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Jared

My Story

9 posts in this topic

My journey with Adderall is just as fucked up as anybody’s that you’ve read on here. I will get to my story but first I want to give you a bit of background on myself: I am currently 25 years old and I am a former All-American collegiate athlete from a huge school who had his future set with professional sports before this drug that I believed gave me everything had been plotting to take everything away.

My true introduction to Adderall started in May of 2011, after my freshman year of college, when a teammate of mine that I genuinely looked up to told me that he takes the drug before every training because it makes him feel like he is playing in the “world championship” each time he uses it. I then asked him to try it and he told me no but this genuinely intrigued my curiosity in what it could possibly be like. So, like many others, I went to my primary care doc and told him that I had been struggling with concentration issues, memory issues, and that since ADHD ran in my family (my brother was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 9) I would like to be tested for it. My doc sent me over to a psychiatrist and 4 appointments + a bunch of tests later, I received the paperwork that I did have ADHD, brought it back to my primary care doc and I was started on 20 MG of Ritalin, 2x daily.

Going into my sophomore year, I was in the best shape of my life and had devoted my entire summer to training. I was fucking ready and now, I also had my secret weapon, I had my Ritalin. Starting off that Fall semester, I would only take the drug the day before my games and then again on game days. And shit, let me tell you, this stuff worked! I was more focused and more driven than I had ever been. Between my freshman season to my sophomore season I went from being a kid with a lot of potential to a first team all-conference selection. For whatever fucked up reason, I attributed this success to the drug instead of to all the preparation I had put into getting to where I now was as a player.

During that Fall semester, I also began to apply the same Ritalin-taking-game-day-logic to my academics: “take it only the night before exams and during exams”. This allowed me to go from a 2.5 GPA student to a 3.4 GPA student in what felt like an overnight process. This shit was a godsend! Right?

Cue Spring 2012. I still wasn’t taking all my prescribed daily dosage and I still wasn’t taking the drug daily; however, I was losing weight in muscle mass. My coach knew that I started taking Ritalin the Summer before and even noted that I looked noticeably skinnier that Spring semester and he immediately attributed it to the drug. And fuck, he was right whether I wanted to admit it or not. I had lost about 9 pounds of muscle mass and it was all due to my lack of appetite. This lack of appetite and heavy training load is ultimately what led to my athletic demise and further addiction.

Due to the loss in muscle, I developed a pain in my knee that rapidly began to become worse and worse. During that Spring, it became visibly noticeable that the pain in my knee was starting to make my left quad shut down because the muscles were not firing properly due to the pain I was experiencing. I was sent to multiple doctors without any clear diagnosis’ as to what the issue was.

Now we’re in the Fall of 2012. I couldn’t train the entire summer and with my season just around the corner, I had a bad, bad feeling that I was not going to be able to compete for a while.  I was sent back to the doctor and he suggested that we have an arthroscopic surgery to try to go in and find out what was going on inside of my knee. As it turned out, they couldn’t find shit and all they did was make my problem worse! I tried to rehab my knee and surrounding muscles back for 2 months to no success. When my doc realized that I was still not gaining my muscle back, they recommended that I have another surgery as they believed that he could genuinely fix it this time around. I obliged. As they went back in for the scope, they still found nothing but my rehab process was then successful and I was back on the field by February of 2013 after redshirting the 2012 season.

Spring of 2013, this is where the addiction begins. I began to see my schools sport psychiatrist, opposed to my families’ primary doc, and the new doc began to put me on 20 MG of Adderall XR that semester. I told him that the dose was too low and he doubled it to 40 MG of Adderall XR daily.

Although I was now back on the field, it was not without pain. Every time I would try to sprint, run, jump, cut, whatever it was, I would feel pain. I quickly noticed that when I took my Adderall though, I could push through the pain without problem! I genuinely used Adderall to push through the physical pain I was feeling. How fucked up could I have been to use Adderall for pain management?!

In the Fall of 2013, I was back to flying on the field. I was getting injections in my knee every couple of months to keep the pain to a minimum but I was also at the peak of my 40 MG XR use daily. There was not a day that I went by without taking it. Even after sitting out a year, I was named a first team all-conference selection and I was set to have an even better year in 2014.

Spring of 2014 was more of the same as the Fall of 2013, life seemed good. Hooked on 40 MG of XR daily.

