Medicinal Abstinence

The 1990s was a good time to be a little boy. I felt the world was a giant playground back then. The toys, televised cartoons, and video games seemed to me the best they ever were. Every day was playtime.

I remember working alongside other children with behavioral diagnoses in school. They had things much worse than I did. Some of them you couldn’t play with due to their inability to interact in a typical social setting with any degree of composure. Others were just plain awkward.

One kid told me his mom had him take Ritalin. You could tell. Not a calm bone in his body. My mother didn’t make me take any medication. I’m grateful for that decision.

I’m no doctor so don’t consult me on what is best for a child’s development. I’m no parent either. I just feel pills and needles aren’t the cure I’m looking for.

Many people I know are currently dependent on some substance or another to help them either think straight or feel good. I don’t envy them. No matter how many advances there are in medicine I don’t want to base my life around a prescription.

No parent should feel drugs will cure their autistic child. The workings of our brains are just one part of what makes up human behavior. I can’t simply take a pill and suddenly find myself among a group of friends. A drug that calms my mood won’t make me any less of a jerk to others. Medicine that improves my brain functions won’t give me a better work ethic.

I haven’t taken any medication and I feel fine. I’m not saying everyone should be like me. I just don’t want any pills to get credit for my successes. I’ve worked too hard to let that happen.

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