sanjayZ

Feeling like i cant exercise without adderall (first post)

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Hey, so im a 20 year old guy, and I wasn't put on Adderall or sleep medications until I was 17 and stayed up for 118 hours straight without it as a result of anxiety because I couldn't focus on this like 20-something page nueroscience paper I was working on and I have some intense OCD that ads to my insomnia. Anyway, I've done martial arts for 13 years, and when i was in middle/high school was kind of a chubby guy, and i struggled to lose weight, constantly trying to find alternatives to running, after my first (awful) semester of college and a very depressing last year of high school I left college because I was miserable, not training since senior year, and continuing to gain wait, and being home for break, picking up muay thai made me remember what i really love to do, which is exercise and martial arts. I started running, and training really hard, and I'm in truly fantastic shape, if I dieted (ate healthier) in a more strict way, I'd be at the weight I need to so I can compete. however, I've been feeling since roughly july of last summer, like I cant workout without my pills.

 

Now I have consistently tested weather or not I can run, or train, or do as many pull ups, or lift as strong when I'm not on it, and while pull ups and lifting weights can be daunting or hard to start cause im shooting the shit, I can bench and lift and deadlift just as much, and do just as many pull ups, push ups, handstand push ups and so on, provided that I've gotten enough sleep and eaten enough through out the day. I can also train just as hard, but the problem is, that when i do take my adderall, I feel so much more pumped, even though, it probably burns me out a little faster, I'm stubborn and I've never been one to go to muay thai or TKD and train for an hour and stop, im always there for hours on end, even if im beat because I know I can recover, and you need to train hard to be good, and I am more than decent at what i do, but without my adderall, running feels so slow, my legs feel so heavy which sometimes happens on it as well (forgetting to stretch or being sore), it feels much harder without it, and even going to train is daunting. the point im trying to make is that I feel like taking it is cheating, the perceived effort I feel when i run on it is so much less than without it, and granted sometimes you're just not feeling the run, or it wont clear your head, so its hard to push yourself, but I can run 4+ miles without it, however today i took it and ran 8 (this was like 8 hours ago), just pushed through the difficulty even though i was tired.

 

I'm just sick of feeling like I can't workout without it or not feeling pumped, even though I can, or will. taking it makes me feel like im cheating, and that none of the progress I've made in the last year since leaving school, in terms of my weight, my skill, and my happiness really counts or isn't because I work hard, but all because of the pills. my grades my freshman year of college sucked, not because i was partying a lot, cause I was beyond used to having freedom and didnt abuse it, but because I was miserable, and im doing much better now, with the exception of feeling too tired to workout without it,even though if i know if start i can do it, or spending all day at work (construction/tiling until im back in school) worrying about being tired later, or feeling too tired after work without it. Sorry for this insanely long post, since I was a kid I tend to ramble when I write or talk, is this ridiculous to feel this way? I hate it, but at the same time, so many days I feel like I really need it. Again, sorry, so few of my friends or family get this, and the only few that can sympathize in a sense, tell me its irrational because i was prescribed it and diagnosed with it. I've always worked so hard to meet my own goals or expectations, I did well in high school because I wanted to feel good about my work, I work my ass off so i can be proud of myself, not because anyone tells me to, and I don't like feeling like I cant without some stupid pill. 



sincerely, thanks for anyone who responds. 

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We all have similar stories.  Read some of the posts and articles.  You are in good company!  So, to answer your question...No, I didn't feel like I could exercise without my Adderall.  I have recently (after almost 10 months clean) started exercising again.  I really believe your body has to heal and rest from the hell you have put it through with the Adderall.  It is sooooo unhealthy!  If you care at all about your body and mind, then you have to quit the pills and find yourself again.  It becomes such a fantastic crutch, but it doesn't work forever.  Eventually, you have to face the things that made you turn to it in the first place.  Why not now?  Let it go...

 

Welcome to the forum!  I hope that you find what you are looking for.

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Hi sanjZ!

 

It sounds like you are starting to see the "benefits" of adderall fade away.  There's usually a phase where it works REALLY well, then you become dependent, then it starts working against you.   And it starts working against you, increasingly, in a downward spiral.  Check out the "8 stages of amphetamine use/abuse" post under "Announcements" for more info on this.  

 

I've always been pretty athletic.   Running, biking, skiing, swimming, hiking, calisthenics.  Then I went on adderall.  It pumped me up too for awhile.   I did a triathalon and got 2nd place for my age/sex category-- after training on adderall, then performing in the tri without it (didn't want to feel too much like I was cheating!)  And for a couple years I felt like I couldn't work or work out without it, like you.  

 

Then the downward spiral started.  I started to worry about my heart.  I felt like I was having heart palpitations and chest pain when I would work out on adderall.  So what did I do?  Well, the addict that I was, I gradually stopped working out!  I became super sedentary, gained a bunch of weight, and was in the worst shape of my life for about a year.

 

Then I quit.  I was still a sloth for 6 months.  Soooo lazy.  I was fine with it.  Whatever it took to quit.  

