My Recovery Relapse – Adderall

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.

What Happened

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?

My daughters.

Enough is enough.

Coffee and cigarettes, you gots to go.

For real this time.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons 2.13 – My Reasoning

Reasoning (past and present): “Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check.” (BB, pg 47.)

When it comes to marijuana use BEFORE getting sober, it’s been my observation that there are alcoholics who either: a) love marijuana and “fantasize” about smoking in sobriety or b) hate marijuana and more often than not, had only smoked when they were drunk…which…if I were them, I’d hate it too.  Surely there ARE those that have never smoked as well but I personally have only met one.

Some time after I “claimed my seat” in my former home group, B3’s sponsor reached out to me. She said she had some questions and wanted to explore the possibility of sponsorship. In our conversation, she mentioned that she had never smoked pot before so she didn’t know what it was like and wondered what I got out of it. So, of course, I told her. She asked how often I smoked and of course, I told her. I spoke honestly, holding nothing back and I felt zero judgment.  She didn’t end up becoming my sponsor but she still doesn’t judge me and if she does, she sure doesn’t show it. She is a gem of a woman and has helped MANY women get sober. B3’s sponsor, if you are reading this, you know WTF you are and I love you!

So, why do I smoke weed and what do I get out of it?

Well, for starters, as previously mentioned, my marijuana use was more of a harm reduction tool in the beginning.  I was a bitter dry drunk who did NOT want to be done drinking forever and being in social environments where alcohol was present was a big trigger for me.  Socially, pot allowed me to still feel “a part of”: they drank, I smoked. Sometimes the people that drank, also smoked, so I was not alone and that’s all I cared about – that I wasn’t alone. Had pot not been an option for me, I guarantee you I would have succumbed to the obsession and drank at one or more of these occasions. In fact, 2 years ago at 4+ years sober from alcohol, I came very close.

We were in New York for a wedding. At the reception, I barely knew anyone, my weed was in the hotel room, it was an open bar and the hubs had disappeared with his buddys. I can’t say that I was mad that he had left me alone, after all, he DID tell me where he was going. No, my high had long since worn off and I was mad that I didn’t bring my stash. So it wasn’t long after he was out of my sight that I thought “well? It’s gonna happen. I’m going to say fuck it and drink.” It was decided. The bar was screaming my name. But I just couldn’t do it. I knew I’d regret it immediately. Or worse, the phenomenon of craving would instantly kick in and more “unthinkables” would occur. Neither outcome was one I wanted to experience and I can tell you right now, it would more than likely have been the latter.

Today, I don’t care if I’m the only one in the room not drinking. And I don’t have to be getting high in the those environments to have fun or feel “a part of.” Do I still do it? When the occasion calls for it, you bet your sweet ass I do, discreetly or not.

I did use it for recreation as well.  H got to unwind with some beer and I had my, what B6 refers to as, “leafy greens.” I should also briefly mention another medicinal purpose it served for a new mother whose baby literally sucked the libido right out of her whilst breastfeeding. MJ served as an aphrodisiac, straight up. Mama Pixie had “gotten her groove back!” It was a win-win for all!

It remains ONE of my tools and aids in other areas today:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood enhancer
  • Insomnia
  • Being a mom

I drank for all the same reasons above, except for one of them: being a mom.

At the end of my drinking, I drank for only one reason: I wasn’t a mom.

I don’t drink today for a lot of reasons but there’s one MAIN reason: now, I AM a mom…

…of 2 girls…

…and they are watching me.

If I was drinking today, wanna know who else would be watching me?

CPS. That’s who.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons Part 2.12 – My Recovery Relaxed

Relaxed (past) – “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.” – phrase used in AA.

I distinctly remember the first time I decided I wasn’t going to go to meetings for a while and didn’t know if I was going to come back after I gave birth..  I was VERY pregnant, sitting in a meeting with my legs spread wide open and a human being beating the shit out of my insides. I was done. I was done being pregnant and I was done with AA.

My meeting attendance in early recovery was relatively consistent due to the fact that I needed signatures. After A2 was born, I went on my terms. I was now 3+ years without a drink and back to my recreational usage of MJ. I still harbored the same resentments towards AA and remained one foot in, one foot out. I simply wasn’t ready to work on myself because I didn’t think I had to.

I was self-will run riot and unwilling to accept what I couldn’t change (people, places and things) or have the courage to change what I could (myself!) and God wasn’t having it. My relaxed recovery was about to get an overhaul and I had no idea it was going to look how it does today.

But God did and stuff had to happen first.

