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duffman

I feel nothing.. and it's a terrible feeling.

31 posts in this topic

I'm currently 62 days clean of Adderall. In various other posts, I stated I was 3 months clean.. which is sorta true because that's how long it's been since I stopped taking the massive doses on a consistent basis. However, I forgot I went on a one-day binge to aide with taking a big test. So, to be more authentic, I'm taking the latest date I took Adderall (dexedrine, same thing) to be my official quit date.

 

The first month and a half off Adderall was.. to put in a single word.. agonizing. Here I was bombarded with massive waves on anxiety compounded, paradoxically so, with the insatiable urge to sleep.. all the while putting up this rigid pose of normalcy for the public eye, so as not to raise any suspicion that I was not mentally stable enough to continue grad school. I wanted to quit everyday. I would tell myself "this is not the time to quit Adderall.. there's too much at stake and your performance will suffer needlessly.. just quit some other time down the road", but, I knew deep down that there is no good time to quit. It needed to be today.. it needed to be now. So I stuck with it. If I felt terrible, I would spend time browsing through this site to see if what I was feeling was, well, normal.. not normal, but expected. Every night though, I'd have a small celebration. This was another complete day without Adderall. My grades weren't even suffering. In fact, I started to make higher grades on a few exams (I attribute this to the decreased anxiety). Even though I was in pain, I at the very least, felt accomplished at the end of the day. 

 

Then, something happened. The agonizing pain started to become less and less. "Is this what getting better feels like?" I'd ask myself everyday. I think this is healing.. then.. I started to feel nothing. Now, if you were to ask me on the first week "would you trade feeling nothing for the way you feel now?" I would have emphatically given a "YES, PLEASE!". But now, I'm not so sure I was choosing the better deal. This nothingness.. this apathy.. is far more insidious and seems to inflict harm deeper into one's soul. Nothing makes me very sad, but nothing makes me really happy either. I just, am. There don't appear to be too many highs and lows. I'm not very enthusiastic about anything in the near future. I find myself partaking in activities that used to give me great satisfaction back in time's past, desperate to feel any sort of enjoyment or enthusiasm. It usually gives me a slight elation, only to dissolve almost as fast as it came about, like trying to take in the sight of a shooting star. Talking to my loved ones involves me putting up a fake persona, one who's much more excited and interested than I could hope to be. Seeing my girlfriend come through the door after work (something I used to enjoy) makes me feel empty, like I'm trying to experience an emotion unknown to any human on earth. Is this what depression is? I was always under the impression feeling clinically depressed meant feeling saddened by life's circumstances, not this void of emotional being that I'm experiencing now. 

 

I apologize if this message was not helpful to you in any way. I normally like to end my posts with a note of optimism, even if it's just a "I may feel bad now, but it will pass". Today's post, however, will just end like this. I've never been good at expressing vulnerability in real life, so I suppose the next best thing is to express vulnerability through this online message board. 

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It took over four years after quitting before I understood my own symptoms of depression.  I also thought it was just feeling sad and hopeless and it usually strikes me during the dark season (winter months).  I remember the anhedonia (lack of pleasure or joy from anything in life) really kicking my ass the first month after quitting.  But I did not know that anxiety, anhedonia, indecision and feeling overwhelmed and lack of motivation were all symptoms of depression.  And I didn't know it could rear its ugly head in the summer or come back four years after quitting.  Last summer, I googled the symptoms of depression and realized it wasn't suddenly too much coffee giving the anxiety.   I wish I understood the causes of depression besides the obvious chemical imbalance of recovering from taking too much Adderall.  There must be other causes besides bad life events and Adderall recovery because sometimes I still find depression setting in for no good reason at all.

 

The good news is that episodes of depression are just that - short term periods where everything sucks and then things usually get better.  Now that I know what some of the symptoms are. I will do anything short of taking drugs or drinking too much to kick its ass before it takes hold.  The supplements L-Tyrosine and St Johns Wort are effective for me if I take them right when I notice those familiar bad feelings creeping into my life.  I also view depression just like thoughts of relapsing - in that they are not deserving of my mental energy so I try to change my thinking channels, find a distraction (like posting or reading here) or call somebody who I can chat with.

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Well duffman.... I hear ya. You did a perfect job of describing how I feel right now. Just a whole lot of nothing. 

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Duffman nice post I wish my words could be written so nicely my writing skills are at about a third grade level. I understand what your feeling I bet if you look back on adderal you won't find very many deep emotions beyond passion for completing a project. Far as having some deep compassion for a loved one it wasn't more then a secondary task that could be blown off for me at least. Now that your off adderal having passion for loved ones is more of a priority you wonder where is it? Before on the pill betting you had no more compassion for loved ones then you do now only then it was of the least importance. Looking at people further down the road on recovery this seems to come back but I'm in the same boat as you right now. I know one thing going back on adderal will not make me more passionate towards loved ones in fact makes me a dick most of the time towards them.

