My Experience Detoxing from Adderall & Birth Control
Hello my loves! I am writing to you from Miami today… Oh my god, it is heavenly here. I didn’t know how I would feel being away from Jonathan & Hudson for the first time in so long but now that I am settled into this trip my entire nervous system is releasing a huuuuuge sigh. My body feels different here… relaxed, better, at ease, deeply healing. I am here to write and work on something very, very special that has been a long time coming.
There’s something to be said for how miraculously healing the beach is. I am definitely experiencing a creative awakening here and loving the gorgeously clear ocean water (we don’t quite have that in LA), the summery weather, and soaking in time with my best friend Jill. Let’s just say this time away has already been so needed and I am so grateful for every moment. I actually don’t want this trip to ever endddd. I will definitely do a Miami recap when we leave here with all of the healthy spots we have been going to & the things to do!
Now onto the good stuff… I did a “True or False” Q&A on my stories last night and wound up mentioning that I went off of all synthetic medications at the age of 22. This is what I first went vegan, experienced complete purity in my body, and decided I could never go back to all the crap I had been shoveling into my body for so long. The medications I detoxed at that time were: Adderall for ADHD, Trazodone for sleep, and the birth control pill Seasonique. I had been taking Adderall since early high school, birth control since I was 14, and Trazodone for about two years in college. I was also on Celexa & Xanax for anxiety, and had been on so, so many rounds of antibiotics (I had strep in college about 15 times) I majorly lost count.
When I mentioned this on my stories last night I had no idea how many of you were going to want to hear more! I woke up to an inbox flooded with questions about coming off of Adderall & BC, how it was for me, what I did to do it safely, what I use as alternatives, and more. I am so passionate about this topic and I am honestly surprised I haven’t written about it sooner. It’s the perfect subject for today’s blog post. 🙂 Especially because it’s been a while… it’s been a crazy month but my god it feels good to sit down & write to you guys.
So, let’s get into it!!!
First of all, I am not a doctor so all I can do is share my personal experience! I know so many of us grow up in families where taking medications is the norm to fix a problem — from Adderall to anxiety meds, birth control to sleeping drugs, the list goes on. And I am not here to tell you that medications are bad. I definitely believe there are many circumstances where they are needed and good, but I do have a particular opinion about how much our bodies begin to rely on Adderall in particular. And birth control I truly believe is not something a woman should be on longterm… yet almost every young woman I know is on some form of it or another.
I am so happy I got off of BC when I did, and that I have been clear of all things synthetic since I was 22. I definitely recommend reading the book Woman Code if you are thinking about getting off of BC or wondering why it is not ideal for women to take longterm, and also listening to the author Alisa Vitti on my podcast, episode 89!
So, here is my story. A lot of you know that my senior year in college my boyfriend at the time cheated on me (very publicly — at my sorority formal — who does that?) and it was the catalyst to a huge awakening in my life. Up until that point I pretty much went along with what everyone else was doing in life… binge drinking, partying, eating regular foods, dating shitty guys, all the typical college/life things. I took Adderall day & night in college to study, write, and stay alert. And BC for obvious reasons. But when he and I broke up something really shifted inside of me… I felt devastated, then I felt rage, A TON OF RAGE, then over time I felt… HEALED & completely powerful. Like, completely completely powerful. It took a while for all of this to unfold but once I reached that point of knowing that my life was MY own and it was time to make decisions that absolutely bettered every aspect of my life, I did that and seriously ran with it.
That December, my mom and I did a 5 day plant based cleanse. It consisted of two juices a day, one smoothie, and then as many vegetables and fruits as you wanted. When I started eating that way, I felt FREE. After two days my body began to return to a state of homeostasis I didn’t even know was possible for me. The juices were pulling toxins out and with nothing for the toxins to cling to (toxic foods, alcohol, etc) my inflammation went down & I started to feel really amazingly clear.
From there, I decided I was never going back to my old way of eating. This was it for me. My stomach felt good for the first time in my life, and so did my whole body. And if you are new here, you know I have had lifelong stomach issues / food sensitivity problems / an overall feeling of being ‘unwell,’ so this was HUGE. This was even the catalyst for my blog, so thanks to **** for cheating on me so this blog could come to be when it did. 😉
During that 5 day cleanse I ended up not taking my medications (Adderall, Trazodone, birth control) at all. I can’t remember if it was happenstance or on purpose… but I do feel like it was a divine intervention from above, looking back, to show me that I certainly did not need them. The entire week I felt amazing. Lots of energy, so inspired and clear, & slept like a baby. Once the cleanse ended I was so aware of the fact that anything I put into my body from there, I was going to really feel. Whether that be sugar, meat, alcohol, drugs, or… Adderall, which is also a drug. I was still so young at that point, a senior in college, and I really did not have much knowledge of nutrition yet (that came later), so what I can tell you is that it was an intuitive pull to stop taking these medications, a voice from within, and I listened.
