SweetCarolinee

I need help with motivating myself with work without Adderall please, any tips besides coffee?

41 posts in this topic

22 Days clean and I've mostly been luckly enough to focus on my health and body and trying to get my life together without Adderall and that has been pretty good so far. I still need to get myself together for work. I feel I have not been productive with my job lately. To be honest, I haven't done shit for it since quitting. I've done a few patterns but I still don't have much motivation towards my business (even with coffee). I'm self employed so I have to motivate myself or my business is going to go to shit. I have an Etsy shop and trying to get my LLC but I don't even have the focus to figure out how to get it without Adderall. Luckily, I'm also an indie/freelance designer and have been able to work on that lately and design new patterns but everything else though, not so much. I'm a little scared but with time, hope this will get better. Any advice or feedback with how you all have been able to get on with your jobs/work without Adderall would be appreciated! Thanks in advance :)

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I struggle with this every day.  On Adderall I would work in big chunks sometimes 24 hrs at a time. I would procrastinate then pump out code in one epic session. Now I have to break projects done in chunks. Doing small pieces, like working on a puzzle.  I find the podomo technique (lots of apps available) 15min focus -> 5 min break play with the cat.  I try to complete 8 podomos before a long break.   Re focusing, learning to work again takes some serious tenacity. You have to stop procrastinating. You can't rely on epic all nighters  to get everything done.

 

  Other things I found work varying my work environment (coffee shop, library and back to home office). Headphones, green tea & a toothpick are super important to my process.  Loose quality green tea (I get mine from a Asian super market) brewed really f'n strong you can get an addy like buzz for about an hour.

 

    I do advertising/programming work and I've found since quitting , I've landed more quality clients and done higher quality work that's taken a lot longer than I anticipated.  I'm almost 8 months along.  When I was in my first month, I was really only capable of working a solid hour a day.  At your stage I wouldn't take any big projects on, work on a small pieces. Or work on small pieces that become one big piece. Like a quilt or something.

 

   I'm still struggling with not popping a pill every time a deadline comes up.  This is the hardest part of being clean is figuring out how to motivate yourself.   Anything that gets blood flowing to your brain yoga, exercise, ginko-biobla etc is effective.  Caffeine is effective but you can overdo it (less is more). Caffeine stimulates the whole nervous system while Adderall stimulate the brain giving you that lazer like focus.

 

I'm doing some of the best work of my career right now.  2014 will likely the most creative year of my life.  Rebuilding my foundation has been a worthwhile process.   Being freelance has allowed me the freedom to nap when necessary, and take a day off.  I'm keeping it really simple right now. 

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I still struggle with motivation.  But I know it is better now that a year ago and a lot better that two years ago.  I can't believe how fucking long it has taken for this part of recovery to improve, and it still isn't where I want to be.  Earlier this week, I posted a link to an article from Lifehacker.com on ZK's stream in the lounge.  That single article has helped me get more things done this week.  In a nutshell, I learned that motivation was a direct result of dopamine in the brain, and how it is used.  Helped me to understand why a lack of motivation plagues most of us after quitting speed.  What I took away from it was that you can somewhat manipulate the dopamine pathways through behavior.  Like breaking a big project into small tasks, and imagining the task completed and how good it will feel to have it done (kind of like the anticipation of taking a pill).  Keep focusing on how you will feel or how it will look when each little task is done, and relish those moments as small victories.  "begin with the end in mind" is an appropriate slogan here.  "motivation follows action" helps me to get started when I get stuck. 

 

I suggest reading that article - it has really helped me be more productive this week.  I read it three times and explored all of its links.

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I will FOR SURE have to check it out!!!! Desperate for any suggestions or ideas at this point. Lol

Thanks for the sharing! ;)

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Thank you everyone so much for your wonderful, helpful answers. Both were amazing and I'm gonna try to incorporate everything you both said into this upcoming week/s. And I'm definitely going to read that article, it sounds great and so interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

It's been really hard but I know this is the road I want to go down -- the clean and healthy one :)

 

Thanks again!

