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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:42 am 
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Hi there,
15 days clean here. I just did a stint in a psych clinic to detox. I was going to write about it earlier, but with everyone asking you all the time in hospital how you are going it seemed almost redundant to write about it as well. But it doesn't now that I'm home.

So, what am I left with? Feeling like I’m wide awake for the first time in about 7 years – the time I was on Suboxone and active using together. It might sound a little weird but I just stopped in front of the mirror a few days ago and looked at myself, and it was like I hadn’t seen my own face clearly for 7 years. I feel this clarity of thought and emotion – on one hand it’s great, on the other hand it feels like vertigo. Not to mention the depression I am feeling, which is really overwhelming at times, especially the first half of the day. I’m lacking motivation to do things. I’m bursting into tears at some point every day. There’s just so many feelings to process. I’ve also been grieving the death of 3 people close to me, who died while I was on Suboxone. That was a little surprising, as I thought I had already grieved their deaths, but the Suboxone had numbed me to an extent as though I had only half-grieved their deaths.

I’ve also been feeling incredibly guilty about some of the things I’ve done over the last 5-7 years. One of my closest friends, I never told I was on suboxone. I was just afraid of being judged about it. She goes to AA, and it really started when I was going to meetings with her, and I was already feeling the stigma of being on suboxone by going to an awful pharmacy. I just didn’t want to say in those meetings that I was on “drug replacement treatment”. Something you hear in NA quite a bit and was comfortable enough to say there. I guess I just didn’t want to be the odd one out, particularly with my history of social anxiety. Anyway, the lie has just continued. She knew I was going into hospital to detox of some “meds” but I haven’t been up front with being on Sub. But now, I just feel so guilty about that. I know in my heart I have to open up to her about it. I actually have to start opening up full stop, to everyone. I’ve shut people out, and I think that’s in part to being on Suboxone. I never felt emotionally available on that drug, or any opiates/opioids. And maybe I just also partly associate using drugs and isolating myself whilst using them. But, now my emotions are back – I have to reconnect somehow.

My senses are all overwhelmed too, especially in loud, crowded places, so I’m trying to steer clear of those. Some things, places, and people all look more beautiful than ever though, so that’s the flipside.

But this is what I wanted really. I got off it to feel again. My instincts were screaming at me to get off it. But the yin to the yang is that 5 years ago I’m pretty sure suboxone saved my life.

It’s a weird place to be after awhile though. It feels like a holding pattern when you’re on it. And it’s confusing to know whether what you are really taking is a medication or a drug, or both, which can leave you feeling like you’re caught somewhere between addiction and recovery. So much so, it does feel like now my recovery starts in earnest. At this point I couldn't be less interested in taking any opiates.

I might have to do something about the depression though. I have a history of depression, and was actually diagnosed with bipolar at one point (though that is under review), but I don't want to slide down any further, but I know that it is still early days and that it will most likely pass also.

If you got this far thanks for reading.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:33 pm 
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It’s a new day, and I think I’m making progress. Yesterday I went for a walk, which was my first attempt at getting back into exercise. Today I’ve been to the gym for a workout – just cardio to get started again and get the endorphins happening.

I also went to visit my mum and dad last night. We had dinner and watched a movie. I spoke to them about going back to work. I have my own business in web design, and getting back into it, I think, will be helpful. I always have loads of things to do in the business. Plus, it gives my life structure and routine.

I saw my drug and alcohol counsellor a few days ago, and she wants to join me up to her Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy program, which I think is a great idea. Today I’m planning on meditating for the first time since getting clean.

Today I am seeing more clearly that my recovery actually did begin with going on Suboxone. I’ve made a lot of great changes in my life in that time. Starting the business is one thing. But I did mend relationships with my family also. I’m also living independently in my own apartment. Plus, I think I’ve been a nicer person to be around. I used to be such a cranky-pants. As I said to my counsellor, I’m not afraid of my own emotions any more. And I feel like I’ve gotten past the things that happened to me when I was younger that were traumatising. It might have taken almost 20 years, but I’m not bothered by them anymore.

So even through the depression, I’m staying optimistic about my future. There’s so many things I want to do and experience. I also can’t wait to go travelling again. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:11 pm 
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This is weird. I swear I wrote a really long reply to your opening post yesterday. Came here and checked and it's not there?

Bummer given I'm too lazy to write it all out again.

But congrats synthetic it seems like you're doing really well. Keep us posted!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:54 am 
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You did write a long reply to "Long term Effects", so maybe that's what you're thinking of TJ.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:32 am 
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TeeJay wrote:
This is weird. I swear I wrote a really long reply to your opening post yesterday. Came here and checked and it's not there?

