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Drugs & Addictions
ADHD and me
Steffon Haaby., Feb 22, 2005

When I was eight years old, I didn�t do much school work. It wasn�t that I was lacking in proper skills, such as reading, writing, arithmetic, or any other necessary skills, I just wasn�t very interested. I read other books during class time, but not for very long, I would stare off into space, twiddle my thumbs, write silly poems, limericks, etc., but I would never pay attention. This caused my parents and instructors much grief. I would get switched to another class, sent to other schools, put in the talented and gifted, put in the retarded class, get held back, and get suspended for home studies. None of these things seemed to increase my ability to care ABOUT was going on in the classroom. During my uncle�s generation (a new type of mental affliction was discovered to be attacking youth and adults alike, usually at childhood. They called this �disease� ADD: attention deficit disorder. This was said to be uncommon, but not unheard of in those days and was said to only hit really bright and really dull children. My uncle was not exactly on the former side of the spectrum, he was just unruly and fucking crazy. They developed certain drugs to tame this wild disease and try to bring the children back into focus, but many failed. Then, in 1980, about four years before I was born they started news stories and such talking about this wonder anti-add drug called Ritalin. Now, evidently, Ritalin had existed long before the news stories, but because more kids were being diagnosed, more kids were being prescribed.

Skip ahead to nineteen ninety-three. My mother finds out about my uncle�s little problem and decides to have a doc check me out. The doc put me through a series of inane tests and poked and prodded and decided that I, and half my generation had ADHD: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Not only was I incapable, apparently, of staying still and paying attention, I was also incapable of shutting up or calming down. The doc prescribed some Ritalin for me. First ten milligrams, for a few months, this just got me tired. To this day I am a bit confused as to the real purpose of Ritalin. They say it is meant to calm the nerve of a hyperactive child and make them have a longer attention span and make them more attentive to their surroundings, particularly school or work. I continued to take the horrid stuff despite the depression and malaise it made me feel every time it was in me. I took it because I was told it would help me be more intelligent, which is all I really wanted when I was a kid, and at this current moment, all I care about still. I didn�t want a TV, I didn�t want racecars, Nintendo, none of that bullshit, just books, but nobody seemed to notice that stuff much and they all assumed I was just disabled somehow, so they kept upping the dosage, until I was eventually taking fifty mgs a day. This fucked me up; I would be jittery and irritable and still talkative and crazy. I still wasn�t interested in class, and to make things worse I never had an appetite, so my health deteriorated after about three months of constant Ritalin use, and I was just perpetually tired and pissy.

I started to get depressed after long enough so when I was nine or so they took me off the Ritalin and started reading books. They being my mother and my little brothers� dad. Then one day my mom read that you can give coffee to an add kid or an ADHD kid and it would be just the opposite for them as it was for the rest of the normal coffee drinking world. I think, in retrospect, it is probably a good thing this was a little before the whole corporate coffee boom really lifted off, or my generation would have been a huge campaign to sell overpriced coffee, picked under shit conditions to stupid single parents and yuppie families with ADD or ADHD children. Well as it happened, the coffee had no affect but to get me addicted to caffine for years. I drank coffee straight black for like two years. I calmed down on the coffee for a while, but I really hadn�t started doing any better in school the whole time I was growing up through those years. It might be good to add, at this point, that I was living with my useless dad, because I was too much for my mom to handle after she divorced my little brothers� dad. I moved to Texas and California with his wife (air force) and he and my stress had begun to grow, as did my body, my ego, and my lack of attention span. I became more depressed than ever and staying in my room seemed like the most viable option given the others. I developed social anxiety real bad and was sent to a mental home for a while in San Antonio Texas, because my depression had become manic and chose to mix with the ADHD. I got out of the home and soon after I did, we left, heading for Sacramento CA with a shitty car, a government check, some Otis Redding tapes and a big bag of new pills (for me.)

By the time we got to sac nothing changed. I was still depressed and still had no friends and still didn�t care about the goddamned schoolwork. Life was boring until I met my buddy Ryan who had been on Ritalin also. At this point I was done with coffee and back on the Ritalin at request of the doctors in the group home. Ryan taught me to mix the Ritalin with vitamins and coca-cola and we got high this way. Ryan was my best friend, but our parents hated us hanging out together, because we didn�t get shit done at school or in life in general. This never stopped us, but we were split apart eventually, despite our tight crazy bond.

I got to move back to Spokane, when I was twelve, after my dad went to prison for the attempted murder of his wife, my step mom, and mother of my baby sister. This didn�t hit me like it should have, because I had no interest in anything. I was (and am) manic depressive (bipolar) and a strong �victim� of ADHD. It took the humanity out of me. I was a shell of me. I continued to be this way until I was put into a group home for all these problems which ailed me. I was prescribed a whole new set of pills, but they wouldn�t give me the Ritalin anymore, because they finally understood the futility of that. Instead it was SSRI�s and anti psychotics. I got out when I was fifteen, and began to live on the streets. To this day I have suffered a lack of attention span. I have never kept a band longer than it took to get about twelve full tracks written and mastered. I flake out on most friends and activities simply because I am not interested anymore, shit, it has taken me two weeks, to date to finish
this story, simply because I haven�t the attention span to care (or maintain focus). This is my life, I would write more, but I am bored with the whole topic. BYE.

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