Citation: Toreno. "Synthetic Motivation (Solution or Problem?): An Experience with Amphetamines (Adderall), Alprazolam (Xanax) & Various (exp47754)". Erowid.org. Jul 3, 2007. erowid.org/exp/47754
People ask me, ‘Why do you do it?’ But don’t they ask that for everything they don’t do? Is it their miserable curiousity? It’s simple. They will never know or understand what I could achieve unless they’ve been down that road too.
Adderall is a relationship. It is a relationship between the user and the drug itself. In this relationship is unlimited loyalty. When I am down, it’ll pick me up, dust off the trials and tribulations, and put me back on my feet. It gives me a blanket of comfort letting me know that everything is going to be ok. On my worst day, it will give me strength to accept what I cannot control, and power to overcome what I can. Unlimited potential inside a two-tone capsule.
Same procedure, over and over again. I carefully separate the halves of the capsule, and ever so slightly tilt the shells into my fingers. Staring at a pile of tiny balls, taking the first plastic card I can find, laying it on top slowly pushing the pile flush to the table, and beginning the first step of unleashing the saint/demon within. Crushing the balls carefully so as not to have ‘runaways,’ twisting and pressing until the balls emerge into powder.
The first time, I was scared shitless, without a reason. I had been prescribed 3 years before, what the hell could a railed 5mg do to that kind of tolerance. Rolled up dollar bill in hand, took a nice exhale, and pulled my head over the almost glowing, blue line of powder. What is this going to do to me? Is this the beginning of the end? Ripping the powder through my nostrils ever so painfully, I had a millisecond of doubt. I turned my swivel chair to my mirror, to see a grin, and a tear. Maybe I was thinking all wrong. Is this the end of the beginning?
Prior to that experience, I had been prescribed Adderall on and off since 9th grade. My first time ever taking it I remember vividly. My mother gave me a half a capsule in my sleeping stupor. I took my usual shower half-asleep, ate my breakfast, got on the bus to go to school, and BOOM! It hit me, and I was slowly going up. I felt a warm, tingling sensation in my stomach, a feeling I could only compare to finding out a decent girl was attracted to you. I felt like a success. I felt my chest raise and the tingling on my fingertips. I felt happy with everything; school, friends, general life, etc. This was the feeling of going to the biggest party of the year. Absolution.
Reality: I was sitting on a bus, going to school, just like the other thirty subconscious kids. Well guess what, that 31st kid was having the best moment of his life. I put my headphones on and enjoyed my CD player more than I ever had in my life. That was the first time I had ever taken a substance and been affected to feel anything good. That was my ‘gate-way’ drug.
That school day was great. Nothing could stop me from the task and my teachers were astonished. I came home with a smile, logged onto my computer, when It happened. What the f*** is this? What just happened to me? I was the top-dog 5 minutes ago, then I was thrown straight into the dark, solitary confinement of my brain, knocking and crying to come out. This was one of the worst crashes to this day. There was no explanation for such depression. Adderall crashes are above rhyme or reason. Suddenly, I hated myself. I was disgusted with everything, my lifestyle, the clothes I wore, my personality, everything! All the positivism had evaporated into emptiness. The people on TV were disgusting me with their materialism, it made me sick. I hadn’t talked to me high school crush in 3 days, so I considered myself a complete failure. My homework was overwhelming and felt helpless and despondent. The simple words that came out of my family’s mouth pissed me off. I could write a novel just expressing every single negative thought going through my head that time.
The crash never gets any better; you just learn to cope with it better.
So this ‘miracle drug’ took me through the next months, the crash seemed less and less negative. But not only was the crash mellower, the effect was fading at the same rate. Off to the doctor, upping the dose, time and time again. The higher up I went, the more crash. I would snap at my parents and be an angry mess of emotion until the breaking point of an episode. A little 9th grade episode of getting into a fight with my father and after being hit (deservedly so, he’s a good man), I grabbed scissors and contemplated the damage I could do. I don’t know why, but I was stabbing a bar of soap with all my might on the floor, crying, until my mother doused me with a cup of water and diffused me. So that was it for the Adderall, for now.
Perhaps this story starts earlier than that. For all of my middle school years, I was careless and never focused on one thing. It took hours to do what would normally take another person ten minutes. If I was awake, I was shot out of cannon. I would speak without social filter and be mischievous for kicks and the entertainment of my fellow classmates. They call it ADHD. Some call it being a f***ing kid. Perhaps it was a little bit of both. Change needed to happen, and no matter encouragement speeches advisors would give me, I would play along until I left that office.
