On Escaping

I’ve always been obsessed with escaping life. I don’t think I’m built to handle this world, so I look for ways to make it more tolerable. I like to think that I can exist without society, but deep down, I know that’s bullshit. I need all the distractions, but I can definitely live without all the people involved with those distractions. Unfortunately, they’re kind of a package deal, so I’m stuck dealing with them.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I’ve recently gotten back on my meds, and that life is starting to turn around for me, albeit in the slightest sense of the word. I’m still struggling to keep it together though, I feel like I’m trapped in a box, and that there is no escape, so why bother trying? I think that escapism is common in people with ADHD; for the most part, they are outsiders looking in, and after a while, that shit gets old, so it’s easier to avoid society all together. I know that I’m not built to live in conjunction with neurotypicals, as much as I desperately want to.

This is where escapism comes in: I know that I’m weird, I know that I don’t fit in, I know that people talk shit about me behind my back. I couldn’t care less about that though, being weird makes me stick out from all these boring-“I’m just trying to live my best life”- looking-ass people. My “best life” isn’t my best life: it’s hard work and discipline, it’s saying “no” to getting blitzed and watching Family Feud on a Tuesday night, because I have Analytics homework, and the professor was rude to me, so I have to get an “A” in the class to show my professor that they were wrong in thinking that I’m a moron, because I have a huge ego. This is one of my many glaring character flaws: I’m incredibly competitive, and will throw everything I’ve got at anyone I deem an opponent. Due to this wonderful personality quirk, I tend to focus my energy on things that aren’t productive uses of my time. For example, I used to run track in high school, and one of the coaches criticized my start off the blocks, so I spent hours making sure my start was perfect, just so I could shove it in their face. I know I’m petty, and vindictive, and whole bunch of other shitty things, which is why I try to escape that as much as possible.

I feel like one of those anime characters that goes off into the forest for years to hone their skills, but instead of becoming a stronger ninja or whatever, I just get more awkward, and I lose whatever social skills I had before. I idolize people like Justin Vernon, Henry David Thoreau, Kevin Parker, Prince, Mac Miller, and (sadly) Kanye West because they exhibit everything I’ve ever wanted out of the creative process: I want to be able to create no matter what, I don’t want anyone else fucking up my vibes and ruining my work by telling me what to do. Does that make me selfish? Fuck yes it does. I’m trying to make more personal content, because I want to be able to let people into my mind, but it’s super hard when I realize that someday someone I know might discover this blog, or I might get drunk and send a link to one of my friends because I wrote something I’m proud of, and feel the need to brag about it.

Truthfully, I’m terrified that someone I know will read this blog, I’ve been more honest here than I have anywhere else, mostly because shouting at the void is much better than shouting at people who say they care about you. I desperately want to separate my writing from myself, but I don’t know how. It’s much harder to lie in my writing, mostly because I think that writing is the purest form of communication between myself and my fucked up brain. Part of me thinks that I want to make good content that people connect to, but I know that’s not true.

Take Your Medicine

I’ve been on a wild ride these last 6 months; I left a job that made me miserable, I started a job that I actually liked, I started going to a real college, (there’s also this whole “pandemic” thing going on as well), but the biggest change was that I didn’t take my meds for the first time in years.

It seemed like such a simple thing to do: call your doctor and have them send your prescription to the pharmacy 10 minutes away from my house. That’s the shitty thing about ADHD; things that should be easy are cripplingly difficult. Every time I tried to call in the order, I was put on hold for half an hour because some dumb-dumb who had bad Chinese food last week thought they had the ‘Rona, called their doctor, and clogged up the phone line so people like me who have no patience for phone calls would get angry and hang up.

This continued for months, and as time progressed, I started to notice subtle differences in my behavior, which is wild because I don’t usually notice changes in anything, let alone my own life. My working memory is terrible, if someone put a gun to my mother’s head and asked me what I ate for dinner a week ago, I’d have to say goodbye to Ma Dukes, because I can barely remember what I said a minute ago, let alone a week ago. This is where medication comes in handy. Without it, my brain is in complete control, and instead of doing normal people things, it keeps me up at night thinking about things like “Did people in Star Wars use cotton to make their clothes, or is it some other sci-fi space material? I was up until 5am thinking about this last night. Take your medicine.