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I have a side freelance business that I neglected while abusing since I was too busy obsessively reading. Pretty pathetic that my choice when abusing was just to read or debate politics online. Some people party and stay out all night, some people make their businesses boom, I concentrated and just read peacefully while neglecting obligations. Fast forward to present-  I have felt better "doing" as soon as I can instead of "planning". Im addressing my shit head on and I'm having some success and some failures but not trying=guaranteed failure. I have changed my mindset to "fuck it, nothing ventured nothing gained". I didn't progress in my life purely out of fear of failure{which caused depression/anxiety etc}. Im reprogramming my brain to do, not plan to do.  I have a love/hate caffeine relationship so I'm taking a break from it since I'm too sensitive to the crash. I've been drink 3x the water that i previously did to help basic body processes and healing. Listening to Wayne Dyer while trying to get stuff done helps me, but then again so does listening to my favorite tunes that took a back seat during my abuse and anhedonia . One huge thing I left out-LOTS OF PRAYER. Im not a religious person at all, but seeing that I didn't take my own life recently is a testament for me that maybe I'm on the right track and praying clearly didn't hurt. I hope you give yourself some credit and don't give the adderall credit. You can do it and everyone here I'm sure will help you along. The wisest advice and biggest success stories are the ones I read on here. if you feel like shit and aren't inspired, be patient..it will come.

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The more that I think about this question, the more I believe that we need to try to focus on doing things that interest us.  Reward yourself with one of these tasks for every crappy task that you complete.

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At this point in my recovery, the only way I have found to get ANYTHING done is to lunge into it: Motivation follows action. The "just do it" approach.

 

It is also very important to break things down into small tasks. It is a whole new way of doing things for me and I still have trouble approaching things this way.

 

My only success to date is the "one big grunt of willpower" to get started and after that things start getting done. A word of warning is that, in my experience that whatever I do or get accomplished, I pay for it the next day. This was especially evident this summer cutting the grass, but I find that I notice I owe a payback even after a social outing. Maybe it's just me?

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I thought the whole point of a townhome was that you didn't have to do the lawn or driveway. Sounds like you got ripped off!

My lawn tires me out too though but at least I've got a rider.

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I'm an end unit townhouse and I've homesteaded into the woods. It takes and hour to cut the grass. I have 6 garden beds, two in the woods. There is lots of maintenance. I did it all on Adderall. I just couldn't stop building....you know the grandest of all enchanted woodland  gardens?

 

Now I must pay the price for my visions of grandeur. I have to work to maintain it with energy I do not have.

 

 

Justin: Nice. A rider.

 

QuitOnce: You are welcome to come over and join in on the exercise. It's exercise all right....for 3 or 4 men.

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Lots of good strategies here!!  I guess this just re-enforces what's already been said, but my # 1 method is to trick myself into getting started.  Set the timer so you work for 5 minutes.   Put your sneakers on and just go for a walk around the block if you're having trouble getting motivated to exercise.  Etc.  Just pretend it's not going to be a huge task.  Don't think about how big it is, how long it's going to take, or when you'll be done.  All you have to do is take one step.

 

Usually with this method (which goes with the Pomodoro method zerokewl mentioned), I start getting really into it on my own.  The timer goes off and I keep going because I want to.  I made it around the block, and now I want to run a couple miles.    Basically, once I trick myself into getting started, I get into the flow and get motivated to keep going.  

 

Another thing: when you're in the middle of a project, DO NOT think about the massive amount of work you have left to do.  There is no way in hell I could be a long distance runner if I thought about how many miles I still had to go, in the middle of a run.   Celebrate your progress, but most importantly just stay in the moment.  Just keep going.  The finish line will arrive in its own time.

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Another thing that works for me is using the buddy system. I try to make commitments for walks in advance, so I have accountability with my walking partner.

