An open letter to Adderall.
Sometimes I miss you.
I think of the sleepless nights we shared in an impassioned fervor of madness on the edge of genius and insanity. Roaming the hills of my mind and creative force, we manipulated the material world vigorously and with precision in our deepening solitude, hacking away at art, expression and an urge to know everything.
I had to tell people I created what I created without you. You were my secret helper. I took credit for our collaborations. When I tried to create after we broke up, I just couldn’t do it alone. The work looked tired, and the work doesn’t have the detail you provided, it looks rushed and vague. I don’t know if i was ever even a painter with you or if I was only your brush. You stroked my mind, gushed me full of serotonin and dopamine. You violated my identity.
There will never be place for you in my heart, your place is only in my brain and there it is getting smaller in the rear view of my existence as I have learned to be myself without your influence. What we created together is beautiful because it is fun to watch things combust. After things fall apart in a beautiful explosion of color and life, there’s nothing left but pieces. We got pretty close a few times.
Your love is addictive and it took me years to get over what we had. You left me half a man as I had given half of who I was to your influence. When I see my friends with you, I worry you’ll hurt them too. But it’s hard to say or do anything because I know how convincing you are when I was with you. You assured me that I was being who I truly was and in the days without you, I was a lost, confused, incomplete version of myself. I was chemically depressed without you.
You taught me that I am who I am. You did it the hard way. You made me seek the sober version of myself. You made me discover who I was all along. It was hard to mourn for the person I was with you. I had to leave a part of life I had learned to love behind. If I stayed with you, I fear you may have killed me.
Remember that time my insurance deductable wasn’t met and I paid full price for you?I had only 600 dollars, no income, and I didn’t hesitate to spend 300 of it on bottles of you.
180 of your orange bodies in the orange bottles inside my backpack, literally with my name on them. Anxiously, in the parking lot of CVS, I take out a 20mg, swallow it and pedal home to work on binding empty notebooks to sell at a fraction of their worth.
I long for these intimate moments of creation at times. I remember the clear vision you supplied. With you, I feel like a mario cart character who gets the star. Problems bounce off a delusional self confidence as music and art roll of my fingertips that is undoubtedly beautiful, complete and unique. Its easier to work hard than it is to sit still l when I am with you. With you, being lazy hurts. With you, I feel like an empty shell on fire. A stunningly articulate egomaniac. A machine. I feel like I can finally rise up to the occasion of all of societies expectations. I understand, instructions, I understand how things work. I felt like I was accessing who I actually was. I felt more authentic and in touch with myself. But you leave. You fade away and I have to countdown to myself to get the motivation to get out of bed and use the bathroom. You leave wake. It was a delusion.
You take up so much of my life at some point, it is hard to see others. I flock to you, heartbroken, and together we cowardly waltz into a brief sneak peek of chemically induced psychosis. You make me incapable of loving another human. I am not a pill, I am a human. I need to be with other humans. You age me. We were doing too much too fast. I am awake too often. I am not eating enough. I thought I was too smart to be social. This is a delusion. You are misleading me.
When I am shown what real medicine is, you appear as you are; an imposter. You are a party-drug. You are not sacred human medicine. You are meant for dubstep producers and wall street brokers, if that. You are meant for over-ambitious ivy league students. You are meant for fulfilling expectations beyond our assumed capacity. You are meant to be sold, marketed and distributed. You are not meant for kids. How dare you? Perhaps if students need the effects you provide, they can experiment with drinking coffee in the morning like the rest of us. Coffee at least is a plant that loves the sun and loves water. Coffee and I have that in common. You and I have nothing in common. You came from a lab. I came from a mother. Medicine from the earth is godly, natural, pure and honest. It wants to exist without us making it exist. You were forced into existence by Gordon Alles in 1932 and he only wanted you for the money.
Coffee is much more gentle in her approach whereas you came off very strong, and aggressive. Over time, I appreciated this intensity. You conditioned me to like it since I was seven. Since then, I have reduced this desire to a level where the stimulation provided by coffee is enough for me to have energy for mundane human tasks without the complicated psychological issues that come with taking daily dose of amphetamine.
I was assured you were safe and we were brought together for the sole purpose of me doing good job in school and not bothering my teacher.
Adderall, you left some of your junk in my head. The beast of analytic capability is with me and I’ll never know if I brought it or you did. Maybe we created it together. I still occasionally enjoy our love of patterns. I sleep now. I eat food. I am in love and I have to work hard to get things done. It’s hard. I was so used to you helping me and now I am on my own. I know I am better off. I don’t trust authority now. I don’t trust doctors. I don’t trust teachers. You blurred all those lines. Me being high on you made them all happy. How can I trust them?
The least I can do is tell people what you’re capable of before they are entwined in your nonsense. I have to tell people about you. You are a silent epidemic that needs a voice.
Sometimes I miss you. Sometimes we look on relationships that didn't work out, we remember the good times. But then, the toxicity is remembered and we remember it’s not worth it, you remember the bad ended up outweighing the good in the end.
I will choose being an honest failure over a false success any day.
Hey, be careful out there. You’re strong. You’re a masterpiece of human understanding of chemistry. Your power is a lot to handle. Especially for kids. Please. Be careful.
For a long time, I had an intimate relationship with amphetamines, mainly Adderall. I am compiling my experience and research in a book, but I feel compelled to start sharing writings actively during the process. Get in touch with me if you have had similar or different experiences with A.D.D., amphetamines or anything else that supports this narrative. Thank you for reading.
I wonder what the following people will think:
Ijeoma Umebinyuo Greg Toppo Srinivas Rao Hanna Brooks Olsen Tim Beshara Randi Lee Harper Peter Shankman Antonio Arch Katie Klabusich Dan Martell Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz Terena Bell Chris Illuminati Jess Brooks Alexainie mark-john clifford The Establishment Kel Campbell Michelle Wilson Human Parts Carl Hart David Rainoshek, MA Kelsye Paige Moomey Total Sorority Move Nootrobox Ben Fisher Choire Sicha KaylaMatthews Alex Balk
I see you have written on the topic. I would love to speak with you all about it.