I woke up this morning, excited like a kid on a day before a big event. Today, my world is/was going to change! Today, I start taking Ritalin.
The prescribing doctor laid out how the dosage was to work: First dose at $time, then up it by another dose every 1/2 hour until I’ve taken up to three pills. He promised, well suggested, the world will get more focused. Things will start to collate and I would be better able to function as the world becomes clearer.
After the morning absolutions, I popped the first dose with water and went down to make coffee and get breakfast. I felt the same as I always have – head fuzzy. Things unfocused. Sometimes this clears up after the first few cups of coffee, others this is how my brain feels all day.
Second dose happens at 9:45AM. I feel some focusing happening, not a lot, but some. Distractions don’t seem to be as prevalent but I still feel like I’m doing a million things at once, even if that million of things is writing an email, talking on IRC, talking on IM, talking on Twitter, and reading Facebook. An email to someone is left unsent after a few moments. I wonder to the bathroom and start applying varying shades of lipgloss/lipsticks that I had recently purchased (a few of them were on my desk, which prompted the wander). I spend a few moments working on my lips and realize I have to go back to the office to finish documenting this experiment. And send the email that was left in draft form, though it is ready to go before I wandered off. As I settle back in the my office, a discussion between TheHusband and I pop up about how to use a gift card we got from his parents for the holidays. We shop on Amazon and I place the order.
It’s now 10:15. I pop the third dose.
Is the drug working? As I write this, I feel focused on writing this even though I see the IRC chat window scroll to the left of my screen, I know there are messages waiting for me on Twitter, and a few other distractions are looming.
My brain still feels fuzzy and I have a very low headache, barely noticeable in the front. This could be a reaction to the drug.
But here is what I have noticed – while writing this, I have just been writing and only correcting spelling as I go (easy when it has squiggle lines underneath to denote the eror). Usually when I write, I have to preview the entry a million times before it is published so that the entry is just so. This is why it takes so damn long for me to write an entry here, and why that often seems looming and difficult, because of all the extra work I think I need to put into it. This is also explains why when I sit down and write a short story, a book, whatever, I can’t just write. I have to do all the same steps I do for writing online and in the case of my fiction, I then just let it go because my frustation overtakes everything else.
It’s now 45 minutes since the last dose. I got five orders yesterday from my Etsy store that I need to ship today. I got most of the prep work done last night. Now if I can sit here and complete all five orders with minor interruptions then that would be a good way to see if the drug is working. Earlier this week when I had a large order, it took me six hours from prep work to taping up boxes to finish since I got distracted every 10 minutes.
It’s now 8PM.
I did not finish the five orders as planned. The first order, from start to finish, took 45 minutes but I was interjecting quality time on IRC while I worked. The second order took 20 minutes to finish from the start, and that includes the three minutes used to braid my husband’s very long hair. The third order, which had two balls for stuffing and packing, ALSO took 25 minutes. By the time I finished those orders, took a shower, roused TheHusband and drove to the post office, we arrived within minutes of it closing. I still have two orders left to fill and those now get shipped on Monday.
The rest of day, shopping to prep for heading up to the cabin for a week, became a mix of patience and high anxiety. TheHusband said I was all over the place, mentally AND driving (which scared the beejeezus out of him). I felt somewhat focused and laid out in my head what I needed to do (I need to go to USPS, I need to go to UPS, I need to go to Hobby Lobby, and so forth) and the follow through of what I needed at each location. But TheHusband says different. Whose opinion matters here? His or mine? Is the drug working here or has it waned? Is this how I am normally? How do I know?
Is the influence of my period affecting my emotions here?
We finished our shopping around 4PM and headed to a late lunch/early dinner, where I quizzed TheHusband on my moods and behaviors. How are was I doing? What was I doing? Can you clarify that? Was that worse or better than before? See his responses above, he thought I was more scattered and flighty than usual. He’s worried – is this the new me? We run a few more errands before heading home. At World Market, we have a conversation that turns into a rather loud argument. I call him fucking dick in the middle of the store and stomp out.
What’s the argument about? His concern about the Etsy store is taking away the time I could be writing. Am I even making a profit? Is this even worth it? Look, I say, when I started this two years ago I was without a job and it was a good idea because there is a market for it. I made a $1000 dollars the first time around, and about 30% of that was probably profit after costs and my payment to myself. Because the first year I undercut myself, the second year I raised the prices a few more dollars to what the market would bear, did a few craft shows, and did phenomenal. People love my balls.
But this year, I was laid up for a good chunk of the year and my mobility has been off and yes, I haven’t been feeling it on doing the store this holiday season because I was still feeling so worn out from the surgery and the recovery has been exhausting. So, this year I put stock in my inventory and made the store live the week of Thanksgiving. As the last minute shoppers hurry, hurry, hurry to get their orders filled, come Monday the 18th, i’ll shutter down until January where I hope to reopen to a bang.
The thing is, I don’t know. The stuffing of the balls is a seasonal thing. To TheHusband, he feels like I’m sucking up all this time doing the Etsy store when I could be writing. And somehow this comes out when we’re standing in front of the pillow display at World Market (currently 40% off).
As we drive home, a lot more words are said. Some were thrown, in the heat of the moment, and I started crying so hard and my lower lip was quivering so badly, I had to pull off into a nearby parking lot, lest I do something stupid and get us in an accident. Writing, writing, writing – all he wants to do is talk about my writing. We go back and forth for awhile, and my brain just feels like one huge fuzzball. He asks me what I’m thinking and I tell him, “Orange, purple, goat.” Because that is how I sometimes feel. He looks at me and he is sorry for the things he’s said, and I’m sorry for the things I’ve said. Orange, purple, goat is what he thinks I should be writing, but sometimes it’s even hard to get those out somewhere where they can be seen. (He thinks I should not give a fuck about writing to a screen because it has no feelings, which is true. But the jumbling of the world when I write is what is the hold up it is NOT for the lack of ideas.)
It is now nearly midnight, and I cannot explain to you what happened in the last four hours since I’ve started writing this. Cookies were eaten, the dog was walked, some chores were done. Was I here? Sometimes, but not fully. That is what it is ALWAYS like inside of my hand. I screamed at him tonight the problem is that the things here, tapping my forehead, cannot come out through my fingers anymore, waving my hands. It’s not like when I was a young adult and I could write stream of consciousness for hours. In the ways I was extreme on somethings then, I’m moderate now and vice versa.
Yes, okay, perhaps the drugs did work, the dose may be too low, but I think it did work. I cannot focus no, and haven’t been able to for a few hours, and everything is all over the place. On paper, on my desk, on my computer screen.
Orange, purple, goat. Tomorrow we try again.
Live blogging the Ritalin experiment: Saturday
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