Category Archives: ADHD

New Unemployment/Unemployed Budget

Well. Here I am. Unemployed. Since I received no severance and was not eligible for payout of any PTO (side effect of the supposed unlimited vacation perk), I’m left with my final paycheck and waiting for unemployment to (hopefully) kick in.

When you apply for unemployment they ask you a whole host of questions and I’m concerned I won’t qualify, though I should. Even if I do qualify, it’s a whopping $1800 a month (before taxes) and they make you wait a week to start claiming, so the first month is actually more like $1350 for the month. And $1350 is about how much I pay in rent. Thank goodness I’ve been somewhat smart about saving this year (I knew the job was not going to last long given how I performed with the heaping of anxiety and lack of sleep brought on by a very non-supportive work environment and a long commute I should have never signed on for in the first place.)

I thought it would be a good time to check in regarding my networth and budget. My networth goal for this year was $400k but that was a stretch to begin with (a $100k increase from 2014 including savings and interest.) Right now, counting all my assets I’m at about $350k – which isn’t bad considering the way the markets have performed this year to date. I’m sure with some better investments and less stress spending I’d be a little closer to my initial goal, but not by enough that it would really be meaningful. I have to take a moment and applaud myself for reaching $350k networth. Even though it’s not the big $500k, $350k feels sizable enough to merit a moment of self congratulations. For some reason, this amount makes me feel better about my lack of job stability due to my mental illness. While I can’t touch all that money immediately, and after taxes it would be less, if I was desperate there’s enough there to get through my own personal instances of deep depression (yeay bipolar life.) I don’t feel secure enough yet to have kids, or quite frankly, to get married (which is happening this spring anyway), but I feel like this is an accomplishment of some sort I can be secretly proud of… especially given that just 10 years ago I had about $5k to my name and was basically living paycheck to paycheck.

Here’s how the $350k breaks down:

  • $27.5k – cash
  • -$46 – credit debts
  • $153.5k – stocks (taxable)
  • $178.3k – retirement funds
  • $6.5k – 529 / grad school fund
  • $8k – approx car value

Now, my goal for the rest of the year, revised, is to end the year above $350k. This just brings me back to my older goals of saving $50k a year – which I’ve been doing for the last couple of years. I though this year given my income increase I could save a whole lot more, but you know, markets fluctuate so much, and maybe I actually bought enough stock “on sale” this year that I’ll have a really good 2016. Who knows.

The trick at this point is not significantly dipping into my cash to live between my current job and my next job… especially since I don’t know when said next job will start (or what it will be.) The $1350/$1800 a mo in unemployment is barely enough to cover standard recurring expenses, so I’ll have to dip into my savings a bit. I’m hoping that by Dec 1 I have a job so this leaves me with just 1.5 months of unemployment, which shouldn’t hurt too much. With the wedding coming up, and all the expenses for that, I really, really, really need a job – even though I admit it’s nice to have a few weeks to just stop and focus on planning this crazy event since the lack of time to do that was also stressing me out.

But I want to plan for “worst case scenerio” 3 months without a job. I’ll give myself 3 months to find something I really think I can be good at – because the last thing I want to do right now is to jump into a position where my anxiety will get to me again. I’m hoping to find something with a bit more flexible work environment – the amount of work I can get done at home in a quiet space far surpasses what I can do in some horrible open office environment filled with stress-inducing distractions. I’ve made a pact with myself that I’m not going to apply for things I know I’ll ultimately fail at given the work environment. I also am probably going to apply to grad school because I know the field I’m in now rarely meets my minimum requirements for sanity, so despite the great pay, I think I need to take a break from chasing income and now start to actually plan for sustainability. In short, I can’t be crazy mommy who gets fired from her job every year – my future kids don’t need to see that. I want them to see me in my best state – one where I actually like my job more or less. Not the me who I am now. I would never want them to see that person.

So I’m assuming I will need to spend about $2000 a month additional from my savings in order to cover everything from gas to get to job interviews to food to grad school applications to a potential trip home to the east coast to spend some quality time with family when I have the time (dad’s cancer isn’t getting better and despite that he drives me nutso whenever I see him I always think – will this be the last time?) So… say I have $5k of my savings to spend over the next 3 months… give or take. That puts me at roughly $350k at the end of the year – but I’d then be worried I couldn’t find another job. I know that I have some talent and abilities… but I just need to figure out where and how to apply them in a way where someone will pay me money to do so, and I won’t flip out after 3 months or so feeling like I’m so overwhelmed but the piles of things to do and not be able to prioritize those things or even know where to start. Yes, this is the life of a woman who has super anxiety, bipolar II and ADHD. I’m not saying those are excuses for anything – I take full responsibility for losing this job, for falling into the same pattern. But there’s a part of it that is just inherently who I am. I’m different than most people, that’s for sure. I just need to figure out where I fit.