I finally got my prescription filled, it took a whole hell of a lot longer than I’d liked, but it’s done, and that’s all that matters. The shitty part is what’s gonna happen after 6 months of not taking my meds is suddenly interrupted by an infusion of the strongest amphetamines science has ever created. I’ll probably be up until 5 again tonight, but for much different reasons. Take your fucking medicine.

Artistic Excellence

What is art? Well, that answer will be very different depending on who you ask. To me, art is anything that makes someone feel something. I know, it’s a super broad definition, but I think that it needs to be broad in order to cover all creative mediums. Art isn’t just some asshole throwing paint droplets on a canvas, it’s the emotion the artist embedded in the piece, combined with the reception that the piece receives. Now, because I consider what I do art, I have to acknowledge that other people may have differing opinions on my work. This is where I struggle.

I’m super selfish when it comes to art: I don’t make things for other people, I make things because it helps me keep some semblance of sanity. Each medium that I make things in has its own purposes and flaws, but it really comes down to how I feel at a particular moment in time. I honestly couldn’t give less of a fuck what you think about my content, I’m more interested in seeing where you would build upon what I’ve created, and if you can correct my sometimes-spotty grammar: even better. When I look at other people’s art, I immediately blast off into space, creating a narrative based on how the piece strikes me, and use that feeling to help make my own stuff.

I try not to be wild pretentious when it comes to art, I know I don’t always achieve this goal, but fuck you, it’s a process, I’ll get there eventually. I used to be obsessed with this “tortured genius” idea, but the more I learn about the world, the dumber I realize I am, and the more I look back at myself and realize I was a huge douchebag. I used to think that only miserable people could make good art, but now I realize that being functional and happy while maintaining creativity is the more impressive feat. I respect people like Charles Dickens, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Van Gogh, David Ogilvy, and pre-MAGA Kanye West. They are prolific artists, people obsessed with the creative process, always working, no matter what it does to their mental health (with the exception of Curren$y, who seems like he’s living his best life right now). I feel the same way, but with a thousandth of the creative potential. Due to a lovely neurological disorder, I have a pretty rocky relationship with sanity, so I do my best to be as clear and concise as possible, even when my brain is firing off signals in every direction.

I may be nuts, but if I’m properly motivated, I will give 200% effort in achieving my goals. It might strain my relationships, ruin my physical and mental well-being, and my overall quality of life, but if I want to do something, and I have the ability to do so, I will devote every fabric of my being to achieving my goals. The only issue is that sometimes my goals are fucking stupid, and shouldn’t be pursued. For instance, I can say with complete certainty that I spent more time and effort getting the Fall Camo for the M21 sniper rifle in Modern Warfare 2 than I did getting a 3.7 GPA in college. Maybe I’m actually smart, but more likely, this country has devalued education to the point where grades don’t matter, and that I’m just average. I can snipe the fuck out of you in a video game though, so it’s a bit of a win-win.

The Curse of the Cursor

That stupid blinking “|” is pissing me off right now. It’s almost taunting me, simulating a struggling heartbeat, threatening to die at any moment. I’m not sure where this is going, I’ve got a crazy case of writer’s block.  I don’t like being creatively blocked, so I’m going to fight through it with some potentially shitty writing. The more it blinks at me, the more it distracts me, which pisses me off even more. There’s nothing worse than having a million thoughts ricocheting around your brain, aching to get out, and not having the ability to piece them together coherently. It’s like when you open way too many apps on your computer, and it freezes. That’s where I am right now: the brief flash of thought before my brain shuts down and I turn on some brainless bullshit like “Jersey Shore” so I can relax my mind and yell at morons who probably make more than I do.

I don’t like being beaten by a fucking flashing pixel, it’s not real, but it’s causing a real reaction for some reason, which is worrisome. This should probably be one of those posts that no one ever sees, but who knows what’ll happen to it. I like to write when I’m upset and can’t process feelings clearly, so that I can see my thoughts written out, which usually makes me think about how stupid and illogical they are, then that either makes me feel worse to the point where more writing doesn’t help, or makes me feel at ease to the point where I can function again.

