The ADHD morning in my head looks like this:
Open. Eyes are open. Ow. Ow. My head hurts. It’s quiet. Can’t see. Oh, right, don’t sleep in contacts. Getting back to sleep? No. ‘punches out of sleep tracking app on phone’ Hmm… New text. Best friend. Answer text. Must not open Facebook mobile on – aaaand it’s too late. Oooh, three notifications. Friend having a bad day. How can I make the day better?
Tell friend to punch a duck.
Who punches a duck?
Okay, get up. Ugh, my ankle hurts. Why? Okay, limping slightly. Bathroom. Contacts. I can see! What was I doing? ‘hears mew at bedroom door’ Right, feed the cat. And don’t forget to feed her lunch, which you totally forgot yesterday, because ‘checks phone again’
Okay, what was I writing?
No, seriously, what was I writing? I can’t remember where my train of thought went after that, and that was the first 15 minutes after waking up. Now take that, and stretch it through the whole DAY. Also, where is that buzzing noise coming from? Never mind. You can’t hear it. Oh. Laptop fan. Right.
Just took meds, ten minutes after alarm to take them, but I did take them.
Wait, did he just say MEDS? As in medication?
Yes I did. Remember the Ring of Sustenance? I still take that every night, and I also take ADHD medication as of…June? Yeah, June. I think.
And here’s the difference.
Waking up in the morning still looks pretty much like that. As does around noon, though not as dramatically. Now, it’s nearly an hour later than that last sentence, and I’m finally back on track. I’ve checked my phone at least ten times, twice to talk to my illustrator for the webcomic. Read a blog post by a friend. Finally closed Facebook.
And my brain is almost sound-proofed. Almost. You see, the first three paragraphs or so is the constant brain chatter I live with every day of my life. I lived with it without relief for nearly 28.5 years. It kept my eyes vacant in school, kept me off track when trying to do chores, and kept me unable to hold a job more than a year so far. Except my first few, but that’s because the novelty of having a paycheck and paying for my own stuff, combined with desperate family circumstances and walking to work every day led to a combination that may be difficult to again replicate without some aid.
The first week I was on my current medication, my brain went too quiet. Void quiet. No creative flow, no desire to write or make. It was bizarre. We adjusted to a lower dose, and now I can zero my focus in. I have an appetite. (I know, that sounds strange, as the side effects often include loss of appetite.)
I remember to eat. I remember to cook. I can do dishes – sometimes – without wandering off to something completely different. I can keep track of life.
It doesn’t fix everything. But it helps.
And because it helps, I’m finally working to get my fiction published. A world that’s been nearly ten years in the making, now coming to you just as the New Year comes in.