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Is full recovery possible?

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Seriously..... Will my brain ever be as sharp as it was before?

Are there any long term success stories of full recovery? Is this even a possibility?

I just want my mind back. Intelligence and the ability to concentrate. Not the adderall brain, the pre-adderall brain. It wasn't perfect but it was so much better than I am now. I can't keep living this way.

I just need to know if there is any hope, or if I should start accepting that I've damaged my brain permanently.

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I hope for me also. I have researched Adderall a lot and it can cause neurotoxicity in the brain, it depends on how long you used and the dosage you took. I know meth can cause neurotoxicity more often then Adderall. I am just thankful I never tried or had the desire to try meth. You are a very smart person, you will make it through this. My hope is that we ALL will :)

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I hope so too -- that's why I've been so obsessed with lions mane mushroom supplements. I do feel better overall though. A lot better.

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I hope so too -- that's why I've been so obsessed with lions mane mushroom supplements. I do feel better overall though. A lot better.

I feel a bit better too. I refuse to believe that we've permanently ruined ourselves from abusing amphetamines. If you exercise and read often/study to improve cognition, the brain can still grow.. it is a muscle, after all.

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How long were you on Adderall and the dosages? I am sure the brain can eventually heal itself but technically speaking there is no way to know unless you did a brain scan pre-Adderall, then do another brain scan now which is highly unlikely for anyone. I really don't think Adderall is remotely close in terms of damaging the brain compared to meth

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I went back through the forum's to look for motivational posts..

Hopefully this helps.

"It's taken me about 8-9 months to start feeling like myself again on a regular basis, or at least to feel like I've finally broken through to the other side. I was really afraid that my sense of humor was lost forever. It's just now started to return to the same level as before adderall. I felt supremely unfunny and serious for the first 8 months off adderall (and on adderall too - one of my reasons for quitting). Maybe I was just so depressed in the first 6 months or so of sobriety that it was buried down somewhere deep and couldn't surface. My emotions and moods were all over the map too - still are to some extent - but like I said, I now feel like I'm starting to cross over to another phase of growth after addiction. It is frustrating, the chasm between what you want yourself to feel and act like and what is actually happening. It does eventually sync up, but be prepared for a long wait. I think that's the most helpful thing to know - that it may take you 9 months, or a year, or longer, to feel that syncronization occuring. To feel like you are starting to 'know' yourself again, your wants, interests, who you are deep down. The point at which things start to make sense again internally.

Have you ever heard the saying: "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."? I thought it was Hippocrates or Plato who said that, but I'm glad I looked it up because it was actually Voltaire (I was way off!) Well, I think that holds true for quitting drugs. You do whatever it takes to get through the early stages of recovery and distract yourself from the misery and confusion that accompanies your newfound sobriety, because ultimately the only real 'cure' is time.

So, what are you going to do to amuse yourself while you wait for time to heal your brain, body and spirit? I don't believe there is anything 'amusing' about forcing yourself to engage in social interactions if you don't want to. Do what you want to do. If you want to see people, go out. If you want to stay home and be a hermit, do that. For me, I just tried to focus on being as healthy as possible because eating healthy and exercising felt good to me, and I think it helped recover faster (however minimally). The first time I tried to quit I forced myself to jog all the time and I was miserable. So, the second time, I just walked when I felt like I should exercise and it was a lot easier. Do whatever feels good to you and doesn't feel forced in any way. That will only add to your mental resistance.

Anyway, I hope this helps a little. I took adderall for the same length of time as you, and I really relate to all the thoughts you've been experiencing :)

-Cassie"

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Recovery is a unique and a complex process. Everybody recovers from different things at different rates, (or not). It does not matter whether somebody is recovering from an illness, accident, injury, death of a loved one or an addiction(s). Some people make a rapid recovery. Some people make a miraclelous recovery. Some people take a long, long time to recover, and some people never fully recover from different things. Some people are never the same. It just depends on the person and how damaged they had become. It also depends on the circumstances of their recovery and what they are trying to recover from.

Adderall, alcohol, accident or ass-kicking - recovery is what it is.

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Quit once the last sentence of the above post...fuckin perfect. Dead on. LOL. Not that I have shit to offer currently...but first time out for me...yeah about a year...that I didn't have to think about it anymore...I just did it. It engaged on its own...year 2 was great, so was year 3 till I chose to fuck my life up again. Awesome Heather..fuckin awesome

Today is the first day with nothing ...or the first day with everything. Depends how one chooses to see it.

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I believe your brain will be as sharp as it was, but if you're comparing it subconsciously or consciously to the speed that the mind works on speed then it's always going to feel slow in comparison.

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yeah, it will never be normal like adderall-induced-normal.

But it will be normal in the way that normal-people-feel-normal.

But when you are first quitting you feel below-normal-people-normal because

1. you aren't getting an artificial surplus of dopamine

PLUS

2. you've shot your dopamine receptors so they don't produce dopamine like they did before you started speed...

