Where Does My Time Go?

As I’m sitting on the couch, catching up on some local news, my attention is immediately pulled towards my suddenly noisy phone. My 4:09 PM alarm is going off. It's my daily reminder to feed my pup. I am absolutely astounded.

How in the world is it already this late in the day? What happened? What did I do all day? While I try to battle through the confusion, at first, I realize how important my massive amount of alarms and reminders are, then my focus turns to an all too common question I have. Where does my time go?

There isn't just one reason

Losing track of time isn’t a new symptom for me. It’s a byproduct of the number of cognitive issues I’ve faced in recent years because of multiple sclerosis.

I think it’s really a combination of a couple of cognitive symptoms that conspire to make me feel like I have zero idea what I do all day. I think short-term memory loss is a big part of it.

Clearly, I’ve done something during my time, I simply can’t recall what it was. I know I often tend to get distracted much more easily than I once did and that leads to simple tasks either taking much longer than they should or to them getting abandoned completely. I also recognize that I don’t really have the same amount of usable time as I once did, meaning that I end up having to rest a lot more.

Sometimes I forget to include all those breaks I needed to take when I think about my day, which makes me feel like time is missing. So, like most things with MS, there isn’t one reason why I feel like I’ve missed out on my day.

The impact on mental health

When I feel like I have no idea what I did all day, I get pretty down about myself. It’s one of those problems that eat away at my mental health. I have to deal with the confusion that comes with it, which can be extremely scary. Many people have moments where they forget why they walked into a room, magnify that feeling and frustration by 1,000. You can start to imagine what it’s like to have no idea what you’ve done all day.

I also have to manage the feelings that come with feeling unproductive. When you can’t readily figure out what you’ve been doing all day, it really starts to have an impact on your self-esteem.

On days when I really lose track of time, it’s easy to start to feel useless and like I’m wasting my existence. It’s really easy to get down on myself and my entire life on those days.

Making the most of my time

Like so many issues I have, I don’t exactly have some magic fix to make it better. My most important tactic in fighting these feelings is to think about what I have accomplished recently. I never even look at a single day, because there are so many days that are completely washed away by various symptoms.

I try to focus on the big picture, even if that big picture consists of tiny tasks. OK, I don’t know what I did today, but what did I do this week, month, or year? When I have tasks to do, I create lists on my phone. When a task is done, even partway.

The laundry is started but not folded? OK. I still give myself some credit for that and maybe even separate the stages of laundry into multiple items. Simply so I can get more positive feedback and feel like I’ve done more. I make a mark next to it.

I specifically don’t erase it because I need to be able to look back on those items to feel better about myself. So while I still feel confused, lost, and even lazy when I can’t pinpoint where my time went, I can often help myself feel better by proving to myself that I’m still getting something done, even if it wasn’t on that particular day.

Thanks so much for reading and always feel free to share! As always, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below! Do you ever feel like you lose track of time or have no idea what you did all day?

My Other Articles On MultipleSclerosis.net - Follow Me On Facebook - Follow Me On Instagram

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.