NaterS

A year off adderall and in a bit of a slump

18 posts in this topic

Hello! 

I haven't posted for a while because to be quite honest i haven't really thought about adderall a whole lot since quitting it. I have had some genuinely happy times since quitting and do not regret the decision to be clean at all. 

As of recently though I've had an extremely hard time focusing on life's responsibilities and actually getting them done seems to require what feels like a super human amount of willpower. I am getting dangerously close to the exact same mentality that led me toward getting on adderall in the first place although i don't want to ever go back to it. 

I told myself after a year of going off adderall I would reassess my life and decide whether or not it was worth it to stay off or get back on and although im not satisfied with my life right now, I REFUSE to start taking it again. I know it will help me get a crazy amount of shit done in the short term but after that I'll be hooked and EVERY good thing that came from quitting will once again be lost. 

That being said I'm also at the point where i can no longer take things slow and just focus on not being addicted. For the past year I've avoided anything college and career related, and my only real form of productivity has been work. I'm 23 and i live at home with my parents while i work fulltime/part time at a hospital as a cook (dead end job for me). I'm at the stage in my life and recovery where i really need to fight to get myself back on track for a healthy and at least financially stable life, and i'm getting VERY anxious and having doubts on whether or not I'll be able to accomplish these goals.

the thing that really scares me though is the possibility of me still feeling depressed and anxious after i complete these goals. When will this anxiety and depression stop? I know i can force my way through college and finding a career but is that gonna make me happy? Once i accomplish the goals i set there's always gonna be new problems to take the place of old ones..

 

 

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I'm in the same exact position just at 17 months off and trying to decide to go back to college this semester or in the spring. I'm 25 and am also nervous about my ability to finish my degree since I relied heavily on adderall to get to my senior year where of he curriculum is ridiculous "chemical engineering" so idk whether to finish it or take a different path. 

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It was hard for me to do a few semesters of biology even with adderall, i have no clue how i would do it without. Chemical engineering is even tougher than bio so i cant even imagine.

I wonder if the hardest part is just gonna be getting myself to actually do the assignments and stay motivated throughout all of it. 

I tend to think adderall made me smarter at times, but I've also seen a study that showed that students only believed they preformed better on adderall and that they just felt more confident but got similar scores without it.

I'm hoping this is the case, it would be devastating to go back to school and not get good enough grades without adderall knowing that i was able to get good grades with it.

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On 8/20/2018 at 8:00 PM, NaterS said:

 I know i can force my way through college and finding a career but is that gonna make me happy? Once i accomplish the goals i set there's always gonna be new problems to take the place of old ones..

the hilarious thing about this statement (at least for me) is that i have NO PROBLEM convincing myself that it's true whilst expending 0 effort in challenging it. it's one of those things that you can't help but laugh at yourself for, but at the same time, i absolutely know how you feel. this is effectively the logic i used to let my musical talents go to shit and my passion fade away into nostalgia.

my apologies if i'm reading too far into your choice of words, but i find "happy" to be a word that we as human beings typically have a poor internal definition for. most people don't have a specific need to define their inner values in a formal or consistent manner because they have enough emotional stability to safely neglect it. as a recovering addict, though, you are likely questioning the shit out of this all day every day. i guess what i'm getting at is that it may not be fair to ask yourself such a deep question while in the worst possible mental state for it. it's a bit of a trap in my opinion, and can lead to some nasty feedback loops.

that being said, you are right about the forcing your way through thing. at this stage, i'm not sure it matters whether it (completing school and starting a new career) will make you "truly happy". i find that it helps to consider these types of things obligations rather than goals. it makes it easier for me to force my way through something if i'm not constantly evaluating its value.

there will be happiness in your future, i promise, but for now, do the rational thing and force your way through. the future, happy NaterS will thank you (:

 

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On 8/20/2018 at 8:00 PM, NaterS said:

I know it will help me get a crazy amount of shit done in the short term but after that I'll be hooked and EVERY good thing that came from quitting will once again be lost. 

Maybe. These boards are littered with people who rationalized their way back into trying it again and had terrible results. 

