I started taking Ritalin around 2000.
I liked it, but I did not abuse it.
When it stopped working, I simply stopped it. No problem.
A few years later, I was prescribed Adderall.
Same thing. Once it stopped helping, I stopped it. No problem.
I went back and forth for years, mostly without it.
I wasn’t addicted to it, and found it useless after awhile. Stopped it.
It wasn’t until 2007, that I developed an addiction to Adderall.
manic bipolar disorder
Breaking Point…. Again?
9 was my magic number.
9 magic pills. In less than a few hours.
9 was enough to make me lose count.
9 that night made my whole body go numb and lifeless, while my heart rate couldn’t decided if it wanted to race to speeds fast enough to induce cardiac arrest… or slow and deep enough, to stop my breathing.
I’ve probably taken more than 9 magic pills a day; actually, I know I have.
But this particular night, I came clean about everything.
I came clean about taking all those magic pills to my roommate, to my mom and to my significant other.
No more lies, or deceit. No more secrets, or hiding.
My name is Lindsay, and I’m a junkie.
I could say, addict; I even used to say, alcoholic (if you knew me back then in the program), but I feel as though “junkie” is the best way to accurately label my personal relationship with Adderall.
Everyone has their drug of choice. Mine came in the 30mg pink pill form given to children (horrifying) and adults with ADD/ADHD.
I say horrifying, ’cause this lovely little stimulant is the closest legal form of Methamphetamine one can purchase at your local pharmacy.
You see, I also had this other demon lurking, just waiting for the right opportunity…
It was an eating disorder. It goes by the name of anorexia and is accompanied shortly after by binge eating.
I struggled with my weight ups and downs, until Adderall and I met, in 2010.
The first time I saw my pupils dilate bigger than golf balls, a rush of adrenaline flooded my body giving me all day energy that no CAFFEINE could compare to, even on a good day.
Simultaneously, my young adult mind was being introduced to the drug’s high; an increased release in my serotonin and dopamine causing a euphoric, joyous high that had a side effect I didn’t see as a side effect at all: Loss off appetite…
Thus, starvation and weight loss… and more weight loss… and more weight loss.
But long before I had achieved even a pound of weight loss, I knew I had fallen in love. From that first high, this was fate.
I knew in that moment, this is my answer. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.
Bringing us back… 9 tablets of 30mg Adderall instant release is almost twice the lethal overdose for my weight and height.
180mg in less than a few hours!
I had no intention of harming myself that day – quite the opposite – but I’m a veteran Adderall junkie, with a long term habit that’s cost me more than I care to admit.
The insanity of every bender… until I hit 5am, and realize normal people sleep but me. Then I just resort to addie.
Always there, in times of exhaustion or lack of motivation. Addie was always there for me, like no other friend was.
In my purse, hiding out, low key. If I was ever tired, hungry, or lazy, Addie fixed those symptoms with no hesitation.
My anorexia flourished.
At this time, I had no idea that one day I would lose everything…
Fast forward to where my addiction has gotten me today
My sanity would eventually be lost to a drug-induced psychosis.
My emotions are at the mercy of manic bipolar, an imbalance caused by repeated and untreated overdoses.
My happiness is non-existent.
Depression has settled over me every single time I try to quit.
After lack of nourishment and long time usage, there’s nothing left of my dopamine or serotonin, they’re drained and could take months if not even longer and also require anti-depressants to fully combat this permanent brain damage I have self-inflicted.
Like most amphetamine junkies, my teeth are sore constantly. I jaw-janked regularly, and it still hurts to chew certain foods.
Poor circulation, low energy levels.
Limbs going numb, irregular heart beat, acne.
ALL TOTALLY WORTH IT
But now, I tell you everything and everyone else: I didn’t care about throwing away or tweaking in front of, because to me, tweaking on Adderall daily was the only way to survive.
I had no choice. Without it I was useless, bed ridden, hallucinating, while my entire body felt as though it had been repeatedly jack hammered into submission every inch, muscle, tissue, fiber, organ, cell of what was left of my malnourished drug-dependent human body (if you could even call it a body after the years of torture I put it through I barely even recognized my own reflection.)
So here I lay, withdrawing, on my couch.
I’m a veteran Adderall junkie, who’s been feeding a daily habit for over 6 years.
But… I bet if you knew me, you’d have no idea.
I’ve been hiding this secret addiction, even though out my “2 years of sobriety from alcohol and street drugs”…. I still tweaked on Adderall EVERY DAMN DAY.
Hallucinations and tremors don’t scare me.
What scares me most about not having:
- the pain of being alive. Because nothing after Adderall ever seems to make you quite right. I’m afraid I might never be fixed.
- how much weight I’ll gain without it. In a week, two weeks, a month, two months, three months, fourth months, six months.
Last month, I tried quitting and went two weeks with out Adderall… I put on thirteen pounds. I’m only five feet tall!
And anorexia notices every little flaw and detail that makes you want to starve your self beyond any human reason.
My self-esteem is crushed.
Drugs have lead me down a path of starvation and binging.
I coped with extreme cardio and lifting to balance the binges.
LW: 89lbs 23yr
HW: 125 23yr
CW: 103 24yr
… but my stretch-marked inner thunder thighs are far beyond compare, and my love handles and gut don’t seem flat for my weight.
I have lost any love I once had for this battered and beaten shell that remains of this woman.
I curse my reflection, my acne, the way my awkward body looks in clothes, my hair even when brushed looked disheveled and unruly.
But the reason, most of all, I hate my reflection is because I hate myself.
I am a fraud, and your soul slowly dies as you become physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically reliant upon Adderall.
Angry at the world and socially withdrawn.
My family has given up on me. And I don’t blame them, Adderall addicts don’t exactly have the highest of success rates, but f**k – ANYTHING HAS TO BE BETTER THAN LIVING EVERY DAY AS AN OBSESSIVE, ANTISOCIAL, PARANOID, ADDERALL FIEND LOCKED UP IN MY ROOM SCROLLING INCESSANTLY ON MY PHONE ABOUT PEOPLE, WHEN I NEVER EVEN LEAVE MY HOUSE.
At this rate, my chances of overdose and death are high; and, in a moment of a clarity, I realize I really don’t want to die as just another knock-off prescription speed junkie who accidentally overdosed.
His name is Zach.
He doesn’t know it, but he saved my life.
I told him, calmly, the extreme nature and duration of my addiction and eating disorder; this was my first time telling anyone. I had been living in secret for the past 6 years.
Even when I was an active member in Alcoholics Anonymous for over 2 years, with a sponsor working 12 steps, numerous daily meetings. I was sponsor. I even worked in a rehab facility.
But I never have been to one.
I still took Adderall every day, and claimed to be sober.
I am a fraud.
I start treatment tomorrow for Adderall addiction and an untreated eating disorder and therapy for years of physical abuse.
Horrified is putting it lightly.
I’m probably going to lose my job that I absolutely love, but I want my life back.
I want to be able to smile and laugh – not a “euphoric high-induced smile that eventually fades”… but a genuine smile.
I haven’t felt one of those in years.