Tom23Jones

7 Month Struggles

7 posts in this topic

I've reached the 7 month mark of life without this terrible drug. This recovery process is definitely not a linear process. I think it would be a lot easier if it was a linear process....if you knew with each and every day you are going to be getting better and better that would keep you motivated but thats not it how goes at all. You get better slowly and think you are building some momentum then you'll have a major low point out of nowhere.

I actually think physically not taking Adderall is the easiest part of recovery. I honestly feel in my heart that there is nothing that would ever make me put that garbage back into my body again. But I'll remain vigilant in my recovery and keep reading these forums and attending N/A meetings.

But I did want to vent about some of the hardest parts of recovery which I'm currently experiencing. But don't take this is discouragement because I've read plenty of peoples experiences on here who go through the same struggles I'm about to note and they slowly pulled through and thats what gives me hope.

I hate the anxiety attacks..they come over me with no real trigger. I've gotten slightly better at controlled breathing and talking myself through it but not always. Sometimes I go into full panic mode and just think I can't catch my breath and/or think I'm going to go crazy or die. For anyone with anxiety you know how terrifying this is. I hate that feeling and it usually kinda fucks with me a few days after the panic attack, I don't know if anyone can relate to that?

The next thing that I struggle with is occasional depersonalization. It comes and goes but I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this?? If you arent familiar with the term, the definition is; reality or detachment within the self, regarding one's mind or body, or being a detached observer of oneself. Subjects feel they have changed and that the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, or lacking in significance. It can be a disturbing experience.

The next thing I struggle with which is kind of related to anxiety is I have a fear that consumes my mind way too much. That fear is that I fucked up my heart. I know its kind of an irrational fear because my chest never hurts or feels different but I just have this overwhelming fear that I messed up my heart beyond repair. Sometimes my mind will feel a little foggy and instantly I start thinking its because my heart is pumping efficiently enough. I know its possible my adderall abuse screwed up my heart and thats why to eliminate this fear I'm going to make a docs appointment and just find out for sure. I'll either have the peace of mind knowing that my heart is fine or I'll be able to address any issues.

My last struggle that I want to vent about is just finding that motivational muscle again. I know that I just have to build discipline and just do the things that need to be done but its not that easy. The only way I can describe it is that sometimes my motivational muscle is completely paralyzed. I don't know how many times I've told myself I'm going to wake up early and hit the gym and begin a powerful morning routine but I'm not strong enough to follow through. Hell I end up not even waking up early enough to get to work on time at 9am and I only work minutes from my house. Sometimes my wife will be doing all the house chores, dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathrooms etc. and I'll set there the entire time paralyzed with lack of motivation and I choose not to help her. Even though the whole time my wife is doing these tasks, I know the right thing to do is to just get up and help but I can't make myself pull the trigger and do the right thing.

Anyways, I'm sorry to have such a negative themed post but I feel like it helps me when I at least talk about the things I'm going through and someone might read this and relate it to their recovery. I'm also hopeful someone has some advice to get through any of the problems I mentioned or a timeline of when it gets better.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's such a struggle I know wish everyday did get a little better. I got myself up at 4:30 this moring to work out and had a really good one. But afterwords working my job I was fatigued and tired all day. I ate a healthy breakfast after working out , I went to bed around 10pm last night but I was dragging ass all day. It's so fucking frustrating you do everything that healthy energetic people do yet besides starting to get a little ripped no real payback in mood energy etc. But I'll keep on doing it at some point this has to pay off right?

On another note had a weird dream this is regards to motivation and was from real life . When I was a kid we lived on a couple acres most had overgrown weeds little trees etc. I had to maybe have been 10 yrs old but I decided that clearing a go cart path might get my parents to buy me one. Anyways during the hot ass summer I had basic Amish tools. A hand saw , small axe, shovel and scythe. I worked all

day nonstop for or a week to clear that damn brush trying to avoid poison ivy but got it anyways lol. I made a path that was maybe in a 1 acre area. I did not get the go cart but rode my bike around it for awhile. But it's odd I had that dream of doing that it kind of reminded me I had will power ambition way before I took adderal just wonder now where the fuck did it all go? I do the bare minimum of everything now and it pisses me the fuck off. Maybe one day I'll get that self motavation back I almost feel like I should go off into the woods with nothing try to survive and maybe get it back that way if you have nothing in the wild you'll get motavation or just die.

