Poem: The Paradox of Adderall

Today, I’m teaching my eighth graders how to write spoken-word poems. They’re having a difficult time allowing themselves to be vulnerable enough to write about the things that may stir up uncomfortable emotions.

I’m hoping that by the end of class they see that the beauty of poetry is in the freedom gained by the exposed vulnerability. In hopes of easing their concerns, I decided I’d write my own poem and share it with the group. I wanted to pick a topic that wasn’t overly personal. After all, I’m still their teacher.

I wrote about the paradox of ADD medication. I always found it strange how the medicine would help you focus for a time only to leave you feeling like garbage as it exited your system.

When does one enough is enough? Is that person willing to accept an evening of irritability in exchange for a productive work day?

It’s certainly something to ponder.

The Paradox of Adderall

Thank you, dear Adderall,

For now I finally feel like I’m giving my all.

That I’ve grown as a person and I’m standing tall.

Until, of course, comes the inevitable fall.


Thank you, dear Adderall,

For now I finally feel like I can concentrate.

That my knowledge I can clearly demonstrate.

Until, of course, the moment my anger tends to escalate.


Thank you, dear Adderall,

For now I finally feel like I’m getting an education.

That I’m on the fast track toward graduation.

Until, of course, I’m pissed off by the slightest irritation.


Thank you, dear Adderall,

For now I finally feel confident in speaking to my peers.

That I’ve finally conquered the beast I’d been fighting for years.

Until, of course, the inescapable insomnia has me fighting back tears.


Thank you, dear Adderall,

For now I know what it feels to be an entertaining roller-coaster.

But my ability to work while drugged makes me feel like a poser.

As if I’m a fraudulent picture of perfection plastered across a movie poster.

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