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The Truth About my Adderall Addiction

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.  🙂

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Gonzo and Grunge

Growing up we all have our inspirations and we know exactly when we find them.  We recognize them by the way they make us feel from the very start.  Excited, anticipatory, like the greatest glass of water or hell, even a drink you never knew you needed so badly at that very moment.  Two of my biggest inspirations have been Kurt Cobain and Hunter S. Thompson.  Both for numerous reasons, Kurt for his music and his sensitive yet complex personality, and Hunter for his not giving a fuck about what is politically correct and writing about what he wanted to, the way he wanted to, and mirroring this in his own actions in his life.

I mean, how many men could say they had Johnny Depp as a house guest for filming “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” in a spare bedroom where the nightstand was an actual live powder keg?  Only one, and that was Hunter S. Thompson.  Not to mention the epic way he had his funeral planned, his ashes being shot out of a giant five finger Gonzo fist into the mountains on his property.

I don’t even know where to begin to describe the different impacts the works these men created have had on my life.  Not obsessive effects, no, more like a good friend you could turn to when you felt really bad and something they wrote or sang was there to make you feel all better because only that piece felt like it was connecting to the situation. 

Maybe i will know how to describe it more in a bit….but for now, i just want to say.  Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain, and always R.I.P Hunter S. Thompson.  The world needs more of these people today.

Bowing out, gracefully

I called my mom, like i always do when i cannot make up my mind about what i should do.  I explained the interview, the reasons behind it.  I texted the girl last night and said “Before i do this, i have to ask you, why do you want to interview women who haven’t obtained a bachelor’s degree and those whose parents did not attend college?”  Her response was ” I didn’t want participants who had taken women’s studies courses in college (or classes about similar issues) to just tell me what they learned in those classes, if that makes any sense.”

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

Guess what darling, i’ve taken many sociology courses, including a gender studies one, human sexuality, abnormal psychology and early childhood and development.  Sociology of death and dying i lasted until the third day.  I dropped after that day.  Our teacher was very depressed overall and she showed us a video of how death is celebrated all over the world which personally i found fascinating.  Until the last 10 minutes.  There was a monk climbing a brick building, covered in white powder.  His garb was attached to the top with a rope, but it broke.  We watched him fall to his death, and thankfully he died instantly.  But i left that class thinking “i am never going back.”  and i didn’t.  I am NO stranger to death, everyone i have been really close to in my family has died.  I work with people who are dying every single day.  I just wanted to learn, having it put like that just i dunno, it unnerved me.  I can take seeing the hearse drive up to work, i can handle a resident telling me they just want to die, they just want the pain to end.  It breaks my heart but i hold their hand and try to talk them through it and tell them to relax, that this can’t last forever.  

Never underestimate the power of the human spirit.  Yes, i do go home and cry over these people.  I love them.  And i love it even more when their family members can be with them in their last moments.  THAT is what matters, we are just the middle-men, making them as comfortable as they can be until you decide to visit.

Never think that just because i don’t hold a degree in my hand that i am not doing something extremely important, and that i am not well educated.   I could tell you a thing or two about the human spirit. 

my non-college degree educated opinion

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education”- Mark Twain

I have attended college, yes, have i graduated?  No. Why?  Because that little thing that strings us all together and connects us happened; life.  And time.  Time kept going on, work became more and more, i had to go full time to make sure i would have health insurance and college began to diminish.  Sure, i have attended on and off since i graduated high school.  However i realized something about a year ago, i do not want to go the traditional route and attain a “four” year bachelor’s degree, and no where in the cards for me is a masters in anything but common sense.  I come from a family where only one person has a bachelor’s degree and she doesn’t even use it to this day.  My parents were “hippies” and never thought that a college education would be as important today as it is and therefore i never had a college fund.  So on the merry-go-round of community college i went!  i finally realized last year that the best bet for me, and what makes the most sense, is a certification.  An education i can attain and a paper i can hold that says yes, i studied directly in this field and am specifically trained in what i want to do.  I honestly feel like in today’s society and workplace this makes even more sense than ever.

Now i am not trying to put down anyone who has gone to college and finished and gone on to more, more power to you and congratulations!  That is just not the life for me.  What spurred this post was my agreeing to help a friend of a friend with a research project for her thesis.  I was told my by friend that she was looking for anyone who wanted to participate on the topic of how women and their body image are portrayed in the media and i thought “great!  i have a lot of views on that subject, both positive and negative, i could totally help her!”  Well, today i was corresponding with the girl via text and i finally read the email she sent about those she wants to interview.  Turns out she specifically wants to interview women who have not attended college, or have attended and have not graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and women who have parents who did not attend college.  Well, ding dong, the witch is dead, you found me.

My initial feeling was “wow, that kind of really hurts.”  I always thought i was smart, and i know all of my friends say the same thing, but being put into a demographic with that description just kinda…..i dunno, stings?  The thing is, she doesn’t know the reasons behind why i haven’t graduated, why my parents didn’t go to college, what our family is.  Is my opinion supposed to be assumed as more unintelligent because i don’t hold a piece of paper that says i spent however many thousands of dollars on a college education? Because if that is the case, i’m sorry ma’am, my interview will not be going as you intend.  An uneducated response is not what you will receive.  I look up to people such as Arianna Huffington, Amy Hempel, Amy Sedaris, Marina Abramovic and many other intelligent women in the media.  Maybe i am just jumping the gun on this one, but we’ll see.  Hopefully i am wrong, and if i am not, then hopefully i do a good job of proving my little demographic to be more intelligent than previously assumed.