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If you answered “With all my heart, yes” to question #2, then you’re probably the type of person who will benefit greatly from quitting Adderall. You are quitting adderall because you know there is something very wrong, very false, very off-course about your life…and about you.
As an example, my answer to question #1 above would have been “I can’t write (too many tangents), I can’t exercise, and I can’t be myself around my girlfriend.” For more more on whether you’re ready to quit, be sure to check out 5 Signs that You’re Ready to Quit Adderall Physiologically, it usually takes 2 weeks to a month for the brain to recover from a chemical dependancy (according to my well-respected psychology professor). You are quitting because you mourn the person you might have been if you had spent all these years developing naturally instead of sidetracking yourself into Adderall world.
But the mental battle can last much longer than that. You are quitting because you’re tired of wondering what that life might have looked like — what might have looked like — and you’re tired of that nagging, convicting feeling that the other life…the one you missed out on…might have been much, much better.
It’s all a matter of how long it takes to rid your mind of that concept…to be able to work without being self-conscious about the fact that you’re working without a pill in your system and that’s “unnatural”. As of this writing it’s been a year since my last pill and I’m still working on breaking the “effort requires Adderall” absolute in my head…but I’ve made great progress. As great as you do at first, as noble as your intentions, as committed as you are at the beginning, you always buckle after a week or so. A massive project comes through and all eyes are on you and you say “screw it” and reach for the pill. And it’s never going to be a convenient time to do that, so might as well start now. The name of the game is “Get through the day without taking a pill”. Have you ever watched a horror movie where somebody turns into a warewolf?
Note also that you’re probably going to have to drastically redefine what “normal” is to you…that’s the scary (and eventually fun) part. Your life just feels off track because you’re not done working a lot yet, because you’ve made bad decisions regardless of the Adderall. You’re making this Adderall thing a way bigger deal than it actually is. Impress them all with how well you do this project.” You close the pill bottle and put it away. And then you feel like you just didn’t try hard enough…you just weren’t good enough. At first he just knows that something is wrong; something doesn’t feel right. His skin starts tearing apart…hairy muscles bursting through it.
If you try to define “normal” as “working at the same productivity level at the same job and same life I had on Adderall” then you’re going to fail. You will hit that Adderall-like feeling of productivity and excitement and detail-orientation and confidence again, but only when you find something you truly love…and even then it’s going to take some time. The number one reason most people fail in their first few attempts to quit is because they try to hold onto reins they grabbed on Adderall…They try to maintain their normal productivity level at work, doing the same kind of mentally-demanding work they usually do. Plus, once you finish this project, then it will be easier to quit…you’ll have plenty of time to quit then…worry about quitting later. Then he starts itching, scratching his arm with a worried and bewildered look on his face. His hands swell and the flesh falls away to reveal gigantic, furry paws…talons grow through his fingertips as his fingernails pop off…he throws his head back and roars as his face contorts and stretches into that of a hideous monster and his teeth extend into demonic fangs, glistening in the moonlight.
You keep thinking that quitting means tremendous effort, that it means weathering through day after day where every hour is filled with torturous mental discomfort until maybe one day your tolerance for mental pain will be so high that it won’t matter. You fight the urge to take a pill as hard as you can; noble, awesome person that you are, you keep working through the pain, through the overwhelming sense of futility and lethargy. He is no longer the proper, controlled human man he was a couple of moments ago; he is a snarling beast, exploding with rage and power and animal desire.
You think it’s a matter of summoning herculean effort within yourself and maintaining it for an impossible length of time. You stop every once in a while to open your pill bottle and stare down into it. Quitting Adderall is kind of like a slow version of that.
That little voice whispers: “Why are you putting yourself through this? Except the warewolf underneath is the person you were meant to be and the life you were meant to have…unchained…uncontrolled…unpredictable…wild…powerful.
By being selfish and saying (to yourself) “I’m sorry, but I’ve just got to do this for me to survive” when it comes down to it…and hoping that one day they’ll understand.
But do what you can to lesson your burden on other people.
If a coworker needs your help with a task, do what you can to take care of it, even if it takes you 5 times as long and you do it 5 times more shitty and half-assed then you would ever consider doing it on Adderall, and do it with a smile.
No reason you have to be a miserable ass while you’re quitting…you can still be helpful and polite to others.