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About BeHereNow

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  • Birthday 12/30/2012

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  1. How do you fix the life Adderall broke?

    Everything everyone else already said. One more thing though. I went to AA for awhile and although it didn't stick, the "serenity prayer" has helped me through so many life situations (including and beyond substances.) "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." I am not religious, but this little mantra reminds me that I need to draw boundaries between the things I can and cannot change. I can't change the past. I can't change or control other people. But I can direct my own self and my own actions. Addiction is often linked to an attempt for control. This is a very subtle aspect of it (but perhaps most pronounced with adderall.) But paradoxically, even with substances like alcohol, benzos, opiates, etc., things that take us OUT of control, it's also associated with the desire (or perceived need) to escape.... a "pressure relief valve".... sometimes a relief from the frustration of inability to control. You have tons to hope for. You can't fix the past, and you can't "fix" other people, but you can take huge steps towards a better future for yourself.
  2. Long-term quitters: Any lingering issues?

    Thanks friends. This is really helpful. LilTex, you are probably right. I did finish grad school! For some reason I can't seem to feel proud of that, but apparently it's a common phenomenon. Post-dissertation trauma and depression (or just general slump) are well documented. And so is the "dissertation 30" (kind of like the "freshman 15.") The whole thing took me over 7 years (if you look into my previous postings you can read more about my story.) For some reason, I refused to quit. I guess I love my field and I love teaching, and I'm pretty decent at it. I've learned a ton and I don't regret it. But in many ways I am a trauma survivor for it. That said, I have decided that I would never, ever suggest grad school to my own students. I care about them too much. They're too good for that. Too smart. Their life energy is too precious. For anyone doing academic work, this is a must-read: And this: Abuse is rampant in academia. To start, like you said LilTex, those grad classes are horrific! So much competition, so much toxicity, so many professors taking out their own issues on us, and so many "bad grades" for students who do quality work but dare to do something differently (or who are arbitrarily disliked by a given professor.) Let's just say that I mastered the art of getting incompletes and extensions. And napping. And eventually I learned to cry, but also to save my tears for the ladies' room. Physically, training for grad school meant training my (formerly triathlete body) to sit still all day, every day. Then there was the time when (right after quitting adderall) I had the extremely humbling experience of walking into a professor's office and telling him that I literally had no idea what was going on, and that it was all Greek to me. He actually took pity on me, and he helped to the best of his ability. I finally took off the mask of pretending I had any idea wtf was going on, and it set up for some version of success. Worst of all was my advisor. I literally spent years in an (non-romantic) abusive relationship with her and didn't recognize it until the end. The consequences of an abusive relationship are horrific, and it's multiplied when this person has power over your career. That's all I can say here. But if anyone wants to talk about this, or is going through it, feel free to message me. I probably wouldn't have had the courage to do this when I was on adderall, but in the end I switched advisors, and in the end I finished. I've gained a level of tenacity I never had before. I'm willing to fight for the people and things I love. Finally there's the job application process. I have applied to 30+ jobs this spring alone. Collecting rejection letters is pretty demoralizing after spending 7 years in grad school. I have something temporary now, but I get to restart that whole process in the fall. So yeah, I guess it's no surprise that I'm in a slump and need a vacation. On the plus side, out of the 7 years I spent in grad school, I only spent 2.5 of them on adderall. I learned a hell of a lot more after quitting, and I'm much smarter for having done so. At least I can say this. Even if I have to reckon with permanent brain damage, I can still say that quitting adderall made me smarter.
  3. I should preface this post with a warning to anyone who is new to the quitting process. The further I away I am from my adderall days, the better I feel and am. There is no doubt about that. In fact I feel a hundred thousand times better now than I did five years ago, or even three years ago. That said: I'm wondering if any longer-term quitters continue to experience issues that might or might not be related to quitting. Life is complex, everyone is different, we all began our addictions under different circumstances, and our minds and bodies are all different. Life itself is a roller coaster. And human health is as well. So I'm trying to determine whether I might still be dealing with some lingering, long-term effects from quitting, or if it's just a slump in life. Comparatively, this stuff is very low-grade and I'm much more capable of handling things. I can't tell if I'm in just in a life slump, or if PAWS is still a possibility 5.5 years out. Basically, I still have sleep issues some nights, as well as anxiety and sometimes bouts of depression. I wonder if I'm back at my pre-adderall baseline with these issues (which I've had on and off all my life), or if I might have caused some long-term damage that made these things worse. Like I said in another post, this might be a simple case of burnout from a very intense year of work and stress. Right now I'm finding it very hard to get motivated to do even basic things like cleaning, running, or otherwise moving my body. I've gained a ton of weight again (after having lost it all and then some, and keeping it off for years) so that generally doesn't help with anything. I think I might really need a vacation. But sometimes I look back on my life a decade ago, and I remember feeling this sense of happiness and zest and hope for the future that seems to be gone forever. Maybe THAT too was a phase. And I will add that I've had phases like that POST-adderall. So maybe I'm just burned out and/or getting older (I'm 35.) But some days I really do wonder if I burned my brain a bit, and if these are issues I have to live with for the rest of my life. Curious to hear others' experiences, and thanks for listening!
  4. Wellbutrin

