NurseAddy

I can't believe it's me...

15 posts in this topic

I can't believe it's me. I'm a drug addict, addicted to Adderall.

I turned 30 this year, addicted to Adderall. I'm a registered nurse, addicted to Adderall. I just built a home with my better half, addicted to Adderall. I have the most supportive relationship, still addicted to Adderall. Two great and financially stable careers, still addicted to Adderall. I have the three most amazing and wonderful dogs with my other half, still addicted to Adderall. For me, I have a near perfect life and I should be grateful, but I'm fucking addicted to Adderall. How did this happen?

I have been lurking around this forum for nearly a year now, usually towards the end of a binge when I'm really hating my decision to relapse for the 8,236 time. That was exaggerated, but still, how many times can you fuck yourself over until you're permanently damaged? My story is like many I've read on here, it's nothing unique and it follows suit with the many others struggling to kick the addiction. There’s no reason why I should feel the need to escape reality nor need my addiction to cope. I don’t need Adderall, so why do I ALWAYS want it?

I was first prescribed Adderall in 2015 while in nursing school. Of course I took it as prescribed for a while, 20mg twice daily. It helped my B's go to A's on my last year of nursing school, lost weight, felt great as was happy to be alive. My mother had previously told me that I should have been on medications as a child, as I always struggled with concentration during tests but she was weary of medication side effects being a nurse as well. When I think back on why I sought out a script in the first place, deep down I don't believe it was ever for the intended reason. My sister a couple months prior, had a couple Adderall on her during a vacation that she offered me, I took them and IMMEDIATELY was enthralled with the feeling I got from them. If I could go back now, I wish I had refused her offer as I believe that is what starting my hunger for Adderall, while my studies were just the excuse and if it helped my grades as well, then so be it. As always though, all good things must come to an end. 

Fast forward to today, I've been on Adderall 5 years, taking it as prescribed for three and abusing it heavily for the last two. Now days, I blow through my script in about 7-10 days, taking upwards of 140-160mg daily until I run out, crash and burn. Like many, when it comes time to refill the script, I think "I'll take it as prescribed this time..." I think the sober me desperately wishes to believe that, but the addict me is already too excited that it's refill time that I subconsciously know what's about to happen. I guess the addict just wants the fix. The longest period of sobriety that I've gone is 4 months, but what thought crossed my mind one day when sober me was weak and wanted to believe the addict? Yeah, that was a disappointing relapse. Lately I've just come to accept that when it's refill time, I'm going to be cracked out of half the month and sober half the month with a period in-between really hating my life choices. 

I hate the yo-yo- effect. I hate staying up for days on end, thinking I'll just take ANOTHER pill to make up for the lack of sleep. I hate the leg cramps and muscle twitches. I hate the dry mouth, ulcers and canker sores everywhere.  I hate that I have let this addiction lead to receding gums. I love going to the dentist and yet here I am willingly fucking up the smile I've spent thousands on to look great. I hate that I pick my face and scalp apart so well I could likely be mistaken for a meth addict. It's sad that during the 3-4 hours spent in front of the mirror every night carving craters in my face, that I know I'm ruining my face, possibly permanently. I hate that my libido has been MIA for almost a year now. I hate that I choose my drug over my significant other. I hate that I know he deserves better, if not a better me. I hate that I look forward to coming home from work, just to find the bottle to take one more pill. I hate that I'm chasing after a feeling I'll NEVER find again. I hate that I ever tried these fucking pills. I hate myself for not being stronger than a fucking drug. I hate that I choose a pill for happiness. Now I'm scared shitless that WHEN I quit for good, I'll never be able to feel the same again.

I write this almost groveling for help. Lurking hasn't apparently worked, so I'm hoping posting my story will. I will run out of Adderall tomorrow, and I know the crash all too well. What I don't know is what forever off Adderall is like. Even off Adderall for four months, I felt very depressed and my libido hadn't returned in the slightest. I have my annual primary care appt next month, and I will tell her to discontinue my script, forever. I'm scared shitless. I'm scared I will forever crave this feeling. I'm scared I will forever compare my happiness to that of Adderall. I'm scared I will fail, again. I'm fucking scared. But, I hope in the process, I can begin to love myself again and be a better person for myself and everyone around me. That is the least I could do. 

It's just all so surreal sometimes. I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe it's me, the drug addict.

