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Adderolling Downhill

Hopeful I am Not Hopeless

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I am 23 years old and I have been addicted to adderall for almost 5 1/2 years. A "friend" of mine used to go out of his way to give me his extra 30mg IR pills to "help me with my homework" when I was a senior in high school. Before him giving me them to try, I barely knew what adderall was, I had just heard from him and maybe from one person before that it could help with school work, so being a dumb naive 17 year old girl in high school I tried one of the 30mg pills and have been hooked since basically (btw I am only 5'3" and was 120 lb at the time so I was getting pretty fucking high everyday that year and literally thought I just found a magic pill that made life great and did not realize how serious of a habit I was forming). By the end of my senior year of high school I started to take 3 30mg pills/day, something that has become worse and more and more frequent over the years. I've had my ups and downs and have tried to quit repeatedly but I don't think the seriousness of it all REALLY hit me until a couple months ago when I could objectively look at my behavior and see what of a crackhead lifestyle I was/am secretly living (no one is aware of this problem to my knowledge). I am finishing up college (I'm in my fifth year), but I am in so much random debt and know with every ounce of my being that if I am in school in Oregon still I will keep using adderall until I have to resort to something else soon, so I moved back home to take my last classes online. My parents do not know anything (that I am aware of and I'm pretty sure they don't), I told them I had to move home because Oregon is cold and I didn't want to pay rent when I could work and take my classes at home and save money (I fucking hate myself for how much of a fucking lie this is). The only people I've openly admitted I am an addict to are my sister and my boyfriend of 5 years (I'm pretty sure my problem hasn't ended our relationship yet because (a) he is an amazing guy and (b) we have been doing long distance since we went to different colleges so he doesn't know the severity of my problem). 

Anyways, I was trying to stay clean after new years but once my classes started up again that got really hard really quickly, and I am fully realizing how badly my withdrawals are after reading about it online today for the first time. I am pretty sure I never looked into getting help because I have been unconsciously lying to myself in someway I cannot begin to understand for over 5 years. I am scared because I know I am about to get hit with some withdrawals after binging a few days ago because I tried quitting (again) and the last adderall I took was earlier today for a school assignment.  I don't know how I will be able to finish my degree, start working, and be able to start paying my debt without adderall, but this really needs to stop because it's ruining my life and my relationships (my boyfriend and I have been struggling, I am forever grateful he has it in him to be supportive of me and the kindest person I have ever met), I am a person who does things that I truly hate, I feel hopeless a lot of the time, and I am scared what this will turn into especially since I don't have the financial resources to keep up this expensive "habit." I also just really truly want to feel like a good person who takes care of themselves and treats everyone well but until I stop taking adderall that can never fully happen, and I really need help. Also I don't have my own prescription so I can't really see a doctor about the withdrawals, I will have to quit "cold turkey" which also scares me. I want to go to AA meetings but my parents are also recovering alcoholics of about 4 years and are heavily involved in those programs, so I just feel trapped. I am not ready to share this part of my life with my parents and for a few reasons I simply just can't - not right now. The irony of their alcoholism is that I have been learning about what I need to do from them sharing about their meetings and the 12 steps and they would be a great resource (so in some ways I have started to try recovery) but they hold stigmas towards drug addicts. I think they feel good about themselves since they are "only" alcoholics and not a drug addict (like their beloved daughter, hah..). So in a lot of ways, I feel trapped. I am interested into going to NA meetings but I have gotten mixed reviews after looking online.

Anyways, any support and advice would be greatly appreciated. I am hopeful I am not hopeless and I can become "who I used to be" but the sad part is that I was so young and it was so long ago when this started I don't really know who I used to be. This part of me is the only me I really know since it's the only person I've been in my adult life so far. I would love to hear from people who have had similar experiences or just have advice on what to do. I just want to feel like I am trying to be a good person that I like. I want to stop hurting people (who are also unaware) I care about and love, just to feed this disgusting habit. I want to be able to feel like I can still enjoy life again without that happy feeling needing to be induced by adderall. I hate lying and I hate living this secret life. I hate being an addict. I hate myself so much sometimes I feel like I don't even deserve anything else. However I finally have started to hate myself a little less to where I finally feel like I do deserve a better life than this if I try and can get the help I need.

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I was on a similar cycle as you for a long time.  I'd take over 100mg most days and I'd tell my self every month that this is the last time.  I'd say I'm done with this sh*t, I hate the way it made me so tweaked out but yet I still kept popping them like candy.

It sounds like deep down you already know what needs to be done.  All of us addicts try to lie to ourselves and think maybe one day we can handle adderall in moderation and have the magic we used to get from it but the truth is the magic is gone and we know we cannot handle this poison in any moderation.

