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duffman

I'm No Superman

3 posts in this topic

So I was at the gym yesterday doing an intense cardio session when the song "Handlebars" by Flobots came up on my playlist. It's a song that has a good cadence and flow to it - but I realized I never actually listened to the lyrics. So, I took the effort to listen to what the song was about, trying to discern the meaning behind the lyrics. I initially came to the conclusion that there was no meaning to the song and it was just a bunch of disjointed statements. However, upon closer inspection (and perhaps assigning my own experience to the lyrics), it began to make me reflect upon the progressive nature of my mental instability on Adderall and how I'm finally connected with reality now that I'm off the stuff. It starts off by saying how he can do things like "Ride his bike with no handlebars" and progressively becomes more absurd to the point where he can "End the planet in a holocaust", if he wanted to. 

When I first used Adderall, I viewed it like a key that unlocked my brain for the first time. Finally I was able to unleash who I was to the world! My social anxiety that plagued my social interactions for the first 22 years of my life vanished and I was given a boost of confidence that made me feel like I had control over my fate. This, as we all know and experienced, sets the stage for eventually, inevitably and invariably, spiraling out of control. 

My goals in life began to shift in a dramatic fashion.. to the extent to where they eventually began to depart from reality. Reflecting back on this makes me cringe because it made so my sense at the time. But this is the insidious nature of psychosis. These thoughts make absolute sense to the person going through the psychosis whereas the outside observer is thinking "this person has clearly lost their mind and I'm going to back away before I'm caught in this whirlwind of madness". 

When I first started using, I ditched the idea of becoming a physical therapist and wanted to become a doctor because it would allow me more control and freedom to do what I wanted to do (reasonable so far). But I didn't want to become any doctor - I wanted to become a famous doctor - a doctor who was the leading authority on pain, nutrition, and overall wellness. I pictured myself going through TV interviews and perhaps having my own show. I found myself prepping what I would say at academic conferences where everyone would be gushing over my absolute brilliance (still have the word document on my old computer with what I would say). I've also been told I have a good sense of humor and wanted to become a stand up comedian as well.. on the side or something. So I began typing out ideas for what kind of shows I would create, something along the lines of Dave Chapelle's show with various skits, once I began to be noticed for my comedic talent. But wait, why stop there? What about society as a whole? The world needs to be rescued and my overarching intellectual brilliance is the cure. So I began to write ideas how I would run for public office and eventually become a prominent figure in Washington DC - a puppet master who was REALLY the guy in charge behind the scenes.. on top of being a world-renowned physician and famous hollywood comedian, of course. 

Know what's really funny about all that shit I wrote above? I thought of all of those delicious futures while sitting at my computer playing video games high on Adderall - doing nothing to actually progress towards these aspirations. After I finished my undergraduate degree, I took off a year to plan how to begin my worldly domination. I would pop enough Vyvanse (Or other stimulant medication) to give me that euphoric rush so I could feel invincible and write down all I was going to do with my life.. only to end up obsessing over some detail and researching it incessantly and eventually playing video games till I crashed. That's the thing about these stimulant medications though, they provide the FEELING of succeeding at something. You begin to exist in your own reality where you feel like you've accomplished all these great things already. It skips over the hard work and sacrifice it requires to get to these circumstances and instead allows you to feel the end result of accomplishing something great without actually doing anything. 

Fast forward to now. 

I'm now a physical therapist after passing my state board exam without Adderall (something I did not think I would be able to accomplish)!! I have a great job that pays very well and my relationships with the people in my inner circle have never been stronger. I'm finally reconnected with reality. One thing I've learned is I'm no superman - and this is a good... no... necessary step to moving forward in life. Any of the above-mentioned lifestyles I was dreaming about on Adderall in itself requires tons of hard work, sacrifice, and frankly luck to accomplish. I could not move forward in life while my mind was in an alternate reality. 

Thank you for reading.

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Awesome post, that's the adderall experience right there. At least for me too. I was going to be a singer song writer maybe a famous dj too while breezing through a degree that demanded 40-50 hours a week from the smartest students on campus. Still trying to get back to reality but it's only been 9 months. Looking forward to getting this first year under my belt. Happy for you. 

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On 1/13/2018 at 1:45 PM, duffman said:

I pictured myself going through TV interviews and perhaps having my own show. I found myself prepping what I would say at academic conferences where everyone would be gushing over my absolute brilliance (still have the word document on my old computer with what I would say).

lol absolutely did the same thing. i have tape recordings of myself conducting an interview WITH MYSELF, using different voices, so I could listen back to it and hear what it would sound like to be a wildly popular musician :lol:  i've listened back to those recordings, and it's brutal, cringy but hilarious.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 1:45 PM, duffman said:

That's the thing about these stimulant medications though, they provide the FEELING of succeeding at something. You begin to exist in your own reality where you feel like you've accomplished all these great things already. It skips over the hard work and sacrifice it requires to get to these circumstances and instead allows you to feel the end result of accomplishing something great without actually doing anything. 

truer words were never said. i have TONS of notes, and ideas and half started projects littered around my hard drive from those days, but back then it felt great to just think and plan, rather than actually do. don't have the heart to delete it all, so instead i archived it. to be honest, many of them were actually pretty good ideas.. but when you're on adderall, there is no concept of "spreading yourself too thin". in the real world, there are only so many fucks to be given about things in life (:

 

awesome to hear about your physical therapy board exams!! i was actually in school for Exercise Science with the intention of becoming a PT, but then i changed courses to finance and IT, so now now i'm developing physical therapy EMR software. it's a great industry, but regulated to hell (medicare doesn't make anything easy for us) lol

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