Greg

Wow - This is the Place for Me!

52 posts in this topic

Hey Quit-Once,

I also had a couple of blood tests when I was on adderall. I vaguely recollect that I was also low in Vitamin D, too!!!! I can't completely confirm that, but I'm pretty sure that was the case and thought it was bizarre at the time. How strange is that. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with adderall or is just coincidence.

As for the auditory hallucinations. Yes. That is something I definitely experienced a lot. I often heard noises which I perceived to hear off in the distance taunting me. I really went downhill with the psychological side effects. The paranoid visual and auditory hallucinations. That's when I went from functioning addict to UN-functioning addict. I was reading the book Methland about meth addicts and noticed that my psychological symptoms were about the SAME as those of meth addicts. For example, one paranoid delusion that is common among meth addicts is that helicopters in the sky are looking down on them. That is one of the delusions that, I'm embarassed to say now, overtook me at the levels of adderall abuse I was at. I was NOT taking any meth, but it just goes to show that at high levels of adderall the symptoms can be the same as with meth addicts. (I was popping or snorting 30 mg adderall about every hour or two during my three day sleepless binges.)

I never experienced the night sweats, but I did experience flu-like symptoms. I guess it's just our body's way of adjusting to not being on the adderall. Right now I have a flu like headache from adderall withdrawal (note, it's not a normal headache, it's a flu-like headache) and I still wake up in the middle of the night having dreams about taking adderall and messing up my recovery. Last night, I dreamed I had taken adderall to write a 10 page paper on time. I was terrified and then woke up. The symptoms I'm having though are much milder and easier to ignore...11 months out.

One thing you mentioned is that your heart beat would speed up on adderall. That was something I experienced a lot too. Heart palpitations, like little extra heartbeats.

I can't believe how the addiction blinds us in such a way. What I can tell you is that I'm totally convinved I do NOT HAVE ADD. For many, many, many, MANY years I had convinced myself I had adhd and NEEDED the adderall and that the adderall was "helping" me. Now, after kicking the adderall habit, I realize that that was just an excuse for me to justify taking the drug. I think I had the normal distraction problems as everyone else.

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I am a poor liar, so the only way I could convince a doctor I had ADD was to convince myself first. That took a lot of re-enforcement on my part to constantly tell myself that I had ADD and needed treatment. I don't doubt the disorder really does exist and that adderall helps people or children with severe ADD. The ONLY two approved medical uses for the drug are SEVERE ADD and narcolepsy. At this point, I am really glad that all that time on adderall didn't cause a permanant change in my brain to make it ADD-like. I was never much of a space case until I took adderall, and especially in between addie binges.

Meth seemed like such a dirty, toxic drug to me that I had a hard time accepting that meth was simply adderall's sinister sister. I have addie friends that are still in denial about this. Obviously you have accepted it as the truth and so do I. In fact, I ventured onto some quitting meth web site last week to read their forums. One very interesting topic was this question that somebody posted: "What would you do if you found some meth or if it was offered to you by somebody you knew?" There were at least ten responses. Many of them had already been in one of those situations. Every single response said they would dispose of it if they found it, and get really angry at anybody who offered it to them. One guy said he found some meth on the street and later gave it to his counselor to dispose of for him.

What does it mean to be an "unfunctioning addict"?

Also, you used the letters BTW in one of your posts, and I have seen it in other posts too. What does BTW mean?

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...BTW means (By the way)

I became an unfunctioning addict when I started taking ritalin AND concerta and taking wellbutrin at obscene amounts. It was awful. At work, I was sneaking off to the bathroom throughout the day to snort it. I'd also go home during lunch hour to grab more, and I stuffed pills in my back pocket and reached for them liberally throughout the day. I had been following my career path and really happy with my job, living in an apartment in manhattan, but one day I totally "lost it". I got so paranoid at work, and began raving like a lunatic, to everyone's horror. I was totally normal in a job which involved a lot of social interaction and suddenly, I thought people were following me, I was hearing voices in my head...(that's just the gist of it) I was fired. I still have dreams about the whole incident. Everyone in my family was horrified of what became of me...My relatives later told me they were "certain" I had developed schizophrenia...

The side effects were mimicing schizophrenia by this point. I moved home and I was a mess. I tried taking some low maintenance jobs, but I couldn't stay at any one job, because I was so paranoid at work, and I kept quitting.

That's when I went into rehab and then outpatient therapy and NA meetings for a couple of months. But eventually, I started feeling nervous and thinking I needed to start working again, and also I couldn't tolerate the withdrawal I was feeling. (The withdrawal from the ritalin/concerta, I thought was far, far worse than from adderall.) So I called up a doctor and got another prescription. This time for adderall...and I confessed this in my outpatient group therapy. Then I got kicked out of outpatient therapy for abusing while attending therapy. And they recommended I enter rehab again.

When I SWITCHED to adderall, the debilitating side effects from the the ritalin/concerta started subsiding, and I started to feel good again. So immediately I got a job, a very low stress job. I was taking about 4x30mg capsules a day, and that was with a lot of willpower and I wasn't dispensing my pills on my own. During the work day, all I could think about was when I would get to take my next pill. And I felt like I was always in withdrawal.

