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My life coach gave me a simple writing task a few weeks ago. I was asked to write about a product I use every single day, or a product I absolutely rave about. Being a girl who likes to take care of herself, I use lots of products everyday. From makeup and skin care products, to hair sprays and oils, my bathroom cabinet is just filled with items that I use to beautify myself daily. I love using all of these products, but when I am asked to write about a product that I swear by, or a product that I cannot seem to go a day without, these items are not the first things that come to mind. The first thing that crosses my mind is Adderall.
More like a drug rather than a product, it is something I take every single day and I have a rough time going without it. I started taking it as a freshman in college, and I have grown to become a slave to the little pink pill ever since. When I first started taking it, I thought, “this is great! I’m getting so much work done and I have never felt so productive in my life!” A lot of my friends took it to get their schoolwork done, so I never pondered the thought of this drug causing me any harm. A huge plus for me was also the fact that it is an appetite suppressant, and I was barely eating two meals a day. Being someone who has always been self-conscious about her weight, this was a quick and easy way to maintain my figure, even though it wasn’t the healthiest choice I’ve ever made. The drug wasn’t waving any red flags in my face yet, and I was only reaping the benefits of it, so I continued to take it every day, once or twice a day.
Everything was going great! I was a straight A student, I lost 20 pounds and had a rockin’ bod, and I began writing again. I had so much energy all the time, and I was feeling so productive every day. But as the months went on and I began taking more and more Adderall, I noticed a difference in my behavior. I was so tired at the end of the day, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually go to sleep. I’d lie in bed at night, completely restless, feelings completely empty. I could stare at my ceiling for hours. Thoughts of suicide would flicker in my mind, and I wondered if I had any purpose living in this world anyway. I couldn’t understand why I felt this way, and it worried me. It began worrying my friends and family too. Of course, the blame was being placed on the excessive amounts of Adderall I had been taking, but I just continued to take it even after I told everyone I would stop, or at least cut down on the dosage. I couldn’t stop. I was severely depressed and the only thing that would give me any kind of high was the pills, although it was very short lived. I didn’t worry about it too much, though; I assumed I would be fine eventually (oh, how naive I was). So I just kept getting my prescriptions refilled.
You guessed it; I got worse and worse as the months passed. My mood swings were at an all time high, and it affected all of my relationships with the people I cared about. I was bitchy, impatient, uninterested, and then suddenly my next dosage would kick in and I was totally full of life (until I came down again, of course). The dual personalities were becoming so hard to keep up with, I lost myself completely. Oh, and I began smoking cigarettes like they were going out of style. Being a sorority girl, that was so against the rules, and totally gross girly! But I didn’t really care, it helped with jitters. I was just living life day to day, entirely dependent on my next little pink pill to keep me going. Why not stop, you ask? Get some help? Well, I don’t exactly know. I never felt out of control; I could stop when I wanted to. I was never really told about the negative effects Adderall had, nor did I really care. I didn’t care enough about myself anyway. All I knew was that I woke up every morning craving it, that rush of stimulants running through my body would kick the depression and anxiety right to the curb. I didn’t realize, or want to realize, that I was only making myself worse. I was hurting bad. I wanted help, I wanted someone to tell me it was going to be okay. I still feel to this day, that I was never really taken seriously about it.
Long story short, I eventually got myself help with a therapist. I stopped taking so much Adderall, limiting myself to one a day; sometimes I would even half that. I do believe my addiction is not as bad a it once was, but it is still something I still deal with every day. I want to completely stop taking it, because I feel as though it does nothing but harm to my mental and even physical health. I feel that it keeps me from bettering myself, bettering my life, and growing as a person. Knowing this, I keep taking these pills without hesitation. If I stop taking them, I am afraid of the emptiness that might linger. I am terrified of how I will be long after the pills are out of my system. Even if it’s for just a couple hours at a time until I crash, the illusion of happiness the pills create is somehow enough for me to keep taking them. It is hard to stomach the fact that a tiny pink pill can control me entirely. The Adderall makes me want to do nothing but also everything at the same time and that back and forth battle in my mind is ruining me.
These pills are being handed out like candy all around the country. Most doctors do not require testing to get a prescription for these pills; they write them without any evaluation whatsoever. So many people, especially the younger generation, are abusing this drug and it goes unnoticed. As someone who has seen someone else’s life taken because of this drug, as well as experiencing the negative effects of it, it’s definitely time to take I more seriously.
I want to get better. I want to love myself enough to stop harming my mind and harming my body. I want to control my own thoughts and my own emotions without leaving it up to a pill. I want to feel happiness without these pills. I want my daily routine to only consist of all the beauty products I listed at the beginning of this post. I need to understand why I will be fine without these daily dosages of Adderall, and why I don’t need it to live my life. I know deep down, underneath the addiction, I am very deserving of living a happy and healthy life.
And for anyone else who is fighting the same fight as I am, repeat the last paragraph to yourself. You are worthy of bettering yourself.