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Three Strikes, You’re Out

ADHD medication experiment

I thought it was time for an update about my experiment with going off ADHD medication. Yesterday, I confessed about caving in to the temptation to touch a dead screech owl’s beak and talons to see what they felt like (smooth and bone-like, if you’re wondering).

As far as I was concerned, the Screech Owl Incident was one strike against my non-medicated ADHD status.

This afternoon, I received a second strike. That’s when I came up with the “Three Strikes, You’re Out” rule for my ADHD medication experiment.

I’d left the house around two to run errands. Before I set out, I walked to the back of my car to double-check for damage.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention. Yesterday I dinged my car.

I was backing up, ever-so-slowly, honest I couldn’t have been going more than 10 km/hr. (6 m.p.h.) and I was watching my rear-view mirror carefully. You’d think it would have been nearly impossible to hit a truck about four times the size of my car that was parked at a loading dock. Nearly impossible. But, as it turns out, not entirely impossible.

I inspected my car after the incident, and found a tiny scratch mark, about an inch in length. I sighed in relief.

Good thing I didn’t see the actual dent above my driver-side rear headlight or I would have been a lot more upset. I was pretty upset that day anyway, but as I explained to Elaine on the phone, in spite of having a super-crappy and upsetting day, I was going very slowly, paying attention, watching my mirror and still I couldn’t judge the distance well enough to avoid hitting the parked truck.

Today being a much calmer, happier day, the dent didn’t bug me at all. But combined with the screech owl incident, I got a bit paranoid about being off meds.

That’s when I came up with the “Three Strikes, You’re Out,” rule, I told Elaine.

I reminded her of my poor judgment with the owl.

“I wanted to touch it too,” she said.

But you didn’t.

I said hitting the truck was incident number two.

I didn’t know what parameters I’d use to go back on the meds, I told my friend. But when I think about it, “Three Strikes, You’re Out” kind of sounds like I’m just waiting to get into another accident. Why would I wait until something bad happens to go back on medication?

“Anyone could have done that,” she said. “People do that stuff when they’re upset.”

I wasn’t so sure. After all, I wasn’t in a lot of accidents when I was on my ADHD medication. I know the statistics about driving and ADHD (hint: not good). On the other hand, I’ve only bumped into things about four or five times in my entire decades-long driving career (during most of which I didn’t even know I had ADHD), so that’s not too bad.

The big picture

Otherwise, I’ve been really happy with my level of productivity; my friendships; my emotional stability; my decision-making; with just about every other measure, but these two things shook me up.

“I think you’re being hasty,” said Elaine. “I think you should give it more time.”

Maybe she’s right. It’s only been about two weeks since I’ve been off my medication. Maybe I’m just scared.

So that’s my update. I’ll let you know if anything really obviously ADHD comes up. In the meantime, wish me luck!


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Three Strikes, You’re Out

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2014). Three Strikes, You’re Out. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Apr 2014
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