Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I have always resisted taking meds for ADHD. I had been tested in high school and prescribed ritalin. When I took it, I felt like I was walking air and in the clouds. I could focus, sure, but I couldn't really be me. So, I stopped taking them and just tried my hardest to remember my homework, remember my assignments, keep myself seated and from not talking. It was hard and more often than not, I failed and when I failed, I felt like a failure. I hated that feeling and tried harder and harder. Pretty soon, I was trying so hard that I would be drained of everything by the time I got home. I could not even think about doing homework or helping around the house.

I know now, after researching and attending seminars and classes, that I was using all of my serotonin and the chemical that connects that synapses in my brain during school so I had to "zone out" in order to "refill the bucket." I would turn on the TV and not even really watch it but simply sit there. I couldn't hear anything- my mom would call my name about 10-15 times and I could not focus on the sound. I could not tell you what I was watching, I was just there.

 After my daughter was born in 2010, I started to feel off and not able to keep myself from freaking out about everything. It finally came to a head last July when I could not calm down at night. I was drinking too much alcohol, more than I had ever drank before, but it simply wasn't helping. I came into the kitchen one night and started sobbing hysterically. "Something is wrong with me," I cried to my husband, "I don't know what my problem is but I think I need some help." He was baffled and yet comforting, telling me to call someone to see what I needed to do to feel better.

I went to a psychiatrist that someone had recommended and just cried for the hour I was sat there, pouring out my feelings of complete inadequacy, how I could not keep all these balls in the air, how I was failing my family so completely. He just sat there and after awhile asked me, "Have you ever been diagnosed with ADHD?" I stopped crying and looked at him and answered "Yes." He said that he thought that might be a part of the problem, but that I was showing signs of extreme anxiety. He prescribed me Vyvanse to treat the ADHD and Buspar to help with my anxiety. He gave me two pills to start the next day and had me reschedule to see him in four days. I was so nervous. I had never been a pill popper and did not like the concept of taking daily pills. But I simply could not exist another day doing and feeling the same thing. The only option left to me was to follow the doctors instructions. So- I took them the next day.

I felt a little out of it, a little nauseous, a little different, but I also didn't feel like I was going to run screaming from the room if there was a noise that was too loud. I didn't feel like I was going to start a million different tasks and end up at the end of the day with dozens of half-finished projects, yet exhausted and without any energy. I got up and walked around the house, made mental notes of how I needed to prioritize, what I needed from the store, and which room needed to most cleaning. That wasn't anything different from any other day, but what was shocking is that I did every single thing I set out to do.

 I have now been on Vyvanse and Buspar for almost a year. It has literally changed my life. I am able to complete my lists, finish my projects, come home with some energy instead of needing the veg out period in front of the TV, and be the mother and teacher I need to be.
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