So the recovery process is like waiting for your dopamine receptors to start producing at normal-people levels again. And getting used to the normal feeling of having no artificial surplus of dopamine getting you going throughout the day.

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I went back through the forum's to look for motivational posts..

Hopefully this helps.

"It's taken me about 8-9 months to start feeling like myself again on a regular basis, or at least to feel like I've finally broken through to the other side. I was really afraid that my sense of humor was lost forever. It's just now started to return to the same level as before adderall. I felt supremely unfunny and serious for the first 8 months off adderall (and on adderall too - one of my reasons for quitting). Maybe I was just so depressed in the first 6 months or so of sobriety that it was buried down somewhere deep and couldn't surface. My emotions and moods were all over the map too - still are to some extent - but like I said, I now feel like I'm starting to cross over to another phase of growth after addiction. It is frustrating, the chasm between what you want yourself to feel and act like and what is actually happening. It does eventually sync up, but be prepared for a long wait. I think that's the most helpful thing to know - that it may take you 9 months, or a year, or longer, to feel that syncronization occuring. To feel like you are starting to 'know' yourself again, your wants, interests, who you are deep down. The point at which things start to make sense again internally.

Have you ever heard the saying: "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."? I thought it was Hippocrates or Plato who said that, but I'm glad I looked it up because it was actually Voltaire (I was way off!) Well, I think that holds true for quitting drugs. You do whatever it takes to get through the early stages of recovery and distract yourself from the misery and confusion that accompanies your newfound sobriety, because ultimately the only real 'cure' is time.

So, what are you going to do to amuse yourself while you wait for time to heal your brain, body and spirit? I don't believe there is anything 'amusing' about forcing yourself to engage in social interactions if you don't want to. Do what you want to do. If you want to see people, go out. If you want to stay home and be a hermit, do that. For me, I just tried to focus on being as healthy as possible because eating healthy and exercising felt good to me, and I think it helped recover faster (however minimally). The first time I tried to quit I forced myself to jog all the time and I was miserable. So, the second time, I just walked when I felt like I should exercise and it was a lot easier. Do whatever feels good to you and doesn't feel forced in any way. That will only add to your mental resistance.

Anyway, I hope this helps a little. I took adderall for the same length of time as you, and I really relate to all the thoughts you've been experiencing :)

-Cassie"

That was a great post. I hadn't read that in a long time. We need to start to add some of these to Mikes articles section.

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You guys, all I can tell you is I feel 100% totally awesome. I have been clean for 29 months and I am at a point that I don't think about Adderall unless I come to this website. My life is completely full of other things today and I feel that I've moved on from this addiction. It is in the past and today the only obsession I have left is training for races. I feel amazing and I am so glad to be free from this awful drug. I never thought I'd get to this point of FULL RECOVERY in that I have zero desire to ever even think about messing up my life the way I once did. I love being free. It's amazing the mental clarity I have today. I have friends that are still stuck in their addictions and it makes me so thankful that I am not trapped like they are. I look at how they live their life and I feel sorry for them that their lives are wrapped up in a self destructive addiction that they can't even filter through. I see how they never seem to get anywhere further in life, yet I know they wish they could achieve great things...yet they just stay stuck.

I am just thankful that is not me today and I have amazing things left in my life to achieve. I am grateful to be sober and I am grateful to be COMPLETELY RECOVERED from Adderall.

NEVER GIVE UP

KEEP MOVING FORWARD

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE IF YOU BELIEVE - VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUSELF AND MAKE THAT SHIT HAPPEN. :)

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LilTex,

Ahh....so relieved to read your post. I have a year, and I can't say I'm fully recovered, but I'm making big strides. Sometimes I'm thinking I should be further along in my recovery, and I even wonder, is this it? I KNOW that this is better than adderall life, and I don't think I give myself enough credit sometimes. I think the most important thing is that I'm learning to live life on life's terms, and I'm doing it without relying on that stupid pill. Just wanted to thank you, girl. I'm so happy for you that you feel fully recovered! We should all be happy to read this :)

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Another thing I wanted to point out is that I don't even remember who I was before adderall. After 7 years of taking a stimulant (2 of them abusing), I don't really know who I was before that, and I think that's a tricky part of addiction. As we recover, we grow and learn who we are again, especially those of us who took Adderall for an extended period of time. Does that make sense? It does in my head, at least :)

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Another thing I wanted to point out is that I don't even remember who I was before adderall. After 7 years of taking a stimulant (2 of them abusing), I don't really know who I was before that, and I think that's a tricky part of addiction. As we recover, we grow and learn who we are again, especially those of us who took Adderall for an extended period of time. Does that make sense? It does in my head, at least :)

That makes a lot of sense to me. I think about the past in terms of "pre Ritalin" and Ritalin eras, and I often struggle to recall what I was thinking and feeling in the pre days. I want to remember so that I have an idea of what is coming, but it's hard.

