No vlog this week — I am still feeling a little under the weather, mostly with a persistent cough. I do not really feel bad otherwise, so it may be some form of allergies, as Spring is breaking out here. Regardless, I will not subject you to my mouth full of lozenges and occasional sneezing. I also want to locate a couple of items before I record a "video tour" of my workspace.
Thursday morning I met with my psychiatrist, and after speaking with her for about an hour and a half, I left with a prescription for the lowest dosage of an extended-release ADHD stimulant medication. Thursday felt weird. By the evening, I was in an exceptionally crabby mood, which improved after eating. I was able to stay at my computer desk and edit about seventy photographs along with the video for my Dugsi Academy visit, including the corresponding posts and uploads. That took roughly ten hours with a working dinner break. Friday and Saturday, I worked at my day job. Friday I felt very "awake" and definitely noticed the crash about eight hours in. However, I am also reducing myself down from a high caffeine intake, and one Excedrin gave me a second wind about an hour later. Saturday was "smoother" and my co-workers were surprised to see me show up a few minutes early for my shift. I did not really make any extra effort, but it is easier to be punctual when not distracted by everything, constantly. Time will tell if this dose is effective long-term, though she did give me her permission to double-up if I feel I need it. I suspect that may be necessary for my most tedious projects, especially inking.
Saturday evening I also noticed I felt much less compelled to check my phone constantly, or respond to messages instantly. In my interview the psychiatrist did bring up OCD, which I have long suspected I have a mild degree of. Door locking and checking repetitively is the big one, related to childhood traumas, but primarily the type centered around rumination. (This is, in fact, where the title of my blog comes from, sharing a title with this series of comics — which in retrospect is more accurately an illustration of ADHD.) She commented that I seem quite analytical and offered me to take the MMPI if I would like to, so I am going to complete that this week as scheduling permits, before I see her and the therapist again. They both seem significantly more insightful than the therapist I saw for anxiety issues in 2016, which was a waste of time.
The best I can describe what it has been like "inside" my head until this point is to imagine yourself locked in a room with a dozen televisions and countless radios, playing different and sometimes contradictory channels at full volume, constantly. It creates a mental "fog" that demands a huge amount of energy and deliberate effort to stick with one track of thought, even manifesting into physical exhaustion. The bursts of hyperfocus on projects I am excited about are where I have traditionally gotten big things accomplished. Of course, that can be, rarely, artificially-induced by procrastinating until deadlines, etc.
By Friday and Saturday, I started to feel the "fog" clear, as if putting on the correct pair of eye-glasses for the first time. It is a strangely calm, quiet, and peaceful sensation, nothing like the lethargy and sluggishness characteristic of anxiety drugs I have taken in the past like lorazepam. I am confident that with the combination of medication, feedback from my therapist, and lifestyle modifications (such as using earplugs to fight overstimulation), my struggles with productivity can finally be overcome. I have seven books to finish.
Five years ago, I accepted a commission for a watercolour piece "in the style of Bill Watterson" or as closely as I can emulate it. I still cannot recall why?! I accepted this fool's errand to begin with, but I decided I am ready to tackle it at this time. How quickly I can complete this is going to be the first real test of the efficacy of my ADHD medication. Let the experiment begin.