In brief: Counterintuitively, being at a newly decently functioning level thanks to ADHD meds, I haven’t been keeping up with this series. Here’s why and what’s happening!
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Oh hi! So. I’ve sort of “been away.” Which was not my intent and I apologize. The unexpected reason for my absence here is actually that I’ve been more functional. I know that sounds backwards. Let Lucy explain.
At the beginning of the year, without treatment and before an official ADHD diagnosis, I was like:
Currently, I’m about two months away from a therapeutic dose of Stattera (a long acting daily med), but no longer need 10+ cups of coffee every day just to say a sentence or do a task like laundry without my mind pulling apart. Basically, my life has completely changed and I’m now more like:
But I’m not there yet and still have a lot of basic life and career goals I’m striving for to become autonomous. With an 80-hour unpaid nanny shift every week, I have to cram a solid 50-something work week into my schedule if I’m going to be able to change my circumstances. That, unfortunately, means prioritizing paid writing over this blog.
The good news here is: I CAN FINALLY DO THAT. I feel like I have been walking around with a simple, but severe disability for 25 years and now that I have good, necessary medical care I’m able to function. For the most part. I’m still using a fair amount of Adderall because of this ludicrous schedule in order to focus completely when I have the time to write. I am managing to do it, though!
It feels a bit like a year ago when I started breathing for the first time. I managed to get by (the ongoing constant phrase for “landing on your feet”) somehow — mostly because I didn’t know what “normal” or “healthy” were. I only knew I didn’t feel right or good — or even, really, OK. Now that I can breathe and see and think and read and check off to-do list items without my stomach tying itself into knots with anxiety, I have never been more appreciative of modern medicine.
I love my ADHD meds.
No hyperbole, y’all. I LOVE THEM. It’s such a simple, easy to treat disability I have that I’m almost more appreciative to have care now. It shouldn’t have taken 25 years and a medical insurance regulation overhaul (that’s the ACA in case you thought that legislation was “healthcare reform”) for me to get here, but here I am. I’m grateful every day when I wake up and take a pill — JUST ONE PILL! — with one boring side effect (I drink more water now, although that could be replacing the 10+ cups of coffee). I can make it all day even on the little sleep I get right now. To be completely honest, I do drink some caffeine again — I just consume it the way most people do, when I’m a little tired or grumpy. I don’t need it to achieve a low-level of basic functionality.
I’ve never pitched, written, planted more seeds, had more proposals accepted, or accomplished as much as I have the past two months. It’s going to take time for all of that work to show up on a public platform (and even longer for it to literally pay off), but it’s pretty fucking amazing just simply being able to be making things happen.
I think about that and then I remember I’m not even all the way there yet with the Strattera. By mid-July I should be more like:
I can’t wait.
For now, if you’re missing this series, I’m branching out and doing some writing on these topics for publication. I can’t just repost them here like I do with the audio clips, but they all go up (almost) right away on my Credentials page. I’ll make sure I do regular round-ups and also pop in with the snarky stuff that I can’t make gift-tastic elsewhere or is so heavily ingrained in our culture as stigmatized that no one will post it. (Don’t hold your breath that the ADHD stuff will ever find a home cause DAMN.)
Thank you to everyone who has written to me with their stories, appreciation, help requests, and support. You almost all to a person express concern that you might be bothering me or imposing; please know that your words keep me writing mine. When I have a bad day, I know that the experience I’m enduring is helping someone. Don’t stop sending me your thoughts and requests.
Thank you to those who have become backers of my unpaid media and writing through Patreon. You took me from red to black and allowed me to keep on this path. I’ve updated my goals! Top of the list is a livable wage. The more supporters I have, the easier it is to build more supporters; you can toss in as little as $1/month to make this blog and my media/activism projects sustainable.
I have a couple more posts scheduled and announcements on the way to make it clear I’m not vanishing from this space — just doing more branching out. So, I’ll see you shortly. I have to run and take my meds…
Note: If you have something you want to rant about, let people know, vent over, or add to the #GetWell2015 project and discussion, just email me: KatieSpeakMail@gmail.com. I won’t be able to cover everything that’s important because I’m writing from a personal perspective and I haven’t been through everything there is to go through. Pitch me or send me what you’ve got — it can be short or medium-lengthed and I probably am not going to ask for edits. I’d like to include some other voices because poverty, wellness, and stigma affect a massive range of people and experiences.
This post is an entry in my year-long project documenting all the messiness and inconvenience and stigma of trying to get well in our culture. You can subscribe, follow, and join in the journey at #GetWell2015 here and on Twitter.