The Double-Edged Sword in the Little Stones
My Ritalin is making me tired.
My Ritalin. It’s mine. I take it almost every day (almost) and the Ritalin is good— a jar for the ten thousand marbles forever spilling down the steps of my mind palace— but still, it makes me tired. Tired and hungry. And, yes, Kevn, I see your hand, and thank you in advance for your contribution, it’s so good to hear that Ritalin gives you pep and suppresses your appetite and makes you want to reorganize your shoe rack at 2am. I’m happy for you, Kevn, or at least I’m agnostic towards you, but that’s your experience, not mine. Your experience is not mine, not in this case.
In this case, in my case, even though they suck, even though there’s a palpable feeling of being trapped, I take my pills, just in case. Just in case—
There are some other less desirable side effects, too— bleeding gums, weight gain, general malaise and lethargy (well, a different kind of general malaise and lethargy than I get when I’m not taking it, anyway), transient cardiac arrhythmia, boner shrinkage, etc.
But if I don’t take my pills the side effects are even worse, because then the side effects are me. The existential me. The me who the Ritalin silences, who rears his head at night when the pills wear off. The belligerent me. The angry me. The dissatisfied me. The me that no one wants to play with because that me is genuinely unlikeable, and like… can we talk about being liked for a minute? Is that something adults are allowed to talk about? I know it sounds so fifth-grade-recess, muy chismes, totally unfit for a Being of Light and Universe to concern themselves with… especially at forty. But I still want to be liked. (No, I know, you like me, I get it; kisses, darlings!)
I want to be liked, but even more, I want to be likeable. I want to be fun and bouyant and joyful, not cold and mean and angry. — LOLOL, I am so fucking angry when I’m not medicated. So I take my pills, just in case.
Or, at least, I guess I should.
Because I don’t want to be difficult. I am a Being of Light and Universe and I’m so tired of being An Actual Jerk on top of that, and at the very least the Ritalin seems to take care of that, to paper over my barbed edges, to make sure I’m not a dick at work, even if it seems to make my dick not work, because there are side effects either way and soft edges are the goal, after all, so beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.
Trade offs, I guess.
And, Yes, thank you, Kevn, I know that there are other options— the Adderall, the Vyvanse, the Stratteras of the world, but Strattera made it hurt to cum (“painful orgasm”!) and I’m not really talking about the Ritalin, anyway (and, anyway, it’s technically Concerta that I’m on, but the chemistry’s the same, the little rocks that fix the brain). No, I’m not really talking about the pills, I’m talking about me, and the parts of me I can’t seem to make better. And, again, this may not be an experience of yours, or even your experience of me, but it is my me, and I’m so tired of being so… me.
I don’t even understand how it happens. I don’t know where it comes from, but there it is, every time the pills wear off, every time I take a “medication holiday”, every time I open a mouth that hasn’t been scraped dry by the extended release of methylphenidate— my dagger of spite. And, jesus, I don’t know— maybe a life of enervation, of passing out at 9pm and still waking up late for work the next morning, of always wanting to lie down, of eating ramekins of melted cheese and spoonfuls of savory yogurt and, like, just salt, like eating plain salt out of the palm of my hand, far more frequently than you would imagine, and, wow, I could really go for a donut right now. A banana cream pie flavored donut. With cinnamon-sugar on top. And pink Himalayan sea salt. OMG, a salty sweet donut would seriously be great, you guys. Feel free to do me a Favor™.
What was I saying? I haven’t taken my pills in a few days and I’m getting lost in my thoughts again.
Your experience, Kevn, is not my experience. (Who the fuck is this imagined Kevn??)
So even though my Ritalin is giving me dry-mouth and making me tired and keeps me twenty pounds over my goal weight and half-a-pack away from quitting smoking, I can’t deny that it’s working. The bees in my head are finally sleeping. The steps of my mind palace aren’t filled with marbles and broken glass footwear anymore, but that’s because there are no steps because there is no palace— midnight has struck and the glamour is gone and at best I’ve got a pied-à-terre shack for a consciousness, but at least I feel better. I guess?
Except—. I feel different, but somehow I don’t think it feels better.
Feeling this way doesn’t feel like me, you see. It feels like— well, it feels like I’m on drugs, which is what it is, and I’m willing to bet diamonds to donuts that if you’re someone who’s reading this you’re also someone who understands what being on drugs feels like, so we’re cool, you get it, you feel me about this feeling crap, and I’m not losing any donuts in the wager, and hey I could still really go for that donut— DM me for my address if you’d like to airmail me a dozen holes. (heh hehe…)
No, Kevn, put your hand down. We don’t need to hear from you right now.
So that’s where I’m at. That’s where I sit. That’s where I won’t take a stand because I don’t know which feels better and which feels worse. Do I take the pills or don’t I? It’s going to be exhausting, either way.