It’s getting late, and I have things to do tomorrow, and I’ve been trying to get more sleep, so I’m going to keep this semi-short, just long enough for me to feel like I’ve beaten that stupid flashing pixel. It’s starting to seem like there’s something more to this, do I think that I’ll eventually run out of ideas? Maybe. Do I think that what I have to say isn’t worth saying, much less reading? All the time, but I still write. Do I have trouble piecing my thoughts together in a coherent format? You bet. This feels like something else.

I’m kind of scared to publish personal shit, it feels like oversharing. I know it makes me uncomfortable to read someone pour their hearts out online, so why should I do it? I’ve done it before, but it’s always been while super drunk, and it’s a lot easier to believe in yourself when you’re barely seeing straight. I think I’ll just save this in drafts for now, and wait until I have more confidence in both my writing skills, and myself. It might take awhile.

 

Staring at the Abyss

Depression is a vile beast. I’ve been fighting it off for months now, but I can feel it starting to sink its claws into me, looking for any opening to fuck my life up. I like to call my depression “mind herpes” because it’s permanent, and flares up when you least expect it. The odd thing about it is that I’m probably less depressed than most people, which leads me to think that I’m overestimating how depressed I am, and that I don’t deserve to feel bad about it. It’s 3:23am now, and I’m on my 4th glass of Evan Williams Single Barrel (I can’t recommend this bourbon enough, try it now) and I’m trying to get to sleep, but I’m facing the familiar problem of having too much on my mind, so I don’t think I’ll be sleeping tonight. Good thing I have tomorrow off.

I don’t know how this happened to me, I have a life that most people would kill for, and I’m wasting it writing self-deprecating articles that 15 people will read. I think that I vastly overestimate my value to the world; when I was in high school I had these stupid dreams of being a Creative Director by 35. I’m 25 now, and the idea that I’ll gain enough advertising knowledge in the next decade to confidently direct people more creative than I am is laughable. Part of me thinks that all the time I’ve spent writing campaigns and taglines on the backs of receipt paper will be worth it, but the more realistic part of me knows that this is probably one of those fixations that comes with ADHD, and that it’ll pass. I’ve had so many potential careers: I was going to be a history teacher, that didn’t last. I was going to be a Wall Street analyst, that didn’t last. I was going to be an A&R for a music label, that didn’t last. How do you know what’s best for you when you can’t even trust your own brain?

I have made some progress in my battle with brain herpes, I don’t impulsively destroy things because I can anymore, and I can determine my level of depression now. I don’t know about anyone else, but whenever I feel the fog rolling in, I step back and assess it, what’s got my panties in a knot, how do I do what I need to do in order to keep going? My advice, unsolicited as it might be, is to make a scale between 1-10 and decide where you are on that scale. For me, a 1 is my usual baseline depression, nothing too harmful, nothing too helpful, just the usual emptiness that comes with being unhappy. I really don’t care too much until it gets to around a 5, where I start to get stuck in my head thinking about things I’ve done and the people I’ve hurt. This usually passes after a beer or two and some social interaction, but it’s unsettling how often I feel this way. If I’ve had an actual shitty day, I can get as high as a 7, where I’ll think about swerving into traffic, or an 8, where I’ll pick up a bottle at the store and listen to Mac Miller albums until I feel like I’m going to die the same way he did: fucked up and alone. Therapy doesn’t help, I’ve been to 5 different therapists, and not one has helped, so I have to try and get my shit together myself. I want to feel like I’ve done the best with what I’ve been given, but I know that’s not true.

My parents have been asking me when I’ll find a girl to settle down with and start a family with, and I don’t have the heart to tell them I’m terrified to have kids. How can I possibly teach someone how to be a person when I can barely be one myself? My parents are the best people I know, they both came from nothing, worked their way up from the bottom, and earned everything they have. All I’ve got is their last name. It sucks really, they’re such amazing people, their kid should’ve been president, or cured cancer, or invented something Earth-shattering, and all I’m doing is writing WordPress articles at my shitty minimum wage job. I don’t know why I’m even writing this post, it’s not going to be popular, nobody wants to hear some privileged asshole complain, I just hope that some other privileged asshole reads this and sees that they’re not alone, that their pain is just as real as everyone else’s.

