Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
lizbeth

My struggle with addiction & HOW I QUIT!

5 posts in this topic

Hi! My name is Lauren & this is my story.

 

The first time I ever took adderall I was fifteen years old. It was the second to last week of my freshman year of high school and I will never forget it. I took two 20mg extended release tablets and was cracked out for a solid 48 hours. I was on an emotional roller coaster however I immediately knew this pill would be the "magic answer" to all the problems I was facing at the time.

 

And it was. It took a lot of effort to get my parents to take me to my doctor and test me for ADD but it was worth it. After several tests and surveys I was prescribed. I lost the 20lbs I had been trying to get rid of for the last two years. I had the energy to make the cheerleading team (I got cut the summer going into my freshman year) I improved my grades from barely a 3.0 to a 4.3 I was the person I had always wanted to be. I was prescribed for seven years until things really got out of hand.

 

My junior year of college is when things really spiraled out of control. I became obsessed with losing weight. I had also built up a very serious tolerance and was in a pretty scary routine of taking a wayyyy higher dose of adderall than was prescribed to me. I had somehow talked my doctor into prescribing me 80mg a day. I did this by explaining that some days I liked to take 40mg extended release and some days I liked to take instant release. It just depended on what my classes were like that day. This was a lie, obviously. Either way she wrote a script for both which equalled out to 80 mg a day for 30 days. However, I still would run out in two weeks.

 

Here was my routine: 

I would lay out 3 20mg pills next to my bedside and set my alarm one hour before I needed to wake up. For example if I had a a 9:30 class I would set my alarm for 8:30. I would then take the three pills (60 mg) of adderall and go back to bed. I would then let the adderall wake me up about 45 min later and take a fourth 20 mg pill. Then I would take another 20 mg around noon and then a sixth 20 mg around 3:00. I would take AT LEAST 120 mg of adderall every day. Many times I would take much more than this because I would consistently pull all nighters. I was in a few art classes which I would become obsessed over making everything perfect. Often people in my sorority would ask me why I was always wandering the house in the wee hours of the night and I just continued to blame it on a big work load. This was a lie. I was taking massive amounts of adderall to get skinny. I lost 25 lbs in two months. I was irritable, tired all the time, I had sores on the inside of my mouth from biting my cheeks, I was basically miserable. I would run out of my dose in two weeks and then buy more off of friends. I had basically hit rock bottom.

 

I would go to the gym and look around and see other people who were NORMAL working out because they cared about their bodies and their health. All i wanted was to be normal. I wanted to feel proud of my achievements and know I did things on my OWN not just because i had adderall to get me through. I knew what I had to do.

 

I was leaving for Los Angeles that summer to complete an internship. I was cracked out on adderall the night before my flight left and got no sleep. Right before I left for the airport I took the adderall out of my suitcase and stuck it in a pile of things my mom was going to ship to me later. This was the only way I could get myself to leave it behind. I knew I didn't want to live like this anymore but I had to know that if I REALLy needed it I could get it back. Sure enough I was in LA, my adderall was thousands of miles away, I was putting on weight- fast, and I was going through some serious withdrawls. For four days I couldnt get out of bed until at least 5pm at night. However, I kept having faith that I would get through it. I honestly felt drunk the first few weeks off adderall. My body didn't function properly, I could barely drive because I felt so disconnected and could hardly think straight. The weight gain was the worst part for me. I had worked so hard to lose the weight and was TERRIFIED of putting it back on. This is when I called my mom. "Hey mom, you know that box of stuff in my room you were gunna ship to me? Yeah I really need it, could you send it out tomorrow?" Of course she had no idea my adderall stash was in there and quickly agreed. I hung up and immediately regretted my decision. THIS WAS MY CHANCE. THIS WAS THE TIME. THIS WAS WHEN I WAS GOING TO BE STRONG. STRONGER THAN MY DEPENDENCE ON THIS STUPID DRUG. I called back. "MOM DONT SEND ME THE BOX. My adderall is in there. I'm addicted to it. I don't want it. I want to be normal, I want to do this on my own, I want my personality back. dont send it" I was crying & so was she. She told me she was proud of me and to be honest I was proud of myself. The entire month was extremely hard. It was the first time in seven years that I had completed even the most simplest of tasks without the help of adderall. I had to show up to my internship every day and complete what was asked of me and it took alot of effort on my end. All the while I was gaining weight. This was the worst part. 

 

When I came back from my internship I had gained about 15 pounds. I freaked out and thought "theres no way I can go back to school looking like this" I searched through my parents medicine cabinets and found my adderall. For three days I took it to to lose weight and was right back where I was before. Not sleeping, irritable, miserable, depressed. This is when my big breakdown occured. I WAS NOT going to do this anymore. I had gone three months without it. Who cares if I gained some weight. My personality was back and I was not going to slip back into the dark place I was when I was addicted to adderall. I COULD DO THIS. I sat on my bathroom floor bawling my eyes out. I tossed each pill one by one into the toilet and with each one I said a reason I would never take adderall again. For example, "I am happier without it." "My body is better off without it" "I can be who I want to be without adderall" "I feel good in taking credit for my accomplishments when I am not on adderall" etc. This day was a day i will NEVER forget. 

