Kiki

Mom- 22 mo clean after 13 years

13 posts in this topic

I was on Adderall for 13 years...from the time I was 18-31. I’m now 22 months clean. There were so many layers to my adderall obsession. 

 

I started at only 10mg/day my freshman year of college. Initially the results were amazing...my GPA was high, I had endless energy and social skills, perfect bikini body, all the typical traps that Adderall uses to lure you in deeper. 

 

By the time I was 25 I was prescribed 20xr in am, 20mg IR early afternoon and a 10 mg IR. late afternoon. 50mg of speed a day for a 110 pound lady is a lot, but hey I was prescribed so it couldn’t be that bad right?  At the time I was a nurse on a fast paced medical unit and I had convinced myself I needed my medication to survive my shifts. 

 

From the outside looking in I was often told I was “perfect”. I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist so as you can imagine adderall heightened all these symptoms in a horrible way of fixation, wasting time obsessing on the smallest things, etc. I hid my use from all family and friends, I was embarrassed/ashamed that I was on this poison. It was my deep dark secret. Throughout the years not only did I develop anxiety, depression, isolation, I had also acquired serious cardiovascular and health problems. I had high blood pressure, Reynauds syndrome (a circulation issue where my feet and hands would

Turn purple) and a noted lack of cognitive responses in daily conversations/memory issues. 

 

When I would get home from work I would crash so hard and literally be wanting so go to bed at 5pm...so what did I start doing to help with the come down? I drank a bottle of wine- every. single.night. 

 

Fast forward a few years to when things progressively got worse. 

 

I finally had my dream job and was running a health program. I had so much work to do all the time, it was such a high pressure position. I would pop adderall all day and could not survive with out it. I would loose track of how much I was taking and when I would run out of them I couldn’t get out of bed or function. I was a slave to adderall, it took over every aspect of my life. This somehow continued for about two years. I continued to lie to myself, rationalizing for my prescribed addiction. 

 

When I found out I was pregnant I knew I couldn’t live with myself using adderall (even though my doctor recommended a continue dose-unbelievable!) 

 

I quit cold turkey and it was miserable. I ended up quitting my job about two months in and I haven’t been back to work, besides my new job as a stay at home mom...which is an entire separate struggle. 

 

Being a new parent is so exhausting. I actually still crave adderall sometimes, just for the sake of false thinking it could give me some much needed energy-how crazy is that, even after two years I’m still having cravings for this poison. 

 

I also think societal pressure on moms to be perfect is out of control and I believe amphetamines will be the next opioid crisis. 

 

It sounds cliche but for me a healthy diet and exercise routine really do seem to help me stay focused on an adderall free life.

 

The best part of being off adderall is actually feeling alive again, and not like a walking zombie all the time. All my medical issues have magically disappeared, I do still have brain fog on occasion but it continues to get better with time. Life without adderall is hard, but I tell myself life is hard regardless! I have come to this site to look at other stories when I am feeling weak and it has really helped me in the past.

 

 I can honestly say getting off Adderall has been, and remains one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it is possible! I’m afraid of things to deal with in the future- like returning to work and grad school eventually, but I know I can come here for support. 

 

Thanks for listening, sorry so long..and remember- you’ve got this! 

 

Also if anyone wants to talk I’m here:-) 

 

K.

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13 hours ago, Kiki said:

Life without adderall is hard, but I tell myself life is hard regardless!

totally this. well said, and thanks for sharing your story! you did the right thing for your kid by quitting - you're going to be an awesome mom (:

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That is great Kiki! Your symptoms while on Adderall sound a lot like mine. I definitely relate to the symptoms you had while on Adderall and the desire to drink a bottle of wine a night. 

How soon did the physical symptoms disappear for you? I am not quite at 22mo yet but close and still have odd physical symptoms that are lingering. 

Congrats again on your progress and thank you for sharing!!

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@EricP yes adderall basically turned me into a raging alcoholic it was horrible. I wouldn’t eat all day, then I would drink all night. It makes me cringe when I think of all the embarrassment and things that happened along the years because of this. 