 

Necessity is the mother of invention (or motivation). Today, we got 8 inches of snow by 3 PM. The weatherman said to expect 3-4 inches. I had to get my exercise emergency style, shoveling snow so I could get in to work. Unfortunately, my job is considered "essential personnel", so I have to go to work under all conditions. I work in IT for a Utility company. If I can't make it in, they send a lineman in a big truck to my house to give me a ride in to work.

 

I was shoveling too fast today, as the snow was falling more than an inch an hour, and I think I may have pulled my groin. That's what I get for doing it in a hurry! The storm isn't supposed to end until 5 AM tomorrow morning, with snowfall accumulating to14 inches, or so they say! Snow is only great when you don’t have any responsibilities.

 

I know it's exercise, but it is always a pressure pot of stress: Hurry up, dig out and get to work.

 

At least my bird feeders suet stations were all filled up....so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

 

The rest of the world is home by the fireplace with hot stew simmering on the kitchen stove, and biscuits in the oven. That’s the only time I like snow; when it is snowing outside and I have nowhere else to be.

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Aww Jon! Well I'm sorry to hear that and I hope your groin feels better.

I'm in CT so the snow is falling here too. I will not be shoveling snow though, but I may be snowboarding at the golf course tomorrow.

Congrats to you for shoveling, getting some exercise and pushing threw and going to work this snowy, chilly evening. Be safe and stay warm, drink some hot coco!
 

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Thanks SweetCarolinee,

 

I'm having a hot meal now to warm me up for the car dust-off before going home. It's really cold out there with the wind!!!!

 

I am amazed by your level of energy with the HOT yoga and snowboarding!!! It's like you are ahead of me in your quit time. Maybe you need to teach me how to eat? Whatever you're doing, keep doing it because you are kicking butt on your quit!

 

You are inspiring and I'm glad you are here with us. You've got guts too!

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This is an incredibly useful discussion thread, SweetCarolinee.  Thanks for starting it and also I wanted to tell you that I enjoy reading your posts all throughout these forums.  You offer great support to many of our members.  Some things to respond to here:

 

@Occasional1:  I completely agree with your thoughts on drinking alcohol and how it affects motivation and especially PAWS.  I still have a rare PAWS day now and then, and it is always after a day when I abused alcohol.  Not shitfaced drunk, but even 3 or 4 drinks will fuck with my motivation and focus the next day.  Normally I have my own happy hour between getting home from work and cooking dinner when I have a couple.  But any more than two and I suffer the next day.  I am going to explore that pomodoro method that you and ZK referred to. 

 

I have had some success using food as my motivator - like I will not allow myself a snack or meal until my goal of the task at hand has been accomplished.  For about the last month, I have had some moderate success cleaning up the clutter piles and closets and drawers left over from my addiction days.

 

@Jon: go get that fucking snow, man!  Just do it safely and warm up your muscles before the battle.  I will come by this summer with a push mower and show you how lawn care = exercise opportunity :P

 

Finally, I would like to share some tips that a member posted last year about new years resolutions (thanks, MotivationFollowsAction)

1)  If you look back on a fantastic year of 2014, how will things be different that they are now?

2)  What lessons from last year did you learn and how can you apply those lessons to better your life in 2014?

3) and I really like #3.    Imagine a newspaper front page headline with your biggest and most important accomplishment of the year printed on Dec 31, 2014.

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I think I will try the Pomodoro Technique that you guys have mentioned. Idk I am feeling very frustrated and am getting so upset it doesn't seem like I am making ANY progress. IDK I CAN'T even write a post about it because idk it's like I am stuck. Sorry I don't mean to be such a downer but I am so bummed out right now! Sweetcarolinee good for you that's GREAT you have almost made your 30 day challenge!!!! I am so impressed that you ran 5 miles!!!!! I will be honest there are days where I have a hard time getting out of bed, without adderall. Much less getting much done. I still think about adderall ALOT!!! Not tempted to use... But it seems to always be in the back of my mind.... If I had adderall I could knock this out. Idk ok enough of my pity party - sorry!!!! It has just been one of those days where I wonder if I will ever be "normal" again.

