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About positivethoughts

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    Running, biking, car restoration, brewing beer, fishing, golfing.

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  1. Three years down

    I realized today that the three-year mark from when I quit adderall/vyvanse (2+ years daily use) passed last month. I didn't even realize it the date came and passed. I remember how hard it was in that first year, and how important this forum was to me. I logged back in today to read some of the topics, it good to see people still sharing information and helping one another. That guide that's pinned to the top of the general discussion is excellent, I wish I had read that when I first quit. For all of you still in your first year of quitting, just know it gets better. Since I quit, I finished my MBA, got married, moved with my wife to San Francisco from Chicago, and fulfilled a life-long dream of getting a dog. There are things to look forward to, your life right now will not be your life forever. And you are already making the change you want to see in your life, so keep going. I have posted before about some supplements that are supposed to help. I still take some daily (Ginko Biloba, Vinpocetine, Vitamin D, Acetyl L Carnitine, Huperzine A), I wouldn't say they change your mood immediately, but I like to think they've helped me long term. I got these from a study about brain damage in athletes and drug abusers, I'll include the link below. Take care all.
  2. One Year

    Hello All. I'm very happy to say that it's been one full year since I quit. I had spent two years taking 70mg vyvanse daily, and I was finally able to quit one year ago today. I wish I could say, "it feels like yesterday" that I flushed a decent sized (and expensive) stash down the toilet, but it doesn't. It's been a very long year with some very long nights and days. But in that time I finished a one year MBA program, got a new job, got a promotion, got engaged, and am now working on starting a side business as well. But more importantly, I feel better, and I feel human again. For a solid 8 months I felt very little, I was emotionless and nihilistic. After that, I began to feel normal in the sense that appropriate emotions began to return to me. I don't know if everyone here would agree with me on this, but my theory is that we were so used to feeling confident, invincible and artificially happy from adderall/vyvanse, that we all forgot what real emotions were supposed to feel like, and when we were supposed to feel them. And, at least for me, I wasn't very good at handling them as they slowly began to return back to me. When things aren't going well, or you are bored, you are supposed to feel uneasy and anxious, and when you're scared it's supposed to be terrifying. So, that is why I say I feel human in the sense that I now feel appropriate emotions - sadness comes when I should feel sad, anxiety hits when I am uneasy or bored, as it should. And the best part is, that happiness comes when I should feel happy. And finally, I am able to get back to finding and doing those things. I remember reading other posts when I had first quit where some people were saying they were a year+ clean and still didn't feel 100% - this terrified me at the time. I now understand what they meant, only I would say, at one year clean, that I do in fact feel 100%, I just don't feel 150% like when I was on vyvanse - and I am very happy with that. I know it is cliche to say, but I am stronger from this whole ordeal. I feel I have a better grasp on life, on what I want to do with it, what things I really care about. If I could pass one thing along to try and help those that are struggling, remember that much of this recovery process is a function of time. You may be terrified of the notion, "I will not ever be back to normal. What if I don't recover fully", but I assure you, give it another day, another month, another year. You will not feel this way forever, it just might be a little longer than you want it to be. But that's ok, it's about time we all re-learned what it feels like to be impatient
  3. Hello All - it has been awhile since I last came to post something on here. I remember when I had first quit vyvanse I had wished there were more people who were further along in recovery to say "it gets better". It was a senior member's post, quit-once, that inspired me to flush my decent sized vyvanse stash down the toilet. I had taken vyvanse for 2 years, 70mg a day, and was fully dependent. I began having withdrawals toward the end, even though I was still taking it - panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety, so much so that I visited the hospital twice because I thought I was dying. They just prescribed me anti-anxiety pills. It was then that realized that there is no way that this drug was not causing this. Even though everything you read, and your doctor says, it's safe. It's therapy - "look at the progress you've made!". To anyone who has just quit, or is thinking about quitting, god bless you. It's the hardest thing you may ever do, at least it was for me. I remember thinking, in the beginning, "I can't feel anything, happy, sad, nothing". I thought there HAD to be something wrong with me, my brain must be broken, some deformity or disease (even got 2 brain MRIs, they found nothing). Did the vyvanse ruin for me forever? Nobody feels like this, everyone else walks around, feeling normal. I also slipped into a bit of nihilism, feeling like my life didn't matter, that I could die tomorrow and it wouldn't affect the universe. But it's so important to realize in these first few months, even first few years for some, it's not you. That is your brain returning to equilibrium. For an extended period of time, I took a drug that controlled the amount dopamine that was in my brain, and by "controlled", I mean it pretty much just turned on the faucet and left it going. It will take time for that level back out, and that's ok. The other thing I realized that, once I was starting to feel like I was "recovering" in months 6-7, that the bad thoughts would come back when I was overwhelmed or stressed - but then it hit me, well no duh, I'm stressed, I feel terrible, this is when your brain is supposed to NOT feel good. Without making this too long, I'm 10.5 months clean. I just finished my MBA last week from Loyola in Chicago, and I got better grades than I would have thought when I first signed on a year ago. In the last 6 months I also landed a good job working at a consulting company, and got a promotion. I also started my own business with my best friend, raising money for schools, and we are setting up to launch officially soon. It may not seem like it for some, but I honestly feel stronger because of this. It's kind of corny, but I fell in love with the quote from the movie V for Vendetta "What was done to me created me. It's a basic principle of the universe that every action causes an equal and opposing reaction". I can't hate myself for having taken vyvanse. It led me here, and I am alive, and I am spending every day trying to better myself. I felt like the equal/opposite reaction of this battle is a great deal of strength and power. I am finally at peace with myself and the person I want to be. I am so thankful for this site, and the people on it. Everyone on here is understanding and caring, even though none of us have ever met one another in person. It's truly amazing.
  4. man, this website

