ADHD is Real, and So is Ritalin

Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 22

I have a love-hate relationship with my medication. I don’t like the way I feel when I take my daily dose of methylphenidate, however, on the days I forget to take my medication, I feel far from good as well. With every pill I’m giving away a part of me, I turn into a robot version of me but I known that if I stop taking my medication I would loose even more, I would get completely lost in the chaos inside my own mind. I can not live without but living with is not truly me and this makes things difficult.

Ritalin takes a part of me

Methylphenidate makes me feel numb, less connected to myself and the world around me. The chaos inside me disappears but emotions and feelings go with it. I don’t feel joy or sadness, I don’t notice hunger or pain, I loose my social skills and with the focus I gain, frustration and anxiety appear. I wrote about the many bad things that come from the daily use of Ritalin, but no words can describe how every pill makes me feel like I am loosing something.

Now you might be wondering why I keep drugging myself with these terrible pills. At least I am asking myself this question very often. But the truth is that no matter how much I loose when I swallow one of my pills, life is always better for me when I take my medication. In my life, I have taken about 7.376 pills (I should not have done this math) and not a single one was able to make me decide to stop, instead, I keep thinking about pill nr. 1, the one that gives me enough reasons to take my Ritalin every single day.

The years before

Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, before I started taking methylphenidate, I was basically an addict, although I never agreed on this of course. There wasn’t a single night I did not numb myself with alcohol and every day I smoked weed to calm myself down. I did not know I had AHD but I did notice that there was too much happening inside my mind and I was desperately searching for a way to stop the chaos inside me.

My search for peace brought me to turn to the healing power of alcohol and drugs, but this made me ail at life. I went out every night, till early in the morning, making me too tired to go to school. The hours I did go to school I was stoned, I smoked weed just to get me through my classes. It is a miracle I was able to finish school and start university. I could ave ruined everything for myself with the way I used to live and in my first month at university I was even ruining it. I was great at my creative classes but I choose to not attend the rest and instead take time to calm down my mind. I was failing to make in through my first year because of the constant urge to numb myself.

Fortunately, halfway through this year, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I received the prescription for my first Ritalin and this is when things started to change for me.

The first pill

I picked up my first pack of pills in the city I grew up in and decided to try methylphenidate in the 1 hour train ride home. I bought water at the station and swallowed my first Ritalin on the platform. Inside the train I started to feel the effect of this little pill, for the first time ever I was able to experience a silence inside me, I was able to sit there and understand what I was thinking about. The chaos disappeared and I started to understand what ADHD meant for me.

Till this moment in the train, I honestly believed all minds are chaotic. I believed I had been just not good enough in dealing with my chaos, not strong enough to get some organization in there. But this first pill made me understand it was not just me, that the amount of chaos inside my mind was much bigger than it was supposed to be.

Once I reached my house, I asked al the people I lived with what they were thinking at that moment, curious about how other minds would work. Until this moment I never imagined that mine would be different but I found out it was. The calmness I had felt when I sat down in the train was close to the normal of my friends. I wasn’t just weaker than them, I had a brain that was just much harder to calm down.

I just have more chaos

Suddenly things started to make sense for me, I finally found out that I was not to blame for being different, I actually was different. In the days after my first pill I started to understand that I just needed some help, how a small dose of methylphenidate was enough to make me able to focus and prevent me from getting stuck inside my mind. For the first time in my life I experienced how things could be easy for me as well, how not everything needs to be the big challenge I always encountered while trying to do the normal things.

Not long after the first pill, I started to recognize the bad things about methylphenidate. I lost my appetite, I stopped laughing and I started to plan everything and focus on performance. I became a robot, however, no matter how many bad things I have discovered over the years, the positivity that came with the first pill has always proven to be strong enough to keep taking my medication, to keep wanting to spend a couple of hours a day owning an (almost) normal brain even if I would feel less like myself.

If I try to do groceries on a day I forget to take my medication, hundreds of dilemmas arise inside my mind. What do I want to eat? Which taste will I like tonight? What amount of crunchiness do I want my food to have? What store should I go to? One is cheaper but might not have everything I want. Is there an other store on my way back home? But if I first go to the cheap store and they don’t have the heavy thing I need, I can not fit everything in my back properly. Should I switch the order of the stores? But if I do I might pay too much for something they turn out to have in the cheap one and maybe I have to go to the other one afterwards either way because there is something else they don’t have. I can’t go to the same store twice. Maybe I should bring an extra bag, one for each store. But if I do, I can not go on the racing bike. On my other bike the store is a bit too far to go to. What should I even wear when I go? Maybe I should just go to the closest one and be quick? But then I will pay too much for sure. But what do I even need to buy? Is what I need really much cheaper in the cheap store?

Ritalin is much needed help

It might look like ADHD makes me procrastinate, maybe lazy even, since I can spend hours on the couch before going out to do my groceries, but in reality I have just too many questions to answer before I’m able to start something. Simple things make me wonder about too many things that neurotypical brains, and even mine on medication, don’t even consider and this is exactly why I take my Ritalin.

Without medication my brain is able to drive my mind crazy, I make myself crazy. No matter how much I tell myself to stop overthinking and just start, the chaos won’t disappear until every question is answered. I consume all my energy before even starting something and methylphenidate seems to be the only way to stop the endless questioning inside my mind. No one want to take painkillers but sometimes they are necessary to get through the pain and Ritalin works in the exact same way.

ADHD is real and so is methylphenidate. Without Ritalin, I would be trapped inside my mind most of my time, I would never be able to do what I truly want. Loosing some parts of myself is a price I’m more than willing to pay for the peace I gain. Besides I learned to balance my medication, every night and afternoon in the weekend I can be my normal self, without my pills, and this way I am in control of my chaos while still able to succeed in the things I want. I am still me.

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