After a year, I left my job, regained control of my prescription bottle, and soon was escalating my dosages of adderall to twice what I was taking. In a short time, that's when I started developing serious mental side effects from the adderall this time.. By the time I quit adderall, 11 months ago, I was on the verge of another total mental breakdown...just as I was with the ritalin/concerta a few years before that. Anyway... 11 months, and no more paranoid thinking, or serious side effects. I guess this is the beginning.

You mentioned that there are only two prescribed medical uses for adderall. You should read the book "On Speed". It's all about the history of amphetamines (adderall, dexadrine, ritalin etc) and how the drugs have been marketed to the public over the years since it was discovered in the early 1900's. For example, when ritalin first came out in the 1950's it was marketed as an antidepressent and didn't do to well. It wasn't until later when the makers decided to market ritalin for ADHD, that the drug started to take off..

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Ritalin has been around for a long time. When I was a teenager, I found an old bottle of ritalin in my mom's medicine cabinet. I think it was written in 1971, about ten years before I found it. The dosing instructions on the bottle said: "take one pill in the morning or as needed for energy". So I stole a a few pills and tried it. I soon realized that I had found my favorite drug of choice. There were only a dozen or so pills in the bottle so I only tried it a few times but it was enough to know that I really, really liked speed. I wasn't ever able to get my hands on more ritalin until about 15 years later and even then not that much.

I just about lost my coffee when I read how you "lost it" and got fired. Sounds like something right out of a TV sit-com, and I bet it was the kind of incident shere everybody in the office went home and said "you wouldn't believe what happened at work today" over the dinner table. I hope you can laugh about it now. How did you loose control of your perscription bottle?

Last night I had "the dream" for the first time, and it was terrifying. It woke me up at 2:30 in a major panic that I had just fucked up almost five months of recovery. The funny thing about that dream was that I took a half of a pill for a social buzz with my best friend, but within minutes, I took the other half of a pill and was considering taking more. Then I woke up. Right after I quit, I had dreams where I found some pills and was worried that I might take them, but this was the first time I actually did the deeed. Reminds me of some similar-themed dreams I had during some of my many attempts to quit ciggies. You said you are still having those dreams...when did they start occuring during your recovery?

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I started having adderall dreams as soon as I quit. They feel really real don't they??

...I can't believe in '71, the bottle read "take it as prescribed"! The first doctor who precribed me ritalin was like a salesman for ritalin. He told me how he took it himself and loved it and he swore there were no negative side effects and that it was not addictive at all.

...Ritalin, I think, is even more addictive then adderall. Like you. I was instantly hooked. I thought it was the answer to all my problems. I used it to pull allnighters in college. Used it to get me out of bed in the mornings. Everything I read was completely fascinating. But by the summer after my junior year, I was a full blown addict, popping them like candy...especially to meet stressful situations.

... I lost control of my prescription bottle many times. Starting in college, when concerned friends of mine would offer to take my pill bottle and ration them out to me. At a certain point I could no longer stay awake without adderall. My body just fell into a state of total fatigue and exhaustion, no matter how hard I pushed. I convinced my mom to ration out my pills to four a day. That was just enough to get me through the workday,then Id come home and crash until the next morning when it was time for me to go to work again..just a horrible existence, really. (This unfortunately often led to days where I'd come home after work, tearing up the house looking for the hidden prescription bottle and ensuing fights) Aside from the dreams and the night sweats, are things getting better for you?

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"...just a horrible existence..."

Exactly how i felt too, and I believe the word "existence" describes it more accurately than "life". Seems like we traded our lives for an existence when life is controlled by an addiction.

The night sweats only happened when I using adderall + lorazapam. There was a point where I used both of those drugs on the weekends, and then cold-turkeyed off them during the week days. Talk about withdrawls! For the longest time I refused to acknowledge the reason I felt so shitty during the week was because I was abusing adderall and lorazapam on the weekends. Some kind of hubris on my part, like..."I am not addicted because I can just quit during the week and only use them on the weekends. Since I am not an addict, how could I possibly have withdrawls?" total denial. That was indeed a rough existence.

I read your response to Enigmatic Belle's post last week. The one where you stop the "user" line of thinking, acknowledge you are an addict and that it is the disease speaking, not your real self. WOW. I have studied and memorized your words in that post because it is such a usefull tool to have avaialable when temptation rears its ugly head. Did you learn that from NA meetings, a counselor or come up with it on your own? I believe that we have to constantly purge those thoughts of adderall use and just look forward. A year ago, my life was defined by adderall - getting them, using them, and trying to function normally. It sure is a lot easier and less stressful just to function (and who cares if it is normal?) without the addiction monkey on my back. Life off adderall really isn't so different than life on adderall except that on adderall, EVERYTHING is amped up! My future seemed shrouded in uncertainty on adderall. Now I have quit it is easier to look forward and make plans and get excited again about my future.

I am uncomfortable with the fact that even though it's been 150 days since my last pill, I STILL think about the shit all the fucking time! Not craving it, or scheming how to get some, but comparing my life to a year ago when I was a slave to the drug and its lifestyle. Only one of those horrible dreams so far. Maybe I am just trying to re-enforce my new lifestyle unencumbered by any addiction, which BTW, I wouldn't trade for anything!