    sadderall - I completely understand what you mean when you say 'the side effects are driving me to be a different person' - but its so important I think to realize that those are just side effects. The true you will come back once your body is at equilibrium again. And on the same token, and as I think you have already realized, you are not at equilibrium right now. Racing thoughts, depression, anxiety, panic - all symptoms that I had when I was first quitting, but you realize that its just your body fighting to get back to a level that it was before. I'm 10.5 months off now, and I feel much better. I just finished my MBA last week while working a full-time job - something I never thought I could do when I first quit. I was so scared that I would just go crazy and be nothing, and be worth nothing. But your desire to better yourself is there, and it will get you through this. Don't fear, you are capable more than you know.
  5. When will it get better?

    iambuki - congratulations on your decision. I did not take adderall for as long as you have, I was on it for about 2 years (vyvanse 70mg daily) before I decided to quit. I am almost 10.5 months off of it now, and I can tell you that it is absolutely worth it. When I first quit, it seemed like everything I read pointed to one year. But I definitely disagree, I began to see improvements at about 4 months, and I felt like it started to get lot better between 6-7 months. I had a great deal of trouble sleeping for the first several months, but I was lucky in that I had just quit my job to pursue my MBA full-time. I would work out, usually jogging several miles, to wear me out. Sometimes it would work. I saw you mentioned you would drink red bull/5 hr energy, everyone is different, but I definitely wouldn't recommend that. I did the same, drinking vast amounts of coffee in the beginning, but once I stopped doing that I realize I felt much better - and I was able to sleep a lot better. I've written this in other areas/forums on this site, but the best advice I can offer is to keep doing things - plan things, take up new projects, keep yourself busy. I realize this is very difficult in the beginning, but once I proved to myself that I could operate at a relatively high pace again, I was much happier. And quite frankly, I didn't have time to think about the depression, anxiety, as much. Don't get me wrong, it will still be there, but the faster you can move forward, the faster you can recover. When it comes to recovery, progress is measured in time. It gets better, I promise.
  6. What is happening to me

