Adderall is a Defogger
Numb and dead inside. Still, cold, solid stone.
Flares of life. Scatters of sunshine. Sparks of glitter.
But still, the center of me remained unmoving. Medusa’s stare has been slow but unflinching. Is Adderall Perseus’ shield he views her through? Perhaps.
I’ve felt like this for what I like to call my 30s. Slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean, no help in sight. I was buoyed at times by Effexor and then Wellbutrin, but neither cut the chain on my anchor.
I was forever single, back living with my parents in my claustrophobically small hometown, with a job I enjoyed but couldn’t afford to move out on. California is expensive. Throw in some health issues and little to no social life and what is there not to love?
I turned 40 almost a year ago and things are better than ever. I have an adoring boyfriend whom I’ve moved in with, finally escaping the pit of despair I called home. Turns out, I don’t hate my hometown, I hated living with my parents. Weird!
So why am I still depressed?
My boyfriend said, “It’s not your fault. It’s the chemicals in your brain.” I finally got it.
I’ve always preached that, but I didn’t truly understand it. At heart, I still felt that I was at fault. That there was something wrong with me, something I was doing wrong that was causing this.
I’m not thinking right, not speaking right, not doing right… I’m making all the wrong choices and I’m not a good girlfriend, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend.
If I was just a better person then I wouldn’t feel so bad all the time. I must be depressed because I’m a bad person and this is my punishment.
It wasn’t until I heard him say “It’s not your fault” on that day, in that moment, that it finally clicked. It really is the chemicals in my brain that are messing with me.
All the positivity and new moon rituals and power of abundance in the world aren’t going to right the chemicals in my brain. It helps, don’t get me wrong. It helps a lot. But it does not cure.
I tried Adderall from a friend. Yeah, I was that guy. And it was like hitting the defroster on my windshield. I could think clearly. What’s more, I could remember what I was talking about when I went off on a tangent and come back to it. It was like I was ME again.
The closest I’ve felt to my true self was in high school. Yep, I’m that guy, too. I loved high school. Sorry, Not Sorry.
I’m from a hippie, artsy, new-agey little town and when I was in high school in the mid 90s the peer pressure was to be as different from everyone as you could. I was pissed when I saw a girl who had tied sea shells in her hair because that meant I couldn’t do it.
I felt free, embraced weird as a compliment, and was downright celebrated for being my kaleidoscopic oddball self.
I flourished with creativity. I wrote, I acted, I painted, I created, I twirled flags and cheerleaded. I read and I drew and I was a social butterfly. I was always finding something new to twist, to look at sideways, to see anew. The world felt open.
Bit by bit, somewhere along the way, I lost it. For all the reasons one does: responsibilities, growing beyond other’s control and comfort zones, self-doubt that arises from leaving the safe haven of your fish bowl, trying to be “normal” and do what everyone else is doing… and a sweet chemical imbalance.
Through trial and error over the last three months, I think I’ve found the sweet spot of medication to correct that imbalance.
I’m not getting fun time high off Adderall, I’m getting shit done. I actually have the energy and the desire to… shower. Do laundry. Clean the dishes. Sit down and write this.
I’ve felt like a ball of batting and twine that’s finally unravelled to reveal the quartz crystal inside.
I feel the anchor has been smashed, not lifted. The debris is in the water with me but no longer holding me down.
I can see the old pockets of creativity I once dwelled in. I can feel them like coral. And I’m excited to go tide pooling and see what treasures I’ve left behind and what new deposits I can discover.
It’s spring time for this fashionably late bloomer. My freak flag is unfurling. It’s time to soar.