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Everything posted by Cassie

  1. Coming Clean

    My husband is supportive. When he made that comment, he said he felt bad even mentioning it, but that's the way he feels sometimes (not overall). He doesn't want me back on it or anything. He was just being honest, and even though it was annoying, I can't really let what other people think affect me anyway. Cardio definitely helps. I try to walk for an hour on my lunch break every day, so even if I don't do any other exercise, at least I'm getting a long walk every day. I also took a couple Wellbutrin and that snapped me out of it. I thought it was PAWS but it was lasting over a week. I have a bottle of 100mg SR Wellbutrin left over from ages ago. I recognized my symptoms of depression that were getting worse. When I've had depression in the past (before Adderall), I lose my appetite, I'm fatigued and my muscles ache painfully, especially my shoulders. I also can't focus or concentrate. I took a half a Wellbutrin on Friday and Saturday and that helped the physical symptoms tremendously. I no longer have muscle aches, I can eat, and my concentration snapped back. So, I'll keep that bottle around in case this ever strikes again. Maybe that's something that could help you too, if you have those kind of depressive symptoms that lead to cravings. I haven't had a craving in so long - this random depressive episode triggered them. And just two days of 50mg of Wellbutrin made it go away. It worked almost instantly. Anyway, thanks for your support, and I hope you find a solution to the whole work from home thing!
  2. 12 Years On Adderall and Ready To Quit

