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 with a very high IQ, and at age 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD, which was untreated and un-managed, due to the fear of medication, until about a year ago. 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. Having a high IQ 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.
Click here to read my article about Starting Treatment for ADHD with Strattera (Atomoxetine)
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 having 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.
To read about my experience with ADHD and Strattera click here
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.
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