When I was on Adderall, the pills took over. I crashed. I would try to fight it, but eventually, I realized it was useless.

Nichole Carlson, Addiction the book, Adderall

For those of us who want to get to the next level, we are always looking for that edge to be better, faster, smarter and stronger.

Our biggest problem may be that we are doing something we don’t want to be doing in the first place or doing something in a way we don’t want to be doing it. My addiction helped me be able to perform in a life I didn’t want to be living in the first place. And maybe you don’t have an addiction, but if you are compromising who you are and what you want in your business, in your marriage, in your life… it will keep you from making it to the next level easily and from reaching your full potential. And what’s the point of reaching that next level if your ladder is completely against the wrong wall?

You have been given dreams and desires – dreams that drive you to be better, faster, stronger, smarter without prescription drugs.

This is my story of going through 10 days of detox in Costa Rica and what I discovered about what the last 5 years have done to my body.

This is an excerpt from my book Addicted: How to Stop Compromising and Be Truly Happy in Your Life

Day 4 Monday

I’m trying to get some work done in the hostel but my energy is plummeting. I could say it’s the Costa Rican heat or the fact that I haven’t had caffeine(I’m not taking caffeine either. This wasn’t a conscious choice but I was too focused on the Adderall that I just didn’t think about caffeine) but really I know it’s the Adderall crash I am so accustomed to.

Over the last year the highs and lows… aka crashes have gotten really bad.

When I take Adderall I get this restless pacing energy where I can’t really do anything but maybe clean or workout for hours. I have to move until the initial hit wears down so I can sit down and work and usually that’s at night. Somewhere between 7 and 10, the Adderall wears off and I can actually focus.


I fought through the crash by just realizing that it was the Adderall and I observed that it just wanted to send me back through my old cycles and I choose to keep writing. This crash is not me. It’s not what my body wants. It’s a pattern and habit that I need to break. I let the feeling pass and kept going.


When I was on Adderall, the pills took over. I crashed. I would try to fight it, but eventually, I realized it was useless. Even if I ‘fought it’ with more Adderall or caffeine, it would just make me pace my house like a caged animal – unable to sit down and focus, unable to relax, unable to essentially function. Though when It’s happening you only are only really aware of this subconsciously(or maybe you just don’t want to believe). Consciously you think you just need balance and just try to stay balanced. You also blame all these things on not sleeping which you blame on stress or hormones. Or you blame it on your period or anything else that it could possibly be OTHER than Adderall. 

Adderall came to save you. 

It couldn’t possibly be Adderall.


My friends from the night before woke up around 10 and we were on our way. We spent the afternoon in the hot springs. Letting the warm water rush over my body in the jungle was one of the most healing experiences I could have ever hoped for. I was still feeling some inflammation in my feet, but not much. I just knew I shouldn’t walk far with the inflammation.

After the hot springs, we went back to the hostel and had the most epic home-cooked meal. (I’m avoiding eating out because it’s giving me inflammation and an upset stomach no matter how healthy I try to eat. I’m also avoiding dairy because dairy causes inflammation.)

I can always tell if an area of my body is inflamed. I can feel a slight pain in the area and a small pulsing. Now I am using hemp cream from Amazon and I just put the cream on the spot. Then I can feel the inflammation move over to another area in my body just outside of the spot I put the cream on. The thing is, if I was still taking Adderall, the cream wouldn’t be a fix. It would just sort of work intermittently, but since I am detoxing the area I am having pain and inflammation has gotten smaller. It was from just under my chest all the way down to my feet. Now it’s just my feet for the most part. Sometimes my upper legs. 

Here’s the thing. I don’t think I could have really seen what Adderall was doing to me unless it had gotten that bad. I didn’t want to believe that Adderall was causing the symptoms I was having but going from debilitating pain where I couldn’t sleep, study, work, drive, go out with friends(because I was in pain when driving and pain if I was to sit down) AND having my life consumed 24/7 with therapy – I was always icing, heating, stretching, taking pain meds, getting massages, seeing doctors, seeing a physical therapist, seeing energy healers… to applying the cream on my feet occasionally was truly freeing.

Sometimes you can’t see grey until it turns black and you put it up against white.


Some of the girls in the hostel invited us to a pool across the street and I was tempted to just head to bed early but knew this was the last night we were going to be together. (even though I met them that day we had already bonded as travelers do) So we went as a big group and the pool was so amazing. It was enclosed in a hostel with jungle plants all over and hammocks. The pool was right up against the bar so you can sit in the pool on the barstools to order drinks. I only drink maybe once or twice a year and decided this was the perfect place to have a drink. It was such a perfect atmosphere and I was with 5 amazing new friends so why not. We stayed late at the pool and then went and hung out back at the hostel.

Nichole Carlson, Addiction the book, Adderall

Everything you want is already available to you. This is a concept in quantum physics which is the scientific version (more or less) of manifesting. We live in a world of abundance. Everything that comes from our desires (from our heart) is available to us right now. Most of the time we are blocking it in some way. You don’t need to do something you don’t want to do to get what you want. My way of thinking in my 20s was that I have to compromise to get what I want… which allowed the mindset that I needed to do things that were against the integrity of my soul to get and keep what I wanted. 

For example, I married a man that I didn’t trust because he had cheated on me and I thought I had to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘forgive and forget’. And I thought that meant that I ‘should’ just keep going in the relationship because that’s what forgiving is and ‘marriage is hard’. I continued with the beliefs that mentally cornered me into a life I didn’t want to live. I chose a career I hated because you ‘have to make money’. And so I found myself miserable and feeling trapped because I was trying to do the right thing.

When you realize that everything you desire is available to you and wants to come to you, you stop trying to do things you don’t want to do to get what you want. 

And when you realize that trying to make everyone else happy is keeping you from living the life you are supposed to be living as your true self, then you find that you need to actually pursue the dreams and desires you have.

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