OK, I’m starting to lose focus a bit now. We need to talk more about depression, it’s taking over our culture, killing our creatives, and influencing our legacy. I’m starting to lose track of my thoughts, so I’ll end with some wholesome shit. You can beat this, you are valuable, you are loved, fuck everyone else, do what you need to do.

Musical Motivation: A Story of Productivity

Today was a good day, I actually finished everything I wanted to get done. Usually, I only get to two or three things on my To-Do List, and get distracted and end up doing something completely different. What changed? That’s simple: music choice and medication.

I woke up at 7:30, which wasn’t planned, but super useful because I forgot to take the trash bins out, and I’m not too fond of letting this week’s trash become next week’s partially-decomposed sludge. After rushing outside in my sweatpants, I tried to go back to sleep, because why not, it’s my day off, I deserve to get some beauty rest. I was unsuccessful. 8:30 rolls around, and my Adderall is starting to kick in, so all hopes of sleep fly out the window.

I had no idea what I wanted to do today, so I do my usual job search, typing in “marketing internships” and “content writer” into Glassdoor, and applied to every job I think I could do. Now, usually, I get about 4 pages into the suggested jobs before getting distracted. Not today. I went into a groove, which was helped by the groovy tunes I had in the background (Mississippi Mud by Black Blood & the Chocolate Pickles), and next thing I knew, I was on page 36, and had applied to more than 20 jobs.

Now, I can tell the difference between “hyper-focus productive” and “Medicated productive”, and this wasn’t either, I think this might be the start of something new for me, I might not be a slacker anymore. I hope this continues, and I hope I continue to crush this job search, because if there’s anything that I’ve learned over these last 5 years, it’s that I never want to work fast-food again, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Now, this post is called “Musical Motivation” for a reason: I’ve been switching up my music choices, and I think it’s actually doing things other than broadening my sonic horizons, I think it’s actually improving my mood and how I think about things. Usually, I listen to super depressing music, which probably isn’t good for me, but it feels incredible to listen to someone who understands how you feel, and connects with that. My favorite time to listen to music is that time of night between 12am and 2am, I think there’s something about that time that brings out a different side of music, especially sad music. I think my late-night listening, mixed with sleep deprivation, has taken me off my A-game, but I think I’ve found a great replacement for it: morning music.

Now, I’m terrible at getting up in the morning, I usually sit in bed until I absolutely have to get up, or if I have to go to the bathroom, but today, I was wide awake, and had nothing better to do than get things done. I think that if I go to bed early, and wake up early, not only will I get better sleep, I’ll get better results from my job hunt, my gym time, and my relaxation time, because what could be better than completing all your To-Do’s for the day at noon?

The Pharmaceutical Paradox

If you have ADHD, you may have had the same problem I had today: I’m out of Adderall, and need to get more. I need to call the doctor’s office, drive over there, wait for my prescription to be ready, drive back to a pharmacy, and wait until it’s filled. This is a lot of steps for someone who can’t really focus or do anything without their meds. There are so many steps that need to be done in order for me to get the thing that helps me focus. Instead, I got distracted and didn’t do any of them.

I knew I was in trouble when I had the random urge to play Civilization 5. If you’ve ever played before, you know that it’s a great way to accidentally spend 6 hours. Civilization, if you haven’t played it, is a turn-based strategy game where you build a civilization, grow it, and try to take over other civilizations. I at least tried to be responsible: I set an alarm for 45 minutes so I could go over and get my meds, but disaster struck with 15 minutes to go. In the game, you have opportunities to build famous landmarks, and I had almost completed the Sistine Chapel, only to have it snatched away from me by the Aztecs. All semblance of responsibility and time-management went out the window, and I devoted the next 4 hours to destroying their civilization and burning their cities to the ground. It was glorious, but it also ate up my chance to get my prescription filled.

There should be an auto-refill option for people with ADHD, so I can pillage Aztec cities with impunity, and not have worry that I might get distracted or forget to do something.