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My Story:

I stumbled upon this website late one night and I'm so glad I found it. I couldn't sleep, thought I was possibly experiencing a stroke and began looking up symptoms of Adderall.

Anyway. I was never a good student. I'm pretty lazy and get distracted very easily. I was never able to hold down a job or really follow through with anything. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm completely financially irresponsible and have been evicted more than once. My credit score is laughable and I've pretty much failed at everything I've set out to do in life. I dropped out of high school and got my GED. I tried college, with huge dreams of a bright future, but failed miserably at that too. I always excel at first in whatever I take on. In public school, I'd begin each trimester with A's, but would always finish with F's. I work extremely hard at jobs for the first year or so, but then I lose whatever it is that motivates me to do well and end up quitting before I'm fired. I finally accepted that I'm a failure at life.

That is until I was prescribed Adderall. At 26, I was working in retail and I was miserable. With no education under my belt, retail management was really the best option for me. I decided to give school another shot, but knew I couldn't do it without some kind of help. I saw a psychiatrist and was put on 50mg a day of Vyvance and 10mg a day of Adderall. I moved out of state into a new city and took on art school.

I'm now in my second year, with one year left to go and I don't know if I'm going to make it. I have a 3.8 GPA and do very well in school, but it seems I get more and more behind on my studies the further I get into my program. I can be completely doped up on Adderall and I'll still avoid doing my homework. I've started to resent school for the physical and emotional toll it's taking on me. I'm a person who gives up easily if I can't do something 100%. I don't know how I've made it this far and I'm pretty sure i'm going to mess this up, just like I have everything else in my life.

I feel like I've lost my personality. Nothing satisfies me anymore and nothing makes me laugh or cry. I finally broke down and cried today, but I wasn't really sure why I was crying. I think it was because I've lost myself. I don't know who I am anymore or what makes me happy and I feel like this drug is destroying my soul. I hate myself because the sacrifice I've had to make in order to fit into society is the person I am.

I was never a heavy smoker, but now I smoke nearly a pack a day. I find myself drinking to deal with any sort of social situation too. If a friend calls me, I won't answer the phone unless I have alcohol available. I no longer know how to have a conversation with a person without a drink. When I talk on the phone without alcohol, I have nothing to give to the conversation and I find people getting bored with me or frustrated for being so cold. I also forget things that people say, and my friends get angry with me for not remembering important details about their lives. It's caused me to want to interact with people less and less because I can't stand everyone being angry with me. That's another thing. I'm pretty sure no one's really angry with me, but I feel like people are mad and ready to attack me all of the time. I've always been a nervous person, but never to the point where I don't want to be around anyone out of fear that they'll attack me emotionally. I constantly feel like everyone hates me and is out to get me. I know this is irrational and knowing that it's likely the drug that makes me feel this way is the only thing that keeps me sane.

I always told myself that I'd take ADHD medication through college and I'd stop when I graduate. That's still my plan I guess, but I don't know that I can make it another year. The heavy smoking and drinking has caused me to age rapidly. My skin is dry and loose, and I've developed wrinkles. My gum line is receding and I'm pretty sure I have cavities. I often go nights without sleep. Some nights I can't sleep at all, so I'll pop more Adderall the next day so I can make it through my day. Then I'll get home, and I STILL CAN'T SLEEP!!!! It's insane - I'm so physically exhausted, I can hardly walk and my eyes are blood shot, but I still can't sleep. You'd think I'd do homework or be productive during moments like this, but I generally have no physical energy. I'll lie in bed and have panic attacks all night until the sun rises and then I'll go to class again, loathing myself the entire drive to school.

I also dread writing papers, e-mails or letters to my family - something I used to enjoy. I'm now aware that if I sit down and attempt to type out an e-mail to someone, it will take me several hours. I need to edit it and re-read it over and over again until it's perfect - which it never is. I'm slowly starting to have this problem with school projects too. I dread working on anything because I'm too aware of the toll it's going to take on me if I even start.

I hate this and I don't know how to cope with this drug for another year. I'm also scared that I won't be able to function without it after college. I used to stop taking it during my breaks, but I've found myself taking it (still in smaller doses) in the last couple of school breaks that I've had. I'm pretty sure I've lost some of my friends. I'm not sure if this is just the paranoia talking though. Who would want to hang out with me though? I have no personality, no sense of humor, no passion for anything. The thoughts, "everyone hates you," are a constant in my head. I know that that's completely irrational and it's highly unlikely that everyone "hates" me. But, I still can't seem to get rid of these feelings.

