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Story Time

12/09/09 @ 05:37:39 pm, Categories: Life of Baka, 907 words, 1170 views  

So, it’s been a while since my last post. I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you a little story…

From kindergarten through second grade, no one could figure out why I couldn’t do any class work well, if at all, despite scoring in the 99th percentile almost across the board in standardized testing. A few psychological evaluations later it was determined that I have ADHD, really really bad.

So, starting in third grade, I was put on Ritalin, and like my father says “It was like a lightswitch". Together with a school program where I would be provided whatever grade level of work I could handle in an effort to let me excel where I could, get help where I needed it, but above all else keep me engaged. It worked. By the end of that year, I was working out of seventh grade English books, and not too long after that I was hitting some high school level curriculum. I remained in this program through ninth grade (Which was a special exception, as the program was normally only K-8, though now, along with their massively expanded facilities, they do K-12)

My family moved further south, and I started attending a regular high school. It was problematic, but I was starting to get used to it…then we had to move again, this time, to Vermont. Once here, I had to get re-evaluated to get a new prescription for my Ritalin, and the doctor said I was ‘too smart to have ADHD’. A diagnosis that for a decade afterwords would be met with horror and derision by counselors, doctors, and psychologists…but never rectified. I couldn’t deal with school. Moving to a new school in the middle of the year was bad enough, not having Ritalin to keep my head on straight was worse, but combined with the fact that the schools here were THREE YEARS behind what I was doing in New Jersey, making it at least FOUR-TO-SIX YEARS behind what I was doing in the special program, it was like spending six hours a day rubbing broken glass and salt into my scalp. A good example of my problem with the difference between reality and schoolwork is flunking Algebra for doing it all in my head and getting the right answers every time, never mind the fact that I completed Algebra when I was in the FIFTH GRADE.

On the last day of school that year, I was riding home on my bike and some asshats in the back of a pickup threw a waterballoon at me while I was going into the turn and I wiped out. Having to drag my broken bike half-way across town while I was cut-up and bleeding did a good job of capping my half a year at Middlebury Union High School, I don’t actually remember if I attended next year at all, but I know it wasn’t long before I said fuck it and never set foot in the school again. Truth be told, I could have shown up for every class for the next two years, done absolutely fuck-all, and still graduated like the majority of the local meatrock population, but I’m not so nearly masochistic as that. And what’s a piece of paper anyway? I’ve known since the age of twelve that I was going to be self-employed, and I at least care about results.

Of course, I failed to take into account the effect of being isolated from my peer-group combined with being a new kid in town. Oh well, fuck it. A little social retardation never killed anyone…that I know of.

With all that more than ten years behind me, I’ve now been trying to get back on Ritalin for several years. First, trying to get re-diagnosed by the very same people who fucked me to begin with, the Counseling Service of Addison County…because they’re basically the only show in town. After years that wasn’t working, they wanted me to get my bloodpressure and other factors under control first but then still wanted to ‘wait and see’. My physician, however, is a bit more understanding. He also wanted me to get my bloodpressure under control, and he also wanted me to at least try one more time to get CSAC to prescribe it because they can ‘provide more complete care’, but he eventually realized that wasn’t going to pan out.

Several weeks ago, he wrote me a new prescription for Ritalin.

It’s one thing to have nothing in particular to do, it’s another thing entirely to be completely at the mercy of your own brain’s rather flighty and whimsical nature. I had almost forgotten what it was like to have my head screwed on straight beyond the vague notion of ‘I used to be able to do shit’.

I would have to say it feels like my brain is wound tight, like the mainspring in a pocket watch. The ADHD, unregulated, basically precludes the completion of any task that takes more than a certain amount of time to complete, due to what I call ‘brain-wander’. With the Ritalin, my brain has achieved a certain amount of tension, it doesn’t wander as much, and when I try to do something, the energy stored in the spring is released and it just gets done.

Now I just need to work on assigning priority to tasks… You’ll see why in my next post.


nani sore?
A peek inside the mad, mad, mind of Baka-chan. Animator, artist, hater of stupid people, and evil genius. Look upon the undoing of all order in the universe, and tremble.
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