May 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm #89301
nellieMemberMay 18, 2011 at 10:45 pmPost count: 596
Ok this is really starting to puzzle me. General Logic dictates that when you get mail, you open and deal with it. Well I am doing my best to get it together since I was diagnosed with ADD to be more organized with paper work. I am doing much better for the most part but do manage to forget sometimes, but no where near the mess I used to have.
But it got me thinking this afternoon. I am in the midst of clearing out my years of clutter from my storage area, lots of which involves oodles of unopened mail. Some of the archeological layers are 15-20 years old ( in bags and boxes, some marked “to shred.” ) Obviously no one in a white coat has come to take me away – somehow the bills have always gotten paid etc. But still I wonder why the heck we do it? I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I guess it goes hand in hand with piling instead of filing and the old “out of sight, out of mind” scenario. That I have managed to get a handle on to a degree. If I get a piece of mail, I try to deal with it right away and file it. But if this isn’t possible and will need it at a later date, I now have a pending system – one of those cubby things with about 12 letter size boxes. Each is labeled as file, pay, action and a few other categories related to the people I deal with. At least I know where it is. I used to do this in a filing cart but that was really to far out of sight and I’d just end up cramming it away. Funny i can deal with filing if it’s long term but not for short term
Any one else relate and find a way to deal with these issues?REPORT ABUSEMay 19, 2011 at 1:00 am #102076
AnonymousInactiveMay 19, 2011 at 1:00 amPost count: 14413
Oh, yes. This is one of my problems. I am embarrassed to say some of the things that I have missed because of this. Not to say all of the mail that I have lost because of this. I have heard that ADHD has to do with less blood flow to the front part of the brain. This is the area of executive functions or organization. Dr. Daniel Amen likened this to wanting to press the gas peddle of a car to make it go faster and the car actually goes slower the harder you press. I am guessing that opening mail means to make decisions and process how important it is. This is hard so we avoid. What I do is I scan the mail to see if I recognize the sender to determine if I should open or not.REPORT ABUSEMay 19, 2011 at 5:15 am #102077
BuzMemberMay 19, 2011 at 5:15 amPost count: 13
Yup, open the envelope you have to deal with the contents. Don’t open the envelope nothing to deal with.REPORT ABUSEMay 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm #102078
AnonymousInactiveMay 19, 2011 at 3:25 pmPost count: 14413
Very good point. My wife opens all the mail in my house.
Still, try the OHIO method – Only Handle It Once. Make a point to take care of it right then and there so you don’t put it off and discover it long after you had forgotten about it.REPORT ABUSEMay 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm #102079
AnonymousInactiveMay 19, 2011 at 4:43 pmPost count: 14413
Aye, I often keep thinking “if I know it’s a bill in it, why should I have to open it now?” It’s been a bit problematic because I do what you describe with SMS, I leave them and think “I’ll answer later”, and that later can be hours or even next day. As Buz said, it may also be a way to try and avoid responsibility, with lack of the compulsion to actually open a letter as soon as you get it. My dad is all the same as well with his mails, he doesn’t open if he knows what’s in it, but interesting packages barley get inside the house before they are open. (:REPORT ABUSEMay 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm #102080
memzakMemberMay 20, 2011 at 9:49 pmPost count: 128
I don’t even get the mail. It would sit in the mailbox until the box was so full the mail carrier would not leave any more. My theory, mail is trouble, mail is bad news and mail is someone wanting money I don’t have. I stopped getting the mail after I lost my job 11 years ago. I did get it for about 2 years within that time when I delivered newspapers and my money came in the mail. Then I was cautiously eager to get the mail because the mail meant money. I still wouldn’t open the rest of it especially if I knew what it was. It got tossed in a pile, in a box, in the trunk, in the back seat, on the floor of the front seat until my daughter had no place to put here feet then it was brought in the house in bags and boxes which would sit for months or years. Most of the time i would pick out a few things i needed to attend to but that was it. I have missed birthday cards, Christmas cards, my daughter got graduation cards but she found them before they got too old (checks were involved). I have missed weddings and parties and other stuff that I really would like to have gone to.
If the mail is old enough I just toss it out without looking at it. Credit card bills from 15 years ago, who needs them? Old bills, old envelops with no return address (assumed to be collection notices) advertisements all just tossed.
My daughter gets the mail now. She hands me stuff when she thinks it might be important but if she hands me a pile of mail it remains a pile of mail unseen.
I know this is irresponsible. I used to look at the mail. I used to get it to keep my husband from getting it because he would remind me ad-nauseum of what bill to pay and when and yell at me if anything was late or had not been paid in time. I never could deal with being yelled at. Actually, now that I think of it the mail would have piled up back then if it were not for him yelling at me. He’s in a nursing home now so I don’t have to get the mail right?
I have been told about the OHIO method but it went in one ear and out the other.