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Yeah, so true, Frank. It's not like I feel like this issue would be solved by going back on Adderall. Quite the opposite, actually. And I know there are better days ahead..... It's just this "in between" stage that really sucks!! I hope I don't discourage anyone from quitting by constantly complaining about how crappy I feel since quitting. I will say that it has been worth it and I'm glad I did quit. 

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Yes understand and thought about not feeling anything while I was at the gym. Not only did I hide from personal feelings with adderal but also ran from phyiscal pains with oxy for two years. At the gym I haven't been pushing myself so I got pissed I hit the heavy bag for about 6 minutes had no gloves and blood was coming from my bare knuckles. It felt good to push myself to let myself deal with the physical pain the sting was a moment of feeling alive again. Maybe I'm just a fucked up mess of a person now I don't know just share what happens good or bad it's easier then making it to NA meetings all the time.

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The anhedonia lasted almost two years for me, on and off. Eventually you won't feel dead inside, but you do have to give it lots of time and have patience and faith. 62 days is very early.

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The anhedonia lasted almost two years for me, on and off. Eventually you won't feel dead inside, but you do have to give it lots of time and have patience and faith. 62 days is very early.

Hear that Duffman just two years! Boy that sure sounds great to me only having a few months! I know people are being honest on here just wish they would lie sometimes.

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Lie?  you don't really want that.  we are all here to let you know that there is hope and it does get better, but it doesn't happen fast.  How would you feel if it looked like everyone on here had it so easy and you weren't?  You would be discouraged.  All of this is normal...just give it time.  Not everyone has anhedonia for that long, though.  I didn't.  Deep breaths...one day at a time.

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I listened to a lot of stuff like this when I was in early recovery. Cheesy I know, but you need to hear a positive message over and over again.  Think of it as reprogramming. Your recovery isn't about getting back to your old self. Its about making a new self. Every day you add a layer, a brick of that new person.  Over time you start to feel things again sometimes too intensely but eventually life with all its highs and lows will take over. 

 

 

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Being sort of sarcastic but two years seems like a prison sentence when your in your first months. Been alot better this week able to slowly get more ambition. I certainly do not have complete anhedonia I like to have sex but compassion for that person not really then again before addy l was kind of the same it just amplified that. Not sure why the week before last I had a total balls to the wall wanting to relapse for a week straight. Maybe that was my bodies last real huge attempt to get me to go back now its sort of surrendering to a life off pills.

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it comes back slowly than quickly. You will have good days and bad days. Recovery can seem very non-linear in the beginning especially if you measure your progress day to day.   When the 1st rays of sunshine break through the clouds it is glorious. Wanting to relapse is normal at any stage, it just gets easier to tell your brain " you don't really want that, your just tired/ rejected/ hungry/ etc".   At this stage your brain chemistry is a little more normal and that will seem boring. Boring is good but if you wanna feel do something to stimulate dopamine ask out that hot barista, take up a extreme sport, take a risk get out of your comfort zone etc etc. You will feel something you just have to push. 

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i think long term anhedonia has a lot to do with expectations management. 

 

there is of course a period of time, perhaps the first few months, where there is a distinct, almost chemical, feeling of disinterest in nearly everything. this fades as you have experienced. when i got to this point (was about two months for me), i too tried to return to activities i used to very much enjoy- they did not give me the same level of excitement or pleasure as i remember having even before adderall. it was very disappointing and caused depression in and of itself.

 

i think that when we decide to quit adderall, we naturally frame it as "i want to go back to being myself again". i kept trying to dig my past up and relive a past life- and it just wasnt working. so one day i decided to just let those things go- i used to be a musician, a writer, a gamer.. many things. i wont lie- this meant for a time all i was doing was going to work, coming home and watching hours of Netflix.. but it was guilt free in a way. i wasn't constantly worrying about not loving all the things i used to love. 

 

my expectations for recovery then changed. honestly it made me seek out novelty in my life, but as they say.. if you truly love something and let it go, it will come back? (: 

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There's no way this can last 2 years. Or I guess no way I could go 2 years with it. Since I quit Adderall the anhedonia has been terrible. I've lost almost all my friends and pushed away my family, the things I've always cared about most in the world. Lost my job, dropped out of school. And I only know I hate this because I know that logically I would -- but even with my world shot farther to hell than even when I was on Adderall, I still can't actually "feel" that I hate it.

