I Forgot About My Meeting
ADHD Can Go F*** Itself
An hour ago, I forgot about the meeting that I have every evening on Monday at 5:30pm.
And it’s not just any meeting, but an online meetup that I lead on drawing. It’s a lot of fun, it’s often very rewarding, and I just. . . completely forgot.
I didn’t even feel that tingly feeling that often accompanies a ‘hmm I think I’m forgetting something’. There was nothing. It was only after a message of concerned ‘where are you’ that I realized, and with that a wave of shame and anger.
I’m so mad at myself.
I’m tired of trying to be kind to myself, of forgiving myself, of giving myself emotional hugs as I stumble/soar/stumble through life with ADHD. Yes, ADHD is a disorder, but it’s also my brain. And I know my brain has better days of remembering the things it needs to, and why can’t it just remember the things that normal people remember?
The forgetful part of ADHD is particularly painful, because it can be so embarrassing. It’s embarrassing because it often comes across as an excuse or childlike/irresponsible behavior, just like our time blindness and running late does. I’m smart, I know I’m smart, and yet when forgetfulness pops up I feel so dumb.
And while I don’t mind so much when forgetfulness affects just me (I’ve lost my keys so many times it becomes a mere nuisance than a panic) I really mind when it affects others, like the father & small son I know were there tonight waiting to draw.
I think the sign of an emotional trigger is when one occurs you immediately dig through the history of that trigger. In this case, all the other times my brain has forgotten. I start going through these like flipping through cards:
The time I forgot about an art piece that I worked all night on that I needed to bring to class
The time I forgot my passport when going to the embassy, which was the only piece of paper I needed to bring
All the times I’ve forgotten to call friends when I said I would
All the times I’ve forgotten to show up somewhere because I forgot the plans that were made
All the times I’ve gotten lost because I forgot directions
Writing this out has helped. There’s this quote in Answers to Distraction where it talks about the absolute need to deal with ADHD with a sense of humor. Because, in a way, it can be very funny, particularly with how random it can be when it comes to forgetfulness and energy levels. And if you always look at it seriously, it can be really hard, and really heavy.
I smile (slightly) because there’s actually some great stories that have come out of getting lost all the time — it’s provided adventures in wandering woods at night and finding the kindness of strangers who have always helped me go in the right direction.
There’s something about ADHD that is horribly frustrating, but then also life usually ends up turning out okay. I’m still alive and well, even though there’s a good probability I shouldn’t be. I have a wonderful boyfriend, have a good job, and have had great experiences in life around travel and meeting wonderful people. This is probably despite ADHD, but also probably because of ADHD.
I know that the little art community will be fine without having drawn tonight. I know that going forward, to combat this happening again, I’ll have a cohost and make the meeting rooms be able to be opened without me.
It’s just a reminder to myself that I must plan on my brain forgetting, and if I want to remember, there has to be post-it-notes. And if post-it-notes fail, backup plans for people to be able to do it without me must be set in place.
I have to just always remember, that even though I have stretches of days where I feel like I have mastered ADHD, it’s always right around the corner — waiting to pounce.