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I thought it was interesting how you described life off of adderall. I definitely agree that there is no more of that amped up feeling. Life certainly doesn't feel as intense as it did. Nor do I feel as invincible. I'm no longer completely absorbed in meaningless tasks. I'm more level headed, stable, more realistic. I'm still trying to sort out the differences, I guess..

I was also abusing lorazepam for awhile. That stuff is really addictive. When I just got on it, I would go through my bottle in a week. I was on a really low dosage though. Later on I switched to xanax and later kolonopin. I never got fully addicted to anti-anxiety meds though because they completely contradicted the feeling of being on adderall. And I was full blown addicted to the adderall. For the most part, I was extremely careful taking anti-anxiety meds, just occasionally, because the last thing I wanted was to be addicted to two different kinds of pills. I remember so many incidents though where I was so strung out on adderall, and I'd reach for anti-anxiety meds to calm me down. Then, I'd take even more adderall to rev myself up. It was a vicious cycle. When I popped anti anxiety meds, I tended to pop more adderall overall.

That post you were referring to -- I'm really glad it helped. I definitely picked up that notion of addiction as a disease from NA meetings. Have you considered attending NA meetings? No matter how much I am determined to never go back on adderall, I am always super paranoid that I will one day suddenly fall in some kind of "addiction spell/trance" and decide it's okay to be on adderall again -- just totally out of the blue! And I will have never seen it coming. So anytime I'm even beginning to entertain thoughts about it, I just stop everything I'm doing and repeat that line of thinking in my head.

By the way, congratulations on getting rid of your adderall stash, which I read in your other post. I totally understand that feeling you mentioned of grieving. When I first quit, it was really depressing I remember, it felt like losing a loved one or something. I was totally grieving in the immediate days after I quit. Actually, in the immediate aftermath of quitting adderall I was full of suicidal thoughts. They only lasted about a day and a half but it was really scary. Because they were running rampant through my head. I couldn't stop myself from entertaining those thoughts and one would lead to another and another. (By the way, suicidal thoughts is listed as one of the rare side effects of adderall) The fact that quitting adderall drove me to THAT point, to the point of HAVING suicidal thoughts from no longer being able to be on the drug...THAT was the final straw and a huge motivating factor for me in the immediate aftermath of quitting. I couldn't believe I had been driven to that point. Anyway, those thoughts just gave way to a general sense of depression...which eventually got better.

I guess the two of us illustrate the different ways adderall addicts go through withdrawal symptoms. You're really lucky that you don't feel withdrawal. I still feel withdrawal every. single. day. It sucks. It's like this never ending anxiety in my head. Different intensities of withdrawal depending on the day. I can't believe it's lasted as long as it has. For example, everytime I try to concentrate hard, it seems to trigger withdrawal even more intensely. On the brighter side, the withdrawal has gotten more tolerable and milder as the months passed. I've also adapted to the withdrawal feelings and incorporated them into my life. They used to be seem horrible. Now they are just really, really annoying. I know there will be a day when they disappear altogether forever. I can't wait until that day comes.

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It sems like your physical withdrawls have lasted longer than you deserve to experience that kind of pain. Maybe there could be something else in your home environment that mimics feelings of adderall withdrawl? Specifically I am thinking of hidden mold or EMF concerns (i.e. radiation or high voltage power lines nearby). Have you gotten out of your home for more than a few days to see if you feel any different? And what about eating healthy wholesome foods and a balanced diet?

That long and horrible post-quitting depression you referred to is something almost everybody who quits, then blogs about it, has in common. When I was planning my quitting strategy last year, I came to expect and anticipate "the worst" regarding post-quitting depression. That is why I needed to plan my quit in the spring so the effects of seasonal depression would not combine with post-quitting depression. As it turns out, my period of post-quitting depression lasted only a few weeks after I quit addies and ciggies. And there was no seasonal depression for me in June Hell, I was even on Chantix and didn't have suicidal thoughts. And it hasn't retutrned...well, you know we all have a bad day every so often but the prolonged depression hasn't returned. I still dose up on l-Tyrosine whenever I feel like my mood needs a boost.

I have never considered joining NA. It wouldn't or couldn't be very anomanous for me because I live in a smaller town and I have a high profile job. So this web site is my NA and it is an essential tool in helping me forever quit adderall. THANKS, MIKE, FOR CREATING AND MAINTAINING THIS WEB SITE. And thanks to you, InRecovery, for helping to keep this discussion thread going. it is really helping me to get through this phase of MyRecovery.

I realize that I have been really, really lucky not to experience prolonged withdrawl and depression feelings during my recovery and I am greatful for that. But I am sill very much in the recovery stage of this addiction experience. If I were ever to relapse, the laws of Karma would ensure a longer and harsher withdrawl during the subsequent quit & recovery - so that is just one more reason to.....quit once.

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InRecovery:

Congrats for achieving one full year free from the influence of adderall and all other similar drugs.

It's kinda like a happy birthday wish. The future is yours again.