I remember my friends saying to me, “But how are you going to study without Adderall?!” and “Wait, aren’t you nervous about getting pregnant?” and I just remember this deep feeling of knowing I would be fine. I still struggled with my focus (I do have ADHD to this day) and I was and AM very careful when it comes to sex, but I found a lot of things that worked for me that are completely natural and I have never, to this day, taken either of those medications again. And I am so freaking happy about that.
Trazodone I have also never taken again. This one is wild. This is such a heavy prescription sleeping drug and I was on such a high dosage that one night my sophomore year I took too much of it, took a hot shower, and then passed out wrapped in my towel on the bathroom floor. My roommate (Jill who I am here in Miami with!) had to carry me to my bed, where I was literally already sleeping before my head hit the pillow. She called my mom who said to just let me sleep it off. I slept for 12 hours without even moving one muscle, with no recollection of the night before. Now THAT was scary, and that was after a weekend of extreme binge drinking so I shudder to think what my body was taking on on a toxin level during that time.
As far as Celexa, Xanax, and antibiotics — I stopped all of those too. Celexa made me feel WEIRD & luckily I was on it very briefly. As an anxious person, Xanax is like kryptonite to me. I am not anti Xanax, because it’s something I always took as needed. Once a month, or when I desperately needed help falling asleep. It’s the daily stuff that I really truly don’t believe in. And now that I am aware of the over-prescription and potential dangers of antibiotics, I always request a different option from my doctors. I am one of the few people who did VERY FEW antibiotic treatments for Lyme for that reason — and when I did, always intravenously rather than orally to protect the gut.
I also barely ever drank alcohol again after that. My body just didn’t have a taste for it. I would drink from time to time until a little over 2 years ago when I cut alcohol out of my life completely. But I can definitely say that once I experienced that level of purity & clarity, there was no going back. Think celestial diet status 😉 blog post on that coming soon!!!
Detoxing the Meds //
Since I ‘accidentally’ stopped taking all of it at once (it wasn’t really an accident… I believe it was divine intervention & meant to be) and also made the intuitive choice to not begin taking them again very consciously, I cannot speak to the immediate detox. According to Addiction Center, common detox symptoms from Adderall include depression, irritability, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, achiness, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, and more. The only symptom from that list I had experienced at the time was difficulty concentrating… and I do remember Adderall used to give me insomnia even more than I already had it.
As far as birth control, we know the withdrawal can be difficult as well. Birth control is often used to quite literally control women’s hormones, so when you get back to your body’s regular hormonal patterns there can be a few months (or longer) of adjustment. Some women stop getting their period, some get it more often, some get skin breakouts, there can be cramping, weight changes, etc. Again, I didn’t experience any of this at that time but I really do recommend the book Woman Code if you are in this position now or thinking about going off of BC!
I am grateful that when I was going off of these meds I didn’t even realize how potentially difficult the detox would be. I believe that not knowing allowed me to go into the experience with no fear, and I am very lucky that no major side effects arose. I felt amazing on my plant based detox and just so happened to decide to never go back to taking meds again… or eating meat, dairy, or eggs again! I wanted to remain the clear channel that I had become. BUT what I will say is, a year later when I started experiencing mysterious symptoms like stomach issues, fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, etc. and I looked into my lifelong love affair with medications… I realized I had a lot left in my body to detox.
So when I lived in NYC in 2013 that is exactly what I did. I found a good functional medicine doctor who tested my hormones and nutrient panels, and we learned that I needed to detox my liver. Ever since then I have known that my liver has been very overburdened, and I have spent the last close to a decade detoxing. Don’t fear though — I have a lot of specific genetic mutations that make it very hard for my liver to detox (like the MTFHR gene which many women have, as well as so many others) so I am SO grateful that I intuitively got off of meds when I did because my body really doesn’t handle them well… at all.
I am still detoxing, by the way! Not just from these meds but from everything — environmental toxins, Lyme disease, mold, irritating foods, etc. But I do have a strong suspicion that these meds have lingered in my system for quite some time, which has been confirmed by lab studies & years of working with a very good Nutrition Response Practitioner.
Some of the best things for detox are: activated charcoal (I like this brand), oxygenated magnesium, infrared sauna, homeopathics for the lymphatic system (you can talk to a homeopathic doctor about this or Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor), the Ayurvedic herb triphala, a good priobiotic (I love MaryRuth’s Organics — code BLONDE for discount!), a plant based diet rich in plant phytonutrients, tons of water to flush the system, a good dry brush for your skin, lemon in your water, CELERY JUICE every morning (my fave juicer here, code BLONDE for discount), COFFEE ENEMAS, chlorophyll, and gentle movement like yoga, walks, hikes, etc.
Alternatives & Reframing //
As far as alternatives to Adderall, unfortunately I have not found anything that makes me focus like Adderall did. But I am not comfortable putting such a harsh drug into my system daily or even weekly anymore, and it can also be extremely addictive. What I have found that DOES help with focus is Cured Nutrition‘s adaptogenic/nootropic AURA & RISE capsules (code BLONDE for a discount), adaptogens & functional mushrooms in Four Sigmatic‘s products (code BLONDE also), and starting my day with a fresh, organic coffee or latte & then intermittent fasting until early afternoon keeps me feeling really alert also.
