View Full Version : Revelation (at least to me!)

03-16-10, 07:09 PM
I used to think I had a bad memory, but I realize that I really don't have a bad memory. I realized that most people simply do not deal with the volume of incoming information that I do, and to sort it all out and process it takes a whole lot more time and attention than it does for them. This is after observing my husband for many years (he's an NT -- we sort of observe and remark on each other like rare specimans because we are SO different). He simply does not have the volume of information in his head that I do. It's not difficult juggling one, two, or even three balls -- but the ADDer has like 100 balls to juggle -- only mentally.

The analogy I thought of today -- it's like the ADD person has 10,000 words on pieces of paper that we are supposed to remember in order. The NT has 100. The ADD person may be able to remember 500 of the words, but not in order -- and then we kick ourselves about "losing" the other 9,500. The NT remembers 95 out of the hundred, mostly in order, and they feel "normal" and successful. The ADD person actually has an excellent memory -- just not necessarily in order because of all of the intervening information.

Another analogy -- it's sort of like working on an assembly line. The NT has one item come every 2 minutes, and they deal with that doodad, and move on. The ADDer has one item every half second, and can't keep up.

I don't know if any of this is making any sense -- but I've just realized that really my brain is not inherently inferior, I just have a whole lot more on my plate that the NT does. But then again, I think it's a whole lot more interesting up here.

03-16-10, 11:03 PM
I think your right on the money, especially in realizing that our brains are not inferior. That is so important. I think that is the most important thing you expressed that people really need to understand and hopefully feel for themselves. ( really important for children to understand).

It does not mean our brains or we are inferior. They can label this condition however they wan't, it does not define us. It is one trait among many. People should be judged by how they treat each other, not by who can remember more. Life is not a contest, or a test of ones memory.

Your right, we do deal with more input than most people, I know I do. And it is very hard to calm that part of my brain down. Very hard. However, most people I know with ADD are very creative, intelligent and empathetic human beings. They may not do great on a test in school, but that says little about memory or actual intelligence, and more important, who they are as individuals. Einstein flunked math and high school he also was always loosing things -- look what he did for humanity.
There are many types of memory and while may be poor at one, we may excel at another. A scrub Jay has far better spatial memory than any human being walking this earth. If a scrub Jay had keys, they would never get lost.
But we are still smarter than the Scrub Jay. They can remember where they buried 8,900 nuts a year ago! But they can't make Blueberry Pancakes or design a jet airplane. I bet they can't even remember last week like we can. I know for me my short term memory is bad for the reasons you mention. But my long term memory is better than most. Good post. Thanks very much.