My guest today is Allie Lerner, a sex and trauma therapist who I invited on to the show to talk about how she quit her 10-year addiction to Adderall.
Adderall is a prescription drug, and one that enables certain traits that are celebrated in our society – such as productivity and thinness. Both factors that mean this is an addiction that often flies under the radar. In our conversation, Allie describes how it crept up on her, and how it came to completely take over her life to the point where she was barely sleeping or eating – while even she was in complete denial that she had a problem.
In many ways, Allie was the definition of a “high-functioning” addict. Having suffered from an eating disorder from a very early age, she is also brutally honest about the role that her body image issues played in her turning a blind eye to what she eventually came to realize would kill her if she didn’t find a way to quit.
Our conversation also pans out to look at the impossible standards of perfection that women in particular are asked to hold ourselves to – while labeling any inability to perform or keep it all together as a weakness. In the episode we discuss:
-Using Adderall in college to help with focus – and how this led to a daily, 10-year habit
-Why this drug is so popular – and this addiction so rampant – in a society that values productivity, perfectionism, and thinness
-Why this is a drug that enables and personifies “high-functioning” addiction
-How easy it is to overlook addictions to legal and / or prescription drugs
-How a drug designed to help you focus actually creates total chaos
-What led to her “moment of clarity” about quitting – and the intense physical experience of detoxing from Adderall
-Why her body image issues made it easier to love herself while she was in her addiction
-The toxicity of “looking good” in a fat phobic, misogynistic, ableist society
-Maintaining her career as a mental health professional throughout her addiction
-Her definition of “trauma” – and why trauma and addiction go hand-in-hand
-How her addiction – and her sobriety – impacted her sexual expression
Learn more about Allie Lerner and her work at Allielerner.com