First thing first: I have failed at every attempt to quit smoking and have quit quitting for now. Do I still desire to quit? Yes and I have a new plan that I’ll tell you about in another post. Go on, roll your eyes. I am.
Anyway, I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time; unsure if I would even go here but I’m so clear that I must in order to keep this blog going so, here we go.
My MO is to write a novel and tell you every single detail about the rise and fall of Red, a nickname given to me by my former ROD; one of my besties of all besties who is no longer my bestie. Red was a nickname she gave me the morning of one of my final interventions. Pixie was gone for good so for the past 8 years, it was a “thing” in our friendship. One of many “things” that only we got entirely. I adopted it as my “rebellious sober alter ego” because, as you know by now, I haven’t been “clean and sober” this whole time.
I still haven’t drank but I’ve dabbled with other things along with my MJ usage during recovery; and Adderall was the one that took me down. Like, way.the fuck.down. So rather than divulging all the ugliness, I’ll give you the standard version: what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now.
What it Was Like
It had been years since I had used Adderall when I found out one of my friends had access to it. I think I was in my 6th year alcohol free. My friend (who wasn’t in recovery, yet) would buy them off her friend who needed money and then she’d turn around and sell some to me. It was the magic pill that gave me the energy and motivation to pick up my disaster of a house or tackle projects I had been putting off. It inspired extreme creativity and gave me a sense of euphoria that, in my mind, allowed me to be a more upbeat, pleasant person to be around. I was also on it when I started this blog. Remember my very first post? Quite positive I was totally strung out when I wrote that.
I’m so glad I was though. This is going to sound weird but I’m so grateful for Adderall. If it weren’t for that drug, this blog would not exist. And if this blog didn’t exist, I can tell you right now, I’d probably be drunk right now. Or in jail. Or dead.
Anyway, it was fun while it lasted but then, as most addiction stories go, it had me and started having a negative impact on my life.
I don’t even know where to start. The consequences I suffered in this addiction were different than when I was drinking. They were rather subtle but looking back, more damaging. I didn’t lose my license or freedom as a result of my Adderall addiction, however, I did lose my friendship with ROD but that was a long time coming anyway so I won’t even expand on that consequence.
While my alcoholism progressed slowly over the years, my pill addiction progressed much faster. I became painfully aware of how much I was risking on my way home from picking up a stash one day. I had to stop for gas right off the freeway. I saw a rather disheveled woman approach a truck and then I heard “SURE!” She proceeded to get in the truck and it exited the parking lot ever so slowly as another disheveled man crept around the parking lot watching the truck’s every move.
I instantly knew what was going on. She was turning a trick for her and her boyfriend’s next fix. It hit me “you are witnessing the very lengths people will go to for their drugs and that could be you if you don’t stop this shit.” I had just driven almost 2 hours round trip to get this stash and I’m pretty sure I had my girls in the car too. My gosh, it hurts to write that.
I don’t know how much longer I kept using after that incident but I can tell you that I already knew I had a problem but I was in denial of how bad and wasn’t ready to quit. I knew the time was coming soon though because I couldn’t keep living the way I was living. The Adderall, it had turned on me. It was no longer giving me the same positive effects and yet I kept going back for more, losing countless hours in the pursuit of what what it used to be like. I became very paranoid and would have fits of rage and uncontrollable sob fests out of nowhere. I picked everything my husband said apart and accused him of being a narcissist. My daughters witnessed and were on the receiving ends of my extreme highs and lows and my coworker didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. I was a mess.
Truth be told, my life was already a mess. All of my feelings were real, just amplified and the drugs made me think things were way worse than they really were. I should mention that I was also on Wellbutrin at the time and smoking weed to come down from the highs, so, needless to say, my brain chemistry was jacked. Then I watched a Netflix special on Adderall and found out it is one ingredient short of meth. Awesome.
“I’m basically a meth addict” is what I told myself and then instantly rationalized why I wasn’t and kept using it. For how much longer? I don’t know. Unlike my drinking, nothing specific happened that made me or anyone say “okay, you’re done!” All I know is, the day I knew would come finally came. I told my friend to never sell them to me again and I’ve been clean from it since September 15, 2018.
What It’s Like Now
Today, I am happy, joyous and getting freer every day. I most certainly haven’t done it alone; I couldn’t. The last weekend I took Adderall, I was on an overnighter with my sponsor doing step work. My recovery program was just getting started and I had no idea it would be my last weekend using. I think that’s pretty cool. God was very much present during that trip and has been guiding my path ever since.
But I’m still very addicted to other things that are having negative impacts on my life, and I’m ashamed to admit, they mirror those from my pill addition:
Loss of appetite, resulting in “hanger,” which leads to loss of control of my thoughts and worst of all, ability to remain calm when triggered.
And who suffers the most from this?
Enough is enough.
Coffee and cigarettes, you gots to go.
For real this time.