Okay, so here’s the thing. I am 27 years old and i was diagnosed with ADD by a psychologist during the summer between the sixth and seventh grade. My sixth grade teacher was convinced i had it, told my parents and i was sent off during the summer break for a few hours to our local psychology testing center at one of the universities here in town. How was i diagnosed? Well, when you put a twelve year old in a room the size of a closet with a folding chair, an old mac computer and a painting of ships on troubled water (yes, i remember it down to that detail, because my silly ADD brain could not help but wander to it constantly) it’s a little hard not fail.
The test itself on the computer was that which reminded me of the basic hearing and eye tests we had frequently during elementary school, you know, the ones where you put your eyes into the weird contraption and you click left or right for what you see, and the same for the hearing with the computer. It was boring, so my mind wandered.
After i failed, i had to sit with a therapist for an hour. This is required. I remember sitting on his big leather stereotypical couch, him at his desk with his yellow pad, him asking me what i like to do, what bands am i into. I told him “Hole, Nirvana, Garbage, Tori Amos….The Beatles….” i kept naming until i ran out. And i guess he had run out too, because i was no longer asked anything and we sat in silence for the next 45 minutes.
I left with a prescription for ritalin, four times a day. I was to wake up at 8 am, take one pill, take two more at noon, and one more after dinner.
It killed my appetite and i lost 20 pounds in one month. I couldn’t sleep, looking at food made me sick in general, so i stuck to talking to my online friends until 7 am when i would hear my dad getting ready for work. My friend Vania in Canada would consistently tell me i have to eat, haha that brings a smile to my face this day! I would eat one cup of chocolate pudding every morning at around 4 am. That was it.
8th grade came around, i was extremely more moody, things with friends were falling apart, and i introduced myself to self-harm via razor.
Come high school, i thought i could get better. The doctor kept trying new experimental ADD medications on me and i began to rebel. My third day of freshman year i was called to the principals office because they had gone over my medical history and decided that since i was diagnosed with ADD i should be placed in the lower classes. I told them to give me a chance, i could prove them wrong. I proved to be your regular average student, A,B and C average. This was not good enough, and second semester they made me take the lower courses. My blood boiled.
I made best friends with my pills at that point. If i was being put down by them, at least i had the cure in a bottle to succeed above and beyond.
Until i was 23. I have very vivid dreams, and i had a dream i was taking my adderall (the one i got hooked the most on) but i didn’t have anything but water to take it with (i have always had a terrible time swallowing pills, so it’s juice or a sip of soda to get me to swallow it). I couldn’t swallow in the dream so i gave up. The next morning i went to take an adderall like i do every day and when i opened the bottle the cap was half put on and i immediately noticed i had actually spilled half the bottle into my mouth, chewed them a little bit, and spit them back out in my sleep. I knew the end was near.
I almost killed myself in my sleep on accident because of adderall.
I can’t shake that horror, and i hope i never do. From then on i keep all medications in another part of the house. But it’s not enough. I’ve realized now, i feel better, less anxious, more like me again. It’s time. I’m quitting. I talked to my doctor and i am weening off over the next two weeks. This is only day two, but after being 145 lbs and 5’6” and taking 20 mg XR for years, trust me, i have been taking too much. I am sick and tired of the shaking, the sweating, the anxiety, the heightened heart rate and most of all the terrible come down that makes me fall asleep after work for a bit and feel even more tired when i wake up…..enough is enough. So, wish me luck guys. I am going to make it come hell or high water. And Adderall?? You were cool at first, but our relationship has run it’s course. I’ve met someone else, and i’ve missed her. She’s me. And i can’t wait to have her back 24/7. 🙂