I don’t know how to get past this other than getting rich overnight. If I had lots of money than bills would not be a problem then I would probably hire an accountant to pay my bills and an assistant to deal with my mail. I can dream can’t I?REPORT ABUSEMay 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm #102081
munchkinMemberMay 20, 2011 at 10:21 pmPost count: 285
I really struggle hard with this too. I think I started to get anxiety about mail because bad news came in the form of late notices, garnishments, collection stuff, bills I couldn’t afford to pay, notices I was being sued, etc. – – All of that, perhaps, fallout of adhd… Anyway, I tried everything, but would just feel sick after a short amount of time opening envelopes. I, also, had boxes of unopened mail – I would deal with it, usually, about once a year during tax time… I, also, had the mail carrier stop delivering mail, due to my mailbox never being emptied. Then I saw something on TV about anxiety and increasing your tolerance over time. I started dealing with the debts and/or writing letters asking them to cease contacting me about them because I couldn’t pay. I reduced the amount of mail coming in, and increased my amount of tolerance for time spent looking at it. I still have a really rough time but it’s getting better. I throw the junk mail out in the outside trash before it even enters my house. The bills go in one place, the other mail goes in another spot. I am living more within my means, and have a very structured system for paying bills that helps me stay on track. (mostly) It’s super tough, but worth the fight – don’t give up, we’ll all support each other!REPORT ABUSEMay 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm #102082
nellieMemberMay 20, 2011 at 10:37 pmPost count: 596
Well memzak I get the mailbox thing because I also “forget” the mail a lot!
But in my case I don’t get that many paper bills anymore so that’s not so much the issue. years ago I had a P.O. box and that was sort of it but not really, I think I just hated the extra step of stopping, getting out of the car, getting the mail, dealing with it , throwing out the junk etc. Of course it never fails that important stuff shows up during one of my more neglectful periods!
Actually the more I think of this habit of mine by writing this the more odd it seems LOL!REPORT ABUSEMay 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm #102083
AnonymousInactiveMay 21, 2011 at 2:03 pmPost count: 14413
Yes~ Yes~ Yes…this is me! Hundreds of unopened envelopes! I think it is true that it is overwhelming because it requires decisions and organization and sometimes bad news which leads to more anxiety. So, it remains unopened and tossed to the side like so many things. I am there with all of ya!REPORT ABUSEMay 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm #102084
nellieMemberMay 21, 2011 at 2:35 pmPost count: 596
I somehow missed reading your post earlier, not sure how that happened… Anyway your point about building up tolerance makes sense. What’s funny though- I had a fleeting thought this morning along those lines but without really coming up with any concrete idea of how to use this technique and then, voila, started re-reading this thread and saw your post! So my little add wheels started to spin. I know breaking down tasks makes them easier but I never looked at it as a way of building up tolerance to something I try to avoid a lot. SO thanks for the food for thought! It’s all about perspective I guess.
Pretty in Pink, maybe we should all have a marathon envelope opening session and make a contest out it – the one with the coolest thing found in an old envelope winsREPORT ABUSEMay 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm #102085
AnonymousInactiveMay 21, 2011 at 2:46 pmPost count: 14413
That is an awesome idea Nellie! Anything fun works for me!!!REPORT ABUSEMay 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm #102086
AnonymousInactiveMay 23, 2011 at 10:26 pmPost count: 14413
I even do this with email!REPORT ABUSEMay 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm #102087
AnonymousInactiveMay 25, 2011 at 6:37 pmPost count: 14413
Wow! I never thought of unopened mail as a symptom of ADHD before. I am terrible with mail. My hubby deals with the bills, so they go straight onto his desk, but it’s the other stuff I find it hard to deal with. Dental reminders and bank statements seem to be openable – I have a way of dealing with them (statements go in one of the paper piles in my sewing room, reminders get pinned to the overflowing noticeboard in the kitchen!). It’s the “semi-junk” mail that is the worst. I know that if I open a catalogue or one of those magazines various places send (motor association, health insurance, pharmacy), I will flick through and see something I am interested in buying or keeping for “informative” purposes and I then have to work out what to do with it from there and the stress of seeing the magazine/catalogue with that “unremembered but potentially vital piece of information/item I need” in it is so much worse than seeing the unopened envelope and thinking “I must get around to opening that one day”. Of course, this sort of unopened mail ends up being thrown out, still unopened, after sitting around the house for days, months, usually years, but is less stress provoking that the opened item. Obsessive-compulsive disorder has crossed my mind over the years, but I don’t seem to have much stress at throwing things out – I just never get around to doing it! Easier to chuck the item out straight from the letterbox….but there may just be something I REALLY need to know about in that envelope….REPORT ABUSEMay 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm #102088
AnonymousInactiveMay 30, 2011 at 1:28 pmPost count: 14413
“Yup, open the envelope you have to deal with the contents. Don’t open the envelope nothing to deal with.”
Buz, this is a classic response and for me is entirely true.REPORT ABUSEMay 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm #102089
MonikaMemberMay 30, 2011 at 5:56 pmPost count: 82
I’m in Nellie, is there a time frame to report in?
I’ve found checks not deposited, 6months old or older.
My imperfect plan now is that when I DO get the mail (not daily but often enough), there is a trash can outside the house for obvious junk mail, a shredder by my door so all those credit card offers get properly “filed” and the rest gets MOSTLY dealt with although I do need a home for bills as they tend to wander away.REPORT ABUSE
Why don't we open envelopes?nellie2011-05-18T22:45:21+00:00
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