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Quit-Once, Thanks for the congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe a year has passed... Had a really rough patch of cravings the week before my one year. It's been a year of my body trying to reach some kind of equilibrium at home. Quit-Once, you are so lucky you don't have withdrawal symptoms. You have no idea. I'm certain the withdrawal I am feeling is from the adderall...and not from environmental mold or something else. It's more or less a continuation of the withdrawal symptoms I've been feeling since day 1 of quitting. I can't wait for the day it goes away. While i feel it mildly on a daily basis, It hits me very hard when I am concentrating hard on something like reading or studying...and then it continues on for the next couple days, then gets better. It's something I guess I need to work out of my system.

I would say there are a lot of differences between now and a year ago. For one thing, I am much, much more relaxed on a day to day basis. In fact, my blood pressure has dropped down to normal! For the twelve years I was abusing adderall, there was never a time when I didn't have high blood pressure problems, even had to take medication for it, and now I'm totally fine...Another difference is that I am no longer obsessed with a task and unable to get it out of my head for hours. I'm more flexible in my thinking. I'm much more present in my interactions with people. I used to do something and just tune out the world for hours, couldn't even hear people sometimes when they were talking to me.

One year ago, I was hitting adderall-induced psychosis on a daily basis from adderall overdosing. I was a mess and psychologically breaking down. My thoughts were so "out there" and full of "delusions of grandeur". Now I feel like a totally normal person. One year ago, I also felt like a hamster running in a wheel, repeating the same adderall-seeking behavior over and over again. I would wake up and then my whole day would be centered around taking adderall, having enough adderall, getting adderall. Everything else in my day was just a side matter to the adderall...And I would repeat the cycle, every single day. And I'd feel a great sense of relief, everytime I took a pill - just like any other drug addict.

By the way, I went to the doctors for a routine visit a few days after my one year anniversary of being adderall-free. I was certain my mom had called this doctor the year before to tell them I was abusing adderall, but when I went for my check up, the doctor had no idea about my adderall mess. So I informed her I was no longer taking adderall becuase I was getting dependent on it, that it was so addictive, and that I was still feeling withdrawal from being off the medication for a year. Then she suddenly suggested a different medication - concerta! My HEART STOPPED for a SECOND and then I quickly said no. I'm so proud I turned down a doctor who was offering me stimulants. I have so many memories of being in doctors offices BEGGING for stimulants (but trying not to appear overeager) Then walking out of the office with a huge grin on my face and an adderall prescription in hand. She DID however up the dosage of Effexor that I'm on. And I think that's helping with my withdrawal symptoms!!! (although it's only been a couple of days) I know that it acts as an SSRI and boosts the levels of the neurotransmitters seratonin and norepinephrine in my brain.

Anyway, I told my mom about the incident and she was real proud, real happy to have me back. She said my sister would always break down in tears whenever she saw me, because they'd lost me to the adderall. My mom always would reassure her that I would be back someday. And now I'm back! Thanks quit-once as well for your continued support. And THANKS MIKE AS WELL..

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From your post of 11/11/11, I would like to make the following comment:

More than once, you have expressed concern that you could "suddenly dedide that it would be OK to take adderall again". That line of thinking has lead you to historical relapses. I suggest that you are now beyond that vulnerability, as evidenced by your refusal to accept another stimulant medication recently offered by your doctor. That is one doctor you can do without. I can't believe that she would even consider giving you another psycho-stim if you told her of your struggle with addiction to these things for the last twelve years.

I don't know you very well, but I assume you wouldn't suddenly decide to shoplift merchandise from a store just because you thought you could get away with it, or suddenly decide it was OK to rape somebody just because you got horny, or suddenly decide to drive hours to a casino just because you had a few extra bucks in your pocket.

My point is that you already have the self control skills and intelligence to keep yourself from doing dumb and harmful things to yourself or others. Use those same skills whenever you get the urge to relapse.

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Quit-Once,

I agree with you about my prescribing doctor being a little off the wall. I was thinking to myself "uh didn't you hear me? I just told you I was addicted to adderall and still suffering withdrawal pain one year after quitting...And you uh want to give me something just as addictive as adderall?"

It's funny you say that you don't know me very well. Because I also don't know me very well! In fact, my whole existence for the past twelve years was pretty much summed up in my recent posts. My world truly revolved around those adderall pills! And not much else!

I have to tell you though, I feel like I am starting to understand myself a whole lot better now, though. I read Mike's new article - 9 Adderall Work Habits That you Must Learn to Overcome .It was a complete eye opener for me. I read it several times and I printed a copy of it and put it on my nightstand. It made me realize that my brain was completely wired with bad adderall habits (I believe those bad habits were some of the main driving forces behind my psychological dependency on adderall). And even though I stopped taking adderall, those habits, those ways of thinking have stayed with me until now. Like the expectations of waiting around for enthusiasm and a drive to work to come to me (formerly in the form of an adderall pill). His article made me realize that my brain will not work like that anymore. That I have to learn to START projects/working on my own without waiting for a pill to kick in, put me in the mood to get the job done. That it's time to work on building my new "willpower muscle" and form new neural connections in my brain toward prductivity and let the old neural pathways, bad work habits created by the adderall brain atrophy.

As the withdrawal symptoms begin to "weaken" (which these days comes in the form of a dull, sometimes sharp pain just above the crook of my neck - funny how my withdrawal symptoms are always changing and evolving in how it manifests itself), I guess I'm now moving toward a new stage of recovery, of trying to become a more productive person again.While it's going to be tough, I think unlearning the old brain associations created by years and years the adderall habit and forming new healthy brain associations, repeating them and stengthening them until they become easier and easier to initiate will be essential to me for fully recovering.

