Most nights after a game I’d retreat to the hotel bar, drink a few beers and go to sleep wishing it was the off-season.
Not after my first game on Adderall.
The chain-smoking, menthol-encrusted party had just begun. I gathered a few teammates and made plans to hit Maestro’s Steakhouse off North Dearborn Street in Chicago, even though my appetite would be considered petite by most if they could have peeked inside my Adderall lit mind.
The funny thing about Addies are that you’re never hungry and I didn’t even want to eat. However, booze and the great scenery at Maestro’s sounded amazing. At dinner, I force fed myself an 8-ounce filet and a hefty side of beer. I was totally lost in the moment, marveling at my new heightened sense of awareness and don’t give a fuck attitude.
After dinner, the fellas wanted to head back to the hotel. I had a different idea that involved more booze, more music, and definitely more “atmosphere.” I plucked an easily impressionable teammate from the herd to join me at a nightclub a few blocks away. This club was set up with “beautiful babes” as far as the eye could see.
At this point any morals or guilty thoughts about being unfaithful to my wife had gone out the window. The change had come out of nowhere, I had never once considered cheating on my wife sober. My wife was the most amazing, gorgeous woman I’d ever been with. Not to mention we were dynamite behind closed doors (at least she was anyway). The desire to just bang another woman never crossed my mind until ‘Adderall’ and ‘Menthol’ took up residence – one on each shoulder, bumping Conscious off onto the floor.
I remember heading outside to smoke yet another Marlboro menthol. I looked into the pack that the visiting clubhouse attendant at the stadium had adorned me with. To my surprise, it was half empty (a pessimistic attitude I know). When I was down to my last few drags, standing on the curb, I was approached by two beautiful twenty-something-year-old women who had come outside to ‘bum a smoke’.
I lit up another smoke to join them as our conversation instantly evolved. One of the ladies had hypnotic blue eyes, long gorgeous brown hair with legs and an ass that just wouldn’t quit. I took an immediate interest in her as I could tell she was curious about me. The conversation flowed as if we had known each other for years, and the eye contact and chemistry felt flawless. As we finished up our heaters she invited me to an “after party” at her house.
Immediately I was on board, but from somewhere deep inside my adrift and out of control prescription drug riddled mind, my guilty conscious began to silently speak. Visions of my wife back home snuggling my 1 year old baby boy jolted me into an instant state of criminality. As much as I wanted to spend the evening with this beautiful woman I just couldn’t make myself do it.
I told her I was flattered and if I wasn’t married I’d definitely be making a different commitment. I wished her and her friend well and reluctantly walked back into the club still fighting the urge to run back towards a fantasy.
I knew at that moment, that if I were to continue to take Adderall, it would only be a matter of time before all loyalty and culpability were ripped away.
I found it incredibly hard to not hit on women the rest of that night, ultimately fighting off my shoulder demons who urged me to the contrary. As we closed the club, my teammate and I innocently took a cab back to the hotel.
Breezing through the doors of the Westin lobby I immediately noticed the bar was closed, much to my disappointment. Despite all the booze and atmosphere, I had recently experienced I still wanted more. With my teammate now heading to the elevator to escape my needy clutches, I said to myself, “Maybe I should just shut it down and try and get some fucking sleep.”
I showered to get rid of the smell of my sins and, of course, the Menthols. I hopped into bed with 20 milligrams of Adderall, and an inderminent amount of nicotine and beer coursing through my veins. My heart was racing and I felt as if I could jump out of bed and relive the entire day again, at that moment, without a second thought.
I had no concept of when I finally fell asleep that night, but that didn’t stop the alarm on my phone from buzzing at 10am. I had to get packed and ready to go to the field. As I sat at the side of my bed trying to gather myself I was surprised although I wasn’t hungover, I felt overwhelming hopelessness. It was as if my soul was an empty void of depression, sadness, and guilt. I had never felt this low in all my life. I remember fighting off the urge to cry, sitting on the side of my bed with no idea why I suddenly felt this way.
Sitting on the bus on the way to U.S. Cellular Field for the final game of the series against the White Sox, I couldn’t help but replay the events from the night before.
I was astonished and worried at the number of cigarettes and beer I had consumed while the amphetamines were cascading through my veins. But the biggest thing that bothered me that night was my insatiable urge to want to be with another woman.
That scared the fucking shit out of me.
I knew I didn’t do anything wrong physically, but in my mind, I had cheated on my wife without a twinge of guilt. Sitting on that bus, I knew right then and there if I continued to use Adderall it would only be a matter of time before I actually took the physical leap.
As we pulled into the parking lot I gazed up at the stadium, snapped back to reality, and wondered, “How the fuck am I going to play again today?”
As soon as I asked myself that question my brain had an immediate answer. The answer was simple…another Addie please!
The bitch of this whole cycle was the fact that I actually loved playing baseball again while using. If I stopped using, I would have to face the guy that lived in misery, playing the game with zero joy, love or excitement.
I started to believe that Adderall made me “THE ALPHA MALE.” A man who was confident and fun… a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. Adderall was going to resurrect my floundering career.
The temptation to choose confident, joyful, baseball over misery and depression, no matter the trade-off, proved too much for me. I was willing to risk it all including my family, health, and sanity for baseball. My mind was made up. The vicious cycle had begun.