    Welcome Victoria. To answer your questions, I made a plan to quit and quit cold turkey in Dec. 2011. I planned my quit in Dec. because I could take three weeks off work around the holidays, and I knew work would be slow for another month after I got back (I worked at a college). So, I knew my slacking off wouldn't really be noticed as I eased back into work. I also chose to quit at this time because the weather was nice in Phoenix. I could get outside every day, walk and hike on the weekends. I loaded up my Netflix queue with tons of shows because all I could do for the first year was go to work, come home, watch TV, and sleep. I prepared myself for being extremely tired, depressed, and unmotivated for my first year off Adderall. I prepared for the cravings, the iatrogenic ADD, the mental anguish and utter lack of confidence. I read up about PAWS (post acute withdrawal). I also prepared myself for the possibility of getting fired due to lack of productivity. It never happened, but I had a lot of anxiety about it, because any enthusiasm and/or motivation I had for work went out the window. It was especially tough because my job was very self-directed and not really deadline oriented. If you have a fast paced job with deadlines, that should help, and if you like your job that will definitely help. Most importantly, I had faith that the misery of getting sober was temporary. I wanted to stop being a drug addict and that was more important to me than anything else. That's why I am three years sober today. If you can step down instead of quit cold turkey, that should make it easier. I didn't have the willpower to do that. I was taking the same amount as you, about 20-30 mgs/day, for 5 years. I failed at the step-down method many, many times. I would suggest writing a list of all the reasons you want to quit and figuring out if you are ready for this fight for your freedom from speed. All the negatives need to outweigh the positives for you. Are you ready to deal with the depression and fatigue that can last for many months or years, knowing it gets better as time goes on? Are you ready to deal with working less, within your own limits, and not being superhuman CEO anymore? Are you sure you want to have a baby if you have chronic fatigue and can't take Adderall? If you are so reliant on Adderall to maintain your status at work, what will happen when you have work and the lack of energy/sleep/time that comes with taking care of a child, and you can't take Adderall because your partner forbids it? I think these are all questions you need to ask yourself. I'm 34 and thinking about having kids. I only now feel like I'm back to normal enough to deal with the fatigue, craziness and lack of sleep that comes with pregnancy and having a kid, knowing that I won't need Adderall to get through it. It took years of recovery to get myself to this point, physically and mentally. So what should you do once you quit? You should completely cut off your access to the drug or you will risk relapsing. This means finding a different doctor or telling your current doctor to never prescribe you speed again (tell them you are addicted and can't take it). If I were you I'd find a new doctor and tell them about your problems with the drug - get a clean slate. You could take Wellbutrin to help with the transition. The supplement l-tyrosine helps some people, and a daily vitamin. You could go to NA meetings, SMART Recovery, or another support group in your area. These are free and you can go as often as you want. It's hard to find people recovering from Adderall, but it's easy to find people recovering from meth, and guess what? The withdrawal is exactly the same. Anyone quitting amphetamine/methamphetamine will understand the challenges you are facing after you quit. My friend used to be a meth addict and he was great to talk to about withdrawal symptoms/life after speed. This site is amazing as well and vital to my own recovery. So, that's how I quit and my thoughts for you based on reading your story. Quitting is very doable - you just need to be realistic and prepared for recovery to be a process, not an event. It's worth getting your soul back and not being a slave to a pill.
  3. I found this article on Forbes about 'managing the risks of taking adderall' and I really identified with the points he makes about addiction signs. I thought this might help readers know if they or someone they know is addicted. It's written by a psychologist who sees a lot of high achieving 20 and 30 somethings taking Adderall for cognitive enhancement. Just telling them 'no, don't use it' doesn't work, so he put together tips for recognizing/avoiding addiction and recognizing downsides of Adderall, Some points from the article (my comments in bold). Protect your weekend Using on weekends is a sign you are moving from performance-enhancement into addiction. No social event is ever important enough to require cognitive enhancing stimulant medication. If you’re taking Adderall to make it to brunch on time, well, you’ve got a problem. True dat. When I got my own prescription and starting taking every day (like it says on the bottle), that's when the addiction grew. I couldn't go weekends without it. I needed Adderall to see movies, read books, go to Target, etc. Protect choice Adderall for enhancement should always feel like a choice, not a need. One should avoid the territory Petrow from The Atlantic apparently straddles of seeing Adderall as need and not choice. Once it feels like need it is time—past time actually—to throttle back. Absolutely true. I took pills recreationally for two years before I got a prescription. Because it wasn't medically justified, it felt like a fun choice, not a necessity. Trust someone. Bad judgement and denial are hallmarks of addiction. You will not always know you have a problem. In fact, you probably will not know it. Until it is too late. So, trust someone—someone who does not brain-dope—with the complete story of your use. I wish I had done this earlier, before I was a full blown addict. Your body will rebel Like anyone taking amphetamines, you are going to have trouble sleeping. Lots of college students take the edge off with drinking and pot smoking. With people launched in careers I see lots of sleep meds and anti-anxiety medications. The pattern is Adderall in the morning, Klonopin at night. This doubles the addictive dangers so be very, very careful. Make sure you give yourself time to recover and sleep. Luckily I never went down the downer path, although I did drink at night to come down. Creativity takes a hit The very same convergent, focussed attention sought from Adderall—the kind that lets someone grind out yet another stellar legal brief or grant application or financial analysis—also undermines creativity. And sometimes creative, divergent thinking is required for optimal performance. While Adderall might make you a more efficient solver of familiar problems, it will interfere with finding creative solutions and new discoveries. I did not do anything creative on Adderall. I was simply a work drone, great at doing repetitive, boring tasks at lightening speed. Self-confidence gets undermined Confidence comes from success. “I did that!” Having accomplishment fuel self-confidence is crucial, especially when a business or professional identity is forming. But I’ve repeatedly seen successful people who start out with an Adderall assist not develop a level of self-confidence commensurate with their achievement. For too many, it’s the drug that did it. Not them. The short-term gain Adderall provides becomes a long-term problem. My self confidence still feels undermined, years off the pills. This is a hard one to get over. ———————————- The bottom line is that f you choose to use Adderall to boost your career (or school or home for that matter) you also assume significant risk management responsibility. Now, why the fuck do doctors never mention this?
  4. Coming Clean

    I'm really glad you posted this, Liltex. I've been feeling very 'relapsey' myself lately. I've been really tired and unmotivated at work (my job is very self directed, which is challenging) and feeling guilty that I haven't been getting much done the past few weeks. I feel like I'm letting my boss down, even though this is probably just in my head. I can't seem to get it together to start working on projects. Then, the other day, my husband made a comment about how I used to 'get shit done' on Adderall and how I didn't need as much sleep as I do now (I think I sleep a normal amount - I don't take naps or anything). When someone you love validates the drug somewhat, that's a huge setback. So, lately I've had strong cravings for Adderall, my first cravings in at least six months or so. I stick around here for the relapse stories. Nobody ever said, "I relapsed on Adderall, and I'm so happy I did!" When I get cravings for Adderall, it's a reminder to me that I'm still not over this addiction. I still get PAWS days from time to time. But, there's always another way to deal with shit. Meditation, diet, exercise, yoga, vitamins, just waiting it out. Drugs will only cripple your inner resources. Natural methods strengthen them. I don't think I could work from home like you do. That would be really triggery for me, to be isolated every day. That must be extremely difficult. So, I don't have much advice, just commiseration that life sucks sometimes and we get stuck in negative patterns that we used to remedy with speed. I can't wait for the day when it's been so long since I've taken an Adderall, I forget what the hell it even feels like.
  5. reading comprehension in the shitter