I do want to leave you with things are still getting better for me at one year I just have high expectations. The anxiety I faced a couple months ago has subsided so thankful for that. But it's human nature to want more faster and I'm doing everything I can to hurry this process up. I know one thing if I had to work out only for a living I could do that love working out now guess it's the endorphin rush that's short lived soon as I stop . I spent 3 hrs Saturday at the gym running lifting weights etc my other half thought I

was at a bar and lying lol. Maybe I could be a personal trainer but doubt it pays good as my trade.so I guess everything I do now except working out is half ass u could say.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Appreciate that Frank.  Sometimes it helps just knowing I'm not the only one going through these struggles.

I only recently joined the gym and I do plan to hit it hard starting January.  I've read so much about how cardio and weight training can help with recovery and also alleviate anxiety.  Plus I need to shed some of the weight I gained after quitting.

Its funny you mention you're wife thinking you were lying because occasionally my wife still gets uneasy if I'm doing anything away from the house for more than a couple hours.  And I respect that because I've put her through so much in the past.  I can't expect her to just regain all of my trust immediately.  Its going to take a long time of doing the right things before I have her 100% trust back.

I can also relate to what you mentioned about not being as passionate about your trade as you were on adderall.  I can't stand my 9-5 office job now that I'm off adderall.  Its so strange that taking that shit makes you think you enjoy anything that requires focus.  I would mess with a rubiks cube for hours when I was tweeked out on adderall.  Now that I'm clean, I'm considering so many different career paths.  Money isn't even the ultimate determining factor for me.  I just want a higher quality of life and to find something I actually enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/20/2016 at 10:24 AM, Tom23Jones said:

I've reached the 7 month mark of life without this terrible drug. This recovery process is definitely not a linear process. I think it would be a lot easier if it was a linear process....if you knew with each and every day you are going to be getting better and better that would keep you motivated but thats not it how goes at all. You get better slowly and think you are building some momentum then you'll have a major low point out of nowhere.

I actually think physically not taking Adderall is the easiest part of recovery. I honestly feel in my heart that there is nothing that would ever make me put that garbage back into my body again. But I'll remain vigilant in my recovery and keep reading these forums and attending N/A meetings.

But I did want to vent about some of the hardest parts of recovery which I'm currently experiencing. But don't take this is discouragement because I've read plenty of peoples experiences on here who go through the same struggles I'm about to note and they slowly pulled through and thats what gives me hope.

I hate the anxiety attacks..they come over me with no real trigger. I've gotten slightly better at controlled breathing and talking myself through it but not always. Sometimes I go into full panic mode and just think I can't catch my breath and/or think I'm going to go crazy or die. For anyone with anxiety you know how terrifying this is. I hate that feeling and it usually kinda fucks with me a few days after the panic attack, I don't know if anyone can relate to that?

The next thing that I struggle with is occasional depersonalization. It comes and goes but I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this?? If you arent familiar with the term, the definition is; reality or detachment within the self, regarding one's mind or body, or being a detached observer of oneself. Subjects feel they have changed and that the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, or lacking in significance. It can be a disturbing experience.

The next thing I struggle with which is kind of related to anxiety is I have a fear that consumes my mind way too much. That fear is that I fucked up my heart. I know its kind of an irrational fear because my chest never hurts or feels different but I just have this overwhelming fear that I messed up my heart beyond repair. Sometimes my mind will feel a little foggy and instantly I start thinking its because my heart is pumping efficiently enough. I know its possible my adderall abuse screwed up my heart and thats why to eliminate this fear I'm going to make a docs appointment and just find out for sure. I'll either have the peace of mind knowing that my heart is fine or I'll be able to address any issues.

My last struggle that I want to vent about is just finding that motivational muscle again. I know that I just have to build discipline and just do the things that need to be done but its not that easy. The only way I can describe it is that sometimes my motivational muscle is completely paralyzed. I don't know how many times I've told myself I'm going to wake up early and hit the gym and begin a powerful morning routine but I'm not strong enough to follow through. Hell I end up not even waking up early enough to get to work on time at 9am and I only work minutes from my house. Sometimes my wife will be doing all the house chores, dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathrooms etc. and I'll set there the entire time paralyzed with lack of motivation and I choose not to help her. Even though the whole time my wife is doing these tasks, I know the right thing to do is to just get up and help but I can't make myself pull the trigger and do the right thing.

