Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
emmmmm

An unexamined life...

2 posts in this topic

Okay so I posted this on the bottom of an article but then I saw this forum post and thought I would share my story here as well. :)

I was diagnosed with ADD in 2003, and at the time I was in 5th grade. Two years prior to the diagnosis, I was administered IQ and creativity testing, eventually resulting in gifted student placement and an invitation to join MENSA. But by 5th grade, I was completely checked out. My teacher did not understand my sort of unorganized and unconventional ways of doing things, nor was she at all equipped to tailor to a child that had the ability to perform at college-entrance level. So, a letter was sent to my parents requesting that they take me to be tested. And because I was generally lazy at home, frequently daydreamy, and hardly ever listened to anything other than the Powerpuff Girls, my parents obliged.

A few months later, I was placed on 5mg Adderall XR. This was the beginning of what would be my wonder years. I could do everything and actually complete tasks! Even mundane things! YES! Fast forward to my senior year of high school. After receiving the highest score in my class on the ACT, captaining my high school soccer team to their best season to date, taking nearly every AP class offered at my high school, meeting an absolutely amazing guy, and earning the highest scholarship offered to my dream school, it seemed I was on top of the world. I never questioned the small, now-orange (30mg) pill, until the ease of senior year began to make me wish I could be more outspoken with friends, as I realized Adderall made me come across as awkward. Then one fateful day, my mom forgot to refill the prescription in time, and I was sent to school sans medication. My best friend remarked, "You seem different... This is the most fun mood you've ever been in!" Indeed, I was much more fun. Giggly, outgoing, sarcastic, able to speak well to others. The seed was planted.

First semester of college, I continued to take Adderall. For someone whose math skill was their least strong, I was taking calculus, accounting, and economics. At that point, I knew that continuing to take the pill was probably in my (and my GPA's) best interest. (Turns out it wasn't-- I still got a C- in calculus. Even the Adderall couldn't make me enjoy that!) Second semester though, I was taking a ton of classes that I knew I would actually enjoy, ones that played to what I am more naturally adept at: English, photography, psychology, philosophy, and an economics course (which I actually enjoy). I decided that this was the time to quit Adderall, just to see what would happen.

Turns out that amazing things happened. I found that it was incredibly easy and energizing to wake up in the morning and run to the darkroom with a bagel and a fresh roll of film. Creative pieces that I wrote in English and my newfound willingness to speak in class led to getting invited to do a study abroad with my professor in Ireland this next summer! I realized that I absolutely couldn't stand philosophy, and learned to grit my teeth and write those icepick-through-the-eye boring analyses of Socrates, which built character and proved that hey, I could do this. I received the highest grade in my class in psychology. My social life picked up and I made many new friends. My boyfriend (yes, the same one from high school :]) noticed a (positive) change in how I carried myself and remarked that it was "much easier to talk to me." I interviewed and managed to talk my way into getting a position as an RA, which now pays for my room and board completely, and I am getting paid to attend at the premier catholic university in my area. Over the summer, I got a job at the mall in an upscale/expensive clothing store and realized that I have an absolute passion for sales. I frequently double and have several times quadrupled my sales goals. I love it so much that I plan on pursuing a career in sales.

Looking back, it seems so silly that I was scared to quit the drug. Admittedly, going cold turkey had its not-so-pleasant effects-- there were times that I would sleep for inhuman amounts of time, and times where I could down an order of sushi and go back to the food court for a full order of cheese sticks (they're giant greasy Pizza Hut ones). At times, I was cranky and overly outspoken (argumentative) towards my boyfriend because without the drug, I no longer felt the need to unquestioningly comply with whatever he said. But despite the five pounds I gained and the hours of debate I endured with my pre-law boyfriend (he is INCREDIBLY frustrating to argue with), I would not change a single thing.

It's been a journey. Boyfriend and I have grown closer than we ever have been before simply because there is more openness in communication. I have a job that I love. I have a 3.6 GPA right now and pursuing a career in what I love (although I doodle endlessly and occasionally sleep through lectures I don't find interesting. Cough, philosophy, cough). School is merely a means to an end that I hope will lead to a future far more fruitful than the years I wasted on Adderall. Admittedly, I did many nice things with it. But what I do without it seem so much more substantial, so much more concrete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Emily!

Just wanted to let you know that your great story came through on that article loud and clear, but it'll be nice to have here too. :D

Admittedly, I did many nice things with it. But what I do without it seem so much more substantial, so much more concrete.

This, more than any other, is the thing that keeps me off it. I feel like I've traded a bunch of shallow accomplishments for a fewer number of meaningful ones. Like you said...success just feels more concrete when it's earned through will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0