addforone

My Best Shot at an Honest Life

12 posts in this topic

My story likely bears resemblance to many others told here, so forgive me for redundancy...I really just need to write this out. I have been prescribed stimulants for 10 years, abused them for the last 4-5 years. I'm in a dark, dark hole. I need to climb out. I want to WANT to climb out. 

 

I was initially prescribed for ADHD (a neurological phenomenon I'm not entirely convinced is a valid one) when I was in high school. The drugs improved my grades tremendously, but in retrospect they had deleterious, if subtle effects on my social life from the beginning. Being on concerta initially for the first few years, I didn't experience that euphoria so sought after in using adderall - I slowly began to withdraw from my friends, and being introverted to begin with didn't help. I became focused exclusively on school; an obsession that would later haunt me (and still does). 

 

College was really the time I remember as the 'beginning of the end'. I was completely uninterested in making friends and in going out - all I could do was work tirelessly and, because I never fully habituated to stimulants insofar as sleep, had to smoke weed nightly and was hooked on ambien to get through the night. The cocktail was not a pleasant one, and had some real effects on my clarity of mind. I thought my misery and social withdrawal were a function of my introverted personality and my priorities. The latter might have some truth, because on stimulants I am a completely one-dimensional human. Cut to my senior year of college. Any friends I had accrued over the three years were fast fading, and I only had a few people I could turn to. One of those people was someone I met my final year, who accepted me, and I her. I should have cherished that relationship more, considering my wasteland of a social life, but of course I could not lend myself fully to anything but my schoolwork. This friendship, which had tones of romance, scared me because I felt needed. And since I couldn't partition my mental or physical energy to anything or anyone, I abandoned this woman. I refused to go out and I actively ignored her for weeks. 

 

I remember the day I first knowingly abused adderall vividly. I was so lonely, but the idea of building my life again from the ground up was too daunting and scary to fathom, so I made a conscious choice to concentrate on school. I figured, if my prescribed amount of (then vyvanse) wasn't potent enough to nullify the aching sorrow, then I should take two! 

 

From there it was a fast progression into the relentless grip of addiction. I was taking double or triple my prescribed dose, and when the vyvanse stopped working, my doctor opted to supplement with adderall. Enter my love affair. 

 

I was a varsity runner, an A student, and completely depressed. Some days I couldn't leave my room because I was too high on adderall, and had incredible social anxiety and paranoia. I even peed in jars that I kept in my room to avoid seeing a housemate on the way to the bathroom. I was fucking terrified. I knew I was in real trouble and doing damage to my body. As a neuroscience major, I had a weekly cadaver lab. I remember at one point looking down at this dead body, thinking to myself: "how long until this is me?" I reached out for help. I told my parents about what was going on, and begged them to let me go to rehab. They refused me because I was so close to earning my degree. They had no idea the path I was on. 

 

November of that last year in college. Totally desolate, addicted, and alone. One weekend night, there was a college night in town. Of course I didn't go, but my dear friend (the woman mentioned above) did. She and I hadn't spoken in two weeks. I found out the next morning she and two other students had been hit by a freight train in town. One of the students, a peer, died instantly. Another one survived with a lacerated liver and trauma-induced amnesia. My friend was critically injured, airlifted, and comatose for two weeks before she died. 

 

I lasted about a month longer in school until I had to take a leave of absence. I feared if I didn't, I wouldn't make it. So I left, came home to NYC, and began a new hell. In the next 3 years, I fell deeper into my addiction, developing such a high tolerance that I was taking between 90mg and 150mg daily. This was back when doctor shopping was feasible, so I did. And when my addiction deepened, I had to start selling my scripts. To compensate, I forged fake identities and filled scripts under fake names. I must have been getting between 1 and 3 bottles of a 30 day supply a week. Dealing them was heartbreaking. I had little contact with people from my past life, who were understandably wary of the changes in me. The people I dealt to became the only ones with whom I had regular contact. It was painful to share concessions of drug-addicted sorrow, mostly because they were mitigated by the pretense that this drug wasn't killing the both of us. It was just cordial, everyday chit chat, but it was colored by off-handed admissions of powerlessness and being enslaved by adderall. And I was the ringleader; I was the center of this nexus: I was destroying my life. 

 

I somehow managed to finish my degree at a university in New York 2 years after I left school. I started working, and was afforded incredible opportunities that I sabotaged, of course, because I was a raging drug addict. Adderall made me angry, intolerant, and short-sighted. I lost every opportunity that was handed to me because I was unable to maintain a normal schedule. I stayed up all night tweaking and smoking joint after joint, which doesn't augur well for a 9-5 job. 