On 8/20/2018 at 8:00 PM, NaterS said:

I'm at the stage in my life and recovery where i really need to fight to get myself back on track for a healthy and at least financially stable life,

What a gift. Get after it. 

On 8/20/2018 at 8:00 PM, NaterS said:

Once i accomplish the goals i set there's always gonna be new problems to take the place of old ones..

Everyone has problems. I guarantee you'll still have problems. Life is about the quality of your problems. 

The only quote I have posted up at my office comes from Felix Adler: "The purpose of man's life is not happiness but worthiness."

Find something meaningful and work at it.

Great job getting this far. Keep on truckin'!

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I'm so tired.. so tired of this.. so tired of pain.. I don't want to be here anymore.. 

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12 hours ago, SeanW said:

I'm so tired.. so tired of this.. so tired of pain.. I don't want to be here anymore.. 

Hey bro, stay patient. One thing is for sure, everything changes.  So if you push through this tough time for awhile longer the clouds will eventually part

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13 hours ago, SeanW said:

I'm so tired.. so tired of this.. so tired of pain.. I don't want to be here anymore.. 

These feelings are going to pass.  It’s going to get better.  Slumps don’t last. What can you do right now to make you feel better.  Get outside and go for a walk in nature and get some sun on your skin. Hang in there. Be kind to yourself right now.  You can get through this and you will be even stronger for it. 

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On 8/23/2018 at 9:34 PM, SeanW said:

I'm so tired.. so tired of this.. so tired of pain.. I don't want to be here anymore.. 

I understand completely felt the same way so many in the past 2 years plus but I know going back to adderall is not the answer. I have seen several people on here go years off it only to relapse but be right back on here after a month or two and quitting all over again. Adderall does wonders when it works but we all at some point get the reverse effects and it no longer helps us focus and achieve goals. I assume that’s why you stopped in the first place?  I’ve yet to see someone quit on here and life is just going great on it decide hey I should just quit this mircle pill but I’m doing wonderful! We only quit after life comes crashing down from our crippling addiction to these pills and they make us lifeless zombies only looking for that next addy pump. 

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I really feel like so much of this has to do with whatever adderall does to our reward system. Passing my 1yr by a couple months now I do find the energy and drive to get some stuff “done” and my depression  is much much less than before however it all feels pretty “flat” to me.

Finding joy is difficult and I get very little self reward out of just about anything. I have built up my confidence and am finally “functional” which I am so grateful for when I think back to how many hours I sat waisting away on my couch... Now no mater what “physical” side effects I have left I truly hope and pray I get my “joy” back... I see it everywhere and have great people surrounding me yet it is such a lonely place to just not “feel it” like normal people do...

This for me and perhaps any of you that can relate explains the “slump”.... 

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22 hours ago, EricP said:

I really feel like so much of this has to do with whatever adderall does to our reward system. Passing my 1yr by a couple months now I do find the energy and drive to get some stuff “done” and my depression  is much much less than before however it all feels pretty “flat” to me.

Finding joy is difficult and I get very little self reward out of just about anything. I have built up my confidence and am finally “functional” which I am so grateful for when I think back to how many hours I sat waisting away on my couch... Now no mater what “physical” side effects I have left I truly hope and pray I get my “joy” back... I see it everywhere and have great people surrounding me yet it is such a lonely place to just not “feel it” like normal people do...

This for me and perhaps any of you that can relate explains the “slump”.... 

Very well put. Being around friends and going out I too see the joy and wish I felt it like they do. I get very brief moments where I'm in the moment and full of joy but I watch it quickly fade away. Wish my damn brain would fix its self but maybe it'll never be the same. Hopefully years down the road I'll be able to live joyfully. Gotta keep some hope that I will at least..

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Their is a book called Ball Four which is an autobiography by professional pitcher Jim Bouton written in 1970.  Dextroamphetamine which at the time were referred to on the street as Greenies and pretty much identical to Adderall.....were used far and wide by professional athletes.  Here is a quote from that Book. "some of the guys have to take one just to get their hearts to start beating. I've taken Greenies but the trouble with them is that they make you feel so great that you think you're really smoking the ball even when you're not. They give you a false sense of security. The result is is that you get gay, throw it down the middle and get clobbered." 

