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About BeHereNow

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  • Birthday 12/30/2012

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  1. PhD, adderall-free!

    Greg! Our friendship has been one of the KEYS to my quitting, staying clean, and actually becoming at least semi-successful after adderall. I know I haven't been on the forum in a long time. I think maybe I had to stay away in order to stop thinking about it. But everyone here, this amazing community, you have all been some of the keys to my journey. And I am so thankful to you all <3
  2. PhD, adderall-free!

    Hey everyone! I hope you all are well and clean and living the good life! The website has changed, and it's been awhile since I've posted. I've been super focused on finishing my degree, and I FINALLY DID IT!! I finished my PhD..... without adderall! For anyone who doesn't know my story, I quit adderall 2.5 years into my grad program. (It was my second time quitting. The first was junior year of college..... which also lasted 5+ years. Re-hooked instantly, which is why I do not recommend ever turning back!) So, I'm posting this just to let you all know that I'm still alive and clean, but also to let people know that, seriously, if I could do this without adderall, then you can do whatever you want without it. Over the past few years, I almost quit grad school repeatedly. Adderall-free, and in grad school, I have had several traumatic deaths in my family, 3+ major heartbreaks, other huge losses, massive financial issues, major depression, daily panic attacks, horrific interpersonal conflicts.... you name it. I've literally been through the worst things life has to offer over the course of my time here. In hindsight, I thought I was quitting adderall halfway through grad school. Turns out it takes an average of 7 years, not 5, to finish a PhD. When I look back, adderall was just a little part of my coursework. Sadly, in some ways it did set the tone for my entire time here, and to be honest, it kind of ruined my social life as well as key relationships I needed to develop early on. So if you are about to start grad/law/med school and are contemplating quitting, I cannot recommend it enough. But I can't dwell on regrets. And my dissertation, along with almost all of my teaching, well, that's been adderall-free. And I am so happy about that! My work would have suffered in quality if I had not quit. There is no way in hell I could have done all of this if I hadn't quit adderall when I did. Adderall would have ruined me. My life, my work, everything. How did I do it? To be honest, for the past year, it's been the mentality of "by any means necessary." So I have been eating a lot of sweets late at night while writing. And recently I've gained a ton of weight. (It's very common among phd students, but no excuse.) So I'm working on body acceptance, and I'm also gearing up to start running again and to lose all this weight. Ugh. Also: naptime every day. Down time. I like work hard for an hour or more, then take an hour or more off. That's how I get things done best: in focused, intensive chunks. But different people work in different ways. So it's important to figure out what works best for you. And perhaps most importantly: Being kind to myself. Celebrating small victories. Dance parties, all the time. Support from friends and family. Therapy. Self-help workbooks. Accepting my anxiety and insomnia, and learning to channel both into my work. Remembering WHY I am in this. Never, ever, EVER stopping. In the end, it's all about embracing how much it sucks. Experiencing the fear, pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, the full range of emotions. These are part of life, part of being human. You realize that you're going to feel that way no matter what, so you might as well do the next big difficult thing. My journey has been very imperfect, very hard, and to be honest, horrific. I'm happy to talk about it if you want! But mainly, I am putting this out there in the hopes that someone might see that it IS possible for a daily, high-dosage adderall user to quit and still finish grad school.
  3. trying to find a solution

    Have to agree with spending time outside. That's my meditation, too. If I spend too much time inside I start feeling extra fatigued and depressed.
  4. Has anyone had good results from cutting back on the usage of devices/screens? I realize that I'm asking this to an internet forum with an audience limited to internet users. But, since you all are technology users, I wonder if spending time on the internet, netflix, social media, texting, apps, games, etc., has an effect on your energy levels. Personally I know that I spend way too much time on my devices, looking stuff up, going on instagram, staring at my phone at the same time as I'm binge watching netflix. I know it's supposedly disruptive to your sleep and melatonin production. So that would rule out netflix as a sleep aid, lol. But I want to take this a step further. I wonder if I'd be more energized if I cancelled my internet service entirely. I figure I can save $75 a month and probably lose weight, work out more, sleep better, and be more productive in general, not to mention saving $$.
  5. what do you consider "hard work"?

