(This was actually written way back in November of '12 but just edited now)-- I had some friends and family members say not to worry at all about my incident because it is merely a “setback.” I think a “setback” is, in fact, a perfect description of my incident. To look on the bright side, I have already been inspired to be as creative and motivated as possible. Unfortunately, the “setback” has led to me reverting back to old habits. These last five years I have really been WORKING ON EVERYTHING. Literally everything—Music, executive functioning, socializing, networking, establish routines, being able to accomplish boring tasks, being logical instead of reactive, meditating, embracing positive energy, ignoring negative energy, staying focused yet relaxed, exercising, paying attention to other people and not being too self-absorbed, the list goes on. A lot of this has to with the fact that five years ago I decided I was not satisfied with the way my life was going and I began going to therapy. I specifically wanted to go to therapy to help work on IMPROVING LIFE SKILLS. I am not interested in just having someone to “vent” to and say “How does this make you feel?”. I never understood that question because I think the answer is quite obvious—“It makes me feel like crap. Sad, upset, frustrated, jealous.” There’s the answer. Anyway—what I’ve wanted was to actually improve on things. My therapy experience has been helpful. I consider myself a life-long therapy patient. I ALWAYS want to be working on things, and having the right therapist is a helpful tool for this. I’m having a little bit of difficulty now because my therapist retired a few months ago (I have a new therapist, but not as good), and, as I said, the incident has set me back to some of my old ways. Looks like I have find yet a new therapist. C’est la vie.
I just have to rewind for a second back to 1996, which is when I was first diagnosed with ADD and started taking Ritalin. I was amazed at how well the ritallin worked. Being that it’s a stimulant—it got me fired up and focused on doing whatever it is I had to do. Before I started taking Ritalin, I was a classic case of being talented, bright, and just overall awesome (ok ok, enough with the ego), but for some reason just not able to both start or finish things. My ritallin experience helped take care of doing homework and practicing my instruments. I used Ritalin all the way up until the middle of 2011. Ritalin provided the energy, the kick that I needed to get off my butt and actually do things. But the problem was—it got me so totally wired to the point where my levels of sanity and logic were slowly deteriorating. I did things such as neglect other people’s feelings, became easily irritable, had a very short fuse, and I was so wound up all the time that I ended up getting diagnosed with yet another “disorder” of “Bipolar II (Hypomania).” I worked with a psychopharmacologist to wane off of Ritalin. I substituted exercise, moderate amounts of coffee, and sleep to provide the necessary “kick” and also to accept the fact that I’m not going to be able to do a gazillion things all the time every day. I consider myself to be “superhuman” but not at the expense of my own well-being and treatment of others.
Since I stopped taking ritallin, I’ve noticed that I’m much more relaxed, patient, and rational. What’s also great is that I still find a way to create focused energy, which helps me to get things done. People talk about “lifestyle changes” and I think it really works. My overall level of productivity isn’t where I would like it to be, but the way I see—this is all a process. As long I take these things seriously, than improvements can be made.