View Full Version : What I went through and how it gets better

06-17-14, 11:40 AM
Adderal, Ritalin, Concerta, Strathera, amphetamine salts, short-acting, long-acting, patches, pills, syrups, powders, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 30mg……….I’ve been around more blocks than I care to say with ADHD and medicating myself to function “properly”. After I learned that what I was doing was not “normal” I was taken to a psychiatrist and found out that I have Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2nd grade at 7 years old during my first year of American school.

The attention deficit part might seem self-explanatory but it’s a little more complicated than lack of attention span. I feel like its loss of control in thought and direction, It’s as if your watching TV and the channels keep flipping but you don’t have the remote, and the harder you try to stop the channel surfing the more you stall out, and in those instances you lose complete focus and focus on focusing so much that it makes going back to your previous mind state extremely difficult. Trying to control this makes the TV flip out of control and frustrate the hell out of us. We get angry at the remote control handler which turns our anger at ourselves for not being able to find him and stop the madness. The hyperactivity just adds a kick in the stomach after you’re already on the ground; the world in your mind is at such a fast pace that it makes it easier to overlook certain details or specifics without a second thought. This hyperactivity trait makes us not only look like raging idiots to the outside world but to some people we look mentally ill or disabled.

I never knew that what I did and how I acted wasn’t normal before they told me. I felt like what I felt and what I did was how everyone feels and does things. After they told me I began to turn on myself. I truly believed that I was not right and at 7 years old finding out that your disabled isn’t the greatest of things to discover. At ages 2-13 your life is a little flighty normally, but I was an extreme case, I couldn’t sit still for more than 10 seconds without rocking in my chair. I was loud, obnoxious, disruptive, inconsiderate, fast-paced, unaware of my effect on people, unaware of the effect of my words, unaware of myself being anything other than myself.

They started me on half of a short-acting 10mg pill of Ritalin. At 7 years old I had my first high from legal “narcotics”. It was…….. different, I was slower and calmer, it was the first time that I could sit and be self-aware, and aware of the people around me, and I wasn’t hungry ever. I didn’t talk for the first few days and I just observed things around me. It felt like I wasn’t in my body but rather in my head, like I was watching everything that was happening from afar, but when I came down from the meds I hit Mac 1 and went faster than ever before. The come down was somewhat of a process; I began to talk and conversate more but I was still in reserve and distant from the people around me. It was like a belt was around my waist all day and slowing but surely it was loosening its grip and I could move further and further away, and when I pushed through the last of its grip I ran like a wild child.

I remember not liking it because people would come up to me constantly asking “what’s the matter with you”, I would say “I took my meds”. I thought the meds were suppose to help me not make me look odd in people’s eyes, but really they were just concerned because I wasn’t running like a chicken with my head cut off. I was calm, collective, self-aware………. I hated it. During the summers I would go off again and go crazy because I didn’t have school to worry about, my parents would periodically put me back on it if we had to go out or if I needed to behave. I would go to restaurants and people would compliment on me being so well behaved to my mother……looking back now I think I was so drugged up and sluggish that I appeared normal, it made me happy at the time to look normal, to have my mother proud of me. I didn’t fight the drugs.

As time went on and I got older and older throughout grade school I became more and more resistant to the drugs, so they would up the dose, and eventually have to give me it twice during school hours (this was before long and short-acting drugs). I remember at about mid-day everyday I’d have to go to the nurses office to get my meds, and whenever I left my friends expected me to come back real sedated. They use to pick teams for football at recess and they would ask me before they started picking if I went to the nurse yet, If I didn’t, I’d be the first one to be picked, if I had, they wouldn’t pick me till last. My social life would only exist on days that I didn’t take my meds, but I could focus and get good grades on the days that I did take it. I wanted to make my mom happy but detentions and notes from school made mom sad. I remember overhearing kids during school talk to each other and inform one another whether I was or wasn’t on my meds that day, on this basis of gossip the kids would decide on approaching me or not. Everyone in the office knew me by name, and every time I was sent there for reprimandment the first order of business was to call the nurses office to see if I took my meds yet. Loved one day, shunned the next, it was just a decision on who I wanted to love me that day and who I wanted to be disliked by. My friends, or my parents and faculty. I took the meds majority of the time.

