Corey

Close to Relapsing

8 posts in this topic

My workload at school (Masters in illustration) is really overwhelming and I haven't put in nearly the same amount of effort or attention to detail as I used to into my work. My teachers are starting to echo their counterparts from my high school and early college days, "you have so much potential, if you only applied yourself" which is frankly kind of humiliating to hear at the age of 25. I've been off of adderall for about six months now and I can't say I feel all that great; I'm definitely over some humps and am happy to not be a nervous, twitchy mess, but I still feel manic and depressed a lot (perhaps to a lesser degree, though) in a really flimsy way, like emotionally I'm just a cardboard cutout. I haven't really been proud of any of the work I've done since I quit with the exception of one piece that I did over school break because I could take my meandering, easily distracted time with it (I actually thought about making an uplifting inspirational topic on this forum citing my painting as an example of successfully overcoming addiction), but otherwise I just get fatigued and unable to take any piece to a satisfying end. Socially I'm doing okay, I definitely don't act like a crankpuss or a cokehead as much as I used to, but I still get mopey and socially anxious from time to time. If on Adderall my life was mostly Black punctuated by flashes of White, right now it's just a consistent muddy grey. Frankly I'm unhappy and unmotivated, even in the face of success, and I kind of just want to get back into my adderall addiction so I don't have to be present for everything

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Oh and an illustration I did while heavily into adderall (I barely remember making it) just won a place in a pretty big national competition (only 250 out of 8000 pieces were picked), while a non-adderall fueled illustration I did didn't place, all of which just kind of twists the knife further on my recovery

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Corey -- 6 months is HUGE! You are a survivor and perserverence is key. Have you thought about seeing someone about the way you've been feeling? It would, of course, have to be a doctor with knowledge of addiction and you'd have to be honest about your addicition to adderall. Word of mouth is the best recommendation for a good doc, IMO. There's also ASAM (american society of addictive medicine) where you can search their database for someone in your area.

Think about your life in terms of many shades of grey, not just a murky one. You describe a lot of positives, even though to you they may not seem overwhelmingly positive... As addicts we like to live our lives in extremes, as in "black punctuated by flashes of white." You are an artist going thru the evolution of your life! I hope I'm not sounding like this is easy because I know it's a huge struggle. My wish for you is someday you will look back at this time as your "grey era" and hopefully see it as a stepping stone to where you ultimately want to be. I know there are others on here who can talk more about the stages of long-term recovery. In the mean time do whatever you can to embrace the positives in your life since quitting, the option of relapse not being one of them. Can you imagine having to go thru this all over again ?!?!

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Hi Corey,

I suggest you visit your own profile page and click the "find content" button. It will bring up all the posts you have made in the last year. I just reviewed all of your posts so I could give you an informed response.

Last April, you passed out in a hooka lounge after taking your dose of adderall and having hooka. you speculated it could have been from the adderall.

Last October, your friend had an abonrmal EKG, likely because she took too much adderall. You experienced your own rapid heart beat issues toward the end of your adderall addiction, which gradually went away after quitting.

You quit taking the shit last September, and your daily dose had worked up to 60 mg. But your reasons for quitting were not very clear. Corey, why did you feel the need to quit taking adderall?

I realize it has been a rough six months for you since quitting. Join the quitting club; we all must go through this process to come out better, stronger and happier on the other side. You should start noticing some substantial improvement in how you feel and in your productivity about 9-12 months after quitting. Your art work will not be the same as it was when you were taking adderall. It can get much, much better if you stay quit. Or not. Adderall turns on different parts of our brains and personalities that we might never have known about without taking it. Over the long term, however, it really fucks with our mental performance and physical well-being, and the ability to simply get shit done.

So that brings up this fork in your decision tree of life: to relapse or stay the course free from addiction. If you go back, please know that your daily effective dose will begin at 60 mg and go up from there with increasing tollerance. You might be able to take it for several more years before your consumption exceeds what a doctor is willing to prescribe, or depending on the doctor, you might already be there. When one doctor is not enough, than you will resort to illegal practices in order to sustain your addiction. Oh, yea - and that heartbeat thing WILL return and get worse for you.

