Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
silky

Recovering in secret & falling into a deep depression. Asking for help.

7 posts in this topic

Hello everyone. I am a long-time lurker (probably over a year) of this board but this is my very first post here. I won’t take up too much time with my full addiction story because the unfortunate truth is it’s not special or different than the dozens of stories I’ve read about on this website. I’m writing this to see if there is anyone else in recovery who can relate to post addiction depression, and what words of wisdom you might have.

The short hand is I first started taking Adderall in 2014 and at the start of 2019 fully woke up to the fact that I was abusing it on and off for the last 5 years. After several difficult attempts at quitting I am now 3 months totally clean for the first time in those 5 years.

I am fortunate that I was never an everyday user but I know the damage has still been done. I now find myself slipping into a deep depression that I’ve never really experienced before. When I say depression, my symptoms seem to be manifesting most as: little to no enjoyment in things I used to love my whole life, very easily agitated, low motivation, pushing loved ones away, resentment, and a growing cynical mindset about life that I can’t seem to shake.

It’s truly hard for me to tell what is the result of withdrawal and what is the result of any dissatisfactions I’m having with my situation in life (career, where I’m living, relationships, etc). I suspect those two things are highly related, which makes navigating what real changes I may need to make that much more difficult.

I am currently in therapy and am beginning to overhaul all parts of my life that I can to make them as healthy as possible. For example, though I never had issues with it I quit drinking alcohol two months ago as well. The therapy and getting good exercise seem to help the most so far, but my deeper apathy and cynicism seem to be persisting no matter what I do and that scares me.

Just getting this out there and relating to some people who have gone through recovery would be a big help right now. No one in my life ever knew about my usage or recovery. I feel like my life is passing me by and I would do anything to feel some semblance of optimism again. Any words or thoughts are appreciated at this time. I would also be happy to answer questions about my situation if it would help with more specific advice. 

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

It’s truly hard for me to tell what is the result of withdrawal and what is the result of any dissatisfactions I’m having with my situation in life (career, where I’m living, relationships, etc). I suspect those two things are highly related, which makes navigating what real changes I may need to make that much more difficult.

This is true on so many levels.  I'd be lying if I said I had the answer.  I'm super glad you posted (I just logged in out of the blue after a long hiatus from the forums and your post is the first one I saw).

3 months is AWESOME by the way!  I found the 60 day point was when I found myself in a relapse cycle, so punching through that barrier was a huge thing for me.

The recovery depression is definitely real for me too.  Once you get cleaned and start seeing the bigger picture that is your life, it's easy to beat yourself up for the past.

Something that I heard recently is a quote:  "Guilt is lazy energy." and I've been reflecting on it a lot lately.  It's good to reflect on mistakes and learn from them, but if you over do it and beat yourself up you are just focusing on the past rather than working towards seizing the future that is available to you.

All I do know for sure is, no matter what your story is, it does get better the longer you stay clean.  Your brain re-calibrates itself slowly over time.
 

Quote

Just getting this out there and relating to some people who have gone through recovery would be a big help right now.

This I can definitely confirm!  Post lots, and remember to celebrate the small victories.  Even the shittiest day you could ever possibly have is a victory if it puts you another day further away from "adderall hell".

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on 3 months. I know it’s a big step to reach out on these sites.  Especially,  if you’ve kept your recovery secret in your own life.

I felt this way 3-4 months, then it lifted. Try to research PAWs. 

what you are going through is awful, but it is perfectly normal in recovery. 

I know when you are in the thick of it, it feels like the fog will never lift. That’s exactly how I felt at least. Just hang on because there will be good days.

PAWS comes and goes still. I’m in my 8th month finally.  As you go on the “episodes” get shorter. For me the apathy/ anhedonia  is the hardest. I’d rather have anxiety or anger honestly. Feeling nothing for what I use to love doing was just an impossible stage. However, it passed. It will pass for you also 

 

 

 

 

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, I have also kept my recovery secret in my own life.

Most people here recommend telling others close to you.  Because while you might feel embarrassed to display your vulnerabilities to those who care about you, it's totally worth it if it helps prevent you from relapsing. 

