An Open Letter to Family and Friends: Thanks, I'm Sorry, I Love You!

Oops, I did it again. In the chaos of the holidays there are always things and people I forget. I seem to give myself the most important task reminders at the most inopportune times. A typical conversation in my head sounds something a little less organized than this:

Today you need to call your aunt, get your brother-in-law a present, buy your sister a card, plan your party, get stamps, mail a gift, write a thank you note, get wrapping paper, pick up toilet paper, pay rent… Didn’t I make a list? I should write this down… What was I going to mail? Where did I put the stamps? I know I had them somewhere. I need coffee… I should go to the gym today…Do I have plans with my sister today? Shit! Or was that yesterday? .... Wait, what time is it?! I need to get out of the shower and go to work (this is usually when I forget to shave a leg or rinse conditioner from my hair).

I met my aunt, one of my favorite people in the world, for lunch last week. I happily remembered to bring a small Christmas gift for her (WIN!). And I also brought her Thank You card from my 30th birthday (which was this past July). It was made out to her and stamped, but it never got in the mail. We had a wonderful lunch and before I knew it, it was over too quickly… Hopefully she’ll get my thank you card eventually because I forgot to give it to her at lunch.

I can’t seem to keep it all in focus, no matter how hard I try. I love when friends kindly try to impart words of wisdom in regards to keeping life organized. Bless their sweet, hopeful souls! I, on the other hand, have become somewhat apathetic. Not in a cynical, negative way where I beat myself up; I gave that up a long time ago. But in a way where I have learned to let things go. A person with AD/HD can build some seriously low self-esteem if they keep track of their missteps in life. I’ve learned to let things go with the promise of trying harder next time.

In a strange twist of fate I was also born a “nurturer” or “helper”. In other not-so-positive-words, a people-pleaser. So one thing I absolutely hate is disappointing people. But it happens. And when it happens it hurts. I hurt other people I didn’t intend to hurt and I hurt for hurting them. I feel physical pain and anxiety when I know I’ve disappointed someone close to me. I’ve been fortunate enough to keep people in my life who understand me. By choice, friends, and by force, family (they can’t get rid of me- haha)!

Two things I try to remember are to practice humility and to be grateful for what I have. These two ideas are key factors in getting through life with AD/HD. Don’t move too fast through life that you forget to stop and reflect, and don’t be too stubborn to apologize when you hurt someone. It’s never too late to reach out to someone if your message is honest and coming from a good place.

To all my friends and family: I’m sorry for my forgetfulness. Thanks for putting up with me. And, look out for my birthday thank you cards! They’re in the mail. Hopefully you’ll get them before my next birthday. Which is when you’ll be getting my Christmas cards. You’re welcome.

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