And if Mike is reading this post, I want to thank him again for that great, eye opening article...I think everybody who is quitting adderall needs to read that article to help themselves break the psychological habits formed over time from taking adderall while working simultaneously. And for a clarity of understanding on how their new non-adderall brains work in their post-adderall life. I thought the article really addressed a fundamental issue specific to adderall addicts that is not really addressed at other addiction support groups like N/A or detox centers and outpatient programs that I've been in. For example, most N/A addicts used drugs recreationally, while the adderall addict usually uses as a performance enhancer. Mike's article made me realize that the adderall addict has a whole additional set of psychological parameters or habits that he or she needs to identify, address and deal with in order to heal themselves during the recovery process. The fact that they are being addressed here is in part what makes this support group so awesome.

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Yesterday I read the full article by Mike about work habits. I found the advice about planning to be most useful because I generally hate to plan anything. Somehow I feel planning will inhibit my ability to enjoy the moment to its fullest and it just feels restrictive. But I also know that not much gets done if you don't plan it out, even in a small way.

InRecovery, I had a recent Dr. visit with an experience similar to to yours. I went in for a routine six month check-up that was scheduled while I was still taking adderall. In fact it has been exactly six months now since I quit.

Here is our conversation when it came to discussing adderall:

Dr: Last time you were in you said you were going to try to wean down and go off adderall. Did you try it?

Me: I cold turkeyed it shortly after I saw you.

My thoughts: You shouldn't have to ask me that question since you havent signed any prescription slips for me lately.

Dr: How is your ADHD since then? Are you able to function at work?

Me: Actually I function better than when I was taking adderall. I think the high level of stress in my life at the time aggrevated my ADD symptoms and adderall seemed to help until the stress lessened then it just quit working for me last spring.

My thoughts: I must have done a pretty good job bullshiting my way through those ADD symptoms.

Me: In general, I think adderall agreed with me. It just quit working like it did when I first started taking it and I really don't like the addiction component of this drug.

My thoughts: you have no fucking clue how much adderall I was really taking and for how long.

Dr: Well, you can always go back on it if your ADD symptoms come back again.

Me: OK, That's good to know.

My thoughts: no, NO, FUCK NO I can't just 'go back on it' ever again. You didn't hear my concerns about addiction and you sure as fuck didn't help me get off of it last summer.

Dr: Now that you are not on any prescription medicine, I don't need to see you for another year.

Me: I don't really think I need to have annual physicals. But I will take an annual blood test at the health fair.

My thoughts: I will need to be pretty goddamn sick before I come back here again, but at least I know who to call if I need to. This conversation just cost me $99 and I didn't even come away from it with a prescription slip.

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Hilarious! I was thinking a lot of the same things when I visited my doctor. She wanted me to come back for a follow up three months later and I kept insisting it wasn't necessary (now that adderall was out of the picture)...

Ever since Mike's brilliant article, I have entered a growth period in my recovery. I've been spending time trying to break all these old psychological habits, assumptions, and brain associations created by the adderall and create new healthy habits in my new brain. I know it has taken a while for me to adjust, but I think I'm finally beginning to regain my productivity levels (I really want to emphasize the word "beginning"...). That is really major for me. I have to wait and see how it pans out... Mike's article helped me begin to recognize where I was going wrong. Couldn't deal with it when I hadn't even recognized it. Since then, Its been taking a lot of work to change the way I think.

I understand now in what ways the brain works differently then during those adderall infested days. In the beginning of my recovery process, I was sitting and waiting around for motivation to come back to me, so I could getting working again just like before. Now I understand that is just not how it's going to work anymore.

I can still be motivated, efficient and productive but I have to work at it. It's just that motivation occurs to me entirely different now. I no longer will feel inspired to do something (which had pretty much everything) and then go forward and do it with passion. I no longer have a million ideas and do exciting things on a whim. I have to think about what I need to do and plan out what I'm going to do, then force myself to do something about it, even if it feels uncomfortable, causes tension, fear or anxiety or whatever and then I start to feel motivated once I get into it. Learning to self start without a crutch is crucial for me in recovering.

Since I'd been on high dosages of stimulants almost every single day for so many years. I'd pretty much forgotten how the normal brain is supposed to work. I feel in touch once again with how normal people feel on a day to day basis. I cannot go non-stop on anything that requires concentration for hours and hours and then pop a pill and continue onwards for more hours. I need to take periodic breaks and then start again. As Mike had mentioned, I need to continuously recreate motivation.

I believe I can still do the things one would considered productive, like taking up new hobbies or cleaning out the basement, or setting up a filing system or learning some new software like photoshop, etc...I can still try to live a productive life...just everything will have to happen in a different way from now on. I don't know if that makes any sense. I'm still trying to figure this all out.

Also, I'm obsessed with better understanding and breaking the whole psychological dependency component of taking adderall from all those years, relying on it as a crutch. Aside from being physically addicted, Was I taking it because I doubted myself all the time, and it made me feel confident? Perhaps that's what I need to be dealing with.