    I apologize for my late response - I cant tell you how much I appreciate everyone's input and support. Its finals week for me this week, I have one more to go tomorrow and then I am done for a month before fall quarter starts up. It has really kept me going to get these responses in the past few days, and I am blown away by the depth of your posts. Truly thank you. Bluemoon - I can't fathom how difficult it must be to live in a new place AND be recovering from adderall. You must be a very strong person. I absolutely would think that the situation you've described would have something to do with your mood and emotions during the recovery months. It is a new thing for me, since my girlfriend moved away, to feel stranded and alone during a time of discomfort, and I would imagine that you have had similar feelings all along being in an unfamiliar place. Not to say you don't have some level of support from friends in your new city but I think there is always comfort in familiarity of your surroundings. I hope you are able to find contentment in your new home and new job - if you haven't done so already. Regarding relationships, just as this website shows everyday that there are really amazing people out there that care for one another, and can empathize with others, I think you too can find someone that you will find that you enjoy being around and will support you. I know I am very thankful to have had someone with me throughout this process. I am not saying "Hey, you should go get out there!", because I know its not that easy when you are struggling to feel normal emotions. Nonetheless, I hope that you get surprised by meeting somebody new, you never know it could happen at a time you don't expect. And to answer your other questions, my girlfriend and I don't have it fully worked out how long this move would be for her. Originally we thought it would make sense for her to at least go out there and feel out this new position, and then decide on whether or not I would move there after school - or she would move back if she didn't like it. We are kind of caught in the middle right now, which doesn't make things easier. Best of luck going forward, thank you very much for sharing your story - lets both get through this. Duffman - I really really like your approach to this. I need to remind myself that this isn't really "me" so to speak that is causing the discomfort, its a function of my brain recovering from an addiction and the environment that affects it. And like you said, the recovery itself can't be influenced (other than to hinder it with poor health decisions), but the environment can be altered so as not to overwhelm and cause even more stress. At the very least, I think I will re-tweak my schedule for my next term to perhaps only include 2 classes instead of 4, that way I can spread out my workload and have time to recover. I've also thought about approaching my boss and asking for reduced work hours on days that I have class. I'm not sure which I will end up doing, but either way your input has made me start to lay out some options. I will also take your advice on making it a point to see my girlfriend, instead of talking to her over the phone or texting. I definitely have already experienced the fatigue of feeling like I should call and text her consistently/constantly, but like you said, its different when you actually see the person and see their emotions. I actually just got off of a face-time with her, it went for over an hour (a good thing), much longer than our normal phone conversations at night. I try not to bring up my recovery too much in our conversations, especially now that she has moved away, because I don't want her to think that I am not thinking about her and am only thinking about myself - and I don't want to make it seem like I cant handle the recovery on my own and somehow blame her for leaving, which I absolutely do not. But you're right, I do need to open up about it, especially in difficult times. Thank you for putting this all into perspective in this way, you've made me feel like this all is more manageable with the right mindset. Hope your recovery continues swiftly as well. BeHereNow - Ever since reading your post, I've been repeating your sentence "The body builds dopamine reserves through food, sleep, and exercise, and TIME" in my head over and over again. It is a clear formula to battle the stresses and aid in recovery. Honestly, having lived with my girlfriend for over a year in a studio, I'm not used to having alone/me time as much, and I think I relied almost too much on her to take my mind of things. I need to find strength and also solace in being alone, as you said, during the recovery. I will try hard to work on this, my friend suggested meditation, have you tried this and if so would you recommend it?
  7. What is happening to me