    Wellbutrin is known to cause anxiety in many people. It actually is a stimulant. I will say that it helped for the first couple years of my recovery.... but like any miracle drug, it stopped working. So I quit. Thankfully, I weaned gradually and didn't have any side effects from quitting.
  5. Haven't checked the forums in awhile since I've been feeling a little bit triggered these past few months, and sometimes it helps not to even think about it. But I've been off the speed for 5.5 years now, and that is one of the biggest advantages. Not thinking about it. I used to expend so much mental energy thinking about adderall: when I could refill, when I could take another, how I would cope with running out. And in the first year of being quit, I still thought about it a lot, since I was focused on my recovery, randomly wanting to find/take some, thinking about quitting quitting, coping with the horrible depression and anxiety and emotional roller coaster that comes with quitting.... and wondering when it would end. The thing about any addiction is that it consumes a tremendous amount of mental energy. I used to have a friend who got annoyed with cigarette smokers for this same reason: smokers are extremely needy when it comes to their addiction. Always needing a new pack, lighters/matches, a place and time to go smoke, methods of making the smell go away.... (I say this as a former cigarette smoker who transitioned to vaping this past New Year's Eve, and I don't mean it as a judgment in any way. It's just a fact of the addiction. NOW I deal with the same issues surrounding vaping-- charging it, losing it, ordering vape juice, I could go on.....) What else has changed for the better? I'm not even all that interested in stimulants anymore. Not even coffee. I don't feel emotionally "hollow." And that prison of feeling superior yet also deeply inferior? Gone. I'm just a human being. It's interesting that some people mentioned improvements in writing skills. I'd say that mine have improved too, but in kind of the opposite way. Instead of taking an hour to compose the perfect, grammatically correct email, I spend 5 minutes. My academic writing was very obsessive-compulsive on adderall, to the point that it became debilitating. In some ways, without that level of OCD, it's a little bit messier and less formal. Kind of like my sock drawer. But the main point is that it gets done. I can't say that I'm 100% yet. I am recovering from finishing grad school, and a horrible 6 months spent applying for jobs and collecting rejection letters. So I'm still in some sort of a "crash" state, except that stimulants were not involved. I managed to squeeze my own energy to accomplish that, so I don't have that nagging sense that adderall did it for me. That's something to be proud of. Keep it up people, the journey is more worthwhile than you might be able to see right now.
  6. PhD, adderall-free!

    Greg! Our friendship has been one of the KEYS to my quitting, staying clean, and actually becoming at least semi-successful after adderall. I know I haven't been on the forum in a long time. I think maybe I had to stay away in order to stop thinking about it. But everyone here, this amazing community, you have all been some of the keys to my journey. And I am so thankful to you all <3
  7. PhD, adderall-free!