 

Finally, after dealing and using heavily for 2 years, I got caught. I think I unconsciously wanted to. I wanted someone to put a stop to this, because I was wholly incapable. A pharmacist called one of my doctors to verify a prescription, which she could not, as the script was forged. The doctor called the police, who came to my house to arrest me. Ironically, I was out at an AA meeting when they showed up - I had been attending AA and NA meetings regularly, albeit high. My mother had to dole out a sizable amount of money for a criminal defense attorney. Eventually, the doctor agreed to accept a letter of profuse apology, and by the grace of god she let go of the charges. But I was put on probation (still am), and I stopped using at once. My parents thought it was a scary enough experience to prevent a relapse - but I made it all of 90 days, then was right back to where I was. A year and a half later (this last January), after a boyfriend broke up with me, I decided enough was enough. I confessed in so many words to my parents, who were supportive and agreed to send me to rehab in Oregon. 

 

I went for almost a month, and it was wonderful. I was pretty crazy in post-acute withdrawal, and realized some really important truths about my using - that much of it was precipitated by a childhood of trauma. I was discharged and planned on staying in the area, where I had friends, a sober house lined up, and a new life. I feared I couldn't stay clean if I went back to New York. A day before leaving rehab, though, I was invited to interview for a boon of a job in neurology research. They hired me quickly after interviewing, so I made the decision to move back home - after all, when you strip away the drugs, I am still someone who is fiercely passionate about my work. Upon arriving home, I went to meetings and found a sponsor. I still felt that aching loneliness I knew I would in a ghost town, a vestige of my drug-addled past. And I stumbled upon the same problem I do each time I get clean: when you've been in the grip of your addiction for long enough, life transforms. Worry turns to resentment in the people who love you. You begin to realize you've been relying on objects alone for a long time, and that objectification doesn't translate to human relationships. Clearing away the wreckage of the past is a wildly overstated plight - the real pain is in clearing a path to the future. The pain caught up with me, and despite my best efforts in recovery, I relapsed. I hated using - this time not just because of what it meant, but because of how it made me feel - estranged from myself. Months went by and eventually I was fired. This happened in the last month. The terrifying part is, as devastated as I knew I should be, I was, in some ways, relieved. Truthfully the minutiae of daily life always felt heavy, difficult, and even depressing - on or off adderall. I lack that quality most adults find endemic to their professional success - I can't, or won't, feign interest in anything I can't sustain, that I don't feel passionate about. So I languish at most jobs over time. All I wanted to do was use and be by myself all day, even in agony - the pain of the familiar is far easier than the tribulations of unknown territory. 

 

Now, almost a month after being fired, I am completely out of money, in debt, and have used more heavily than I had in years. A scary change was catalyzed where I rediscovered the adderall euphoria i so desperately sought with each use. I felt happy again, if only a contrived happiness. Now I'm looking at indefinite withdrawal. I feel kind of paralyzed, and enraged with myself because I know it's self-inflicted. I'm at a point again where I am ambivalent about being clean, and I know that's a slow road to death - if not physically, then emotionally and spiritually. I had a taste of what recovery feels like, and it wasn't always the relief I thought it would be. Being clean is hard. I feel beyond lethargic, pissed off, unmotivated, and cognitively amiss. I know I have never managed to stay clean long enough to see if my brain chemistry can be restored, to stick around and see what life looks like when I'm through the proverbial woods. I've never gotten there and fear I never will. I don't know what it's going to take for me to get the motivation to stay clean, totally committed. I'm only 26, and know from experience this disease is progressive, and things will only get worse. Do I really want to wake up in my middle age, hopelessly addicted, the car flopped over, belly up, still spinning its wheels? I don't. But when I'm honest with myself, I don't know if I have the wherewithal to sustain the discomfort of returning to baseline in the interest of saving my life. I think that's the scariest part of all. 

 

For those of you who made it through this long post, bless you. I have needed to write this out for a long, long time. I hope someone identifies with my story. Any words of hope are encouraged.

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, hang in there. I was at 250 mgs. A day, in rehab, doctor shopping, toeing the line of getting caught, getting caught, handcuffed to the bottle, AA, NA meetings and everything. I had to detox for two years and live at home before I could handle working again. But after two years sober I had a strong foundation to rebuild my life. It's only been uphill since. I've gotten my MBA since and getting closer and closer to where I want to be in terms of my career goals, financial goals and life goals. I'm stable again. And progressively moving forward.

On adderall I accomplished so much in my deluded reality... in my mind only. Off Adderall I  accomplished so much through the lens of tangible...realness. 

progress started only after I gave adderall up for good. Sometimes I think "if I just took it again I would be sure a superstar at work and so awesome" Then I remember that if I took it, it would destroy everything I've worked for since I gained my sobriety. It's impossible to keep a job while addicted. If you want to move forward you gotta let go of it.

Remind yourself that life with it is not possible.

Hang in there...stay on these forums. They saved my life. 