Anyways, I'm sorry to have such a negative themed post but I feel like it helps me when I at least talk about the things I'm going through and someone might read this and relate it to their recovery. I'm also hopeful someone has some advice to get through any of the problems I mentioned or a timeline of when it gets better.

First of all, congratulations on being clean for 7 months! You belong in the extreme minority that has been able to free yourself of Adderall's insidious stranglehold over your mind. However, I can tell you didn't make this post for a small celebration, so let's get to the issues at hand. 

So yes, the 7 month mark. As Rodney Dangerfield best put it "OHH It's a rough one, ya know!". This is one of those milestones that truly challenges your commitment unfortunately, because everything somehow gets worse. I stated this in a previous post, but my theory behind the 7-9 month slump is our brain transitions from being under-stimulated (removal of a stimulant) to being over-stimulated (as a sorta "over-corrective"). I remember being slammed by anxiety and had great difficulty to initiate doing anything at around the 7 month mark. I had the anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure from inherently pleasurable things) at around the 3 month mark, so that's been an ongoing thing.  

I'm at the 10 month mark, so I'm going to be speaking from a standpoint that's only slightly further along than you currently are. In other words, I'm not totally out of the hot water just yet. The reason why I believe the 7-9 month mark initiates being "over-stimulated" is because I find myself much more sensitive to stimuli. It's like my threshold for arousal (stress arousal, not sexual arousal) has been lowered tremendously. I never used to describe myself as a reactive person, but ever since the 7 month mark I find myself being thrown into a panic state from seemingly benign situations and environments. I used to be a decent public speaker and never had a huge fear of speaking in front of a crowd. However the last time I had to speak in front of an audience (of like 4-5 co-workers), I felt my hands were ice cold and trembling, my heart was pounding, my thoughts were racing and I almost cancelled the whole thing. So yes, I too have experienced the increased anxiety at the 7 month point. Within the past 3-4 weeks, I've had more control over my anxiety. Again, it ebbs and flows by the day, and some days are certainly better or worse than others. But when I'm feeling good, I'm feeling great, and those days are slowly becoming more frequent. And as far as the heart thing goes, I found that funny that you've experienced that too. I installed a heart rate monitor on my phone and began checking it obsessively, thinking my heart rhythm and rate was altered by my years of Adderall usage. It began to annoy my girlfriend, who thought I became single-mindedly obsessed trying to diagnose what's wrong with me. I have yet to find evidence that my body is permanently altered by the Adderall use, but that still doesn't extinguish the possibility in my mind (even though I know it's very unlikely). 

Now motivation. I know in previous posts I've harped on the whole "motivation follows action" concept, and I do truly believe that is absolutely the case. However I'd also like to state I'm not where I believe I should be in terms of my natural motivation levels, I'd give myself maybe 40-60% there, depending on the day. It just astounds me to see people able to get up, drink coffee, and accomplish all sorts of chores and tasks on their days off. I emphasize finding one thing (for me, it's weight lifting, but it could be anything, from walking around somewhere or biking or meditating.. just find something) and doing it on a fixed schedule the majority of the days a week. Make it as easy as you can on yourself and make it known to your significant other that you need to do this in order to facilitate your recovery. Hold yourself accountable. Allow yourself to fail every now in then, but don't take your failures lightly either. For the first 3 weeks, stick to it religiously. I started to lift weights, but quickly found that I needed a structured program in order to get anywhere (ordered this off amazon https://www.amazon.com/Year-One-Challenge-Men-Stronger/dp/1938895231/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482346443&sr=8-1&keywords=bigger+leaner+stronger+year+1+challenge). I found that morning workouts do not work for me, at least not this early on in recovery, so I go in the evening time. It also had the pleasant side effect of helping me start get into shape again (though I'm still carrying about 20 pounds of unwanted weight.. something to work towards). Anyways, there has been some carryover into my day-to-day obligations. I found that doing things on a fixed schedule is necessary for me to get anything accomplished. I found that if I deviate away from my routine, then it will not get done. I expect this to get better with time, but for now I stick to a more regimented way of doing things. I hope your spouse is understanding on what you're going through. My GF understands for the most part, but does attempt to throw it in my face every once in a while, but I don't hold it to her since it does look bad when I'm watching TV and she's cleaning the house (though I cook, shop, and clean the kitchen every night, so I'm pulling my share of the workload). 

