Next week, I start my dream job at a company I've fantasized about for years. It’s the epitome of a dream come true…or at least it should be. I moved to Boston last year so that I could focus on my career in science. While my last job was a foot in the door, this is what I’ve fantasized about since age five. Now that it’s here, I am absolutely horrified. I am so scared that I'll ruin this opportunity, while battling an existence controlled by the rollercoaster that is Adderall.
I’m at the biggest cross roads of my entire life, and I know what I need to do. I need to STOP taking Adderall. No exceptions. No gradual weening. I can handle the physical side effects of withdrawal – have done so countless times. It’s the psychological part that has kept me hooked.
But this time, I’m not simply nodding along in agreement while reading others recount their story. I’m not idly fooling myself into thinking “one day” I’ll stop and everything will return to normal. I’m not in denial about my addiction, nor do I think I should even be prescribed this medication. Enough is enough. I’m almost 30 years old. I’m getting married in September. It’s been one excuse after another for the past 5 years. What happens now will define the next chapter of my life... for better or for worse.
Since receiving this job offer two weeks ago- I’ve relapsed into a pattern I know all too well. Eating next to nothing for days on end, staying up past 4 AM only to wake up three hours later and pop another 30 mg. I don’t fit the profile of an addict, and because of this, nobody- myself included- has perceived a problem, let alone done anything to stop it.
I stay up all night and am praised the next day at work for “going above and beyond”’ the following morning. I’m successful, well liked, and funny. I’m engaged to the most amazing person (I’m pretty sure my own mother loves her more than me!). Yet I’d spent my entire life doubting everything, and everyone, on a daily basis. The first time I took Adderall…all of this changed. I’ve spent the past 5 years on a rollercoaster of the highest of highs and lowest of lows.
Similar to the countless stories of others, I never set out to become addicted to Adderall. The first time I took a 10 mg pill in the library, I felt just like any other college kid- invincible and happy to be studying! I never thought I’d continue taking Adderall after college, let alone obtain my own prescription. I never thought I’d take Adderall for any purpose other than to study. Fast-forward to present day- Adderall gets me through even the most basic daily routines.
No Adderall? Grub hub for dinner.
No Adderall? Forget about laundry.
No Adderall? I’ll be working from home today
The most alarming? I won’t even socialize with my best friends; I won’t go to happy hour on a Friday Night without that handy script in my pocket…and I’m one of the most extroverted people you’ll ever meet.
I have always been a very motivated individual. I love to engage in conversation, learn about psychology, hang out with friends, play sports…the list goes on. And guess what- I’m still extremely ambitious, adventurous, and social. The only difference is that I now take a pill. I take a pill to sustain the characteristics that make me, me. And without that pill…I disappear.
I cannot do this anymore. I am one wrong move away from ruining my seemingly perfect life. But I’m strong, and I refuse to let this drug control me for another second.
As I summarize these past 5 years, I cannot picture a life without Adderall. But for the first time…I’m ready to start painting the picture. And I’m ready to start right now.
I NEED to start this job with a clean slate, without a crippling dependency on this amphetamine. If I don’t, the pattern continues indefinitely. I’m looking for help and turning to this forum for support. I confide in my fiancé and therapist, but need more.
Only those who have lived this can understand the desperation to make it stop…