Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Okay, so first let me go on record as having thought of this prior to it being used as a storyline in Desperate Housewives. "This" being the use of Ritalin to bring more focus and discipline into my life. The woman on Desperate Housewives uses it to keep up with her kids, obviously buying into the belief that children don't really need Ritalin, it's just a way for schools to keep them drugged and pharmaceutical companies to stay profitable. I do think that over medicating has happened and does happen, but those kids on that show are like birth control. I totally understand why she ran away from home at the end of Sunday's episode. But anyway, since I don't have kids I've been looking for Ritalin via friends who do. And I finally scored some.

I was a little nervous to take it because I'm very sensitive to stimulants, ex. two cups of coffee make me shaky and nauseous. But I'm really struggling with my ability, or rather my lack of ability to focus and complete tasks when it comes to writing. Up until today I would write an idea down and then save it and go do something else. And then something else. And then another something else. And when I got to work, no matter how much sleep I had as soon as I sat down I was overcome with lethargy and unable to get anything done. I'm currently working on a script and my goal is to write one scene a day, and I've been doing that, but when I'm not focused nothing comes so I've been writing one crappy scene a day and that kind of defeats the purpose.

This morning I got my little yellow pill out and drank it with a full glass of water per all the research I did on the internet. This is a time release pill which is supposed to last for 8 hours. I took it about 8 hours ago and I've yet to feel jittery. And I wrote a kick ass scene effortlessly. And completed something I promised to a friend over a month ago. And did a little quick research for another friend and sent her the links. And my legs are shaved perfectly - no missed spots or nicks.

I'm not really hungry, but I can still eat and I have been eating because I feel like crap if I don't. That's not necessarily a negative side effect for me. I usually eat out of boredom and I'm not feeling bored. I am feeling incredibly engaged in everything I do. I have really dry eyes and I feel like I'm on the verge of a bloody nose, but I think that's more to do with the fact that the heat is on really high and the area around my desk is like the hotbox in the Yuma Territorial prison. Normally when this happens I sit slumped over, fighting for oxygen and desperately trying not to fall asleep. Oh, and I also get a little panicky. Today though, I just keep getting up and opening the door to let the outside air in - it's about 60 degrees outside so that's pretty brisk. I'm all about the solution and not the situation.

And I'm also wondering if perhaps I haven't had a touch of ADD my whole life? I was "disruptive" in class because I couldn't stop talking to the cute boys who sat near me. And perhaps because in tests given by the school I was determined to be a "gifted" child my inability to focus on what was going on in the classroom was chalked up to boredom. Or the fact that I've been boycrazy since I was six. Was I bored and easily distracted? - why yes I was. But today many children who test in the gifted zone are also diagnosed as AD/HD. It's how I got my pills.

The kid who's pills I pilfered is a super smart kid. She also gets bored and easily distracted and has been disruptive at school. Her mom has resisted the idea of medication and explored every other available option and therapeutic modality. The reality is that when she takes the Ritalin she's able to stay on task, to be connected, and in her words, "her brain doesn't hurt." She has an easier time dealing with other kids who tend to reject her when she's acting out. She can have friends. I have spent time with her when she's opted not to take her pill and she's a different kid, completely disconnected and not much fun to be with.

We had to be separated because we kept getting into it.

I didn't have social problems when I was a kid, but I definitely didn't work up to my potential in school. I don't necessarily condone the medicating of children, but I think that there are definitely cases where the biochemistry is off and the drug will benefit. I know a young man who's mom never took him for assessment for ADD and at 21 he's been having a hard time in school. Since his doctor put him on Ritalin he's been getting through his school work with no problems. He's having success where before he was failing.

Am I one of those cases? Probably not, but there is a noticeable difference in my ability to focus and get things done. I'm not tweaky or speedy or any of the other symptoms that I get from stimulants like Ephedra. I'm thinking I should get some more of this Ritalin to keep on hand for when I'm so frustrated by inability to get anything accomplished I'm languishing in a puddle of self defeat. I'm just sayin.

Of course, if I can't go to sleep tonight I'll be singing a different tune.

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