Better Living Through Chemistry, Maybe

Awhile ago, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD. I have likely always had it but I was a girl child in the 1980s and we didn’t really think girls could have ADHD back then.

It manifests differently in girls, anyway. Instead of the “never stop moving” thing that boys typically do, ADHD in girls tends to be more of a “space-cadet” situation. We’re there, we’re sitting still (sorta), but we just… drift off. On top of that, a lot of ADHD kids tend to be pretty smart so it’s easy for us to come up with the answers when called upon, even if we’ve been on a different planet for the last 15 minutes. A lot of ADHD girls slip through the cracks in this way, myself included.

So after yeeeears of not having any idea what the fuck I was doing with my life, I got myself a diagnosis. Yay for the first step! Oh, but the therapist who diagnosed me couldn’t actually TREAT me, oh no. I had to see an actual psychiatrist for a true diagnosis and treament plan. Oh but the psychiatrist doesn’t actually TREAT me, that’s done by the ADHD specialist. Can you see where I’m going with this? ADHD treatment is almost never ADHD-friendly! WE ARE NOT GOOD AT DOING FOLLOW-UP, YOU GUYS. It’s kind of our thing!

So I didn’t actually DO anything about it for a couple of years. Longtime fans of my brain spew will understand that I HAVE BEEN BUSY for the last couple of years, which meant that my own bullshit got pushed back and pushed back and OMG IT’S FINE I CAN TOTALLY HANDLE THIS, WHAT I SAID IT’S FINE IT’S FINE IT’S FINE I T I S F I N E.

BUT! I finally got a chance to breathe and FINALLY made an appointment and WENT to the appointment! It was with a nurse practitioner, which I tend to prefer because in my experience they tend to listen more and not just jump to a conclusion. She had me do the ADHD questionnaire thing and was like “holy shit, you definitely have ADHD.” Me: I KNOW! NP: “So tell me about your coping mechanisms.” Me: explains whole entire life. NP: “well it seems like you have a lot of tools in your toolbox!” Me: yes, and I’d like to CARRY AROUND FEWER OF THEM so let’s figure this out, yeah?

So she prescribed me a medium dose of Strattera. It’s a non-stimulant ADHD med and I’m not sure it’s going to be right for me but I’m only on day 2 so we’re giving it a couple of weeks to see if things improve. Mostly what I want is for The Squirrels to calm the fuck down. I would like less noise in my head and to get over the task paralysis that sometimes hits me when I have a lot of things to do at once.

It’s not that I want to be normal, because what is that even. What I’d like is to not feel like I’m starting 200 meters behind everyone else at the beginning of each day. That’s really my main goal, to just… function better and expend less mental energy while doing it.

So, I don’t know how this is going to go. It’s been awhile since I’ve been medicated for ANYTHING so I’m interested to see what my brain does with this one. If we find the right pill for me, maybe I really will take over the world. Just you watch.

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