9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel as though this post deserves a reply I am not capable of giving at the moment, but for now I'll say this: This is the most beautifully written, soul-touching mini-memoir I've ever read on this site. You are an extraordinarily talented writer. Your words give me so much clear insight as to your spiritual condition and my heart breaks for you. You can absolutely do this. Please stick around and let us be a part of your journey. I'll write more to you when I can do your feelings justice! Be well, friend.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2017 at 11:15 PM, Greg said:

It's impossible to keep a job while addicted. If you want to move forward you gotta let go of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your story is truly touching and you have seen how bad things can be.  You can visualize how much worse they can get.  Please make this sits your new addiction.  Everyone here is amazing and will be there through the good times and bad of recovery.  I will tell you that there is a beautiful life in freedom from this demon.  Please don't stop coming back here.  Visit every time you think about relapsing again.  Post the blunt truth and it will help you heal.  Best wishes in your journey.  Thank you for your transparency in sharing your story.  You can do this!

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, I would also like to compliment you on your ability to convey your thoughts and feelings through writing. Your writing style is very eloquent and powerfully captures the various moods and emotions you've been experiencing throughout this journey. Like many mini-memoirs (as Cheeri0 cleverly put it) on this site, I can profoundly relate to a lot of what you're saying. 

I read the entirety of your post last night (very late last night... with a couple of drinks in me) and missed where you might've stated this, but were you on Adderall when you wrote this? I ask because, through personal experience and speaking to others who are on Adderall, there tends to be certain shared characteristics with someone's.. let's call it delivery of information, when they're peaking on Adderall. This includes a certain extensiveness when conveying information and a stream of consciousness quality to their writing/speaking, which I picked up a lot on in your post. 

Let me ask, are you hesitating quitting Adderall because you're afraid you will lose your ability to think like you do when you're on it? If not, what's keeping you coming back to it? From what I remember reading last night, your post creates a perfect picture of a steady descent in your quality of life after you starting using (abusing) Adderall. You have a beautiful mind, I can tell with how you articulate yourself and the fact that you're a neuroscientist, but I'm still struggling to gauge why this is even a decision. Relative to your potential, you're in a low place right now, which sounds like an inherent bad thing but this is exactly the catalyst needed for change. There's no better time in your life to quit than now. I quit in the middle of physical therapy school because I just couldn't stand the person I became (socially withdrawn, uncaring, cold, callous, anxious and a whole bunch of other adjectives to describe someone who is just plain miserable and miserable to be around), and I have not one moments regret about my decision. What Greg said above is absolutely on the money. On Adderall, I was accomplishing a bunch of things.. in my own deluded reality. Objectively, my life was in free fall and was ready to lose everything (my relationship, my close friends.. even my future career as I started having panic attacks during social interactions). 

Do it. Quit now and post your progression on this site. We've been where you're at, trust me. It will be the single best decision you've ever made in your life. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that was a powerful story and understand you completely. If you get really bored look up some of my post from the last 19 months. I was posting a ton it was truely the hardest thing I ever did think I posted more than anybody on here the last year plus. Some on here claim postive thinking and you can be just fine in little as a month and can be true for them , most of us however really did not start to feel a real postive change until a year and a couple months. Just pretend your going to serve a year plus long sentence for your crime against yourself. It's going to suck no doubt you'll need to push yourself everyday but at the end you will come out better. I guess me being self employed I was very lucky but still had bills to pay kids to take care of and I made it somehow yes collected some cc debt in fact over $20,000 but right now it's all paid off and things keep getting better. I'm actually more focused on work to make profit before I just busted my ass to bust my ass not really considering if the work I was doing would actually make a profit. I still enjoy working hard but also enjoy time off and like to have money to do so before I just wanted a huge project to take on just to show how awesome I was and not to get money. Having a bad year financially is totally worth full recovery from this drug. Hell when I was on them I missed more good paying jobs because I never slept knew I was in no condition to leave my work shop so just kept popping pills working on shit that never paid. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your writing ability really paints a picture even non adderal addicts would grasp. If you don't mind I'd like to share this. Sort of as warning to parents who agree to get kids started on this stuff. I know your anonymous on here but still feel the need to ask encase you run across your words somewhere else. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Frank, I am so flattered and humbled, and appreciate you asking me first - I know we're anonymous on here, but I don't feel comfortable with your sharing my writing indiscriminately or at least without further discussion on the details. I likewise want to educate parents on medicating their children - I feel powerfully on the topic, as I'm sure you know! Might we discuss further? -YT

 

(Sorry, I inadvertently sent that formerly from my old account.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/25/2017 at 11:59 PM, addforone said:

Hi Frank, I am so flattered and humbled, and appreciate you asking me first - I know we're anonymous on here, but I don't feel comfortable with your sharing my writing indiscriminately or at least without further discussion on the details. I likewise want to educate parents on medicating their children - I feel powerfully on the topic, as I'm sure you know! Might we discuss further? -YT

 

(Sorry, I inadvertently sent that formerly from my old account.)

Hey no problem I understand. Your accomplishments on adderall are most parents dreams and why so many start or continue letting their kids take this drug. However the downfall outweighs the perks as you clearly describe. Beleive if more people really knew the ticking time bomb adderall is they would be less likely to give in. Just private message me if you'd like.

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