As far as health issues it’s hard to say how long it actually took because of being pregnant at the same time. The circulation issues resolved almost immediately and my bp did go back to normal right after being pregnant. Like I said i still am going through some memory issues/brain fog even at 22mo and I do have some anxiety, but these have drastically improved since quitting. I do take l-tyrosine it seems to help. I know I burned a lot of brain receptors in those 13years but I am hopeful things will continue to get better! 

Congrats to you too and thanks :-) 

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Your story reads like mine, only I don’t have a baby yet and I abused Lyrica instead of wine. As a nurse, I should have known better but I kept making dumb excuses.  

congrats on getting off adderall. You are going to be a way better mum and role model for your child then you ever could be on adderall. You will also be around a lot longer as a result of quitting and all this exercise and healthy eating! 

 

 

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@Socially awkward I could go on the longest rant about adderall in the medical field! Like here work 12 hour shifts with no lunch break, always understaffed, always non-stop craziness. Its no surprise so many nurses and doctors are hooked on this shit. 

Im definitely scared to return to work, and haven't  done so yet because of the insane work environment's I've been exposed to in the past. I still have thoughts of "how could I work so hard/fast without adderall". Ive been able to do tutoring to nursing students taking the NCLEX and that has been fine, so Id like to think Im taking baby steps. Do you have any tips or advice you can give me as a nurse?

Also congrats to you too, Im sure Lyrica was hard to let go of as well. Thats a double wammy, awesome job getting clean and keep up the good work!!

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21 hours ago, Kiki said:

I could go on the longest rant about adderall in the medical field! Like here work 12 hour shifts with no lunch break, always understaffed, always non-stop craziness. Its no surprise so many nurses and doctors are hooked on this shit. 

the alarming thing about this is that healthcare providers are notoriously overworked and often sleep deprived - not very comforting when their jobs directly affect the well being of others!!! it's a broken system for sure.

21 hours ago, Kiki said:

Im definitely scared to return to work, and haven't  done so yet because of the insane work environment's I've been exposed to in the past. I still have thoughts of "how could I work so hard/fast without adderall".

this is certainly one of the scariest hurdles to overcome. it can feel like there's no way to ever match those Adderall levels of productivity - but something to keep in mind is that Adderall speeds up your perception of everything, but especially time. the day seems to pass so quickly while on speed, it feels like you never have time to get everything done. once you quit and hit the brakes hard, you'll notice how slow time feels. granted in early recovery you won't feel like actually doing anything with that time, but eventually you will regain productivity and realize there's more than enough time in the day to get shit done (:

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On 19/03/2019 at 1:19 AM, Kiki said:

 

Im definitely scared to return to work, and haven't  done so yet because of the insane work environment's I've been exposed to in the past. I still have thoughts of "how could I work so hard/fast without adderall". Ive been able to do tutoring to nursing students taking the NCLEX and that has been fine, so Id like to think Im taking baby steps. Do you have any tips or advice you can give me as a nurse?

 

@Kiki I wish I had some tips/advice. I’ve had to take 5weeks off work to recover. I made up some lame excuse to get the time off and I have actually flown to Indonesia (currently here now) to the one country where I know this drug is illegal. It might sound a bit extreme but I felt having an absolute lack of access to this drug is the only way I know I can get clean. 

im also scared about returning to work and even contemplating quitting my job indefinitely. I just dont feel I can work as fast or efficiently without my drugs. We work anywhere for 12-18hrs shifts and we often don’t eat anything. Im also economical with the amount of water I consume To avoid toilet trips as it’s not possible to walk away and leave a patient unattended on life support. I feel half the reason I abused Dexamphetamine for so long was to ward off hunger and work these stupid hrs without needing to sleep. Some of the staff practice intermittent fasting as opposed to taking stimulants but I can’t seem to last that long without food. Sadly, Dex in addition to Ritalin are heavily abused amongst many of us in the workplace. However, I’d rather give up my job than continue to abuse amphetamines until it eventually costs me my life! If I find something that does work/help I’ll post back and let you know. I’m wondering if sleep might be the key to surviving this lifestyle? I’d often not sleep for days at a time and lucky to average 2 hrs a night max. 

