Evie25

Each time I relapse my resolve breaks down....

9 posts in this topic

Feeling so discouraged about staying off the addy. I quit for over 6 months, then relapsed several times after that. I am off it again, but I just feel very apathetic and disinterested in life. It's like I'm seeing everything in black and white, with no colors. I'm on lexapro for anxiety and depression, but lately my anxiety feels out of control.

Part of me thinks maybe I'm just exhausted from going on and off the addy so much.

The other part of me thinks that maybe I'm just better on it. At least I can get my work done properly, though I may mess up all my relationships with people. Every guy I've dated has problems with me being on it, because they say that I become a different person.

I don't think I make decisions on the addy that I wouldn't make off the addy (which was what I initially thought). I think I just reach those decisions faster without so much indecision. In other words, I feel like everyone else dislikes me on it, but I am ok with myself. Denial? I'm not sure.

I am lying to myself, probably, just can't find a way to like myself on the meds or off the meds. I really need to have a stronger resolve if I'm going to stay off it.

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I really need to have a stronger resolve if I'm going to stay off it.

yes you do.

it sounds like there's an internal battle raging inside you, and the adderall is winning. recognize the unhealthy thoughts as the "addiction" voice, telling you screw everyone else, I like me on adderall...fuck that, people are our mirrors, if people are saying, thinking, reacting as if something is wrong or amiss, LISTEN to that... get the fuck off the fence. Resolve to make your life better. Once you're off the fence about whether or not to stop using or use, things will begin to get easier. Until then, that voice is convincing you that your life will be better with adderall. But has it been? Its fucking up your brain. Get some ballz and quit that shit for good- or at least resolve to quit for long enough to give quitting a chance to make a difference. Why'd you start back up after 6 months? Did you do more than just quit? Because we can't just stop using, we have to make other changes as well which get to more of the heart of the matter for why we thought we needed adderall in the first place--- diet, exercise, reading positive literature (not necessarily self help books!), connecting more to other people, the earth, animals; spirituality, etc............. all the things we forgo for adderall.

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it sounds like there's an internal battle raging inside you, and the adderall is winning. recognize the unhealthy thoughts as the "addiction" voice, telling you screw everyone else, I like me on adderall...fuck that, people are our mirrors, if people are saying, thinking, reacting as if something is wrong or amiss, LISTEN to that... get the fuck off the fence. Resolve to make your life better. Once you're off the fence about whether or not to stop using or use, things will begin to get easier.

Thank you, I needed that. Because that's exactly what's going through my head when I think about going back on the adderall, "screw everyone else, I like me just fine on it." And yes, if my close friends, boyfriend, etc. are telling me something is wrong when I'm on it, I need to listen to that.

I think I went back on it after 6 months because I didn't think I was doing well enough at work. Not because I received negative feedback from my boss, just had this internal feeling of inadequacy that was getting under my skin. This recurring thought that I am "slow" and "stupid "off adderall. The sad part is that I was feeling better off it. Maybe only marginally, but I was on my way there. And yes, I think I just stopped using, without making enough other changes in my life, changes that would fulfill me off the adderall.

I need to overcome my insecurities and have higher self esteem if I'm to stay off it.

Ignore that voice that says, "sure, you could stay off it....but do you want to be stupid and slow?"

Thank you so much for the advice.

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I'm sure I'm not the only one on here who has thoughts like that... that one or two here and there would be fine if not great... I know myself and know that that one or two here and there wouldn't work out that way... pretty soon here and there would be most days and one or two would be 20.... I hate to say but thank you for posting that because I think I did sort of mock live out a "relapse" thru you, vicariously... it's weird when you hear stories about people with a lot of clean time who relapse, but I think it's good to hear their stories about why, and what happened... where they went wrong.

This site is good for accountability. Even though none of us know each other, I still feel a sense of responsibility to the members, like on days when I might be fuck it, I remember this site and what people have said even though I may not feel that way at the time.......... like, adderall is bad, mmkay.

exercise, eating healthy, filling your head with positive new thoughts... those things help me a ton. Also, not waffling, but being committed to the idea that I'm much better off without adderall- even a little bit.

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Evie,

Relapse is often a part of addiction, because it requires full commitment to patience and truly knowing you need to quit. I agree with Sky on everything above. I don't think many people quit anything being on the fence. Scared? Unsure of how your going to deal? Yes, that's normal. I knew with my whole heart it was time to quit a year ago, and it's still been probably, no, for sure, the most difficult thing I've ever done. I feel like I'm repeating sky, but he's so right about changing things....not just quitting. Working out, changing think patterns, shutting those thoughts that adderall makes you better. Just some tools I use, and I continue to focus on on a daily basis. When I hear you say, everyone around me says I shouldn't be on it, but you still tool around with the idea that you think you're better on it....that's denial. My life was in shambles when I quit, and it had been for awhile. People around me would question me about what's going on, and it would annoy the crap out of me because I knew they were right, but I was too busy living my fantasy adderall world. When YOU decide quitting is truly the only decision to better your life, your chances of quitting and staying quit are exponentially higher. I didn't feel better at six months, but hearing that this was a normal part of recovery from the members of this site gave me the will to keep going. I hope this helps a little.