 

After a few weeks at school I came home for a checkup with my doctor. I confessed my serious addiction and how I had overcome it. She ended up confiding in me that one of her patients who is severely addicted to adderall is now trying to get pregnant. This patient can not get herself to quit adderall and is in a horrible place because she wants to have a baby (which you obviously cant be taking amphetamines while your pregnant). Often people would ask me "you had only one more year of college why didnt you just quit when you graduated" and this is what I tell them.... IT IS NEVER AN EASY TIME TO QUIT. If I wouldve said "Oh Ill quit when I graduate" then it would have turned into "Oh ill quit when I get a job. Oh ill quit when I get this promotion. Oh Ill quit when I find a boyfriend. etc. etc." 

 

I have been off adderall for one year and one month and I CAN NOT BELIEVE how far I have come. Sometimes I get on this site and read people struggling with the fight to quit and I know EXACTLY how they feel. It gives me goosebumps thinking about the three weeks of my cold turkey quitting of adderall. But here is what i can say YOU CAN DO IT. YOU HAVE TO DO IT. NOW IS THE TIME. THERE WILL NEVER BE AN EASY TIME. It may seem like there is no way you will ever function without adderall but you will. And once you start to complete tasks without it you will feel elated. I specifically remember calling my eye doctor and ordering contacts and I felt like the happiest girl in the world after I hung up the phone. Adderall is not who you are. It does not define what you are capable of and once you conquer this you will understand what you truly are capable of. 

 

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!! You have to believe in yourself. I am truly happy to offer any suggestions and answer any questions any of you might have. You are not alone and you will be better people because of your struggle with this drug. 

 

Peace, Love, & Choose Happiness!

 

 

Lauren

 

 

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Often people would ask me "you had only one more year of college why didnt you just quit when you graduated" and this is what I tell them.... IT IS NEVER AN EASY TIME TO QUIT. If I wouldve said "Oh Ill quit when I graduate" then it would have turned into "Oh ill quit when I get a job. Oh ill quit when I get this promotion. Oh Ill quit when I find a boyfriend. etc. etc." 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren, Thank you for sharing your story. I was trying to wait until retirement from my awful rotating shift work job, with lots of overtime. After 12 years of continuous use, I seized an early opportunity of being on the same shift for a whole month. I still have to work overtime, but I am plugging away at it. Before quitting, every day I was feeling like an old man, completely exhausted and I figured how much more miserable can quitting be?  I found this website and with it strength and hope. I haven't used for 17 days. I think I'm starting to feel better but I've read here that recovery is a long process and is not linear thing. It may be three steps forward, two steps back. I don't know. I'm just glad I started now rather than later because as you clearly point out, there is never an easy time to quit.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jon,

 

Congrats! 17 days sober- thats awesome! To be honest it took me a solid three weeks to start to feel even a little bit "normal" so its fantastic that you are starting to feel even a little bit better already! Caffeine was a big help during my first few months without adderall. Coffee especially. Mentally its nice to have some sort of routine that helps you get into the "its time to start my day mode". Normally that routine for me was "taking adderall = time to get serious." Substituting coffee (for me) really helped. It also was enough of a stimulate to help me zero in and really helped my ADD. This may be something you could try too! I wish you the best of luck and you should be proud that you found the will inside of you to choose to be a better, happier, version of yourself. It's not easy but you can do it. Getting started is the hardest part I think.

 

Lauren

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lauren,

 

Thanks for the congrats. Coffee, oh yeah!  and Zip Fizz.  It's like a 5 hour energy.  Expresso!  Licorice root extract (alcohol-free).  I don't use all of these stimulants every day, but when I need to I do whatever is necessary, as long as it doesn't involve Adderall.

 

I think our recoveries are all unique.  How much, how often, continuous usage or binging, how long we used, our age. Your usage was quite high.  I peaked out at 70 mg a day and that was only briefly.  It was mostly 30-40 mg and I tapered down to 10-15 mg per day before quitting. All that did was allow me to get out of bed and have a non-euphoric buzz for a few hours. Then I would feel like a 90 year old man the rest of the day.

 

In the 12 years I used I never once took a vacation day.  It was never recommended by my doctor and I never did it until after finding this website. It was a suggestion in the tapering down method. I tried it on a Saturday and I survived. When I went back to the 10 mg pill on Sunday, I felt the euphoria I had been chasing all these years, but that's when it really hit me too that this pill is a crafty trap. I see how you work your deadly game, Adderall. I started my quit the following Saturday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a beautiful message! So proud of you girl! You're AWESOME! WAY TO HANG IN THERE. ROCK on with your bad self! ;)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0