quit-once

How I quit Adderall

44 posts in this topic

It is hard to know where to begin a post like this and I have decided to begin at the end. The end of a time in my life defined by ten years of adderall use and abuse. Those ten years and my lifetime experiences with stimulants leading up to my adderall addiction will be told in a seperate story.....so stay tuned for that. This story is about HOW I beat the adderall addiction. First a little personal background: I am a 48 year old male who lives in the Intermountain West, and I live in the mountains. I prefer to live a solitary, monk-like existence without a significant other.

About a year ago I experienced the deaths of three significant people in my life within the span of a month. A Friend. My Mother. A Best Friend. I spoke at each one of their memorial services. I had been planning to quit adderall but it was always some elusive event that I couldn't put on the calander. With my mother's passing, my role in life was changing from the dedicated son and primary care-giver to just me - and my dog, my house, my job, etc.

Depression is one of the best known side effects of going off adderall. A year ago, I realized that it would take some time; I didn't know how long, to deal with and recover from my personal losses. Adderall and cigarettes have tremendous emotional numbing properties and I believe they were both very useful in helping me to process my losses. Or at least delay some of the grief and depression. I am also affected by seasonal affective disorder and I get depressed easier during the dark time of the year - fall and winter. Quitting in the spring would also minimize the anticipated weight gain because summer is a more active time of the year for me. I knew that quitting adderall would have to wait until the spring. And quitting ciggarettes would have to wait until I quit adderall. Cigarettes and adderrall abuse are somehow linked. I researched different ADD forums regarding the long term affects of adderall, and quitting - that is how I stumbled onto this web site. I printed and studied several forum discussions and learned that what I was about to undertake was nothing short of life's biggest challenge - defeating addiction. I also learned that relapse was a common thread of most people who tried to quit. I made a vow to myself that I would quit once and only once. I read two books that I would recommend: Unchain Your Brain; and Food and Mood. I told my two addie buddies that I was planning to quit and they were supportive. They said it took a lot of courage for me to tell them. I also told my doctor that I wanted to quit but he wasn't much help. My window of quitting was now defined: sometime between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. I just needed to find a time when my job would be less demanding for 2-3 weeks.

There is a special place where I go in the mountains to solve my personal problems. So I planned a four day weekend to achieve the quit. I took enough pills with me for one last addie blast but the day was unremarkable and my last dance with adderall was anticlimatic. I burned my last pill in the campfire at midnight on June 3. I created a quit adderall shrine with this burnt glob of black tar melted onto a rock. I still look at it every day. After the residual energy wore off the next day I went into withdrawls for three days. I also burned my ciggarettes in the fire that night. Big mistake. Addie withdrawls and ciggies need each other. I went back on the ciggs as soon as I came out of the mountains, but eventually quit them about a month later. I had to take one extra day off work but I was able to function again by day 4.

One more chapter to my story and this is where it gets kind of wierd. I....am....a hoarder. An adderallhoarder. There - I said it and now I feel better. I don't hoard other things - just pills. Being a dedicated adderall addict, I had to ensure an adequate supply because running out was simply not an option. I bought as many as I could whenever I could get them, and somehow didn't gobble them all up before I quit. So I stashed them...lots of them. But I had to lock them up to avoid temptation. I bought a key-safe, locked the pills inside, then locked both keys in a bank vault (safe deposit box). So far that has kept me away from them, but I am confused about why I still have them and what to do with them. I have been off adderall for about 150 days now and have no plans for EVER returning to that awful addiction.

One more thing: I believe that a balanced diet with good nutrition and limited sugar intake helped me to recover better. The supplements I took also made for a better recovery: l-Tyrosine, fish oil capsules, and a good multivitamin. Whenever I feel the need for speed, I consume lots of caffiene, red bull, five hour energy, and any other herbal supplement that purports to energize. I also took chantix for about five weeks after quitting adderall and now I am tobacco free too. Each day is better than the day before in recovery, and I know that eventually I won't constantly think about adderall after I have fully recoverd. Recovery could take me longer than a year and if it does, so be it. I will be an active member of this web site until I don't need it any more and when I no longer think about adderall. We take pills for a quick and easy fix for life's problems. Isn't it ironic that there is no pill to speed (no pun intended) up the recovery process from (pill) addiction? The only thing that works is continious time away from your drug(s) of choice. It is great to be free!

