I’ve been meaning to write this article for awhile now…but somehow I kept forgetting. This is one example of how my Attention Deficit Disorder manifests in my daily life.
I never knew that I had A.D.D. growing up. I also never really understood what A.D.D. was, though.
One day, I went to a psychiatrist to see if I could get something for crippling anxiety and debilitating depression. I thought I’d leave with a script for a higher dose of Lexapro and maybe some Xanax, but lo and behold, I was hopping on a bus with some Vyvanse coupons and a sense of utter bewilderment. “I always did really well in school,” I thought,“what in the hell did I say in there for this doctor to diagnose me with this?” I immediately assumed the doctor was wrong (because apparently I’m smarter than all doctors), but I remembered some fellow college classmates who would have killed for a Vyvanse prescription. I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about. Maybe I’d end up cleaning my whole apartment or something? “It’s worth a try.”
It took me about a month to finally try out my stimulants, as I’m smarter than all doctors AND pharmacists. The first day I took it though, I couldn’t feel much of a difference. I did get a lot of work done that day, but I didn’t owe it to a pill. “I had a motivated day, that’s all.” After a whole week of taking them as prescribed, I started thinking to myself, “wow, I think this is actually doing something good…does this mean I have A.D.D.?”
I told my psychiatrist after 2 weeks of being on the stimulants that they actually worked. He looked at me like, “no duh” and from then on, my appointments with him have been all about my attention deficit struggles. Okay doc, I buy it.
Even though I always earned “good grades” in school, I still had A.D.D. It just manifested in different parts of my life. Now that I’m out of school, my A.D.D. bitch (let’s call her Addy) shows up loud and proud in many more noticeable ways, even if I’m medicated. Here are some things that I do that make me want to punch Addy in one of her stupid wandering eyes:
1. Needing reminders to remind me to remind myself to do things
…aaaaand they still don’t work most of the time. I’ve tried calendar invites, post it notes, e-mailing myself…I even bought a dang Apple Watch so I could record voice reminders. The thing is, if Addy isn’t in the mood to do it, she is not going to do it. Stubborn bitch.
2. Pissing off all of my friends and family by never texting them back
…okay, not NEVER, but certainly often. I’m sorry; when I open up text messages I always plan on responding to them. The issue is that I could be typing out a response when I think of something I needed to do earlier, so I close out the text message and starting working on that thing. Then when I finish that, I think to myself, “Oh! I need to text her back!” But instead of immediately going to text her, I immediately think of another thing I needed to do. That happens over and over until I go to sleep at night and wake up from an aggressive blue bubble that only says, “???” which of course I ignore, because I’m already thinking about something else.
3. Taking my Vyvanse, checking Facebook for a second, then finding myself 4 hours deep into a “New York Virtual Garage Sale” page wondering what the hell happened
I kid you not, Vyvanse is one helluva drug. It definitely helps you focus, but if you’re not careful, you’ll probably end up focusing on the wrong thing all day. Ask Addy about the time I had an obsessive shopping spree for stickers when I was supposed to get my laundry done. Wait, that’s happened on multiple occasions…
4. Asking my students “Where did I put my phone?” and “Which one of you stole my pen?” every 5 minutes
…it’s always on some random kid’s desk, or even worse, in my pocket. I used to make fun of my French teacher for being scatterbrained and crazy but…now I am her. My 7th graders think I’m nuts because I’m always bouncing back and forth from topic to topic and running around the room. To be fair though, my A.D.D. teachers were always my favorites.
Unfortunately, this extends beyond my classroom. Ask my roommates what my most asked questions are. They’d tell you: “Where the heck is my vape!?” or “Do you know where my phone is?” or “How did I lose my remote again?”
Having A.D.D. can surely wreak havoc on your life. What’s important is knowing how to control Miss Addy in a way that works for you. I’ve noticed that if I ever want to get anything done, I have to write a checklist with even the simplest of tasks included. Seriously, I’ve written “take a shower” on a checklist before so I wouldn’t forget.
I hate on Addy a lot, but I do need to recognize the good things about myself that thanks to her. So this an ode to my A.D.D. brain: thanks for my quirks, my creativity, my flexibility and my eccentricity.
But seriously…has anyone seen my phone?