Bummer given I'm too lazy to write it all out again.

But congrats synthetic it seems like you're doing really well. Keep us posted!


Thanks for the thoughts. There really must be a place on the internet where all those lost posts go. It's probably on a server in Belize. ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Hi Synthetic, I am a firm believer in cbt and I like that your counselor is incorporating mindfulness! I don't think we are ever done working on ourselves! Things happen everyday that impact us and we need lots of "tools" to be able to deal with it in a positive and constuctive way! Sounds like you are well on your way to having the best life possible! Keep up the good work!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:09 am 
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Michelle F. wrote:
Hi Synthetic, I am a firm believer in cbt and I like that your counselor is incorporating mindfulness! I don't think we are ever done working on ourselves! Things happen everyday that impact us and we need lots of "tools" to be able to deal with it in a positive and constuctive way! Sounds like you are well on your way to having the best life possible! Keep up the good work!


Hi Michelle, thanks for the reply. I've tried many counsellors/psychologists/psychiatrists, and this one I have right now is the best. She's so proactive about life, and the lives of her clients. From everything I've read about her she's one of the experts on mindfulness for depression/anxiety in my city (Melbourne). So I feel lucky to have her in my corner. She runs a very good group too, so I'm really looking forward to the MBCT group. Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:17 am 
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What a difference a week makes. If last week my mood was about a 3, this week it's been hovering about a 7 or 8. The past 3 days I've really noticed an improvement. I did quite a bit of exercise on the weekend. I've been meditating every day (today will total 90mins). My energy to do things is slowly coming back, along with my motivation. I'm seeing a future for myself more each day. This morning was the first time I've woken up and not said to myself: shit, not another morning. It is still early days though, and I know this could be up and down for quite some time as my brain and body adjust, but I'm taking the better days when they come for sure.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:51 am 
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Hey Syn, So happy to hear that days are getting brighter for you! Keep up the good work! I know exercise and physical activity really help! I need to get back into some kind of exercise routine. My husband had a stroke a year ago. He is now in the best physical condition he has been in since he was in the military 35 years ago! It is going to be a goal of mine for 2016! Enjoy your day!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:14 pm 
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I love hearing positivity! I study alot of brain science, brain chemistry, and the mind. 80% is mentality, 20% strategy, for me, meditation, and many positive affirmations ( I even write them down) have been very helpful. If you can instill thoughts and intention into your subconscious mind, it can change your life, and your mindset regarding addiction will shift, making it much easier to abstain. This was my personal experience, and I helped two friends as well, some hypnosis is involved, but it is so beneficial. The power of the mind is truly amazing.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:46 pm 
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Hey buddy you're from Melbourne, Aus?

Me too!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:15 pm 
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OP-

I could have written your post. I know what you mean in everything that you write/ say. The rollercoaster of emotion after 8 years on methadone & sub (not to mention the years of using before that) was overwhelming, loved, feared, welcomed, comforting, and scary as shit.. all at the same time. It was hard to go through but I took some comort in the chaos. Really allowing myself to think and reflect on things that had happened, and really feel the responses that I should have had to previous events.. was kind of priceless and I'm appreciative of that time. Despite the downs, the ups were good. I laughed hard, I cried hard, I did everything hard. It felt good to have that release. And I'll tell you that music saved me. I probably sound like a fucking broken record but I played music about 18 hours a day and it got me motivated and through the hard times. I used music in the bathroom just to take a shower. If I was forcing myself to take a walk in the sunshine, I'd make sure to have my favorite music playing on my earbuds. It made such a difference, I can't vouch enough for it enough.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:08 am 
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Michelle F. wrote:
Hey Syn, So happy to hear that days are getting brighter for you! Keep up the good work! I know exercise and physical activity really help! I need to get back into some kind of exercise routine. My husband had a stroke a year ago. He is now in the best physical condition he has been in since he was in the military 35 years ago! It is going to be a goal of mine for 2016! Enjoy your day!


Thanks Michelle! Yeah I think it always comes back to maintaining the simple things like exercise, diet, sleep, meditation, friends and family. Good to hear your husband has recovered so well. It's amazing what a set back can motivate in you. Hope you reach your goals in 2016. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:15 am 
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Analyse wrote:
I love hearing positivity! I study alot of brain science, brain chemistry, and the mind. 80% is mentality, 20% strategy, for me, meditation, and many positive affirmations ( I even write them down) have been very helpful. If you can instill thoughts and intention into your subconscious mind, it can change your life, and your mindset regarding addiction will shift, making it much easier to abstain. This was my personal experience, and I helped two friends as well, some hypnosis is involved, but it is so beneficial. The power of the mind is truly amazing.


