13 July, 2009

Musings on the self

Well, after a few weeks of ritalin I am feeling quite happy with the continued level of improvement. I am however feeling a little down on myself in terms of my attitude for the few months prior to this. It is strange, I know that there is a lot of support out there for the idea that Pills Don't Teach Skills (and even a book of with that as the title). But the things I have been able to achieve in a very short period of time leave me looking at the thinks I haven't achieved in the time leading up to this.

Plus I am re-examining my attitude to the way that I allow others to negatively affect my productivity. I know that ADHD is a mental illness (sure, not one as devastating as most) and I know that this being the case the idea that I can make a decision to overcome it is in fact a load of complete crap. Hey you with the depression, cheer up. You with the paranoid delusions, they're not real. And so on...

But there is a real clarity in my thinking now that I haven't had before (even with the Dexies or the strattera). this isn't just relevant to the workplace, it is so much more than that. For example, I had never realised how blind I was to people's faces. Sure, I knew that one of the characteristics of ADHD was a lack of eye contact. But it is only in the last week I had realised how all encompassing that was. I was daydreaming the other day and suddenly realised I was daydreaming faces. Then I realised that this was new. Prior to this, when replaying events in my head I knew who everyone was (well, it's my imagination. I would, wouldn't I) but they did not have faces. Or, certainly they didn't have defined faces with personal traits included. Now all of a sudden they do.

This is odd for me, very, very odd. Not just that this is new but that I had never noticed it missing before and I am now wondering what else is being added to my mental abilities.

But one door opens, does another door close?
Not yet. So far I haven't noticed any decline in my ability to think at tangents. Nor my ability to come up with interesting solutions to things. I have a lot more focus on the mundane which is just helping me to problem solve. I am a very happy man.

So, back to my attitudes. Well, I have often been annoyed at people in my life who restricted me in some ways (some of whom I have mentioned in this blog) and I am currently trying to look back at some of these interactions and get a bit more perspective on how I could have solved these problems more simply. Now, I don't want to leap up and say I was wrong, because that isn't my thinking at this time but I am thinking my way of dealing with people was certainly a contributing factor in some cases. Sure I already knew that, but now I am getting some more insight into exactly how.

So, while I have always been very good at what I do I am looking forward to being much much better for the foreseeable future. Oh and I am changing my mind about the idea of long term ritalin. When I was on the dexies it was only ever for a time, to do a task and move on. I didn't want a long term crutch, I didn't want to loose the edge which my unusual perspective gave me. I would give it up for a time in order to gain some focus but then I'd want to go back to being 'me'. Now, I still feel like I am me but I have gained something more and I am starting to worry that going back would be very Flowers For Algernon.

1 comment:

18 Channels said...

Just switched to Vyvanse after Strattera myself...I like the clarity of it. Strattera focus was a bit "heavy" but this is peppy. And yes...it does bring perspective doesn't it? Sigh. All kinds of perspective. The kind that likely sticks with you even after you stop taking medication.

I noticed for myself that like you I have not lost my creative/tangential thinking with medication...I like that. For me, the meds just shift the power balance slightly. I control the cool creative thoughts and decide what to do with them rather than them controlling me and compelling me to "write a novel RIGHT NOW" or something, lol...anyway, bravo on another great post that I can totally relate to!