    Good question Sadderall. I think true hard work is something you can recognize when you see it, but it's hard to define. It means pushing your limits, making actual progress on tasks, being truly productive and generating new work, making progress in whatever way you measure it, whether it's taking on a new project, a new theme, submitting your work someplace, selling stuff, etc. If you're a construction worker, you know when you're truly working hard because shit gets done and you have a building or piece of furniture to show for it. But if you're slacking off on the job, failing to be as productive as you could be, you also know it on some level, if that makes sense. So I don't think it can really be measured in hours, unless you're working in retail or something. It's also a matter of qualitative exertion. Someone who works for hard for 3 hours a day can accomplish more than someone who works an 8 hour day at a lower productivity level. You have to find the approach that works best for you. Some people use pomodoros, some people even do one hour on - one hour off. I just signed onto the site this morning because I think I'm still stuck in the adderall mentality. I wake up every day expecting myself to be superhuman and then beat myself up for falling short. And then I wonder why I'm exhausted! So, thank you for your question And congrats on the audition!
  6. I can relate to so much of your story. The adderall, the alcohol, the xanax. Congrats on staying clean! I kept the same career, but I started to approach it differently. So far it's working, but I am still frustratingly behind after years of being pretty useless :/ I know some people here have changed careers completely. When you quit adderall, things start to become more clear in a lot of ways. You might realize you hate your career and want to pursue something you love. You will find your path. You deserve a career that you find fulfilling-- and now that you're clean, you can see clearly what does, and doesn't, work for you. Give it time my friend. And good luck!
  7. What's a normal amount of focus?

    Hi eckoangel! First of all, HUGE congrats to you for making this amazing decision and for going 10 days! I'm so happy to hear you're starting to feel emotions again. There's a chance that you'll be feeling even more intense emotions, good and bad, for the first 6 months or so. Sometimes the roller coaster is rough, but at least you are ALIVE again! It sounds like you're doing really well! I will warn you that depression is often a part of recovery but DO NOT let that stop you!!! Press on!!!! You got this!! I don't think there is any such thing as a "normal" amount of focus. Everyone has a different attention span. So there are many different non-adderall methods of focusing. Your ability to focus will keep growing as you progress in your quit. It is a gradual process, so you need to accept that for a little while your focus and motivation levels will be sub-par. It's okay. Your brain will heal. There's no return to the pre-adderall state (which would be childhood anyway), but there's progress towards a NEW YOU!!! Unfortunately, I don't think anyone knows if the brain fully heals from long term adderall use/abuse. We are the lab rats. But I can tell you that in my almost 4 years clean, I have made tremendous progress. Through trial and error I've come across some focus techniques: -Pomodoros (25 minutes on, 5 minutes off, with a longer break after a couple/few sets).... Some people swear by this, but it's not for me (interrupts my flow!) -Some people work for one hour on, one hour off, and alternate this for the day. It helps your brain associate work with reward. I like this one. -Sometimes I'll work for 2-3 hour chunks. This was not possible in early recovery. -Mainly, I've learned that my brain needs breaks. On adderall I didn't take them. Now, I do, and it helps. -Set a reasonable goal, with a reasonable time frame, and get it done! -Break down big projects into smaller pieces, and focus just on those pieces. (I am still working on this one.) -Figure out what time of day your mind is most clear, and set out to work during that time. -Accept that some days will be binge-watching TV in bed. This is your brain resting and recovering. -Be creative. New approaches are needed. The adderall mentality is no longer going to work. Other things: -Eating well (avoiding sugar really helps!) -Exercising (helps your brain to re-learn how to focus) -Do things that you truly love, unrelated to work, because those things will help you return to work with sharper focus. For example, I went hiking a couple weeks ago, then got back to work and had some major breakthroughs with my project!
  8. Got my MBA, landed job, starting business on side

    Love the quote from V for Vendetta! I think it's so important not to hate yourself during recovery from ANY addiction because if you recover, you are so much better off than you were even before you started taking the drug. I am so happy for you!
  9. HOPE

