Absentminded SGT

by Phillip
(Newark, Delaware, USA)

This has been one of my most difficult challenges and I suppose the ironic part of it is that I go through upswings where I remember things better than others and it makes me feel good which in turn makes me forget for awhile that I have a memory problem hahahah.

memory problems story
Years ago I sought out some counseling for my memory issues and I was told to start doing some things to help my memory which frustrated me. The biggest thing was to write my thoughts down.

While I see the advantage in this nowadays, I still get annoyed and downright irritable at the fact that I am different and I have a problem that so many around me don't have which makes me feel very inferior. I just wish I had a better memory because I suffer from severe anxieties and depression at times.

My memory problems have gotten so frustrating to me over the years that I have become very apathetic in educating myself. I tell myself "What is the point of trying to learn this? I am just going to forget it anyway" I find peace and satisfaction in physical accomplishments that I can see and touch and know I had a hand in creating.

I realize that I am someone that has to stay busy or I feel useless. Right now I will be honest and tell you that life is pretty crummy. My first girlfriend ever (and I am 26) just told me she wants space because she can't handle my emotional discharges and my snapping at her when she jokes about my forgetfulness.

Despite being in a crummy place in life right now though, I realize things won't always be this way. I realize that I have support in my life through my family and friends. I know that I have self confidence issues because of my absentmindedness, but I have a lot of energy, spirit, and heart to offer and I enjoy making others happy by doing little things for them.

In closing this story, my advice to you is to communicate your feelings always and not bottle them up. Find some friends or a support group and realize you are not alone.

Finally, reward yourself often with things that make you happy and just smile, you will be surprised at how just smiling can make you feel loads better :) Good luck, and hang in there!

Doug's Reply. Something I always stress is that even though it may appear that everyone else may seem really smart, seem to have a great memory, etc., in fact there is tremendous variety among us.

If you read through
some of the other questions and stories on my site, you'll begin to realize there are plenty of folks out there who have striking memory problems. Not only that, but their memory problems often are limited to specific types of memory.

I've heard from people who are absentminded (such as yourself), people who remember other things fine but can't remember directions for the life of them (they can't remember how to get from one place to another, even very familiar routes), others whose problem is remembering faces (how embarrassing is that, you don't even recognize that you've seen that person before?), those who have trouble recalling their studies, and so on.

Obviously your absentmindedness has had a severe impact on your daily life. However, I am impressed that despite this you are trying hard to stay positive about it.

The first step to dealing with memory problems is to recognize the problem. Then sort of accept that that's the way God made you. But don't stop there. Search for solutions! There are lots of different angles to attack this problem.

In case you haven't had time to look through it, my site has lots of information on memory techniques and other tools that may help move you towards being less forgetful and having a better memory.

I'm curious, what steps have you taken? Have you tried playing brain games that improve concentration and focus? Have you consulted a doctor to see whether you might need to be on ADHD medication? Have you learned to use the "memory systems" that leverage visualization to create retrieval hooks in your memory? How about meditation? It's been proven to improve focus.

Don't forget the easy stuff, too. For example, you can write things down in a journal, keep a PDA organizer handy, use a watch alarm, and so on. My wife keeps track of things on a simple paper calendar that she makes notes on.

It is highly frustrating and annoying to be born with a poor memory. People that have a naturally strong memory have no concept and no sympathy.

But those of us with poorer memories are not without recourse. Don't assume there is nothing more you can do.

Keep reading and learning about memory and how it works. Try different things until you find the memory crutches that work best for you.

You may feel alone with this, but trust me, you're not. Keep up the good attitude, and keep searching for solutions to your forgetfulness.

Best regards,
This is information only. It is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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