m34

Unexpected Triggers and Coping

16 posts in this topic

I am 7 months and 28 days clean today. I started a new job 6 weeks ago. It took me about three weeks to adjust to working. I'm back doing what I was doing before (when I was on Adderall. )  different company. I noticed my coworkers were  bouncing off the walls from day 1. I thought in the back of my mind they were both on Adderall. Then I let it go. I just assumed that my energy is so low that everyone seems high on life compared.  

However, now that they've gotten more comfortable with me they have separately admitted they are on it in a joking manner. Since I've found out (officially) Ive been so triggered. The other day it took all my will power to not ask for one. What did I expect that I would return to my Adderall filled world with no one on it? 

 I'm not planning on getting back on. Just venting because I have no one to share this with. If anyone has had similar experiences Id love to know. Is the whole damn world just on Adderall? 

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Totally relate on this one. When I first got clean thought EVERYONE was on it! Truthfully, a lot of people are. Super triggering. I can’t speak for you, but the way i dealt with it is by telling myself that while others might be able to handle taking it (in moderation!) I simply wasn’t one of those people. And there are probably lots of things I can do successfully that those same people can’t. It’s just a matter of chemistry, and you’re totally allowed to have feelings about it. Just don’t let that trick you into thinking you can use like them!

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Today was a huge trigger for me. So crazy you posted about this right now. The last time I was in the classroom teaching I had Adderall. Today was the first day EVER that I’ve been teaching in a classroom without it. I wasn’t expecting the trigger, but it sucks...

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Good point @Sleepyandsober. The last two yrs I was on it was a downward spiral. It was like it stopped working.  I just kept taking more just to feel sort of productive and normal. I tried month after month to get back to the prescribed dose. I would always find a reason to take another half etc. You are absolutely right. I just need to tell myself that over and over. They can have it all they want. 

 

@BK99Too bad we don’t work together. I could really use an ally.  It is very triggering. I also keep telling myself this is temporary. We are perfectly capable of doing anything in life off adderall. It’s just boring AF... lol

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Holy fucking shit you guys, when does it get better?! I am lit always hot and sweaty and have slept through several days of work. When will it end??

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@SleepyandsoberThis part is the worse! I remember horrible anxiety in beginning with the night (sometimes day)sweats. Hang in there because you are close! How long has it been since this time when you quit? Have you hit  10 days yet ? That was the mark when it started to get better for me physically at least. 
 

 

I’m still struggling at work with my coworkers on Adderall constantly. I’m almost thinking I need to quit my job. Then I think how ridiculous is that! It’s like I’m letting adderall control me again without being on it. I hope you feel better soon

