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  1. ... And I'm The TEACHER!!!

    I've been taking Adderall for what I think may be 8 or 9 years. Seeing those words there is making my stomach turn... I'll start at the beginning I didn't begin taking this drug when I was in high school or collage (although, I could have really used the help...) I actually began taking this when I became a teacher. I was 2 or 3 years in as a primary (ages 6-8), classroom teacher in an urban area. I was overwhelmed, overworked and lost. At the insistence of my mother who was convinced I had some thyroid issue, I visited the doctor. While I sobbed in the Dr's office about my unwillingness to get out of bed to go to work, she nodded sympathetically and wrote a prescription for an antidepressant. She also referred me to an outpatient psychiatric clinic and so began my rollercoaster ride on a rainbow of pills… I honestly cannot sort out the chronology of medications, just that Adderall was always in there. There was that summer of XRs at a high dose and an antipsychotic to “take the edge†off. I cried a lot that summer. Then there was XRs in the am and IRs in the pm. For attention… to what? MY PILLOW!? Most recently, it’s IRs, Xanex, and Ambien. Ambien is a bitch, too. So is Xanex… However, I can’t say it was all bad. In the beginning, Adderall helped me become a more organized teacher, I was able to get my Master’s degree and manage a classroom of children who were so lost and in need of someone to be consistent and caring. I was that person, I was also full of energy and “fun!†It’s easy to be fun everyday when you are pumped full of amphetamines. I’d take it before work, on the way to work, at work, at home… To do grading, individualize instruction for struggling students, meet with parents later in the day, plan, organize, whenever I needed more time in the day. Then I’d be up all night, sobbing… You can do some serious psychological damage to yourself at 3 in the morning. Cut to 8 or 9 years later, and here I am. I feel like I’ve stalled my life. I'm still a teacher, it's a hard job, I'm still overworked, overtired and now I'm less organized. The more productive I am, the more gets thrown at me to do. No one can work like this, and no one should be expected to work like this. And I'm not going to take a pill to make me better at this anymore. It doesn't work. I’ve managed to get off the antidepressant (that was really tough, my brain felt like it was being electrocuted) and the Ambien (that little bitch,) but the Adderall, come on! And you know you need your Xanex for sleep… I’m 36 years old, married and I want to have a baby. Oh, and it turns out, my mother was right, I do have a thyroid problem. These years slipped by and I have to stop. I’ve reduced my dosage, only to up it again (cause I’m always counting the pills and I know I can take more.) I don’t blame anyone else for it. I take responsibility for it all, I lied. A lot. I’m not proud of that. It has to end now. Time is running out, I’m not getting any younger. And if I even think that I might have missed my chance to actually… Just to be super productive, just to take a little blue pill… I have to stop. I’m coming here to be accountable. I’m coming here because I need a new place to start.