A Fallacy of Peace #3

July was a pretty hard month for me, so apologies for a delay in this portion. July was an emotional roller coaster for me.  Aside from personal issues, my family suffered a terrible loss with the murder of my cousin.  That being said, let’s get into part 3 of this story.  

April 28th, 2022 was the last day I took my Adderall prescription.  This is huge, because I never thought I would be strong enough to rid myself of this monotonous habit. I didn’t do it alone, because I would not have been able to do so successfully. Without my mothers help, will, and guidance I would have failed.  I would also like to thank my Step-Father Javier for having the patience and being by my mothers side throughout all the chaos.  Without them, I would have continued on my downward spiral until I gave up, or the medicine killed me. Now that I have the ability to look back at my life, I can see how close to death I really was.

As I had mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this story, I had been seeing a psychiatrist for over a decade.  For the first eight years, I had a therapist I had gained a strong rapport with.  I trusted this individual as they knew everything about me.  Around august of 2020, When making my quarterly appointment, I was told that my doctor had retired.  I was given the option of staying with this office and continuing with the only other psychiatrist there. Given the pandemic, nearly all other offices were not accepting new patients.  I had no choice but to continue with the psychiatrist they had available.  This new doctor did not care about me, and was just cashing in a paycheck.  All sessions went by phone only due to shutdowns.  They had a video call option, but wanted to charge more for the visit. The only relationship I had with my “Doctor” was that he was essentially my supplier.  Hell, he kept me on Ambien for nearly a year and blindly filled my Adderall prescription every month. In February of 2022, I Informed him I would like to stop taking my Adderall within the year and he fought me on it. A little over two months later, the office was unreachable.  I could not fill my prescription, and was forced to quit cold turkey.  I didn’t know it then, but it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. 

It’s been over three months since the last time I had any Adderall. Thinking about it now, and its absolutely insane how clear headed I feel. I actually feel alive and excited about the future. I still have my days where I do get down, the difference is I’m able to better pinpoint why I feel the way I do.  From there, I’m able to change why and how I feel by working through my feelings and emotions in the way that works best for me. Adderall would allow me to only work and focus on one thing at a time, blocking out everything else. Years of doing this set up my downfall, I just wasn’t aware.  I THOUGHT I was fine, I THOUGHT I had things under control, I THOUGHT I was better than I really was.  The truth was, It was all a façade. That’s the power of addiction, I was a zombie slowly eating away at my own brain. 

I’ll do another entry soon on what withdrawal was like and my experience so far. At this point in time, I have the ability to look back and what my life was like with a truly healthier perspective. I can now look inside the box I was trapped in, and rejoice in the feeling of my newly found freedom. I no longer have to plan my days around Adderall or fear running out and breaking down. I’m still recovering, and trying my best to be better involved with friends, family, and myself. I KNOW I’m doing better, because I’m truly optimistic on what comes next for me and the people I love.  

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The Power of “Can’t”.

Sooner or later, most of us who try to cope with depression feel so overwhelmed that all we can hold onto is: I just can’t do it. I can’t stop being depressed. I can’t stop it from coming back.

When “I can’t” comes rushing out, it feel like the response to an accusation. Sometimes, I feel the weight of other people’s expectations. “If you really wanted to get well, you could at least get up and get moving.” Sure, they don’t understand, they don’t get it. But I’m asking the same question of myself.

I’m answering my own accusation. “So why can’t you handle this? You’re a completely worthless weakling!” “But I just can’t!” is my only answer. I’ve internalized the stigma and prejudice and feebly try to respond. I don’t trust myself. What if I am faking this? What if I’m just afraid to face things? I know that isn’t true, but there’s the inner belief that I ought to be able to snap out of depression. But there’s nothing left to fight with. Everything deserts me: vitality, willpower, feelings, the ability to think clearly about getting well, to make choices, to take action. The inner drive to get well is replaced by the depressive drive to get worse or simply stagnate.

When I’m trying to cope in that condition, all I can do is to start where I am. Since I can’t do anything, just where would that starting point be? Depression gifts you with extraordinarily vivid, powerful, detailed memories of all your mistakes, failures, weaknesses, embarrassments. You have absolute clarity of mind for the negatives, and they build a case of shame and worthlessness. Severe depression, after all, really wants to destroy you, literally if possible. So it leaves you the mental and emotional equipment to undermine your life.

That’s what I’m obsessed with. At the same time, though, I’m aware that I’m tearing myself down. I see what I’m doing to myself, and another level of awareness opens up. I want to stop the depression. I really want to feel better. I may not be able to do much to end it, but I know I want to come alive again.