    I'm 7 months clean, and in the last few months I was actually doing really well. I was looking forward to things, making plans, enjoying myself. I was starting to feel emotions - and from reading other people's posts, it sounds like that's really what we all want. In the last week or so things took a turn for the worse. I just feel nothing. Life feels pointless. I am having terrible thoughts that I can't seem to avoid. All I keep thinking is will it ever get better, is this going to be my battle for the rest of my life? I look at everyone else walking down the street, young and old, they seem so carefree. I envy them for not being locked in a horrible self-struggle. Why can't I be like them? Will I ever feel like that again? If I can't live a life that I can feel, what's the point It's also worth noting that in the past month a few major-ish events have happened. My girlfriend of 2 years accepted a great job in Utah (I am in Chicago) and moved there in the end of May. Her family lives there as well, and they were going through some rough times, she wanted to be with them. We are still together. I don't ever plan on leaving her, she's the best thing that ever happened to me - and I know she feels the same. But that doesnt mean I don't feel abandoned and alone. Before she left, I was not working as I am a full time MBA student. After she left I took a full-time job downtown. I was hoping that it would keep my mind busy, keep my mind off the fact that she was not there every time I went home. So now I have 4 classes per week at night, and work 5 days a week. I'm sure that this has something to do with my horrible feelings. I have to change something. I have to move to Utah, or quit my job and focus on school, or something. I also want to propose to my girlfriend, but am afraid that I would be doing it to try and change something for myself. I am also terrified that if I proposed while feeling this terrible ... I wouldnt feel it. I don't know what I am looking for, or really why I posted this. Here is the only place I feel like anyone knows what I am talking about. Please tell me it gets better.
  8. Blood pressure changes?

    I just passed my 6 month point of being off vyvanse, and until a few weeks ago I was feeling great mentally. I am an MBA student and I've been doing much better in classes, been keeping up with friends and family more consistently, and even taken up some side projects like brewing beer. But in the past 2 weeks I've started experiencing some very strange physical symptoms. Ever since college I have had pre-hypertension, high blood pressure but not so high that they would consider it to be dangerous (I believe it was 128 over 80?). But more recently my blood pressure has dropped significantly, as low as 112 over 58. I've read that in most cases, low blood pressure is a good thing. But the problem is that I can feel it - I feel headrushes, slight dizziness, palpitations. I started a diet and have been eating much healthier, mostly vegetables, cutting back on sugar and sodium. I have a hard time believing that my diet caused my BP to drop so significantly, and I feel like I shouldn't really "feel" the drop. I wanted to throw this out there to see if anyone else felt any physical changes related to their heart during their vyvanse/adderall recovery. Hopefully this is just a phase and it goes away.
  9. On being overly capable..

    REALLY liked this post. I too am in grad school (MBA) and struggled with the feeling that I didn't understand everything that was being presented in some of my classes. But like you said, I don't think I would've understood it fully on vyvanse either, I would have just felt like I was. This is good motivation to keep pushing further. Thank you for posting
  10. blue moon, I am at a little over 5 months, but I definitely know what you mean. When I quit cold turkey (2.5 yrs 70 mg of vyvanse/daily) I felt like nothingness, like nothing mattered, that I had no energy to do anything, and even if I did I wasnt sure if it would make me happy. Or if I ever could be happy ever ... at all. Its a truly dark place that feels like there is not a way out. It started with panic attacks, but then just turned into anxiety, combined with tiredness. The brain fog was paralyzing, sleep was terrible, the list goes on. But more recently my mind has changed, don't get me wrong, I still have bad days, but I am starting to find that there are things I really want to do. And I've found that doing anything that gets me closer to something that I have even the faintest inkling of wanting to do, makes me feel better. Is there an old friend you want to see? Shoot them a text and set up a get together or just start a conversation. Feel like doing nothing and playing video games? Look ahead in your schedule and figure out when you can do that - and then look forward to that. Is there a movie thats coming out that you might want to see? Go see it, even by yourself (I did this and got a big box of popcorn, it felt great). Think of it this way, during the recovery, which could take 6 more months, you arent expected to do much of anything - you arent well equipped to be able to do very much of anything - so anything you can do for yourself right now is a HUGE step in the right direction. And after awhile, all of these things will add up. After awhile of this, I find myself getting excited for things again. Getting excited to see people. And even though I still feel stress sometimes, or have misplaced anxiety, or feel depressed -- I am still getting closer and closer to the goal, happiness. Also, I've cut out a lot of drinking, dont drink a lot of caffeine, drink relaxing teas, try to work out a few times a week, and eat lots of good foods (I have gained a talent making shakes every morning with veggies and fruits). Hang in there. I know sometimes it feels like its going nowhere, and you are totally lost, but thats when you look for those little things that you want to do. I used to hate hearing that the recovery could take years, but as I've gotten better, you realize you just focus on the good stuff, and do what you can to make more of the good stuff. You are stronger than you think!
  11. "Reversing Brain Damage" Supplements

