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Korski was my drink of choice. A handle of it was cheaper than the mixers I’d have to buy alongside it and, if I was frugal enough, 17-year-old Me could make it last through an entire weekend if accompanied by enough Busch Lights. I’m not proud of it, but no one is ever really proud of their vices. That’s why they’re called “vices” in the first place.
But you get to an age where six-dollar vodka simply won’t get the job done. Not because it won’t get you drunk; it will. But because it will give you a hangover that makes you wonder if someone did actually hammer a nail into your head while you passed out on a beanbag chair in your buddy’s step-dad’s basement.
You can normally measure your life progress by the substances you do away with. What starts with being too old for Gushers and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls turns into being too health-conscious for Coke. No, not that coke. But, I mean, still. That coke too. Sure, it was fun to do during your internship alongside Tad who only got the position because of who his dad was, but you always knew that the habit couldn’t last either. Expensive, illegal, and difficult to find, you had to switch to Diet Coke. Otherwise known as Adderall.
I’m not here to talk about the effect Adderall has had on our generation. I don’t care if every Timmy and Johnny gets prescribed just because they’re getting Cs in sixth grade. That’s not a hill I feel like dying on right now. Without it, I wouldn’t have gotten through college, my internships, and I probably wouldn’t have the job I have today. Actually, I definitely wouldn’t. I’d still be pushing Excel spreadsheets wearing a shirt that smelled because I was too busy to get it drycleaned. That being said, substances were created to be abused. And boy, did I learn that the
fun hard way.
Unfortunately, it’s with a heavy heart that I come to you today to admit something that I’ve been unwilling to admit to myself for years. I need to retire from recreational Adderall. I know, I know, it seems like a hasty decision, but hear me out and accept my decision for what it is.
Truthfully, I didn’t have any explosive events that have gotten me to this realization. It’s been a slow burn, like that of an American Spirit to take the edge off outside of my favorite Manhattan bar that closed down last year. It’s been a thought that’s lingered in the back of my mind but is now an undertaking that deserves attention.
I first abused my prescription with Tad in 2008. I’d change his name to protect his identity, but the fact that his name is actually fucking Tad is too perfect to conceal. The bottle that I had obtained to get through finals sat in my toiletry bag next to my sink in my 2×1 apartment that I shared with two other guys working similar internships. We got invited to a loft party with a DJ. Yes, it was actually as douchey as it sounds and I struck out with every girl I talked to that night. We knew the party was going to go late, so rather than just beginning our drinking later than usual, we crushed up two blue pills and split them up equally. I can still taste it in the back my nose.
From that point forward, it was an easy out. Friday at 7 p.m. before dinner? Adderall. Hungover and
needing wanting to day drink? Adderall. Begging to feel normal again after a long weekend of Adderall and vodka-sodas? Yep, more Adderall. In fact, I became a walking statistic for why these suits think the stuff should be banned. Like I said earlier, I don’t care if people take it or not. I’m not going to condemn anyone for using it to get ahead. It’s the same to me as drinking coffee to stay up late studying or taking a ZPack to get over a sickness before a big project needs to be completed. You have to do what you have to do in order to convince people you aren’t a lazy piece of shit.
But that’s the thing – I didn’t have to do it. And now I’m realizing that I simply don’t want to.
My hangovers became more and more aggressive, and not just because I’m an aging 28-year-old man-child with the liver of Don Draper and crow’s feet that match my father’s. The more Adderall I took, the more I dehydrated I became come morning. I’m not sure if it was because I was drinking more or because the drug in and of itself naturally dehydrates you, but all I know is that I began feeling shittier and shittier. And now that I’m at the age where three Stouts will give me a Grade-A hangover and enough gas to drive cross-country, trying to amplify that side effect with drugs solely taken so I can drink more just isn’t a responsible move for me.
Will I miss staying up until 4 o’clock in the morning endlessly arguing about who the greatest quarterback of all-time is? Undoubtedly. Will I yearn for the days of being able to go from zero-to-social by just popping five milligrams of a pink pill into my system? You bet. But what I won’t miss is the “why the fuck did I drink double my usual intake last night” hangovers that are kicking me square in the dick every Sunday morning (with the occasional one lingering into Monday morning as well).
Goodbye, Adderall. You will be greatly missed. But it’s time that I focus my energy on a more relaxed and responsible phase of my life. A phase of my life that doesn’t mix prescription pills with alcohol. A phase of my life that entails ingesting substances that, on their own, give me the necessary head change I need to get through the rat race instead of moving to Jackson Hole to become a ski instructor. Sadly, I’m not just not sure whether that substance is weed or Xanax. .
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