Once you take a pill, you can’t turn it off



Once you take a pill, there’s no going back, even if you sometimes wish you could turn it off. Read through the 5 examples of times when I wish I could “turn it off”. Do any of thse situations feel familiar to you? If so, it may be an indicator that you are nearing the end of your love affiar with Adderall. Please post your own examples in the comments!

1. The Friday work lunch

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m out to lunch with all the guys from my office. Everybody is enjoying it. Everybody is laughing and cutting up and talking about their weekend plans; all happy to be wasting a couple hours of this last workday of the week so they can widdle down the hours they have to spend actually working when they get back to the office…before they cut out early to go enjoy their lives.

But not me. I’m too tweaked out on Adderall. I’m thinking about theproject I was trying to work on back at the office. I’m thinking about how much work I’m not going to get done because we’re out at this lunch; I’m thinking about how little time I’ll have to work when we get back to the office. 

I feel like a freak. Normally, if it were just a lunch on a typical weekday I wouldn’t feel as strange obsessing about getting back to work, but this is Friday. You’re supposed to cut loose a little on Friday.  But I can’t.  

I’m trying to focus on the conversation. Trying to enjoy myself. Wishing I could just turn off the Adderall just for lunch time so I could be normal for one damn hour.  I order a glass of wine to try and bring me down. It just gives me a headache and ruins the rest of my day.

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2. At the movies with my girlfriend

It’s Friday night. I’m standing in line waiting to get into the theater. My girlfriend and her brother are laughing and joking right beside me but it’s like their voices are muffled. I’m lost inside my head. A million thoughts going in all directions at once. She can tell something is up with me. Keeps trying to verbally poke me out of my trance but I keep lapsing back into it. That one thought over and over again: God, let me come down. Turn it off. Let me be myself around her. I hate this. I shouldn’t have taken that last dose so late in the day.

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3. At the gym

I just did 75 sit-ups. My heart is pounding so hard I can literally hear it popping and pulsing through my eardrums. Am I going to have a heart attack? Is this OK to do on the Adderall? This doesn’t feel right. I’m worried already and if I keep going I’ll be downright scared. I better not push myself this hard again. I’ll stick to the weights and avoid the stuff that’s really going to get me worked up. I wish I could just turn it off when I was in the gym.

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4. The unexpected slack day

It’s 8:30am. I’m driving to work. I open my pack of ciggarettes and tap the bottom until two little orange 30mg Adderall pills fall out onto my palm. I brush off the tobacco shavings and pop one of the pills in my mouth. I hold the pill on the back of my tounge (I’ve grown to appreciate the slightly bitter taste) as I delicately put the other pill back into my pack of cigarettes (for later). I grab the icy cold Vanilla Frappacino from my cupholder and take a couple swigs. The coffee taste clenses my pallet of that just-brushed-my-teeth toothpaste taste and replaces it with a wash of chocolate and mocha. The sugar and caffine will give me even more of a morning boost on top of the amphetamines now digesting in my stomach. 

I put the Frappachino back in the cupholder, take a cigarette out and light up. I drive and smoke and think all kinds of excited thoughts about the wonderous thing I’m going to build when I get to work today. The dose of Adderall I just took should fully kick in right as I sit down at my desk. I time it this way every morning.

I get to work and sit the half-empty Frappacino bottle down on my desk. I immediately start putting out the daily fires so I can get to that big glorious task I had thought about on the drive in. I’m done. Fires out. I’m about to start the big project.

This is going to be the best, most productive day ever. I wish I’d gotten in even earlier so I’d have even more time to work on all this great stuff.

That’s when the boss arrives. He’s in a happy, hyper-social mood, with smiles and jovial comments for everybody. He’s in a terrific mood. So terrific, in fact that he declares that today “I’ve got an idea.”, he declares. “Why don’t we just finish up the tasks we absolutely have to do, then he’ll take us out to lunch, then we can cut out early!”.

If were a normal employee, just working for the paycheck and not tweaked out on Adderall and a resulting over-inflated sense of daily purpose, those words would be music to my ears. I would be excited like a kid on a snow day. 

But it’s too late. I’ve already taken the pill. God fucking damnit, I think. Just shoot my day the head. So much for all those grand plans.

I wish I hadn’t taken that dose of Adderall. I wish I could enjoy this surprise day off. Wish I could be happy about it like a normal person. If only I could turn off the Adderall, but I can’t.

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5. The recurring “too much Adderall” dream

I used to have a recurring dream where I would end up swallowing too many Adderall pills and spend the rest of the dream terrified of what was about to happen as I grew more and more tweaked out and couldn’t stop it. I was always methodical about my Adderall dosing; never really was one of those kids who took crazy amounts at once, so that concept was pretty scary to me…so much so that it formed a subconcious fear that produced this recurring dream.

Incidentally: It’s been a year since my last pill, I still have a simliar dream every once in a while but instead of taking too many Adderall pills and regretting it the rest of the dream, I take one pill and spend the rest of the dream hating the Adderall feeling as it kicks; I nearly cry in the dream at the horrible choice I have made that feels like I just violated everything that I had worked so hard for. This dream is pretty effective at preventing me from taking even on pill on a whim.

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Why recognizing these occasions is a sign that you’re ready to quit Adderall

When you first start taking Adderall, it’s like a relationship with a new girlfriend/boyfriend that you’re infatuated with. The pill can do no wrong. It’s the most awesome thing in the world. Where has this been all your life? Any day is better with pills.

During the glory years of your Adderall addiction, you may occassionally have the thought “Gee, I kinda wish I could turn it off right now.”, but you’ll quickly dismiss it because all the other great things that Adderall is doing for you carry far more weight than a little moment of wanting to turn it off…carry more weight than a couple hours sleep or a few sit-ups.

But as the years go by and your Adderall addiction begins to loose its luster the scale starts to tip; these occassions of wanting to turn the Adderall off grow more and more prominent and carry more and more weight with you. You start to get increasingly frustrated by them.

I remember towards the end of my time on Adderall there were whole days when I said to myself (at the end of the day), “You know, self. I really didn’t need the pills today. I kind of wish I hadn’t taken them. The day probably would’ve been better and I would’ve enjoyed it more since I didn’t have the chance to get much work done anyway.” 

What about you? Are you having these kinds of thoughts? Are there certain times or even whole days when you wish you could “turn off” the Adderall? If so, you may be nearing quitting time.

Please post your own!

Please take the time post your own personal examples of occassions when you wish you could “turn it off” in the comments thread. I’d love to read them and I’m sure others would as well.


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