    Renascido - it's been a little over a month, I was wondering how your regiment has been going? I feel like it has helped. I am an MBA student and in the months after I quit using vyvanse I was useless, it was so difficult to sit down and write a paper or do an assignment. But I have definitely noticed that once I sit down and commit to it, I have been able to concentrate and complete the given task, in the past month. Now, I'm also coming up on over 5 months without having taken vyvanse, so perhaps my progress could be attributed to the natural recovery of coming off the drug. I also used to have quite a bit of anxiety, and I still do, but I feel there has been a lot of progress in my overall mood/anxiety level when at rest. My heart doesn't feel like its beating really hard at random times. I know the vincetpotene, ginko, and fish oil are supposed to help with circulation, so perhaps thats why my heart rate feels slower and more relaxed? Overall, I feel better, but nothing so prolific that points directly to the vitamins as the responsible addition. Nonetheless, more happy days = progress = I'll take it! I will check in again perhaps in another month or so.
  12. Never Give Up!

    Your words are truly inspiring, thank you for sharing this. I really needed it. God bless
  13. Four years adderall-free!

    Congratulations on your 4 years! I am four months in and, although it is getting better, I still have days where I sit there and wonder if I will ever feel good again, if I'll ever really beat this. But coming here and reading posts like yours inspire me to keep at it, and make improvements in my life. Thank you for taking the time to write this, and best of luck with everything!
  14. "Reversing Brain Damage" Supplements

    First of all I would like to say that I am NOT a representative of any supplement company or anything like that, so please do not think I am trying to peddle some product on any of you. I am 3 months into quitting vyvanse (70mg daily) cold turkey, after taking it for 2+ years. First of all, I would not suggest that anyone quit cold turkey unless they understand the effects it could have on you. For me, I was hospitalized twice, first for a panic attack and second for an excruciating migraine. But the worst part for me was the brain fog, not being able to focus on anything, feeling lethargic, unable to think clearly, unable to sleep. It really put me in a very dark place to which I am only starting to recover from. I did not fully understand the extent to which I would be affected by the withdrawals. Ever since I quit, I have been looking for some sort of supplement that could help me heal. My doctor prescribed me with xanax but I did not want to take it, the idea of going from one drug to another did not seem ideal. I am a former HS and college football player, so I have also grown more concerned with the potential of having brain damage as a result of years of subconcussive head impacts, in combination with my use/abuse of vyvanse for 2+ years. My research into this topic led me to this study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21615001).The study suggests that by using vitamins and supplements to enhance bloodflow (ginko and vinpocetine), acetylcholine (acetyl-l-carnitine and huperzine A), and antioxidant activity (alpha-lipoic acid and n acetyl-cysteine), former players were able to increase overall bloodflow to different areas of the brain, and improve their overall cognitive function. From the looks of it, the results were relatively significant, with some players showing more than 50% improvement in cognitive function, and implies that brain damage could be reversed in football players and former substance abusers. The full article can be found here for free if you click the pdf version of the article titled "Reversing Brain Damage in Former NFL Players" (http://www.tandfonline.com/action/doSearch?quickLinkJournal=&journalText=&AllField=reversing+brain+damage&publication=42857027). I have been taking this group of supplements, except for the fish oil, for the past week or so and do feel that I have been improving. The vinpocetine and ginko made me feel weird at first, my heart felt like it fluttered a bit, but has gone away. I have also been exercising more regularly which could be helping. I have been able to concentrate for longer during the day, particularly in the morning, but I would not say I am quite to pre-vyvanse levels of concentration. Best part is the sleep, I am able to fall asleep at night without having to take Zzzquil or melatonin - however I do find that I am not able to sleep through the night, I usually wake up very early 3 or 4am and have to force myself to fall back asleep. It's still an improvement though. I am happy to speak with anyone about this. When it comes to these types of things, I know that it's usually too good to be true, but nonetheless any form of hope is helpful. Hopefully someone else finds it helpful
  15. Feeling hopeless at 4 months.