 

Started running again 6 months later and it was very therapeutic for me.  I joined the 12 miles a week running club on this forum and it helped!  I lost 30+ lbs in 2 years and got into the best shape of my life!  

 

Actually this is a very common pattern.  After quitting, a lot of people fall (back) in love with some form of working out and get into amazing shape.  It's great for confidence building because you know you CAN do it without those pills!!!   And working out is a great way to procrastinate from writing papers and more hardcore stuff.....lol. 

 

 

I've always worked so hard to meet my own goals or expectations, I did well in high school because I wanted to feel good about my work, I work my ass off so i can be proud of myself, not because anyone tells me to, and I don't like feeling like I cant without some stupid pill. 

 

Honestly, it sounds to me like this might just be your time! :)  Welcome!!  And especially if you quit now while you're so young.  As a lot of people on here have discussed, the younger you are when you quit, the easier your recovery is.  I've quit twice-- once at 21, once at 26-- (EDIT: Make that 30! WOW did I forget my own age?! I went back ON them at 26! lol!)  and it was way easier at 21. 

 

You CAN do this without these stupid pills!! And you will LOVE the life you lead without them!  TRUST ME, you will be so much happier with your life and work in the long run if you quit!!!   

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Thanks a lot guys, I'm just curious, cause I really do work my ass off with or without it, granted i wasnt a straight A student because of the issues that resulted in the percription in the first place, but I always knew what I was taking about, and minus the fact that I didnt run, I worked hard at TKD and did a shit load of push ups, granted I know a lot more about exercising now, and after gaining a lot of weight senior and freshman year, I lost almost all of it, I'm just worried that when I give it up because I feel so dependant on it in a lot of ways, I wont be able to train or workout at all, especially after work, like I almost never take it in order make it through a work day, but afterwords, Tiling, and construction being so exhausting I take it because I have shit to do, and I'm worried that I wont be able to continue training and take my first fight while also working if I stop, and I dont like that feeling. and I know it will be worth it in the longrun to stop, but I'm so terrified that I'll freeze up, stop running, stop eating healthy, start smoking again, stop training, and generally just halt all my progress towards the goals I've thought so long and hard about in an attempt to turn what I love doing into a future career, and also have a back up plan that I dont totally despise ya know? I cant stand doing nothing, just as much as i hate feeling dependent on adderall. and this bothers me so much more than it did when I started taking it through a doctor's advice to help me with my school work, that didnt bother me nearly as much, but I guess it really makes it harder to do anything once you start taking it for something else even if they're relitively unrelated to begin with. 

 

Do you guys have any Idea's as to how long it will take for me to be able to kick it back into gear without feeling misserable about running or training once I stop? Or any tips to help out with the sluggish-ness that will make it tough for me to keep up my living space, and exercise and all of that, because of how rough leaving H.S. and starting college were, after I left it took me quite a few months to do anything other than obsess about organizing my room, or just sitting on the couch for like days without sleeping much, let alone figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and what I wanted to study, and how to go about trying to achieve all of that and even longer to decide I was ready to apply to school again. I don't want to feel stuck when I quit. 

 

also a side not, as for the chest pain or anything like that, I train seriously hard, when i started doing strength training, once I could do 20 pull ups in a set, I shifted my weight lifting program from 3-4 full body calisthenic workouts to 3 upper body, one deadlift day, and sometimes  very light leg calisthenics  ( my thighs are massively strong, and I actually need to lose some muscle mass to help get down and maintain weight for fighting because cutting weight seems very unhealthy), along with martial arts 5-6 days a week for 3-5 hours a day and running 2-4 days a week anywhere from 2-6 miles depending on how much time i have in the day obviously, if I work chances are my workout is shorter than on a day off where I can split up the cardio and martial arts and so on to the morning and evening, but my chest only ever hurt once, and I saw a cardiologist about it very quickly and we had a long discussion about the adderall, and he said given the dose Im taking and that the chest pain went away I should'nt have too much of an issue, and also that my heart was A ok, so i think that was mainly anxiety and smoking related bc i had smoked a hell of a lot the week before. anyway, this last park was fairly irrelivant, because I know it isnt actually healthy and can in fact hurt my heart. 

 

 

Thanks again, and sorry for ranting, it's nice to finally find a forum about this kind of stuff, as apposed to just a regular add or medication forum which i have found to be full of a bunch of nitwitted ninny's

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In all honesty, I would first quit the pills because no matter what someone does...if they are still taking Adderall they are not going to be healthy. Is it worth it? Oh yes not just for your physical health but for your mental health. You would probably be able to work out more at ease if you weren't on it, since Adderall tends to put people in a uncalm state. I actually hurt myself while working out on Adderall because I was overworking myself. Maybe it would be a good idea to quit now since you're so young. Expect to be tired for a while though! I'm still tired at 10 months but getting my personality and happiness back was worth it! I can also work out better now. Think about it. :)

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When I was running on Adderall, my heart rate would get up to 180 bpm.  I am really surprised that my heart didn't explode...