Also, my attitude toward my withdrawal discomfort is totally different now. I still experience the tension and discomfort but I try to just totally ignore. It's just something in the background that I experience. I try not to allow it to affect my emotional state. Letting it get to me, will not help any.

By the way, I just wanted to note I've been taking two supplements which (I think) have been helping. Both are amino acids that help generate dopamine in the brain. You can get them in the vitamin shoppe.

1) DL-Phenylalanine

and

2) L-Tyrosine (which I recall both of us were taking in the beginning when we quit)

The DL-Phenylalanine was something I hadn't known about, but my mom had discovered it. I'm also taking Vitamin B Complex which I read also helps with dopamine among other things.

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No longer manic, random thoughts flying everywhere, making a zillion connections from idea to idea...

Hi, this made me laugh. You think back and go....'DID I REALLY ACT LIKE THAT?" WAS THAT ME?

I seriously was emailing my boss at like 3am and telling him ALL the AMAZING IDEAS i had, and I called my work my EMPIRE, that i was going to take over, and build this massive clientele. I am a massage therapist and work for a very well known health club attached to the best HealthCare in my state. I was serious, i had a GAZILLION ideas just POURING out!!!

I am adderall free for 17 days now. It has been hell! I say this must be what solitary confinement feels like for prisoners cause thats what it felt like the first few days. OH GOSH!! JUST HELL!!! Just getting out of my bed was a chore and going to the bathroom. It was crazy, i have a LONG way to go, but i know i will make it, i failed a few times at trying to quit but i know it WAS TIME!

PARANOID

stopped calling friends,

thought everyone could tell

my home was the only safe place

on my computer for 7-8 hours trying to do GOD KNOWS WHAT, fix something or the other.

researching as many possible things i could online.

a 711 donut for breakfast with a cold starbucks coffee in the bottle

and dinner was usually something SOUP related like CUP-o-SOUP, and my dinner was usually at 6am. and breakfast was around 1pm or 2pm.

thats what my diet consisted of

FORCING YOURSELF TO EAT INFRONT OF OTHERS, telling them how starving you are. (knowing that you are not)

even if you tried to eat, you could forget about even enjoying it! The taste was gone.

REALIZING YOU ARE BRILLIANT.. cause you have these ideas. But now i feel like i REALLY am smart, smarter than adderall ever gave me.

Umm, my apartment was a filthy mess, did not care about dishes or laundry all over. Woke up and hopped on the computer. WAY WAY WAY OVERLY SENSITIVE WHEN I WAS DATING!! OF course none of my relationships lasted during my use and abuse.

It goes on and on.. each time you get past a craving, you feel even BETTER. EMPOWERED!! The worst part still for me is waking up! Or just get moving. I make sure i have all of my amino acids ready and my whey protein and my boiled eggs and my wellbutrin. I bought a box of those little ginko nasty things. Then i drink coffee. So, i get going. My energy kicks in at night. It was weird, just the other night i was dosing off at my computer at about midnight. I could hardly stay awake, so i got in bed! WHAT AN AMAZING FEELING THAT WAS!! TO ACTUALLY DOSE OFF TO SLEEP!!!!

ANyway, this is the place for me too!!!

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Hilarious! I was thinking a lot of the same things when I visited my doctor. She wanted me to come back for a follow up three months later and I kept insisting it wasn't necessary (now that adderall was out of the picture)...

Ever since Mike's brilliant article, I have entered a growth period in my recovery. I've been spending time trying to break all these old psychological habits, assumptions, and brain associations created by the adderall and create new healthy habits in my new brain. I know it has taken a while for me to adjust, but I think I'm finally beginning to regain my productivity levels (I really want to emphasize the word "beginning"...). That is really major for me. I have to wait and see how it pans out... Mike's article helped me begin to recognize where I was going wrong. Couldn't deal with it when I hadn't even recognized it. Since then, Its been taking a lot of work to change the way I think.

I understand now in what ways the brain works differently then during those adderall infested days. In the beginning of my recovery process, I was sitting and waiting around for motivation to come back to me, so I could getting working again just like before. Now I understand that is just not how it's going to work anymore.

I can still be motivated, efficient and productive but I have to work at it. It's just that motivation occurs to me entirely different now. I no longer will feel inspired to do something (which had pretty much everything) and then go forward and do it with passion. I no longer have a million ideas and do exciting things on a whim. I have to think about what I need to do and plan out what I'm going to do, then force myself to do something about it, even if it feels uncomfortable, causes tension, fear or anxiety or whatever and then I start to feel motivated once I get into it. Learning to self start without a crutch is crucial for me in recovering.

Since I'd been on high dosages of stimulants almost every single day for so many years. I'd pretty much forgotten how the normal brain is supposed to work. I feel in touch once again with how normal people feel on a day to day basis. I cannot go non-stop on anything that requires concentration for hours and hours and then pop a pill and continue onwards for more hours. I need to take periodic breaks and then start again. As Mike had mentioned, I need to continuously recreate motivation.

I believe I can still do the things one would considered productive, like taking up new hobbies or cleaning out the basement, or setting up a filing system or learning some new software like photoshop, etc...I can still try to live a productive life...just everything will have to happen in a different way from now on. I don't know if that makes any sense. I'm still trying to figure this all out.