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I think I will try the Pomodoro Technique that you guys have mentioned. Idk I am feeling very frustrated and am getting so upset it doesn't seem like I am making ANY progress. IDK I CAN'T even write a post about it because idk it's like I am stuck. Sorry I don't mean to be such a downer but I am so bummed out right now! Sweetcarolinee good for you that's GREAT you have almost made your 30 day challenge!!!! I am so impressed that you ran 5 miles!!!!! I will be honest there are days where I have a hard time getting out of bed, without adderall. Much less getting much done. I still think about adderall ALOT!!! Not tempted to use... But it seems to always be in the back of my mind.... If I had adderall I could knock this out. Idk ok enough of my pity party - sorry!!!! It has just been one of those days where I wonder if I will ever be "normal" again.

 

 Robin, it gets better!!!!  It takes time.....  in the first months its REALLY tough to get anything done.  Don't expect or demand too much of yourself.  You're in recovery, you're healing, so give yourself plenty of time.  I think we can all relate to your frustration, but trust me it DOES get easier.  Is it possible for you to do the bare minimum for awhile?

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occasional01 - thanks for responding. And I think I feel somewhat better after just venting my frustration. But the thing is I quit like 7 months ago. I should be further along right? Idk when I quit I was taking about 200 mg a day well for about 2-3 weeks then crashing for a week. Idk something crazy like that. And I took adderall for around 15 years but was on that high dose probably for about the last 6 or 7 years. So I don't know if it has anything to do with the amount or how long I had been taken adderall that would make recovering longer. but I do appreciate you taking the time to answer and I welcome any suggestions.

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im about 7 months too Robin. Motivation and Focus are still something I struggle with too.  I know its improving and I'm getting better. Bu I am no where near my pre-adderall productivity levels.   Somedays I feel a lot better, and somedays not so much. The PAWS days are less extreme. I think all you can do is focus on self care food,water,exercise, sleep etc and eventually you will be better than ever.   

 

The process of recovery is so much more than just quitting pills, its about finding peace with yourself and dealing with the reasons you abused pills in the first place. 

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I still felt pretty shitty at 7 months. After 18 months i saw noticable improvement. It might help to think of the first year as 'early recovery.' Just get used to functioning without a pill. In year 2 you can deal with motivation and techniques for productivity and crap like that. The lower your expectations, the less frustrating recovery will be. I expected to have no physical energy for a year, so when i did have some physical energy i was like 'hell yeah, progress!'

15 years, yikes. You may need to give it a few years at least. Not trying to scare you, just being realistic. You have some serious dues to pay. It gets easier as time goes on and you adjust to sober life. And you will adjust and adapt, such is evolution. Think of it as learning to have faith. There's meaning in the struggle.

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Robin, I am in similar situation. I have been off for awhile except a relapse recently. The pressure of picking back up pieces is so stressful. I need to relearn complicated material from years ago when I first started adderall and was eight years younger. Then in few months take this life changing test. I waited to until last minute and put getting off pills first and now it is so much pressure. I feel like it might not be possible with or without adderall, but just trying to put on foot in front of the other. Today I did 2hrs of not great quality studying and it felt like forever. The last year all I did mentally was get off adderall. It went from a very deep depression and really increasing pill addiction so coming out from that was HUGE, not that I am completely over all of it. Compare today to about 2yrs ago and at least I am living, not just laying in bed all day. I did a lot of things like moving, getting off multiple meds, leaving an abusive relationship. I struggled so hard with my adderall addiction(very high dose) and still social anxiety issues that was never me before:( I could go on. I basically destroyed my life and I have put myself somewhat back together and now NEED to fix some life issues. I need to get my mind back. IDK..The motivation is biggest problem now and I need to make myself. 

When I went through my first year trying to quit I did all different complicated supplements. I tried all sorts of expensive products. Most was a waste of money. Anyone take a supplement in morning that makes an actual difference?

 

Sorry about grammar and spelling, but if I start correcting it then give-up posting. 

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