Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We all survived Day One of the great Adderall experiment.

I read a lot about ADHD, and even though I, myself, take the medication, I have read so many weird stories that other people have written that...well...I wasn't sure what to expect.

What I did not expect were tears of joy. (From the grownups, lol...)

The medication did not make her did not make her did not make her seem doped did not kill her.

We first noticed that something different was happening when Sonny asked her to please turn the television down a couple of clicks in the middle of a Christmas movie and she simply reached forward and did it. Which means two, that she HEARD him. Two that she didn't fight about it. One stone, two small miracles.

As the morning and day progressed, we witnessed some shocking things:

Our little girl played with her brothers.
She made her bed and lined her stuffed animals up arm in arm on the bed together.
She wrote a play about "emajunashun". It was a musical.
She heard us when we spoke and often smiled big when she did.
She actively engaged in conversation instead of argument.
She respected other people's personal space.
She smiled. She smiled.
She noticed when she could "do better" and seemed content to try again instead of freak out and deny caring.
She NOTICED other people instead of colliding with them at hyperspeed. And she looked delighted by it.

And for the first time since I met this child...she relaxed. The whole energy of her body changed. The whole energy of our home changed. It made me very reflective about the usual level of chaos we live with.

She does not usually play with her brothers...not for very long anyway. What starts as play often devolves into badgering, bossing, insulting, yelling and "accidentally" hurting people.

Cleaning her room is something we generally do together, she and I, and we have a system, and it works...but it's very stressful for her. On that day, she needed guidance because she was 8, not because she was overwhelmed.

She was not at war with her environment. She was comfortable in her body.

She kept saying "I feel good. I feel happy.".
She said "I feel happy. I feel calm. Is this how your medicine makes you feel too?".
I said "When I don't take it, I feel like the whole world is screaming at me. When I do take it, I feel much better.".
She exclaimed "Now you know what I feel like ALL THE TIME!".

Both myself and Sonny were moved immensely by watching a child, maybe for the first time in her life, spend a whole day not feeling like she's under attack.

And it was moving as well, to witness it from the outside, after experiencing it from the inside.

We got to experience the "her" that we only experience about 20% of the time...on that day, those wonderful parts were 80% of her, because her personality was no longer obscured by fear, overwhelm, and inability to hear the world around her.

I already knew that something was wrong with the logic of the MEDICATION WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CHILD people. Now...a part of me is genuinely angry with that perspective, because I really and truly feel that not trying every tool that may help is child abuse.

This was only day one. We have a lot to learn and so does our wee girl. But for her to not have had this chance, even just for one day, to see that life doesn't have to be such a struggle...would be shameful.