Coping with a fast paced mind
I’ll start from the beginning. When I was in early High school, I felt like there was something wrong with me. I had an awful time sitting through class and would often drift into la la land while the teacher lectured us about postulates and linear equations. I took advanced classes and would go home with a stack full of homework. The challenge was, my attention span lasted about 10 minutes. Which meant I would sometimes stay up all night long trying to complete a few hours worth of homework.
Beyond that, I dealt with emotional turmoil because instead of properly processing the challenges I went through, I let my fast paced mind take hold of me. So, under the illusion that a doctor would fix my problems, we scheduled an appointment.
I went in, told my doctor how I felt, and he sent me home with a few evaluations that I was told to give to my teachers and older family members. I brought them back after everyone filled them out, and he had them assessed. He told me I had a high chance of having ADHD. There is no way to physically test if someone has it or not, so it is presented in terms of likelihood.
He prescribed me two medications. Vyvanse in the morning, which is a stomach activated non-stimulant, and then Adderall for when the Vyvanse would wear off.
I can definitely say that it helped me focus. In fact, it made me hyper-focused. I would meticulously clean my room, find enjoyment out of math homework for once, and most of the time forget to eat. I was becoming really skinny because I religiously exercised and never had an appetite.
At first, I was happy with the “improvements” it was bringing to my life. But after some time, I started to see the flaws in which it brought. For starters, I had to continue upping my doses because I quickly grew a tolerance for both medications. I was nervous that I’d have to keep increasing my dosage for the rest of my life. Second of all, if there was a day where I ran out of medication and couldn’t get a refill, I felt absolutely incompetent. I would stay in bed all day and feel brain dead. Lastly, I realized that I no longer enjoyed writing, music, or art as much, and those have always been some of my deepest passions.
I could tell people were worried about my weight and could sense a change in my personality. It was a very serious thing at a young age to be completely shifting the chemical foundation of my mind.
It wasn’t until I started learning more about the structure of our society that I started understanding why I thought I needed medication to be normal. Humans are expected to act and be a certain way, which is why the school systems are seeking high test scores instead of encouraging kids to focus on their passions. I realized I was taking a few pills to conform to the expectations of others.
The fact is that I have always had a strong right side of the brain, and have felt more in tune with my creativity than my logical thinking. As soon as I learned to appreciate this instead of view it as a hindrance, I felt motivated to come off of my medication and find natural ways to cope with my fast paced mind. As easy as it made my life and as addicted I was, I still chose to quit overnight because I knew in my heart that it was taking away from my true potential.
I was on pharmaceuticals for about a year, and it has been almost four years since I have used them. When I look back at my writing during that time, I see an author restricted from her highest capabilities and stuck in structure rather than truth. It has been liberating to find relief in substances that bring genuine positivity to my life, instead of feeling incomplete without taking a few pills.
If you take medication to cope with your inner challenges, that is okay. But if you feel that it is bringing you more problems than solutions, it might be time to start exploring various ways to cope. If you are experiences side effects that are negatively impacting your health, I highly encourage you to talk to your doctor as there are always alternative solutions. If you’ve felt an underlying need to stop taking your medication, again, have that discussion with your doctor.
I want to remind you that are whole, complete, and absolutely beautiful whether you take medication or not. The purpose behind this article is to inspire anyone who feels incompetent in this society to assess your qualities and find the positives in what seems to be your downfalls. It is also my intention to be as raw as possible so that we can share this imperfect human experience together. And as always, I encourage you to envision the life that aligns to your truth, and live it out.
To see my methods at which coping with my distractions, check out my article 5 ways to Naturally Cope with ADHD.
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Disclaimer: that I am by no means encouraging anyone to quit taking prescriptions without doctor supervision. This is a touchy subject and I have no intention to offend anyone who uses medication as a tool in their life, as this is simply based off my own experiences. I encourage everyone to follow the path that feels right to you.