Reality Folds

Content/Trigger Warning: Suicide, Drugs, Mental Health.

This past year has been an interesting journey–particularly concerning finding the right approach to my ADHD.

I have what works after trying the different dosages, release types, and the eventual combination I’m on now. Being cognizant of my ADHD helps with my approach to tasks and planning. I hope that once I’m done with school and in a different job role that doesn’t tax my executive function, I won’t have to rely on my meds as much. I’ve been told it’s not an entirely healthy approach… to rid myself so easily, as this mindset has led me not to take my meds at times; on weekends, and in late afternoons.

My rationale for weekends is that I’m not relying on my executive function as much. Plus, it ‘resets’ me a bit, stalling the need to keep going up in doses as I did at the onset. I hated that. I kept going up on dosage during Adderall to the point I was almost at max in just six months.

A downside of not taking it on weekends is if I don’t plan my day right the day before, I end up doing almost nothing. Or starting my day off late to the point I’m running late to every appointment I have.

During the week, my Vyvanse wears off around 2pm/3pm in the afternoon. I’ve been advised to take a low dose of Adderall to help. The thing is, I don’t always do. If I take my Adderall that late in the day, I have trouble sleeping. The goal, then, is to take my dose about an hour before the slump. Unfortunately, I find myself in this situation of not taking my Adderall because an hour before the slump I feel fine. I end up not taking it, and if I intended to do homework that evening, it won’t happen, and I’ll lose that day in getting school done. I’m so far behind in school.

Work has been terribly stressful and demanding. The piling school work doesn’t help with the stress. Trying to balance work/life/school/dog is getting harder to do. I found myself overbooking my calendar in attempts to force “self-care” days in the form of yoga, massages, a spa day, etc. This started to add to my busy routine and stress. Blocking out hours in my calendar to avoid booking ANYTHING didn’t help either. After all, I knew in my mind that I was actually free and could take someone up on an invite or decide to do something.

Enter KAP.

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. (“Special K” to you party/raver folks 🙂 )

It was recommended by my Psychiatrist as a way to “reset” my mind–while admitting that most current applications for KAP are for severe anxiety, PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideology. He stated it might help with the underlying anxiety of the “go-go-go” routine I’ve trapped myself in.

I read up on the materials he provided for KAP. I also googled the heck out of it to learn it’s a relatively new approach to various mental illnesses. A new tool for psychotherapy. Because of its relatively ‘new’ status to mental health therapy, it’s often an out-of-pocket expense.

The most intriguing aspect for me was the potential for neurogenesis; healing or developing nervous tissue. I was hopeful that KAP would indeed bring about a mental reset, though not entirely clear what that outcome would look like.

KAP is unique to everyone. I’ve read it’s good to have intent but no clear expectations. I opted to have a blank mind to it.

The thing is, for me, I’ve avoided any recreational drugs. I know how my mind works well enough to know that it’s not something I want or need. My few experiences with THC a few years ago proved my suspicions that psychedelics bring out the worst of my mental state; overthinking with an explosion of scenarios/realities. That is, my mind decides to explore every single possibility from an action to the point that they branch/fork like the roots of a tree. Then those actions branch, then those branches branch, and so on. It’s an unstoppable force to the point of nausea. To some degree, this explains my muse and my writer’s mind.

Folding Realities

In a lowly lit room lay a floor mattress, blanket, and a bag with earplugs and a sleep mask. Nature sounds played from a speaker in the corner of the room. We went over some highlights of the material shared about KAP, and after the consent, it was injected into my shoulder. A bit painful, more than any vaccine I’ve received so far. I attribute this to the rapid injection of the liquid.

I didn’t experience anything like the accounts I had read; euphoria, transpersonal, mystic, or even religious. Not exactly at least.

Reality dissolved, falling into a deep sleep rather quickly. I experienced what I can only describe as a “folding of reality.” That is, every branching thought I’m typically entertaining throughout my waking day began to fold in on itself, combining or cutting itself out of my present. Forcing myself into one single reality to entertain. Only before a branch could be folded, I had to experience it first. I can best compare this to the final scene in the film Interstellar, where the main protagonist is inside a black hole and witnesses various points in time at once.

Toward the end of my KAP session, I was waking up in a combined state of awareness and sleep several times–or so I think. I could’ve dreamt that part, too. Each time I sat up, the room was slightly different;

  • Wooden office desk and chair, carpet floor, closed blinds, therapist in the corner chair.
  • Sandstone office desk and chair, concrete floors, open blinds to ocean view, therapist in the corner chair.
  • Glass office desk and chair, marble white floors, open blinds… mars landscape (?), therapist in the corner chair.

