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Everything posted by Cassie

  1. I am four years off Adderall as of a couple weeks ago. After this long, one doesn't really notice the specific year anniversary dates anymore, just a sense of the general time frame. I thought I would put together a little timeline of my recovery, since there are a lot of newbies here. It might help with some of the questions and uncertainty in recovery, although remember that I'm not you. No one is. Your individual recovery is a function of a lot of things - your age, dosage, length of use, diet, exercise, support, commitment, and attitude being the biggest factors. I won't go into my original story here. If you're interested you can find it by the title "The Two-Month Itch" on the Tell your story forum. This is more of a timeline of how I felt at each stage of recovery. Days 1-30: Fatigue, brain fog, existential despair - the usual. However, I had quit for one month periods before so I knew the drill. I also had two weeks off from work so I wasn't sweating it too much. Diet: Small, frequent high protein meals. Lots of veggies. Lots of high protein snacks such as hard boiled eggs, nuts, edamame, beef jerky, etc. More meat than I usually eat. Supplements: Multivitamin, l-tyrosine 500-1000 mg/day. Also occasionally a supplement I bought online called 'focus factor' or something. I can't remember. I honestly never felt like supplements really did anything and I didn't take them daily. Exercise: Bikram yoga 2x/week, hiking on Sundays, leisurely walks during the week Days 30-72: Worse fatigue, worse brain fog, and worse existential despair. This was the worst of the withdrawal period for me. Diet: Small, frequent high protein meals. Lots of high protein snacks such as hard boiled eggs, nuts, edamame, beef jerky, etc. More meat than I usually eat. Supplements: Multivitamin, l-tyrosine 500-1000 mg/day. Exercise: Bikram yoga 2-3x/week, still hiking on Sundays, leisurely walks during the week Day 73: I will never forget the first day I felt PHYSICAL ENERGY! This was a huge encouragement. Days 74-150: Still fatigued many days but having more energy overall, brain fog is improving, still very anhedonic. Diet: Small, frequent high protein meals. Lots of high protein snacks such as hard boiled eggs, nuts, edamame, beef jerky, etc. More meat than I usually eat. Supplements: Multivitamin, l-tyrosine 500-1000 mg/day. Exercise: Bikram yoga 2-3x/week, still hiking on Sundays, leisurely walks during the week 6 months: This is when I stopped counting the days and started counting the months. Doing okay at work but still very unmotivated, depressed, and socially awkward. Went on a family trip at this time and felt very uncomfortable in my own skin. Felt like I was always second guessing myself in conversation. Lots of social awkwardness around this time. 7 months: Feeling very fatigued and depressed around this time. I start going to some SMART Recovery meetings which helps. 10 months: Very low energy - took a low dose of Wellbutrin on and off at this time. I had some leftover from years ago. This helped give me an energy boost. If you're going to take an antidepressant at all, I recommend this one (but just short term- you don't want more med dependency). 1 year: Feeling much more comfortable with sobriety. More inner strength. Took up some new hobbies at this time. Still lacking self-confidence and self-conscious about my ability to learn. Still socially awkward but it's improving. TIME STARTS GOING SO MUCH FASTER NOW. 18 months: Feeling like I need more challenges/change in my life. Adopt two rescue dogs. Quit my job. Actually feeling some sparks of life within me. Still very anhedonic some days though. Make some good decisions and some poor decisions during this time. Start a new job and have strong Adderall cravings but they pass. Go to some Pills Anonymous meetings around this time. 2 years: Feeling much better than at one year. Social awkwardness is better. Anhedonia is lessening. More social in general. Still struggling with self-confidence though. 3 years: This past year flew by. Feeling much better than two years. Have a new, more challenging job. Seeking out challenges and more self-assertive. More confidence in my ability to learn. Still struggling with motivation and some self-confidence issues. Ween down my caffeine intake to one cup of tea a day. 4 years: This past year also flew by. Feeling great. I'm the most positive I've been, attitude-wise. Starting to eat mostly vegan meals (occasionally eat meat and eggs though so I do eat some animal products, but very little dairy). A plant based diet has made my energy levels skyrocket. Also, drinking minimal caffeine. Feeling much more self-confident, but also laid back and self-deprecating like I used to be before Adderall. I feel normal again. This has been a crazy journey, but so well worth it. All these positive changes I've made have been slow and painstaking, which means they've stuck. I hope you all realize you're good enough on your own, without drugs. Nothing worth doing in life is easy.
  2. Take it or Tough it out?

