologize or become milksops who always do. As much as I don't want to admit it, I lean more towards milksop than jerk. Are you like me and apologize too much?