I started taking Effexor XR two weeks ago tomorrow. It was yesterday that I first noticed the quiet. I went to our Unitarian Universalist congregation and was able to listen to the speaker without my mind wandering off in a million directions. I was on my way home when I looked out the window at scarlet maples pressed against a vivid blue sky and realized how quiet my mind was. There was only one thought running through my mind, not hundreds of them shooting off in all directions. I never knew how loud my mind was until the rest of my thoughts faded.
We went to my parents’ house for dinner last night, which was nerve wracking to begin with. Karen was there with her two children and husband, she hadn’t spoken to Emma since she disowned her this summer. Plus I wasn’t sure how people were going to react to me using the proper pronouns for Jeremy. Emma was fine. I don’t think her and Karen spoke but Karen wasn’t rude and that part of the evening went without a hitch. The family used he/him constantly for Jeremy’s pronouns but said nothing about Emma and I referring to zir as zie/zir. And poor Jeremy came down with a cold yesterday and was much more interested in curling up on the couch than anything the family was saying. Zie’s still asleep.
After dinner the adults gathered at the table to chat. Well, most of the adults. Emma and Mark disappeared into the backyard to smoke while Karen’s husband disappeared somewhere. I sat at the table waiting for the conversation to become overwhelming… and it didn’t. I stayed for the whole conversation.
On a whim, I went online and googled Effexor XR and ADHD and, sure enough, it’s showing promise as an ADHD medication. Note, I’m a child of the 70’s and have not been diagnosed with anything. I was, however, a poster child for inattentive ADHD. I used to forget I was heading off to school and end up playing with children I’d passed on the way (kids a couple of years younger than me who were too young to attend school). I remember a poster of numbers in one of my classroom. The numbers were anthropomorphic and I’d daydream about the adventures they’d get into. I used to get up from my desk to go look out the window forgetting I was supposed to be working quietly at my desk or spend my entire test time drawing clouds and filling in letters. I daydreamed through all of my first year of grade four. I’d been placed in an open concept classroom (something that had been popular in the 70’s) and failed all my spelling tests that year; the class next to ours was doing the same test at the same time so the words sounded like echoes of each other. I was so distracted by the echoes, I didn’t get the words written down before the next words were said. By then I couldn’t remember what the previous word had been.
Right now I’m in my living room. Most people would consider it quiet but I’m listening to the keyboard clatter, the clock ticking on the far wall, the hum of our electric fireplace, the buzz of the fridge in the kitchen, the neighbour’s tap, and the trickle of our cat’s fountain in the dining room. Plus assorted sounds like the elevator doors opening, cars going by a block away, and the occasional person walking down the hallway. Add my own internal thoughts and then have one of my kids want to talk with a video game or song in the background and I’m quickly overwhelmed. Hopefully taking away the internal chatter will help.
Depression, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, anxiety… all these exist co-morbidly, woven together like a tapestry. It’s hard to say which one causes which issue (and even harder when I haven’t been diagnosed with anything). But the medication is definitely making a positive difference.
Also, it’s the Canadian Thankgsiving today. Happy Thanksgiving!!!