So, if you’re wondering how that whole ADD verdict went. Here ya go.
On April 22, I posted that I’m pretty sure it’s a major player in my inability to gain traction in my life. I have had a decent measure of success through the years, and to be floundering at this stage of my life is very difficult to admit. But I do admit it – in the hopes that if my story sounds familiar to someone, maybe that someone will check into it for himself (or herself – though this seems to be about 3:1 guys more than gals.)
After visiting my new friend and seeing the amazing similarities in how we process information – and how we don’t – I got the book he recommended and devoured its 360 pages in four days. My motivation SO outweighed my lack of focus, that I went into “hyperfocus.” On a test of 20 questions, according to Sandy – I scored on 18 of 20 in favor of ADD. Pretty much confirmed… yup.
We contacted our primary doctor – who recommended a psych clinic – who got me in on that same Saturday. I spent an hour filling out a questionnaire, and spent a good bit of time with a doctor. My first concern was, “How often do you guys treat adult ADD?”
“All the time,” came the response. It seems there’s a ton of (mostly guys) my age who were never diagnosed as kids (the diagnosis didn’t exist.) So now these intelligent, often creative guys are walking into psych clinics wondering why their heads feel like human popcorn-poppers.
I liked and trusted the good doctor. He was pretty convinced, and wrote me a prescription for Adderall. He told me to start with half the dosage prescribed, and see how that does. I filled it, and have now been on the drug for a couple weeks.
For those of you who expressed great concern about medication, including a counselor friend from another state who spent over an hour on the phone with me making sure I understood what I’m working with, I say “Thank you.” I don’t take the use of drugs lightly. When everyone else was indulging in the 70’s, I was the kid who was afraid of drugs. And Sandy’s brother died at 37, much of his problems stemming from prescription drugs. So believe me when I say I don’t take this lightly.
Yet – a part of me was thrilled – thrilled – at the possibility there might finally be an answer.
I took the first pill before breakfast. Since moving three years ago, Sandy and I have spent our breakfast time reading faith-based material. Some call it devotional time. I always read aloud, for two reasons. One, as a voice actor, it’s good practice to read aloud each day. And two, my mind doesn’t wander as much if I’m doing the reading (uh, that should have been a clue, eh?) As a voice actor, reading well is essential – yet it’s the weakest part of my game. My eyes skip around, my brain gets ahead of my mouth, and I trip over the words…often.
But not that morning. After we finished discussing the content, Sandy said, “Do you realize – that in reading this morning – you didn’t make one mistake?”
“Yeah… I sure do.” And immediately…
To say that I wept, is putting it far too mildly. I broke down and sobbed for probably a full minute. I don’t ever recall doing that. My constipated brain was releasing years of pent up toxins. My head was throbbing when I finally caught my breath. And then I was calm…and focused. For the next two hours I wrote comedy – without wandering – without stopping. In fact I’ve probably written more in the past two weeks than in the last several months. And I’ve found a morsel of the one thing I’ve lacked more than anything….
My confidence has been shaken to its foundations over what’s taken place these three years. The ADD book says that lack of confidence is a classic symptom – for with the utter frustration of constantly falling short of your own expectations, it feeds on itself – The vicious beast who says, “You didn’t – you won’t – you can’t.”
I want to kill that beast more than I can express. And for the first time in a long while, I’m saying “I can” again. It’s hard to write humor when you ain’t feelin’ it. I’m starting to feel it again. I know it’s early in the game, and there’s still much to be made up for – but for the moment…