Ready4Change

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About Ready4Change

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  1. Alcohol

    I’m with the both of you and we all seem to be around the same time off Adderall. My anhedonia is still kicking my ass. I have much more energy but no drive, focus or motivation to use it. I am in a kind of life limbo. Apathetic and blah. I’m also still struggling with executive functioning. I’m so close to reaching out for medical help because this process has been grueling and my wife and family are tired of seeing me suffer. These waves are so rough and the windows are few. Small amounts of stress send me back down into another wave. CNS damage is no joke my friends. I withdrew from the SSRI Effexor for 2 years prior to beginning my Adderall journey and I have been suffering for 3 years and 6 months in total and I just want all of this hardship and pain to be worth something. It has to work. I couldn’t bear if it was all for nothing. Time is the most valuable thing on earth. Year one was incredibly difficult on every measurable level. Year two has its own unique set of challenges that still make this process very challenging. I’m at 16 months off Adderall and I’m really considering that I might have an underlying generalized anxiety disorder and it is making my life hell. Adderall gave me confidence and the ability to believe I could tackle anything in front of me with focus and drive. I’m now a very different person. I can’t feel pleasure or laugh. I don’t even watch TV or play video games anymore. NOTHING grabs my attention or motivates me to take action. It’s like I’m a damaged animal trying to hide and recover. My anxiety is still paralyzing most days. I fake being normal to those around me but inside I am in some strange warped reality of emptiness. I’m hoping things continue improving. I pray for all of us in this process. We are very strong to preserve through this hell. I’m horrible at writing and my thoughts are so scattered but I wanted to jump in and be a part of this conversation.
  2. 15 Month Update

    Hello my friends. I have been lurking too much lately and I have been feeling guilty about not contributing more so I figured I would give everyone an update. I have some positive news and some nagging issues that are still making me feel nuts. Let’s start with the good news. -I have definitely got my energy back 110%. Around the one year mark I went from slug mode to electrified energy mode. My energy came back before my executive function and ability to use this new energy in a productive way did. It was good to not feel like I could only sleep and eat but it really increased my restlessness and unease. Lots of energy and nothing to do with it. At this point I was forced to begin making positive changes to use up this new found energy. I had gained 40lbs the first year and my health really suffered. Stiff joints, hips, knees and stretch marks on my stomach all came quickly during year one. I ate to try to feel something. I was so depleted of dopamine that food and sleep were the only things that provided an ounce of comfort and escape . In early June I recognized the insatiable hunger was subsiding and being in quarantine with energy that was driving my wife crazy, I decided to start exercising and eating well. I already felt like shit so why not move more and feel like shit. LOL. With The fog lifting and some improved clarity I really noticed that my central nervous system was really damaged and if I was going to get a handle on my extreme anxiety, panic and increasing agoraphobia, then I needed to start some work that required sacrifice and commitment. Many of the changes I made are thanks to many of you in this forum. I read all of the recommendations early on in the journey but I was not ready, willing or able to take action. I was in a state of survival. Now I feel like I am in a growth and action stage. In early June I was not only ready but I really needed to do something. -I cut sugar, caffeine and all other carbs. The stimulative and inflammatory side effects of those things were really hurting me. I already don’t drink or do drugs so stopping those vices was not needed. -I got a FitBit and started tracking my sleep, diet, exercise and heart rate. This helped me to be more accountable and it also tracked my progress and goals. - Started exercising 30 minutes A day 5-6 days per week. I used a cardio workout from YouTube. Body project cardio starter is the name of it. Low impact but it leaves me drenched with sweat when I’m done. This is my daily medication. -Started counting calories and lowered my daily intake to 1200ish calories per day. -Began intermittent fasting. 16 hour fast and 8 hours eating window. This really helps when lowering caloric intake. I get hungry the last three hours of the fast but it’s manageable. -Set a consistent sleep schedule. A goal of 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Same time to bed and wake daily I still have bouts of insomnia, restless legs, panic and other sleep issues but it’s improving and I enjoy and need the structure In the last 2 months I have lost 40lbs and I am feeling much better physically. Mentally I have real noticeable improvements but I am still struggling at times. The better I get the harder it hurts when a wave comes again. the issues I’m still struggling with -I am still hyper sensitive to emotions, movies, stress, drama, fighting, arguments, sounds and anything else that ignites my nervous system. I can’t watch the news, horror movies, action movies or anything that is unsettling. I’m hyper sensitive to everything now. I did not experience this the first 9 months. This is a new issue for me and watching TV is really a challenge. This makes me want to retreat to a private place that is quiet and controlled. - I still have anhedonia pretty bad. I don’t have a drive to buy things, go out, watch anything or seek pleasure. I sit and stare into space and usually get lost in thoughts about the past or future. That does not help with anxiety. Rumination and cyclical thoughts. I ponder if I have underlying mental health issues that are surfacing. This journey will really make you question your own sanity. -I have had an ever increasing level of paranoia. I constantly have to ask my wife if I am acting crazy. I can’t help but project all of my greatest fears onto everything and everyone around me. I am like a newborn in a dangerous and crazy world and I am hyper alert to the danger and darkness. This is impacting work, relationships and my personal well being. I have been doing breathe work including WimHof but it’s still a major hurdle that I hope to work past. Mindfulness is great but if I’m not engaged in things I enjoy throughout the day as a distraction then it’s only so effective. I feel lost and without a pull of desire or interest to guide me. I’m rambling. -I still feel fear and anxiety regularly but it is improving. The huge adrenaline surges, pacing, hand wringing, crying and panic attacks have almost completely disappeared. Now I just feel really anxious first thing in the morning or if something unexpected or jarring happens. Stress lights up my symptoms and I pay for a few days after -Mostly, I just feel...everything. I was so blind to how much Adderall and Effexor were blunting my emotions and awareness. Life is scary, hard, uncertain, challenging and so many more things that I am slowly building myself up to be capable of handling. It’s embarrassing and very lonely. I used Adderall and psych meds for 15 years without any breaks. I’m 42 and I feel like a kid in a middle aged mans body. I have so much growing up to do and I feel like everyone around me doesn’t see the pain, suffering and hard work I need to give just to be here everyday. I know most of you understand. I’m humbled by the strength of everyone getting through life right now. I want to provide hope for those still using Adderall but I also want to be real. I used Adderall for a long time. Never abused or ran out of my prescription. We are all so different. Your process and recovery might be very different from mine. I just know that reading many of your stories of struggles, growth and hope helped and continues to help me. I hope my contributions might also do the same. YOU ARE SO MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE. Our future selves will never forget the commitment and sacrifices we are making to set ourselves free and find who we really are. I appreciate all of you so much.
  3. 4 Years!

