72 days clean

5 posts in this topic

Hey all, 

I am 72 days clean and I wanted to give an update on some things I've learned. 

As many of you know, some days REALLY suck, but I think the bad days are getting farther apart now. I felt pretty good the first month. The second month was actually a lot harder. I kept thinking 'it's been 2 months. I should be feeling better now.' I started to get impatient and lose some of the self-love, nurturing routines that gave me courage to quit in the first place. There were a couple times I started to think it wasn't a big deal to go back on the pills, but I know that was the addiction talking.

Anyway, I know it may sound silly, but I truly think the biggest thing that has helped me make it this far is self love. I keep a journal that I write in every day. I try to be as honest as possible about my cravings, depression, anxiety, etc. I also try to do some yoga, breathing exercises, and daily walks/runs. Most days I really don't feel like doing any of it, but the one little bit of intrinsic motivation comes from a sense of gratitude that the stimulants didn't kill me. I feel like I was given a second chance, and even though it's dark most days, I am so grateful to be able to go on this recovery journey. I understand how easy it is to give into the self-loathing and pessimism, but I think those thought patterns only make the recovery worse. When I write in my journal, I try to think of my addict self as if it were an old friend that I've outgrown. She is wrong and dangerous, but I don't hate her. I have just outgrown that relationship. If I can personify my addiction but also see it as something separate from my 'true' self, I am less attached. This helps with cravings too. They are the worst when I am working or when I have to do something new and challenging. When I observe the cravings rather than obsess over them, I notice that they subside as the day goes on. The cravings are temporary just like the tired adderall-obsessed identity. I love my future self too much to give up now.

I write letters to myself and quotes on the bathroom mirror. I even recorded a message to listen to when I am feeling especially weak. All this may seem silly, but honestly it's the strongest thing I know that helps to combat the negative thought patterns that reinforced my addiction for so many years. You are rewiring your brain. Your self talk is important. Your thoughts about your progress shape your recovery.

I also try to find at least one moment each day to acknowledge how a certain experience is better than it would have been if I were on Adderall. For me, music has been a HUGE part of my recovery. I have several go-to playlists for my good and bad days. I have listened to more music in the last 72 days than I did in the 5 years I was on Adderall. It's worth all the bad days to be able to really hear music again. 

Your interests are going to be different and that's ok. Get creative with discovering what you truly enjoy. If you have to chill inside, that's ok too. The biggest thing is to not make your recovery worse by beating yourself up about how you got here in the first place. Your life is not ruined. You're exactly where you need to be. You had to hit rock bottom, but now you're on your way up. It's going to be dark for a little while, but you WILL get better and there is so much beauty in your unravelling. 

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I absolutely love your posts!  I always have thought the hardest part is forgiving yourself and you've eloquently unpacked that into many really great ideas I've never thought of.

I remember finding healing from music also, especially during the first two months.  There's so much stuff that's way better when you aren't on adderall.

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I remember the old days Im still out tearing shit up on the regular. This summer I wheeled more than I had in the last 3 years combined. I get on my laptop later Ill post some current photos

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