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Quit Once - Glad to hear your story!!!! I had ONE pill left after I quit. I put that pill all the way in the back of the drawyer with no intentions of taking it. But still, I saved it. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out. But at the same time, I had NO intentions of taking it. It was just something that was there. I kept asking myself, why can't I throw it out? Have I not really let go? I struggled with this guilt for a long while. Finally, one day I found some adderall and the first thing I did was throw it out. I was surprised at my reaction. After that, I felt so empowered that I went to look for the other pill I had been hiding and thinking about for many months to throw that out, too. I couldn't find it though. But just feeling ready to throw out that last pill, felt to me like I'd just crossed another milestone in my recovery. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's normal, you're thoughts about the pills you stashed away. Even though I only had one pill stashed away, I thought about it SO much!! All I can say is that when you do decide to chuck the rest of it (and you will) you will have taken another big step in your recovery... It's quite an adjustment isn't it? After 10 years of being on adderall..

Emily, I also did the 12 steps and had just a difficult time with it. After going to 100 N/A meetings, and going through the 12 steps book SEVERAL times, I just suddenly relapsed. It's like I just wasn't thinking. After all that time in outpatient therapy and acknowledging I was an addict...I just suddenly thought I could take adderall again. And that it was no problem. The disease took over my thinking process. Just try to stop yourself as soon as you can. And keep reading and sharing on these message boards.

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Quit Once:

Reading your post was a message from heaven, it came just in time for me to stop and think, do I really want to take another evil pink pill to feel better - the answer is always NO in my head but the addiction just keeps talking to me over and over again telling me different. I know it will take time to get my "old life" back, not that it was that great but better than this hopeless feeling that I can't change my life on my own. Ten years ago I would not even dream of taking drugs to make myself feel better because I knew I could do it with exercise, breathing and a good diet. But when you are on Adderall you don't need exercise because you are continuously doing stupid projects that don't mean a thing but at the time they seem SO important, I ate whatever I wanted because it took too much time away from "projects" to cook a healthy meal. As for meditation and breathing, my mind would not stop for a minute to let me take a complete breath or have a moment of silence to think on my own.

Please keep in touch with this website on your recovery, you give me hope and I'm sure a lot of other people hope who are out there searching for a life without this Adderall addiction.

If you want my two cents, I would get the keys to that safe, take those pills and offer them up to the devil gods who created them in the first place. I could not even imagine knowing I had some stashed away somewhere and not wanting to get to them, but if it makes you stronger to know you have the will to resist them - more power to you!

Thanks, Freedom

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Freedom, I need to respond to your comment on eating and food. During the first stages of my recovery, I couldn't believe (or accept) the incredible amount of TIME I spent preparing and eating meals. I just couldn't believe that four hours or so after eating lunch, I was hungry again for supper. I actually enjoyed cooking and eating breakfast again. I am a really slow eater, and it really does take me about one and a half hours to prepare, cook, eat, and clean up after a meal. Three times a day and it seemed like my life revolved around meals. I have finally been able to kick breakfast and eat quicker less healthy meals, but I hope to eat better again this winter. I know how you feel when you said that you really didn't want to take time away from projects just for eating when another pill would usually solve the hunger problem.

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I need to update my original post.

Last weekend, I divested of all my stashed adderall pills. My best friend (gladly) helped me out with the disposal. Since I put prescription bottles in the lock box with my name still on them, I couldn't just throw it away or dump it somewhere. So he brought along a sawzall with several blades, a drill and a breaker bar. Still took him about a half hour to break into that lock box. I didn't think I even wanted to see them, but I had to take one last look at that beautiful assortment of blue and orange footballs.

I can't even begin to describe the range of emotions I felt on Sunday after the box was breeched and the pills were gone forever. I felt grief - like I had just lost something that was irreplacable. I felt jealousy because I knew my friend would be going on one hell of an addie bender for many days with my stash. I felt relief because I knew they would no longer tempt me - and that I could really, really move on with my life knowing that no matter how bad I might think I need or want them, the easy access to them was gone forever. I felt gratitude to my friend for helping me dispose of them. I felt like I had neglected my other addie friend, who was currently out of adderall. He introduced me to adderall ten years ago. But he showed up before by best friend left and pills were shared so it made his day too.

I am greatful for having these guys as my friends, and even though they are still heavy adderall users, they have been incredibly supportive of my effort to quit and my resolve to stay quit. It will be 150 days November 3.

As painful and prolonged as this process seems to be taking, I am glad that I have only had to quit once.

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How's it going now? Are you still off them? Just wondering. I'm getting ready to go off them for the second time. Just kicking myself for not staying off them the first time. I went three months without them but still felt like I was walking around in a fog. Today marks one month since I started back on them. But I'm going to get some l-tyrosine, already have fish oil and vitamins. Hopefully I can kick it and not look back. Back to hard work the old fashioned way!

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Hi Whittering,

Welcome to quittingadderall. I hope you can find the tools and support that will help you kick adderall for good. This web site is so amazing and I am still discovering little corners of it that I've never been to.