I don't want to mess up school. I'm getting depressed and I'm beginning to feel that there is no place in society for a person like me. I'm starting to think that something is wrong with me and I'm simply not fit to live amongst other people. There are only two options for me: be my true self and fail at everything OR lose who I am and succeed. I don't necessarily feel suicidal, but I think I would if I didn't have 2 cats that rely on me and a family and best friend who care a lot for me. This isn't life. This is torture. And it's embarrassing. I don't have the guts to tell my friends and family that I'm really not successful at all - the Adderall is. It's the Adderall that works my ass off and does my homework and gets good grades. It's not me. I'm not responsible for the achievements I've made in the last 2.5 years - a drug, similar to speed, is. I'm still as much of a loser as I always have been. It's shameful and I don't deserve the credit I receive. There are other students who I go to school with who have full time jobs and far more to deal with than I do. They may not have my GPA, but they don't take a drug to accomplish what they have either. These students are genuinely hard working people and I am just a joke. I'm a loser disguised as a good student. I don't deserve any recognition - they do. Even on the Adderall - I still manage to procrastinate and do poorly. I wish education wasn't so important to my family.

I don't know why I'm typing all of this - I know it's not really a question. I guess it just helps to write it out and vent a little. It feels as good as it can while I'm on this drug anyway. I miss myself and I miss feeling passion and having self esteem. I'm ready to give up, but the Adderall won't let me.

God - look at this post - I can't even type out a simple post without writing a novel. I hate myself.

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Hi Kaylin!

Of all the things to hate yourself for, writing a long post shouldn't be one of them. Especially not on this site. Look around. Every post is a novel! All the better, as far as I'm concerned. You're venting feelings that you've kept inside for too long; it's bound to come out in a gush. :D

Now, as for your current struggle...

Don't get too hung up on the whole "Is it me or is the the pill?" dilemma. Believe me, I know it feels like the pill is doing the work, but that's not the case. It's still you. And everything you accomplish on Adderall is still yours. You had that in you; the Adderall just brought it out.

I don't say this in the way that a doctor would say it. I don't mean to say that it's just medication and doesn't alter you, sometimes corrupt you, or make you do things that you wouldn't normally do. I know that it does. I say this as somebody who has been through that dilemma and come out the other side of it.

The whole "Is it really my success?" thing is just not worth worrying about. It's wasted worry. There are lots of issues related to Adderall that are worth worrying yourself sick over, but that isn't one of them.

It is more important to worry about whether the nature of the work fits your true self or not.

Don't worry about whether you're able to do the work only because of Adderall; worry whether you're choosing this particular work only because it's what's in front of you/it's something other people approve of you for.

That, to me, is the difference between somebody who is helped by Adderall and somebody who is hurt by it. If you're passionate about a direction but can't seem to reach your dreams without Adderall, then maybe it works in your case, but if you're using Adderall to manufacture passion...then you're damaging yourself.

In your case, your unfocused pre-Adderall life seems like pretty textbook ADD. Your current Adderall life sounds more like you're dosages are too high. Maybe you need to be somewhere in the middle.

If you dose yourself at the right level and consistently, you should still be able sleep every night.

Now, as for being a worthless failure and everybody else being worthy of their achievements. That's depression talking. But that depression could be caused by real failures. To fix it, you may need to find a way to succeed for the sake of succeeding. To do that you'll have to learn to keep plodding along even when you've run out of passion (relevant article: Passion vs. Self-Discipline).

You've got to be a pretty bright girl to maintain a 3.8 GPA, Adderall or no. Your capabilities are high, even if you haven't found a way to prove that to yourself yet.

As much as you can, try to see yourself for your potential when times get dark, and for your tangible accomplishments (or lack thereof) when times are good. The idea is to not let yourself get too low or too overconfident. Tangible success matters most, but in the mean time your huge innate potential is what will eventually get you there.

But tangible success doesn't have to mean money and peer group approval if you don't want it to. You can and should set your own definition of that will make you feel fulfilled and happy, everybody else be damned.

I promise you that people don't hate you. You have one best friend who thinks highly enough of you to stick around. That means you've got something worth paying attention to.

Don't keep using alcohol to cope with social anxiety. You don't have to be Ms. Conversationalist all the time. But again there, the alcohol is just loosening up your inhibitions enough to let out a part of you that's there anyways. It'd be better to practice ignoring your over active filter while sober and see where that takes you.

Now I've written a novel. In short: try taking your dose down a little, man-up on your social phone calls, and never forget your potential.

Don't know if that helps at all. But best of luck, and please come back and post updates!

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