And I’m going to be 32 in a month, which is – such an adult. My body definitely feels like I’m in my 30s — I pinched a nerve a week ago and my back and arm are still in pain. If I don’t sleep a full 8 hours a night I feel it for many days later. And don’t get me started on drinking / hangovers, oy. That’s just to say that I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a full grown adult. Looking around at my apartment I have to stop and wonder if this is what I pictured adulthood to be like. Well, I never actually envisioned myself as an adult. Maybe that’s part of the problem. But when I envisioned adulthood as a general concept, it certainly didn’t look like this — unfinished apartment, used couch that’s falling apart, bike in the corner of the living room because there’s no where else to keep it, a career that doesn’t feel right at all, getting married (ok that’s a start) to a man who also doesn’t have much of anything figured out yet either, to a long life ahead of me that I imagine will poof suddenly transform into one filled with maturity once I have my own kids (I know it doesn’t happen that way, I just like to think there’s some kind of inciting incident to finally growing up.)

Oh well. Today, I just need to focus on not dipping in too deep to my savings this year, and ultimately continuing on to my “round 1” $500k goal. That was supposed to happen next year. It won’t. But maybe I’ll get there before I’m 40.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise, Surprise – it’s been a good week

I’ve been really hard on myself at work these past couple of weeks. One of my direct reports reminded me today that I should be proud of how much I’ve accomplished in just the eight-ish weeks I’ve been at the company. Putting this perspective on things made me smile. Of course, I could do more. Of course, I could be better. But work isn’t about perfection. It’s about GSD and learning from your mistakes.

Things are starting to come together. Don’t get me wrong, I have more work on my plate now than I did a week ago, and the pile of to do list doesn’t show signs of stopping. But I’m starting to get a handle on what I need to do to be successful. I’m still not sure if I can do it, but I do my best work when I know what I need to do and can focus on getting it done. When I’m not clear about the steps to achieve my goals is when I flounder. I need to just pick what to do and do it. Getting something done is much better than freezing out of uncertainty, which tends to be my schtick. Well, schtick no more.

I also am so happy that my talented friend is jumping in and committing more contract hours to helping out. He’s just a machine (in a good way.) I’m trying to get over this stupid inferiority complex where I have this deep rooted fear of bringing in people who are smarter than me because people will wonder why I’m on staff in the first place. The reality is that smart leaders hire people who are smarter than they are. I still wish I could be great at everything but that’s not realistic. It’s better to show that I can effectively bring in smart people to get the job done well.

Relatedly, I had a really good conversation with one of my direct reporters today. They have a lot to offer and I need to learn to effectively manage and nurture their potential. If I can get my shit together next year can be really good. I’m glad that I’m not expected to hire a giant team. I can focus on a few key people and try to be a good leader. That means very different things to each employee/consultant. Ultimately a good leader provides clear direction and isn’t flaky on their decisions. Once the leader commits to something they follow through with it unless they have a really good reason to change course. Make a decision, get shit done, learn from said shit, rinse & repeat, repeat, repeat, suds and all.

There is so much more I have to do to become an effective leader. I’m still terrible at communication. Somehow everything I say comes across as defensive or overly critical… unless I just don’t say anything at all. It’s really frustrating that every word that comes out of my mouth is, well, wrong, if there is such a thing as ones words being wrong. I tend to earn trust and respect via my work so people overlook my inability to communicate, but it’s going to hold me back a lot as I try to move up the corporate ladder.

A big part of what I need to work on is listening. With ADHD it is a bad habit to talk out of turn and blurt out things that I am thinking. The real reason I do that is twofold – one, because I tend to forget what I’m about to say and want to get it out before I do, and secondly, moreso, because I don’t know how to actually organically enter into a conversation, say what I have to say, and exit at the right point, without it being too late to talk about what we were talking about a few minutes earlier. Either I’m butting into a conversation too soon or I’m going back to something that everyone stopped talking about once they’ve moved on to the next topic. It’s really frustrating and embarrassing.

