Sometimes ADHD makes me cry

Sometimes ADHD makes me sadI went to the grocery store on my way home from the gym this morning.  I had just started to pay for my groceries when a tattoo on the arm of the man behind me caught my eye. It was a beautiful tattoo, a line of soldiers in silhouette around his bicep. I wondered if he was a veteran. I thought about the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program I want to develop for veterans, and briefly considered talking to him about it.  I thought about paying for his groceries as a token of my appreciation for his service. Then I thought that would probably be over the top, plus he was buying a lot of junk food, and decided not to. That led to thoughts of healthy eating, and... you know how it goes. Suddenly I noticed all my groceries were in bags and it seemed like it was time to go.  I pulled my card out of the card reader and started to put it away. 

Uh oh. The threatening DO NOT REMOVE CARD message was still on the screen.  What happens when you remove your card too soon? Does something explode? Do you get arrested? I was about to find out. The helpful cashier explained to me how to use the card reader, as if I had not already used it a hundred times before. The transaction had to be started over. I did it right the second time, but she didn't give me my cash back.  She said that I didn't ask for any.  I knew that I had, and I told her so.  Apparently I had asked for it during the first transaction, not the second, which the receipt confirmed. This resulted in another lesson on how to work the card reader and being called sweetie. Clearly she thought I was senile. Or stupid. I felt senile AND stupid. 

I managed to hold back the tears until I left the store.

Usually when something like this happens my husband tells me “You're not senile or stupid, you just have ADHD. You were distracted.” And he gives me a hug, and all is right in the world again. But he wasn't there. So I had to tell myself. 

I went back and reviewed the episode in my mind.  I identified the moment where I became distracted, and how things fell apart as a result.  Okay, I can understand that. I guess I'm not senile.  Stupid as I felt, it really had nothing to do with intelligence. I have ADHD, and sometimes it sucks, but usually it's not bad at all.  I have an incredibly full life.  I pursue interests that average people don't even dream of.  I’m spontaneous. For the most part I do what I want, when I want, and it works for me and my family.  I’m never bored. The to-do list is long, but the important stuff gets done.  I’m happy.  
 
A fellow counselor once said to me, “It’s not how smart you are, it’s how are you smart”.   Things happen that make me feel dumb. My short term memory is AWOL.  But I know I’m good at figuring stuff out, at solving problems, and I have a very high emotional IQ.  

I just need to remind myself of that every once in a while.