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I've just lost something really important. Again. And it's really getting me down. Please help me not be so useless with stuff

(53 Posts)
Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 03:14:17

I've lost a purse (well, a kind of pouch thing) that contained my iphone charger and airpods, a substantial amount of cash, and a couple of other inexpensive but important things. I'm totally gutted, can't stop crying about it. I just can't believe I've been so stupid.

I lose things all the time. I just don't know what's wrong with me, I cannot get it together to remember basic stuff. It's expensive and embarrassing and a terrible waste of life. Today, for example, I've spent the whole morning trying to track down this pouch rather than doing work (I'm based in Asia so 8 hours ahead).

I don't get it. I'd say I'm relatively high-functioning in other ways: I'm quite academic, I read a lot and have a good attention span when it comes to that kind of thing, I'd say I'm pretty emotionally intelligent and have good friendships etc but I constantly screw up the most basic things. I don't have a stressful job at the moment, in fact I'm only just cranking back up to work after a period of time off. Life is very simple and yet I'm forever losing my phone/keys/wallet. The house is tidy so it's not a question of things being chaotic and these items just getting lost in the madness. I just don't seem to be able to be present in the moment and remember where I'm putting things. I've realised I do a lot on auto pilot while I'm thinking of other things and therefore it makes it really hard to retrace my steps.

My eldest DC is exactly the same - getting her out of the house in the morning is an absolute nightmare because every day she forgets or loses something. And I tell her off about it all the time, which is totally hypocritical because she clearly gets it from me.

Is there anyone else like me out there and have you found a solution? I'd really appreciate some advice

FinallyHere Tue 12-Feb-19 03:43:14

This sounds a lot like me , so you are not alone. I find it helps to always put things back in the same plus ..... and use these trackers when I forget

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 03:48:58

Thanks for taking the answer. The latest (good) news is that after several hours of drama, I've tracked down the purse, which is a huge relief but doesn't solve the long-term problem. It's only a matter of time before I lose it again.

The tile app looks really interesting. Do you use it? I do wonder though if it would be feasible for me to attach those little keyring things to everything I lose on a regular basis. But perhaps it'd work for the really important/valuable stuff.

NewYoiker Tue 12-Feb-19 04:02:45

@Bitzer this is me. I'm literally so shit. I have tiles on everything. I've always been dreadful with things but I lose my keys and phone on a daily basis.

The worst one was when I put my keys under the bread in the cupboard and then just used the spare set of keys for a few weeks until I lost those too😳 at Christmas this year I lost my keys and spent hours finding the bastards after I admitted to my husband I'd been using the spare key for a while and had now lost that so could he let me in when he got home. My keys were in the spare wheel well in the boot of my car. I have now attached tile thingys to my keys and phone as it's just ridiculous

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 04:13:50

Ah, New Yoiker. Sorry for your (key) troubles but I'm afraid it is a bit of a relief to know I'm not alone.

I've lost my house keys so many times and made the shameful trek to the house behind ours to see if I've remembered to leave a spare with them. On occasion it turns out I've already borrowed back the spare they had and forgotten to return it, then I've had to camp out at someone else's place until DH gets home. I dread fessing up to DH about this stuff each time.

Decormad38 Tue 12-Feb-19 04:18:29

Isn’t it a form or sign of dyspraxia? I may be wrong and someone much more knowledgeable on here may know. Do you also fall over alot and drop things frequently?

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 04:32:17

@Decormad38 Hmm, not sure. I'm totally ignorant about dyspraxia. I'm not great at spacial awareness and a bit clumsy I suppose but not disastrously so. It would be quite a relief, to be honest, if there was some kind of legitimate medical reason for me being like this but I fear I'm just really, really forgetful and need to somehow get my act together.

When I say forgetful, my memory for some stuff is amazing. I'm renowned for being able to remember the nitty gritty of long past conversations (school friends will text me for names/memories of of xyz student or teacher from 20 years ago) and I can tell you almost word for word the story that a man in the supermarket told me 5 years ago about his cousin's girlfriend's diabetic cat. But ask me where I put my watch when I took it off 5 minutes ago and I won't have a bloody clue and will have to spend 10 minutes turning the place upside down to find it.

Decormad38 Tue 12-Feb-19 04:51:06

blueskiesovertheforest Tue 12-Feb-19 04:51:48

I'm similar Bitzer - those tiles look interesting!

Decormad38 Tue 12-Feb-19 04:54:30

Or maybe you just have lots if stuff going on in your head and those things go to the back of your mind?

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 05:02:30

@Decormad38 that's really interesting, thanks. To be honest, most of the motor skills symptoms and the eye movement stuff was unfamiliar to me but there were a few familiar traits (I'm definitely over-sensitive to sound, light and taste, as per the perception category, and tend to speak too fast and have a propensity towards anxiety and depression). Food for thought.

@blueskiesovertheforest - I've just downloaded the app!

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 05:04:21

@decormad38 - sorry x-post. Yes, I think that's the most likely thing. I'm just 'elsewhere' a lot of the time. But there will always be other things to think about so I need to find a way to train my brain not to be wandering off in other directions all the time. I guess mindfulness is the obvious answer, I just find it hard to get into for obvious reasons!

Fightthebear Tue 12-Feb-19 05:10:32

You sound so like my DH op!

