I am cleaning the house in a rush: my family are visiting for Christmas and I want to impress – or, at least, not disgust.
Unfortunately, I am at the point in my hormonal cycle when the medication I take (Elvanse/Vyvanse) basically stops working for a couple of days.
A simple task
The kitchen side needs wiping.
I think I’ve left the antibacterial spray on the coffee table, in the living room.
I walk through to the living room and spot two coffee cups that need bringing through to the kitchen.
I remember that there is also a dirty coffee cup in the study. I decide not to go and get that, because I know I will get sidetracked.
However, in the three seconds it takes me to a) pick up the coffee cups in front of me and b) decide not to go into the study, I forget why I’ve come into the living room in the first place.
I know it wasn’t for coffee cups. I know I’m there for a reason. But I can feel the reason dissolving from the front of my mind.
Even as I try to cling to it, I feel it fading like a dream.
I make a strangled noise of frustration. All I can do is look around the room, hoping that something will jog my memory. It doesn’t. I could cry.
Eventually, by retracing my steps back to the kitchen and finding the dirty cupboard, I am able to complete my task.
Repeating this exercise – or something very similar to it – several times a day is absolutely exhausting.
It is frustrating, it is disheartening, and it is ego-destroying.
It is very difficult to get this across to people who don’t have ADHD. They say, “Oh, everyone has moments like that,” skirting around the main point of your story: that this is a huge part of your day-to-day routine.
Working memory issues are a bane on the lives of many people with ADHD.
The fact that my medication helps to mitigate this problem is a greater help than I can really explain.
This monthly reminder, when the medication stops working, is all I need to remain convinced that whatever health detriments I’m suffering through regular stimulant use is worth it.
My quality of life has genuinely improved for this reason alone.