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Reader Profile: Tyler’s Success Story

Took this from the comments. It’s such a great, beginning-to-end success story that I though it could use a little more prominence…

Hello,

My name is Tyler Ward. I am 22 years old and I took ritalin, focalin, adderral, vyvanse, and every other adhd medication since I was 8-11 (I really do not know what age I started it all… it was VERY YOUNG). Suffice to say, I feel like this website is a godsend. I have been trying so hard to get my parents to take my little brothers off these drugs. I am a senior in college. I am a Finance major so my major involved a ton of analytical work that I could not do without my ritalin/focalin. I realized I enjoyed the subject matter but it wasn’t worth my overall health and long term hapiness. I worked out all the time in high school and used to be somewhat of an athelete. After a while on ritalin, I became a fat lazy slob that was 30 pounds overweight and not at all happy. The only time I was happy was when I got to the peak of my adderal high and smoked a cigarette or got one of the grades virtual reality glasses back that I performed so well on because of my self induced high from various psychostimulants. I always knew I was doing something wrong. I always knew these were bad for my body. However, it was completely legal and my doctor prescribed it to me. Furthermore, I was worried what would happen to me my senior year if I quit taking my pills and tried to perform well in school using my own natural god given capabilities (no way right?). Well this post will not be all some sad somber post. My post is actually a success story.

See, my senior year, I was working for a financial portfolio company where we managed 3 million in assets and debts. As I sat in front of the computer one day looking across a boring array of the financial data, I was trying to make sense of it and get a second report done. Probelem was: my psychostimulant that I had taken that day had worn off. I thought about taking another, but the last time I had done that, I got sick and didn’t sleep right for a few days so decided not to risk losing my job again. I thought about how I was juggilng each day with sanity and insanity. I struggled each day unsure if I was going to fail or succeed in what I was going to do that day in time before my pills wore off. Keep in mind, I was working 20 hours a week and going to school 19 hours. I finally snapped.

I didn’t just make an all out free fall in some manic manner like I wanted to. I wanted to just drop it all and run away. I had an abusive girlfriend and my parents clearly woudn’t understand why I was stopping these pills when I seemed to be doing so well. (I had a 3.8 GPA at a prestigous private Florida school and I was going on to quite possibly get a job right out of college making $75,000 a year or more. Why would I change it all now?

The answer was that I was going insane and I knew that I couldn’t live the rest of my life like this. I didn’t stop it all at once. I had some backup plans. I had started a company that I never go around to running because I felt like it was a hobby and not a way to make money (I think that was a mixture of psychostimulants and life telling me I was going into danger zone). I guess I figured if I dropped it all and ran away I would have to leave my company. Instead, I put in my two week notice and joined a gym. I sat in the sweat room for two hours a day feeling like I was sweating all the toxins out of my body after a long workout. I switched to eating all organic healthy foods. I began even showering with organic soaps and body washes and shampoos to insure that I was releasing excess chemicals from my body and not adding any. I quit drinking (and boy did I enjoy drinking- ask anyone who knows Tyler Ward and they will tell you I quite possibly throw the biggest, wildest parties in Volusia county). Let me rephrase that: I cut out excessive drinking and cigarettes… I still grab a craft brew or two every once in a while and/or smoke a good cigar to reflect on my accomplishments (I make sure that this is no more than once a week).

Suffice to say, I lost 35 pounds, got a six pack abs, I ate so many carrots my hands and feet turned orange because my doctor said I was eating too much beta carotene… now this is quite easy to do actually when you eat healthy because 8 0z. of carrot juice is a pound of carrots! Add that to drinking some wholesome V8 juice (which is 25% carrot juice) and snacking on some wholesome carrots in the afternoon.. I was probably eating about 3 pounds of carrots a day and had no idea. I cut back to half a pound and I am now normal colored. My company is starting to take off now and I am about to graduate college. My GPA has dropped from a 3.8 to a 3.4… but just think… what were those .4 points worth? A whole new life I tell you. They were worth every bit of a whole new life.

I look back on my life and see what our lives were on ritalin. I wish I had never taken psychostimulants and I wish they were illegal. Then I think, where would we all be anyway? We are who we are as a product of our pasts and I would not change much about the way my life has turned out. I hope that you do not live with a burden of regret because you took ritalin. You, just like me, thought you were doing good for yourself either through bringing yourself false success or hapiness. However, they say steak tastes a million times better to the Haitian americans who grew up eating dirt cookies. Maybe our success will all taste better because of what we had to overcome. I seriously doubt I would be as healthy and successful as I am today if I had not had to overcome such a serious obstacle and drug addiction in my life. Thank you for making this site. I broke down crying numerous times writing this and reading this.

Thank you,
Tyler Ward
Founder/President
Giddy Glassware LLC

7 Responses to “Reader Profile: Tyler’s Success Story”

  1. jill says:

    Thank you so much for this story Tyler. I am at such a bad place right now and this story has given me hope. I am addicted to Adderall and I have been taking more and more just to keep doing better at my job, school, being the perfect wife and having energy to be a mother to my 3 year old. Its been over 3 years and I just cant live like this any more. I am not over weight but I think I have convinced myself it is because of adderall. I feel like I cant get out of bed or function without it. I have tried to quit so many times but the bad days that follow quitting are just unbearable when you need to put on a smile for work, and your family. Reading this story has given me the motivation to try again and I really want to feel what its like to be successful with out this horrible drug.

  2. Mike says:

    @Jill

    Success without Adderall feels much the same as success with Adderall: you get out of bed with energy, you look forward to the day, you spend most of your day all tweaked out and full of dopamine. Except it’s real. And the source of that great feeling is your natural passion and love for what you’re doing…not a chemical warping your brain into loving something you wouldn’t like otherwise. All of the guilt, all of the fakeness…all of the things that eat away at you when you’re on Adderall…those are replaced by very genuine feelings that you’re on the right path and putting forth noble effort.

    Plus there’s way more clarity, since you can zoom out and get perspective whenever you want (vs. on Adderall when you stay zoomed-in). You may take fewer actions without Adderall, but the actions you do take are a thousand times more meaningful and more…well…powerful.

    In general, everything is more deeply felt without Adderall…the ups and the downs. It’s worth it for the ups.

    Also, btw: right now, you can’t get out of bed without it. You have to stick it out through that until you start being able to get out of bed again…I promise that ability returns in time.

    Do what you can to lessen your responsibilities before/while quitting.

    And putting on a smile doesn’t have to be a problem. You may have to fake it a little, but faking it can also be effective at producing the real emotion.

    Smiling isn’t so much a problem as thinking and putting forth effort is. If you can mask all the horrible crap you’re going through under the surface with a smile, go for it…it will help preserve your relationships with others.

    Anyhow, good luck! You can totally do it. Keep us posted!

  3. Anna Savoy says:

    Wow. I have just read several adderall-addiction blog posts and then I came across yours. Thanks for sharing your story. It is encouraging. It is positive. It does have a happy ending, indeed.

  4. Jordan Brown says:

    Hell yeah dude. I’ve got six left and I’m thinking if I eat like I’ve got some sense and work out in the mornings, I just might be alright. 🙂

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