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Guys I SO relate to what you are posting here!  I wish we ALL worked together!  LOL.  I go back to work on Monday (which will be day 8) and it's so crazy how this trigger thing works.  Like, this morning I had a better morning with way less anxiety, and I was all set to go do some work and then I listened to a message from a friend/colleague and had a totally unexpected trigger!  First, she asked if I could do a phone session with a patient today even though I'm off (I'm a therapist) and it started my head spinning - (My thoughts whirled:  Should I take the session?  It's good money... no I shouldn't!  I'm off this week to get stuff done and I only have 6 more hours of the week left before I am slammed straight into back to back plans.  Don't let fear of financial insecurity guide your actions!  You are fine without taking this call...  But, really, it's only going to be 45 minutes -- btw, she asked me this over an hour ago and I haven't recovered yet -- arghhhh!  -- you should just take the call and get it over with and you'll still be able to get plenty done... no you won't -- you KNOW you won't -- and even if it's just 45 minutes you'll feel so upset that you took that time away from yourself and your plan...  you know how you could get SO much more done and actually feel interested in talking to the patient today?  You could just take a half.... UGH.)  Anyway, I am all over the place but I was expecting to be triggered when I go back to work tomorrow; I wasn't expecting to be triggered today like that, and THEN, to make matters harder, this friend has been substance free for like 8 years, and the next message i listened to from her was her confessing to me that she's going to go to a weight loss clinic and be prescribed phentermine b/c she can't lose 25 lbs (and stimulants were her drug of choice and 8 years ago when she relapsed it started with phentermine.)  And guess what I felt when I heard her message?  (Well, a part of me did feel grateful that she felt safe enough with me that she could share without judgement)  BUT THE OTHER PART OF ME FELT JEALOUS!!!!  And I immedately started googling phentermine vs. adderall.  Omg.  And now I've got all kinds of self-justification tapes running through my head...  "Well, if she can handle it, then I definitely can" (of course she hasn't even shown whether or not she can, and whether or not she can has nothing to do with me.)  "Maybe you jumped a little too hard and fast into all that 'done for good with stimulants' stuff you posted about yesterday."  "Maybe all the relief you felt on the board was sort of false, like some of the things you jumped on hard and fast in the 12 steps 8 years ago, that turned out not be exactly accurate..."  (This is not reality b/c there is nothing I'm "jumping on" here except other people sharing their experiences and me relating completely and being vulnerable back.)  Okay, my head is spinning, but the one thing I DO know is that I won't use any substances today.  Because this will pass, and whether or not I get ANYTHING done, I don't need to hop onto that Adderall train for another 5 years.  I left my friend a message and told her that I love her and support her no matter what she chooses, but that the one thing I worry about is her trying to get "off" the phentermine.  B/c it always starts off so innocently, and it isn't that I couldn't control my use ... i controlled it for years.... until i didn't.  And,tolerance is a bitch.  So there were years where i was taking so much more than prescribed and snorting it just to feel "normal" like i used to feel when i took it as prescribed.  And i started reading ADD magazine forums where people found so much relief once they started stimulants.  But, it did occur to me that many of the people's descriptions of how "normal" they felt while on the meds was actually more like their perception of what "everyone else" must feel like to "get so much done."  Like one person saidthat normally after an 8 hour day of teaching she goes home b/c she is tired and stressed (which i think is ACTUALLY normal) but on stimulants she was so much more "normal" and was able to finish teaching and then do 3 IEP's and answer all of her emails.  And i was like...  uh, no, that's actually NOT normal.  That's called high on amphetamines.  (I know that sounds SO judgmental.  I don't mean it to be judgmental - seriously, to each their own - but I just need to find a way to vent my frustration.)  If you are living in a world of people pretending to be superhuman and able to get superhuman amounts of work done, than of course you are going to think that THAT is normal and what's up with you is messed up.  (I am working to convince myself I don't need meds to be okay and productive in my life.)  I know in my heart that this is true, but I also know in my heart that I finally have to change my own definition of "productive" or else it won't work.  B/c i really won't be able to keep up with everything.  And THAT IS OKAY.  

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36 minutes ago, DelaneyJuliette said:

I wasn't expecting to be triggered today like that, and THEN, to make matters harder, this friend has been substance free for like 8 years, and the next message i listened to from her was her confessing to me that she's going to go to a weight loss clinic and be prescribed phentermine b/c she can't lose 25 lbs (and stimulants were her drug of choice and 8 years ago when she relapsed it started with phentermine.)  And guess what I felt when I heard her message?  (Well, a part of me did feel grateful that she felt safe enough with me that she could share without judgement)  BUT THE OTHER PART OF ME FELT JEALOUS!!!!  And I immedately started googling phentermine vs. adderall.

If stimulants were her drug of choice then I'd do my best to discourage her from phentermine.  That stuff is trash and its very harsh.  I justified using it at the end of my adderall abuse but I was quickly abusing it the same way.  The odds of this drug having a positive impact on your friends life is super slim.  She might have another small honeymoon phase but it'll go bad.  That shit made my heart race, made me sweat and horrific panic attacks when I abused it.  I recommend your friend find a healthier way to get fit. And I strongly discourage you from justifying that as an alternative to adderall.  

As you string together some clean time your anxiety will improve and slowly you'll gain clarity of mind but if you interrupt that with stimulants you'll just be prolonging all the healing.

