I seem to accrue more and more diagnoses to cover my symptoms. Two months ago, I handed my therapist a pile of questionnaires. A week later, she confirmed a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (without hyperactivity). Two weeks ago, the day after I transferred her findings to my psychiatrist, I began taking Vyvanse.
Having traveled the country of mania before my acquiescence to mood stabilizers, I worried what this daily ingestion of a stimulant might incite in me. The night before I began, my entire body cramped up in dread of losing control. I took the capsule on schedule and went about my day. The kitchen table was a project which had defeated me in the past, so I decided to try it as a test. Somehow I saw the difference between necessary papers and trash, a distinction which I had had trouble gloaming onto before. I packed some of the contents into three boxes, stacked a few books and tablets, and crammed everything else except for my laptop and an iron mouse paperweight into a plastic bag.
Was this mania? I checked for the other signs: Paranoia? No. Grandiosity? No. Irritability? No. Impulsiveness? No.
What I feel now is nothing like mania. I don’t jump to fulfill every whimsey, running up credit cards to their max. I think of myself as just a human being not all that much different from others. The spies and government agents who used to follow me when I was in the throes of bipolar disorder don’t lurk next to the cable hookup outside. I am clear-headed and able to motivate myself. I have discovered that for the longest time I was more depressed than I had realized.
Such a map I lay out. Dismal forests overrun with kudzu swamp my head when I go untreated. This pill, I hope, closes the gap created by the last of my debilitating symptoms. I set my keys and wallet in the same place each night, keep the table clear, and go through the mail every other day for junk mail and old magazines. I find the energy to experiment with my camera and make no excuses for my sluggishness because I just don’t feel that way anymore. The only thing that remains lost to me is my poetic imagination. This new country reserves no place for it, so far, but I shall plow the field for it soon.