Newer and more effective drugs came out and Ritalin became obsolete. I was able to go the whole day through school on 1 pill from the a.m. This was around junior high and also around the time when the meds started to turn on me. I would take the drug and for the first hour I would be shaky, most of the day I would be at meds “normal”, but come the end of the school day I would become anxious, and depressed. I would begin to lose focus but not go back to normal yet, I was cut-off, didn’t like people, things, moments, events. I wouldn’t speak to anyone, just mind my business and be angry. I didn’t really understand it; I just thought it was normal. After id get past that phase id feel better and id go back to off meds “unnormal”. I would have to explain to people why some days I’m hyper, active, and social, while other days I was calm, under the radar and sedated. People told me constantly “I like you better when you’re not on meds” and I would have people tell me which days they would like for me not to take my meds because of some occasion or another. I tried but mostly I was just looked at as a really weird kid. It progressively got worse and progressively more paralyzing. I got thoughts of crazy things and just thought that’s what I really felt. At this point I didn’t think it was for any other reason than that’s how I felt.

I never thought that it was because of my meds until mid high school when learning about half-lives of drugs and doing a little research project for school about drug addicts and effects of drugs. I really started feeling like this wasn’t for me because if I stayed on this path I would kill someone or hurt myself in some way. I was just so damn depressed it was ridiculous. I hated the world, and I felt like I was worth nothing and that the world might be better off without me. At this point I already earned a full- ride scholarship to the University and I was set as long as I graduated, so I decided to stop taking the meds completely. It was interesting.

It was a process which I still refer to as “the awakening” (technically withdrawal followed by recovery). At the time when I quit I was taking 30mg extended release of adderall twice a day. That’s 60mg of amphetamines a day to ZIPPO, none, nada. I sunk low, extremely low, to the point where I thought death was close. I never showed it to the outside world because at that point I thought I was crazy literally “CRAZY” and that if the world knew me for the animal I am, I would be hunted like the animal I am. I was irritable and the smallest things set me off. I was an emotional train wreck already derailed and aiming for the broadside of a mountain. I was crashing and I knew it but stubborn as I was I didn’t think it was because of withdrawal because at that time I still thought that the meds were suppose to help me but I just didn’t want their help anymore. I wanted to be a kid.

After about 2 weeks the meds started to lose their hold, I was beginning to get back to “unnormal”. At this point I was tired of thinking of myself as some kind of freak and just accept what I was and become me. I fought with my parents but they really couldn’t complain because I was set and I was keeping my grades decent. That last part about my grades being decent was extremely hard. I think that was the biggest obstacle; trying to pay attention, listening, comprehending, sitting still, taking notes, taking tests, taking timed tests and studying in my free-time. It was ridiculous; there were times when I thought I’d have to go back on it. The only things that came easy to me were sciences like chemistry and biology especially. My social life increased and I got girlfriends and I was what some would consider good looking, my personality was still obnoxious, loud, and active, but at least now it was somewhat acceptable, I was finally normally “unnormal” and I was ok with that. I was still viewed as weird by many and at sometimes mentally different because of the things I said and the way I went about doing things but I got better grades then all of them so they couldn’t say ****.

I was flighty and skipped from one subject to the next, but it was real and it was great, I was blissfully oblivious. My subject matter and thought process may seem sporadic, random, and reckless to anyone outside my mind but everything I do and everything I say makes complete and perfect sense in the periodic of my conscious thought. Sure this got me in trouble often and I did lose a few friends over being me but I knew what I was and I knew what I wanted and it didn’t matter what anybody said because I was right where I wanted to be (figuratively of course, sometimes I would go so deep into my own periodical thought that I’d end up driving or going somewhere where I had no Idea where I was).

