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mlauren26

Trying to quit, my 35thish attempt. How long till I feel human? HELP

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I will start by giving a little more background info. I was diagnosed with ADD about 8 years ago (shortly after I graduated High School) and tried a few other types of medications in the beginning, wellbutrin, ritalin, modafin, etc and shortly after switched and stayed on adderall. I have always had a very busy schedule, working full time and going to school for the first few years being while prescribed. About 3-4 years ago I started working multiple jobs and had to increase intake to functionally keep up with my schedule, I was working a full time day job 7-4, and was bartending night shifts so I would go home get ready get to my night job 6 or 7, and on a goodnight get to leave at 3am, sometimes not till 4 or 5, no time to sleep, so pop more adderall to get through the day. Its been about a year now that i have started to personally notice the changes this stuff has made to me mentally and physically. I dont have fun, at least not easily and definitely not sober. I dont laugh, i genuinely feel nothing, unless i stop taking them and then i feel nothing but terrible feelings. I have gotten to the point that i wont go out, i am constantly thinking i am being looked at and judged, if i do i spend hours getting ready to still feel like crap. I cant remember the last time i laughed, genuinely out of the moment laughed. I feel like a zombie, I dont have any interest in the things i was passionate about. I am also trying to do side work painting which i used to LOVE doing, i would get inspired to and have so many ideas and now struggle just to do simple projects. I was taking much more than i was prescribed for sometime, would run out within two weeks, struggle with the come down, find more and went on and on for about two years. I havent been able to handle living like this anymore, and i have been trying to quit this hellish drug for over 6 months now. I at least now have dialed down to what i am actually prescribed 45 mg per day, beginning of the month when i get my script i do well even go down to not taking any at all and if i do maybe 15 mg. My issue is my work, i work at a job i genuinely like, not like my previous work i struggled to focus with (database developer, accounting, customer service etc). but i still have my struggles, i basically run the company i work for, i screw up because i cant focus and employees dont get paid, and so forth. I have decided to try and quit for good, alot myself to a very low amount daily due to my fear of withdrawls and not having the ability to call of out work or a noticible crash. I started taking vitamins to help with adrenal fatigue which helped a ton, just started a focus supplement as well day 1 on so hopeful it will help with my focusing and energy issues that keep me falling back to this repettative cycle. I just want to feel human again, to be happy. There was a month or so i did very well, i was taking phentermine to offset withdrawls and help with hunger as i gain weight very easily and i felt so good! I could joke, i was getting restful sleep, oh yeah thats the other thing. I can sleep for days taking adderall, I would never wake up feeling like i actually rested could only use more sleep and felt worse and groggy all the time, i can even see the difference in my face and eyes.and while im on the topic of physically appearances while on it, my HAIR WONT GROW! has anyone else had this issue? I always had thick hair and grew at least 6 inches a year, its been about 2 years since i cut my hair last, and it looks shorter! could be i had a habit of messing with it when i was on it?  I look like im on a bender and havent sleep for days when i take that crap. So i have struggled with this for sometime now, have talked to very few people about it, although supportive i dont think they can every understand. I relapse, not for being addictive to it but so i dont lose my job and can crawl out of bed to somewhat function. Has anyone here had a similar story? what was your breaking point and what helped you stop? I read somewhere once you taper down and go back up you esentially have to restart? like i said in my huge post (i am sorry, scattered and everywhere just like my mind lol) but again, i did great, tax season came around had to take large amounts to get what i needed to done at work in order to not fuck things up. Anyways, wanted to share my story and see how many else out there had similar stories so i can feel a bit less crazy! also if any one has any helpful tips/advice or hopefully at least encouraging words that this is something a person can get through. 

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first of all, welcome to the forums. you are among those who truly get it. (:

we can all definitely relate to the situation of feeling "trapped" into an adderall addiction. you want to quit, but feel like if you do, your life is going to fall apart, you'll lose your job, get kicked out of school etc.  here's the thing though- there will never be a "perfect" time to quit. unfortunately, there is no magic supplement or replacement that will eliminate the recovery period. if you can, take some time off of work (i mean like at least a week), and just go cold turkey with it. very few people have success tapering down, and you said it yourself: you've tried 35 times already, and it hasn't worked. if you keep that stuff around, the moment you feel pressured at work, you will relapse.

if you really like your job, you need to make a plan for how you will get through the first couple of months at a severe handicap. it is not going to be easy. you will effectively need to drag yourself through the day, doing the bare minimum. you may be surprised that just doing enough is fine... one of the nasty things that adderall does is convinces you that if you slow down for a moment, everything will topple. it makes you take more and more responsibility until you're in a place where you're juggling 19 things, and probably not doing any of them as well as you think you are. make sure that those tasks that directly affect others (payroll!) are your top priority, then, make sure you plan out projects and deadlines so you have way more time than you need to do them. it's kind of silly sounding advice, but it's what you'll need to do if you want to make it through this without quitting or taking a medical leave of absence (which if you can, you should absolutely do!)

 

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Think of it as a journey, a new you and story. It's going to be pretty dark at first but beautiful none the less. When you look back six months, a year, two years from now you'll see the beauty and be amazed at the strength you found that you didn't know you had. You'll find a whole new you and beauty in life that will carry you to places way more magnificent than adderall would ever take you. Just one day at a time, one moment at a time, stick it out. It's going to be tough, really tough, the toughest thing you probably will ever have to do. You can do it. You will do it. It may seem like you don't know how the hell you're going to do it but you don't need to know how. Just know you will. You'll come back, you'll find yourself and be human again. 

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