I was on Adderall for 13 years...from the time I was 18-31. I’m now 22 months clean. There were so many layers to my adderall obsession.
I started at only 10mg/day my freshman year of college. Initially the results were amazing...my GPA was high, I had endless energy and social skills, perfect bikini body, all the typical traps that Adderall uses to lure you in deeper.
By the time I was 25 I was prescribed 20xr in am, 20mg IR early afternoon and a 10 mg IR. late afternoon. 50mg of speed a day for a 110 pound lady is a lot, but hey I was prescribed so it couldn’t be that bad right? At the time I was a nurse on a fast paced medical unit and I had convinced myself I needed my medication to survive my shifts.
From the outside looking in I was often told I was “perfect”. I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist so as you can imagine adderall heightened all these symptoms in a horrible way of fixation, wasting time obsessing on the smallest things, etc. I hid my use from all family and friends, I was embarrassed/ashamed that I was on this poison. It was my deep dark secret. Throughout the years not only did I develop anxiety, depression, isolation, I had also acquired serious cardiovascular and health problems. I had high blood pressure, Reynauds syndrome (a circulation issue where my feet and hands would
Turn purple) and a noted lack of cognitive responses in daily conversations/memory issues.
When I would get home from work I would crash so hard and literally be wanting so go to bed at 5pm...so what did I start doing to help with the come down? I drank a bottle of wine- every. single.night.
Fast forward a few years to when things progressively got worse.
I finally had my dream job and was running a health program. I had so much work to do all the time, it was such a high pressure position. I would pop adderall all day and could not survive with out it. I would loose track of how much I was taking and when I would run out of them I couldn’t get out of bed or function. I was a slave to adderall, it took over every aspect of my life. This somehow continued for about two years. I continued to lie to myself, rationalizing for my prescribed addiction.
When I found out I was pregnant I knew I couldn’t live with myself using adderall (even though my doctor recommended a continue dose-unbelievable!)
I quit cold turkey and it was miserable. I ended up quitting my job about two months in and I haven’t been back to work, besides my new job as a stay at home mom...which is an entire separate struggle.
Being a new parent is so exhausting. I actually still crave adderall sometimes, just for the sake of false thinking it could give me some much needed energy-how crazy is that, even after two years I’m still having cravings for this poison.
I also think societal pressure on moms to be perfect is out of control and I believe amphetamines will be the next opioid crisis.
It sounds cliche but for me a healthy diet and exercise routine really do seem to help me stay focused on an adderall free life.
The best part of being off adderall is actually feeling alive again, and not like a walking zombie all the time. All my medical issues have magically disappeared, I do still have brain fog on occasion but it continues to get better with time. Life without adderall is hard, but I tell myself life is hard regardless! I have come to this site to look at other stories when I am feeling weak and it has really helped me in the past.
I can honestly say getting off Adderall has been, and remains one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it is possible! I’m afraid of things to deal with in the future- like returning to work and grad school eventually, but I know I can come here for support.
Thanks for listening, sorry so long..and remember- you’ve got this!
Also if anyone wants to talk I’m here:-)