Lost, Not Found

Lost, Not Found ADHD and forgetfulness

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Edit: 3/15/19. I just made a few updates – changing “Palm Pilot” to cell phone, for one. And no, I never found the rings.

Losing Things

I’ve just spent the last two hours searching for my mom’s wedding rings.

My mom passed away on this date 2 years ago, and I’ve been told that I was given her wedding rings. Since there’s only me and my dad, and he’s the one who told me, I have to believe that it’s true.Lost, Not Found ADHD and forgetfulness

The really awful thing is that not only do I have no memory of receiving them, I have no idea where they are, so I’ve really lost more than just the rings.

I thought that perhaps on this day, more significant than others, I could look in the same places I always look and find them this time.

Sadly, this was not the case. The only thing that saves me from feeling worse than I do is that I know my mom would understand.


I have lots of memories of her spending a day taking the house apart looking for something she’d misplaced.

Once she spent hours looking for a skirt she’d recently purchased, and finally out of exasperation, called her friend who had been shopping with her to ask if she knew where it was.

The answer? She’d decided not to buy it. Guess who I got my ADD from?

Forgetfulness is Part of ADHD

My story today is sad, but like most, it has a point.

I don’t know when exactly my dad gave my mom’s rings to me, but I’m sure it must have occurred in the days following her death -not while she was sick but probably before the actual funeral. Those days are a blur to me, as I’m sure they are to anyone who has lost a loved one.

Those of you without ADHD would have found a safe place to put the rings, and remembered where that place was later.

For those of us with ADHD, we might have put them anywhere. Truly – anywhere at all.

Because our minds at the time were elsewhere, as is often the case with us.

There was too much going on, I was overwhelmed. And while I’m sure I must have found a safe place for them, I don’t know where that is now.

I’m sure you’ve had many experiences with your kids losing things – important things, things you wouldn’t think they would lose track of, and yet they did. You’ve probably done it yourself lots of times.

My son and my husband came home one frigid winter day from hockey practice minus my son’s coat. How can you forget such a thing when it’s 12 degrees outside?

You can because your mind is somewhere else.

In my husband and son’s case, it was the recent practice and the upcoming game.

Living in the Future

Those of us with Attention Deficit Disorder tend to live our lives in the future rather than the present. That’s how we manage to lose important things like concert tickets, permission slips, and our mom’s wedding rings.

We tend to look ahead in order to anticipate what might be coming and prepare for it. We spend so much of our lives being surprised by what’s going on around us (because we weren’t paying attention), that we miss the moment at hand trying to get ready for the next one.

So when you put something down, or put it away, your mind isn’t there, registering where that object is; it’s in the future, looking for the next thing.

Some Ideas to Help You Remember

I have a couple of tricks I use that usually help me keep track of important things:

  • I have one place where I keep things that I will need to find in a month or two – things like tickets, trip information, and renewal notices. My spot is in a kitchen cupboard, but you could use a drawer or a cubby in your desk, too. Edit: now I put them in my planner in the appropriate month, or in a file folder if there is a lot. The folder stays on my desk or in the nearby bookcase so I know where it is.
  • Some things, like my mom’s rings, don’t belong in the kitchen cupboard. They deserve a more permanent place. For those things, I put them where I think they belong and then I make a note of it in my Palm Pilot phone. If for some reason, I can’t find it, all I have to do is use the search feature on my Palm phone to find out where it is. Edit: It’s ironic; I have a place to keep my jewelry, and that’s where the rings should have been, but no.

I hope these tips help you find a few solutions of your own, before you lose something valuable.

Come up with some ideas of your own and get your family in the habit of using them on a regular basis. Maybe you can head a problem off before it starts.

Picture of Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of Lacyestelle.com and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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