In August of 2017, I hit a wall that brought me to my knees, only this time, I wasn’t drinking. In the months that followed, I was living in a perpetual emotional hangover that gave me the desperation I needed to hand my will back over to God.

You wanna know what happened, don’t you? I know, I know, I would too. Fine, I’ll tell give you the condensed, vague version in the form of…that’s right…a list:

  1. Certain aspects of my existence had become unmanageable.
  2. I started to pray and meditate like my life depended on it…because it did.
  3. I saw the need for change and decided it was officially time I defect from AA, announced it in a private recovery group on social media, and sought professional help for my outside issues that had nothing to do with drinking.
  4. Considered drinking AT my issues a couple of times and went to a meeting right away instead.
  5. One of those times was when I decided to tell a bunch of strangers my BBS and walked away with a glimmer of hope for my place in AA.
  6. Confessed to women I DID know in a house meeting and walked away with even more hope; enough to compel me to seek out a temporary sponsor while I “figured it out.” The woman I asked said yes under conditions I wasn’t willing to adhere to.
  7. Attended meetings off and on, getting more and more annoyed at the “all or nothing” mentality, suggesting that people in recovery are not really sober if they are using marijuana – medicinally or recreationally – and that they would need to start their date over if/when they decided to quit.
  8. Started this blog and was doing recovery without a sponsor or meetings, using all the tools I had learned in AA the past 6 years (as of March 30th, 2018) and was still in therapy.
  9. Found a private FB community and support group for people who also use cannabis in recovery – recreationally and as a harm reduction tool.
  10. Things happened that would not allow me to close the door on AA for good. For example, I found out that the maid of honor I talk about in Skeletons 1.9 had been reading my blog and that she’s ALSO in the program. Are you kidding me!? She instantaneously became Birdie #6. B6, you know WTF you are.
  11. Was met with nothing but support when I told her about my BBS. That same day, B3 strongly encouraged me (again) to stop judging myself and come back to the rooms.
  12. 2 days later, after a long sabbatical from meetings, I got honest in my former home group and claimed my seat; offering to be of service in any way that I could and that I was praying for a sponsor.  

Can you guess what happened next?

I’ll give you a hint…

..a miracle.

#morewillberevealed

P.S. Oh, yeah, I should probably mention what else happened these past 12 months: I smoked, vaped and ate cannabis products the entire time. I also cried…a lot!

Skeletons 2.10 – My Recovery Revealed

Revealed (past): It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. (BB, pg. 85)

I remember the first time I learned that smoking pot was a no no in the rooms of AA. I was sitting in a meeting watching a woman take a 1 year token after “smoking a little weed” when she had 11 years of sobriety. I distinctly remember a part of her share when she received the coin and it went SOMETHING like this:

“I really don’t want to be taking this token but my sponsor is making me.”

I thought it was ridiculous that a woman with long term sobriety would be “told” she had to start over.  I still do and that’s why I kept my “marijuana maintenance” a secret for so long.

Revealing my chosen recovery path here isn’t the first time I have “outed myself.”  I came clean to 3 friends a few years ago and their response was this:

“So? The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.”

I couldn’t believe my ears and was really happy they were so accepting.  It was a game changer for me and I started going back to meetings. But not regularly. Even though no one else in the program knew, I still felt like an outcast and “not worthy” to be an active member of AA. Down deep, I really did want to be “a part of” but I was convinced I wouldn’t be accepted if I fully “got honest.” I felt like a fraud and it was killing me inside. I could NOT let go of the idea that I didn’t belong because I WAS doing it “my way” and if they knew, they’d shun me. Why?

MY ego.

MY pride.

MY will.

I was IN self and entering the danger zone, distancing myself further and further from the program.

I’ve heard countless times that people who smoke weed in recovery end up leaving AA altogether and eventually turn to the drink when life gets really hard. And guess what…

…it did. I left AA and then shit got real. And guess what…

…the thought to drink DID occur to me a handful of times. But did I?

#morewillberevealed

My “Relapse” – Part 4

July 4, 2013 – 1 year, 3 months and 3 days clean and sober.

It was my second sober 4th but I wasn’t pregnant anymore. While breastfeeding was an excuse I COULD use, the other two breastfeeding mothers present were drinking sooooo, let’s just say the struggle was beyond real…AF.  

Everyone was drinking.

Most were passing a joint around.

Except for one person…me.

I was now throwing a self-pity party of 1 and everyone was invited.  Someone asked me which was the lesser of two evils – booze or bud – and I said there was only one evil for me and it was the former.

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Opportunity.”

“Opportunity who?”

“Opportunity you’re not gonna pass up, that’s who.”

5 years ago today, I said yes to what is commonly referred to as the “marijuana maintenance recovery” (MMR) program.