 

 

 

 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Tom, 

Stumbled upon your post. I have experienced exactly what you have almost to a T. I'm now 13 months off of adderall and am still experiencing the on and off anxiety, paranoia and anhedonia. It's not as bad as it was earlier on, but whenever I feel like I've beat it, It comes back and reminds me that I haven't. I also had the same obsessive thought of my heart being damaged. I am in very good shape, college athlete and play competitive softball 5/6 days a week. But when my anxiety would kick in, I'd have a burning, pressureized pain my left pec muscle that I was convinced was a heart defect from my adderall use. I went to the cardiologist, ER and regular doctor multiple times. The EKG, Blood pressure, chest x rays and oxygen all came out perfect. But yet I would still experience this uncomfortableness. I know that there is nothing wrong, but somewhere in my mind it still wants to believe there is something there. 

The depersonalization also was terrible for awhile. I know what you mean. I felt like everyone around me was living a normal life and I was stuck in this alternate state. The thought of dating a girl or having a wife and kids one day terrified me. I thought I was crazy and in no way could handle responsibility of anything like that in this state. I still struggle with it sometimes, but not nearly as bad as around the 4-8 month period. 

So anyway, this post of yours is about 2 years old. How are you holding up these days? Have things become much better? I'm taking it day by day and there are definitely more good then bad, but some days are a struggle and I feel like I'm back at square one. 

-TL 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2019 at 6:00 PM, TLNJ2 said:

Hey Tom, 

Stumbled upon your post. I have experienced exactly what you have almost to a T. I'm now 13 months off of adderall and am still experiencing the on and off anxiety, paranoia and anhedonia. It's not as bad as it was earlier on, but whenever I feel like I've beat it, It comes back and reminds me that I haven't. I also had the same obsessive thought of my heart being damaged. I am in very good shape, college athlete and play competitive softball 5/6 days a week. But when my anxiety would kick in, I'd have a burning, pressureized pain my left pec muscle that I was convinced was a heart defect from my adderall use. I went to the cardiologist, ER and regular doctor multiple times. The EKG, Blood pressure, chest x rays and oxygen all came out perfect. But yet I would still experience this uncomfortableness. I know that there is nothing wrong, but somewhere in my mind it still wants to believe there is something there. 

The depersonalization also was terrible for awhile. I know what you mean. I felt like everyone around me was living a normal life and I was stuck in this alternate state. The thought of dating a girl or having a wife and kids one day terrified me. I thought I was crazy and in no way could handle responsibility of anything like that in this state. I still struggle with it sometimes, but not nearly as bad as around the 4-8 month period. 

So anyway, this post of yours is about 2 years old. How are you holding up these days? Have things become much better? I'm taking it day by day and there are definitely more good then bad, but some days are a struggle and I feel like I'm back at square one. 

-TL 

Hey TL

Things have gotten significantly better. I'm finally beyond the obsessed feeling that my heart is damaged.  I had an EKG  several months ago and some other tests and all came back normal.

I have some anxiety and depersonalization but its very fleeting.  

I've become obsessed with lifting weights, practicing jiu jitsu (recommend to everyone) and meditation.  I 100% believe daily meditation helps with the anxiety, depression, and depersonalization.  Without meditation I would latch on to every negative thought or feeling and obsess over it until I spiral into a full blow panic attack.  Meditation has taught me to see the anxiety, recognize it for what it is and kind of detach, if that makes sense.

Anyways, yeah things are much better.  My marriage and family relationships are 1000 times better, I'm open and honest with everyone and no longer have to walk around carrying all the lies that had while in active addiction.  Just not having to ever lie offers such a peace of mind! 

I also still regularly attend NA meetings.  I've been going for about 3 years now.  I don't work the program by the book but I attend meetings on the reg and I've stayed sober so it works for me

Peace! -TJ

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Tom23Jones Glad to hear you are doing well. I have also have been hitting the gym hard. I’ve found the weeks I get there 5-6 days I feel the best overall. If I miss more than a couple days in a row I start feeling negative pretty quick. 

2 people like 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