We have a very wise member named Cassie who's mantra is: quit for a year and if you still think you need it after a year, then you can go back to the adderall. Nearly all of life's big changes (i.e. new job, surviving a death, or quitting an addiction) take a year to adjust to. Please give yourself that chance.

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Hi Corey, my fellow grad student,

It's really, really tough to maintain that high level of performance while quitting. I completely feel you and have contemplated relapsing myself for just those reasons. It's NOT an easy road to quit in the middle of a high-intensity, high-performance, high-stakes situation. You're doing work you care a lot about, and have worked very hard to get to where you are today. The possibility of messing up is absolutely terrifying. I know.

On the other hand, you have already established yourself somewhat, so you have a solid foundation to rest on for a little while as you get your true self back. You obviously have talent in you, it's all there, you've already accomplished a lot. It would be pretty hard for you to fail--unless you just give up.

I have some friends who are illustrators and I am familiar with how competitive that field is, and how detail-oriented it needs to be, so I can totally understand how adderall would have helped you.

That said, the main factor in producing high quality work is the time and effort you put in. The illustration that won an award was something YOU did. It was not produced by a drug. It was produced by YOU, while you were taking the drug. Those are YOUR NATURAL TALENTS and you STILL have them, even if you don't believe it right now. Adderall just helped you focus in and spend the time and energy needed to create that piece.

You have NOT lost your talents. You just need to find creative ways of summoning the focus, desire, and love for your work, that will drive you to spend the time and energy to produce high quality work.

One of my little post-it notes on my desk says: "I want my inspiration to be 100% genuine!" I don't want my creations to be driven by adderall, I want them to be driven by my genuine heart!

Also, I think you might eventually find your art improving. I'm no professional but when I look at my own paintings and drawings from my adderall days, they are overworked to a point where they are ruined, because I became so focused in on all the details I couldn't tell when it was finished. Do you think anything like that has happened to you in your adderall days? Or, are there any other ways it impaired your work? Adderall has a way of blocking creativity after long term use. I know that illustration is meant for clients, but creativity is still important, and you might find your own natural creativity and drive returning in time.

Please give yourself the time. You and your art are worth it!!

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I watched a documentary (actually it was a whole season) about life onboard an aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. There were a lot of lessons I took away (the value of hardship for making you appreciate normalcy, how to recognize a real crisis vs the chaos of real life, that you have to practice hard things in order to be able to do hard things), but the analogy that struck hardest was this. When a massive ship is in high waters, and there's a pitching deck, and the waves are over 60ft and the winds are at gale force, that's when the crew and captain and pilots are tested. They have spent their life preparing for that moment. And it's their time to get it right.

This is you right now. You are in rough seas, the wind is battering you and you're surrounded by challenges that seem insurmountable. But if you give up now, you'll drown. Just keep forging on, even at 1km/hr, until the seas calm and you can look back on this storm and think, "yeah, I DID IT". What a great feeling that will be.

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Hey Corey ....stick with the quit dude. Its easier to stay quit than to start one. Like quit once mentioned..(1) take it from a mommy with a minivan full of babies who ran literally 10 doctors at once to support my habbit....you will resort to illegal activity and doctor shopping is punishable by Johnny law. (2)... I have put off going to see the actual cardiologist via my primary care Dr. Because there is enlargement of my heart,I'm almost afraid to see how much...only the specialist can answer that....DIRECT RESULT OF ADDERALL ABUSE. I had 3 years clean once...and by far everything was back in its right place in me, if you will...I fucked up and I have 2 months now...I wish to god i had stayed quit...but something needed to be different for reasons I may never know. But you also have to assist in ones positive destiny by making positive choices...I don't want to have to quit again.

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I wish to god i had stayed quit...but something needed to be different for reasons I may never know. But you also have to assist in ones positive destiny by making positive choices...I don't want to have to quit again.

Well said Heather!! One of the main things keeping me moving forward is the fact that if I WERE to choose to relapse, I would need to go through alll this quitting hell all over again. I mean nobody stays on adderall for their whole lives; it's not meant for that, and I doubt any doctor would keep a patient on it forever. Not to mention what a terrible life that would be...... If we have to quit sooner or later, it might as well be NOW. Especially after so much progress. Keep it up Corey!!!!

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