I had no idea what MMR was when I took that first puff off the joint. All I knew in that moment was all my anxiety had dissipated and I felt “a part of;” I was able to relax and enjoy myself the rest of the time that 4th of July beach day.

Remember the BBS I mentioned when I first started this blog? My “big bad skeleton?” Well, now you know. But there’s still a lot that you don’t know that I want to say…and I will…but not today.

And there’s still a lot that I don’t know and need to learn…and I will…but not today.

However, what matters today is what I DO know:

  1. I am an alcoholic who lost my ability to control my drinking long before my last drink on March 29th, 2012 and I haven’t picked up a drink ever since.
  2. I am an alcoholic with a desire to never drink again and help others recover from the disease of alcoholism &
  3. I am an alcoholic who smokes pot, still attends AA and I no longer GAF what anyone in the fellowship thinks or says about it.

The best part?

I’m not the only one.

#morewillberevealed

My Reprimands – Part 3

**Disclaimer: Goodness gracious, it’s been a while.  Naturally, I want to give you a detailed explanation why I haven’t posted for so long but there have been quite a few changes inside this mind of mine and I’ve decided that I don’t have to explain shit.  So let’s just dive back in to the reprimands and get it over with because I have way more cool stuff to write about.**

Reprimand for Misdemeanor #2 – 2012:  My sentencing required a lot from me over the course of the next 18 months and, as previously mentioned, one of those things was spending 2 weekends on lock down. I find it hard to hold back telling you everything about this experience so here’s a sub-list of the moments that stood out as particularly memorable:

  • The seasoned inmate who called me “ma” as she consoled me in the depths of my emotional breakdown after waiting HOURS to be assigned a bunk and my name not being called. Fun little fact: “ma” was a nickname I shared with a couple besties in high school and it stemmed from a mean-spirited joke about someone else. Oh the irony.
  • The two other “weekenders” whom I befriended and at one point shared my hopes to get (or already be) pregnant. I became FB friends with one of them and I still am to this day. Coincidentally enough, I saw her 3 years later and locked eyes with her as I led a meeting telling my story. I was also pregnant with A2 at that time and she had gotten her 3rd DUI. Now THAT’S a trip!
  • Being solicited to smuggle drugs back in when I returned for weekend #2. I asked her, “do I look like someone who would know how to score hard drugs?” Where those balls came from, I have no idea and the fact that I escaped a lunch room beat down from challenging a broad like that is beyond my comprehension. Another bullet dodged.
  • My bunkmate the same weekend.  My first impression of her gave me no reason to feel intimidated or think she was in for anything other than drugs, like the majority of inmates.  That is until she nonchalantly tells me she had just done heroin for the first time the day before and later threatens to kick the ass of the person who had just farted in her general vicinity. Confession: it was me and I remained unscathed. (so many bullets!!)
  • The one and ONLY email I received from a loved one those two miserable weekends.  Yes, I still have it and no, you can’t read it. But you CAN read excerpts from it right here:

img_0053img_0052

Thank you, beloved friend. You know WTF you are.

  • The wasted woman puking up blood in the drunk tank as I waited to be released.  I was far from accepting my alcoholism but I felt compelled to give her the hard word and told her if she didn’t stop drinking NOW, she was going to die. She proceeded to tell me she was already dying from esophageal cancer. Several months later, I saw the same woman at a rehab facility where I attended a handful of “after care meetings.” In that moment, I wanted to run up to her and tell her how happy I was to see her alive and getting help to improve the quality of her life for as long she had left. But I didn’t because I knew there was no way she’d remember me.

As the ex who traveled with me to the aforementioned foreign country where I EASILY could have become a cold case victim would say: fun times…fun times.

Speaking of which, I dodged a bullet with that one too. I hesitate to write about him on the DUDs page because I also used HIM at the very end. While he treated me well (compared to everyone who came before him,) he was emotionally unavailable and by the time he was, I had already moved on to D1. 

As for the third lucky bastard who got the best of me financially, SD3, he deserves a firm scolding for the way I allowed him to treat me and the only place I can freely do that is here. Like I said before, this series has been mostly for me; it serves as a “purging” if you will, much like what I talked about in my very first blog post.  

However, I’ve beat myself up long enough for my choices when it comes to the opposite sex and I think enough time has passed that I’m ready to be fully free from all of that negativity. God keeps doing for me what I could not do for myself and has relieved me of the desire to publicly shame these lost and damaged souls, therefore, I have removed the DUDS page from my menu.

I don’t know what I’ll do with it in the future, if anything.

But God does.

#morewillberevealed