Everything Is Awesome

Enthusiastic ParkerI’ll be the first to admit that since bumping up my medication for Adult ADHD (Vyvanse) to 60mg/day, I have noticed a few changes. Heck, I’ve noticed changes since I began taking the meds two months ago. But sometimes I wonder if it’s all just a placebo effect and I’m just fooling myself.

So I asked my awesome wife, Sunshine, to give me five things that she has noticed about me that is different from a few weeks ago; good or bad.  Where she knows me better than anyone, it only makes sense that she give her opinion on my behaviour recently.

This is what she had to say…

  1. Optimism & positivity. Not that you were ever a really negative person before, but in the past month or so you’ve been way more positive about life despite the great deal of uncertainty we’ve been facing recently.

This is one of the things that Sunshine makes fun of me about. She says I’m sometimes like the Alec Baldwin character from Friends, “Enthusiastic Parker”:

I can’t really explain it, but I’m just seeing the world in a slightly different light. Things aren’t as bad as they seem, even if they really are. And don’t let it seem like I’m trying to sugarcoat anything, either: we have a TON of uncertainty going on in our lives right now. I’m just honestly feeling very positive about where we will end up and how we will get there.

  1. Big reduction in procrastination. In the past you would put things off, lacking the motivation to just get things done. You’re much more willing to just tackle things without putting them off until “later”.

I feel like I’m still procrastinating a little bit, though. Maybe I’m not NEARLY as bad as I used to be, but I would always feel like I could get it done later. Lately it’s been a matter of WANTING to get things done. Or if I procrastinate about doing something and I’m late to get it completed, I’ll feel guilty about it and want to finish as soon as possible (ex: laundry, dishes, mowing the lawn, etc.) whereas before I would simply “meh” it away and do it whenever.

  1. Mood.Your mood is much more even in that you don’t get frustrated nearly as easily as you used to. A perfect example of this is the other day (when we were) at Point Pleasant Park, when your phone wasn’t working. You fiddled with it a bit, apologized (for) not being 100% “present”, and then eventually put it in your pocket. This was a HUGE shock to me. In the past, you would have gotten extremely frustrated and angry, and it would have put this big black cloud over the whole outing. Not this time…it was just no big deal…you put it away, enjoyed the rest of our walk, and dealt with it afterwards.

I have certainly noticed this, as well. Things that used to frustrate the heck out of me don’t bother me NEARLY as much at this point. However, having said that, I do notice the difference between when I’m on the medication and when I’m off of it. Y’see, Vyvanse is a medication that is supposed to last approximately 10-12 hours (it doesn’t stay in your system), but for me I feel the effects wearing off by late afternoon or early evening. This means that I feel different in the evening and in the morning before I take it. “Different” can be explained as feeling a bit more tense or on edge, so I’m very happy to have a more calming mood when I’m on it.

  1. Enthusiasm for life. You’re way more willing to just get out there and DO things than you have been in the last couple of years. You’re willing to get on board for a lot more things than you’ve ever been…things that you’ve maybe never done before, or never even considered doing (hello COLOURING!). You’re also getting out there and running/walking every single day lately.

Yeah…I’m doing my best to embrace life as best I can. I only have one life and I’ll get out what I put into it, so I really need to start putting in the most I can. I’m 43 next month and I want to ensure that the second half of my life is just as good (if not better) than the first half of my life. I’ve got all the tools in place (an incredible wife and family, my Adult ADHD diagnosed and looked after, and work experience that should help me find the career I’ve always wanted); I just need to take advantage of them in order to make the most of the life I have.

  1. Drastic reduction in junk food consumption!I’m not sure what the reason is for this, if it’s because you were using sugar to get a jolt of energy before, or if you were stuffing down negative feelings with food, but I’ve noticed a huge change in you in this regard. You’re no longer using food in a negative way…yes, you’re still enjoying treats now and again, but it’s not an obsession like it has been in the past (when we were eating ice cream daily…).

Vyvanse is sometimes used to help treat binge eating but is not recommended as a weight loss medication. However, whether it’s because it is actually happening or because I’m using it as a placebo; I’m not sure. What I do know is that I don’t feel as hungry as I used to. I would have cravings for chocolate and need to sneak treats during the day. I would use food as a way to make me feel better about something. I wouldn’t care about the consequences of eating a ton of junk food until the guilt hit me afterwards. Now? Now I see the weight loss from the past month (over 14 pounds at this point) and can see the finish line. I’m not using food to pass the time or cope with stress, so it’s all been a very positive experience for me.

These are all things that I have seen in myself. In terms of a personal sense of change, I feel like I’m able to concentrate a lot better. When my head is down and I’m doing something (whether it’s writing a cover letter or writing a blog), my fingers are going non-stop because I’ve got things that I want to say and I’m not letting outside influencers take my attention away.

It’s literally like a fog has been lifted in my brain, so it’s just up to me to ensure that I take advantage of the situation and make the most of this opportunity. Second chances don’t come around in life very often, so I don’t plan on letting this one pass me by.

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