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Vitamin Robot Will Mess You Up

I admire Michael Trapido. I simply can’t sustain that level of aggressiveness without chemical assistance. Last week was an exception, because I was adjusting to going back on Ritalin.

I have access to it because I was (re)diagnosed with ADD as an adult about a year ago. I tend to view such diagnoses with scepticism. I mean, back in school I was labelled with all variations of the alphabet soup. One guy even tried to convince me I had Tourettes. (Of course I told him to #$%@ OFF!)

However, I thought that I should at least try the treatment, to see if it significantly improved my quality of life. My conclusion? Most of the time the benefits aren’t worth the drawbacks.

I hate the stuff. I’m nauseous, everything tastes funny, my ears won’t stop ringing, and I’m angry all the time. I can’t daydream, I can’t think creatively, and my already precarious social skills are completely out of whack.

How out of whack? Last year, while experimenting with a dose of 80mg, I professed romantic love for one of my best friends. The only reason we’re still OK is because she’s intelligent, and realized that I was basically as high as a kite when I said it. I didn’t realize anything was wrong at the time because I was high as a kite.

I realized something was off when friends started telling me things like: “You seem really aggressive lately” or “Why are you talking like a line-printer?” or “Um, you don’t have to shout” or “Gustav, you are making the waiter uncomfortable. I’m sure they will get the order right the third time, OK? Natural selection? What do you mean… WATCH OUT! HE’S GOT A SPOON!”

Oh sure, as if you haven’t thought of killing to get some acceptable service. Ahem. Anyway.

It also affects my ability to think straight. I developed some really weird notions about the Monty Hall Problem. Something about the probability of winning when switching only being more if the game show host had a preference for picking one goat above the other. (I don’t know. It made sense at the time.)

That is the crux of why Ritalin is so dangerous. Everything seems fine at the time. You don’t notice how you change until someone points out that you just tried to strangle a telephone handset.

The ironic thing is that while I was turning psychotic in my personal life, they loved me at work. I was proactive! I remembered to do stuff without keeping a list! I followed orders to the letter! I didn’t question authority! Fantastic.

That is why I’m taking it now. I have an important project that needs to be finished in a week or two. So I’m very carefully taking my medication at the lowest dose, only on weekdays, and I’m limiting social interactions to weekends.

I still eat out during the week. So if you’re a waiter in Johannesburg, you better watch out. The Goodstuff is back on Vitamin Robot, and he’s not afraid to use The Spoon.

UPDATE (Sep 7): The last two weeks have disappeared into a 9:00 to 21:00 blur. This is no way to live. If Koos can stop the medication, then so can I. I’ll keep the spoon though.

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