Tough Topics

I’ve gone back and forth in my head trying to decide if I should actually dive into this topic on a blog. I’m finally at a point where I feel strongly that I must. It’s raw and painful, and there is so much that’s in the gray. I’ve ruminated to the point that I’m not sure what is real. Perhaps it’s all over-exaggerated in my head.

Writing has always been an extremely helpful way to make sense of my hurricane of thoughts. I am such an emotional person, and often my emotions are so powerful that they overtake my thoughts to the point that I can’t make sense of anything. Writing is the way I interpret these strong feelings. It makes me feel grounded when I do it regularly.

Lately, my focus has been dreadful. I’m debating whether or not to go back on a hard-core ADHD medication regimen. I know from past experience that doing so will improve many areas of my life. My concern is that I’ll have to supplement the medicine that helps me concentrate with an antidepressant. Sometimes the ADHD med, particularly Adderall, makes me sharp and focused, but tweaking the dose is challenging. Too little, I might as well not be taking it. Too much, it makes me crazy angry and edgy and I tend to bark at my children and my husband.

Rage is more like it. I absolutely can not take that risk as the primary parent to two young children. Because of the way my body metabolizes medicine, and just the type of medicine it is, there are numerous variables in its effectiveness.

I basically have to keep my food, exercise regimen, and sleep absolutely consistent or the balance is thrown off. In other words, even if I take 10mg of Adderall XR every day, my focus/concentration varies depending on what I eat — protein/carb balance, etc. Same dose, and the outcome could be very different if I do strenuous exercise. It also messes with my sleep cycle. If I take it just a little late, I might struggle to fall asleep. If I am able to fall asleep, I feel horribly groggy in the morning. Just typing this makes me frustrated.

I’ve been to lots of different doctors, many of whom have been super helpful, patient and supportive, and I know that they are doing all they know to do to help. However, treating ADHD is not an exact science. Many of my doctors have told me this, but I’ve been through the rigmarole of experimenting on my own, so I wholeheartedly believe it now. The first time I had a doctor deliver that “exact science” line, I didn’t believe him. Nearly seven years of partnering with different doctors and therapists along with being my own guinea pig, I believe it more than ever.

Back to what I originally started writing about — taking an antidepressant along with the Adderall has been a fair compromise. It takes the edge off, and I’m less moody than with the stimulant alone. BUT…I have a tendency to become complacent and almost apathetic, particularly with certain areas of my life. I am at a point where I can no longer take that risk. I need to make some changes, and I’m afraid if I go back on an antidepressant it will catapult me back to a state of mind where I’m tricked into believing that I can continue living with things that in reality must change.

More specifically — my marriage.

I haven’t scratched the surface, but that’s what I want/need, to talk about.

I’m sad, disenchanted, overwhelmed, disillusioned, and perplexed. I feel lonely, guilty, defeated, the list goes on and on. I’ve lost hope to the point that I don’t know if there ever was anything to actually hold on to. I’ve lived this way for so long that I almost don’t remember feeling any other way.

So I have to ask myself, was what we had in the earlier years even real?

Was it a fantasy that I created in my mind that merely served as a coping mechanism for the pain with which I had recently endured?

Was what I felt at twenty-five years old real love, or did I just want something good so much that I tricked myself into believing that it was legitimate?

Did I marry hoping for what could be?

And — am I now disenchanted because of what it actually IS, when the reality is that it never WAS a good situation to begin with?

I can already tell that answering some of these questions will be helpful. But I’m truly afraid to confront some of the answers.

We’ve been through so much in twelve years of marriage. Perhaps our circumstances have caused us to crack. People change. Good people hurt each other. People in pain often want those around them to understand their pain, and it feels good in the moment to deal out hurt hoping the other person will be able to relate. Screwed up thinking. YES! But I’ve certainly been guilty of this. So has my husband.

I need to stop now. Typing this is painful. I need to be less general and get into details. They will come, but I need to take it slowly.