My Life as an ADHD Sitcom

March 4, 2010 Douglas Cootey

Hooboy! My ADHD Fuddy Duddy System™ failed me last weekend. Perhaps more correctly, I should say I failed my system. Good thing I know how to laugh at myself.

The keys that time forgot. No, wait. *I* forgot them...

There I was. Bag ready, shoes on, heading out the door. I was even wearing pants. I was all set to go. I had also thought to set my wife's forgotten pocketbook by the door, so that I wouldn't forget it myself on my way out. I called a friend to let him know I was leaving, made sure I grabbed a warmer jacket for the brisk evening, backed out the door, and said goodbye to my friend. Then I used my trusty ADHD Fuddy Duddy System™ to pat myself down. Wallet? Check. iPhone? In my hand. Knife, pencil sharpener, and USB flash drive? Check. Keys? Um…


Oh, dear. I left them in the other jacket. That would have been nice to remember BEFORE I locked myself out of my apartment. And car.

There I was. Bag ready, shoes and pants on, out the door, and standing in the cold like a doofus. I had every right to be ashamed, humiliated, and angry with myself.

Instead I laughed.

A quick call to my family procured me a ride out of my predicament, but the entire night had been thrown into disarray. Now I was making everyone late. My friends had already bought tickets for a movie and were headed to the theater. The quick family trip was now going to be a bit lengthier since I was waiting for a ride. The only way I could have made things worse was to have left the oven on.

Wait. Did I leave the oven on? No. Phew. I hadn't been cooking.

Considering how I had just written an article about how to avoid situations like this, I found the situation very ironically funny. I suppose not everyone in the same situation would think "Wait until they read about this," but I would have laughed anyway.

Once I arrived at my Mum and Dad's I made my apologies. I also offered to treat my friends to the movies since I had to cancel that on them. Then I began repairing the damage by being friendly, taking an interest in the people around me, and smiling as if everything was as right as rain. Eventually, I got (almost) everyone to laugh at my goof-up and the evening went on.

The shame about all of this is that I've had a terrific amount of practice apologizing and smoothing over ruffled feathers. Gladwell's 10,000 hours would find no better master than myself at apologizing. I'm just thankful that I learned to like myself and laugh these incidents off years ago instead of beating myself up over it as I used to do.

When our ADHD brains short circuit and glitch our daily lives with cock-up after cock-up, we have a tendency to develop very poor self-esteem. Not everyone is willing to forgive and laugh off our mistakes. Many people, in fact, take our behavior personally. I was once told by someone that being late meant I didn't respect the person who was waiting for me. If only they could ride around in my head for awhile and feel the angst being tardy gives me. I do respect people greatly and am often hotly embarrassed by my tardiness. But then I go and lock myself out of my home and car and find myself being late no matter how much I respect them.

Times like that I have learned to laugh. More often than not it helps others laugh at it too.

APA Reference
Cootey, D. (2010, March 4). My Life as an ADHD Sitcom, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 24 from

Author: Douglas Cootey

March, 5 2010 at 11:05 am

hey mate
"I was even wearing pants." haha i had to laugh there
but your description reminds me of myself, even though i havent been diagnosed with add/adhd. i recognized a change of focus and concentration, even happyness by changing my diet to "what everybody says to be healthy". omega3, less transfat acids, blabla
and it worked
cheers mate!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Douglas Cootey
March, 9 2010 at 6:17 am

Well, there was a time I walked outside WITHOUT pants. Good thing a daughter caught me. I was preoccupied! What can I say?
Thanks for the comment.

March, 5 2010 at 5:30 pm

I wish everyone understood my chronic tardiness. But like so many other things, people who find something so simple for themselves just can't fathom that other people experience a different reality. If something doesn't go horribly (and often comically) wrong in the process of getting ready and arriving at a destination, then I can guarantee that I have mis-remembered the time, or lost track of time along the way so as to ensure that I couldn't possibly arrive on time without a time machine!
Sure, there are people who keep others waiting as a power play. I wish I could assure them that I'm nowhere near organized enough to pull such thing off!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Douglas Cootey
March, 9 2010 at 6:19 am

" then I can guarantee that I have mis-remembered the time”
Oh, that is sooo close to home.
Some of us are simply temporally challenged. It’s not personal. Haha!
Thanks for commenting.

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