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You guys are an inspiration. On days I struggle (like today) reading posts like these lets me know that there is indeed something great to look forward to.

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LilTex,

Ahh....so relieved to read your post. I have a year, and I can't say I'm fully recovered, but I'm making big strides. Sometimes I'm thinking I should be further along in my recovery, and I even wonder, is this it? I KNOW that this is better than adderall life, and I don't think I give myself enough credit sometimes. I think the most important thing is that I'm learning to live life on life's terms, and I'm doing it without relying on that stupid pill. Just wanted to thank you, girl. I'm so happy for you that you feel fully recovered! We should all be happy to read this :)

Do you still take Lexapro? If you are, that could be slowing you down a lot mentally.. I know when I took Celexa (which is almost exactly the same as Lexapro) it made me feel like I was mentally retarded.

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You guys!! I just want to say...BELIEVE me, I TOTALLY understand! I was a freaking mess after getting off Adderall. There were SO many things (eating, working, managing my time with work/home life/responsibilities, socializing, dealing with feelings, assertiveness, discovering my self worth, staying motivated, and simply surviving the hard times when I'd get depressed) that I had to learn and it takes time. This is a process. I did not fully comprehend what that meant in the beginning. But it is indeed a process and a journey. The longer you are clean, the more clarity you'll have and things will start to improve. In the beginning, it just felt like it sucked. It felt like..how the f am I going to cope without Adderall. I didn't even think I could do my job. I was scared to death of everything. I don't feel that way today. I feel like I can do whatever I decide and I know I am going to achieve great things. I just haven't totally figure out exactly what I want to do yet..but I'm getting there. Just hang in there....even when IT SUCKS...because believe me..there are times when it SUCKS and you want to go back..but just keep imagining there is a rope from God tugging you forward to your destiny...and I'll you have to do is not let go. Just hang on!! It will get better. You'll figure out how to walk again and you'll be better than ever!!!

Love you guys!!

Hugs!!!

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LilTex,

Ahh....so relieved to read your post. I have a year, and I can't say I'm fully recovered, but I'm making big strides. Sometimes I'm thinking I should be further along in my recovery, and I even wonder, is this it? I KNOW that this is better than adderall life, and I don't think I give myself enough credit sometimes. I think the most important thing is that I'm learning to live life on life's terms, and I'm doing it without relying on that stupid pill. Just wanted to thank you, girl. I'm so happy for you that you feel fully recovered! We should all be happy to read this :)

Ashley,

I feel so honored I've been able to help you! You are doing FANTASTIC and yes..you are way too hard on yourself! I do the same thing, but from the time I've known you..wow, you're doing SO GOOD! I'm so proud of you and have such wonderful feelings about all the great things in store for you! I love coming to this website and watch one another's lives unfold. You GOT THIS girly. I feel so blessed to be in your life.

BIG HUGS!!!

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Do you still take Lexapro? If you are, that could be slowing you down a lot mentally.. I know when I took Celexa (which is almost exactly the same as Lexapro) it made me feel like I was mentally retarded.

I think the Lexapro has been good for me overall actually. Now, klonopin could have something to do with it. I don't abuse it, never had the desire to, but even 1 mg a day could be messing with my brain. I just have legit anxiety, so I know quitting that will be a process.

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These things have helped me cope with depression, anxiety, and feeling like I should be further along in recovery:

1) I think in terms of "it's only been x months." When I felt like shit at 3 months sober, I said, "It's only been 3 months." When I was depressed after 6 months, I thought, "It's only been 6 months." When I thought I should feel totally recovered at a year but didn't, I said, "It's only been a year." Now that my job searching confidence is shaky, I'm saying to myself, "It's only been 16 months."

2) I practice non-judgement. This could also be called mindfulness or living in the moment, but I call it non-judgement because it's less abstract: it's basically looking at something and having no opinion of it. I believe depression and anxiety are caused by persistent negative thoughts. Even if you're not aware of them, they're so embedded in your subconscious it's like a perpetual negative feedback loop, causing depression and/or anxiety. So to counter this, I'll look at a person, for example. Instead of going into my normal judgement mode, thinking (almost automatically) that person looks nice/is fat/is skinny/has cool clothes/etc., I try to just look at them and not have an opinion. Same with when I get out of my car at work. Instead of thinking, "this job sucks," I look at the building and just notice it, try to have no opinion of it. This takes practice, but it really helps me break the pattern, to get out of my negative way of thinking about myself and the world. If you're anxious or depressed, trying to think positive thoughts or 'look on the bright side' is a joke. Not only does it feel incredibly phony, but you feel like a fraud on a subconscious level because you know that's not how you really feel. But practicing 'having no opinion' doesn't feel phony, so it's a lot easier, and for me, it breaks the negative patterns and opens up the space where positive thoughts can arise on their own.

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