BK99

After a Decade on Adderall, I’m 30 Days Clean

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I’m new here. I’ve been taking Adderall and Vyvanse religiously for almost all of the past decade. I recently had an EKG that showed a few abnormalities in my heart that I hope are reversible. Bottom line: It scared me straight and I want off of these drugs. Also..I’m 32 and don’t want to be one of those people still popping amphetamines at age 50.

 

It’s now been 30 days since I took my last pill. My blood pressure has dropped to the “normal” range. It was sky high when taking adderall. My blood pressure might be normal, but my energy is absolute crap.

 

I’ve tried quitting one other time in the past decade. I made it to the 3 month mark before seeking out another doc for my ADD prescriptions. 

 

This month has been complete hell. Every little task is a massive chore. I’ve managed to get to the gym 4-5 times a week and just started the Couch to 5K program. The gym is about the only thing I have the energy for.

 

I would love to hear others who are in a similar situation to mine. I need support in a bad way. Getting off of amphetamines is absolute hell when you’ve been on them for nearly a decade.

 

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Welcome @BK99. Quitting Amphetamine is no joke, I’ve gone through the hell you describe and so have many others here. I used for 4 years before quitting and it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it is possible. I’m at almost 8 months and my energy is getting better now. It’ll come with time, keep going to the gym when you can! 

 

Do you have any other reasons for your quit beyond concerns about your heart health? At my lowest points I am willing to sacrifice my physical health to use, I’ve found it helpful to have some non-physical health related reasons for quitting.

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Non-physical reasons - I was constantly sick of “waiting for that next prescription”.  Every month, I would have 4 or 5 days where I had to be a useless lump in bed because I had no pills left. I could literally do nothing but watch Netflix and use the bathroom. 

I totally get what you mean about sacrificing your physical health. I’ve already had those thoughts because I miss being able to accomplish things on Adderall. I’ve had those moments where I don’t care about my heart. And let’s face it - the weight gain that accompanies Adderall withdrawal sucks hard...really hard.

I’m tired of being a slave to these pills, and obsessively rationing out which days I need the pills to get by. I’m sick of being treated like a drug addict every time I go to the pharmacy because I take ADHD drugs.

I’ve longed for the day I can live life and get out of bed without popping a pill.

What about you? What are your non-physical reasons? What did you do in the early months to function and get in the right mindset?

 

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I was backed into a corner at the beginning of my quit. Melted down and lost my job. No more health insurance. Maxed all my credit cards. Totally unstable emotionally. Drinking every day. Very isolated socially. Suicidal. It took a lot for me to admit my life was unmanageable. To recover from my emotional and financial ruin I came to understand I needed to accept help that was so graciously offered to me.

 

I spent the first 35 days in rehab. It was an atypical setting, I was forced to work. Making my bed every morning, doing dishes, showering and shaving, landscaping, etc.. It was torture, but it showed me small tasks in life were possible after Adderall. I am still in the process of deciding what I want to do career wise after Adderall.

 

A few rules of thumb that really help in early recovery. Do things you don’t feel like doing, you have to put action before motivation. Be kind and lower expectations for yourself for a while. The weight will come off, you will become more productive, the energy will improve, but it takes time. Be okay with some bad days knowing you are on track for a sustainable and fulfilling life.

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I was on it for around a decade honestly lost track of days, months and years on that stuff. Know what you mean energy for the gym not much else, if I could work out for a living would be golden lol. But the further I got along the more I could push myself outside the gym. Basically try to take that same gym mentality for little things in life. Be easy on yourself awhile couple months heck a year just do the bare min but keep that routine of working out. I’m sure you’ve read up on many things on here but the biggest thing before you give in please share your looking seek out a new script. I don’t care who ya are at some point a mental breakdown happens and out of nowhere the urge to give in gets overwhelming. So many people do not share these moments, I think maybe out of shame, embarrassed and guilt. Well that’s a missed opportunity to really get feedback from others and ultimately yourself if it is really the right move. Im three years out and understand that moment to this point is still always a possibility. Yes a lot less than my first year or two but still could happen. I’ve seen people with 5 years clean go back on only to come back on here full of regret. The bottom line is majority of us had strong motivational drives to start we took a pill that launched those into overdrive. Then we quit and that normal motivation standard we once had is missing and it fucking sucks. It takes a very long time to get back to that baseline level some quicker than others with 10 years it’s gonna be tough for you but like me it’s possible.

One of the reasons I quit recall being in awe of everyone not taking adderall. Like dropping off my kid at school thinking how do all these kids and teachers work a full day without adderall. It’s like I was jealous and felt like a huge cheater in life not able to fuction without my pills. That was just one reason had many more. 

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Frank,

I know what you mean about being in awe of everyone not on Adderall. I’ve had many moments of envy seeing people accomplish great things without Adderall. Looking at me, you’d never know that I’ve been living in this hell for a few years now...where the drugs got me out of bed, but I definitely wasn’t accomplishing the things I did in the first 5-6 years of being on meds. I will definitely come here if I want to seek out a script. It’s a damn good thing Adderall is a little difficult to obtain. If it wasn’t, I probably would have failed by now. 