    Just want to let you know that it's normal to still be depressed at 5 months. It's still pretty early. I was very anhedonic for the first year. My doctor believed people who quit Adderall should feel back to normal after 30 days. Ha! The brain takes a long time to heal from a long daily drug habit. Remember this. If you feel like you need to take something and will relapse if you don't - Wellbutrin. It has a stimulating effect that SSRIs don't, but no euphoria or addictive potential. I took a small dose of Wellbutrin at the 10 month point because I thought I might relapse (I'm talking very small, 50 mgs a day), and it helped with energy and concentration. I was very adamantly against taking another pill, too and preached that heavily on this site, but it was a tiny dose over a few months (less than half a normal daily dose) and it got me through that depressed slump so I could move forward. And it was easy to stop taking, no side effects for me.
  3. I'm on a rowing team where I practice 3 hours a week, go to yoga classes twice a week, and climb 20 flights of stairs 3 days a week at work with a co-worker. Oh, and I also have dogs that need to be walked twice a day, whether I feel like it or not! The point is, I need external accountability to work out, whether it's a team sport, class, or co-worker pushing me. I don't have the internal motivation to go to the gym alone and push myself. During early recovery (1st year or so), I had no internal motivation for anything, so peer pressure was key, whether at work, exercising, socializing, etc. I am very active but I don't ever think of anything I do as "working out." I just think of myself as an active person. I know that as long as I don't eat out all the time I'm not going to gain weight ever. I should also add that I live in Phoenix, where you can be outside literally every day of the year. So if you have to be indoors/go to gyms, maybe get a personal trainer so you have to show up, go to group training sessions/classes, and pay in advance so you'll lose money if you don't go. If I have to go to the gym for whatever reason I usually walk on the treadmill and watch Netflix so it goes faster.
  4. I agree with the posters above and the gaslighting comment in particular. That's a common behavior of addicts and narcissists, and I certainly did that to my husband (now ex) when I was using. Don't let fear of not finding someone else stop you from leaving. There are plenty of better, sober guys out there for you. After you get out of your draining relationship you'll think, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" That's how I felt after my divorce (I had been off adderall for years at that point but he was an alcoholic and l wasn't willing to put up with it anymore.)
  5. Taught a one hour class, referencing visuals on the screen, and realized near the end I had forgotten to turn the projector on.
  6. In addition to working out, meditate and find an outlet. I write poetry and short stories, and that's how I process and reprocess my emotions. It's satisfying to organize my feelings into the structure of a poem. It gives my brain that "ahhh"feeling. What would make you feel satisfied? Also, when I got divorced 7 months ago my energy skyrocketed. I didn't realize how depressed I had been in that relationship until it ended. So, maybe check your relationships/environment too
  7. It was the opposite for me. I kept relapsing because people kept saying "you'll feel better soon," or "relief is just around the corner" so when I still felt like shit at 2, 3, 4 months I thought there was something wrong with me and that I should feel better by then. We're all random people on the internet so take or leave our advice
  8. Just to clarify, I didn't feel like shit for two years straight or anything, but I did experience anhedonia and lack of motivation well into that time. Just trying to emphasize how slowly the brain recovers completely. There is no way around this. After the first year sober, time will start to fly by though, so once you muddle through that first shitty year, getting to two, three, four years sober is cake. But yeah, the first year sober from any drug sucks. Any recovering drug addict or alcoholic will attest to this - it's not breaking news.
  9. The anhedonia lasted almost two years for me, on and off. Eventually you won't feel dead inside, but you do have to give it lots of time and have patience and faith. 62 days is very early.
  10. New computers usually work better

    I have an HP Envy too and it still works pretty good after a couple years. I use Adobe Creative Cloud and I needed something with a lot of memory.
  11. My story..advice?