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17 hours ago, SeanW said:

Very well put. Being around friends and going out I too see the joy and wish I felt it like they do. I get very brief moments where I'm in the moment and full of joy but I watch it quickly fade away. Wish my damn brain would fix its self but maybe it'll never be the same. Hopefully years down the road I'll be able to live joyfully. Gotta keep some hope that I will at least..

something to consider: many people look and act happier than they actually are. it's kind of the same thing as presenting the "perfect" version of yourself on Facebook (which is basically the reason i don't partake in social media).

i know it's hard to not compare yourself to others, but in this case i think it's especially important! i'd argue that you actually have the capacity to be happier than they could ever be, because you've experienced and conquered deeper pain.  (:

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6 hours ago, sleepystupid said:

something to consider: many people look and act happier than they actually are. it's kind of the same thing as presenting the "perfect" version of yourself on Facebook (which is basically the reason i don't partake in social media).

i know it's hard to not compare yourself to others, but in this case i think it's especially important! i'd argue that you actually have the capacity to be happier than they could ever be, because you've experienced and conquered deeper pain.  (:

I agree, I have stopped social media in past months as well... I really find little interest in it. Another part of this healing process is I find it increasingly more stressful to “keep up the pace” and “produce” as I used to even pre adderall... Thus when I get home I find my mind is still busy spinning a bit and it’s difficult to be “present”. Being present in the moment is something I am working on and hopefully I can find a way to reduce my load and still pay the bills... 

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Hi Nater,

I cannot emphasize enough that all you need to do is keep moving forward.  That's it.  Stay clean and NEVER EVER even for one second contemplate that your life would be better on that crap.  It takes a long time to get over this mind fk of a drug, but I am telling you if you stay the course and start getting used to your life without it, one day you will look back and forget what it was like.  One day after years of being clean you will no longer think about it anymore.  It'll be easy and you won't be comparing all the mundane chores and work of life to what it used to be like on adderall.  It WILL GET BETTER.

I have not had a prescription since November of 2010.  I am almost at 8 years.  I was 100% clean from this and another substance (same crap, but worse) for almost 5 years (everything including alcohol) and then I relapsed on alcohol 5 years in and started popping a pill once in a blue moon if I came across one while drinking.  I then went totally sober for 18 months.  Relapsed on alcohol again last year and drank 11 months straight. Was sober again 4 months and then relapsed for a month. I only popped a few pills during here and there during this relapse, but it was enough to scare me badly.  I am on day 12 today of total sobriety again and extremely grateful.  I cannot explain how quickly things got out of hand when I relapsed nor how badly my old neural pathways lit up for stimulants again and took over my rational state of mind.  I had a recent run in with this junk again and it has scared the shit out of me. I forgot just how incredibly powerful these drugs are and what they did to me for so long.  They make life so easy and then absolutely awful when they wear off.  And then you are HOOKED all over again and a total freaking slave to this shit.  I am here to tell you, I've been where you are and PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO, STAY CLEAN.  IT WILL KEEP GETTING EASIER.  Yes, you are going to still be in a slump 1-2 years after you quit because the memory of what life was like with it is still so fresh. But I can promise you, as the years go by you will one day forget and you will learn how to function without it.  NOTHING is as painful as being hooked on this crap and dealing with all the side effects and consequences of using it.  Eat healthy, exercise, stay clean and keep doing positive things for yourself.  Take baby steps towards productivity.  And be grateful for each and every day you are clean.

As far as the "will I be happy when" question you posted above...a friend of mine sent this really cool post from Richard Branson the other day and I have to share it.  This one really got me thinking and has been helping me since i read it.  Here you go...

 

Dear Stranger,

You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.

It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my life. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.

I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.

So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.

Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’

They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.

Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.

If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.

For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchildren’s tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer.

There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species. 

Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.

But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.

Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being I promise you, happiness will follow.

Happy regards,

Richard Branson

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LILTEX41, Thanks for sharing that insight from Richard Branson! What a great perspective to have!!

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