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On 19/03/2019 at 11:25 PM, sleepystupid said:

the alarming thing about this is that healthcare providers are notoriously overworked and often sleep deprived - not very comforting when their jobs directly affect the well being of others!!! it's a broken system for sure.

this is certainly one of the scariest hurdles to overcome. it can feel like there's no way to ever match those Adderall levels of productivity - but something to keep in mind is that Adderall speeds up your perception of everything, but especially time. the day seems to pass so quickly while on speed, it feels like you never have time to get everything done. once you quit and hit the brakes hard, you'll notice how slow time feels. granted in early recovery you won't feel like actually doing anything with that time, but eventually you will regain productivity and realize there's more than enough time in the day to get shit done (:

@sleepystupid yes! I agree with you 100%. I never had time for anything, I was always so busy being productive and I’d literally rip someone’s head of if they dared interrupt me from my important work (which no longer seems so important now)

Im not even 3 weeks clean yet and I already feel I have so much time on my hands it’s driving me insane. I’ve also aquired tendinitis in my ankle which means I can’t exercise or be as active as I’d like to be. I complained to my dad about my poor foot and he laughed and simply said it’s natures way of forcing me to slow down before I give myself a heart attack. He thinks it’s a blessing that I may now be forced to find calmness and stillness in my life. I’ve rarely known the old man to be wrong but I’m still finding everything to be quite frustrating at the moment.

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5 hours ago, Socially awkward said:

I just dont feel I can work as fast or efficiently without my drugs. We work anywhere for 12-18hrs shifts and we often don’t eat anything. Im also economical with the amount of water I consume To avoid toilet trips as it’s not possible to walk away and leave a patient unattended on life support. I feel half the reason I abused Dexamphetamine for so long was to ward off hunger and work these stupid hrs without needing to sleep.

i'm sorry to hear this, it sounds like a miserable job experience!

coming back to my earlier point about distorted perception, is it possible that you enforced these behaviors on yourself, even though it was never actually expected of you? there's no way an employer should be able to restrict bathroom breaks or encourage people not to take lunch breaks! :lol:

distorted expectations - a very common theme with Adderall abuse.

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@sleepystupidThank you for sharing that point of time reference. It’s so true-time off of speed is actual time felt. Now what I need to work on is using my time efficiently. Making a list for daily activities had helped me recently, so I’m sure incorporating that into work would help with time management as well. Thank you for your insight! 

 

@Socially awkwardWow Indonesia seems like a beautiful place to recover! I don’t think it’s that extreme at all, I think everyone has their own way of doing things and only you know yourself the best, as well as what’s likely to work for you.  I actually  took a cross country road trip when I quit for three weeks- luckily my husband was able to do all the driving but a change in scenery and culture can really help your mind focus on other things besides everything you are experiencing with your withdraw. 

 

As far as taking adderall as an appetite suppressant, this was me 100% as well. 

 

I did get decent sleep surprising my time of use but I attribute that to drinking so much and just pure exhaustion on my body from being overworked/malnourished.

 

ps-I apologize for

the weird text and my lack of format. I’ve been traveling this week and can’t seem to figure things easily on my phone. I hope everyone has a good weekend! 

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@sleepystupid I feel it is a bit of both. They are pretty happy for us to not take breaks and you need to be fairly assertive and keep asking for them when the unit is busy (which is 90% of the time). I was never assertive and never pushed for a meal break as the Dex made me want to work 100% of the time. I’m not the only one, half of my colleagues don’t take breaks either. I know one of them takes Ritalin, Im not sure about the others.

@Kiki a road trip sounds like a fantastic idea in the early recovery phase. I find being away from my familiar environment and regular activities that I associate with amphetamines has helped me stay clean for 3 weeks now. I am pretty sure I’d have relapsed by now if I were still am home. I do miss the appetite suppressing effect. I’ve gained so much weight in this past 3 weeks I don’t recognise myself! I can hardly even hold myself in plank position during yoga anymore as I feel my arms aren’t strong enough to support my fat torso. 

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