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Time for Treatment

With two years sober through Alcoholics Anonymous, I’m ready to try medication for my attention deficit – for my son’s sake as well as my own.

The following is a personal essay, and not a medical recommendation endorsed by ADDitude. For more information about treatment, speak with your physician.

I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been distracted. Big surprise. Actually, I’ve been ignoring my ADHD and, as you might have guessed, I found out that doesn’t make it go away. Recently, though, I’ve met with a doctor and am discussing treatment options. I’m excited and optimistic to be moving in this direction. There are a few things that have happened that have helped get me to this point.

First, I recently received a two-year coin from Alcoholics Anonymous. I am grateful to AA and my Higher Power that I have not used drugs or alcohol for two years. Having a period of sustained sobriety makes me more comfortable about taking medication for my ADHD. I have talked at length with my addiction specialist counselor about how medication can work in sobriety. I’ve learned that there are non-stimulant medications that may help. And even if stimulants are the best course of action, I can work closely with my doctor to be wise about the meds. The important point, I suppose, is that I shouldn’t be getting a buzz off any meds.

Second, I quit smoking. After giving up alcohol and some other risky, adrenaline-stimulating behavior, smoking was something I leaned on to alleviate the boredom of the day. Not being able to step outside for a smoke at work was tough. It forced me to confront the restless, uncomfortable feeling that I always preferred to cover. Quitting left me bored and wanting to seek out some kind of jolt. It made me realize how bad I was at actually sitting down for any length of time to focus on the task at hand.

Third, my eight-year-old son has an appointment to be evaluated for ADHD. He’s a lot like me. I can only hope and pray is that he has an easier time of things than I had. I figure that it would help him to know that, while ADHD may be something that we need to “treat” so we minimize some of the negative coping skills we would otherwise develop, he is not alone and he is a good kid. I’ve blazed many trails which I hope my son doesn’t follow. The least I could do was to lead the way in dealing with ADHD in a positive way.

As I focus on my ADHD again, I look forward to blogging more regularly. It helps me and I hope some of you can relate.