Adderall

So yesterday I swung by the doctor to refill my Adderall script.  There are a lot of differing opinions on Adderall, chiefly surrounding its long-term toxicity and the willingness with which I discovered doctors are ready to give it out.  People say that Adderall dulls yours emotions and gradually makes it impossible to live without your morning pills.

That’s all probably true, but I couldn’t live with Adderall before I ever started taking it.  I’ve wrestled with ADHD my entire life, and amphetamine has turned all that around.  Now I can program for hours without jumping onto Facebook.  Now I can work on practicing spinning tracks without leaving the room in frustration because my eyes keep jumping off the boards.

When I went for my initial consultation, my doctor asked for two examples of when ADHD has negatively affected my life.  I gave her five (leaving New York, my inability to finish my past books, my quick rise and sudden decline of grades in college, etc).  I didn’t go in expecting pills but I’m tremendously grateful that I left with some.

So for me (so far), Adderall has been a tremendous help.

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This

is likely the funniest thing that has ever been made.  I can’t understand a minute of it.  This is what TV used to be?

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Organization

I’ll take “Things that Jaden lacks” for $200.

All my life, I’ve had a real problem with organization and motivation.  It took me a while to discover that those things are very connected.  Without crafting a complex series of motions to get me sequentially through a project from start to finish, that project never gets done.  I have pages upon pages of very simple, very achievable things that I want to get done in my life.  Out of hundreds (ok maybe a hundred), I’ve accomplished about two or three.

I don’t consider myself especially lazy.  It’s just absurdly hard to drive myself to get anything done.  That sounds like laziness, doesn’t it?  Maybe.  But my condition doesn’t just apply to things like work; it also infects the things I want to do just for fun.  I oftentimes can’t drive myself to do so much as drive to a party or write a blog post.  The sheer act of concentration is about as pleasant as drinking detergent.

I’ve dealt with this all my life, and a few years back I think I lit upon an explanation.  My problem isn’t with doing things, it’s with failing to get them done.  Stack up enough unfinished projects and tasks that ended in complete disorganization and you get a virtual resume or failures.  It’s crushing to the soul.  You start to think that maybe you aren’t capable of finishing anything worthwhile.  So when you start a new project with starry eyes, it’s super easy to quit early, when you have less to lose, instead of “inevitably” quitting deeper into the work, when you’ll be really embarrassed.

A few projects that I’ve launched and quit:

  • Multiple books
  • Multiple web apps and desktop apps
  • Learning Korean and Spanish
  • EDM production (which involved about $1000 worth of equipment)

I was going to write more on that list, but I just quit.  Anyways, point is, I have a habit of taking on huge projects with determination alone.  Without fail, determination alone has proven to be nearly useless when trying to learn a new skill.

So last night I took a deeper look at all these minor failures and found a common thread: lack of organization.  It might be worth noting that I was diagnosed last month with ADHD, which (as we all know) is diametrically opposed to organization.

The major reason I’ve quit or put on hiatus each of those tasks is that I always reach a point where things become too complicated to just stare at the screen and hope I can bully the material into my brain.  Then it becomes so easy to skip a day of study, or skip a week of study, or just put the whole project on hold.  We all know how that goes.

So from now on I’m going to focus a lot more on carefully sketching out every step of every plan before the task starts.  I’m going to reinstall my web browser plugins that restrict distractors like Facebook and Reddit, and bear down harder on a few projects.

 

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Blogging every day

I want to blog every day.  Might be a to-do list, might be a fun fact I found, might be a website link.  Bottom line: I want to develop a strong habit of committing something to the internet daily.

So today I have work.  I was sick yesterday and Tuesday-Wednesday is usually my weekend, so that’s three days without work.  I expect to get back on the job with a certain indelible cluelessness that usually goes away by about 1pm.

I’m also trying to devote about an hour every morning (10-11 AM) to working with Python.  Every time I approach the scripting language I find myself completing tutorials, thinking “Cool, now I know Python”, and then losing interest for a little bit.  Setting aside a dedicated time daily w/out Facebook or Youtube should help me stay disciplined.

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I Forgot How To Title

It’s true.  I can’t think of a title.  It’s been that long since I’ve written anything longer than 140 characters for the internet.  Right now, I’m facing the inevitable “why?” that shows up in everybody’s head when they start a blog.  I mean, the blog has zero readers, so “Why?”.  Why write an initial post that no one will read until (months or years later) one of my future readers delves into the archived posts and notices this and goes “Hmmn”?  Why spend time organizing paragraphs at a rate of about three words per minute, to an audience of none?  Well, because everyone has to start somewhere, no matter how silly it seems, and this is where I start.

To put in perspective how I feel: I am literally writing this post to myself.  This site is 100% unknown right now.  I’m mostly unknown.  Maybe not 100%, but certainly in the high double-digits percentile.

Now that I’ve said why I’m posting this, you might wonder why I’m starting a blog at all.  Well I need a repository, an audience, and a portfolio.  Being inventive (some might say lazy), I decided to do all three of those things at once.  This website will contain periodical uploads and code snippets of Python/Django/Flask projects that I bring to life, and very likely will soon include my upcoming Youtube videos.  I want to get back to making those.

Once again: why?

Mostly because my life is an adventure.  Always has been, and hopefully always will.  The thing about adventures is that most of them only seem fun from the outside.  My adventure has had some serious ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I find that most people live kind of boring lives, and I don’t think I could stand that.  So I want to tell people about the occasional adventures that show up, from the inside looking out.  I hope you find it interesting, but if not, I guarantee a 100% refund.

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