I wish I could be one of those people who everyone else just wanted to listen to, because everything I said was stated so eloquently that who would want to interrupt? There is someone at my company who is really good at that, and is equally as frustrated at my foot in mount disease, which I’m trying to curb significantly around them to avoid destroying the relationship. I admire their ability to just say the right things at the right time. I might not always agree with their ideas (actually most of the time I do) but I’m talking more about how they present themselves and their words.

If only I could just copy their demeanor and communications style, but it isn’t quite so easy. In lieu of giving up on being an executive I need to fix this huge challenge of mine. The other option is that I change course and, I don’t know, become a best-selling novelist, or a beach bum in a third world country. You know, at least there are options.

 

Why I’m investing $400 a month in an ADHD Coach

Despite wanting to believe I’m capable of being a highly-functioning adult on my own, data has shown that this is not quite the case. While I manage to pick myself up after every fall and keep going, each time I fall the cut is a bit deeper and harder to recover from. This isn’t the first time I’ve sought help, but this is the first time that I felt that I desperately need it.

There are so many different kinds of “help” one can buy. Psychiatrists seek to uncover a chemical imbalance to explain your shortcomings and treat you with costly medications. Psychologists use talk therapy to help you approach situations differently, largely looking at your childhood and how that has affected the current scripts your replay over and over again in your mind. Acupuncturists poke and prod you to reduce stress. Hypnotists claim to be able to help you achieve your goals through mind control. And coaches, well, help you with practical advice and ongoing support so you can determine and then reach your goals.

ADHD coaches are unique in that they focus on helping people who are driven to distraction, as they say. The reality is that so many of the simple tasks that high-functioning individuals can do without batting an eye present a huge challenge to the ADHD mind. I dislike jumping to conclusions that my mind is somehow different than the norm, yet anyone who knows me at all and believes ADHD actually exists would say obviously I have it. I can check off every single requirement in the DSV.

That’s why I’m splurging this year on a coach. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on therapy and what has it got me? Maybe I’m a little more aware of the scripts I play in my head that aren’t really rational, but that hasn’t helped me avoid losing my job (multiple times) or fix my relationship (which is great except for the fact that I’m a huge mess and my boyfriend can’t marry a girl who can’t keep her house remotely clean.)

If you don’t have ADHD or know anyone closely who does, it’s easy to say “just clean your damn house” or “stop losing your job.” It’s not that easy. Ultimately people with ADHD have issues with their temporal lobe functioning properly as well as a lack of dopamine to drive proper task-oriented motivation. Tie this with years upon years of beating myself up for my challenges focusing and staying organized and I end up wasting so much time lost in anxiety and failing to accomplish anything – until it’s late at night when I should be sleeping and only then can I start to hyperfocus and get my work done well.

This clearly isn’t a sustainable model. Now that I’m in my 30s I even feel my body starting to break down. I can’t pull all-nighters anymore. I’ve been sick three times in the last three months. I’m pretty much driving myself batshit and I need help.

In selecting an ADHD coach I wanted to find someone who has worked with ADHD individuals – especially adults – over the years. I want someone who can share tips and tools that have worked for others with similar minds. And I want someone grounded in reality, not someone who is going to try to flatter my ego (one woman kept saying that people with ADHD are brilliant so it’s clear I must be brilliant. While I briefly enjoyed the flattery I need more tough love than some ego boost.)

ADHD coaches are also often very expensive. This is largely because parents – many who have disposable incomes – are convinced their children have ADHD and are willing to send a ridiculous sum on coaches so maybe their kids can do well in school and make it to an Ivy League. And it happens – kids with ADHD, taught the right strategies and put in the right educational environments—can do very well academically. So maybe it’s worth it for parents who have the money.

However, these big-spending parents inflate the cost of help. I wrote to quite a number of ADHD coaches online (many of who do their coaching via Skype so location is not an issue) and one literally responded to me that “if cost was a concern” I would be better off talking to someone else because she charges more than others due to her “years of experience.” When I responded to ask exactly what that meant she didn’t respond. I assume she was in line with another organization I talked with where ADHD-specialist psychologists and psychiatrists charge anywhere from $300 to $500 per session.

The woman who I found is not cheap but she’s not ridiculous. I understand that coaches do this for a living and thus their expertise is worth a reasonable rate. The more standard fees I found were in the $150-$200 per hour range. Some coaches refused interactions between meetings while others – who clearly understand how ADHD works – note that they allow emails throughout the week as long as they don’t get excessive.

