Memory Issues

All posts tagged Memory Issues

Your secrets are safe with me, because I’ll forget them.

Published April 28, 2021 by Malia

One of the truly “delightful” parts of having an ADHD brain, is that my memory is deteriorating. I’ll be completely candid, I may have shared some of this before, but I have no recollection of doing so. My apologies if this is a repeat.

I started noticing it in high school. Of course, I had no clue I had ADHD at that point, so I just assumed I was getting dumber. I mostly noticed the problem when I took tests. No matter how much I studied, I could never remember most of what I needed to know. Plus, anxiety meant I just froze and did terrible. However, I was able to keep my grades up with my homework, and so it never really was an issue.

Then, I went to college.

Classes felt pointless, because I would sit there for 50 minutes listening to a lecture, but my brain would tune out 5-10 minutes in. I had no clue what I was being taught. On top of that, I found that nothing stuck when I studied. I remember spending one weekend doing nothing but studying one chapter in my biology textbook. I realized that the book might as well have been written in Japanese, because none of the words made sense in my brain. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to spend 8 hours studying, only to realize you’ve read the same page over and over and over and over, and you still have zero clue what was written on that page?

The scariest memory moment for me came a few years back at Christmas Eve. I was at my in-laws, and I was crashed on a couch playing a game on my phone. My nephew, B, came into the room and was calling out for someone. At first I thought he was calling for Tom, and I explained to him that Tom was at work, but would be joining us in an hour or so. He looked at me confused and then said, “I’m looking for J.” Which led to me being confused, cause I had no clue who he meant. His maternal grandpa is named J, but we were at his paternal grandparents house. While I was baffled, one of my sister-in-laws came in and told him that J was in the basement. B ran off to find him, and I was completely confused. I asked her, “Who’s he looking for?”

Which led to her giving me a strange look and replying, “His brother.”

Then it clicked. I had forgotten about my nephew, J. B’s older brother. I forgot an entire person existed. I laughed it off, but even now, it still freaks me out.

Tom catches most of my memory mistakes. Usually they show up in the form of me sharing news I’m excited about, and he responds by telling me about when he told me months earlier about that news. Example: the following text exchange from a few years back. He had originally texted me the news in September, and in November I texted him with exciting news I had just learned:

I nicknamed him Sweetie in my phone as a Doctor Who reference. Also, I really love The Good Place.

However, I’m delighted to announce that even with all the negative parts of a bad memory, I have found one awesome perk. I tend to forget what happens in a movie or tv show, so I can watch something again, and enjoy almost as much as the first time I saw it. It’s not a big perk, but I’ll take whatever positives I can get.