The Quest For Wisdom discusses my journey since starting treatment for ADHD in 2017 using Atomoxetine (Strattera). It explains what its like coming on to Atomoxetine (Strattera) the side effects, the positive effects, as well as coming off it.
My experience with Atomoxetine (Strattera) has not ended, and so it is a continuing story. Taking Strattera changed my life and now I feel like I have Super-powers. I want to share my journey with as many people as possible, and answer peoples questions and doubts.
When I started taking Strattera I searched the internet for some useful information and I found almost nothing regarding the side effects (or even the positive effects). I had heard that for some people it kills the libido, I had heard that some people had increased libido, (sex drive). I had heard that some people slept much better, whereas some people found it caused them insomnia.
My experience with the drug is of course only one persons experience, but I hope that at least it may make people feel less alone, and let them know that there are other people out there who are experiencing the same thing.
I have been extremely lucky and I experienced no major side effects until I, “accidentally”, stopped taking the drug and experienced the withdrawal and then the horrible 2 months coming back on the drug without tapering it up. At the time of writing this I am still going through this process and so day by day life gets easier again.
I have experienced what it is like to have two brains – medicated and un-medicated and my biggest regret in life was not getting treated sooner. I do not know how I even survived living with such a chaotic brain.
I am writing this post from Brussels, Belgium where I have come to see a friend who I met in Brazil. The post discusses my my wild experience with Strattera as I came off and then rapidly back on the drug, (highly unrecommended).
After an extremely turbulent 3 months I finally feel like myself again. Or should I say the V2.1 of me since I started medication for ADHD and my experience with Strattera (Atomoxetine).
It was one of my stupidest ideas to date to, “accidentally”,
not sort out my medication before I went to Brazil and have to, “figure
something out”, for my last 2 weeks there. My life and my mental health were
the best they had ever been, I felt completely in control of my actions, and I felt
at relative peace.
Why oh why then did my irritatingly morbid curiosity decide to mess with this? I remember saying to some friends that I met in Sao Paulo that when I went back to Barcelona I would be mental for a while. I knew deep down what this would do to me, yet decided to do it anyway – just as some sort of brain experiment?
This past week since my journey to Berlin has been yet again the most revolutionary, difficult, and inspiring week of my life. Crazy I know, that things have just continued to spiral – first downwards to rock bottom – and then they bounced right back with some serious vigour.
I began to address the toxic relationships in my life and focus on all the things that were holding me back, in order to begin to heal and move forward.
However, I was in a very manic state of mind and I did this in the most impulsive, irrational and insensitive way possible. I was completely blind to how my actions would affect people and I was selfish and unfair. The things that I said to people, I all still believe to be true, but my delivery of this information – in every case – was terrible.
Words cannot describe the journey I have been on this weekend. I went from a state of complete and utter turmoil and chaos to flipping everything into the most positive experience of my entire life. What I have learned from the incredibly successful, intelligent and driven people that I spent time with is that literally the only motivation in life should be from happiness and searching for those natural highs.
Since my last post life has been absolute chaos, danger, destruction, and impulsivity due to my medication having not yet taken full effect again. I have had to ride this rollercoaster and just deal with each day becoming easier and easier. I have never felt so bad and so overwhelmed in my life.
Apologies for the massive delay since my last post. My couple of months in Brasil I spent training Martial Arts, (Muay Thai, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu, Judo and a bit of boxing). I dedicated myself completely to this and so couldnt focus on anything else.
It was extremely challenging and I spent basically all day trying to make sure to eat enough food to fuel myself for the intense training. My first few sessions I pushed myself so hard that I puked and I realised that I needed to slow down and try and focus on the technique not just brute force.
Martial arts are amazing. They teach you patience, give you structure, keep you motivated and push your body to the limits. I need to continue this here in Spain so that I can really develop. Although I learned a lot it was all too much too quick, and it is something that requires a lot of patience.
Slow Down and Breathe – There Is No Rush
This is something which I need to apply to life, SLOW DOWN, relax, breathe and take things one step at a time. During the last couple of months in Brasil I was so absorbed by the training that I missed out on opportunities to explore and overcome some of the other challenges and personal problems that I wanted to resolve.