That being said, it's a very personal choice.  I've successfully kept my recovery a secret from my family and friends, but it has also possibly cost me a handful of DAMAGING slips that might have been avoided otherwise.  It saved my pride, but possibly took months or years off my life.  Adderall is vicious to your body.  Just my thoughts.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@DogeVery true.In the beginning I also kept it from everyone except my husband. Mostly, because I didn't know if I was going to keep up with it. I knew once I told even one other person then suddenly it was all real. 

Around 5 months clean I started to tell a few people. It added another level of accountability. I think it helped fuel my recovery. Last thing I want is to have to back track and explain. It just showed me what I was actually dealing with. I was in extreme denial that I was "addicted". Which added a whole other layer of things. It may have just been me... but I did not blame anything on the pill. I would change everything in my life except that pill. Even when I was out of control with my use I still had a false sense of control. It's pretty messed up mind game. Be proud of yourself for getting off start with that. Its a really big deal to make it another day! @silky

 

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @silky, I can empathize with everything you describe at a deep deep level. I still struggle with depression 16 months clean, but it has improved and changed. At first I would say my depression was very physically debilitating and now it’s more of an emotional and existential battle that I fight. Exercise, eating, sleeping, etc is a start and will clear up physical symptoms, but I think the problem is much deeper than that. I live with a void in my heart and soul that I have to work to fill every day. I’m not too interested in most things I used to love and I don’t even know why I’m on this planet much of the time. But I know I’m not ready to die so I choose to stay sober and fight rather than escape my pain. I pray to God for help. And serving people and focusing on others (including this forum) instead of myself is the only thing that has brought me true joy, but it’s very hard to do consistently. I’m sorry if this only makes it worse, but the best thing I can do for you is describe my struggle and what has worked for me.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Doge said:

This is true on so many levels.  I'd be lying if I said I had the answer.  I'm super glad you posted (I just logged in out of the blue after a long hiatus from the forums and your post is the first one I saw).

3 months is AWESOME by the way!  I found the 60 day point was when I found myself in a relapse cycle, so punching through that barrier was a huge thing for me.

The recovery depression is definitely real for me too.  Once you get cleaned and start seeing the bigger picture that is your life, it's easy to beat yourself up for the past.

Something that I heard recently is a quote:  "Guilt is lazy energy." and I've been reflecting on it a lot lately.  It's good to reflect on mistakes and learn from them, but if you over do it and beat yourself up you are just focusing on the past rather than working towards seizing the future that is available to you.

All I do know for sure is, no matter what your story is, it does get better the longer you stay clean.  Your brain re-calibrates itself slowly over time.
 

This I can definitely confirm!  Post lots, and remember to celebrate the small victories.  Even the shittiest day you could ever possibly have is a victory if it puts you another day further away from "adderall hell".

Really appreciate you taking the time to login and post! All of this was very encouraging for me right now (which is why I quoted the whole thing haha). As long as things can get better over time, it's enough for me to get up each day and work towards that betterment. 

I think you are very right in that a part of this depressive mindset is just having to take an inventory of my life and the bigger picture without the dulling effect of drugs, which is another reason i'm choosing to abstain from alcohol right now as well. There is alot I'm not too happy with about myself at the moment. But, I'm tired of escaping. And if it takes me re-learning how to cope with things without that escape than that is what i'll have to do to stay clean. Wish you the best in your continued recovery and journey in life my friend. 

 

22 hours ago, m34 said:

Congrats on 3 months. I know it’s a big step to reach out on these sites.  Especially,  if you’ve kept your recovery secret in your own life.

I felt this way 3-4 months, then it lifted. Try to research PAWs. 

what you are going through is awful, but it is perfectly normal in recovery. 

I know when you are in the thick of it, it feels like the fog will never lift. That’s exactly how I felt at least. Just hang on because there will be good days.

PAWS comes and goes still. I’m in my 8th month finally.  As you go on the “episodes” get shorter. For me the apathy/ anhedonia  is the hardest. I’d rather have anxiety or anger honestly. Feeling nothing for what I use to love doing was just an impossible stage. However, it passed. It will pass for you also 

I said this exact same thing to someone the other day! "Feeling sad or angry would be better than not being able to feel things at all". It's funny, i've read about PAWS over and over and I think I have the tendency to think my case is somehow unique or atypical. I suppose my symptoms fit it pretty well reading them again just now. 

Congrats to you on 8 months! I hope things continue to keep getting better for you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0