I asked to get a subscription of adderall this past May. I took it my first year of college for a little bit and part of my senior year of college. I got it around mid-May, but I didn’t feel comfortable taking it.
I’ve always struggled with taking it one, because of the negative stigma associated with it, two, because I was worried that it wasn’t the healthiest thing, like putting anything that’s not natural into my body and three, I believe strongly in the power of thought, so why should I use something to assist me in focusing when eventually I could work it out on my own?
When I’m in an ideal environment, I can thrive without it. An ideal environment was while at college, I was surrounded by people all the time, had a great mix of social life, exercise, different passions, etc that were all already structured for me. I was constantly stimulated, had a nice mix of things going on and was averaging a lot of caffeine every day. My peak average caffeine intake was about 8 espresso shots at once, once or twice a day. My actual peak was 11 espresso shots at once, which I realized was too much.
Another ideal focus environment was when I was studying abroad in Spain. I didn’t have too much on my plate, I could enjoy the homework assignments and I could do a lot of exploring. I was situated in the perfect location, an apartment that was next to all the coffee shops, bars, clubs – everything. And I was right next to the historic old town, which was also filled with coffee shops, bars, etc. I was a walk away from the gym, from my school and a train away from other cities and a plane away from other countries. The plane travel was cheap, like $20 and $80 dollar flights. Everything was accessible. I wasn’t inhibited in any way. I also had lots of caffeine daily, a cup or two for breakfast, lots of espresso throughout the day and the evening, and an occasional energy drink. And my gosh was their coffee soooooo delicious!
Another ideal situation was when I was backpacking along the East Coast for two months. At times it was rough for me to focus and get my work done, which makes sense when I only stayed at some places for a day, but for the most part, I was constantly moving and didn’t have too many responsibilities outside of occasional freelance work.
Right now I am not in an ideal focus environment, and I’m having less caffeine.
I mainly struggled taking the adderall because one, I thought it was increasing my heart rate by a lot, and I worried about my heart. On some level I knew I was just having anxiety attacks because I was frustrated with my lack of focus and productivity, but I also had legitimate pains in my chest. I went to the doctor late June/early July and found out that my rib was agitated, which was causing the pains I was getting around my chest. Once I knew without a doubt that my heart was fine, I had nothing to worry about and knew that the adderall wasn’t harming me in the way I thought it was.
The second reason why I was struggling with taking it was because so many people bash it, and do so openly. And it doesn’t feel good to constantly have people telling you that you shouldn’t do something, etc. etc. etc. I never talked much about adderall because I didn’t want to bring other people’s negative energy into my life.
Once I stopped struggling with whether or not I should take it and took it consistently for the month of July, it helped me 100 fold in my focus. It was like night and day.
I haven’t taken it for about a week and a half because I ran out. I called in for a refill and haven’t heard back on it coming in. I have to call them because it’s probably waiting for me. My focus has been considerably shot this past week and it’s very disheartening. I’ve been slowly falling into a funk and seeing myself getting more and more frustrated with myself again for falling behind, for slacking, for not doing enough, for not being able to get my shit together, for etc. etc. etc.
If this past week and a half falling back into self-frustration has shown me anything positive, it’s shown me that adderall is very much a helpful supplement for me, especially when I’m not in an ideal focus environment.
I know it works for me, and I don’t want to be ashamed of it anymore. So today I will start to let go of that shame.
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Gay Media Network. She’s launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication, The Human Experience. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.