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This addiction collects its "dues" on the back end.   Think of it like you got a lot of extra chemical help to get stuff done, deal with depression, figure things out, do projects, etc. while you were using.  Now it is time to pay the piper in the form of a painful recovery that can last several months.  Consider yourself lucky if it didn't all come crashing down while you were still using.  Everybody has to experience some kind of a low point or "rock bottom" to make them realize that life must be better on the other side.    The intensity of your painful recovery will lessen with time so don't think you will endure two years of Hell by any means.  It will gradually get better, but in a non linear manner.  Hang in there, it's worth it.  The only way to get to the other side is to go through it, or as Winston Churchill said: "if you're going through Hell, keep going".  

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Remember when people say it lasts two years.  They don't mean it's horrible for 2 years straight before you see any improvement.  I think they mean that they still felt symptoms of it for up to two years, but imagine how much better the second year is than the first.  Remember to take it one day at a time, and have faith that things will get better (not totally better, but better) soon.

 

Tomorrow is always a new day and it might be just fucking fantastic for all you know. :)

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I'm personally starting to grasp what they are saying I've had a big jump of progress in the last two weeks. Think of getting better like a very slow dimmer you gradually see the light but if your looking for a specific time the switch will just turn on quickly one does not exist. If I worked for someone prob would have been fired myself in the last couple months. Instead I'm a owner operator who has been doing nothing but going broke lately being lazy. But in the last couple weeks been making calls getting jobs it's hard to work a full day adderall free which before I could work 12 hrs no problem. But it's worth it I can relate to clients again and not lose them because I'm a crazy psycho on pills going 200 mph with no patience to explain what I'm doing just let me do it and get the fuck out my way. That's not the best way to satisfy a customer even if your fixing whatever problem they have.

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Just to clarify, I didn't feel like shit for two years straight or anything, but I did experience anhedonia and lack of motivation well into that time. Just trying to emphasize how slowly the brain recovers completely. There is no way around this. After the first year sober, time will start to fly by though, so once you muddle through that first shitty year, getting to two, three, four years sober is cake. But yeah, the first year sober from any drug sucks. Any recovering drug addict or alcoholic will attest to this - it's not breaking news.

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Slowly starting to feel a change happening here too. I don't know how to describe it but let's just say the feeling of impending doom/hopelessness is beginning to lift. Starting to take care of myself better too (and actually want to). Still a long way to go but I am finally starting to see some positive changes.

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Just to clarify, I didn't feel like shit for two years straight or anything, but I did experience anhedonia and lack of motivation well into that time. Just trying to emphasize how slowly the brain recovers completely. There is no way around this. After the first year sober, time will start to fly by though, so once you muddle through that first shitty year, getting to two, three, four years sober is cake. But yeah, the first year sober from any drug sucks. Any recovering drug addict or alcoholic will attest to this - it's not breaking news.

Personally starting to slowly see the light I think you guys with a couple years under your belt may be sort of forgetful of how little negative comments can make one just coming off say "screw it" and go back to the drug. If you state the first year is shitty that's all newbies see and they will dismiss the postives that come with it. When I first stopped taking this drug I avoided being on here for couple weeks because of those sort of comments it was just to much to bare reading. I know your being real but keep in mind the words you use can be very powerful to people new to quitting because they are already making up reasons why not to quit to themselves. Not trying to down you are anything please don't take it personal. Anyways I gotta say I've personally felt a big jump in personal well being over the last couple weeks so if your quitting shoot for a 5-6 month timeline to start a road to recovery.

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It was the opposite for me. I kept relapsing because people kept saying "you'll feel better soon," or "relief is just around the corner" so when I still felt like shit at 2, 3, 4 months I thought there was something wrong with me and that I should feel better by then. We're all random people on the internet so take or leave our advice :)

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I'll be honest for the amount of people on adderal why so few on here? Just seems like more people would be on here I've yet to see another site similar where you can share what your going through. I'm really glad I have this just wonder out of the millions on this drug and sure high percent wanting to quit where are they? Do they just not try? Are we the only small minority enclined to beat this chemical dependency? I know this site is easy to find on search engines hope more people find help from it.

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Frank, Where are they?

​There are a lot more people who hang out here than you might think.  They just have not registered as members or they simply choose not to post.  Lots of people come here to browse the articles and other helpful information.  Lots of people are simply not joiners for whatever reasons.  They get what they need by just reading the forums and articles.   In the five years I have been here, I have seen the traffic increase at least four fold.  If you go to the main forum home page, you will see that there are regularly 50-80 people using this site at any given time, yet only a few are members.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  However someone can come to the decision to quit and find the tools to do so on their own is a good thing.  It is also a good thing there are people like you, who provide new posts and content for everyone to digest.  Thanks to everyone who regularly posts on this forum for making it an interesting and diverse community.   And a huge Thanks to Mike for setting up this place and paying the bills, without advertisers or constant requests for donations to keep the site running. 

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