Thanks for asking how I'm doing. It will soon be seven months since I quit. I still think about taking adderall every single day, but only in the past tense. I miss adderall right now. I am really glad I recently disposed of that huge stash of pills I had accumulated before I quit because I may have given in to the temptation over the holidays. But maybe not. I look at the past seven months as a HUGE investment into my own future, and quitting adderall was simply something that I needed to do for myself and my future, whatever the cost may be. I am 99% sure I will never take another hardcore stimulant drug. And then there is that 1% chance that I could have that all-too-human moment of weakness (or stupidity or greed), take a pill, and blow the whole thing. No thank you.. I can't think of a single thing that could make that 1% chance of a relapse happen.

Whittering, I read in your post that you invested three weeks in bed with withdrawls quitting only to blow it for a work project whthin three months. Damn. Now you know where your weak point is and that stress or pressure at work will make you more vulnerable to relapse. When I first started taking adderall, I took it on the weekends and not during the work week. Why? Because they were scarce and precious and expensive little pills that made me perform at 150%, and enjoy whatever it was that had to be done, even if it sucked. Call it selfish, but I just couldn't justify giving my employer that much more of myself and my resources when they weren't even paying me a good wage or providing the pills. I was able to take adderall on the weekends for about eight years. Eventually, the weekends grew from only sat and sun to thurs thru mon and at the end of my addiction, I was taking them daily just to avoid withdrawls. What a progressive disease that was - starting out at about 5 pills for an entire weekend and I ended up taking 4-5 pills per day, every day, by the time I finally quit. Responsible or reasonable use of adderall (for me) is simply not an option.

Here is a quote i just read from a book by Wayne Dyer:

"you overcome old habbits by leaving them behind"

And in order to leave old habbits behind you must grieve the loss of such habbits, just as if you were grieving the loss of a person, pet, or a favorite object.

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Hey Quit-once, I just now saw this. Yeah that sucked relapsing like that but to tell the truth I was still in a fog that third month, lethargic, but able to work and concentrate. But my work product was not as good and I only had about four good hours in me per day and it was hell getting up in the mornings. Even though I was very disorganized, looking back on it, I was actually productive, but my attitude had changed. I didn't care about the work anymore. However that state of mind could have resulted in a traumatic work situation that occurred when I came back to work.

Anyway, one day at a time. I have the l-tyrosine that appears to be helping. Got a burst of energy yesterday. Had to get up this morning because the kids were late for school. Now I'm writing on here instead of sleeping at 8:10 am. I just hope you guys are there for me when I go back to work and want to start taking Adderall again. Hopefully with this website, the supplements, and knowing my triggers, I can stay off it this time for good and focus on getting my other half off it gradually over the next year.

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Guys can you tell me how much l tyrosine you take and how did it help. Thank you. Chris

I like the GNC brand - it seems to work better than any other brand. I take 500 mg three times per day. It is essential that you take them on an empty stomach. Not only does it prevent the onset of depression but it actually puts me in a good, happy mood. Tyrosine is a wonderful amino acid. I just took one about a half hour ago with my coffee and I feel great.

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Thanks man. I really liked your story about quitting. I am so glad you replied to me. Chris

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ONE YEAR!

By the end of this week it will be exactly a year since I took my last adderall pill. One year is a significant marker for anything new or different in my life. Whenever I have taken a new job, I was always so relieved that I got through that first year - and still had the job. A year seems to be a proper adjustment time for grieving and adjusting to the loss of a friend, a pet, or a loved one. A new relationship that I am not sure about?...give it a year. Indeed, one year runs the full calander cycle of life and if I can make it for a year in a new endeavor, chances are really good it will mark lasting and hopefully permanant changes in lifstyle and behavior.

When I first started posting here about nine months ago, the first person to respond to me was somebody named sboo, and she was marking her first year off of adderall. She offered me encouragement by letting me know that it just keeps getting better with time in recovery, and she felt that her body had pretty-much been "rebuilt" in a year's time. Haven't heard from sboo since then but I really appreciated her responses and encouragement. I can say that I, too, feel re-built after a year free of adderall. My recovery entered its final phase in March, which was about nine months after I ceased taking the pills. InRecovery's recent post about PAWS was enlightening and I remember several times my PAWS reminded me I was still recovering from an addiction to a hard drug. Cassie's estimate of recovery time was spot on for me - about a month of recovery per year of adderall usage. Cassie's comments about recovery not being a linear process (due in part to PAWS?) are also very accurate, as I still have periods of extreme laziness and little motivation, but they are less and less often. I was kind of a lazy bastard before I ever got hooked on adderall so I do not expect the laziness and lack of production will ever totally go away, and I am just fine with that. In fact, I have tried to do absolutely nothing for the last three days and I have actually enjoyed it - it is simply who I am and I accept myself as is.