    Thank you so much for sharing LilTex!!! I actually just came back from a meeting in which someone said that the 5 year mark brought on a bunch of cravings for him. But he didn't give in. I know that for me, it happened with adderall. I relapsed after like 5 years. I also knew someone with 25 years of sobriety who still almost took a drink right in front of me. There is hope in remaining vigilant and aware. And, I find lots of hope in helping new people on this site, and reading posts like yours. I hope I can be like you someday. And even when the thoughts of adderall come creeping in, I can still remind myself that it is no way to live!!! We are all living hope. Thank you for posting and keep on fighting the good fight! You are my inspiration! <3 <3 <3
  10. I've never heard of any dr. legally prescribing more than 60 mg per day. I thought that was the maximum dosage (based on what I've read.) In order to sue someone, you need to prove that their actions have caused permanent damage to you, whether it's your health or your property. (I sued someone years ago for a car accident that left me permanently disabled, so that's how I know. I will say that it took years, the lawyers took 1/3 of the money, I had to go to a deposition--NOT FUN-- and I had to keep pushing and pushing because the original settlement offer was super low.) It sounds to me like you have a case. You will need to talk to a good attorney who specializes in medical malpractice suits. You'll need medical charts from before, during, and after your time on adderall to prove that this is what caused it. I have no doubt that it was the adderall, but I imagine that your psychiatrist and/or their insurance company has some cadillac lawyers who will go to the ends of the earth to deny your claims, say that it was a pre-existing condition, etc. In other words, it's going to take some legwork on your part and it's going to take time, but I think you should go for it. Get a free consultation with a good attorney and see what they say. Usually, for lawsuits, they don't collect $$ until the case is settled.
  11. It took about 6-8 months into my early recovery before I started running. I joined the 12 miles a week running club and started doing planks. I also started taking Wellbutrin, which helped. I lost a LOT of weight and was super motivated for like 2 years to stay athletic. My weight fluctuates a lot. Every year. Right now I am on the high end of the scale. A lot of life factors have played into this. I want to get my weight under control right now, too. When I'm not physically active or eating right, I feel uncomfortable in my own skin... I feel like I'm not my real self. Keeping a variety of clothing sizes on hand helps. The worst feeling ever is when you've thrown away all your "fat" clothes, only to have to buy new ones a few months or a year later. For now, I'm trying to just walk at least 2 miles a day. Baby steps.
  12. I have noticed that I sleep better with a heavy, but not too thick, blanket. Maybe time to switch back to it! Thank you for sharing! I recently noticed that a deep hug (like they said), a massage, or any kind of deep pressure helps a lot. PS Ever see those "anxiety jackets" for dogs? A tight little coat that's supposed to help anxiety prone dogs through car rides and things. I always wanted one for humans!
  13. Poster Child for Relapse

    Thank you so much for sharing Doge! Congrats on finding that your life is coming back together. We addicts, no matter what substance, relapse. It's part of the whole picture. I relapsed on adderall at least 4 major times before I even made a profile and cut off my source. I've relapsed on everything, repeatedly. The point is that we keep on and don't let the relapse become another downward spiral. Step up and keep moving forward! I'm happy for you that you're in love! Just be sure you're doing this for YOURSELF. Otherwise it won't stick. But I do believe a lot of addictions stem from loneliness and searching for true connection to other people. Just don't substitute your new love for your former addiction...... because people do also become addicted to love. Sorry if this is too harsh but I've seen it happen and it ruins relationships, which I would hate to see happen to you! Hugs! And congrats! You can do this!
  14. The effect on personality

    The personality changes are real. I was in a great relationship for my 3+ years on adderall. And, I felt my personality changing. But I kept going. I felt myself not wanting affection (which is crazy because now, affection is ALL I want!!!) I wanted to be left alone to go into my adderall world. I thought I was smarter and stronger than my partner (how narcissistic is that?!) Little windows would come through when I ran out, but literally nothing she said or did could have changed me. Then she left me. For a lot of reasons. Mainly because she needed more commitment and more affection, and I wasn't giving it. Sometimes that's what partners of addicts have to do. Sometimes leaving is the only way to get them clean and help them hit rock bottom. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I wouldn't recommend even trying to get through. The adderall wall is practically impenetrable. You might have to watch and wait as your partner slowly spirals downwards. But we cannot change other people. Addiction sucks for everyone involved and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.