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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:52 pm 
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I am on day 7 totally abstinent from Suboxone and still not feeling very well, and have been doing some reading (I did read the sticky thread and use the search bar briefly 8) ) but am struggling to find concrete information on a scenario similar to mine. I know everyone's WD/PAWS experience is different, just like all of our dependence/addictions were different, so vetting through all the experiences and figuring out what I can expect has been a bit challenging and maybe someone who has been on the board can look at my scenario and give me some more solid info. I will admit that I probably don't have the patience required right now to really do the research, just feel crappy :cry: but I've been through wayyyyyy worse. I was amazed to see people tapering from micrograms, and it made me rethink the preconceptions I had when I did my own taper method, and throwing away that last 6mg. Too late now though! hahaha :lol: :wink:

You can probably tell already that I tend to write monster essays sometimes so to save you I'm just going to bullet point, and try to give as much pertinent info as possible semi-briefly. I was writing today just about my addiction/recovery.... might share in a separate post but it was just some self-therapy, remind me where I've been. I would really appreciate advice on timelines and what to expect from both my physical symptoms but more importantly (to me) some kind of PAWS symptom outlook or timeline, even though I know that is really hard to say.

I do sincerely apologize if this is selfish of me to write so much and start a new thread please only read/reply if it isn't too much trouble. I do have a support system and will be okay either way, but almost nobody I go to AA meetings with has been on Suboxone, much less gotten off it without a relapse. I know one girl who is a godsend, showed up right when I was on my last push to get off the subs, but I think there is something to gain from less anecdotal info from people who have prescribed or been on this forum a long time and seen many perspectives.

Please, if you just want the dosage details and timeframe only read these quick bullets.
Anything after that is basically me whining about my symptoms but it may provide more info on my support, motivations, or give hope to others struggling. TLDR I know, I'm sorry. I tried not to write too much but did it anyway... mostly because I don't want to move.

Timeline is slightly foggy but since getting on suboxone:
-started Suboxone at 24 mg Feb 2014 after 3.5 yrs IV heroin use and 6months of 60mg/daily Methodone
-16 mg by Fall/Winter 2014 (one year after starting suboxone)
-12 mg by late spring/early summer (this year)
-Waffled between 8-12 for most of the summer
-Starting late July began the serious taper: 8mg
-By the end of Aug I was still taking between 4-6mg though
-Sept I got to 4mg a day
-Late Sept stabilized at 4
-Sometime in Oct got serious about 2mg/day
-3 weeks ago I started 1mg/day
-2 weeks of that and I cold turkey'ed the rest.
-This is day 7 no Suboxone.
-I do take Wellbutrin, 200-400mg of short release daily, depending on if I remember the 2nd one.

Basically though, since I got to 8mg and below my mood has very slowly deteriorated as I have moved down the chain. It wasn't even noticeable really... I knew it was getting worse but didn't even attribute it to my consistent dose lowering. My Dr. and counselor have helped me realize that is why I've gotten a bit depressed this fall. My fear is that I'm going to breakdown, lose it, isolate, get hopeless, paranoid, apathetic etc. Those old feelings that made me pick up when I tried to get clean in the past. But I know this is different, I have an amazing support system, have built the beginnings of a real life for myself in the last 2 years, done so much work on my insides, have a functional spirituality (prayer/meditation), sober friends/sponsor and a 12 step fellowship, as well as professionals who I trust and a girlfriend I love. I know that I've done everything I can, except maybe wait longer to make this a success.

:arrow: :arrow: :arrow: But I am terrified.
I took 1mg last Tue morning, 1mg last Tue night (I had a test Wed didn't want to be uncomfortable) and nothing since. No more Suboxone in the house. I'm going to do this.

-I have been sleeping 3-4 hours a night for 4 nights straight. Decent sleep Wed but WD kicked in Thursday. Since then, tossing and turning at night, waking up every hour. '

-Flipping between sadness, apathy, irritability; nothing incredibly extreme or dangerous it's just that all my emotions are on overdrive. I'm more happy, sad, angry about little things.