My main focus is trying to be kind to myself. My husband had been a great support to me...talks about it with me daily. I think this forum will be a plus in the support department.

Drew,

I have been trying to set little goals for myself - even as small as getting one load of laundry done and folded. 

I just really hope things look up a few months from now. The fact that I have been on the drugs for nearly a decade makes me freak out about the uphill battle that has only just begun...

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I am in the exact same situation!  32 with 15 years on stimulants.  I have been off them for a year and 8 months.  I’ve tried multiple therapist, but none of them really seem to understand.  My husband has been my rock through it all and is constantly reminding me about how much better I am without the drug.  Hang in there. It’s a slow process.  Each year will get a little better.  I’ve been keeping a journal of my daily activities for the past 6 months.  It’s really helped me stay on track.  I try to do 10 little things a day like picking up the living room, watering the plants, or unloading the dishwasher.   I even count going to the grocery store or grabbing a coffee.  Anything that gets me up and moving counts as a point.  It sounds lame, but it’s really the only thing that has worked for me.    

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On 12/21/2018 at 2:59 PM, BK99 said:

I’m new here. I’ve been taking Adderall and Vyvanse religiously for almost all of the past decade. I recently had an EKG that showed a few abnormalities in my heart that I hope are reversible. Bottom line: It scared me straight and I want off of these drugs. Also..I’m 32 and don’t want to be one of those people still popping amphetamines at age 50.

 

It’s now been 30 days since I took my last pill. My blood pressure has dropped to the “normal” range. It was sky high when taking adderall. My blood pressure might be normal, but my energy is absolute crap.

 

I’ve tried quitting one other time in the past decade. I made it to the 3 month mark before seeking out another doc for my ADD prescriptions. 

 

This month has been complete hell. Every little task is a massive chore. I’ve managed to get to the gym 4-5 times a week and just started the Couch to 5K program. The gym is about the only thing I have the energy for.

 

I would love to hear others who are in a similar situation to mine. I need support in a bad way. Getting off of amphetamines is absolute hell when you’ve been on them for nearly a decade.

 

Congrats on quitting. What were your doses?

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Lizzie,

I wish I was that far along! I’m only at about 35 days. Getting to a year seems so daunting and at times, impossible. The holidays completely wore me out. I woke up sick today and haven’t moved out of bed.

John,

I was on Vyvanse 60mg with an Adderall 20mg booster in the afternoon.

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Today marks 40 days clean and boy do I miss my Adderall and Vyvanse.

I could barely muster the energy to get to the gym this morning. The scale keeps going up and I’m NOT overeating. I just showered and I cringe at the thought of getting ready to go out tonight. I have no energy. I’m feeling really defeated today. Sigh...

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You’re doing great @BK99. 40 days is no small feat, congratulations. You are more than a number on the scale and your productivity; I know it’s hard to change that mindset. Have you noticed any positives since day 1? How’s the running going? 

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Thanks, Drew.

The running is going well. I’m on week 3 of the couch to 5K program. I finished the program once a few years ago, but I was on my stimulants. *eye roll*

Positives? My blood pressure is in the normal range every day. (This was not the case when I was on Adderall.) I’m going to bed and waking up at normal human times. I can’t think of many other positives at the moment...

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On day 45 and I’m feeling more depressed than I can ever remember. The depression that comes with the crash of Adderall at the end of the day doesn’t even compare to this.

Have any of you experienced this? My pdoc put me on WellButrin 300 about a month ago, and I don’t think it’s helping.

Tell me there’s a light somewhere because I feel just as bad now as I did during the first week of withdrawals. :(

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18 hours ago, BK99 said:

On day 45 and I’m feeling more depressed than I can ever remember. The depression that comes with the crash of Adderall at the end of the day doesn’t even compare to this.

Have any of you experienced this? My pdoc put me on WellButrin 300 about a month ago, and I don’t think it’s helping.

Tell me there’s a light somewhere because I feel just as bad now as I did during the first week of withdrawals.

I recall after a month extremely hard a lot of temptations to go back in fact the first time I attempted to quit i did give in after a month then came back a year lately to quit again successfully. The second time I did not go back to using was only because I tossed away all my meds and shredded future scripts. This isn’t easy and can be very depressing I’m not a very optimistic person I never see rainbows and shit like that in the future. But I understand this is what I did to myself no one put a gun to my head to take legal speed everyday for years so I have to deal with the consequences. Your brain right now is trying to make you cave in the drug is calling your name you just have to be stronger. Yes a light is at the end of the tunnel but it’s a very long tunnel and some days you’ll see that light other days you won’t a lot of ups and downs.

 

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Day 47..yawning all morning..no energy..I want my mommy.