Also, I'm obsessed with better understanding and breaking the whole psychological dependency component of taking adderall from all those years, relying on it as a crutch. Aside from being physically addicted, Was I taking it because I doubted myself all the time, and it made me feel confident? Perhaps that's what I need to be dealing with.

Also, my attitude toward my withdrawal discomfort is totally different now. I still experience the tension and discomfort but I try to just totally ignore. It's just something in the background that I experience. I try not to allow it to affect my emotional state. Letting it get to me, will not help any.

By the way, I just wanted to note I've been taking two supplements which (I think) have been helping. Both are amino acids that help generate dopamine in the brain. You can get them in the vitamin shoppe.

1) DL-Phenylalanine

and

2) L-Tyrosine (which I recall both of us were taking in the beginning when we quit)

The DL-Phenylalanine was something I hadn't known about, but my mom had discovered it. I'm also taking Vitamin B Complex which I read also helps with dopamine among other things

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Hey Iheartme,

Congratulations on quitting and getting past the first 16 days. Life is definitely going to get better as you get adjusted to this new adderall feeling.

Adderall is a band-aid remedy and band-aid remedies never last!! So it's really good you decided to stop it.

I certainly remember when I would fill up notebooks with ideas and ideas. I thought I was so creative and I was so excited about this and that. But you know what? I never followed up on most of those ideas, because I would get so overwhelmed with even more creative ideas on top of the other ideas, so they were all a waste anyway.

Off of adderall, your head will not spin with thousands of ideas anymore. You might have to even get suggestions for ideas from books or other people to prompt you for ideas (I know! It's really weird) But you'll come to see that this way is so much better. It's a more calm way of thinking, less erratic. Before I was great at coming up with ideas, but poor on executing them. Every time I tried to follow through on an idea, I would be attacked by ten more ideas and get all distracted and eventually overwhelmed, paralyzed and anxious. I still get ideas now, but they just don't come in rapid fire succession at random hours of the day with so much passion behind them and I - seriously - like it better this way. It's just so much more "normal" this way.

I understand what you mean by being on the computer and doing GOD KNOWS WHAT. Looking back, I now realize what I was doing. I was doing lots of low priority tasks that got me nowhere, mixed in with lots of surfing the net for interesting websites and keeping VERY, VERY updated with the latest news among other things. I still procrastinated on doing the important things that i didn't feel like doing.

Adderall makes you feel busy, and feel productive but I'm not sure if it makes a person productive. It certainly made me super focus on lots of low priority things and I certainly focused on the distractions that I FELT like doing. It helped focus on slacking off projects on my to do lists!

Now I have one big important project I am working on that I know will move me toward my future goal. It's one thing, but it's the most important thing. And I am no longer attacked by urges to fill notebooks with different ideas. (Many of them low priority) But when I do think of things I need to do, I put them in my planner and I don't get overwhelmed by them. I go back and focus on the one important thing, and I don't get sidetracked by all these tangents.

You mentioned that resisting cravings is empowering. I defintiely agree with that. I want to add that having a dependency on adderall for a long time is like walking with a crutch for a long time. Now you have to throw away the crutches and walk on your own. It can be scary, but you know as long you face the fear (and you'll have to do this over and over again), you will eventually begin to walk again. What has been critical for my recovery (aside from letting time heal) is doing things that I would normally rely on adderall to do, and doing them successfully. THis has been slowly and steadily changing my thinking process of believing "adderall is the solution to everything in my life" to believing in "my inner will as the solution to everything". Changing my mentality, building a more solid inner foundation, is also having a very postive effect on how the adderall withdrawal symptoms are affecting me - they are becoming less severe. I think the psychological dependency and the physical dependency of adderall go hand in hand. I believe that breaking the psychological dependency on adderall (changing the way you think) is just as important as breaking the physical dependency on adderall (allowing time to pass and letting your brain produce dopamine naturally again).

Glad to have you as part of the community! Be sure to read everything Mike writes too! He is really an incredible success coach masked in a computer programmer's body. Mike, the website, quit once and everyone who is sharing and supporting have helped me so much, I could never thank them rnough.

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Wow, It's so great to hear from someone who can relate with all of this!! Getting adderall was absolutely a full time job.

I've definitely had several dreams about adderall, including "the one" about messing up and accidentally taking adderall and messing up recovery. It IS scary how embedded it is in our subconscious. And it is scary how long recovery seems to be taking...! It's been ten long months for me!

It's also inspiring to know that you feel rebuilt! I hear so many different thoughts on how long recovery takes. Some say one year, others say two or even three years. When did you realize that you had rebuilt yourself? I keep asking myself when that moment will be? When I feel I will be able to get on from here....

I still don't feel at 100%. I recently began to feel headaches when I didn't get enough sleep or when I try to exert myself mentally on a project. Like the time I tried studying for an graduate school entrance exam. I still find it difficult motivating myself.

I'm not working now and feel at a standstill in life. I'm afraid if I start working that I will force myself into a relapse. Or maybe its the fear of not being able to find work - with my spotty employment history as a result of my adderall abuse. I'm not sure. it's probably both. Maybe I need to just jump in - but again, the motivation is just not what it used to be like...

