Today was the two week mark on the latest meds pattern. It marks the end of the “experimental” period with the ADHD meds and the point where i am deciding if i am going to keep going with them, or stop them to revisit in the future.
I have decided to keep going. This post is a quick exploration of the reasons for and against having ADHD meds in my life and some thoughts on why i am choosing to keep with them.
The overriding reason to keep using the ADHD meds is that they make life much easier. With the meds i don’t fight my brain anywhere near as much or as often. More of my energy goes into my work and interests. I am getting more done and my work is better. Well, mostly better.
I am less impacted by the environment and the “mode switch” in my brain. I can start things when i want to. I can work in my bedroom (rather than a cold storage locker!) and i have more bandwidth for working with my team. I also have more bandwidth to engage with my side projects.
I love my new early morning tigger routine. I like that I normally have the majority of my tasks done for the day by 11am.
The routine pushes me into a really nice sleep schedule. I am tired around the time that my normal support routine ends. Having the end of my daily energy align with the end of my routines is amazing. Two good things coming together to have four times the positive effect.
The meds are not magic. There are downsides to using these specific ADHD meds in the way I am using them.
As the meds wear off, i really start to struggle. My speech is harder, my ability to move, ride my bike and engage with social things is lower than it normally is. A lot of the autie things in my life become more noticeable. This isn’t new at all, it’s just more impaired than I have been in the recent past. Rather than being muddled all day, I have a great morning and then a very chilled relaxed and autistic afternoon.
I don’t mind this that much. I am autistic, it’s fine to be autistic and while i am spending more time being quite spaced out, it’s not wasted time or unpleasant.
This aspect of my life is getting easier to manage over time. We have re-designed routines and changed my daily pacing so i have more energy in the evening. I am going to keep working on this and see what happens. See if it evens out a bit over time.
Beyond the things which are all effected in small ways, there is one massive downside to the ADHD medications. My hand are numb and I can’t ride my bike or play with lego. Some days I need help dressing, which is very distressing.
My hands rapidly improve once I stop taking the meds, I will stop taking them at least once a week so i can go for a proper bike ride. I am also looking into ways i can make riding my bike easier when i have numb hands.
My plan is to revisit the ADHD meds decision monthly. I don’t know if i will blog about it every month, but i will be writing about it privately if i don’t. Each time I order a repeat prescription I will reconsider if the meds are still the best tool.
My long term preference would be not to need the meds, to have my various environments sorted so they have less of an impact, but i am not there right now and thats fine. As lockdown ends this will hopefully change.
The meds are proving to be a useful tool and for that i am very grateful. I am excited to see what the future holds.