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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:31 am 
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I was just going to "update" my last forum entry, but after reading it, and all the things I wrote about... just remembering where I was at THEN- compared to now- mentally, emotionally, physically... It seemed appropriate to start a whole new thread.
What I'm hoping, in writing this, is that this will find its way to some other "lost soul" out there, someone going through the sheer hell of Suboxone withdrawals (especially if they jumped from a fairly high dose), and that my story will provide them, if anything, a sliver of hope. B/c when I was feeling hopeless, alone, defeated, and experiencing the peak of these AWFUL W/D symptoms... it seemed like all I could find on-line were these stories of how Sub detox is "pretty much over and out of your system" after two weeks. Ha! Who are these people? And what's different about me? Why is my body reacting in a way that, appearantly, has never happened before?
Brief history: I was never a heavy drug user- never hit rock bottam... could have, though... before things got "Intervention" style dark and dramatic, I checked myself into treatment. And now that I'm 40 days off this medication, and a sort of fog is clearing, and my thoughts coming together (vs all over the place)... I'm both full of anger, resent, and regret when I consider how Suboxones presence came into my life. This was 5 yrs ago, and I had checked myself into rehab, a 22 yr old empty shell of a person... strung out on amphetamines, after my doctor bought my "ADD" story, and over prescribed me Adderall to help w/ my schooling. So, DOC was never an opiod, though I'd taken them from time to time and (of course) loved the body buzz and euphoria it gave me. Pain pills were hard to come by though in my town, and cost a fortune- not to mention backed me up so badly I'd go up to a MONTH w/o a bowel movement! So for these reasons, I think I always preferred the uppers.
While in detox, I think it was day 3, I remember getting sick and vomiting violently... not sure why though, now that I think about it... And b/c I'm not very good with feeling uncomfortable (AKA a wouse) I paged nurse Betty for some assistance. They then, brought me... out of ALL things, an 8mg orange oxtygan shaped pill (my first time taking, even hearing about Suboxone). Niave, trusting, and having completely surrended to the idea of "doctors know best" before checking in- I took it, no questions asked.
Why, I ask you, would any physician give a scared, young girl, detoxing from Adderall... an amphetamine, mind you- a medication as strong as Suboxone... something for people suffering from opiod withdrawals??!! And I'm not pulling the "victim" card here, bringing this up. I willingly took it, knowing what it was. And after experiencing its effects, and finding (SUPRISE) I liked it... I continued asking for, and attempting to "talk my way into" a prescription once going from detox to partial. This was in my control, but at the same time... they agreed to write me a script, even after I felt A-OK, and the drugs/toxins had left my body (wasn't Suboxone initially supposed to be used ONLY in a detox situation, as a "miracle" drug that keeps heroine/oxy users comfortable when they try stopping???) Anyway, my therapist was the one who made the decision and she ended up STARTING me (someone who's never had a problem with anything other than Adderall) on 32 freakin' mg!!! This means 8mg FOUR times daily... Didn't these "professionals" know about the ceiling effect Suboxone has? That anything more than 8mg, possibly 16 in some extreme cases, is just plain and simply... not necessary, not needed, and only going to bring MORE ISSUES into that persons life, vs eliminating any the way the medical field was been brain washed into believing! It's just all soooo.... frustrating!!! :x
Anyways, there I was... FIVE long years later, and still taking that controlling, numbing orange strip once a day. Tapering down to 8mg in the last year allowed me to feel OK about "still" taking it, and several times I seriously considered being a "lifer". My thoughts, just a few months back, were "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" I considered myself sober, had been counting my clean time, collecting key tags, and feeling content. If anyone questioned my Suboxone use, or when I was going to get off for good... or if (God forbid) they criticized the drug, and pointed out any way it negatively effected me- my guard shot up immediately!! Just like an addict in active addiction, I felt isolated, and misunderstood... Instead of realizing my family and friends were just concerned out of love- I wrote it off as judgement; telling myself, "if only they knew- that it isn't getting me HIGH,...that it isn't effecting me in ANY negative way what so ever- if only they knew Suboxones one role in my life was to provide a sense of normalcy, and balance." So, in my old, scewed way of thinking, I pushed them further away... knowing if they were on something that allowed them the feeling of being normal, and allowed them to be a functioning member of society- IIIII would NEVER try taking that away. Never ask them to give it up what felt natural to them... :/ I'm SURE you know what I'm talking about here, am I right guys?
I tend to write a whole novel when I do these things, so considering it's late, and I've been traveling all day... why don't I move along? Basically, I just want something to be PUT OUT THERE... something rare I've discovered, regarding- not just the severity and how powerful Sub withdrawals CAN be, but also the length of time it can unfortunately take, until we even BEGIN to see a silver lining... or feel somewhat close to the much used term, "normal." Yes, I am aware that with a taper method (done properly)...and following certain things like the Thomas recipe,...and also the right support encouraging your recovery- a person can have an entirely DIFFERENT experience than I did. However, I decided (for many reasons) to jump at 4mg after 5 years of using, and did so without any "assist medication" like benzo's, or clonidine to ease my discomfort (another very debatable issue). And b/c of these things- I'm well aware are the reasons I had the 30 days of hell that I did. And when I say hell, I do mean it, no exaggerating people!