In your recovery, how does your body feel? Question, Did you feel any pressure in your head, particularly the back of your neck area...Did you have any physical feelings of withdrawal? These are things I've been experiencing in my recovery...

Again, it's inspiring to hear your story and hear about how things are going for you. Isn't it a relief not to feel absolutely COMPELLED to exert all that energy and effort, spending all that time conspiring to get more adderall?? I remember those days when the mission to get adderall was "total life or death"!

In recovery,

Wow, I did and do feel pressure in the back of the head neck region. Glad to know its not just me. And, also, I totally relate with everything thing being said on here including the dreams...it's eerily crazy.

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Hey Freedom's WIngs...

It is definitely not just you!!! That pressure in the back of the head and the neck is something I've had to get used to...I really hate it...Actually it is the bane of my existence. (It has gotten SO MUCH BETTER though..)

this is an older post... honestly, looking back, I can't believe I have made it this far. How was I this person? How did it go on for that long?? everyone knowing I was an adderall addict. being in psych wards, in rehab... fooling myself about how serious my addiction was and sinking to deeper and deeper depths...I was broken, pathetic and in total denial of the truth. I escaped a deadly black hole that I thought was impossible to get out of..And I'm so grateful for that. I couldn't have done it without this site and being able to connect with other adderall addicts and my seeking their help or offering them help.. Hang in there, you can do it!!

My withdrawal now at 18 months later, hits me now in waves (each withdrawal episode lasts for maybe an hour or two, sometimes even less, but the episodes no longer last for a couple days at a time like before!! yay, This huge improvement began to happen on June 12, about six days ago, but who is keeping track??) when the episode comes, I just will suddenly start to feel all itchy inside and uncomfortable...I am perfectly fine one moment then ablaze with an itch the next. But like quit-once mentioned before, it is an individualized process...And he was able to feel recovered in 9-12 months. Even though it has gotten so much better for me, I have a feeling for me it's going to take at least 2 years in total, at least.Cassie has talked about a lot of this before, but some advice I have for anyone struggling withdrawal is that its important to tone down expectations initially about withdrawal from the drug...because if you don't the mental battle will be THAT much harder during the bad days. First time I quit, I honestly thought it would be completely over in 90 days..Having high expectations about a quick withdrawal can set you up for a fall...I can say for a definite fact that the reason I relapsed the first time was because the people in NA kept telling me to get to 90 days. miserable as I was, I toughed it out for 90 days and I suppose my expectations were too high about getting better (I kept focusing on the 90 day point and so when I didn't feel better so the very day the 90 day point was up, I was like 'that's it, forget this. I can't do this anymore' I relapsed.

One addiction specialist put it like this.

If you're up for the challenge you can get though this. But if you think that post-acute withdrawal will only last for a few months, then you'll get caught off guard, and when you're disappointed you're more likely to relapse.

The second time, i was more prepared for adderall withdrawal and approached quitting with a different outlook, was more in it for the long run and that helped me to stick through it without relapsing. I just want to mention some other things you talked about in your other posts - that also hit me hard when first quitting - like things feeling weird around family, social anxiety and also not really knowing who you are. You are getting off of a really, really powerful drug. It's going to have to take its toll. Early recovery and staying sober is difficult but you didn't get there at once. just hang in there and before long you will have tons of clean time under your belt!

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Thank-you InRecovery. yes, I am still hanging in there. I have slipped up twice but have pretty much been on the straight and narrow. 6months of clean time will be a great achievement... wish me blessed. I Hope all is well my friend. til then...

FW

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Hey guys,

This probably makes you feel like I'm stalking you. I'm not, I promise. It's just that quit-once and InRecovery your stories are so compelling, I wanted to see where they all began.

inRecovery, the link where you posted your original story is no longer active? I'm wondering if you could post it on the front page thingy along with quit once, along with the stories that are there when you first sign in. I'm sure they are remarkable stories; not least because they are stories of COMPLETE RECOVERY but as you follow this community, and continue to help others, they serve as a testament to what is possible if you admit your addiction, take the time you need to recover, and slowly rebuild your life.

Thank you again for saving my life.

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Both me and InRecovery signed on to this great web site within a few days of each other back in Aug 2011. I wrote two stories in the tell your story section: How I quit adderall and the prelude to it was How I used adderall. Both of my stories were written last year so they are a few pages back in this tell your story section. thanks for your interest!

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MFA I'm not sure why they took down the page with the story I wrote and linked to but it appears they did and its gone forever. But I went into detail a lot in this post. I'm so glad this post was able to help you!

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damn -- looking for some inspiration and completely blown away by this. So many similarities, especially in the worst of times -- it gives me optimism for a positive outcome if one can endure. I hope you know your brutal honesty is very much appreciated.

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Thanks lea! I can't believe you read this. I cant believe anyone has. I'm sure if we printed it out it would be like over 1000 pages. I haven't read this post in forever. I just remember I had so much to get off my chest about the whole adderall addiction. Every time I sat down to write a post, I would practically write a novel. And I was just so surprised there was an active forum dealing with adderall addiction because I could find so little info on it' on the web. So lucky to have this awesome adderall support group. I have learned so much about addiction through this and it's been easier to fight this not going it alone and with the support of everyone.

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