I love being me and I love letting loose and I love enjoying life, but the truth is that it’s a hard life to live. Not everyone is going to be understanding or sympathetic and you won’t find acceptance in most human beings, but it’s just because they don’t understand us. I don’t think they’re ready for us and I think that we do have to conform in some ways to better our position and maintain “normalcy” in their eyes but we don’t have to lose ourselves. I realize now that it’s a gift not a curse. Sure sometimes we have to change our tune and become “normal” again in front of certain people to further ourselves in this world but our gift is so much better than our curse. I feel like I live, really live reality more than most people and I pity them for not being like me. With ADD comes consequences but with every ADD person there’s something that truly calms them naturally, something that makes them think and makes them wonder and appeals to our natural need to go from subject matter to subject matter. Most people don’t have that and can’t go beyond the confines of their singular thoughts. I can go from proton of an atom to the relativity of perspective of the space/time dimension’s ability to bend time and space from a planar existence to an endless space of mass and energy. That kind of stuff calms me and plays towards my “unnormalness” and creativity.

There are thousands of people like me even if ADD is the #1 most over diagnosed disorder in the world today. Some of the most influential people in our world had traits of ADD or ADHD. John Lennon (ADD), Jim Carey (ADHD), Bill Gates (ADD), Albert Einstein (ADHD), John F. Kennedy (ADD), Nicolai Tesla (ADD), Stephen Hawking (ADHD, imagine not being able to move with this disorder lol), Michael Jordon (ADHD), and Walt Disney (ADD) to name a few. Our ability to think like no one else allows us to create some of the greatest works in our world.

Life is hard sometimes and we are not always going to have the answers to the things that trouble us the most but if you go with whats really in your heart feels right and accept the things that you will never be able to change, those troubles become less. Don’t ever be afraid, be aware; Most of the things that we are afraid of in this world stem from the unknown, so know, knowledge makes fear become awareness. Don’t worry about pain, it happens, you can’t spend your life without it and avoiding it at all costs takes up the time that you should be using to live your life. Learn from what you know and build on it. It’s good to make mistakes (keeps us human), it’s okay to make it twice, its ignorance to make it a third time. Trust your brain, it will serve you well, have confidence that it will show you a path, your path, not someone else’s. Sometimes you need to change, nobody’s perfect, so figure out what you want and mold yourself to how you need to get it. Have a plan, if you stray from the plan that’s fine just make sure you remember but your original intentions were. Morals are good, actions are better. Your brain is like one of those temporpedic memory foam beds, you make a mark on it and it stays for a while, repeat and its imprinted forever, mold your bed and make a map of what you want and what you morally do in certain situations, then trust your bed.

My subject matter and thought process may seem sporadic, random, and reckless to anyone outside my mind but everything I do and everything I say makes complete and perfect sense in the periodic of my conscious thought. Stay conscious ….stay YOU and don’t let anyone tell you what either is. It’s what you make it

If you so happen to decide that you would like to continue the meds(which I do from time to time now that I’m in college), there are certain things that make the ups and downs of it less effective on your overall well being. I’ve experimented and noted countless techniques that help while taking the meds that range from eating habits to key times of consumption to activities and various ways to reduce the time that it takes to leaving your system (a.k.a. the come down). If you want more information on these techniques and mindsets I’ve developed please let me know, but please be patient with my response, remember I have ADHD ;) lol.

But for now I’d like to tell you that the biggest step that helped me in forgiving myself and recovering from depression is identifying when I am in one of my slumps and informing myself that this is not me speaking and these are not my feelings, they are due to a chemical imbalance of mediated neurological pathways in my body that are not regulating as well due to the meds and that this imbalance will not last forever. Knowing this doesn’t make it go away, but it does give you a more real and better excuse then “I just hate myself and the world around me”.

Though you might not believe me right now, it gets better I PROMISE!!!

10-05-14, 06:56 PM
You've completely related to me and I actually cried. Thank you.

10-05-14, 09:59 PM

But for now Id like to tell you that the biggest step that helped me in forgiving myself and recovering from depression is identifying when I am in one of my slumps and informing myself that this is not me speaking and these are not my feelings, they are due to a chemical imbalance of mediated neurological pathways in my body that are not regulating as well due to the meds and that this imbalance will not last forever. Knowing this doesnt make it go away, but it does give you a more real and better excuse then I just hate myself and the world around me.