I agree 110%. Meditation gives you your baseline where things are neither good/bad or right/wrong - a place you can always return to, no matter what is going on. It's incredibly powerful. I always say the present moment is a lifeline, because I believe it is. And yes, you can change parts of yourself by doing it. There's research that's been coming out that shows that regular meditation changes the structure of your brain over time. So I think your mindset in regards to addiction can change also.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:20 am 
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TeeJay wrote:
Hey buddy you're from Melbourne, Aus?

Me too!


Hey TeeJay yep from Melbourne - 20 years living here now. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:40 pm 
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tinydancer wrote:
OP-

I could have written your post. I know what you mean in everything that you write/ say. The rollercoaster of emotion after 8 years on methadone & sub (not to mention the years of using before that) was overwhelming, loved, feared, welcomed, comforting, and scary as shit.. all at the same time. It was hard to go through but I took some comort in the chaos. Really allowing myself to think and reflect on things that had happened, and really feel the responses that I should have had to previous events.. was kind of priceless and I'm appreciative of that time. Despite the downs, the ups were good. I laughed hard, I cried hard, I did everything hard. It felt good to have that release. And I'll tell you that music saved me. I probably sound like a fucking broken record but I played music about 18 hours a day and it got me motivated and through the hard times. I used music in the bathroom just to take a shower. If I was forcing myself to take a walk in the sunshine, I'd make sure to have my favorite music playing on my earbuds. It made such a difference, I can't vouch enough for it enough.


It's great to hear from you TD! Music can be such a powerful force! It takes me back in time, it soothes my soul and breaks my heart. I love singing to babies.

I know you're super busy. How is your little boy? And your hubby? Thanks for posting. Your raw honesty is always welcome. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:32 am 
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tinydancer wrote:
OP-

I could have written your post. I know what you mean in everything that you write/ say. The rollercoaster of emotion after 8 years on methadone & sub (not to mention the years of using before that) was overwhelming, loved, feared, welcomed, comforting, and scary as shit.. all at the same time. It was hard to go through but I took some comort in the chaos. Really allowing myself to think and reflect on things that had happened, and really feel the responses that I should have had to previous events.. was kind of priceless and I'm appreciative of that time. Despite the downs, the ups were good. I laughed hard, I cried hard, I did everything hard. It felt good to have that release. And I'll tell you that music saved me. I probably sound like a fucking broken record but I played music about 18 hours a day and it got me motivated and through the hard times. I used music in the bathroom just to take a shower. If I was forcing myself to take a walk in the sunshine, I'd make sure to have my favorite music playing on my earbuds. It made such a difference, I can't vouch enough for it enough.


I totally get where you are coming from. I've been listening to music every single day. During the detox I had headphones on almost all day. I'm a big listener of music anyway, in the car, going for a walk, doing the housework etc, but it totally comes into its own when I'm going through a rough patch. It's the one guaranteed thing to get me to hold on and make it through to the other side. Doing everything hard as you say, the laughing and the crying, but I'm so appreciative of the feelings I'm having. It's incredibly overwhelming at times. But thank you for writing back and reflecting back at me what you see - I really appreciate someone showing me that they've gone through the same emotions, and reflected on similar things. And I love the fact that you have music in your life to help you get you through too. I don't know where I would be without it, and couldn't recommend it enough also.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Enjoyed reading your post.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Congratulations on getting clean man! Thanks for sharing your experience. It really hit home reading your post. Good job on the meditating, that's one of the best things someone can do for themselves. You gave me hope! What was your dose when you jumped? And how did you taper? You must have done a pretty good job at it. Keep it up man, everything will keep getting better.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Just coming back to write a follow up. Been off Suboxone for 1 year and 4 months now. Things are going really well, for the most part! I still have difficult days sometimes. I relapsed on alcohol and pot last year. After that setback I started going to NA. I had been before but never took it as seriously as I am now. It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. The support I've been getting you couldn't buy. Clean for 7 months now. Haven't touched an opioid since coming off Suboxone. I meditate every day. Go to the gym 4-5 days a week. Eat healthy. Go to NA meetings almost every day. Talk with my sponsor every day. Socialise quite a lot. Work has taken a bit of effort to get back into, but I'm making progress. Feel like I'm living life now, as opposed to existing. Looking forward to what else life has on offer.


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