Summer of 2014 is where the abuse truly and accidentally started. I began beginning to feel dizzy all the time both when I was playing and when I wasn’t playing. With a genuinely good heart, I went to my prescribing doctor and asked him to lower my dosage to 30 MG XR daily. This is where I fucked up. I tried to take it as prescribed but I wasn’t getting the same euphoric feelings as I previously had been. I still had almost an entire bottle of the 20 MG XR pills that I would use when I was prescribed to take 40 MG daily while I also had the brand-new bottle of the 30 MG XR capsules. As you can imagine, I started taking both together to try and get to that same feeling that I was previously getting and it has all been downhill from here.

During the Fall of 2014 I was a preseason all-American and was set for a surefire prosessionalt career after graduation, all while I was doped up on 50-90 MG of XR daily. I was leading my team, as usual, through the first half of the season and then my life changed. My knee injury was back and I couldn’t push through it anymore. This time there was a serious issue with complications due to overtraining and doctors told me that I would be done playing competitively forever. No more season, no more draft, no more future. Fuck. How was I going to get over this? More. Adderall.

I started abusing the shit out of this drug. I was about to graduate in the Fall of 2014 and this was the first time that I ran out of a pill bottle early. This was my first time experiencing the hell of withdrawal and the need for that 3PM nap for those first 3 days after quitting. Although I had no idea then that what I was experiencing was withdrawal. I graduated and everything was fine but then I went home and moved back in with my parents to start my new life.

From January 2015 until May of 2015 I had no job, I felt like I had no future, I felt like my life was done. I started seeing my family doctor again and he started to prescribe me 20 MG of Adderall IR 2x daily. This fucked me up, bad. During this time, I had nothing. I would suck down that pill bottle in 2 weeks, withdrawal for 2 weeks, and then start the cycle all over again.

May 2015 was when things began to change, probably for the worse. I was offered a big-time job in DC that anybody would be envious of and that I was proud to accept. While I started the job and everything was going well, my abuse began to heighten. I was sucking down the bottle in about a week and a half and then experiencing all the withdrawal symptoms while also trying to stay productive at work, always a mistake.

September 24th, 2015 was the day that I finally got fed up with myself and this addiction. This was the first time that I finally flushed all the pills in my bottle and ripped up all my remaining scripts to also flush down the toilet. Ever since that day, I have changed but I have not been able to kick my habit.

Every three months I go to my family doctor to get a new supply of scripts. I go and fill my first script, take a bunch of pills for a few days, flush my bottle and the 2 remaining scripts, become sober for 83 days or so and then repeat. This is a fucking nightmare that I cannot get away from. During this cycle, there have been times where I have finished my whole bottle in less than 2 weeks, there have been times that I have taken 15 pills and then flushed the bottle with the remaining scripts, and there have been times that I have taken 2 pills and then flushed the bottle and remaining scripts.

My most recent experience with this was 4 days ago when I went through this process after taking the pills for 3 days and not sleeping a wink during the time. I am fully determined to finally make this quit stick though.

After my first big quit I experienced all the major withdrawal symptoms. Crazy anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, anhedonia, the cravings, everything. Now-a-days when I quit I feel like I just fall back into life for 3 months. I am social, I do not experience the depression, I can work out daily, and the anxiety is not there (however, whenever I take a pill now my anxiety will get pushed to near suicidal levels and I cannot sleep for 2 days, even if I had only taken 1 pill at 10AM). I don’t crave the drug at all and that’s why this whole situation has me fucked up. I go back and get the pills because I convince myself that things will be different (my inner addict talking). I go and pick up my script just because its available, not even because it’s what I want to do. But once I take that first pill, then shittttttt, I become full blown addicted again. All I do is crave the next. That is why it is so important for me to stay away all together.

I know the key to a successful quit for me is to cut off my family doctor; however, I just don’t feel like I have the balls to tell him. My parents have no fucking clue I take this drug and I’m scared he would tell them because he is a friend to us before he is a doctor to us. One of the most fucked up parts as well is that my doctors’ daughter actually passed away due to complications of drug use. I think this is another reason why I just don’t have the heart to tell him. The only person that knows is my girlfriend and she has known since exactly 40 days after my first initial quit. I would love to say that she is extremely supportive but the truth is that she just doesn’t understand the hell that we’ve all been through since I know how to just play it off as not a big deal on the surface. I’ve just never wanted her to worry about me (us men have way too much pride from time-to-time). I don’t want her to know about all the sleepless nights, all the Adderall crazed cleaning sprees, all the times I’ve thought that I wanted to end my life before this drug takes it from me first because for some reason that just sounds more appealing.

I need to make this quit stick and I need you all’s help. I’ve read every post in this forum for about 2 ½ years now. I know all of your stories. Where you’ve been, what you’ve gone through, and where you are now. I’ve felt like I’ve experienced so much with this community that I finally felt like it was the time that you knew what it was that I’ve experienced.

