Danquit

20 months, what now?

12 posts in this topic

Happy New Year my recovery family! It’s been 20 months since I touched Adderall (sigh) and I am doing fine. I guess I’m back to normal life as far as I can tell and I don’t have that deep depression like from the first year anymore. It’s strange because I can remember that withdrawal was horrible and painful but I don’t know what it feels like anymore. 

I have a lot of existential thoughts lately and I also am really bored which is dangerous for me because of my addictive personality. The only thing that I enjoy doing is going running but it’s easy for me to procrastinate or blow it off because I guess I’m not that motivated naturally. I feel like life is just meh but there are moments where I get excited about stuff. I guess this is what normal life is like, instead of high on Adderall where the heavens open up when you clean your bathroom.

The key takeaway is that at 20 months I feel like I am back to normal and I’m experiencing life and it’s 100% me. I still check into this site very often but not to cry for help so much as to check in because I know that I still need to be vigilant for the rest of my life. For those starting out, hang in there because it really is worth it. I can’t believe how far I’ve come and I’m so thankful for this community!

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I think I remember from old posts that we were pretty much on the same quitting timeline.  I'll be at 20 months in two more days.

I can definitely relate to having a lot of existential thoughts recently.  I don't know if it comes from being sober and just thinking on a deeper level or what but I find myself asking what the meaning of all this is and what my specific purpose is etc etc.

I also relate to exercise being one of the few things you enjoy.  I love running and lifting weights now.  I do it every morning at 5am and I find myself saying thats my favorite part of the day and everything else is just meh after that.

I don't want to take for granite all the other positive things going on though, my depression has lifted, my anxiety is becoming less frequent and less intense.  My natural energy has returned and also my ability to communicate with family and friends is improving with every month.

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Interesting.  I wonder how old you are?  And if it also at a certain age range we start to wonder what it is all for? and about?

I'm only at 5months and always struggled with that question and constantly searched for new things, jobs, locations and for the first time am still....difficult and challenging.

The rest is definitely getting better.  More good than bad.  

congrats on you all for your 20+ months.

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I just turned 32 this month.  I think I used to question the meaning of life and what its all about as a teenager but throughout all of my 20's I was high on adderall so I never pondered big questions like that.  I guess now that I've been sober for this long, I'm starting to wonder what my purpose is or what life I want to create for myself.  I find myself thinking I'll live a happy and purposeful life "eventually" but I'm starting to realize eventually doesn't come, you have to make it happen.

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i think this is a really great observation, and it also makes sense why these types of thoughts and questions start to surface after some time. in the first year or so of recovery, you're mainly focused on beating PAWS, and everything in your life is viewed through the lens of recovery: "i don't enjoy my hobbies, because i'm still recovering", "i've gained so much weight, but i'm still recovering", etc.

but once you get to around 2 years, it's different- you've been through enough recovery. you start to wonder "is this just what normal is now?" , "is this how i'm going to feel for the rest of my life?".   i've definitely gotten to this point, and it's weird to accept that lots of people (who have never even touched a stimulant) have problems, and lose interest, and struggle with health. it's just kind of the human experience.

4 hours ago, Tom23Jones said:

I find myself thinking I'll live a happy and purposeful life "eventually" but I'm starting to realize eventually doesn't come, you have to make it happen.

and then you realize this. very well said (:

 

 

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I’m 42 but I feel like I am not very mature because I skipped all those years of growth and life hooked on Adderall. I guess my midlife crisis combined with Adderall withdrawal triggered all this existential crisis stuff. It’s just part of my life experience but something is different now, I think this is the long term recovery phase  where I have to realize that this is as good as it gets. Sounds depressing I know, but I’m still very thankful to have gotten off of Adderall, because as boring and hard as life can be, at least I am living my life without the soul stealing drug.

Adderall stole 5 years of my life so I guess I’m playing catch-up. I’m trying to apply all the lessons I’ve learned through addiction and recovery to improve my life and to share my experience so it can hopefully help others. On to 2 years next!

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On 1/15/2018 at 9:11 AM, Tom23Jones said:

My natural energy has returned and also my ability to communicate with family and friends is improving with every month.

Congrats to 20 months! Awesome to hear good things from those who have made it this long!

Tom or anyone else I am wondering about your “improvement in communication” with time and what what were your symptoms or your obstacles with communicating were in the past? 

I am now well over 6 months now an while anxiety and depression are much better I fight energy levels which I know is common. The part that worries me more is how forgetful I feel. Short term memory seems worse than ever and I struggle in conversations for bigger words and also sometimes just draw a a blank of what I was just about to say. This gets worse on long days as I just mentally fade and a lot of this is most obvious in conversations trying to keep up with others. So just wondered if this is at all what you meant or anything you experienced? 

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15 hours ago, EricP said:

Tom or anyone else I am wondering about your “improvement in communication” with time and what what were your symptoms or your obstacles with communicating were in the past? 

I struggled with same things you mentioned. I would have a hard time thinking of certain words to use in a conversation and I'd feel like an idiot.  Most of the time it was simple words that I just couldn't think of.  I'm not so sure it was memory issues though. It was more from my social anxiety and being so worried I was not going to be able to contribute to the conversation.

I think time has been the biggest healing ingredient in regards to being more social.  I'm slowly getting confidence and wit back.  I now make it a point to talk to people at the gym or church or wherever... I used to do everything I could to avoid conversations.  The other thing that I really believe has helped me be a better communicator is meditation.  I'm able to slow down and actually listen, breathe, respond. I've meditated daily for 125 consecutive days and I rarely get that feeling where my mind is racing in several different directions.

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I am at 5 months and also struggle with finding the right words, but also find it much easier just to laugh it off.

One of the BIGGEST positives that I wasn't even aware I was so lacking in during my 17 year Adderall use....LAUGHTER!  

I actually find myself giggling again and at first it almost felt foreign, then soooo good.

Adderall in my later use made me more socially withdrawn and awkward (like too focused on everything), something I usually didn't struggled with...

I definitely feel I need to find a purpose, but am finding I don't have the energy, motivation and self confidence to try anything new....so NOW WHAT?

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19 hours ago, EricP said:

Short term memory seems worse than ever and I struggle in conversations for bigger words and also sometimes just draw a a blank of what I was just about to say. This gets worse on long days as I just mentally fade and a lot of this is most obvious in conversations trying to keep up with others. So just wondered if this is at all what you meant or anything you experienced? 

totally went through this. it was kind of terrifying (see post below). it didn't feel like just social anxiety, it felt more like my brain struggling to retrieve words that i used to use effortlessly. like @Tom23Jones said, its not necessarily big words- it was often really simple stuff, which is what made it more scary.

i'm glad to report that it's not a permanent effect, but it directly increased social anxiety for me, never knowing when i'd just blank out in the middle of a sentence.

 

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Thank you for the reassurance! I was getting a little paranoid about it and even reading early onset alzheimer's symptoms! Yikes!

I have always been a little forgetful of people’s names and places I put things like my keys even since I was young and pre adderall. However the loss of words and conversation (zoning out) has been tripping me out lately. I didn’t notice it much in early recovery as I was doing everything to avoid people and anything difficult.

Looking forward to getting to my 20 months, wish I could fast forward!

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