    I've been reading several posts on this site over the past week or so, but after reading your post Ghost I decided to make a profile and reach out. I can absolutely relate to what you are going through. Just reading your descriptions gave me a great sense of relief, because prior to reading your post (and finding this wonderful place), I felt like nobody could understand what I was going through. I took adderall on and off for 3 years and then vyvanse 70mg daily for over two years. I started taking the daily dose because I was working very long hours and felt I could not keep up. It felt great for awhile, I was able to concentrate all day (sometimes working much longer than I should have). But after awhile it started to turn on me, I would start projects that I could not finish, couldnt keep focused on one thing, started getting headaches, or would have terrible mood swings - likely because I had built up a tolerance. I decided to start trying to taper off in November 2015 and quickly began having horrible anxiety. I had never experienced anxiety like this before, and it was terrifying. I even went to the hospital twice in December, first for a panic attack (I was sure that I was dying and having a heart attack), and second for an intense headache (my girlfriend noticed one pupil was larger than the other, and I began freaking out that I was having a stroke or something). I went through a barrage of tests, including a brain MRI, blood tests -- all showed nothing -- and Doctors told me I had generalized anxiety disorder. And rather surprisingly, all of said "I dont think this has to do with the vyvanse" - even my psychiatrist! this made me feel worse, made me feel like I was going crazy. I gave up on trying to taper off January 15, 2016. I flushed all of them down the toilet, and have been stimulant-free since. I felt so ashamed. After my hospital visits, my family was so concerned and could tell that I was depressed. A few times I tried to tell them how I felt - like a shell, with no motivation to do anything, heavy arms, sudden painful headaches, insomnia, anxiety about anything (or nothing), like I could feel my own heart beat all the time, horribly depressed like my life had no meaning and that I would never feel better, like my brain was several steps behind my thoughts. I described it to my girlfriend as sitting there and pondering your own existence - a terrible dark place in which you feel infinitely small and meaningless. Telling them did not make it any better, it just made them more concerned, and made them think I was a hypochondriac. I'd never felt depression before, so it really scared me. I had no idea what was going on in my head, all I knew was that it felt permanent and hopeless. I keep reminding myself that I feel this way because I relied on this drug to function, I took it every day, and now I am just working out how to live without it. It will get better ... it will get better Renascido, thank you very much for your post. Over the past few weeks I have found that I feel much better on days that I eat fruits, vegatables, and do not consume alochol or caffeine, or any excessive meat or high fat foods. Prior to taking stimulants, I drank coffee every morning, sometimes twice a day. But now that I have stopped, I feel that any amount of caffeine can trigger anxiety and "bad thoughts" as I generally call them. I know that everyone says "eat healthier and exercise" - but in this case I really do think it helps. My question is, will I ever be able to drink coffee/drink caffeine? I very much agree that there are good days and bad days. I do not think I am to the point of having more good than bad, but each good day gives me strength and hope. Today is a good day, probably why I decided to muster up the courage to post on here. Ghost, you are not alone. I will check back on here periodically for more posts, but feel free to contact me if you ever want to talk about it. Just posting this has made me feel much better. I'm very thankful to have found this place