Any and all long term commitment tricks and tips are welcome and highly requested! Please! 

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Your story sounds similar to mine. I’m a teacher. Also been prescribed meds for about four years, when I think I originally should’ve been prescribed postpartum depression medicine. Everything was great on my new meds at first. But now I also take all of mine as soon as I get it and run out weeks early. BUT what ALWAYS happens for me is that toward the end of the second or third week without it I start to feel like a human again. And during that time I’ll tell myself, “Wow, I really can function without it.” But then, that script is handed to me and it’s a downward spiral. I also run out tomorrow, but this time I am running out because I confided in a friend and had her take them completely out of my house. I wasn’t strong enough to flush them myself, but I will be soon. You are not alone. 

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@metoo Thank you for your reply! Your story sounds almost too familiar. I too feel almost normal again and for whatever reason STILL fill the script knowing I’m about to lose normality. I’m assuming the psychological win is the hardest to conquer.

I have flushed mine a number of times but it never stopped me from refilling. Which is why I have to cut off the source, seeing my PCP next month to do so. Perhaps a thought for you as well? 

I wish you the best of luck, I hope to see you check in throughout OUR sobriety. 

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@NurseAddy Welcome to the forum, officially. Your story is unfortunately all to familiar to a majority of the members here including me.  Lurking around the site when running out of meds and/or when your coming down off the high and hating your life.  The "yo-yo" effect of getting your script, burning thru it in a week or two, and saying that you're never gonna go back but do anyways.  Realizing that you have become addicted to this little pill even tho you can't believe it has happened and scared that you will never be able to quit and that life will be potentially horrible for the rest of your life.  I have personally experienced these things and read hundreds of posts like yours where people are in complete despair and scared of life off this drug and its crazy.

On the bright side, many of those people that have posted similar stories have gone on to quit and say its the best decision that they've ever made in their life and I fully believe them.  I also have a friend that abused for years and is approaching 4 years clean this upcoming week and he's been able to enjoy life to the fullest and used to regret all the time he wasted being burned out (his first 6 months were rough but after a year he rarely even thought of the meds).  Just know that life will suck for a while in early recovery but its so worth the reward of being a normal human in the long run.  I'm thankful for this site and the stories that reassure me that what I'm doing and going thru will be worth it.  That there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

I've quit many times in the past and flushed my pills on so many occasions but still went back to them.  Now, I've developed an overwhelming hatred for the drug and a final realization that I'm not getting anywhere by being on them and they solve nothing by taking them.  Also, venting and contributing constantly to this site has been crucial for me as well, I'm normally a quiet person but posting has given me accountability and honestly just makes me feel better.

Just know that you CAN quit and you WILL be okay and happier in the long run, it won't be overnight but eventually...it sounds like things are going very good for you in other aspects of your life and thats something to be especially thankful for while recovering. A good support system is crucial as well and it sounds like you have that in your significant other.  Just know that there are people here just like you and the support can be amazing.  Good luck and keep checking in!!!

-Finishing Day 41 and excited about life again

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@eric Thank you for the reply as well as your words of wisdom!

May I ask, is there anything recovery wise you’d recommend for long term commitment? ie therapy, meditation, exercise etc?

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@NurseAddy hi! It sounds like you’re ready to do this and get off of Adderall for good which is a good start. It’s crazy how many of us crash around the 4-5 year mark, I was the same way (I’m 28 so not too different age wise). As far as long term commitment, start by cutting off your supply, which it sounds like you’re doing. I’d also let your partner know what’s going on and about your desire to quit. Show them this site so they can better understand what you will face. I’m sure the promise of your personality and libido returning will make them very understanding and accommodating. 

Therapy, support groups, rest and exercise worked wonders for me in my long term recovery. I think it’s a matter of figuring out what works for you. I had a lot of emotional and other addiction issues so seeing a counselor and AA were really important for me. Exercise and rest are good for everyone. Find a balance and don’t push yourself too hard early on. Your mind and body need time to heal. I spent a lot of time the first 9-10 months binging TV shows, which I don’t do at all now. So be kind to yourself when that’s all you feel like doing. Start with some light cardio. Even just 10-15 minutes to get the blood moving. Anyways, that’s some of what worked for me to be successful long term. Good luck!

