Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Then the Concerta wore off...

...I could write a whole book based on that premise.
The other night in Argentine Tango class, a classmate was having a hard time learning to lead a certain sequence of dance moves.
As he and his partner finally nearly nailed it I spontaneously started singing "Almost Paradise". Out loud...yep...out loud...because you know, he almost totally got it, and clearly needed a soundtrack to celebrate the moment. I'm just glad they thought it was funny. This was just a highlight of a whole second-hour of class that was all about me making random comments, apologizing for them, cracking up the class and trying really hard not to...but doing it anyway about 70% of the time. I was much quieter when I was younger...but I also spent a LOT of energy when I was young on trying not to interrupt (and anxiety is a powerful agent of control...but not the good kind...that's a whole other blog post...about noticing everything...having a too busy brain...overdosing on a lethal mixture of cognitive overabundance and ADHD "drive"...but anyway...<----------see, the Concerta's worn off and I'm not going to bother with editing...). And its amazing how much energy you can spend on that...I just don't waste the energy anymore unless I really have to. I still sort of can't believe I burst into "Almost Paradise" though....
And last night...holy crap, it's a good thing that monologing doesn't seem to be one of ADHD boy's primary ADHD manifestations...because it sure as shit is one of mine, and good lord, did that man get the monologue of his life last night. Ran about 40 minutes of Concerta-free living if I have to guess...he finished his dinner and two beers and there I was with my nachos still on my plate and unfortunately I'd also sucked down a margarita pretty quickly. That didn't quell the compulsion on bit, as I'm sure you can imagine. He always just smiles and listens when I do this. Who knows where HIS mind is while this is happening. Honestly...he seems to be actually listening. Maybe my talking is actually interesting enough to him still, at this early stage, that his ADHD brain is content to just hang out listening as the contents of mine puke themselves onto the table. Maybe he's just had a lot of practice at "active listening". Maybe he's sort of listening, but also sort of composing music in his head...or listening to the band at the other end of the bar...who knows...
The late evening is apparently when it wears off (which makes sense). Right around 8 PM the party begins in my brain. I don't notice it at first...I notice it when I finally do or say something ridiculous and obvious and then I feel like there's a spotlight shining on me and I'm embarrassed for a minute...and then think to myself "oh...the meds wore off...good times...". Then I just know that I need to go back into "consciously thinking about not going off on audible mental tangents" mode.
And just now...I'm a tree falling in the forest with no immediate audience because it's night-time. And zzzzzzzz to that...good night readers...good night mixed metaphors...good night cognitive overabundance...good night ADHD tangents....


  1. Boy...I have had WAY TOO MANY of those moments when I should have kept my mouth shut. (Remember: A closed mouth gathers no foot.)
    Pre-diagnosis, when my mouth would go off before my brain was in gear, I spent a lot of time by myself. It was a way to make sure that I didn't say anything inappropriate. The biggest change I noticed when I started medication was that I could sense when my mouth was about to go and I could actually stop it *before* the words came out. That's when I knew that my medication was working.

  2. Ah YES, a closed mouth, indeed, gathers no foot :)

    Now see...this is an interesting issue for me. I have a lot of people say "but YOU don't have ADHD". And I say "that's because you have no idea how hard I'm working to not say the stuff that's popping into my head constantly". I don't actually just pop off all the time...I just can't shut my brain off, and can hardly sit still and fidget like mad...and sometimes let a wisecrack fly because I can't stand it anymore. This is what makes me understand that a lot of people, just don't understand ADHD.

    The medication is awesome though, because it makes it possible for me to work less hard at that. However, after spending a day not having to work at it, the meds wear off and I'm like "oh shit, the cat's out of the bag" and I have to go back into "work" mode to reign it in...or not...haha. It takes a few wisecracks, or bursts into song though, before I go " meds wore off...STFU!"

    The bigger problem for me though, I think, is monologuing and as a result oversharing. OOPS. Sometimes when I'm monologuing I can even hear myself and I can't even stand the sound of it but I can't shut up. That's the mouth just GOES. Or...I start thinking out loud...holy cannoli' I am right now in fact...time to go and thus self-edit....BWAHAHAHA....

    I may have written about before...once, when I was a child and I kept interrupting my mother she said "you know you don't have to say everything that pops into your head" or something like that. But if the popping is relentless and that's what you spend a large amount of your energy focusing on-NOT talking, or being consumed by your busybusybusy thoughts-this is still a problem in my mind. People don't get that. It bugs me that they don't get that. This is often when my hyperactivity manifests itself. My brain is so busy that I can't contain the physical energy generated. Fidgeting, gesturing, trying not to be pulled too far ahead of the conversation at hand by my thoughts, getting up to leave classes and walk around, my thoughts just tug me into action and I have to work to re-anchor...

    Whether or not that looks like what most people would call ADHD isn't the issue. The issue is that it is an impairment because it is EXHAUSTING.

  3. When I told my neighbor - who is also a close business associate - that I had ADHD, she said, "No way! Look at how much you've accomplished." I replied by telling her that I have to sit at the computer 16 hours a day to accomplish what others can do in half that time. So...yeah...the outside world doesn't see what hoops you need to jump through to get things done...even if the hoop jumping is all in your head.