This left me feeling a bit deflated and I went from being excited to return home to nervous. The last 2 weeks of my trip I had run out of Atomoxetine, (the medication I take for ADHD), and so I split the dose so that it would last until I arrived home. I probably could have found a way of getting it whilst I was there but I was also stupid and curious to find out what it would be like to be off the medication and if I really had been, “cured”.
This article will go more into depth about the process of starting treatment for ADHD with Strattera (Atomoxetine) which I mentioned in my article about seeking help for Alcohol Addiction. and will explain how Strattera changed my life.
It explains the whole process of getting treated and what I experienced along the way, in a way which I hope is easy understand.
I am happy to say that this article concludes the introductory “autobiographical” story and brings everything up to the current date with where I am now, both physically and mentally.
From now on I will be able to focus more on what I am learning from my travels and experiences and writing about different things that I pick up along the way and hopefully starting a video log and potentially making a mini documentary in the Amazon.
This is a brief overview of life before I started treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I am sure that parts will resonate with some people – as I meet/know so many people that I see all the characteristics of ADHD, which is either channelled into addiction, or holding them back from pursuing an aspect of their life/life in general.
I have so much more that I need to write about regarding this topic, but I needed to keep the first post fairly short just to build up the backstory and share some information.
This post is a brief overview of the steps involved in admitting you are an alcoholic, seeking help and treatment for alcohol addiction, and the path to recovery.
It was very difficult to write this as I started writing, and was going off on so many tangents it was basically turning into a dissertation.
I have covered all the points I think I need to cover and I will go further into detail in future posts. I recommend clicking the link during the post to read my experience with Naltrexone as well as the 2 posts go hand in hand.
I would like to start by introducing myself and my reasons for starting this blog about my struggles with Addiction, ADHD & Strattera, and the problems that myself and other young people face whilst growing up in this crazy world.
Throughout my life I have met countless people who have asked me to keep a record of my life and my experiences, and very recently I made the decision to start writing a journal and saving memories, so that I can write memoirs which may inspire/entertain or shock some people.
I was born as a “gifted and talented” child, and at age 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD, which was untreated and un-managed, due to the fear of medication, until September 2017. Because of this, my childhood was utter chaos and like roughly 75% of people with ADHD I was instantly addicted to everything I ever came across.
The first time I got drunk was in October of year 7, (age 11), when I drank a bottle of Sambuca until I was blackout drunk. From this moment I was addicted to alcohol. I was gifted academically, which meant that I had to expend no effort in order to breeze through school achieving everything I needed to achieve, without ever having to apply myself to anything.
This gave me time to use my curiosity to explore everything I could think of, and experiment with as many drugs as I could get hold of. I quickly became obsessed with weed and lost a couple of years to numbing and destroying my brain with skunk, until I realised I had to stop as it was ruining my personality and killing my motivation.
I also got heavily addicted to Mephedrone, the legal high that swamped the UK during 2009/2010. I used this powerful stimulant most days for about 5 solid months and lost most of my friends, abandoned my family and tried to emancipate, and also lost 25kg of body weight – which left me looking like a skeleton. I managed to kick this addiction due to a forced trip to Ireland where I could not get hold of the drug. Stopping Mephedrone caused me to leach back on to alcohol to try and calm my brain down.
This pattern of binge drinking and passing out continued as often as possible, and more and more frequently as I got older.
When I was 18 I was at a music festival I drank myself to death.
I drank all day every day for 3 or 4 days in a row and then on the final night I drank between one or two litres of Vodka in a short space of time. I remember feeling weaker and I remember my body shutting down. I remember collapsing to the floor.
My friends were used to seeing this and so they didn´t think anything of it at first but after a while they told me they thought something was different.
They went to get medical help and I was taken to a field hospital where they were told my heart was stopped. They tried three times to revive me and eventually they succeeded.
When I woke up I felt like I had lost my soul. I did not know where I was, who I was, or even my name. I was told I needed to be transported to hospital to have a more thorough examination. Upon hearing this I panicked and pulled all the needles out of my arms and ran out of the tent.