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6 minutes ago, Tom23Jones said:

As you string together some clean time your anxiety will improve and slowly you'll gain clarity of mind but if you interrupt that with stimulants you'll just be prolonging all the healing.

I have to keep telling myself this over and over.  

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5 minutes ago, DelaneyJuliette said:
8 minutes ago, Tom23Jones said:

As you string together some clean time your anxiety will improve and slowly you'll gain clarity of mind but if you interrupt that with stimulants you'll just be prolonging all the healing.

I have to keep telling myself this over and over.  

yeah its hard to trust the process because recovery is not a linear process.  You don't always improve from one day to the next... you can have some great weeks and then suffer a setback of anxiety and cravings.  But as you put together months and years things start drastically improving.  Obviously positive habits help build momentum, exercise, meditation, healthy eating etc

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@m34 not yet, I'll just lay it all out - after posting, I went to see my therapist, and at once I realized I need to go back to rehab. I wasn't ready the first time around, and I am just having an immeasurably difficult time staying clean again. The withdrawal is horrendous. I work a very high-pressure job and am trying to get FMLA now, they say it will take a few weeks...and I don't know if my "window of willingness" will last that long. I'm desperate. I have friends around me, but feel so completely alone. I think the last 6 months of using drove everyone away...my career is everything to me, and I'm just not sure what to do: book a flight now, hell with the consequences, and check myself in? Or do I wait for the medical leave to be granted and go in due time, if I'm still willing to go...I wouldn't wish addiction on my worst enemy, and all my friends are recovering alcoholics...I'm in the loneliest place I've been in a long, long time.

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19 hours ago, Tom23Jones said:

But as you put together months and years things start drastically improving.  Obviously positive habits help build momentum, exercise, meditation, healthy eating etc

Important for me to remember.  I KNOW this, but I need to say it over and over and over to myself.  Today is day 6!  I'm really doing it!

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8 hours ago, Sleepyandsober said:

I work a very high-pressure job and am trying to get FMLA now

I think you should look into the FMLA laws. I also used FMLA to go to rehab and I literally told them one day and left the next. I know one other person who has done the same for other mental health issues. I think chemical dependency qualifies as a serious health condition and shouldn't be subject to a waiting period or approval process.

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@Sleepyandsober hope your weekend got better. I’m still struggling. I worked Thursday Friday and Saturday. Long days and stressful. Made it through.  Then made it to an event with my husband Saturday night. I finally felt for the first time in this like I had a handle on things. I didn’t drink at event or need adderall to stay up. Felt pretty great.   At 11.5 months clean. I finally felt like Id accomplished or reached a point. Like hey I can do this shit.  Then Sunday morning came. Literally was so exhausted felt like right when I got off adderall. Could barely function for the last two days. Even got online to look up doctors today. I didn’t call any, but I had that desperate feeling. The healing in this makes no sense.  I know I can’t go back, but feel very alone as well. I read your post and understand. I’m thinking I may have felt better by now if I went to rehab at the start. At least then you’re not completely alone and maybe there is more of a foundation?  I’m afraid I’ll go back on if I don’t find some (in person )support. Although this site is great.  If you your work will allow it Id say go for it. Whatever it takes. I plan on staying clean don’t get me wrong. I just have so much work to do tmrw because I could barely function today. I too wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy! I want to be over this and Adderall out of my mind. 

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@m34 thank you for this! for me, the most difficult thing I do all day is wake up. Seriously. If i can get through the agony of showering, drinking coffee, dressing myself and getting to work, it’s usually easier for the rest of the day. Sounds like you got a lot done and reached your body’s natural (necessary) limit! Congratulations too on 11.5, that is amazing! I agree that this thing is best defeated with a community. Speaking for myself, I was definitely hooked on adderall, but I know my real problem is being an addict. Going to AA was the only thing that kept me sober, now i’m dragging my feet getting back into the rooms...this site helps a lot. I definitely can’t do it alone. 

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