    Thanks so much for coming back and sharing. It is people like you who provide hope that things will get better and all of the challenges and suffering will be worth it. This process can be incredibly lonely and coming here have made some of my darkest days bearable.
  4. Energy and Marriage - 8 months off - Need your help

    Congratulations on 8 months and staying strong through this difficult phase of your recovery. I have some potentially good news for you but please be aware that we are all so different and my experience is mine alone. I used 60mg of Adderall per day for ten years and then lowered to 40mg for 5 years. I was on Adderall as prescribed for 15 years without a single day break. The exhaustion and lack of energy after I quit lasted me about 11 months. It was brutal. I also had a laundry list of other horrific PAWS related issues. Around the 11 month mark I started getting more restless and agitated and I began experiencing the need to pace and I could no longer take naps or lay around. This was a good sign but it also created new challenges that created new hardships. My central nervous system has become hyper alert and overwhelmed. I quickly learned that I needed to move and rigorous exercise became a necessary part of my daily routine. You are going to get through this difficult time. Please be patient and hang on tight.
  5. It's okay

    This is great my strong and powerful friend. I’m glad you are standing up and accepting yourself exactly as you are. Now is your time to change and grow. I’m very proud of you and excited to be by your side during this journey.
  6. What is life

    Adderall is a shortcut to creating a functional imposter. It looks real on the outside but the insides are empty. That’s why we feel so empty when it’s removed. It’s time to do the painful, emotional and necessary work that we always knew we should have done all along. Life is too short to live in bondage to a pill that provides an artificial existence. We owe ourselves to feel the full range of emotions that make life valuable. Fear, pain, sadness, grief, depression and so many negative emotions are a necessary part of self discovery and growth. They are the warnings that guide us to make changes so we can fully embrace the positive emotions life also provides. You are strong and you are just fine. I know it’s dark and scary. Please know that you are going to be ok. You gotta fight harder than you ever have in your life. This sacrifice will be the foundation that the new you is built upon.
  7. What is life

    The good news is that you seem to understand what will trigger you to sink deeper into a dark depression and you are taking some necessary steps to avoid that pitfall. When I was at the stage you are I let myself sink deeper and deeper and I arrived in hell. Your viscous cycle of apathy and anxiety is normal and it will come in debilitating waves. You have to push through and keep moving no matter what you may feel. Quitting long term Adderall use is unbelievably difficult. This is a journey of stripping away pieces of a stranger we really never knew and discovering who we really are underneath. Our wants, desires, needs, interests and so many other things will need to be uncovered through living life unmediated. Be patient with yourself. I think this is one of those things that is built slowly and as you accumulate time you also accumulate newly discovered pieces of your new true self. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This can be frightening and debilitating at times. I don’t think I have ever felt more self aware of my own lack of understanding myself. Minute by minute we can do the hard work necessary to become who we are meant to be.
  8. Progress

    Thanks for posting your progress and offering some hope for those of us along on this journey with you. You are an incredibly strong person and I imagine that you have found an inner strength and fire that you never knew existed before quitting. I am right with you in this process at almost 14 months and many of the things you shared resonate with me and my experiences. My fog has mostly lifted. Energy is back. I’m still struggling with feeling laughter and enjoying anything pleasurable. It should also be noted that these are very difficult times for many of us due to Covid19 and the added stress that financial and societal pressures can put on us. Some days when the stress overtakes me I might pace and hand wring a bit until I get angry enough to exercise and do some relaxation breathe work. Exercise, sleep, balanced healthy diet and breathing exercises are a MUST. I always get something out of your posts and I appreciate you being a part of this community. Stay strong, healthy and free.
  9. can't do it

