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About matilda

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  1. Side effects of quitting

    Hi Liv -- You can try actual laxatives, not just tea (sparingly), and take a couple tablets of magnesium glycinate (I get mine online) at bedtime. I'm not a doctor, so weigh that into this response, but I have had really good results with the insomnia with that particular kind of magnesium. M
  2. Hi Spence -- Congratulations on taking major steps to help yourself and even out your health. As many of us here can attest, doing work stimulant-free often becomes easier and produces better output over time than working in that peculiar state of mind-lock that Adderall brings on. For me, it would induce me to want to sit at my desk and do something, but what that would turn out to be wouldn't always be categorizable as work. Certainly not good work, for that matter, either. There's something called euphoric recall you might look up, as you're still in the early quitting stages. In a nutshell, it's about how the mind focuses on the (sometimes even fabricated or exaggerated) good memories about doing a drug or an addictive activity and temporarily "forgets" about the bad stuff. I mention this because when you're tempted to go back to using, your brain may not help you in this regard. That's why coming here can be really useful, as you'll get an instant reminder about how terrible this drug actually is. It takes a little while to get your sea legs back under you, but I have zero doubt that you will also discover how your work, social life, exercise, general outlook and many other important aspects of your life will improve so much over time if you give it room to breathe without medicating yourself. Good work doesn't come from a drug -- the work you did over these past few years came from you. You can access those abilities without pills, too. For me, the side effects could be so intense that it's amazing I was able to do work in spite of the Adderall at times. I was prone to going off on tangents, embarking on useless research on the Internet about irrelevant subjects, obsessing over tiny aspects of a task to the detriment of the project as a whole, etc. etc. While there might have been a short window in which I temporarily enjoyed a boost in my productivity (I'm not inclined to think even this was true, though), and maybe also in the quality of my work, I'm positive that was so minimal in actuality that it definitely didn't make all the really harmful side effects worth it. Not at all. Finally, for me, the drug also made it hard for me to think creatively -- it got me into tunnel vision mode, which could actually hinder my ability to come up with unexpected or original ways of thinking about my work. I felt like my personality was flattened, which I would submit would be a problem in just about every profession. This stuff doesn't exactly make you the best team player, either. So, I actually think you're in a great place to put down the proverbial bottle and explore what it's like to be a young adult version of yourself without distortion, for the first time in your adult life. You have a year, and senior year of college doesn't have to be full-blast crazy workaholicness if you take a little care in planning your schedule. I think it's better you do it now than when you're out of school and trying to navigate the working world. If you become acquainted with your strengths and start laying the groundwork to understand how you work best without the drug, you'll have a year's worth of practice or so behind you by the time you get to the next phase of your professional life. And if your experience is like mine, at some point not too long from now, you'll wonder how and why you ever stayed on it for so long. Answer: you didn't know better yet. You will. Hang in there.
  3. Hi Katers -- I'm a long-time member here and have been mostly reading from time to time for a while, but your message spurred me to respond here. You (and others) are right when you say this BED-awareness campaign on Shire's part is dangerous b.s. Even if you did try Vyvanse and it worked for a while re: food, you'd be right back where you started whenever you stopped taking it. Since you're already in a 12-step program, you might look into OA. People there run the gamut of food-related behaviors. It is absolutely possible to recover from periodic bingeing as you've described -- I know because I've done it. It is difficult in its own specific ways, as clearly you can't avoid food altogether, and I found that it really helps to be able to talk to others who know exactly what it's like to deal with those particular struggles. I had an absolutely vicious eating disorder for years, and I now eat like a normal person and don't even really think about it, which I never thought would happen, let alone as quickly (relatively speaking) as it has abated since I started recovery in earnest. I remember all too clearly what it's like to go through what you're describing after binges, and the good news is that you don't have to stay there for life or medicate to avoid going there. It takes some persistence and a lot of patience, but with a genuine impulse to take it on, it is doable. All the best -- you can get through it without giving your money and health to Shire's cynical bid to capitalize upon binge eaters' suffering. M
  4. When did you realize you needed to stop?

    Marissa -- If you can talk to a doctor (I'm not one), do, but I've had good luck in the past with generic Benadryl (like 1/2 of a pink tablet's worth) for sleep -- it's among the more harmless sleep aids out there. But everyone's different and again, not a doctor.
  5. Studying w/o adderall

    Hi Nicole -- If you have a smartphone, there are some study aid apps that can be helpful -- they break down study time into manageable amounts for you, etc. There's one called "Pomodoro" that I use (well, there are several based on the "Pomodoro" approach, but I use a simple and free one) -- it times you for 25 minutes per work shift, then you take a few minutes off, etc. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing, but oftentimes when there's at least a little external structure built into the process, even from a smartphone app, you'd be surprised how it can help. I was. M
  6. In need of support

    Yes, I think your body can just be worn out for a bit -- it'll improve, don't worry! Our brains learn to overcompensate for the overstimulation that stimulants induce in our bodies, so when we go off the stims, the brain is still in the mode of throwing water (so to speak) on the overstimulation, even though it's no longer happening because of the drug. That, plus general exhaustion of actually having an overstimulated system, can do all kinds of fun stuff to energy levels and physical reactions. I'm not a doctor, and if you're really concerned you might ask one, but may of those symptoms have gotten better for me over time.
  7. Hi Z -- Did your good experience continue with magnesium supplementation? Interesting.
  8. What day are you on?