This will probably turn into my diary lol

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Hi,

I am just about 60 days clean and experiencing my worst PAWS since quitting.  I got clean after experiencing a psychotic break which landed me in the psychiatric ward of my local hospital for 7 days.  I am now in an IOP for 3 hours every afternoon.  I am the father of a 4 and 3 year old and I am scared out of my mind.  I am just looking to reach out and connect with people in the same situation.  I was abusing adderall for almost a decade and I am just coming to terms with the reality that my life is ruined.  I can't do much of anything but I cannot just leave my wife and children high and dry.  I am scared.  

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Hi DC,

I am in this right there with you. Our situation seems pretty similar. While driving this morning, I broke down because of the PAWS. The anhedonia is absolutely crippling right now. I feel heartbroken that my love for playing music is absent since coming off the drugs (I sing, play piano and drums). I guess I need to vent about it. I am so scared that the worst is still yet to come.

Good job on 60 days. That is NO small feat. How has your wife been? I hope she’s been supporting your journey through this hell that we are facing. People have no idea what it’s like to come off amphetamines when you’ve been on them for a decade. I gave up alcohol two years ago, and it doesn’t even COMPARE to this hell.

I own my own business and it’s really taking a hit right now, but my focus is on getting better. I’d rather be broke if it meant feeling better than I do now. Most days it is too exhausting to even sit upright in a chair to do work. The only thing I am able to complete is going to the gym an hour each day, and even that is excruciating.

The days have been going by so slow since coming off the drugs. I have tried seeing therapists, but they haven’t been much help. I feel very alone in this battle most days. I am hoping to make a friend or two myself.

Today has been one of my worst days and I am so scared of the days ahead. :(

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Those early months are pure hell. I recall nodding off while driving several times, missing exits and all types of depressing shit. I started getting my legal stuff in order and adding my spouse to accounts... I literally thought I was going to die on some days. Things are not perfect but much better for me now... Stay strong it gets better! 

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Thank you, Eric. I needed to hear this today! I tried quitting last year and made it to about 100 days, but I couldn’t have picked a crappier time. My father fell seriously ill and passed away during that time. I gained 40+ pounds then due to depression and withdrawals. I ended up back on amps for 11 months and here I am now hoping it will be different this second time around..

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Hi BK 99,

Thanks so much for your reply and for caring.  I am with you in spirit.  We have to get through this- it is worth it - our sober lives are worth it.  But it sure does feel incredibly horrible in the moment.  My wife is being incredibly supportive - everyone around me is giving me nothing but support.  I have all these lucky things - like health insurance to fully cover my IOP, a supportive wife, immediate family, extended family and friends.  But it does not take away the pain of the PAWS.  The PAWS are hurting so much and it never feels like it is going to go away.  However, there are times when I am distracted that I don't feel the PAWS that much and this gives me hope that there will be more of these times.  I hope you are experiencing the same level of support from your loved ones and that you have an occasional break from the intensity of the PAWS.

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Day 49 - PAWS sucks. I can barely keep my eyes open this morning. I’m awake but feeling sluggish as hell. I miss the instant boost from Adderall.

All I feel right now is a heavy fog while walking on the treadmill. My house is an absolute mess and I have no energy to clean it. This bothers me..baah

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I was on Adderall for 17+ years and quit Aug. 10, 2017, with 1 short relapse.  One thing that helped me is to TOTALLY give myself a break on everything else, except staying off that crap and making sure I was giving myself good nutrition.  Everything else, the housework, weight, social interactions, etc I gave myself a pass, b/c you can literally beat yourself up and that can cause you to just say screw it.  So if you just get through the day without taking an Adderall that is HUGE.  All the other stuff really doesn't matter in the long run.

I still miss it, but when I do, I try to get back on here to remind myself of what ya'll are going through and that I don't want that part again.  Also for me finding out through genetic testing and a number of genetic issues that I really MUST eat right, which I never did on Adderall.  It does get better, just really give yourself a huge, indefinite break on everything else if you can.  Good luck

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Kimber,

Thank you for the uplifting response. I’ve been trying to give myself a huge break on everything, but some days, like today, that VOICE in my head is so loud. 

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Day 52 - Today I feel as though I’ve been hit by a truck. Last night, I experienced an hour where I felt like a normal person with natural energy. It was short-lived, but I feel as though this little “peephole” will widen as the days go on if I stay off the drugs.

 

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Day 54 - I’ve been finding Monday mornings to be the hardest transition. I was so used to popping a pill to get me motivated and going each morning. I always made sure I had pills on Monday.

I’m inching closer to beating my first attempt at quitting Adderall. I made it to 100 days last year, but it came with some terrible consequences. I gained 40+ pounds because I was extremely depressed (from my father dying and the drugs..double whammy). I wasn’t doing anything at that time to better myself because I was too busy taking care of my beloved dad who I KNOW would be so proud of me for attempting this again.

This time around I’ve only gained a few pounds because I’ve been working my ass off at the gym and jogging. I’m also trying to eat healthier, but food is a weakness. Sometimes I feel like it’s the only “treat” I have left.

I hope everyone has a good week. We can do this.

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