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“ADHD Medication Holidays”

The effects of going off of my ADHD medication are noticeable, but the sunny side outweighs the negatives.

Young Asian woman with ADHD taking a drug holiday, relaxing weekend without medication

On weekends, I put the Adderall on hiatus, out of a hunger to feel a bit of normalcy again. I call them “Adderall Retreats” or “double ‘S’ days” (Saturdays and Sundays). Either way, these medication holidays are respites from what I consider the effects of the drugs on me, an edginess and anxiety followed by a brief oasis of focus.

The effects of the Adderall Retreats are noticeable, but the sunny side outweighs the negatives — I gain a few pounds (the underwear elastic groans), I sleep like a baby, and I am more forgetful and struggle between To Do lists, a handful of organizers, and full-sized monthly wall calendars. Once again, I’d like to nominate myself as Poster Girl for Staples. Thank you very much.

Procrastination takes hold and once again I am thrown back into a world of missed deadlines, but I feel less fear. The worst thing is fear — fear of people, fear of failure, fear of collapsing in a vortex of anxiety and self-doubt. I walk around constantly thinking there is something wrong with me, that I am a defective iPod — nice to look at, colorful and bright, but inside the wiring is wacky.

The Adderall Retreats return a dose of confidence back into me; I am a wild mustang that has been set free. I can go with the ideas, which hit me like meteors. The string of thoughts make me laugh — one second, I consider being a doorman, I surf the Internet and look for shooting galleries, I consider taking an interior decorating class or a sushi class, I wish to get a replacement Betta fish for the one that died two years ago. I am like a child at play: happy, content, and totally me. I wish that the world functioned this way, too.

The humor and flair for words once again surface. I have come to take these things for granted, and have started to realize that the color and spark are a gift that I too often overlook. I think back to my good friend Kate who once told me that she didn’t believe that ADHD is a disorder.

“People are wired to learn differently, Jane,” she said. Kate is great and maybe that is the thinking that will allow me to overcome fear and anxiety and move on through everyday life with a sense of normalcy. I miss a sense of normalcy and feeling that I am normal, which is why I take these Adderall Retreats, and yes they are bliss.

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