Friday, May 22, 2009

The power of choice...

Medication is, of course, one treatment that people may choose for ADHD. It's easy to think of the medication as a quick fix though and that's truly not the most useful way to think about it. First of all, different medications may do or not do different things for different people. Second, medication sets the stage for focus, but is not necessarily the thing that ensures that you will. It does create the conditions so that it is easier for you to simply stay on task and not be pulled in 5 other directions, but even in a life made less scattered by medication, there is still free will.

I can choose to finish a pile of work, or not. It's more likely that I will finish it, with a medication soothed mind, because I will not be as propelled to stray...but even a calmed mind can choose to watch television instead. Or choose to drive to the ice cream stand. Because honestly...with my mind a little quieter, THOSE things are more fun because I can actually focus on them, too, not just the work, and sometimes it's more fun to choose those things. The difference manifests when you realize you can choose to do or not do things...rather than being urgently compelled to dart around. What a wonderful feeling, to be able to choose.

I am still adjusting to medication, so I don't know for sure yet if this drug will end up being a long term thing for me (it's not a stimulant and the adjustment period is subtle and slow)...but even at this point I have moments of lovely quiet in my mind where I can steadily pace through a stack of undesireable work tasks, or choose to pull my bike out of the garage and slowly ride around town and just enjoy it without thinking about 5 things I am afraid I'm going to forget to do later because I don't have a pen and paper in hand.

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