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Lilah

Hi, I'm Lilah :)

4 posts in this topic

You might have seen my name on some of the diet related posts on the website. I'm so excited to see that we have forums now that I had to post!

As of September 27, I will have officially taken my last Adderall pill one year ago. Prior to that, I took it for about four years at a fairly high dosage (up to 80 mg a day sometimes). I was not aware what the stuff was when my doctor first prescribed it to me. I went in to see the campus psychiatrist at my school to talk to him about depression/anxiety issues, and walked out being told that I was essentially the poster child for ADHD and that if I took these little Adderall pills, everything would be all better.

Initially, that was true! I thought I'd found the holy grail- the solution all the antidepressants had promised but had never delivered on. I'd always been told that something was "wrong" with me, my parents started taking me to see my first shrink in kindergarten, so to me it made sense that I "needed" to be medicated. I went from the "sloppy kid that was so smart and had so much potential if she'd only apply herself" to the most motivated, compulsively organized little college sophomore there ever was. I worked hard at a good job, still got all my schoolwork done, kept my house so neat and tidy that my DVDs were alphabetically organized and my closet was arranged by garment type and then color, never paid my bills late, etc. etc. All of this made me so proud of myself. I felt great.

Then, gradually, I needed to start taking more and more to achieve the same effect. And then eventually, years later, I couldn't achieve it at any dose. I would take Adderall, only to pace around in circles for hours and never really get anything done, which would be followed by a catastrophic bout of depression that would occur as I laid awake restless at night. My sleeplessness got so bad that some nights I would find myself combining red wine, marijuana, and Xanax... and still would lay awake tossing and turning and essentially wanting to die. I contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. I had thoughts that did not feel like they belonged to me. I totally socially isolated myself. I started breaking out like a teenage boy going through puberty and my hair started falling out at an alarming rate. My resting heart rate, even when I was off the pills, was far higher than it should have been. I began obsessing over these things.

I knew the Adderall was doing it to me. Beginning in March of 2009, I started making a real concerted effort to quit. I tried (and failed) many times. Finally in September of that year, I came clean to my boyfriend (who I'd began dating earlier that year) about what was really going on with me. He didn't know before then. I gave him my pills to hide at his house so I couldn't have access to them. I knew at that point as long as I had access to pills, I WOULD take them. Cutting myself off was the only choice. Thankfully, before that point, I'd significantly scaled back my dosage through all of my efforts to quit, so my crash wasn't so bad. I was an emotional wreck though. Keeping calm and carrying on at my job was tough. Going in there everyday was like an alcoholic working at a bar- the environment triggered crazy Adderall cravings for me. But I did stick it out at that place for seven months after quitting, without burning any bridges. I then moved to another state, but I remain friends with everyone back at work to this day.

The new environment has helped me a lot, although sometimes the challenges of today's job market do make me crave Adderall... I want that "competitive edge". Through most of my Adderall years I worked as a web designer, and working on websites is something that reminds me of Adderall a lot and triggers cravings, although recently I've been able to take on some freelance clients and accomplish the task at hand without Adderall! This has really brought my confidence up.

This past year has been very rough, but I've definitely experienced accelerated growth as a person, more so than any other year of my life. I really struggled in my recovery up until I became serious about eating right and exercising. Once I incorporated those habits into my daily life in a committed way, I experienced more change that I can express in words. I still get cravings sometimes but have learned how to deal with them and motivate myself in non-chemical ways.

I look forward to chatting with all of you!

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