    I'm on day 378! And it gets sooooo much better. Getting my personality back has been a real pleasure.
  9. Breakups in early recovery

    Hi Ashley -- I definitely got into more than one relationship, over the 6 years I was on Adderall, that I would not have pursued, at least not that far, in a sober state. I also really relate to the idea of being addicted to a person or relationship in the aftermath -- I am just over a year off the pills now and still extracting myself from relationship #2. It is really hard. Not much else to offer, as I'm still in it myself, but wanted to let you know I'm in the same boat. I do feel like my sanity is returning more every day, though, and that this will eventually resolve itself, as many other areas of my life have in recovery. Cheers, M
  10. Experience with Wellbutrin?

    Thanks, quit-once. I appreciate your opinion here for sure. I agree about the not-hiding philosophy, too -- I don't like feeling like I don't trust myself (and life in general, the divine, etc.) enough to just be who I am, unadulterated. I don't even like (occasional and minimal use of) alcohol much these days, either. And I do have L-Tyrosine supplements. Definitely worth a think in that regard. I also don't like thinking about drugs alternating my brain chemistry -- I don't think big pharma companies are overly motivated, let's say, to be up-front about those potential effects, and I'm already worried about possible damage done by Adderall. So the answer here seems to be either minimal use if it gets bad (and my depression can, and I"m trying to finish a dissertation, which is why I'm having this dilemma currently) or none at all. M
  11. HI all -- I'm 5 months off of Adderall, thank goodness, but I'm facing a dilemma I'm wondering if anyone has experience with. I still have a prescription for Wellbutrin, and I know some people have used it when phasing off of Adderall. My worry is that it's too similar to Adderall -- being something of a stimulant, too -- and that it'll set me right back to square one if I go on it. I've been struggling with a bout of depression lately which I think might be largely physical, exhaustion from being overstimulated for so long, and I don't want to let it go on and on if I don't have to, but I'm scared to have to reset the withdrawal clock. Any experience with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! M
  12. All good things come to an end

    tinybuddha -- They've been true for me. That much I can say for sure -- and what has come in to fill the lack for me has been very real and palpable, unmistakable. Not the product of passing imagination or wishful thinking. An open and earnest (and explicitly expressed) desire to find it was the key for me, but I am definitely a work in progress! M
  13. NA Meetings

    Hi tinybuddha and Mike -- I have experience with 12-step programs via my primary 'addiction,' food. I haven't been to NA, but from my 1.5+ years in the sister program I am a part of, I can say a couple things about the AA-based addiction treatment model in general if it helps. First, it's been my experience that this approach really works. It is something, though, that has to be right for you and you have to want for yourself, as it's a very personal program. By that I mean that there is a general set of tenets and suggested plan of action but a lot of room for interpretation, and taking what works for you and leaving the rest is what a lot of people do. No set-in-stone hierarchy and no experts either, just people with more time in recovery who are ready and willing to help newcomers by telling them what's worked for them from having been there themselves (this can vary from person to person in the way of sponsors, but it's up to individuals to pick the style they gel with best). Also, fellow members don't so much tell you what to do beyond "don't pick up the drugs" and try to follow the steps with your sponsor however you and that person see fit -- they just try to focus on what the program suggests and suggest what they think would work or what they've seen work in their own lives. The bulk of the work comes from you figuring out how the program fits best for you and letting that process develop over time -- some go a more explicitly spiritual route, others stay in the realm of the practical and/or secular, as it is adaptable that way. No two people do it exactly the same way, but there is a certain spirit to it that some people really take to and others don't. It's been great for me, but again, it's really a personal choice. M
  14. For those who have been off Addy for a while..

    Hi stealthology -- Yes. It took a little while, but I am more productive without it, personally. My creativity, spontaneity and energy levels are higher, surprisingly, without it. M
  15. All good things come to an end

    Hey jmac -- Welcome! Your story was very engaging and vividly written. I am 4 months Adderall-free myself and it is so, so worth it, in my unsolicited opinion. I can only say how it has been from where I sit, but I read in your post one very succinctly put line that you clearly also knew was at the heart of it all -- it was for me too: "A short background on me: my whole life has been marked by a distinct lack of something." I submit the following, also and only based on my experience: I don't believe you would feel the lack if just that something didn't exist to dispel the lack you feel. Finding out, without the drug in my system, what that could be has changed everything for me from the ground up. M