Live Blogging the Ritalin Experiment: Sunday

Dear Internet,

We shall begin this entry by noting the time I went to bed Saturday night: 2:23 AM.

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I woke up this morning at 9:26A, ON THE GO, with a list in my head of a million things I needed to do. After morning absolutions, I ended up in my office where I thought to do some work. I popped the first dose today sometime after 10:30A. In the last 30 minutes, I was all over the place on the Interwebs from reading my site stats, to creating an account on MetaFilter to answer a question, to finding that someone on Tumblr quotes me (and gave me attribution!).

Do not be afraid

I took the second dose sometime around 11:25AM because I lost track of time as I was talking to Jessica, Kristin, and O during the last hour. I’ve also been fielding questions about my dairy allergy on Facebook and researching something else that I’m now forgetting.

I am feeling manic.

It’s 11:55AM and dose three has been consumed. I have yet to eat breakfast and I can’t convince TheHusband to make me a spread (eggs, bacon, toast). He’s probably already eaten himself. I could head down and have left overs, which might not be a bad idea as I need to refill my coffee. I also need to take my 1/2 dose of Klonopin for the day as well as my vitamin supplements.

But now I’m thinking,  “If I’m heading downstairs, I might as well start laundry and since I’m downstairs, vacuum the living the room.” And so it will go on that a single action “get food” has turned into a war campaign to get everything else done so that I don’t waste time. How is time being wasted? I could never really answer that question, I just know if I have time to do X and possibly Y, then I should do those things.

I’ve pulled up Evernote and Wunderlist to track ToDo items as they occur so I don’t start doing them this very minute.  Items added, I’m now clicking aimlessly across the open tabs feeling as though I have forgotten something. I need to go eat.

5PM. As I had expected, I asked TheHusband to take laundry down to the basement for me to start (going up and downstairs is still cautious thing for me to do, so when something large has to be carried, I ask him to do it). After he throws the laundry in, he heads to make himself a bowl of cereal, for I was wrong, he has not eaten. I heat up leftovers, he eats his cereal, and we start having a discussion on something benign which ends up in a four hour philosophical discussion about hunter/gathers vs agrarian communities that meanders towards the argument of what demonstrates equal rights.

The discussion leaves me exhausted but I’m thrilled to find that during the verbal sparring, my brain does not feel muddled or confused. I can articulate my points, I can speak eloquently, I’m able to recall something from two sentences ago to build a rebuttal or to agree. I do not feel like I am gasping at air to make a point, and more importantly, I do not feel like I am stupid. I can hold an intellectually stimulating conversation and it is glorious.

I get angry, however, because while the exercise above was something that I want to be able to do, I am angry at myself for not setting boundaries on my time. Every single instance I’ve read of someone on Ritalin all note the same thing: How drastically short the drug lasts. Today is better than yesterday, but that could be for any number of reasons such as time when I started the doses  and my own hormones playing havoc.

What I desperately wanted for that time was to do the things I had planned on doing, the sublime capability of being able to start a task and finish it in a manner that does not look like it came out of a Picasso painting. I should have said something to him, and I didn’t, and that is something I need to learn how to do.

8PM. Lindsay has come and gone for she is housesitting this week while we go up north. When she called, right after TheHusband and I have finished our discussion, I was able to make clear my boundaries which she understood. That seemed so easy, something I could never do before. She came, we hugged, we talked, and she left without me feeling like I had to entertain her for hours. Dinner was consumed, laundry was finished and put away.

I still have loads of things to do tonight, and it’s getting late, but I do not feel like the world is going to end like I usually do when my brain starts to feel this way. I still feel focused but I am finding the focus comes and goes, as the drug wanes in and out. I found myself not as eloquent when talking with Lindsay as I was talking to TheHusband, shortly after the last dose was taken. Words trip out of my brain and out of my mouth, but two days in and I can see that there is some hope. TheHusband notices a difference today from yesterday.

Brendan said that a big problem he had with Ritalin was the headaches, something echoed by many others. There was also discussion about the lack of creativity, that some thought was too high of price to pay for taking the drug. For me, I’ve never known to not have a headache of some kind, where my brain was fuzzy and struggling to even do a simple task made me feel Herculean. I can take the headaches. And so far, I dont’ find the argument about loss of creativity true with me, if anything, this will be the push me to the other side. I have always been an idea person, but when I can take an idea and bring it to fruition, I can only imagine the joy of being able to do that. I’ve never been able to do that.

I’m aware I’m possibly romanticizing a drug and that for the benefits, there may be some tradeoffs.  But if the relief of finding out that after all these years, if a good chunk of my problems/issues/whatever that were often just dismissed as being a personality quirk or that I didn’t try hard enough or that I was incapable of doing the job, to find that there is a solution, even a minor one?

To me, the freedom to be able to express what is in my world is the biggest freedom I could ever be given. I’m holding on and never letting go.

x0x0,
Lisa