Goodbye to Adderall That: One Writer’s Breakup with His Drug of Choice

One writer bids farewell to the A.D.D. Rx wonder-drug that, well, wait look at these cats on Buzzfeed!

I was working nonstop—a culture magazine during the week, a gossip blog all weekend. At first, the ambition and pressure drove me to perform. But every thrill has its shelf-life. As the rush subsided, the schedule became grueling.

According to friends, I started to look slightly “peaked,” perhaps even “jaundiced.” And then you came back. An Upper East Side doctor handed over a scrip without argument. For a drug that’s completely banned in countries like Japan, he signed you over to me with a surprising lack of hesitation. Every thirty days.

Unsurprisingly, you made life better; you were a pool noodle in the wave pool of posting quotas.

I liked socializing when you were around. You brought me out of my shell, turning me from a reclusive, exhausted misanthrope into a patient and caring interlocutor. You made me a better listener.

Okay, there were some inconveniences. The odd bouts of staring at people on the subway. The dry mouth, the return of tongue-chewing, the abnormally sweaty underarm problem that’s ruined more than a few nice shirts. The oddly short but strong and emotional bouts of depression.

The worst part was that the relationship just wasn’t balanced. I needed you too much. When I couldn’t be with you I’d become miserably tired. Irritable. And lately, you haven’t always been there for me. You’ve become elusive. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Plenty of people been having problems finding you—or is it “scoring,” now?—due to that well-documented nationwide shortage.

A popular conspiracy theory suggests that your suppliers, losing their patents on you, are shorting the supply with the intent of hooking me on something exclusive, like Vyvance. I’ve heard all the excuses. But this is about us. Your inconsistency has put a wrench in our routine. It’s messed with our chemistry.

On the plus side, it’s given me a chance to think.

And what I realized is that the creative part of my brain has been pulverized by amphetamines. It’s a Strawberry Frappuccino. I mean, are you reading this shit?

Do you help me get the job done with machine-like efficiency? At times, sure. You know what else gets the job done with machine-like efficiency? Machines. Truth be told, Addy, you’re a pretty shitty writer. Prolific, but shitty. And sometimes I can’t tell where I end and you begin. Who wrote all those words the last few years? I typed them, sure, but with you whispering in my ear. Reading the stories over, I wonder if I’m reading me on Adderall, or Adderall on me.

It occurs to me now that like so many other humans on this planet maybe I’m just inherently lazy, distracted, unfocused, impatient, and restless.

Relying on you to help with this problem has been, in all honesty, a great deal of fun. But it hasn’t been a very substantial answer to the basic human problem of not being able to—or wanting to—pay attention, buckle down, and get work done.

So I’ve come to a decision. We’re through.

Wait, don’t—don’t do that. Look at me. It’s going to be okay. This week, I’m going to have a chat with the doctor about weaning myself off of you, gently. But listen, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.

That said, my room’s kinda dirty. How about if you and I check off a few last to-do’s from the list. For old time’s sake.

Then you’ll go on the list and get crossed out too.


Foster | @weareyourfek