I’m meeting with my ADHD coach for my first 90-minute session. She already sent me an intake form and an anxiety/depression questionnaire which I had a strange kind of fun filling out (man, I am SO ADHD.) I am not sure exactly what to expect from this project but my primary goal is to learn how to be better at time management and organization… and ultimately not lose my job (or boyfriend.)

The plan is to invest in the $250 intro session and then three months of $390 worth of sessions (3 45 minute sessions.) We’ll work intensively on very tactical strategies while I’m sure discussing options (not included in cost) to resolve my problems further through the use of medication ($$$.) I’m going to try to solve them with coaching and willpower alone, but if shit starts to hit the fan I’m going to head back to a psychiatrist and see what they think would help this crazy little mind of mine.

That is, it seems to be I have Bipolar II co-morbidly sharing the space of dysfunction with a solid case of ADHD and a touch of anxiety to top it off. Mental illness is real even though I’m the first person to try to avoid labeling my issues as being anything more than just some personal crazy. Yet at 30 I have a pretty good view of my life thus far and these are the reasons for what is going on in my head and heart.

I’m not self-diagnosing either, I’ve been officially diagnosed with these issues (as well as others) but these three seem to make the most sense. I’m going to be entirely open with my coach about this too – and I already have been (bipolar/depression/anxiety are often found co-morbidly with ADHD, so this isn’t going to throw her for a loop at all.) I’d really like to make significant progress and fast. It is certainly worth $400 a month to remain gainfully employed and highly productive. At least for the short term until hopefully at some point I can sustain such “normal functioning adult” baseline on my own.

 

10 Traits of a Great Manager: The ADHD Challenge

As I’ve noted in previous posts, management does not come naturally to me. I think great managers often had parents who taught them many of these managerial skills from day one, or other parental figures who did the same. Evolving as a manager I am also going through the process of determining whether management is for me. I am hoping I can sort it out and make it work as management is where the money is, but ultimately I may be better suited as an individual contributor. How many of these 10 Management Traits do you have?

1. Multi-Tasking Genius: The ability to multi-task is the requirement of a good manager. She needs to be on top of the goals of her direct reports, not only designing goals that map directly to upper management objectives, but also helping those who report to her achieve these goals. While great managers know that the best way to win is to step aside, there will always be times when their guidance is sought and they need to have a good answer or be able to quickly find it, all while working on numerous other projects and priorities. Continue reading 10 Traits of a Great Manager: The ADHD Challenge

On Being an Overly Sensitive Potentially Bipolar Person

At 11am, I glanced around looking for any possible way to escape – not the room – but my life. My heart was heavy with a twisted mixture of sadness and anxiety. By 3pm I had regained my composure. At 4 I felt empowered and free, like I was given a jolt of confidence in the form of a crown and I was ready to rule the world. By 6 I felt hopeless again, miserable, and unable to lift my spirits.

There is clearly something very wrong with my moods. I just often get so overwhelmed that every little thing effects me so strongly. It’s distracting and keeps me from being happy and/or productive at times, and I’d like to somehow change this about myself. But I honestly can’t. You know people say just stop being so paranoid or anxious, just stop thinking so much, just change the way you think about things and you’ll be fine. It’s not so easy. Continue reading On Being an Overly Sensitive Potentially Bipolar Person

The Art of Self Sabotage and the Guilt of Victory, or, Clearly I Have Borderline Disorder

Why is it so hard to let myself win?

This is a question I ask myself day in and out, as I constantly corner myself in a rut I cannot get out of. It’s almost comical, on how I’m both incredibly successful and dinging myself left and right for each failure that I craft for myself. I’ve been through too many therapists to count, have outgrown adolescent angst, and still, here I am, so far ahead, so far behind, all at once.

Financially speaking, I am proud of myself, but feel I don’t deserve to be where I am, and feel deeply guilty for what I do have, yet also terrified of not having enough. My mental disorder(s) may be most easily defined as a cross between neurosis and narcissism, which is so deeply who I am due to my upbringing and fear of taking power over my own free will.

I sat in my bosses’ office the other day, with a goal to discuss my great progress and how I “deserve” a raise. Instead, I found myself being told that I’m viewed as a bit of a mess. People like me (which is progress from where I was as a kid), and people know I work hard (which I do), but ultimately I am unpolished. Instead of asking for a raise, I ended up holding back tears and having a good cry in a bathroom stall once I got through the very accurate and very painful critique.