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Evie,

What you are going through is NORMAL. The fact that you came here and posted about it is AWESOME. Believe it or not, you WANT to change and your rational brain has won this battle or you would not have come to discuss and would've just gone back on it again. I say pat yourself on the back and reward yourself for this MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT by going to a movie! :)

Also, check out the bottom of this SMART Recovery worksheet and read what it says about relapse. Please note I am copying and pasting the worksheet as I can't download the actual format.

The Stages of Change

A motivational tool and an aid to develop a plan for recovery

Change isn’t always constant. Your motivation may rise or fall. It may seem to be progressing quickly, or be frustratingly slow. Change will happen, for good or ill. Just remember, you are in control of that change.

Changing behavior can be difficult. Research shows that people normally find it difficult to change long-standing habitual behaviors, including addictions, unhealthful diet, and lack of regular exercise. This appears as true for addictions as for medical problems (i.e. asthma, diabetes, and hypertension) which also require choice and a commitment to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Pre-Contemplation

I don’t have a problem,

why should I change?

Contemplation

Maybe I do have a problem,

but how can I change?

Preparation

I’m ready to change.

I’m going to change!

Maintenance

I’m glad that I changed.

I’m sticking to my plan.

Termination

I’ve changed for the better.

My new life is better.

Relapse

I have forgotten why

I needed to change

Action

I am following a plan.

I am changing!

The Stages of Change as a SMART Recovery® Tool

An exercise to aid the development of motivation

Understanding the Stages of Change model can help you focus on the tasks that will aid you the most at this point in your recovery and will help you find the proper tools, activities, and information that will aid your recovery.

The Stages of Change:

1. PRE-CONTEMPLATION: At this stage, you might not be aware that there is a problem that needs your attention or you might not consider that changing your behavior is worth the bother. You may be demoralized, uninterested, or unwilling to change. You may be attending a meeting because of some coercion. For you, just sitting in on a meeting and listening to others may be helpful, and you may find that change is not as difficult as you believe and can actually be very rewarding.

2. CONTEMPLATION: At this stage, you’ve become aware that some kind of change may be necessary in order to regain some control of your life. You might be weighing the pros and cons of changing but lack the confidence to know if you are making the right decision. Still, you are giving the possibility of changing some thought. Writing out the pros and cons in a Cost Benefit Analysis and reviewing it regularly can aid the decision making process and help you make some positive changes.

3. PREPARATION: At this stage, although you may still feel somewhat ambivalent or anxious, you have concluded that the negatives of your behavior outweigh the positives, and you have accepted responsibility for changing your behavior. You now feel ready to make decisions and plans and strengthen your commitment to change. Completing a Change Plan Worksheet and researching recovery options can be helpful.

4. ACTION: During this stage, you might choose to work on your own or with the help and support of groups (such as SMART Recovery®). Some people may feel the need for the controlled environment of inpatient, or residential treatment. You could also choose to use counselors or other sources of professional guidance. At this time, you will be learning new ways of handling old situations, such as social pressures, temptations, making excuses, and other situations that could harm your motivation to change. By learning ways to deal with urges, cravings and uncomfortable or destructive emotions, you will work toward finding a way to live your life without the need for alcohol, drugs, or other destructive habits. The recovery tools you use will reflect your unique situation and life experiences.

5. MAINTENANCE: This stage reflects the knowledge and skills you have learned that have resulted in a positive change in your behavior. In the three to six months since you began your recovery, you are enjoying the fruits of your efforts and are developing a social support system and securing the strategies needed to maintain your successes. You do, however, stay vigilant for high-risk situations and remain focused on relapse prevention.

6. TERMINATION: At some point, you may consider yourself recovered. You have adopted a new self-image consistent with your new desired behaviors and lifestyle. You express confidence and enjoy self-control. You no longer react to any temptation in any situation. New behaviors have replaced the old, and the old habits no longer have a place in your life. You now can appreciate your healthier and happier life. Hence, in SMART Recovery®, you may graduate.

RELAPSE: Not a stage but an event, a “slip”, “lapse”, or “relapse” is the result of personal distress or social pressures that lead to an interruption of the behavior change process. These events could occur at any time, but they are not inevitable. This experience should not be used as an excuse to enter into a period of prolonged or excessive using or be the cause for crushing self-reproach and guilt. It’s better to accept these events as a normal part of the recovery process than to call your attempt to change a failure and give up. Handled well, these occurrences can be brief, not overly dangerous, and serve as a learning experience. These events, though very troubling, can serve as an education to prevent future occurrences.

Based on: Prochaska, J.O., DiClemente, C.C., and Norcross, J.C. “Changing for Good”. NY: Avon, 1994.

Adapted by Henry Stienberger, Ph.D.

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I want to thank everyone for their responses, which really helped me with my resolve to stay off the adderall. This week, I'm finally experiencing mental clarity. I feel more motivated, my work is going better. It feels great!! I just need to keep it up and not doubt myself.

I'm sure I'll go through rough patches again, but even a week of relief is encourating to me.

Just reading your responses and reminding myself why I decided to go off it was a tremendous help. I'm not confident enough to say I'll never go back on it again-and I feel that puts too much pressure on myself and then there's a greater chance I'll relapse. I can say that I will take it day by day, and each day I'll try my best not to give in.

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Hey evie25, my advice is you need to work on commitment. The more committed you feel the more confidant you will be that you can stay clean. Ask yourself what you can do everyday to strengthen your commitment?

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Day by day is the only strategy that works, really. Celebrate that you got through all those days, but recognize you're only one pill away from relapse. We all do it, all the time!

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