So after the episode with my dad they decided to try other things: Concerta, Ritalin, Strattera, Focalin, a Strattera/Adderall combo, and a Strattera/Adderall/Prozac combo. (I would love to go into why each one went bad but like I said before, that could be a whole novel in itself.) Nothing put a firecracker under my ass and wake me up to do my work like Adderall. So I got another prescription and same thing happened all over again. My first psychiatrist’s last attempt was Ritalin LA and Prozac. At this point it was working great. Then I start smoking pot. Weed never got in the way of anything, until I got arrested for it. They yanked me off my drugs, and supposedly the Prozac, had caused me to have my biggest episode. This was an 11th grade militant version episode. I did not even remember the incident until the next week. But it was ugly, and violent. I dare not go into details. Thankfully no one was hurt.
So I went normal for a couple months. History repeated itself. Off to a new doctor. With every new doctor, there’s a new sign of hope, a new beginning. Adderall seemed to be too much so he prescribed Wellbutrin, Depakote, Abilify, an Adderall/Depakote combo and then an Adderall/Depakote/Zyprexa combo. He couldn’t figure me out so for some reason my mother could not seem to be able to book appointment. I was fired by my psychiatrist.
I went back to normal life again. Yet again, my grades slipped away, far away. I decided that I needed the Adderall. I went back on it, but it seemed too late. I needed to do four months worth of works in seven days. I took my first capsule and emptied out the tiny balls. I ended up getting all the work done. Somehow the superhuman Adderall had invested in me had done it. The snorting was much more intense, though shorter lasting. The focus was perfect. But the crash after that was exponentially worse. So after a series of out of character actions, such as yelling at my grandparents undeservedly, running my mouth angrily every time something wasn’t perfectly my way and saying things to my friends that I had to apologize for many days after, I was off the meds again.
Senior year came around and I used it sparingly, but the crash was so catastrophic that I belonged in a cage. Just imagine your mind obsessed with revenge and hatred. I wanted to destroy all that I hated. I thought very heavily about it too. Imagine the intensity to which you immerse yourself in thought to the point where you almost put yourself in the situation where you might execute some psychotic plot.
Why would anyone fuss over a drug that caused so much trouble in their lives? The answer is simple. I was a working machine on it. You could not stop me from completing the task no matter the task. You do not need food, sex, or affection. I have written my best papers, calculated the hardest problems, had the most output and aced my tests. One included test was the SATs. I was a mastermind.
Towards the middle of my 3rd quarter, I was failing everything on my own psyche. In desperation, I asked my mom to get me back on the Adderall. The pharmacy recommended the Adderall/Zyprexa combo, but it did nothing for my crash. My mom even let me smoke weed to try to counter it but it made me reflective and depressed. That was when I found Xanax.
It was ALL over my school. Five bucks a 2mg bar and you’d be set. This made people drunk and relaxed and 150% apathetic. I had an idea. My theory was that Xanax could counter the crash and soften the blow. And when put into action, it was amazing. I couldn’t feel an ounce of crash. In addition I would fall asleep 3 hours earlier than my usual late hours. On top of that, I could maintain perfect conversation.
The combo worked great and after going through two doctors and another three trial medications (Imipramine, Provigil, Short-acting Wellbutrin), they decided to give it me for college.
College is not High School. It a lot harder and a great deal more is required from you, on top of the normal living necessities. I found myself bouncing around from assignment to assignment, and juggling all of living necessities. In light of my saddening break up with my serious girlfriend, I began going over the recommended dose. Then I went back to snorting. I got my shit done. Everything was always perfect, and for the time I was on Adderall, I could accomplish anything. Problem is, I didn’t take certain things seriously and I need to catch up, and catch up QUICK. Who was there for me? Adderall.
I was in the academic gutter, but I got by, somehow, again,
But at what cost? I’ve gone through more than a gram of Adderall (1000mg) in the past 3½ weeks, and loving the high. I crave it at awkward times. Sometimes the craving is so intense I can’t sleep. But like any craving, I can always fight it off. The Xanax always conquers the crash but can’t put me to sleep like it used to. But who cares. So at what point am I out of control? What says that too much? What says that my practices are wrong? I have not lost endurance, health (aside from a small amount of weight), or my sanity (yet). My ass was saved an innumerable amount of times academically. I have since learned how to control the crash. Think of nothing and focus on the smallest, minuet, irrelevant detail of anything and I can avoid negative thoughts. Adderall makes me do what I couldn’t otherwise conceptualize doing. So I guess as long as it keeps my pen dancing across the page, fingers hopping on the keyboard, and eyes ripping across the paperback, I am trapped.
Every time I’m on Adderall, I’m in love again. Every time I crash, I divorce. Xanax makes me apathetic to the divorce. Except this divorce has no tears, no phone calls, no grudges, no disappointed family members, no cigarette binges, and no semi-permanent trust issues. But how much longer will this last?
Now I find myself in front of a blue two-tone capsule, its grey letters that seem to proudly say ADDERALL tease me. I once again stare at the little orange balls… and once again I stare at orange dust. I roll up the dollar; place it firmly under my nose. I’m in love again. I remove the dollar bill. My nose bleeds for the first time. What have I become? Tissue on nose and face in Calculus textbook, I ask myself the same question: Is this beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?
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