The drugs and I

August 9, 2009

As the doctors tell it I have Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD. This is not a new diagnosis. I was tagged as soon as the fad hit in the late 80’s, medicated for a time, and then spent the next twenty years railing against it. I felt blaming my poor decisions on some loosely defined structural flaw was a cop out; a cowardly dodge. I still largely feel this way, but I’ve read enough literature to realize there may be some correctable flaw in my wiring.

I discussed this with my childhood doctor and he suggested a regime of exercise, quality sleep, and daily amphetamine use. The entire consultation lasted ten minutes. It amounted to “Hit this crank and call me in three months”. Curious, but not unexpected.

Now, in fairness, the kick is more a sustained first cup of coffee buzz than it is the jittery cracktessence of a recreational high, but it’s still knocking back a hit of speed with breakfast: unless you are driving big rigs or tuning band amps for a living that strikes me as fairly marginal behavior. But, you know, doctors orders.

And does it work? Well, it has only been three days, but it does seem to be doing something. It’s hard to quantify. It’s like there is this taut cable connecting me to the world that keeps me from drifting; with occasional bursts of exhausting electric focus. I have a clearer sense of the passage of time so I get bored easier and wind up doing things, often productive. My short term memory and prefrontal associates have improved, but the heuristic bounce of my long term retrieval seems to have flattened a little: the immediacy and randomness of my internal process seems more distant.

There is good, to be sure, but I still haven’t gotten a handle on the cost.

I’ll keep you posted.

A.J. Valliant

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4 Responses to “The drugs and I”

  1. Triple Scoops Says:

    While respecting you’ve done a fair bit of thinking before getting yourself hopped up on drugs, I think you are in plain need of an adventure.

    Chris lent me this book before I went mad and sold all my belongings and then lived in that strange French land for a year. About 3 weeks before I left I copied out this passage in my diary:

    “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is the experience of being alive. So that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

    Now I know I push this “sell everything and leave” shit on just about everyone. I think my dental hygenist was the latest victim. But you should know I too was a just a poorly-travelled personal trainer before I became so awesome and started living on the Left Coast (and missing my friends).

    Think about it…! It’s kind of more fun to adjust your world to suit your crazy temperment than to adjust your crazy to suit the world. Y’all should find some renters, pack your bags and ride off into the sunset.

  2. max Says:

    What does the cat say?

  3. w()rmwood Says:

    As a diabetic I can completely relate to the borderline terror that comes with people telling you that how you think or feel is related to some biological issue, understood as a defect.

    That said, I have come to realize that there are several genuine instances where medication can be very useful, and that (for me) there is truth to the notion that my blood sugar directly affects my emotional and analytic thought process.

    So, while clearly you need to be vigilant, I would think of the drugs as (at least potentially) less like getting high and more like potentially mitigating a biological variable which may have some pretty solid benefits.

    The thing that took me a while to grasp, but ultimately made me feel a lot better, was that mitigating the biological ‘variable’ in my ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ did not mean I was suddenly ‘well adjusted.’

    As many of you can attest, I remain a pretty solid miscreant.

    best,

    p.

  4. donna Says:

    Keep us the readers informed on how the meds work.
    My guess is it will show in your writing.
    You are so talentented if a little drug theropy is in order so be it.

    Keep up the great work
    Cheers Mom


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