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TLDR- I gave up alcohol 15 months ago and it was the best decision I ever made. Now I'm trying to adjust to the idea of giving up my Vyvanse. Something tells me life can be so much better off it. But I'm also terrified of a life without it. Hello, I don't really know where to start but to tell you that being here, writing this right now, feels like deja-vu. Deja-vu because about a year and a half ago I sat down to write an introduction after joining a private support group, and spilled my guts about a deep down secret that I hadn't told anyone about before - That alcohol was secretly destroying me, controlling me, killing me, while I kept my external world looking perfectly fine. And that I needed help and support to quit, but really didn't think I ever could actually quit- or that life would be worth it. Today I sit here 15 months sober from alcohol, knowing at my core that giving up drinking was the best decision I ever made- realizing how truly lucky I am - to have realized that I don't have to drink. And realizing how much I have grown and changed in the best way over the past year and a half. So today I find myself in a similar position. Sitting at my computer, once again, and finally telling someone that this substance is no longer serving me- its getting more and more uncomfortable. And the discomfort is all too familiar to that insidious feeling that started with alcohol. That it's slowly becoming more and more of something I depend on. Something I have come to believe I cannot function without. But at the same time, something that seems to be numbing me at a soul level, and empty inside. My deepest fear - that if I go off it I will never truly be happy, or productive, again. Because I don't know who I am without it - as a 25 year old that has taken these drugs since I was 17, I'm terrified of meeting my unmedicated self. Looking at those beliefs and fears, I realize they are the exact fears I had around giving up alcohol- that if i gave up the substance, I would also give up my life, my happiness, my control, my self. But in reality- everything that I thought this substance would give me, sobriety delivered in ways that were even better. So, I guess I'm here because there's a little glimmer of hope for freedom. I graduate from nursing school with my BSN in March, and promised myself I would finally ditch the pills after I graduated. But getting closer and closer to that day, I am realizing this is going to be a harder "break-up" than I thought. But maybe, just maybe life without vyvanse won't be absolutely miserable. Maybe, just like when I quit drinking, life will get so much better that I even expected. Not easier. Not perfect. Not even free of pain or discomfort. But real. And FREE. So, in a way I've been here before (when I broke up with booze). But also, in a way I have never been here before-I'm terrified and still adjusting to even the idea of life without my meds. Thank you for reading if you made it this far. If I've learned anything, it's that I'm not supposed to do this thing alone, and groups like this can be an incredible source of strength.
back2life posted a topic in General DiscussionHi, I'm starting this thread to share some of my experiences with quitting and running into problems with alcohol, I would love to hear your experiences and/or advice. I quit adderall cold turkey in March 2015. I was using mostly as prescribed, my dosage was 5 mg 3 times a day, at times I would take one extra for a total for 20 mg a day. The day I quit I felt no different than when on it, but I began to really feel the difference by the end of the week, I couldnt focus, was jittery, irritable, on edge, couldnt do any writing or reading, this continued for about 2 months. Around the 2 months mark I began self-medicating with white wine. I now drink daily, about 2-3 glasses. I am beginning to realize that alcohol may be a bigger problem than Adderall. I have ABSOLUTELY NO desire to ever go back to adderall, but I dont know how to manage without my daily wine intake.
Here is my story on Adderall, I was first diagnosed with ADHD my junior year in high school, but looking back i was definetly symptomatic for years before. I had always gotten decent grades without much effort, and had even tested my IQ in the 140 to 150 range. Then, in junior year I just hit a wall, classes got exponentially more difficult, and a combination of my ADHD and not really having any study skills my grades plummeted, so naturally my parents freaked out and sent me to a doctor. At first, i was reluctant, but as he went through the ADHD screening, i was amazed by how well it described me. I had always thought that ADHD was for the "special" kids, not me, but here we are. Anyway, my pdoc started me off at 50mg of Straterra when it was relatively new. It didn't work at all, we bumped it up to 100mg, the which i believe is the highest dosage, and still no effect. The summer before senior year, i started on 5mg of Adderall IR, 2x daily. I didnt really notice much difference, as i was not really under demand during my boring summer job, so before school started we kicked it up to 7.5mg IR 2x daily. As I'm sure many of you can attest to, i felt great, everything seemed effortless, and i could easily sit and study, write papers, or work on projects for hours on end, something i had never been able to do before. With the help of Adderall, i raised my GPA and got 34 on the ACT, which got me into a great college with a decent scholarship. As a college freshman that had an older brother go to the same university, I was a legacy at a fraternity that shall remain nameless. Now, I don't want to go on badmouthing fraternities, I am still am glad i joined, it was a great experience that shaped me to who I am today, but one thing i regret is how it affected my use, and abuse, of Adderall. Yes, i used Adderall for partying longer, and yes i sold excess to friends for cramming for finals, and i abused the hell out of it during finals week myself. All this time, i had been slowly bumping up my dosage, and switched to XR instead of IR. Nearing the end of my junior year of college, I was taking 50mg of XR just to feel the regular effects that got me functioning. I felt on top of the world, I had an amazing girlfriend, had crazy weekend stories may not remember totally, had a great GPA, kept my scholarship, had a solid paid internship at an alumni's company with a job offer right after graduation. All i had to do was take this little pill, and everything seemed to fall into place. I hate to say it, but it was like the movie Limitless. Then, my whole world came crashing down. My mom's birthday was coming up, and I was headed home for the weekend. I was going to meet my mother, father, and older brother who had just graduated at a restaurant. I got there and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Turns out my family had been driven off the road by a drunk driver, killing my mother and brother, leaving my father in a medically induced coma. I never had dealt with grief on this scale, I had a few breakups here and there, but nothing like this. So, I regretfully turned to the two closest solutions, finding my problems at the bottom of a fifth of jack and my Adderall bottle. A trip to the hospital after a night of mixing Adderall and booze that ended in a BAC of .33 and my stomach being pumped was a wake up call, so with my fraternity brother's support, i cut back a lot with my drinking, but that was only part of the problem. I still had my little magic pill, Adderall. At this point, I started noticing that i was craving the pills, not just the regular, "I could do this faster with some Adderall", but real, cravings that drove me crazy. Finals week of Junior year, I nearly went into cardiac arrest in the library after downing nearly 150mg of Adderall. This was pretty much my rock bottom point. I went to the university's counseling program, and talked to my pdoc about scaling back my dosage, he agreed. I scaled down to 25mg for a month, which was hell because i was too weak to resist and ran out after taking double doses, but then I decided that enough was enough. I quit cold turkey. Going from 50mg daily to 0 was pretty much the worst thing I have ever experienced, besides the accident my family was in. Thankfully, I had the support of my fraternity brothers, and my amazing girlfriend, now my current fiance. I managed to finish and graduate with my Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering with honors, albeit one semester late. Now, I am 3 years off Adderall and I couldn't feel better. My father made a full recovery, I have a beautiful fiance, a secure and well-paying job, and am about to start my Master's degree. I still talk to a counselor, but now it is more of healthy lifestyle choices. I started eating healthier, working out, and getting as regular a sleep schedule as my job will allow. Its amazing how those three things, along with a positive outlook can do. I still have trouble focusing sometimes, but I just buckled down and worked through it. I experimented with different work environments to find which fits best for me. No matter how long an arduous a journey may seem, even the longest journeys begin with a single step. As Winston Churchill said "If you're going through hell, keep going". Withdrawl sucks, but with perseverance and support of family and friends, you can do it, and you can beat Adderall addiction.