Dear Adderall – A Love Letter
So, this week, the assignment was to write a thank you note to something that makes our life better. My choice, as you will see, was pretty obvious.
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I was super distracted all the time, but I managed okay.
I parented some great kids, I wrote some books, I crafted like a mad fiend, I drove kids from point A to point B. A lot of kids from point A to point B. I edited a crap-ton of manuscripts and coordinated a lot of editing related day job stuff.
Once in a while, I burned supper, but hey, shit happens. Sometimes you get an idea for a scene and you have to write it down, and before you know it, you’re scraping charred bits off your family’s grilled cheese sandwiches because you forgot to go grocery shopping and there’s no more bread and cheese to make more.
But the point is, I was doing okay-ish. Until I wasn’t.
I started burning supper all the time (not just some of the time like usual). I left the oven on for hours until the house had that vaguely burnt smell. I sometimes would leave the burner on under a pan until the whole house filled with smoke. Sometimes, I’d get in the car with the intent to go to say…the store. Or my mom’s. But I’d get so distracted, that I’d keep driving and end up somewhere else, often having no idea how I’d gotten there. Or worse, how to get back.
The most frustrating part of all was that I couldn’t write. It would literally take all my brain power, not to mention all afternoon, to string together two paragraphs. And that, dear Adderall, is not how books get written. It’s also not how kids get picked up on time, edible suppers are made, or any editing gets done at a reasonable pace. And forget about housecleaning.
I complained to my freaking awesome therapist about this bullshit, and she decided that we should play a game. A Bron Answers 100 Questions kind of game. So we did. And you know what, dear lovely Adderall? I scored super high on the Attention Deficit Disorder scale thingy. As it turns out, I have Inattentive ADD. I was stunned. How could this be? I wasn’t like the other people in my family who have ADD. However, it should be noted that when I shared my startling revelation with those closest to me, no. one. was. surprised. Literally, no one. Not my husband, my kids, my friends, my former daycare children, my siblings, no one. Nobody. Only me.
Apparently, I’d had some pretty stellar coping mechanisms in place, but time, and the fucktacular hormones related to the onset of peri-menopause set in, my coping mechanisms began to fracture and fail. Spectacularly. And that’s when my therapist said, “Hey, you know…they make stuff to help with this sort of thing.”
I admit, I was resistant to the idea of taking medication. I didn’t want to have to take something to be “normal”. I worried that I might be focused enough to write but that my creativity would be stifled. I worried that you, dear Adderall, might make me less me. Even though my therapist assured me that you were more akin to putting glasses on my brain rather than altering my thought processes, I was still nervous. And then I nearly started the kitchen on fire. Again.
I got the prescription filled. And it was like having glasses on my brain. I could think again. As soon as that stuff kicked it, I decided to open up my manuscript and attempt to write. And you know what? I wrote over five hundred words in under half an hour. And they were good words. Words I didn’t feel the need to rewrite or delete.
I was thrilled. Still a little cautious, but thrilled. It’s been nine months, and I know we’re probably still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship, but I don’t get in the car and end up in strange places any more. I don’t wander away and leave the gas burner on the stove going. I don’t forget to pick up my kids. My editing process is amazingly smooth and fairly organized. And Adderall? Dear, lovely, sweet Adderall, I can write again. I’d forgotten what it was like to write words without struggling to the point that I wanted to scream. I’d forgotten how much fun writing is when I’m not practically weeping at the difficulty of stringing together ideas in any kind of coherent way.
So, to sum up, Adderall, my sweet. Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my easily distracted little heart. You’ve made my brain work again, and I feel a zillion times less likely to burn down the house, or get lost and far more capable of finishing books. You’re a lifesaver. And I love you.
Thanks for being awesome,
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