 

Quit.  You are strong enough to handle anything that follows. 

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I used to hurt myself working out on adderall too. I would overwork myself and then be SUPER hung over the next day-- felt like the worst of my college hangovers, but with no alcohol consumption!  And muscle injuries, and my heart rate would be through the ROOF.  And I would get chest pain, heart palpitations, and really bad anxiety during/after workouts.  

 

Took me 6 months to start back up again.  When I did, I loved working out better than ever.  And could do so without hangovers, injuries, compulsive workout behavior, or that weird, empty, hollow feeling adderall gives you where you can't even actually ENJOY your workout..... or anything else, really......

 

It hurts me now to even REMEMBER those days.  I am writing to you now from a much better place and I am writing to invite you to join me and our quitting crew here :)   You are worth it.

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@occasional01, I feel like I could have written that myself! Yes! Muscle injuries, heart palpitations, the anxiety...not enjoyable at all! I definately don't miss feeling that way. These are major pro's ++ to quitting!

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Hi Sanjay,

 

Welcome to the forum! Glad you are here.  :)

 

Everything you are feeling about this drug is completely normal.  Here is what I can tell you from my own experience.  When I was on the drug, yes, it gave me super human strength. I could do 3x as much if not more.  However, eventually this would burn out when I either ran out of the drug early, or as I continued to stay on the same dose I grew a tolerance.  I would no longer be as functional as I originally was when first given the drug. I had to keep increasing it to achieve the same effect.  Now, the next thing I remember is how much stress this drug put on my heart and system combined.  I had a million side effects.  I had raynaud's, sometimes I'd hear voices, sometimes I'd think people were out to get me, I'd shake, convulse, get the shivers, my body would ache, and I was emotionally all over the place.  I had to find ways to come down.  I didn't sleep hardly ever.  My body was a total wreck.  This was not healthy in any way to my system and I can't imagine how it is a positive souce to anyone really.  I wish I could tell you it was like taking vitamins and minerals and really contributing a plethora of goodness to my body, but it wasn't.  It was a poison that my heart did not need.

 

I quit in November 2010 (thank God).  It took some time to adjust to life without it.   But I can promise you if you stick with a quit plan one day you will forget about it and it will no longer be a big deal.  All of us on this site are testimonies that you can reclaim your life without this drug and be free of it.  You will be WAY healthier for the rest of your life vs. taking speed and destroying your heart and cardiovascular system and risking increasing your chances of a stroke. 

 

Short term - adderall will help you get results

Long term - destroy your body and risk dependency for life

 

Stick with us and we will help you get out of it's grips now. 

 

You CAN do this!

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Occasional01, am I reading this correctly?  You started running at around 12 months clean?  I am just starting to mostly want to exercise, sort of... Sometimes...  Is there hope that within the next couple of months I will actually start really getting motivated? 

 

<_<

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I'm only recently off adderall, like within the last month, and I know that one of the best ways to stimulate my dopamine system is to exercise, but like all of us it's very hard to motivate myself. I still have not done that first day's workout I had written down in my day 1 goals... 

 

But now I am showing some progress with a "baby steps" approach in which I set a small goal for myself, and if I really don't have the energy to do it, then I make the goal smaller, and so on until I at least do something, even if it is just a single sit-up or to jump up out of my chair instead of simply standing.

 

The point is to actually getting a starting point somewhere, no matter how small, and work up from there, and always make an effort to push your boundaries, but never beat yourself up when you don't exceed expectations or when you take a step backward. The hardest thing is not criticizing myself for "just doing 10 push-ups" or JUST anything, and recognize that it's better than the alternative of procrastinating yet another day...

 

This technique is how I quit smoking, and while that took me over a year and a half, it worked where no other method had. And if this doesn't work for you, maybe the bigger lesson is to find something that does, even if you have to invent it or you feel silly doing it. Just be open to experimenting and having a positive attitude!

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I can totally relate to being able to exercise more while taking Adderall....when I was using it, I could run 10+ miles at a time. 

 

I actually recently started running again after buying a new pair of running shoes and giving myself a few months to re-gain my strength after rehab. 

 

I am proud to say that last week I went on my first run Adderall-free since 2008, and it feels great!!! It's hard to believe while you're still using, but exercising without Adderall IS a possibility, and this is coming from a person who had no hope in the first few months of recovery. I was just dying to start working out again but so frustrated that my body felt so weak and tired. 

 

You will definitely be able to exercise again post-Adderall. However, you need several ingredients:

1. Sobriety
2. Time
3. Self-compassion 

I personally go to AA to help me stay sober and part of the reason is a constant reminder of that idea of "Progress Not Perfection". Easy Does It....Be Gentle With Yourself. If you give yourself rest initially when you get sober, you will find that your body will slowly gain strength and energy again to exercise....and when you do exercise, you will find that you feel so much better about the gains you do make because they are real and not drug-induced.

 

Best of luck to you!! 

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