    Wellbutrin is a good transition drug to help with focus after adderall (I've taken it in the past, short term). I was a voracious reader before adderall and it took a year or so for my reading to get back to the same level. Everyone has add after adderall, regardless of whether they had it before, so be patient and work to get out of the mindset that you need a drug to compensate for a lack of skill. That is addict thinking.
  6. another bad day...?

    I was a mess working off Adderall for the first year or so, and my job was really lax as well. I had to physically go to work every day, but I barely did anything and had no motivation (the first 6 months was the worst, then it gradually got easier). I had no oversight or deadlines (I was the boss), which made things really difficult. I felt better when I got a new job after 18 months that was more fast paced, micromanaged and deadline oriented. A job that didn't require abstract thinking/planning and gave me very clearly defined goals (and I was also very overqualified for). Now that I'm off Adderall for 3 years, I'm back in a job just like the lack-of-oversight one I had for the first 18 months sober, but it feels totally different now. I have the self motivation to do all the things I need to do, and I love being in control of my own job. Weirdly, I now have days here and there where I feel like I'm on Adderall. I'm all amped up, super focused, anxious, and obsessively think. I hate it. I hate those ruminating, obsessive thought patterns you get when you're sped up, and the feeling that everything is a life or death situation, no matter how minute in the grand scheme of things. I'm so over that anxious, manic feeling of self-importance. It takes a ton of time for self motivation to return (years for me), so you have to rely on fear motivation in the interim to get work done. Find someone you can be accountable to for work if you don't have anyone, or have consequences for not working. Fear of getting fired/losing my income/being homeless, etc. kept me going. You need to pull fear from somewhere because you won't have inner drive to motivate you. Unless you have the ability to not work for a while, then holy shit, do that and save yourself the mental anguish. But, most people don't have that luxury. Another thing is, the grass is always greener. When you're first getting sober, everything sucks. If I'd had a job with more accountability in the beginning, I would have been wishing I could slack off more because I was so tired and unmotivated all the time. I would have had anxiety about getting fired every day. You'll always be wishing for a magical scenario which makes being off adderall less uncomfortable, but it sucks getting clean regardless. You just have to muddle through the first year, or two, or three, until your work habits are as they should be.
  7. Scared of relapsing - help!

    YES, we long timers have all felt that way. I would say the first year is 'early recovery'. You're nowhere near your normal self yet. I had strong cravings for the first 18 months. You have to measure your progress in years, not months. Like, 2 yrs vs 1 yr. Think of this as recovering from a brain injury - it takes a long time and there are no short cuts. "8 months is nothing," you will be saying 2 years from now.
  8. this is so hard

    Yep, withrawal is a long and tedious process and you have to take a long view of recovery or you will be miserable. You used a drug for 10 years, so think of recovery in terms of years, not months. Your first year sober will probably suck but after the first 6 months or so time started to go much faster for me. Not trying to scare you, just giving you a reality check. Learn to deal with the discomfort rather than avoid it because that's just not possible.
  9. dental health & adderall

    Yes, the dehydrating effect of adderall causes less saliva production, which is bad for your teeth. I personally have never had problems with my teeth on or off adderall but I know a lot of people here have, and there is a lengthy article on this site about how Mike (site's founder) had to get extensive dental work done due to adderall usage.
  10. Hey dangerbean, You have to drastically lower your expections of yourself. I barely did anything at work for the first few months. Set a goal to do one task a day. Low expectations are key. Thinking you will have motivation this soon off speed will lead to relapse, as will keeping pills around. You should read all the articles and posts on this site to get an idea of what to expect. Mainly, get used to being fat and useless during the first several months sober. These are the dues you pay for unnaturally speeding up your brain and body for an extended period of time.
  11. You're only 3 months sober so hopefully some of those adderall induced side effects will recede with time. I waited a year+ before making any major life changes (job change, adopting a pet) and I'm really glad I had the foresight to wait. Also, I believe you can't join the military if you've used stimulants within the past year (unless you lie of course) or if you have certain health issues. My point is, consider waiting a while before making any major life decisions like joining the military. Many of us were not abusers either, yet still were very addicted from daily use of stimulant drugs. You learned to be emotionally attached to adderall and unlearning that takes time.
  12. Human connection post-Adderall

    Everyone is different, but I didn't feel 'normal' socially again until I'd been off Adderall for 2 1/2 years. You will eventually be your old self again - it just takes time. You are slowly relearning all of the habits of a sober person.
  13. What is your real name??