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@DrewK15 Thank you for the encouragement and advice! I worry that come time to tell my doc about cancelling the script, that I won’t. As it’s near the time I would refill as well. I will keep thinking positive in the meantime.

May I ask, how far along are you on your sobriety? How do you specifically tame the craving dragon?

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@NurseAddy I'm still in early recovery so I'm glad DrewK15 provided some input. Lately I try to be less hard on myself when I'm not being super productive or when I have a lot of regret for the years I wasted doing meaningless tasks instead of being a father and husband.  I'm thankfully holding onto all the negative things that adderall did to me and I currently have had very little to no desire to take one again.  I relapsed so many times that things are never different/better when I take a pill and I'm finally realizing that and internalizing it.  I still got a long journey ahead but so far my life has already changed so much compared to 6 weeks ago and I have had no regrets about quitting.

- Currently day 42 and plowing thru this Monday!

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@eric You are absolutely right. The cycle never changes and usually worsens. I just need to cling to that thought much like you have. Congrats on 42 days! Keep it going!

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20 hours ago, NurseAddy said:

How do you specifically tame the craving dragon?

i think "tame" might be the wrong word to use here, because it implies trying to assert control over it. instead, think of it as complete avoidance. in the short term it will be difficult, because every challenge you come across you will think about using, but after a while you kinda just... forget about it (:

you won't spend the rest of your life fighting this addiction. at some point it will become a distant fading memory. gl and keep posting! 

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I think the sober me desperately wishes to believe that, but the addict me is already too excited that it's refill time that I subconsciously know what's about to happen. 

Nailed it.  This is me to a T.

I'm a little late to respond to this but here's what I suggest.  Best thing you can do is just tell your doctor you're killing yourself by binging and that you need the prescription taken away.  Tell your doctor EVERYTHING.  And when you're lying around during the crash feeling horrible hating yourself, do it THEN.  Pick up the phone and tell your doctor.  It's a terrifying thing to do because you can't go back.  But that's the whole point.  When you're 3 years clean, you will probably be able to say no.  When you're 3 months clean.... probably not.

The addict inside your head will be all like, "just wait until you feel better".  But by then it'll be too late and you'll already be looking forward to your next fix instead of wanting to quit.

I'm about a year and a half clean, and if some stranger on the street offered me adderall tomorrow, I hope i'd say no.  But honestly I really don't know I might take it.  The fact that I don't have any access is my biggest ally.  It's the only reason I'm free from that shit.  Tell your doctor to cancel the prescription!

Sorry this is a disorganized mess of thoughts, but I'm rooting for you!

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@Doge Thank you so much for the reply! I have in fact already called to cancel the script in the past, that was when I had 4 months of sobriety. However; I called thinking maybe they forgot I called and asked to have it removed from my file and low and behold, the script was at the pharmacy. Which is why I feel like I need to tell my doc to her face. So she really gets the point. I just hope I go through with it, as I’m on day two of no adderall and already wishing I had more. I hate this foggy feeling. Almost don’t feel real. 

In other words, congratulations on a year and a half of sobriety! What a feat! I’ve heard that once you’re an addict, always an addict which is why I fear ever being able to get ahold of it again. Kudos to you for being honest though. It must be an amazing feeling.

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@NurseAddy thanks very much, it’s been a wild ride and life definitely got hard during this time (for other reasons) but it’s really nice to be able to own the accomplishment of overcoming those barriers without the help of a demon whispering in your ear.  even as recently as a couple months ago I was having a rough day and my subconscious brain started to come up with a plot to maybe convince a doctor to give me a prescription but fortunately those thoughts are few and far between now.

I still frequently have nightmares about relapsing, a couple where i broke into my friends house (who lives in another city) when he wasn’t home and raided his stash, because I know he hoards extras.  But when I woke up, I pretty much shrugged it off and didn’t think about it for the rest of the day (except to think about how grateful I Was that it was just a dream).  

my cravings are mostly subconscious now, I PROMISE YOU the cravings do calm down and I DO have faith that they will eventually go away entirely.

The hardest part is forgiving yourself honestly.

  But you are correct that once and addict, always an addict.  You will never be able to use the drug again without immediately crashing headfirst right back down to the depths of the pits you are currently working so hard to dig yourself out of.

i think the fact that you don’t hear from many users that have been clean past a few years is a testament to the fact that life really does go on after adderall.  After a while they just stop thinking about it and close that chapter of their life.

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