I have an incredibly understanding and supportive girlfriend who is not an addict/alcoholic but understands what I do, and is friends with some of my AA friends (we met through my AA friends). So she is here for me but I know it's affecting her that my usually steady demeanor and 'roll off the shoulders' acceptance of small issues has been missing lately. We haven't been together for too long so she has really only seen glimpses of the truly happy-go-lucky me that came out last winter and spring. I was on cloud 9 until I started lowering my Sub dose regularly. Very afraid I am not going to be the man that she needs and that I'm capable of being because of Post-Acute mental health problems. Afraid I won't be motivated at my schoolwork (already haven't been). She has seen more of my conflict-resolution skills lately after we argue about something dumb than the joy and gratitude for the amazing life I've been blessed with that she fell in love with :oops: :oops:

Just lots of fear overall, guilt that I might be causing her distress, low self worth as this has probably been my worst semester of school so far (it's my 4th! 8) )

We are going to get through this. Me, God, my friends and doctors, but I want to know what to expect because it's been making it harder that I set random expectations on how getting off subs is supposed to be. I thought "oh I tapered all the way to 1mg, 4-5 days of feeling a little crappy and I'll be good." That's not how it's been, and I really didn't expect the physical sensations to be as bad.
This is day 7 and I already mentioned sleep and mental stuff. Woke up really apathetic and depressed this morning again after 3-4 hours. Soaked sheets. Didn't expect all that.

Body aches were bad Thu/Fri/Sat. Today and Sunday slightly better but definitely times of pretty serious discomfort, not like Heroin WD though, not as bad. Sweating during the day. Sweating through my shirt at a young people's AA meeting I attend every week and have a service position in. It's ridiculous, so anxious. No appetite, bowel issues when I do eat/drink. Very chilled most of the time, just cold extremities; hands, legs.

But I know all the physical stuff will pass. I am more scared of the mental/emotional consequences of 5+ years of opiate dependence, especially since I've worked so freaking hard.

hahaha I'm so sorry to whoever is reading this. I'm basically freaking out right now. This is when I used to freak out when trying to kick heroin. Day 4 and 5 of feeling like crap I would just lose it and give up. Not an option though, and I'm far stronger and have far more tools than back then.

I could really just use some support please, i'm doing everything I know to do but I am still struggling. If anyone can let me know how bad the depression and anxiety will get, or if/when the turning point is I would be very grateful, and hopefully I can come be helpful to people here and take some of the work off the shoulders of you who volunteer so much time and energy. I can't promise I will be diligent about providing support here, but I will try. And if you don't see much of me after the worst of this rest assured I will be carrying the message in my hometown and on a Reddit sub I help moderate. Others will benefit from your kindness.

I'm super grateful for your good intentions and replies!!!
As this old dude I know says at pretty much every meeting,
"If nobody's told you they love you today, I love you!"

Nick


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:43 pm 
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Well hello to you EVP, welcome to our great forum. You will find many threads here of otners tapers and jumps.

Do not let them scare you. Everyone has a different way or experience.

Ill just tell you what ive learned hear from addicts and mostly from what Dr Junig says. That is the acute wd sill last two weeks or so followed by 2 to 3 months of paws generally. If you go to The Talkzone, dr js blog and search around you can find the facts.

Your post is full of fear as i read it. Your goi g the total abstinence route now. Thats fine. But dont be afraid or deem it a failure If you need to go back to Buprenorphine. Keep that as an option. The relapse rate is very high, and nighest for young people.

You write that you have support. Your recovery friends can help you though all of this as well as your loved ones. This is great to hear.

From my experiences i had to dive in to the 12 steps aloug with sub. It was a bit of a clash but i learned much for the 4 years i was there.
But what ive seen is that you must have the desperation to believe that a Power greater than you will Keep you clean. Are working the first three steps as yet? I hope you are in the process if total abstinence is your path. You can do this man, but it is Faith that must carry us in all of this.
Your taking that leap of Faith with the support of all thoses around you. Stay in the process. Wishing you all the luck in the world though this .

Myself, ill have 5 years coming up. No relapse yet. All on bupe,low dose. .

Remember, keep the Faith in yourself and your recovery friends. You ll need them.
And please keep posting here. There will be others to come aloug with there view. .peace.. :D hope i was t to lougwinded..

Razor...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Razor thank you so much! You know me too well :) - I tend to 'hyper-focus' and so it causes me to over-reply to things all the time. Your response was just what I needed to hear.

It's really good to hear someone say that if I go back on Bupe at some point I'm not a failure. I will definitely hit the Doc's blog too.

I know what you mean about the clash between 12 steps and medical stuff. People have opinions but I thankfully had a good sponsor who immediately pointed out that the AA Big Book sets that precedent that we do not dispense medical advice, as we are not doctors. So he said I could ignore all them. I have been very lucky to have a sponsor, Dr, counselor, God, and even a lovely probation officer who all double check any funny ideas I might have about my medications.