I think it would help if you got 100% honest with either your parents, sister, or boyfriend.  Let them know the grip this drug has on your life.  The only reason I say that is because I tried quitting on my own a bazillion times but when I finally broke down and told my wife how bad my addiction was is when I committed myself to quitting.  I had hid it from her and lied about so many things,  and most of my lies were setup to conceal this addiction so I wouldn't ever have to stop taking them.  But telling her was so liberating,  I ripped up the next two months of scripts I had and I gave her the phone # of my dealer who I was buying additional addies from.  I told her, if you ever see that number on our phone bill then I have relapsed and to confront me about it.

All that happened 8 months ago and I haven't had adderall since.  And I can tell you that its going to suck for a few months but whats a few months vs the rest of your life?  You have to really go all in though, you've gotta make up your mind that you aren't going to "try" to quit and see how it goes.  You've gotta treat recovery like a BEAST.  Refuse to ever put that sh*t in your body again.

And I can tell you the trend that I see on here from myself and other people who successfully quit is at about 8-12 months of life without adderall things start getting drastically better.  We all tend to start going to the extreme of taking care of our mind, body and soul.  Its weird, its like the total opposite of life on adderall.  I've started getting the proper amount of sleep every night, I go to the gym every weekday morning, I'm slowly removing caffeine and sugar from my diet, I meditate as often as I remember to.

I can tell you there was a time where I assumed I'd take adderall forever and I just might not live as long as I should.  How f*cking crazy is that?  But now I'd never fathom putting another adderall in my body.  Hopefully that gives you some hope that it can be done no matter what your current state of mind is.

Lastly, you mentioned NA meetings, I highly recommend that.  Its kinda weird at first and has sort of a cult atmosphere but you'll quickly realize how much you have in common with the peoples stories at these meetings.  I've been going once a week since I quit and everyone recommends that I go to more meetings but one a week has been sufficient for me.   The rare occasion I miss a week, I can tell my desire to stay 100% clean slips a little so clearly I'm getting some benefit from it.

Good luck and keep us posted! ☮ ✌

 

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Thank you for your response. I definitely can relate to all of that. Most days I could get my hands on adderall (which was also most days for over 5 years) I definitely took over 100 mg/day. 

I finally was able to be 100% honest with my sister and my boyfriend during the holidays and they were fantastically supportive. Today is my new "day one" and today I finally opened up to my best friend about it and she told me she could always tell I had some sort of problem with adderall but she wasn't sure what the severity of it was so never knew if it was something she should do something about, but overall she was also very supportive. I talked to my sister again today too to tell her I had relapsed again so quickly and just from being honest with her and telling her felt so liberating. 

Today is only the first day and I already have a killer headache and I can feel my energy slipping away, but I am determined this time. Reading responses like yours means so much to me, so thank you again.

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Sounds good that you are so determined this time.  Its going to suck for awhile, there is no way around that but there is plenty of proof throughout these forums that it eventually gets better.

As adderall addicts we are so hooked on that instant gratification that it makes early recovery really hard because we know that little pill will get rid of that lethargic lazy and depressed feeling but stay strong, time makes it all better.

And there is no better feeling than when you finally feel free from the addiction.  I thank God everyday that I'm not constantly thinking about Adderall, counting and recounting my pills, looking at my finances to see if I can afford more from my dealer... that was a truly exhausting way to live.

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AD,

My God I can relate. You are not alone on here, which I'm glad to see you've discovered.

I'm not big on giving advice - I find it far more effective to share things I have direct experience with. However, in this case I'm going to go out on a limb and say I think you should tell your parents. As someone in recovery who is active in AA, I can almost guarantee you their response will not be judgmental. They're your parents. They love you, and if they're connected to "the program" they will either be able to help you or know someone(s) who can. Plenty of people in AA have drug problems (even Adderall). Having said that, unsolicited advice is worth what you paid for it!

On 1/26/2017 at 5:00 AM, Adderolling Downhill said:

I am hopeful I am not hopeless and I can become "who I used to be" but the sad part is that I was so young and it was so long ago when this started I don't really know who I used to be.

This is the most exciting part of getting off Adderall. I had high hopes that I'd get back to "who I used to be," but learned over time that I had to let that admittedly romanticized version of things go and accept that getting clean was priority #1. By focusing on doing the next right thing, putting one foot in front of the other, I learned to trust that things would work out in the end.

I did whatever I had to do to stay clean for a year. And then two. And now, trying to live a useful, healthy life, new possibilities have opened up that I couldn't have imagined. My priorities are different than when I was using Adderall, but I'm thrilled with that. It doesn't mean I've had to lower my personal or professional standards. Part of that is also becoming an adult. Those of us who started using young and get clean in our 20's all of the sudden get some time under our belt, and realize "holy shit, I'm not a kid any more...I have to take care of myself and be responsible for my life!"

Wishing you the best,

H-C

 

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