Staying Sharp: 5 Guilt-Filled Days on the Big R, for Ritalin

In pursuit of truth and a tidy desk, a TIME senior editor spends a week on a mind-altering stimulant

It wasn't until I was in the limo being whisked to the studio that it occurred to me that it was probably a bad idea to go on live TV under the influence of mind-altering drugs. When I got the call asking me to talk about a TIME story on that night's late news, I was playing host to a 5-year-old's birthday party, with attendees who included Ella, Ella, Stella, Ale (pronounced Ellay), Elee (same) and Belle, the princess I had rented. I don't know if my suggestibility was caused by a surfeit of medication—in this case, Ritalin—or of liquid consonants,...

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