    I know that you are really struggling but you have to dig deep and fight with everything you have to get through this. Your internal reward system is injured and trying to repair itself. You have suffered so much that you owe it to your future self and your family to get through this. This process will never get easy and if you go back on the Adderall then you will have to start this traumatic process all over again. I have felt the way you feel so many times that I have lost count. WE must not throw in the towel and give up. This pain has to be for something better. Stay strong my friend. You are not alone.
  10. 11 Months Today

    Thanks for sharing speedracer. I can relate to everything you have shared. I am at the same point in the process as you right now (1 year off) and it feels so good to read your experiences and get the confirmation that I am not alone. It is comforting to know I am not permanently damaged and I am going through a traumatic brain injury recovery process. When the waves come and leave me once again surrounded by the darkness and despair, it always helps to read amazing posts like this to help lift the isolation and loneliness. Its so sad to say but a simple thing like getting a shower is a major accomplishment for me. I have had to force myself to shower (sometimes not successfully) for many months. I now actually want to shower some days. That is a really good sign to me. I try so hard to fake being ok to my family, coworkers, neighbors and friends but it so hard to do with the overwhelming apathy and Anhedonia. I experience emotional breakdowns where all I can do is cry uncontrollably. The light has been peeking through at times and I have noticed the little improvements are adding up. In all of this pain I have to say that I have never been so aware and in touch with my internal feelings and voice. Adderall made me very effective at work and with keeping up with adulting but I never knew how much it blunted my emotional needs and growth. I Am still not very good at getting everything down in text but I need to continue posting in this group. I have hope today and that keeps me going. This process is absolutely brutal and I have so much respect and admiration for anyone willing to endure it. We need this place to share with others who understand what this process feels like. Thanks for posting speedracer.
  11. Anyone else lost all patience?

    I can totally relate. I was also the most patient person too. Mine feels like a combination of rage, panic and frustration. I have so much apathy that it’s hard to even care. I always try to walk away and calm down but it’s so rough because internally I just don’t give a crap. My job, relationships and even hobbies have become burdens to me on most days. I still prefer the peace and safety of isolation. Responsibilities and social interaction overwhelm me and I am so limited in my ability to handle stress. It’s so hard to fake a smile and engage in small talk. It’s like a fire burns inside me and a tiny bit of conflict or pressure and I’m about to blow. I wish I could say that mine is better now that I’m at one year off Adderall but it’s really not. I’m not crying regularly and my emotions have stabilized much more though. I might be one of the unfortunate ones whose progress is slower. I’ve accepted this reality and no matter what I’m staying the coarse. I have sacrificed and suffered way too much to ever do this again. This fight or flight feelings can’t last forever. One thing that helps is understanding that everything happening on the inside is not visible to the outside world. I practice my breathing and control my physical reactions. Thanks for sharing your experience. You are definitely not alone.
  12. 2 Years Speed Free

    Congratulations Drew!!! I can’t even tell you how many lonely and dark nights I read posts from you that gave me strength and hope. Your earlier posts were honest and made me feel less alone. I am so happy to have you here in this amazing group of strong and REAL people. Thank You.
  13. First post-adderall work win!

    Thanks for sharing such an honest and positive experience. Feeling like a fraud or permanently defective after quitting is a pretty regular experience for us. I feel this daily. Grinding through and finding the inner strength to persevere is such a powerful and motivating experience. (Wish I did this more) Recovery is not an event but a continuing journey of daily battles on the road to self discovery and growth. I’m proud of you. Keep up the great work. We are here for you during the good times and bad.
  14. Hello my friends. I have not been very active lately but I have been checking in daily. I’m definitely in a huge time of change and growth in my life. Feeling so much of the feelings that Adderall masked and numbed for so long has been incredibly painful but also beautiful. I know that the fear and panic is my brain developing strength and new coping strategies to handle life as it really is. I want to be the rock that others can lean on so badly. I’m 11 months into this journey off Adderall and my life has never been more unstable, uncertain and vulnerable. I have also never been more alive, genuine and real. It’s so crazy how I can literally feel my brain processing the world and events around me in such a deeper and more connected way. My dreams are purposeful and things from 30 years ago are coming to the surface and are being worked out because I guess it’s needed for my continued healing. It’s hard to explain but I’m definitely heading out of the darkness and into a more purposefully contemplative state. I was put on unemployment last week and my wife and I have been quarantined for the last 7 days. Nothing is certain right now but I am definitely glad I quit Adderall. I look more unhealthy now. My job is not stable now. Inside is where the most growth has taken place and that is the area I ignored for far too long. Fuck the superficial external things. This time it’s about digging deep inside and finally being real. I appreciate you all very much. I struggled with reading and writing for many months. It’s a miracle that I can even type this. It may be scattered and confusing but it’s an improvement and that feels good. I wish you all safety and good health. I’ll be coming in to spend time and share more in the coming days and weeks.
  15. 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.