    I drank a lot on adderall to come down too (pretty much daily) but off it I barely drink at all. Stimulants are the only substances I've ever had an addictive relationship with. Adderall was THE drug for me. So, if you're like me than yes, you're just a drinker on speed because you like the combo.
  12. Aww, thanks for the shoutout! Greg is super awesome too
  13. Starting Supplements

    I only recommend Wellbutrin as a last resort, if you are about to relapse, because it will give you energy. I know that from when I took it pre-adderall days and during times when I ran out of adderall. But I never wanted to take another prescription drug either and you're right avoid them if possible. I also agree with quit once about multivitamins and fish oil. That's what I generally took every day.
  14. Starting Supplements

    Caffeine is going to be the most effective supplement (but not too much that it's counter productive), and if you're in danger of relapsing I'd get some Wellbutrin for the short term. You're just going to be tired and uncomfortable for awhile as you heal. Nothing is going to make you feel like an amphetamine as teamwin said. Three months is a short time to be off any drug if you think about it.
  15. Month two adderall-free

    You are still in very early withdrawal. You just have to give it a lot of time and be really gentle with yourself in the beginning (I considered the first year in general to be early recovery).
  16. Has anyone been to a NA meeting?

    I found it helpful to talk to former meth users, as the withdrawal issues are identical to adderall. I found former meth users in NA/smart recovery, and I also had a good friend who recovered from meth who was super helpful in relating to my feelings post addiction. I went to several Pills Anonymous meetings too, but they were all primarily pain killer addicts so I couldn't relate as much as I could with the meth heads. But, all addicts will relate to the cravings and fears and self doubt, so you have nothing to lose.
  17. It helped me to view recovery from adderall addiction/dopamine depletion as a multi-year process, and to measure my progress in years, not days or months, because the brain's recovery is indeed a slow process. I like to think of it as losing weight. If you gained 50 pounds in a year, you wouldn't expect to lose it in a month. No, it would probably take a year. Same with addiction recovery. You can't be on drugs for 5, 10 years and expect to feel perfect within a few months time. It don't work like that. Put in the effort and you will truly be rewarded in time. Once I was sober for a year, time started flying by and I continued to reap rewards after 2 years, 3 years, 4 years...
  18. Quitting ritalin/concerta equivalent to this site?

    I think it's safe to say we use Adderall as a blanket term to refer to all prescription stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Dexedrine). The recovery process is the same.
  19. Yes, adderall leads to shallow sleep, so when you get off you sleep more deeply and remember dreams more. Using dreams are common. I still have one every once in a while.
  20. Relationship advice

    I think a more worrying thing is that you use the words "fear of judgement" and "terrified" when debating opening up to your girlfriend. That's a shaky foundation.
  21. Recovery isn't linear. You will have lots of ups and downs.
  22. 3 Years

    Congrats on 3 years and for finishing grad school! I understand the feeling of being 'beyond' really takes time and hindsight to appreciate how far you've come. So glad you are still here!
  23. Please help me quit for good

    After I quit and told some friends, they all said they thought I was either on drugs or bipolar. I wasn't a hardcore abuser either, just a daily user. Trust me, people know.
  24. Please help me quit for good

    The anhedonia is difficult - that lasted around 2 years for me (in varying degrees). It's frustrating and disheartening for sure, but you must have faith in the resilience of the brain. Main strategy for me was to keep busy and distract myself as much as possible so time would pass faster. Also, knowing that it's a normal part of quitting stimulants and that it will go away over time. It's not going to last forever but it is the price you pay for the years of drug use. Read up about Post acute withdrawal (paws). Going to NA or other meetings helps too. Talk to meth addicts - they are easier to find at meetings and experience all the same prolonged withdrawal symptoms, like anhedonia, lack of motivation and confidence, and fatigue.
  25. Losing my resolve

    The loss of productivity and work ethic were brutal for me as well. I did the bare minimum at work for the first year. It took several years for my work ethic and motivation to completely bounce back, but now it's better than ever. You have to give it time - rebuilding habits are slow and painstaking. You can't force motivation, you just have to trust that if you had it before drugs, you will have it again someday. No one enjoys mundane tasks, but eventually they will become bearable as you relearn to detach emotion from them. If you persevere, you'll be so proud of yourself and relieved in a couple years.