I woke up around seven, even before the cell phone alarm went off. There's a true and convincing explanation to that: I took a Ritalin tab just before falling asleep last night (10 mg). For those not familiar with it, Ritalin is a medicine prescribed to me by my doctor; it's a kind of anphetamine that works on some neural connections in the brain, quite similar to the way cocaine does. Actually, Ritalin is prescribed mostly for children who suffer from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). For some adult people like me it works as an "upper" and helps me be more alert, and completely focused on what I'm doing: be it reading, studying or working. Ritalin acquisition is strictly controlled by the legal system, and one can only buy it if prescribed by a psychiatrist or neurologist. Be that as it may, the fact is that it works: I was able to be up much earlier this morning, studied my guitar lessons very enthusiastically until it was time to get to work.
Once at the courthouse, I felt very stimulated to handle all the paperwork that was piled upon my table because of my yesterday absence. Some people think coffee, natural stimulants or Red Bulls can make one feel up to doing everything; but for me, all these substances are nothing but placebos when compared to Ritalin.
By lunch time I had some sort of depressing feeling, and walked to the main cathedral to have a seat and meditate for a while before having lunch. I was aware that light depression may come as a side effect of the medicine I took, so I didn’t care much about it. After lunch, I walked back to the courthouse and worked hard until seven – I was among the last group of people who left the court building.
I took up some bread and milk in the supermarket on my way home. As I walked back, I kept thinking seriously about quitting Ritalin and Clonazepan (Klonopin). I know I’m already dependant on these substances, not so much in Ritalin perhaps, but in Klonopin for sure. I can take Ritalin whenever I want; there’s no craving for taking it if I decide to give it a break, there’s no abstinence crisis in times when I run out of it. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Clonazepan (Klonopin). If I go through more than 24 hours without taking it, I get unbearably unquiet and anxious, as if the whole world would collapse just under my feet. But I think the worst of all is not getting any sleep for a whole night if I don’t take it. With all that said, of course I must be honest and admit I’m addicted to this medicine, both physically and psychologically – and it’s been just like that for no less than ten years. But I still have an important fact to my advantage in this whole issue: my average Clonazepan dose is around 1,5 to 2 mg a day. That amount may be too much in some people’s opinion, but I know many Clonazepan users who take no less than 4 to 6 mg a day (and they’re normal people, they have jobs, families, and go about their daily lives just as anyone else does). Anyway, I’m going to gradually decrease my daily dose as the doctor told me to. One less drop today, one less tomorrow and so on.
To sum up it all, the whole thing goes like that: Clonazepan (Klonopin) when I need my thoughts to slow down to get a sweet sleeping night, and Ritalin whenever I need to be up, ready and attentive.
This is a crazy world we have to live in with its unbalanced way of life, the modern capitalist society. First they turn you into an anxious and unquiet person - they give you the poison and make you fall sick; then they sell you their own antidotes. The whole problem is the side effects from the medicine they prescribe to you. And life keeps going that way. It just keeps going...