    Hey everyone! I hope you all are well and clean and living the good life! The website has changed, and it's been awhile since I've posted. I've been super focused on finishing my degree, and I FINALLY DID IT!! I finished my PhD..... without adderall! For anyone who doesn't know my story, I quit adderall 2.5 years into my grad program. (It was my second time quitting. The first was junior year of college..... which also lasted 5+ years. Re-hooked instantly, which is why I do not recommend ever turning back!) So, I'm posting this just to let you all know that I'm still alive and clean, but also to let people know that, seriously, if I could do this without adderall, then you can do whatever you want without it. Over the past few years, I almost quit grad school repeatedly. Adderall-free, and in grad school, I have had several traumatic deaths in my family, 3+ major heartbreaks, other huge losses, massive financial issues, major depression, daily panic attacks, horrific interpersonal conflicts.... you name it. I've literally been through the worst things life has to offer over the course of my time here. In hindsight, I thought I was quitting adderall halfway through grad school. Turns out it takes an average of 7 years, not 5, to finish a PhD. When I look back, adderall was just a little part of my coursework. Sadly, in some ways it did set the tone for my entire time here, and to be honest, it kind of ruined my social life as well as key relationships I needed to develop early on. So if you are about to start grad/law/med school and are contemplating quitting, I cannot recommend it enough. But I can't dwell on regrets. And my dissertation, along with almost all of my teaching, well, that's been adderall-free. And I am so happy about that! My work would have suffered in quality if I had not quit. There is no way in hell I could have done all of this if I hadn't quit adderall when I did. Adderall would have ruined me. My life, my work, everything. How did I do it? To be honest, for the past year, it's been the mentality of "by any means necessary." So I have been eating a lot of sweets late at night while writing. And recently I've gained a ton of weight. (It's very common among phd students, but no excuse.) So I'm working on body acceptance, and I'm also gearing up to start running again and to lose all this weight. Ugh. Also: naptime every day. Down time. I like work hard for an hour or more, then take an hour or more off. That's how I get things done best: in focused, intensive chunks. But different people work in different ways. So it's important to figure out what works best for you. And perhaps most importantly: Being kind to myself. Celebrating small victories. Dance parties, all the time. Support from friends and family. Therapy. Self-help workbooks. Accepting my anxiety and insomnia, and learning to channel both into my work. Remembering WHY I am in this. Never, ever, EVER stopping. In the end, it's all about embracing how much it sucks. Experiencing the fear, pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, the full range of emotions. These are part of life, part of being human. You realize that you're going to feel that way no matter what, so you might as well do the next big difficult thing. My journey has been very imperfect, very hard, and to be honest, horrific. I'm happy to talk about it if you want! But mainly, I am putting this out there in the hopes that someone might see that it IS possible for a daily, high-dosage adderall user to quit and still finish grad school.
  8. trying to find a solution

    Have to agree with spending time outside. That's my meditation, too. If I spend too much time inside I start feeling extra fatigued and depressed.
  9. Has anyone had good results from cutting back on the usage of devices/screens? I realize that I'm asking this to an internet forum with an audience limited to internet users. But, since you all are technology users, I wonder if spending time on the internet, netflix, social media, texting, apps, games, etc., has an effect on your energy levels. Personally I know that I spend way too much time on my devices, looking stuff up, going on instagram, staring at my phone at the same time as I'm binge watching netflix. I know it's supposedly disruptive to your sleep and melatonin production. So that would rule out netflix as a sleep aid, lol. But I want to take this a step further. I wonder if I'd be more energized if I cancelled my internet service entirely. I figure I can save $75 a month and probably lose weight, work out more, sleep better, and be more productive in general, not to mention saving $$.
  10. what do you consider "hard work"?

    Good question Sadderall. I think true hard work is something you can recognize when you see it, but it's hard to define. It means pushing your limits, making actual progress on tasks, being truly productive and generating new work, making progress in whatever way you measure it, whether it's taking on a new project, a new theme, submitting your work someplace, selling stuff, etc. If you're a construction worker, you know when you're truly working hard because shit gets done and you have a building or piece of furniture to show for it. But if you're slacking off on the job, failing to be as productive as you could be, you also know it on some level, if that makes sense. So I don't think it can really be measured in hours, unless you're working in retail or something. It's also a matter of qualitative exertion. Someone who works for hard for 3 hours a day can accomplish more than someone who works an 8 hour day at a lower productivity level. You have to find the approach that works best for you. Some people use pomodoros, some people even do one hour on - one hour off. I just signed onto the site this morning because I think I'm still stuck in the adderall mentality. I wake up every day expecting myself to be superhuman and then beat myself up for falling short. And then I wonder why I'm exhausted! So, thank you for your question And congrats on the audition!
  11. I can relate to so much of your story. The adderall, the alcohol, the xanax. Congrats on staying clean! I kept the same career, but I started to approach it differently. So far it's working, but I am still frustratingly behind after years of being pretty useless :/ I know some people here have changed careers completely. When you quit adderall, things start to become more clear in a lot of ways. You might realize you hate your career and want to pursue something you love. You will find your path. You deserve a career that you find fulfilling-- and now that you're clean, you can see clearly what does, and doesn't, work for you. Give it time my friend. And good luck!
  12. What's a normal amount of focus?