The painful part comes from how this story has never changed, and it’s my fault. I spent my youth and adolescence assuming as some point I’d magically grow out of it. It’s possible I have a real chemical imbalance in my brain known as ADHD, or maybe it’s the depression, or some form of OCD, or maybe I just need to grow up. Ultimately, there are a few things that I know happen which prevent me from actually being able to win:

  1. I feel stupid all the time. I work with a lot of really intelligent people, and I’ve always enjoyed being around intelligent people. I always feel like I need to “prove” my intellect, which never works, since I’m not smart. I feel there are two ways to success — either be really smart, or very talented at socializing.
  2. Deep rooted need to “prove” to myself (and others) that I am, despite lacking elegance, able to be a hero and have an epic win. This probably comes from my parents being narcissists themselves, and bragging about my big wins. That’s probably pretty normal for parents, but it was more in how they did it. My victories always felt like nothing more than bragging rights for my parents, not about taking any pride in my ability to succeed.
  3. Setting up scenarios where winning was extremely difficult and required a visible fight became an addiction. If something wasn’t hard, it wasn’t worth doing. But I wasn’t smart enough (or focused enough) to accomplish really hard tasks, so I started to make everything difficult. Cleaning my room, for instance — I’d avoid cleaning until everything had piled up and I’d have to spend hours going through piles until finally I might have a spotless room. Chances are, I’d never finish, but I wouldn’t feel bad because it was an impossible task. In the rare case I was able to finish, I’d get such a rush. It’s a true addiction, just like any other drug. Just putting things away on a daily basis, while much more practical, wouldn’t give me that rush. So I let things pile up. Today, I’ve had an epic cleaning day. I may even get through the pile. But then tomorrow, will I just be back to where I started, letting the mess pile up again? Probably. This is a problem. A huge problem.
  4. I’m a perfectionist. Maybe even a little OCD. If almost everything is perfect but one thing is off, it drives me nuts. If everything is off, it’s almost calming. Again, like I don’t have any control over it, because it’s so bad, so I can just ignore it.
  5. I’m an extrovert but I have no freaking clue how to talk to other people. I can be silly and make people laugh, sure, but, as I’ve written about before, I’m no good at small talk. I’m still much better than my boyfriend at being social, which is laughable, because I’m terrible. I’m bad at conversation. I like deep conversation about the meaning of life, and what makes people tick. Despite not wanting to be a gossip, I find myself only truly able to contribute to conversations when the topic is another person that is a mutual acquaintance. I am lucky that I have opportunities to socialize with my coworkers, who are funny, smart people, and who can talk to each other while I generally listen (or I drink — see my last post — and manage to communicate a bit.) Still, in the end, I feel sad because no matter how much money I have or how good my life is, I want to connect with other people, and it’s a daily struggle.
  6. I don’t have any long-term goals that seem meaningful or achievable. When you’re young, life is broken up into years, and the years are long, and each year ahead is something to look forward to. You go to school and do your work so one day you can get into a good college and eventually have a great career and find a wonderful significant other, have two kids, and a house with a white picket fence, where you can have backyard barbecues and invite folks over for dinner. I really don’t know what I want anymore, and I don’t feel like I have a right to want anything. My financial journey is rooted in fear — fear of running out of money, fear of my mental health issues becoming so huge that one day I cannot work, and needing a lot in savings. At least this gets me to save money, and I’m proud I may be able to hit my goal of having $200k in various investments and savings by the time I turn 29 (on track to my major goal of $250k by 30), but this doesn’t make me happy. It helps me not be totally depressed, knowing I have cushion now, but I’m then looking at what happens if I get married and have children, and how I’ll need much more than $250k for cushion then. But, beyond money and savings, I’m not sure what I want. I guess I want a family, I guess I want to be a mother, I guess I want a house. But all the things I maybe want seem like things society tells me I should want, and perhaps things that biologically I crave, but will they really make me happy? I am well aware kids are not an expensive jacket you can return to the store. Do I have any right to bring another human being into this world? And shouldn’t I figure out a life purpose well before having children?
  7. If I were to live a much simpler life where I didn’t set myself up for failure time and again, would I actually be happier? I am afraid I’d be bored. Or further depressed. Because the only real meaning I have in life right now is that addiction to making things difficult for myself and setting up situations where if I win it’s almost orgasmic and if I don’t then I can just accept it was impossible to begin with. That’s not a way to live life, however. And it’s certainly not a way to live life once you are in your 30s. It’s time to grow up, and maybe, somehow, just accept simplicity. It may very well be that is the meaning I’m looking for… being able to come home from work at a reasonable hour, and instead of turning on the TV and wasting away the evening watching bad reality shows, open up a book, go for a walk, draw something, do something meaningful with the little free time one has in adult life. Go for a walk in the middle of the day and actually see the sun. The epic meaning of life is in freedom, not being a slave to yourself or anyone else. Work should not be the meaning of life. It’s great if you love it, and it’s great if it provides your life some meaning, but ultimately, it’s a paycheck. Life is much, much more than that. I just want to learn how to live it.

