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Old 09-09-17, 06:11 PM
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PoppnNSailinMan PoppnNSailinMan is offline

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Lost My Wallet and Had a Meltdown

I started taking Vyvanse exactly a month ago today and had been congratulating myself on how much better I seem to be doing as a result: not interrupting others as much; driving better; finding it easier to get chores done; able to maintain my attention and my interest longer when I’m reading, etc.

But I also had a rude awakening a few days ago to the fact that ADHD meds don’t fix everything. I temporarily lost my wallet in an extremely embarrassing way that I think only someone with ADHD could possibly do and I had a bit of a meltdown afterwards:

I was in the supermarket in the spice section looking for something when I got a phone call on my smartphone. As I often do when I’m on the phone, I started rather aimlessly pacing around while I was talking, in this case up and down the aisles of the supermarket. The person I was talking to then asked me if I had a pen and paper handy so that I could write down his phone number. It didn’t even occur to me that my own smartphone had already captured his phone number, so I took a piece of paper out of my wallet to write the phone number down and found a small empty space between grocery items on a shelf in one of the aisles where I could put my piece of paper down while I was writing the phone number. I also absent mindedly set my wallet down in the same small empty space on the shelf while I was writing. Then, after writing the phone number down on the piece of paper, instead of putting it in my wallet, I absent mindedly put it in my shirt pocket and walked away while continuing my conversation on the phone but forgot to pick up my wallet on the supermarket shelf where I had set it.

When I discovered after the phone call ended that I had lost my wallet I had a bit of a meltdown. I was sure that I had left it on a shelf in the aisle where the spices are and went up and down that aisle a number of times looking at each empty space on all the shelves to see if I could see my wallet. But I didn’t find it, so I started to get a little frantic. In addition to all my credit cards, my health insurance card, my Costco card, my library cards, etc., I had over $300 in my wallet (which I really couldn’t have afforded to lose).

Then, becoming increasingly more frantic, I looked in both the next aisle up and the next aisle down and walked up and down both of them looking, too. But I still couldn’t find my wallet. I called my partner who basically told me to get a grip and go and ask a manager or some other supermarket employee to help me look for my wallet. At first, I dismissed the idea out of hand because I had already looked and didn’t’ think that it would do any good. I was sure that someone had taken my wallet. And I felt kind of embarrassed to tell some checker how I had lost my wallet.

But I was finally convinced by my partner to go and tell one of the employees at a checker stand that I had lost my wallet and ask if anyone had turned it in. No one had, but one of the baggers came and helped me look for my wallet in the aisle where the spices are. It wasn’t there, so, she asked if perhaps I could have left it in another aisle. I was sure that it wasn’t in another aisle since I had been in the spice aisle when I got the phone call and didn’t remember going to another aisle. And I had already looked in several other aisles besides. But I went with her to look in the next aisle over anyway. Suddenly, the checker said, “Is this it?” There it was on one of the supermarket shelves right where I had left it sitting on its side with all my credit cards on display and the money still in it. I had walked past it several times when I was looking for it before but had failed to spot it even though it was in plain view. It was a miracle that someone hadn’t already taken it or at least stolen the money in it.

Afterwards, I also felt really embarrassed by my frantic over-reaction which is so typical of what happens to me in lots of situations (when my computer isn’t working right; when I get a letter in the mail on Friday evening about some troubling issue that can’t be resolved until Monday; when I can’t find something at 11:00 PM and spend two hours looking for it when I could easily wait and look for it in the morning, etc., etc.).

I know from my reading in Thomas Brown’s book, Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD, that people with ADHD are more likely to have “extreme reactions” and “may become flooded with emotion” whereas people without ADHD would find it easier to “maintain a reasonable perspective to appraise the immediate situation in a broader context…and regulate his behavior.” As Brown says (p. 10):

Current diagnostic criteria for ADHD include no mention of problems with emotions, but those who live with this disorder and those who care for them know very well that problems with experiencing and managing emotions – interest, comfort, desire, anxiety, frustration, worry, disappointment, hurt excitement, anger, pride, sadness, and shame, in various blends and sequences – play a critical role in their daily difficulties.
I was hoping that ADHD meds would do more to help with this. Have they helped others here to not over-react? I also can't believe that I was still so absent minded.
Bart Simpson (to the tune of “I'm Popeye the Sailor Man”): “When I can’t stop my fiddlin’, I just takes me Ritalin, I’m poppin’ and sailin’, man!” (“Brother’s Little Helper,” Season 11, episode 2, aired 10/3/99)
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