As I came to, I had this strange sense of feeling out of place and in a foreign place. All while having to get used to the thought I had a body again and trying to remember how it worked; did humans always have five fingers? Why is it squishing on the outside but hard on the inside? Are these bones?

It was almost like coming from a place of being near absolute death to being alive again. I was being sent back. It’s an incredible simplification to the multitude of things I had to “re-learn” and understand.

At times it also felt like a really bad hangover, along with nausea.

Now What?

My thoughts?

I can understand there may be potential for KAP. Certainly, this is all still relatively new. Do I have less anxiety? Eh, hard to say. I’m not sure I was the ideal candidate to notice the benefits of it. Granted, some of the literature out there says this is a long-term impact. In that respect, there is less anxiety. Is it a placebo effect? Maybe.

In the end, it’s a new treatment method. It’s worth exploring, and perhaps we’re at a point where we can take serious, deliberate, and rational approaches to mental health treatment options.

Will I do it again?

Not sure. Hard to say at this point. It may not be for me.


This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Nothing in this blog entry or website is medical advice. I am not a doctor. Do not use this information to treat or diagnose any illness. Seek medical advice from a licensed professional.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 988. Dial 911 in case of emergency. For more information you can visit

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The word is so finite. Absolute.

Diagnosis can be a burden. A secret diagnosis. Like when a boyfriend’s mother revealed her cancer just the two of us. She kept it a secret from her husband and everyone else for almost a year.

Diagnosis can be undetermined, like my shin splints. It’s been over six months and while rest is typically “prescribed” as a path to healing, it hasn’t worked in my case. At this point, I’m suspecting some kind of ligament damage. The outer part of my left shin swells before the pain on the inner side flares up. I have to return to the sports specialist and await another scan of my leg; likely after some running on the treadmill to really see the injury.

Diagnosis can be a relief, like my hyperhidrosis. Finally figuring out what all the excessive sweating was about came as a huge relief. I was no longer changing my undershirt multiple times a day–something I had dismissed as normal. I received the proper medication and treatment for it and it’s been a life-changer. I still sweat a bit more than most people, but it’s now during normal activity, like working out. That, I’m okay with.

Diagnosis can be all those things at once. A rollercoaster of emotions.

I’ve been officially diagnosed with ADHD.

I suppose on some level I knew, or rather, I’ve seen the signs. I think back to the handful of parent-teacher meetings where my teachers were trying to convey something to my parents without directly saying it.

A moment that comes to mind is when I was asked a handful of math questions from a test I had failed earlier. After answering the questions correctly, the teacher turned to my father and said, “See? He knows the answers.” The teacher turned back to me, “Why did you answer this way?”

My chemistry teacher in Junior High/Middle school telling me, “I know you know the answers. I know you know the material.” I thought it was a pitty comment, a sort of back-handed compliment, like saying, “Just keep trying. You’ll get there.”

I’ve worked with and around ADHD. Serving it to my advantage during high-stake, multi-fire drills at work; switching from one work crisis to another. I’ve worked around it by noticing the things that trigger distraction or creating things to redirect focus. It’s been my normal for so long I’ve just adapted to pushing through the struggle.

Things came to a head recently with my change in work, requiring a much more single-focused duty. Add school to the mix, which also requires that level of focus, and the signs were everywhere. When I couldn’t focus on a test, re-reading the questions multiple times, I knew something was wrong. I could feel the figurative wall, the unruly “thought tentacles” that wouldn’t allow me to focus. It was an unmovable object. Incredibly frustrating and defeating.

After a two-hour session with lots of questions/tests from a psychiatrist, it was clear. ADHD. The doctor admired the “creative” ways I had managed to cope with it during my life. Though the words weren’t all that comforting. I couldn’t help but look back at my life and wonder how different it could’ve been had I been diagnosed and treated earlier. I try not to linger too much in that head-space, realizing I can’t dismiss everything I’ve accomplished in spite of it all. I try not to think about being diagnosed so “late” in life.

I’ve started treatment and I have to admit I’m noticing certain things, primarily the daydreaming has decreased significantly. More importantly, I can tell when I’m being distracted and refocus. That is just… incredible. I can’t even begin to describe the relief. While on some level it does concern me what this does to my creativity and writing–that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry. A part of me feels all writers have some underlying psychosis.

The lack of daydreaming means I’m more aware of the present, my mind isn’t elsewhere spiraling down a rabbit-hole of thoughts. I feel more ‘grounded’ in what is happening, which in turn means I’m remembering more things. That’s a funny thing. I never realized how much I zoned out during conversations.

I try to be optimistic about the future and what this diagnosis holds. For now, I take it one day at a time and live in the present.

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