    Hi eckoangel! First of all, HUGE congrats to you for making this amazing decision and for going 10 days! I'm so happy to hear you're starting to feel emotions again. There's a chance that you'll be feeling even more intense emotions, good and bad, for the first 6 months or so. Sometimes the roller coaster is rough, but at least you are ALIVE again! It sounds like you're doing really well! I will warn you that depression is often a part of recovery but DO NOT let that stop you!!! Press on!!!! You got this!! I don't think there is any such thing as a "normal" amount of focus. Everyone has a different attention span. So there are many different non-adderall methods of focusing. Your ability to focus will keep growing as you progress in your quit. It is a gradual process, so you need to accept that for a little while your focus and motivation levels will be sub-par. It's okay. Your brain will heal. There's no return to the pre-adderall state (which would be childhood anyway), but there's progress towards a NEW YOU!!! Unfortunately, I don't think anyone knows if the brain fully heals from long term adderall use/abuse. We are the lab rats. But I can tell you that in my almost 4 years clean, I have made tremendous progress. Through trial and error I've come across some focus techniques: -Pomodoros (25 minutes on, 5 minutes off, with a longer break after a couple/few sets).... Some people swear by this, but it's not for me (interrupts my flow!) -Some people work for one hour on, one hour off, and alternate this for the day. It helps your brain associate work with reward. I like this one. -Sometimes I'll work for 2-3 hour chunks. This was not possible in early recovery. -Mainly, I've learned that my brain needs breaks. On adderall I didn't take them. Now, I do, and it helps. -Set a reasonable goal, with a reasonable time frame, and get it done! -Break down big projects into smaller pieces, and focus just on those pieces. (I am still working on this one.) -Figure out what time of day your mind is most clear, and set out to work during that time. -Accept that some days will be binge-watching TV in bed. This is your brain resting and recovering. -Be creative. New approaches are needed. The adderall mentality is no longer going to work. Other things: -Eating well (avoiding sugar really helps!) -Exercising (helps your brain to re-learn how to focus) -Do things that you truly love, unrelated to work, because those things will help you return to work with sharper focus. For example, I went hiking a couple weeks ago, then got back to work and had some major breakthroughs with my project!
  13. Got my MBA, landed job, starting business on side

    Love the quote from V for Vendetta! I think it's so important not to hate yourself during recovery from ANY addiction because if you recover, you are so much better off than you were even before you started taking the drug. I am so happy for you!
  14. HOPE

    Thank you so much for sharing LilTex!!! I actually just came back from a meeting in which someone said that the 5 year mark brought on a bunch of cravings for him. But he didn't give in. I know that for me, it happened with adderall. I relapsed after like 5 years. I also knew someone with 25 years of sobriety who still almost took a drink right in front of me. There is hope in remaining vigilant and aware. And, I find lots of hope in helping new people on this site, and reading posts like yours. I hope I can be like you someday. And even when the thoughts of adderall come creeping in, I can still remind myself that it is no way to live!!! We are all living hope. Thank you for posting and keep on fighting the good fight! You are my inspiration! <3 <3 <3
  15. I've never heard of any dr. legally prescribing more than 60 mg per day. I thought that was the maximum dosage (based on what I've read.) In order to sue someone, you need to prove that their actions have caused permanent damage to you, whether it's your health or your property. (I sued someone years ago for a car accident that left me permanently disabled, so that's how I know. I will say that it took years, the lawyers took 1/3 of the money, I had to go to a deposition--NOT FUN-- and I had to keep pushing and pushing because the original settlement offer was super low.) It sounds to me like you have a case. You will need to talk to a good attorney who specializes in medical malpractice suits. You'll need medical charts from before, during, and after your time on adderall to prove that this is what caused it. I have no doubt that it was the adderall, but I imagine that your psychiatrist and/or their insurance company has some cadillac lawyers who will go to the ends of the earth to deny your claims, say that it was a pre-existing condition, etc. In other words, it's going to take some legwork on your part and it's going to take time, but I think you should go for it. Get a free consultation with a good attorney and see what they say. Usually, for lawsuits, they don't collect $$ until the case is settled.