I know I am a creative person. I am definitely the stereotypical artist type with a short attention span & my mind runs a million miles a second. So I have worked to reframe what ADHD really means to me. Is it a BAD thing? Not necessarily. Does it even need to be labeled? Not really. I have come to a place where I can embrace that my ability to only focus on what I passionately love to do has been a gift in my life, and I have not let my lack of attention in other areas be a curse for me.
SO beyond taking other things, that reframe in my mind has made a HUGE shift. I also structure my day in a way that works for me. I sleep in, I do the sauna, I drink my coffee, take my herbs, I detox regularly… I do a lot because I need to do a lot. It’s not luxurious or easy to commit to doing these things for myself every day. It’s a complete necessity, and one I take very seriously.
ALSO, someone brought this to my attention and it is so true, many star seeds, Indigo children & beings of light either have dyslexia or ADHD. Not all by any means, but we are artistic and came to this earth with a low tolerance for confusion. Quite literally, our bodies were not made to deal with some of the more difficult parts of the human experience, and it is a lot harder for us to get on board with regular learning/reading/writing. It is my deepest belief that ADHD (and dyslexia and any other minor learning disability) is a gift. I am glad I have never had a tolerance for doing what I don’t want to do, because I found a way early on to NOT have to do it. It has been the greatest blessing for me and made me incredibly resilient. It’s why I started my blog, work for myself, and vowed to never have a 9-5 or work for someone else (not that there is anything wrong with that but it was never for me). I know a lot of star seeds & HSP’s & artists will be able to relate. 🙂
Another huge reframe for me was when I started to do psychedelics — from the earth, so these are considered plant medicines to me and far from a ‘drug.’ They are natural substances from Mother Earth 🌿! Through the help of micro-dosing psilocybin, I have experienced some of the greatest mental clarity I have ever known. That and ayahuasca have both rewired my brain in incredible ways, as well as medically guided ketamine (which I did for Lyme but it ended up being an incredible brain treatment). I can’t say whether those are right for you but if you feel called to explore… those have reconnected me to my inner knowing in the deepest of ways. I have also done many rounds of neurofeedback to get my brain re-functioning properly and all of the areas of my brain communicating again.
As far as birth control, the main question I’ve been getting asked in my DM’s for years is what form of BC do I use? I don’t use anything in particular. I definitely don’t take anything for it. I haven’t since I was 22. In the past, boyfriends would use condoms and we would always be really careful. With my husband, we have a rhythm that works for us because he knows BC has never been my thing and we’ve always made it work. The pull out method is extremely effective when you’re aware, mindful & careful. It is not that hard !!! It is not ideal to work a little extra hard, but it is also not ideal to put something in your body that (in my opinion) is not at all good for you & your hormones.
Additionally, I know a lot of people who track their ovulation and make sure to avoid having sex on those days to ensure they are being extra safe. I personally haven’t done that but I know it works wonders for a lot of women!
OH & I HAD AN IUD for a hot second in 2018 and the only good thing to come out of that was that my OBGYN found fibroids on my uterus and I got them surgically removed before they could grow larger. I literally had an IUD for 48 hours. I sobbed the entire time and felt like someone had inserted a copper knife into my body & was stabbing me with it repeatedly. It messed with my hormones for, I kid you not, SIX MONTHS. AFTER 48 HOURS. So when they say “Oh, there are like no hormones in IUD’s at all, suchhhh low and safe levels” that’s not true for everyone. Maybe for some people, but not those of us who are deeply intuitive & feel absolutely everything in our bodies. I felt it for months after it was gone… it was very hard for me to return to normalcy. Let that sink in.
For sleep… Melatonin is great. 🙂 Same with Cured Nutrition’s Zen (code BLONDE)! Supplements, I love !! It’s just synthetic things that I do not take. I had to take a synthetic thyroid med for a while when I was really sick with Lyme & that was fine, so like I said, there are always exceptions. That gave me my energy back & it was worth it because it was a medical necessity. If it’s not a medical necessity, I say let it go. But only if / when it feels right to you.
I believe there are various choices we make as we wake up spiritually to the world around us. First with food, then with medications, then spirituality… the list goes on. My intuition never felt good about synthetic hormones or drugs from the moment I really CLEARED my mind, body & soul, so I listened.
At this point in my life I could never return to any of those meds. OR alcohol, OR meat, etc. etc. Being a pure channel is very important to me, & my body thanks me for it every day. Also for fertility reasons I got off of BC long ago — check out the book I mentioned above for that!
As always, do what feels right for you and talk to your doctor about your best options. If you are thinking about going off of these meds, let me know! Would love to hear your comments below, your thoughts, if you have ever been on any of these meds or if you currently are, and how you feel about it all. Love you all. XO