I found Adderall. It was like magic. I was able to focus and I had energy again until it started killing me.

Nichole Carlson, Addiction the book, Adderall

Only you can save yourself. It’s not about being independent, stubborn, or not trusting anyone to help you, but it’s about taking responsibility for where you are right now and deciding you are going to do whatever it takes to overcome whatever it is you are facing. That doesn’t mean you shun support though. Get support when you need it but know their job is to support you and your job is to take leadership of your life. 


My boyfriend hugged me before he left my place. 

I looked at him. “I want to get off Adderall.” Although I said it, I was really asking for his opinion. 

“But don’t you need it because you are really ADD?” he asked. 

“No,” I thought to myself. I have convinced myself I need it because I wanted to make myself do something I hated – software engineering – and I just keep coming up with reasons I still ‘need it’.


The stubborn part of me kicked in as I thought, “oh yeah. I don’t need Adderall.”

And the other part of me thought, “Maybe I should just cut back.”


I had been at war inside myself over this since I not long after I started Adderall. On. Off. No, just cut back. Back and forth. The constant fighting in my head was driving me crazy. It sucks being on the fence. 


“Why was I in my head about this?” you ask.

Because I knew that Adderall was impacting me negativity but after researching and researching, I could never really determine that what I was experiencing was from the Adderall and even if it was, couldn’t I just manage the effects by setting a schedule and other minor life tweaks? After all, this drug was supposed to help me. The benefits were so worth anything I had to endure… or were they? 

Now, I never wanted to be on Adderall, in fact, there were so many times I researched the effects of Adderall so that I could have enough reasons to quit but everything was so general. It seemed like the list of effects went from something like, “it will make you a god” to “it might kill you” and since I considered myself the epitome of good health, I knew I wouldn’t be one of the ones it would kill. But it was slowly, quietly taking my life away from me bit by bit.

Everything we do, we do for a reason.

Including our “addictions”.

I believe that if we want to change a behavior, we need emotional reasons that convince us to give up our addictions.

I don’t believe that at the core we are addicted to most things. Yes, we might go through a withdrawal period and yes it might be hard as fuck to get off whatever it is, but at the end of the day, we DO get to choose. We just have to associate more pain to not changing and more pleasure to changing.


And really…

My addiction helped me be able to perform in a life I didn’t want to be living in the first place.

And this was the remainder of my old life that I still needed (and wanted) to change. I didn’t need to take Adderall, I needed to believe in myself enough to take the leap, which was going to have to happen anyway so why not skip the part where you are doing shit you hate. You’ll never be ‘ready’ to take the leap, you just need to do it.


If you are in that place…

Why not just live the life you want to live?


This is my story.


Five years ago in a small town called Austin, I was a software engineer.

My career was the remaining parts of the life I hated from my 20’s when I married a man I didn’t trust and was doing work that drained the soul out of me.

Now I was in my late 30s and it was so hard to make myself show up for work every day. I mean my body was there, but my mind and soul were not.

I knew I couldn’t keep living like this but I needed to get through this to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Uhhhh… Probably the worst feeling in the world.


And then… I found Adderall. 

It was like magic. I was able to focus and I had energy again. 


But looking back on it now, the truth was, it didn’t make me much better. It just numbed the pain of being in a career I hated. 

Well, obviously it didn’t make me better because I got laid off from that job too.

(Laid off is the nice way a company fires you when you are a software engineer and I have probably been laid off 7-8 times in my life- not because I couldn’t do my job but because I hated software and that made me bad at my job.)


Fast forward to today…

I’m living my dream. I started my coaching business helping people in their lives, relationships, and businesses. I am technically location Independent if I choose and travel 2 to 3 times a year. I just manifested my future husband, someone who I fell in love with last year and whom I deeply trust and admire. And in my spare time, I compete in bodybuilding competitions and hang out with my friends and family.

But all achievers have something from the past they still carry with them – past pain, old beliefs, old habits… something that cripples them and keeps them from hitting that next level. The thing is… it worked for us in the past. At one point we needed to do something because of something in our past and we don’t want to see that it’s hurting us or keeping us from our next level. 

THIS was what happened to me and it was slowly killing me from the inside out.

I booked a trip to Costa Rica a while back but little did I know what this trip would really be about and that I would be writing on this book.

A few days leading up to my trip, I had been contemplating getting off of Adderall. I felt dead inside. I had felt this way for a long time and I had done the things of changing little things like setting a schedule to take my Adderall, setting a time to go to bed, doing meditation, and other random things to also doing an entire life overhaul. I wasn’t feeling excited about anything and it was hard to get enough desire to show up in my business. It was as if I was burnt out and I could just walk away. But the thing is, I love my business and there’s nothing I would rather do. 

The worse thing is, I told myself in my 20s that I was never going to feel like this and live like this again. And here I was back living a life (emotionally) I didn’t want to live. On the outside everything was perfect but on the inside but very little excited me.

I also got tired of taking the pills to function. 

To get up in the morning, 

To be able to focus. 

To go workout. 

And then pills to combat the headaches and body aches. 

And then pills to sleep every night. 

Every time I took pills for anything I would just think, “I can’t keep living like this” 

But the truth was… I wasn’t living. 

I was just a hollow shell walking around. 

I felt no excitement. 

I had to work really hard to focus on being happy and grateful, which is always a great practice but… it was more like I had to jump-start my heart to be able to feel and that’s not me. 

I didn’t even really feel depressed but talking to my friends, it sounded like I was depressed. 


It was time to do something. 

I was going to cut back. 

I took 5mg 2 days prior to my trip and 1 day before my trip. (My prescription is for 40mg a day, which I usually “only” take 10-20mg of each day)


I packed 6 pills which would allow me to take 10mg a day if needed.


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