He loses something important on a regular basis: wallet, travel card, keys, bike lock. I find it pretty stressful to live with tbh as he often gets frustrated when he can’t find stuff.

Interestingly he’s also forgetful, could remember details about his A level chemistry for example but forgets basic tasks he needs to do on a daily basis or things we’ve agreed in conversation.

Nothing to do with intelligence, he’s exceptionally clever. Must just be the way his brain works for some reason.

TheSerenDipitY Tue 12-Feb-19 05:21:39

maybe start having a strict routine, like have a clip in your hand bag and each time you finish with your keys place them on the clip, each time you need to stick something away safe, write a note on your cell phone, but make sure you do it each time, same with important papers or documents, same place with a cell phone note, daughter, put school/uni/work things with her bag right away each time, keys on a hook inside her bag try to be almost ocd like in the attention to following the routine and making the notes and soon ti will be second nature to do it

Treefloof Tue 12-Feb-19 05:22:59

I used to be like this. Also would forget if I locked the door, shut the fridge, left lights on, and many others. I got into a habit of leaving keys in exact same place every time. So I know they will be in my right pocket or the back door.
I would leave the house and (no mobiles then) write a note or tick off a list. The note was often written day before with maybe
Pe kit for child one
Swim kit child 2
Library books
Washing machine off
Iron off
Fridge closed
Door locked.

So all I had to do was tick it off as I did it.
These days I would text myself.

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 05:23:37

Fightthebear you sound very understanding smile My DH is fairly understanding too, to be fair particularly now that I'm honest with him about how hard I find it to keep track of things. I just feel such an idiot every time I start the process of recovering something by saying 'did you happen to notice whether I was holding my keys/wallet/bag when we got into the car?'

I feel I need some kind of system. Like an infallible bag (with specific pockets for the various items I can't lose) that I carry everywhere and notice when I don't have it

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 05:25:10

@TheSerenDipitY and @Treefloof - thank you. I x-posted with you but these are the kinds of tips I'm looking for

FoxFoxSierra Tue 12-Feb-19 05:39:37

I am so similar and I get so annoyed with myself! I have lost my house keys and the spare set already this week and it's only Tuesday! I suspect that I have ADHD although I haven't done anything about seeking a diagnosis yet

Fightthebear Tue 12-Feb-19 05:48:20

Not always that understanding op!

DS1 is very different from DH and rarely loses anything. Every night, the minute he gets in from school, he puts his house keys and lanyard into the zipped pocket of his school backpack ready for the next day.

Bit old school, but that “a place for everything and everything in its place” approach does work if you can train yourself to do it.

I have failed to train DH grin

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 05:49:04

@FoxFoxSierra - funny you should say that, I read an article the other day about ADHD in girls and how often it isn't diagnosed because the ADHD stereotype is a wriggly boy and girls tend not to exhibit the same 'behavioural issues' i.e. the symptoms are more likely to be forgetting everything, zoning out a lot in class etc. Anyway, I read the list of symptoms and they reminded me of my DD. And, on reflection, myself as well. I guess I'm just wary of giving myself a label that makes it easier to justify my being so careless.

Bitzer Tue 12-Feb-19 05:51:53

Fightthebear I think the 'place for everything' really is the answer. I've just dug out some post its and have going to make a plan with the DC this afternoon about deploying them around the house.

PersonaNonGarter Tue 12-Feb-19 06:16:52

I have dyslexia and dyspraxia and I have a form of this good memeory/terrible memory thing.

It mainly manifests itself in personal disorganisation: struggling to find things in the bottom of my bag, not doing my coat up properly, naturallly messy etc. I have a security pass for work and it gets lost several times a day.

The best solution is to prioritise it. Keys on a lanyard linked to the inside of your handbag. Two sets of keys cut and left with neighbours. Conscious awareness of the importance of items and keeping them in your handbag (no putting them down on worktops).

And prioritise throwing stuff out. It is easier to find stuff when there is less stuff for it to be lost in.

Wakk Tue 12-Feb-19 06:18:21

Did you know you can add your AirPods onto find my iPhone? It'll tell you where they are.

Might be handy for future.

noodlezoodle Tue 12-Feb-19 06:25:29

Bitzer, I'm quite like this, in that I get lost in my thoughts and then can't remember whether I did something or where I would have left something. I've always managed it by exactly the 'place for everything' tactic - if I can't find my keys they are either on the key hook or in my handbag and it does make life much easier. (I don't have ADHD and am not dyspraxic, I just get very caught up in what is going on in my head!).

That part has become entirely routine, the bit I've had to introduce over the last couple of years is checking stuff as I leave the house. So, consciously saying to myself 'yes, I turned the tap off, yes I locked the door' and then I don't spend half the day worrying about whether I did those things. If that doesn't stick then I think a checklist is a great idea but for me having those little mindful check-ins as I do things has mostly been enough.

SuchAToDo Tue 12-Feb-19 06:28:01

Op i don't know if it helps, but I've noticed with myself and those around me, if we put something down in a place it's not usually put, we forget about it...

So what you need to do, and you might feel silly doing this is for e.g if you are putting your purse on a table, say out loud I am just putting my purse on the table...

It seems to create a solid memory that makes it easier to remember where you left the item..

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