Ready4Change

10 months off and still PAWS and gut wrenching anxiety

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Hello my friends. I want to release some steam and sharing what I’m feeling with you all is the only place I feel understood. I am 10 months off Adderall and I am still filled with incredible anxiety. Sometimes so bad I get nauseous. I’m also pacing around my house constantly, biting pens and have mostly negative thoughts.  Existential crisis type thoughts. I am experiencing zero pleasure other than food and sex. I have gained 40lbs which doesn’t help at all. My fucking stomach got stretch marks from the rapid weight gain. Ugh.  I still have zero motivation and my shit attitude is unbearable.  I wish I could use the tools I’ve learned in these moments. It’s hard when I have been fighting so hard for so long. I apologize for the negativity but I just need to rant.  My wife, coworkers and family have been suffering enough just having me around in my sad state.  The hardship this process puts on those you love creates so much guilt. I have had a few good days recently, which is an improvement but anytime stress comes back into my life all my symptoms return with a vengeance.  This process is so fucking difficult after being on Adderall for 15 years.  Some days I truly feel like I am going crazy and I will end up in a state hospital.  I have hope from all the stories on here but in these dark moments, time comes to a crawl and the darkness consumes the light.  I’m sitting at work and I am am not even close to what I used to be on the job. Pathetic really. The most tragic thing I lost is my ability to care.  In these moments I just don’t give a fuck.  My apathy sickens me.  Sorry for the vomit  but I needed an outlet today.  I’m really losing it.  

 

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@Ready4Change  , sorry to hear about your struggles - trust me i've been there. you probably already know that 10 months after 15 years is still in the fairly early stages, but that aside, here's something to consider:

depression and anxiety are often cyclical in that they can cripple you from progressing, and the fact that you're not progressing makes you more anxious, leading to more crippling etc. at some point it's hard to tell whether the anxiety is even from PAWS anymore, though PAWS is very real and easy to blame. let's assume for argument sake that there's nothing you can do about PAWS, only time will heal that. is there something you can do about the progress? maybe all you need is a "win" no matter what it is?

i was in a pretty depressed state last year, but my gf suggested i needed a change and forced me to get out there and try applying for a new job. i didn't end up landing a new position, but i got pretty far into the interviewing process, and you know what? just the process of studying for the interviews and getting a better sense of where i stand.. it instantly lifted the fog. even though i didn't get an offer, simply understanding my value and feeling like i was good enough to compete was all i needed. it was a small but decisive win.

your win could be anything - completing a personal project, volunteering, starting a new hobby. the point is, those wins won't come to you, you need to actively pursue them. the biggest trap is waiting to feel better. all of this is of course easier said than done, but i found it to be true from experience. (:

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On 3/2/2020 at 2:26 PM, Ready4Change said:

I’m also pacing around my house constantly, biting pens and have mostly negative thoughts.

Do something when this happens. Anything. Clean something. Cook. Go for a run. Lift some weights. Restlessness is a sign you are ready to move. I’ve been exactly where you are. Believe me, I get how hard it is, but you need to move. In early recovery I absolutely was not restless, I was perfectly content to sleep my days away, watch TV, eat, and repeat. Then I got restless, sat for a bit in the miserable state you describe, realized ‘oh crap I’m 30 pounds overweight’ and got moving. You’re on the verge of a big time breakthrough. You’re standing in the doorway of something big and that step over the threshold is tough.
 

You’ve got this. I’m 22 months sober today and it sounds like you’re about where I was at 10 months. It gets so much better, I lost the weight in year 2. Also, you wouldn’t be on here if you didn’t care. Nobody who doesn’t care puts themselves through the hell of getting clean. People who actually don’t care don’t have to tell themselves that they don’t care. They just don’t care. 

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13 minutes ago, DrewK15 said:

You’re on the verge of a big time breakthrough. 

YES! This! What I have learned from getting off adderall ten years ago and my current journey of quitting drinking (100 days sober today :-)) is that patience can be the most powerful tool to use during the times when we’re struggling the most. Back when I was hooked on adderall, my solution to any unpleasant feeling was to pop a pill. Fast forward ten years and I had gotten in a habit of turning to alcohol to escape my emotions. It was and is hard to endure negative feelings without looking for a quick fix. All of the suggestions in the comments above are great. But if there are moments when you are struggling to motivate doing anything at all, don’t forget that even just getting through those moments without relapsing is doing something. It’s huge actually. I was also hooked on adderall for 15 years- that first year off SUCKS. But you’ve come SO FAR. It won’t always be this hard. Just keep your eye on the prize. 

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I’m 21 months. It’s a slow process but I’m headed in the right direction. And so are you. The anxiety can be crippling and you get depressed from it all  . It’s confusing because some weeks you feel like your getting better than other week a wave of anxiety and depression and worrying makes you feel like your taking a step back. I pray a lot it brought me back closer to God . I pray the rosery for strength and guidance. I still struggle I feel I’m 70 to 90 percent healed depending if another wave is happening. the waves are getting smaller overall . It feels like for me this is going to be a 3 year process until I’m healed

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