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hi Jared,

thanks for finally sharing your story- it's really quite cathartic laying it all out there. if you've been following the forum for a while, you'll know that the "fall from grace" theme is quite common, and im very sorry to hear about your injuries. i too was presented with an opportunity to make my dreams come true in the music industry, but it was at the height of my abuse and i was too fucked up to follow through with it. the irony was that i had allowed myself to get addicted, knowing full well the risks, for the purpose of pursuing these ambitions.. and it ended up being the thing that shattered them.

 

13 hours ago, Jared said:

I don’t crave the drug at all and that’s why this whole situation has me fucked up. I go back and get the pills because I convince myself that things will be different (my inner addict talking). I go and pick up my script just because its available, not even because it’s what I want to do. But once I take that first pill, then shittttttt, I become full blown addicted again. All I do is crave the next. That is why it is so important for me to stay away all together.

 

i think one of the biggest hurdles to quitting for good is the acceptance that things will not be different with the next script. once you've crossed the line into abuse (and binge use especially), there is no going back. i relapsed for a couple of months recently after over 2 years off, and no surprise went RIGHT BACK to the same pattern of use. it will never be the same as it was before.

you said yourself, when you're off adderall : "I am social, I do not experience the depression, I can work out daily, and the anxiety is not there". that's like 80% of the battle right there!!! i think that remaining piece is "what is missing in your life that you think adderall will provide?". its a deep question, and goes to the root of how we define happiness in our lives. not an easy one to answer for sure. clearly, you are not happy right now.. but maybe ridding yourself of this addiction for good is in and of itself the thing that will make you happy? (:

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Man.. I know exactly how you feel, in the beginning I used it a lot for tennis although i wasn't going pro and was just a small college. The confidence and motivation it gave made me play like a champ it made you forget everything, live in the moment and believe in yourself. All things you can do without a drug and once you develops that without a drug it sticks and doesn't leave you crashing down a mere few hours later like adderall. Also, with the girlfriend not understanding the hell we put ourselves through and keeping it cool on the surface right there with you on that and in my case my gf left my ass right when I was quitting which you'll need all the love and support you can get. And the cycle.. going back to binge then immediately being like fuck this shit then coming across the pills or script again and doing it all over and over. I was convinced I was going to quit probably 30-40 times over the last two years then I realized I was going fucking nuts and would kill my self or die so I cut off my source and it's been 9 months and feeling like I did permanent damage. If you can stop and still fall back into life socialize etc no problem please do it man you don't want to fuck your shit up long term and be in this shit hole I still am at 9 months clean. Appearing crazy unable to communicate ridiculous anxiety. I wish you the best and that you say fuck adderall for good cause it's not leading you anywhere you want to be trust me. 

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First off, thank you all for responding! I've really felt a bit abandoned at time and I truly believe that now that I am on this site that it's setting me up to finally succeed in getting off this shit. I will try to become an active user on this site because I feel like a lot of people in today's generation are reading the messages that we are writing on here but will take some time to come out of the woods and put themselves out there like we all have.

@RockbottomIn the country my parents were born in they call it football :)

@sleepystupid I can't even imagine trying to be the creative genius that you need to be in pursuing music while doped up on this stuff! I've found that even though I never reached my ultimate dream, as time goes on, our dreams change and our goals become attainable.
Also, you are absolutely right that things do not change with the next script!
But yes, I definitely have accomplished 80% of the battle but I do not want to fool anybody that I never experienced any of those things. For the first 6 months or so after my initial quit (even though I relapsed for about 3 days during that time), my life was absolutely hell. Everything was a drag and I just felt like the world was closing in on me through the crippling anxiety and mountainous depression. At about that same 6 month mark I also decided to get back into sport, just in a different capacity. I started coaching a team of 8 year olds in Maryland and I can genuinely tell you that those girls have taught me so much more about life than I could ever teach them about sport. Their carefree way of living and their positive energy is one of the things that is absolutely driving me to still get clean as I am still working with them.
One of the reasons I feel like I continue to go back to using is because of my body. I put on about 15 pounds after my quit and even though I do not look or feel bigger in any capacity, I don't feel like myself. That's one of the ways I justify taking it again in my head: "Just take it for a week and work out and you'll go back down 10 pounds at the drop of a hat". Unfortunately, what I tell myself works! But then again, at that point I haven't slept for 4 days, my anxiety is fucking astronomical, I become anti-social, and I know as soon as I quit that everything will pile right back on :(
While that is one of the reasons, I know in my heart that you are right and there is something bigger that is haunting me in a way that drives me to justify taking a pill again. I just need to cut off my source and I know that I would never even consider the idea of swallowing a piece of hell again.

