Off the Meds

I felt, today, as though I had forgotten to take my Strattera, when I know that I did in fact take it. I couldn't find anything, I had to keep retracing my steps because I would forget what I was doing, I was completely unprepared for one of my classes, and I could not get motivated for the life of me.

It's days like this that I really appreciate the fact that I FINALLY got diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and have something to regulate my inefficiencies.

I lived twenty-nine and a half years with undiagnosed ADD, and if you think that's pretty good, well ... you should see it from my point of view.

Of course when I was younger, there was no such thing as ADD/ADHD; there was just "lack of discipline" and "needs a good spanking," which was sometimes true, especially for a rambunctious little blond girl with a huge case of curiosity and no filter between her brain and her mouth.

I can tell you for sure that there were times I was definitely motivated by the sight of my mama's paddle (made of thin wood and handpainted with the legend "For the little deer with the bear behind" and pictures of a deer and a bear; it is now out of commission and gathering dust on top of my parents' refrigerator, enjoying a well-deserved retirement).

I remember clearly my inability to concentrate on one thing at a time; I would be reading a book AND watching tv AND playing with dolls AND pinching my sister AND asking my mom six thousand questions--most of which were "why?"

Even when I was a teenager, I used to get in trouble because I would read and play with the ruffled part of the lamp shade. Well, I didn't get in trouble until I broke one, but after that, I wasn't allowed to touch the lamps anymore. We have weird rules in my family.

That I was able to do so well in school remains a mystery to me. But I did still carry on my habit of doing ten things at once; fortunately I was lucky enough to be able to do at least six of those things well enough that I graduated in the top ten of my class.

Even though I did go to college and I did get a job (several, in fact), my ADD manifested itself in other ways, including an almost debilitating lack of motivation. I was almost agoraphobic at one point and that, coupled with a crazy fear of the dark, put me in a bit of a funk for a while there.

My jobs suffered as a result of my ADD, and even worse, my students and coworkers suffered by association. I feel bad now, almost like I failed them by not teaching them the right way or by not completing the right tasks.

It seemed that, with every new job, I would renew my commitment to organization and concentration and motivation, only to have my resolutions--as they do--fall by the wayside within a few days.

One day I was asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding a student who was being tested for ADD/ADHD, and I saw that the symptoms that were mentioned were ones that I have exhibited for all of my life. Like, EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM was something I had done.

I made an appointment that very day.

And I am pleased to say that I have been on the Strattera for eight months now, that I have maintained my latest commitment to organization/concentration/motivation. It's a miracle!

So today, when I found myself in that familiar grip of "Where is my stuff? What do I do now? Why didn't I plan? What was I going to do? Why did I come here?" I did get a little nervous. I hate the feeling that I get when I have forgotten to take my medication; I would just as soon not relive the days when my brain seemed to be going in fourteen different directions at once. I feel like my eyes are going every which way, like they do when I have spun around and around and stopped suddenly.

Plus, Strattera has some mood elevators, and when DON'T I love those?

No comments:


Made by Lena