I got my first prescription yesterday for ADHD meds. It’s immediate release, low dose amphetamines that I take twice a day. Now I get the adventure of learning how they fit in my life.
I took one late morning yesterday when I was already emotionally exhausted and frankly I hated how the drug felt on top of mild emotional dysregulation. I was/am aware that I will get used to the effects of the drug over time, but still, I hated that feeling right out of the gate. So… Fine. Try again in the early morning like I’m supposed to do it, and give the drug a blank slate and a chance to work.
I should have anticipated that my autism could defeat me. I should have seen the danger that I could easily set up if I failed to make a plan.
When I woke up at around 8:30, I thought, “What I want is a nice breakfast with my husband while the drugs kick in.” But in the course of bringing that idea to the husband what I actually did was massively misunderstand something he said, because I’m autistic and he’s not, and now I’m in full meltdown at 9 am on a Saturday, afraid to take the meds because I don’t want to start an emotional inferno when I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE DRUGS WILL DO.
And of course I’m probably fine, the drugs will be fine, but I’m not comfortable with getting this wrong. I’ve ruined the day and stolen from myself the opportunity to ease into this drug in a way that feels good and controlled and safe on an easy Saturday.
What I need is a guide to starting ADHD meds when autistic. A workbook for getting this right with all the extra autism complexity. Someone experienced and self-aware to walk me through it.
Because I’m realizing that my particular flavor of autism makes this complicated.
I know that I process emotional and physical sensations slowly. Stimulants will have physical and emotional effects, and they’ll happen quickly over the course of minutes, not weeks like the SSRIs I’m used to. So overall I want to keep things physically and emotionally simple. Pick an easy day for my first full dose schedule. Avoid unusual physical or emotional stress. Keep inputs gentle. I want this so I can focus on what I’m feeling and understand it. (I only just articulated this just now. If I’d understood this last night, I could have prepared my husband. He woke up this morning thinking it would just be an ordinary day.)
I also know that I’ll be calmer if I have good food and coffee, something comforting and nourishing. For that, because I’m mobility-limited, I need my husband’s help. But because I didn’t plan for this and I let shit go south, I’ve now gotten into a situation where I can’t communicate with him. I can’t speak at all right now because that’s what autism does to me under stress: I lose speech.
And honestly, it’s shitty to give my mostly wonderful husband a role in a morning plan with high stakes without involving him in making that plan. But I didn’t have a plan, so I set him up to fail.
Tomorrow’s plan should not involve him at all, I think. Not because he can’t be trusted to help, but because I can’t be trusted to treat him well when I’m…scared?
(Jesus, that realization hurts.)
It would be better to do this first morning routine with a partner, a buddy, but I have zero confidence I’ll be able to manage that.
I guess I mean I’ve blown it for today, which isn’t a tragedy because I have more days coming, right? We get a new one every 24 hours. But the larger sadness is that this keeps happening, these flares of what feels like extreme autism, defeating me over and over again with painful misunderstandings that do lasting damage to my confidence and relationships and my ability to get better.
I had thought that I’d treat the ADHD first, because the initial steps of that are clear (get drugs, take drugs), and let my freshly-clearer brain start to unravel the Gordian knot of my autism. And then I’ll be able to heal my marriage. But I’m realizing I don’t get to separate the conditions out like that. I may not be able to address them individually. Nothing is that simple. Brains are not that simple. Love is not that simple.
Humiliated by my failure, I’ve put the stimulants and my expectations for today away. It’s a cloudy Saturday so I’ve downed an edible and turned on cartoons like a college dropout. I’m just going to ride out today as quietly as I can and start again tomorrow, with a better plan.
2 responses to “Well. I blew that.”
I wish I had something better to say, but what I’ve got is:
I so feel this. All of it. I’m sorry.
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