    I use my middle name because my first name is too unusual..only one person from this site knows it and that's because we've met in person several times.
  14. What shows are you watching?

    Revenge Californication Bojack Horseman Only have netfix, no cable
  15. What have you learned from recovery?

    For starters - Patience, faith, humility, empathy and letting go of control.
  16. Adderall social hierarchy?

    I was an arrogant, impatient know-it-all on adderall. Pretty immature if you ask me. Like Krax, I've found (most) people I've ever met on adderall to be annoying.
  17. CBA - Cost Benefit Analysis

    Hey liltex, I was just in a funk for awhile - tired, brain fog, eating a lot. So I started taking a multivitamin and a fish oil pill, and within a couple days the fog had lifted and I had energy again. So I think I just had a vitamin deficiency. Might be something to try. There's always another way!
  18. CBA - Cost Benefit Analysis

    Doesn't matter who runs the media outlets - women want to see skinny models and they are the consumers of fashion and beauty products. Women may say they want to see real women but if that were true in the aggregate then that's what would be portrayed. Kind of like how people said they wanted salads at McDonald's during focus groups and when they introduced salads they sold horribly. All media have the same advertising goals, to make you feel that buying their products/looking a certain way will help you achieve happiness. If you're reading fashion magazines, the images are for you.I'm defending guys here because you're right, it's no secret that men don't want a chick that looks like a 12 year old boy. It's women that are ultimately at fault for beauty standards in the media.
  19. CBA - Cost Benefit Analysis

    I don't have weight/body image issues myself, but from what I understand, women that do are more concerned about how other women see them rather than men. So the pursuit of skinniness is for other women. Not saying liltex or anyone has body issues, just what I've read about women with eating disorders and negative body image. And magazines are all about promoting an unattainable body image because their goal is to have you compare yourself to other women and buy their products because you feel inadequate.
  20. WIll I Ever STOP Thinking About Adderall??????

    Yeah, at four months I was definitely still thinking about it nonstop.
  21. I hate not being on adderall

    Hey Mark, Everything adderall gives you in the beginning, it takes away in the end. You just weren't on it long enough to experience that decline. This is true for any drug addiction.
  22. ADD is not real

    Even if there is a dopamine deficiency, it's the result of brain pathways adapting to social/cultural conditioning. New environments and habits can change your brain chemistry. If it was a biological disorder one was born with then it should be equally prevalent in all westernized nations, no?
  23. ADD is not real

    It may be real but let's not pretend people are born with a dopamine deficiency. It's most definitely a result of cultural/social factors. How many Asian and Indian children are given ritalin because they can't focus on their schoolwork.

    I told my doctor I was quitting because I was addicted and wouldn't be needing it anymore. You can tell them whatever you want, the point is just to articulate that you don't want another adderall prescription.
  25. Sleep study

    I thought narcolepsy was when you fall asleep while you're in the middle of doing things or not being able to sleep for a long stretch, not just needing a lot of sleep. I know tons of people who work long hours during the week and sleep a lot on the weekends. I think that's fairly common. Obviously stimulants aren't an option. I remember reading in On Speed that the first sign amphetamines were addictive was when scores of people with narcolepsy began getting addicted to them in the 1930s. How easily we ignore history. Maybe you should tell these doctors that you can't tolerate stimulants, rather than you were addicted, because obviously these morons don't think stimulants are addictive despite you spilling your goddamn guts about it. Before adderall I almost did a sleep study because I was tired a lot too and I thought I had narcolepsy. Then I found speed and we all know how that turned out! Thinking I had narcolepsy was an excuse for not putting in the effort to have more energy, like eating right (I eat 4-5 small healthy meals a day), being active daily, not smoking, and getting off all prescription drugs - including caffeine. Now that I've put in the work to have natural energy, I have it.You know you can't just take a pill.