Roomate is Moving, I am Getting Rid of Stuff…

I can’t remember if I ever wrote a post to follow up on when I told you all how I have had to move. I wasn’t looking forward to moving at all… as much as I dream of living in a room that can fit a television and a desk, I am rather fond of my current setup. After looking at a few other options, I was even less excited about having to move.

So I was thrilled when my current roommate J. realized that her girlfriend R. could just move in to the extra room here, and we could all live together. Now, normally I wouldn’t want to live with a couple — lesbian or straight — because that can equate to drama, but I feel pretty confident about this situation. My roommate is very stable (she’s a middle school history teacher) and her girlfriend is hard working and, even without a college degree, earns more annually than my roommate’s public school salary. And they’ve been together for a while now and they’re very mellow.

So I get to stay in my current $635 a month rental, thank goodness. Watching my roommate move today, I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about moving right now. But even though I don’t have to move, I want to pretend I’m moving and get rid of a lot of my stuff.

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that I’m on an anti-stuff mission. I’m trying to rid my life of stuff so I can enjoy what really matters, or at least start to figure that out. It feels good to throw crap out. I usually hate doing it because it seems wasteful — but throwing out bags of stuff (and donating what’s decent) just lifts a giant weight off my chest.

What else should I shed from my life? So may bad habits. This is a year of cleansing. Not in a hippie way. In a — I’m finally growing up way. I’m going to be 28 in 5 months (!) and I think I’m ready to grow up. It’s now or never. I can’t see myself having a family without learning how to do this on my own. I love feeling in control. I hope I can find a way to make that feeling maintainable.

Who would I be today if I stayed on Ritalin since I was 8?

After being prescribed Adderall IR yesterday and subsequently taking a rather high dose in order to understand my brain chemistry and the effects on the weekend, I’ve been up and then down on one prolonged ride. In seeking more information, I’ve read countless stories of people with ADD who say how they’ve been on Ritalin or Adderall since they were very young… 6, 7, 8… and I think to myself, wow, that could be me. And although I have a sinking feeling that I might have made permanent honor roll with the help of the medicine, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to be a little lost… to appreciate exactly why I’ve chosen to alter my brain chemistry now as an adult, instead of not knowing who I am sans medication as a child.

I don’t know how I have no recollection of the days… months(?) when I was on Ritalin as a kid. I was in 5th grade… I do recall the black and yellow pill, and how the nurse would open it up and put it in apple sauce for me to eat in the middle of the day. I liked the apple sauce, though the medicine texture was gross. I have no memory whatsoever of a chance in my ability to focus on the drug. Which is strange given how sensitive I am to meds, and the clear change I felt about 10 minutes after taking just 10mg of Adderall this morning. It  must have done something to me back then as well, but for whatever reason it didn’t turn me into an all star student, and I ended up stopping because it wasn’t helping… or maybe the dosage was never high enough, or I didn’t take it on a regular basis… I don’t recall.

But who would I be today had it worked? Who would I be if in 5th grade some pill worked like magic in saving me from my distractions and daydreaming? Maybe I would have ended up excelling in math and science, spent less time in art, instead dreaming of becoming a doctor or engineer… I’d have vivid memories of my life, as opposed to a film missing so many scenes.

And I’d also… never know who I am as an individual apart from the drugs. It’s sad that there are a lot of kids… and adults out there who had their parents keep them on the meds through the years. I’m excited to move on to this new phase of my life which will be medicated, just to see the person I become. I’m still very grateful to have had the chance to be the person that I’ve been… despite how messed up she is when she’s on her own.