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duffman

An Update And The Word I Fear The Most

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So it has been a while since I've last posted here and feel like I should provide an update before I venture into my post. Firstly and most significantly, I've graduated physical therapy school and passed my state board exam - I'm officially a doctor of physical therapy! Studying for the state board exam was an arduous endeavor, especially having to shore up my natural motivation to get myself to study for 5+ hours a day. This was a pivotal moment for me. I believe we all have this "thing" in the depths of our minds we believe could shatter our convictions and have us making that familiar phone call to schedule an appointment with our psychiatrist to load-up on more Adderall. Well, this was my "thing". I didn't think I had it in me to take on this 5.5 hour, 250 question examination that would ultimately determine my occupational fate. However, this was not an unfamiliar feeling throughout my recovery.. this feeling of inadequacy, this feeling of wanting/needing "more".

"More".. the one word that still looms over my head even so far into recovery (which is 16 months at this point of time.. I think?). "More".. the one word that constantly and consistently attempts to thwart my efforts of living a life stimulant-free. "More".. the one word that I fear the most. And it couldn't have such a profound effect on my psyche without it's equally insidious and nefarious cousin "not enough" tunneling through my mind at every perceived impasse in my life. I thought earning my doctorate degree would finally prove to myself that I am adequate and can handle anything and everything life throws in my path - and it has to a large degree, don't get me wrong, but there's surprisingly still feelings of needing more to be able to accomplish what I want to do with my life, and this scares me, mostly because there's nothing for me to hide behind now - It's just me. The stimulant fueled masquerade is over, I stand alone, naked and vulnerable. With Adderall, I felt like if I needed to "take it to the next level", I could always pop my pill for that maniacal suit of armor to take on the challenge. It was my silver bullet.. my trump card. 

So.. why haven't I gone back to Adderall? You might be wondering now. Well, let me put it succinctly and directly, it's all bullshit, that's why. Adderall never took me to "the next level", it only provided the feeling of mental fortitude, but inevitably and invariably led to disastrous outcomes in the long run. Besides, whoever said vulnerability was a bad thing? Being vulnerable, that is, digging deep down and allowing the real "me" to be exposed to the world has only led to favorable outcomes. My relationships are stronger than ever, I'm able to connect with people in ways I've never thought possible, and my cynical sense of humor is coming back, something I've missed very much about myself. Also, paradoxically, the word "more" is also a reason why I haven't.. no.. will never go back to Adderall. For me (and very very likely everyone on this discussion board), a "controlled dose" AKA taking Adderall as prescribed by your physician is not an option. Why? Because if you're taking it for some purpose in mind (being more social, feeling smarter, getting more done etc.), then a fixed dose will not deliver what you desire for any extended amount of time. You will always need MORE. 

 

Anyway, I hope this post made sense. Yes, I have further to go in my recovery, but I've made some incredible strides and do not regret quitting in the slightest sense. I mean, this was, hands down, the best decision I've made in my life. If I were to label the first year with one word, I would call it the "recovery" phase. If I were to do the same with second year of recovery (thus far), I would label it the "adaptation" phase, because what i'm doing now is learning to adapt to life as "me" again. And though not everyday is great, at least I know life isn't passing me by as I dig myself deeper into the throes of addiction. Thank you for reading. 

 

-Dr. Duffman :-p

 

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Congrats on your accomplishment!! That's huge!! :)

I like your description of the first and second year. "Recovery" for the first year is putting it nicely. Haha. "Adaptation" for the second year is the perfect word!! I totally agree. I'm starting to feel like myself again and it feels strange because I almost forgot what it felt like to be me. But I am also so glad I quit. I don't regret it for a second. 

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Congratulations Duffman. Thank you for sharing your accomplishment. You are living proof that ex-addys can go on to achieve bigger things!!! 

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