There are a couple more posts I wish to write before I fade away from this web site (like sboo and countless others). It's funny, but the stories and posts here don't interest me like they once did. In fact, the Internet in general is less interesting now than it was just a year ago. I am really looking forward to LBA (life beyond adderall). I have planned several new outdoor hobbies, projects, and activities for this summer!

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Quit-once,

I want to congratulate you on one year adderall free! You must be so proud of yourself, as you very well should be!

I wish you the best, and as a frequent reader of your posts, you've gotten me through some tough ones. You should give yourself a pat on the back, a round of applause, and/or a standing ovation for a job well done. I'm just over 55 days, and it gives me lots of hope to see a post like this....best wishes!

-Ashley

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Congratulations quit-once!!!!! What a milestone, Pop the champagne.

I remember when we first crossed paths many months ago on this site and had that really long conversation via back and forth posts. (I think it was 30 or so really long posts back and forth) And we are both still clean. You are always the voice of reason when reason goes out the window.

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Quit Once,

Your story was AWESOME to read--I love your connect with nature...Going out in the mountains of North Alabama..looking down and swimming in water holes has really been a huge part of my recovery and soul revival. It's the hippy me--:)

I love your outlook. I just wanted to say congrats--a year is HUGE deal and I am glad you have made such positive life changes...

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Congratulations on a year! That is great news. I'm glad you feel like you can put all this behind you now. I feel you on your comment about the Internet not interesting you like it once did. I feel that way too. On Adderall I was obsessed with the Internet. I always had to know the latest news pertaining to a million different fields and was always researching something pointless. I wasted so much time on the Internet and now I'm like, 'Meh.'

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Congratulations! I am extremely happy for you, but I cannot lie I'm disappointed that you plan on fading from QA website. You really have a gift when it comes to connecting to people struggling with addiction. Thank you!

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These posts are beyond helpful. As I enter the recovery phase I plan to read them back and forth like a novel. omg!! these are trying times. Thanks for the mention of l-tyrosine;I will be running out to get some today! If anyone has a moment please check out my post, read my story and comment as I am in dire need of support and community. Thanks again and congrats to those of you who have taken the reigns to fight this fight!

Freedom's Wings.

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Two Years.

My quit date was June 3, 2011. It will be a date that I always remember and celebrate, much more so than my birthday or any other day because it is the point where I turned my life around and regained my freedom. I was a slave to the pill and the cigarette. I kicked the cigs about a month later. But my relationship towards those two addictions is very different. I grew to hate my stimulant addiction so much that I have never looked back or wished I could still take one every now and then. I feel like my divorce from adderall was very permanent. I have to take the nicotine addiction day by day. I enjoyed the act of smoking but I hated the addiction. I still miss smoking, and although I have never had one since I quit, I still feel vulnerable.

Lately, I have been experimenting with "total sobriety" (thanks to Ashley's recent post on alcohol). No pills or substances of any kind with the exception of coffee. I still have a lot of work to do getting "fully sober" as I was only able to go a couple of weeks without. The mental clarity and positive energy I felt while attempting full sobriety was enough to make me try it again, and soon. My intentions were physical (more activity and loose a few more pounds) but the mental and emotional benefits really surprised me.

I have never experienced a sense of community quite like this quittingadderall website and forums. I am greatful to Mike for establishing this place on the Internet it and I appreciate all the members who contribute to these forums.

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QO, congratulations on 2 years!

And thank you for all that you offer us on here. Your words and thoughts (and, judging by your story, your actions) are very, very powerful.

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Congratulations QO on 2 YEARS OF FREEDOM !!!!

Your story is very inspiring, the way you planned your quit, subsequently trashing the hoard and moving thru uncharted waters. Your insights and comments are right on and I'm glad you didn't fade away. Thank you for everything you have given us.

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Quit-once,

2 years is a major accomplishment! You've been so helpful to me on this site. I like your straightforward approach, no sugar-coating, and I've learned so much from you. Congratulations! You've shown us that quitting once can be all that it takes!

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Quit Once - congratulations on 2 years. I cannot believe its been 2 years. HA. we both came on this site on the same day looking for help, and our conversation has gone on for a long time and continues on to this day both as sober minded people. Very proud of what you have accomplished. 2 years, awesome!!

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Quit-once,

2 years is a major accomplishment! You've been so helpful to me on this site. I like your straightforward approach, no sugar-coating, and I've learned so much from you. Congratulations! You've shown us that quitting once can be all that it takes!

I'd like to second that I too like quit once's straightforward non sugar coating approach and have learned a ton from him as well.

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