I was in a delusional state and the only thing I could think of was to get more alcohol in order to calm myself down. I found a bottle of vodka and necked this. This put me into a psychotic hallucinatory state and the 8 hour journey home I have no recollection of. The next 4 days I suffered from ego death, lost my purpose in life, lost what felt like part of my soul and it was horrible.
4 days was all it took for me to return back to drinking and this then carried on for another 5 years. I reached a stage at the end of my relationship with my ex-partner “S”, where I was on a downward spiral towards death again. I was crying out for help in the only way I knew how which was by drinking to oblivion morning to night for days and weeks on end. One day I woke up face first on the floor in my old flat with no idea how I had arrived there.
Before even becoming conscious and aware I got up walked to the fridge and drank a bottle of wine and 3 beers within the space of about a minute. I then realised that I had done this without even thinking and was so angry and ashamed at myself that I broke down in tears. S saw me that morning and said the words that gave me the motivation I needed to seek help. “I will not watch you kill yourself, if you carry on like this I cannot be around you”, “I will not watch you die”.
Those words gave me the courage to go to the doctors and ask for help. I was instantly referred to a specialist where they quickly recognised that I needed to be treated for ADHD (with Strattera). I went cold turkey that day and decided I would stop drinking for the time being. The following few months of sobriety were scary but fantastic.
I started to spend some time alone – for the first time ever and started to occupy my brain with different challenges like learning to read Arabic. I also started to explore Barcelona, and although I had already lived in the city for over 2 years it felt like a new city entirely. I had spent every possible moment -when not working or recovering- drunk out of my brain and so I had never taken note of anything.
Along with therapy I started to take medication for ADHD (Strattera) which really was the turning point in my life. It was a slow process but I started to be able to sleep more than an hour or 2, I stopped hearing every single sound, every single conversation and through training I learned to be able to concentrate on a conversation and appear interested – even though my mind was usually elsewhere. I can honestly say that Strattera changed my life.
Throughout the next year I used my time to really explore myself intimately and get to know the reasons for why I am the way I am. I also started to get to know my friends beyond the surface and also re-connect with old friends who had been unable to properly connect with me due to me being wasted all the time.
I have very few memories of my life up until I stopped drinking and I find it incredibly difficult to pinpoint specific parts. I spend a lot of time trying to trace back through the years and re-discover memories. This is part of my reasons for starting a blog/journal as I think that I have done permanent damage to my memory, and I am keen to record it so that I will be able to follow it back once I am older.
My decision to go to Brasil was one I plucked out of thin air, and at the time I didnt know why I had decided to go. I now realise that it is a sort of pilgrimage of self discovery. I am obsessed with languages and so have been learning Portuguese for about 4 months. Apart from this I need time alone to explore my brain and gain new skills, without any distractions.
In my life I have a lot of people that rely on me for support, and so I spend all of my time trying to sort other peoples´ problems out instead of focusing on myself and what I want. In Brasil I want to study Capoeira, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, Samba, Language classes and also spend some time in the Amazon – where I want to learn how to survive in the jungle. I will also be going on an Ayuhuasca trip.
I know this has been a long intro but really it is only scratching at the surface! If you have any questions I would love to answer them. Don´t be shy to ask anything – I will always answer honestly and I welcome any challenges! I want to be challenged. Challenged to do things, challenged on the points I make, challenged to find out more information about a topic that interests you.
I truly believe that as a society we need to challenge each other more and not just accept things at face value.We need to stop thinking that our dreams are unreachable and that “I” could not possibly do that. We are all capable of making an impact and leaving a legacy, and this is what I hope my blog will help people to realise. I would love it if you could share this page as much as possible and spread it via word of mouth so that I can reach as many people as possible.
If you would like to ask me anything the best way to do this is via message on the Facebook page or Instagram – or via message on my personal Facebook if you know me. You can also comment on the post or send me an email.
Obviously running this blog takes a lot of time and costs money to maintain it and fulfill projects. Any donations would be graciously received via my Patreon account. I have a lot of exciting projects coming up and I want to be able to just focus on good content.