@SeanW Bro, you are not permanently fucked! I'm not sure if you have or not already but please go back and read some of the OG's of this forum like the story of @Greg. This dude took 2 years to get off his couch and feel totally normal again! Go back and read some of @Frank B's posts from when he first quit! His mind was juggled and you could read it in his post but this dude has made such a great recovery that it should only give you hope! Keep on going, Frank. 
You are only at 9 months, bro. Just keep moving forward. This also might be counterintuitive to what other people have told you but I would just challenge you to go out and make a fucking fool of yourself trying to talk to people (it doesn't need to people people you know). If your girl left you, download tinder and swipe right a million times to just get used to talking to people again! Haha! The only way your brain is going to heal itself is if you go out and try to heal it! It needs to be challenged in order to form those neural connections again - it's really fucking incredible how it works! I was definitely in that crazy awkward stage for the first months after I quit as well. The more positive you are the smoother your recovery will become.
Also, playing sport on this shit is fucked up, man! I can't believe we both challenged ourselves for so long athletically while relying on this shit. I can tell you for fact from personal experience that this shit is passed around like Aleve on game days in professional locker rooms. How fucked up is that? This drug is a way bigger problem than anybody ever portrays it to be.

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haha thanks man, I guess I'm just in a slump because for the first six months I forced my self to go out with friends and it was just shitty and for the last couple months I've just been like fuck it I'm fucked but yeah man I guess I need to try to pick the positivity back up and just say what the fuck ever and if I make a fool of my self let it go. I never gave a shit before adderall and try to remind myself that but for some reason I do now after whatever I did to my brain. Anyways man hope you stay on here and things go well for you, a team sport will definitely help in recovery. 

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15 hours ago, Jared said:

I've found that even though I never reached my ultimate dream, as time goes on, our dreams change and our goals become attainable.

absolutely this. i have no desire anymore to be a professional songwriter, but my goal now is simply to get back to a point where i enjoy doing it just for me. it' a surprisingly tough goal, because adderall changes how you perceive and approach your passions and hobbies. towards the end, it was more about proving to the world my ability, it stopped being fun.

 

15 hours ago, Jared said:

One of the reasons I feel like I continue to go back to using is because of my body. I put on about 15 pounds after my quit and even though I do not look or feel bigger in any capacity, I don't feel like myself. That's one of the ways I justify taking it again in my head: "Just take it for a week and work out and you'll go back down 10 pounds at the drop of a hat". Unfortunately, what I tell myself works! But then again, at that point I haven't slept for 4 days, my anxiety is fucking astronomical, I become anti-social, and I know as soon as I quit that everything will pile right back on :(

i have to imagine that being pro-athlete level means your level of fitness and discipline is MORE than enough to shed a few pounds if you want, even if you're not actively playing. you of all people definitely don't need adderall for that!

this might sound a little blunt (and kind of the opposite of the deep reason i suggested before) but it is more or less true: the main reason we keep coming back to the pill is simply because we miss getting high. everything else is a twisted rationalization to do it. when you shed all that rationalization, and accept it for what it is, you kind of demonize it internally. i think it's easier to say "i will not be a fucking drug addict anymore"  vs. "i'll try to be successful without adderall". these are technically the same statement, but in my mind, one is much more powerful than the other (:

 

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I used to do the same thing as you. I would quit for a couple months and then end up going back to the doctor and getting more, every time. The ONE thing that made my quit finally successful was to tell my doctor I was abusing Adderall and to never prescribe it to me again. Then, there was no going back. You have to make up your mind and you have to just DO IT. Your doctor legally can't tell your parents, it is strictly confidential information and he is not allowed to tell anyone. You can let him know that this a concern of yours, and I'm sure he will assure you that it is strictly confidential. I always made excuses as to why I was afraid to cut off my doctor too. But honestly, it felt SO good when I finally did it. You got this! ;)

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Thanks for sharing your story. I consider you lucky because you found your way here without having to go to a mental hospital like me. You are not alone in this journey of recovery and I assure you that things are a lot better without Adderall. But you have to pay your dues and fight like your life depends on it, because it does. 

Keep posting here with your updates and questions. This community is amazing and I promise you whatever you think you’re experiencing alone, you are not because someone here has gone through it and can give you insight and encouragement when you need it most.

welcome to the club! 

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