I'm so happy to hear that you needed meetings and the steps as well. I have tried Suboxone without mtgs/steps/fellowship and soon found myself just taking the suboxone on days I couldn't afford heroin. Been back at mtgs 2 years+ but Feb 7 2014 is my sobriety date and I have worked the 12 steps w/ a sponsor, I'm back on step 9 with another sponsor I switched to this year. I had some amends (especially financial) that I wasn't in a position to make during that first year off H. But I definitely have some growing to do right now, the action kind :!:

To be rigorously honest though I have drifted to 2-3 meetings a week, it was so easy to do once the promises started coming true and life got full. So I've been a little distant, and not always at my regular ones where everyone knows me. Still I have a home group and just became the "sponsorship rep" for that meeting earlier this month, after being challenged by my own sponsor to be more proactive about carrying the message.

Congratulations on your 4 almost 5 years of sobriety that is really amazing for a guy like me to hear, gives me hope. Also, thanks for the God/faith bump. I can honestly say that my higher power is the most important thing in my life today (who'd have thought?) but you reminded me I need to stay close to the program to hear it's message.

Thanks again and sorry for so many TLDR posts. I might be swapping my major to journalism soon... go figure.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:58 pm 
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Hey evp welcome,

Congrats on the seven days so far and also I think it's extremely normal for someone to be feeling bad on the seventh day. I think it's great that ur at a point in ur recovery where ur ready to stop sub and make a go at it without anything. I am not at that point yet and honestly may never be, I could possibly be on it for life. Like razor, I too think that if being without sub doesn't work for u on down the line, don't feel bad at all to get bk on it again. I absolutely do not consider that a failure.

I don't do 12 step meetings, my clinic has suboxone related meetings several times a week and that along with seeing an addiction counselor is my treatment plan. Everyone's journey is different and ppl take all types of different processes. As long as it works for that individual, that's all that matters. I'm glad u have ur meetings and that helps u, seems like u have a great plan.

I don't know anything about tapering off sub and the last time I experienced withdrawal was four years ago when I went through my sub induction. But one thing I've seen over and over in this forum is that exercise is tremendously helpful in feeling better (even though I'm sure u don't feel like it right now lol). I hope u feel better soon and good luck!!! :)

_________________
Jennifer


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:47 pm 
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EVP,
It really sounds like you have things in place for success. A good chance for it.. .

Your sponsors also care and understand how the AA program works. :D I loved it when your sponsor said to just not to talk with the judgmental..lol..and step 9, good for you man..

I know you know this but, at this point id suggest More than 2/3 meetings a week. All the service work you can find too. Just a suggestion as they say..hang in there ...

Razor


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:42 am 
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Thanks Jenn - congrats on everything you've accomplished too. I don't know what you were switching from, but when I moved from methadone to suboxone it was pretty hellish. I have the utmost respect for everyone who has sought help and gotten well.

I was court ordered to 12 step meetings and was super desperate, eventually ended up finding the people my age in AA and making a home there. We have an 11pm or midnight meeting in my town 7 nights a week that I often ended up at, turns out a lot of 20-somethings get restless during those former 'drinking hours'. Eventually made some friends who took me to more meetings.

But I do still see an addiction counselor, and the doctor I saw for my Subs had groups 3 nights a week that helped tremendously while I got comfortable and found friends my age in 12 step stuff. Those groups really were invaluable and it was my home until I could find my people so I totally understand how that works for you it did for me too.

Thanks again both of you for stressing that going back on subs wouldn't be a failure if it's between that and prolonged anguish or relapse. Without people's advice I can succumb to that black/white, success/failure thinking. I really needed the reminder that while it's great to give this a go, I strive for humility and that might mean swallowing my pride if this doesn't end up being the right time. Sobriety first.

What are you guys' opinions on Vivatrol? That is an option for me, and actually my court people might *strongly suggest* that I get the shot for a few months since I'm getting off the subs and in just a few months God willing I'll have completed my court program.

Razor thanks again I really do need more meetings, and volunteering at central services office is on my 9th step to make up for some people I can't contact. I don't think it's entirely coincidental that I found this board only to hear the same suggestions my own sponsor gave me a few weeks ago.
:idea: So maybe it's time to schedule that :idea:

I'll keep you all updated any more advice or experience is appreciated and I'll comb through the Doctor's blog soon. Hah, exercise. I am in decent shape although I actually have prosthetic legs below the knee. Long story short I OD'ed and they had to cut them off :mrgreen: Then I got sober. There is definitely exercise I can do though, and I'm trying to come up with good cardio work though that isn't too leg intensive. The reason these posts get so long is I will write a paragraph, then another one an hour later and so on.... thanks for being here though it's been really helpful today.

I'm very grateful you guys were on here today!


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