You’re trying to quit Adderall. You’re on your second day without a pill and the stress is getting to you. You pull out your pill bottle and look at it, contemplating. Then your willpower snaps your better senses back into control and you put the bottle away and resume your righteous pursuit of getting through the day without Adderall.
In the days that follow, that is as close as you’ll go to taking a pill: Taking out your pill bottle and looking at it, then putting it back down. In psychology, this is what’s called your Boundary Elasticity.
Now, let’s say you’re on day 4 without Adderall and the pressure is really getting to you. You can’t take it anymore. You take out your pill bottle and look at it, but this time you don’t put it back down. You unscrew the cap, take out a pill, break a piece off, put it in your mouth and hold it there for a couple seconds thinking about swallowing it (long enough for it to dissolve a little on your tongue and give you that exciting bitter taste). Then you spit it out. This is boundary decay.
It’s very hard to re-establish a boundary after it decays. The best example of this is waking up in the morning. The first morning you allow yourself to hit that snooze button “just one more time” than usual you’re screwed; it’s ridiculously hard not to allow yourself the same luxury every morning thereafter. The alarm goes off, your rational brain says “Ok, don’t hit the snooze button this time”, and then the rest of your body says “What’s one more day? I’ll start waking up early again tomorrow…SNOOZE”.
You must be aware of how far you let your boundaries stretch and constantly monitor yourself for boundary decay. Recognize when you’re about to let your boundary decay and stop yourself for that very reason: to keep your boundary intact for your own sake.
If you let a boundary decay, it will usually stay decayed for some time…or worse, decay further now that you’ve allowed the decay process to start. You may well say “fuck it, I’ve already slipped this far”.
A boundary can only be repaired and by a major act of willpower, usually in the extreme opposite direction as the decay.Â The sooner you summon the will to reset a boundary after it decays, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits of being a more together person.