Week one was a breeze- nothing more than some flu like symptoms. I remember one night, watching a movie, eating, and feeling sleepy... I thought to myself, "Hm... maybe I freaked myself out for nothing, reading all those horror stories on line,... Will I be one of the miraculous, lucky few who find Sub withdrawal "not that bad"?" Part of me held out hope, the other wondered... what was WRONG with me,... if I was wired differently or some shit lol.
Week two- these questions were put firmly to rest, as I threw up everything I tried putting in my stomach, (not vomiting MORE- only it was just yellow, nasty bile), twitched, kicked, thrashed my legs alllllllll night long as I lay in bed,...praying for sleep, counting sheep, listening to soft music, or begging my boyfriend to massage my body and legs. I had intense anxiety, heart palpitations, sore and achy muscles (so extreme even lifting my arms in the shower to wash my hair took ALL my strength), depression (and I'm a pretty up-beat, sees the world/the glass half full kinda gal, so this was suprising!), irritability, emotions running wild one minute.... then I'd feel like a hallow empty shell who couldn't form a single thought the next. I think the worst, most extreme, unbearable symptom was the insomnia, and after weeks of staying up all night and all day, I felt a sort of "Cabin fever" coo-bird outlook creeping in. Scared the hell out of me. My eyes were heavy, my chest felt as if someone was sitting on me, every muscle in my whole entire body throbbed to the point where I stayed immobile as long as possible- this then lead to WORSE restless, and WORSE aches b/c if you're not moving or doing Anything physical for days/weeks on end... you begin to loose muscle mass and strength. It was an endless insane spin on a merry go round, and I felt desperate to get off.
Week three the discomfort began to show signs of improving- somewhat. I began pushing myself, out of sheer boredom, and too much time indoors- to ride my bike around the island. Eventually I'd end up, subconsciously, at the Alano club... and found myself attending a meeting every day that week. I was sharing, open and honestly... and sticking around afterwards to engage in conversations! Something the old me just wouldn't find any pleasure or point in doing. I finally felt confidant in the thought that, even if this wasn't completely over and put behind me, at least the WORST of it... was over. It HAD to be, right, how much worse could it possibly get without someone...anyone in their right mind...breaking?!
Thing I've painfully and with MUCH frustration found out, about Suboxone... is that when you're getting off it, even if you want to... the drug refuses to let go OF YOU!!! And on the days you're feelin' hopeful, a little energic, with a positive outlook- they're amazing, take full advantage of it- just KNOW not to get your hopes up. The very next day could blind side ya, taking you right back into the sheer withdrawal hell you swore was behind you. I just mean, this isn't a cut and dry, black and white process. I had 7 days (week 3) of niave beliefs, false hope, and certainty I'd batteld through the worst of it. So when days 23-30 ended up being so fucking bad I was boardering, and right on the edge of having a mental breakdown- that or throwing up my hands, and just getting back on Subs- throwing the entire month down the toilet. You'll have times where nothing else matters- family, friends, work, school, eating, showering, talking... it'll all feel like too much of an effort for you. Trust me, I think I laid on the couch and in the bed for such long peroids of time- my body began to, after a month of no physical excursion, look like that of a parapalegic :( already thin, boney, fragile and pale (I lost 12 pounds due to throwing up)...my once beautiful long legs... man, the sight of them frightened me. I was looking down at two limbs of jiggely flab- muscle? Psh. Couldn't stand up in the shower, when I did finally force myself to take one (eventually you just have to!!), b/c my vision would spot/fade in and out... the hot water was too sedating, causing my already racing, thudding heart to intensify. So, I'd sit there, at 28 yrs old, washing my hair on the floor of the shower, in triple slow motion. The one night I did get up and outside- to walk my poor, neglected dog (by the way, the ppl around you during this whole detox process better be patient, understanding, and kind... and have sympathy for addicts- otherwise, you're just going to end up being an in-the-way-pathetic-junkie who brings them down, not to mention the overall atmosphere in the household)... I went one single block, huffing and puffing, before the faded in and out vision thing started, and my whole body was flushed in this intense heat wave- ended up fainting, and woke up alone... in the lawn of someone's front yard!!!!
Maybe this all sounds exaggerated, or over dramatic- and believe me, it's not a month in my life I'm going to be bragging about and sharing with anyone who'll listen. I've been ashamed, and resentful, I've been desperate, and lost MUCH faith in myself... not to mention self-esteem, a sense of who I am and who I ever was BEFORE I got on this shit,... just overall, a mess. So, the only reason for my spilling out how far down the rabbit hole I fell- over something like not taking Suboxone any longer- is to reach the right people,....or the right person who needs it. Knowing you're not alone, that someone else endured a terrible, long, drawn out detox as well... it's a powerful and comforting thing. I remember after one sleepless, restless right- when the sun came up, I turned on my computer and typed in : Suboxone withdrawal 30 days... curious to know if this shit WAS (as my boyfriend continued badgering) "all in my head"- was I lazy? Taking advantage of... time off from work? Was I weak, with little will to just buck up, brush off the same symptoms everyone else went through? I didn't know anymore... it baffled me that 30 days in I was still puking, and not sleeping... sore, irritable, and falling apart- physically n mentally... though my body, mind, heart, soul, and instincts screamed: IT IS THIS HARD. YOU'RE RIGHT WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE, Sarah.
A few stories were available to me that morning, about people still sufferin' one month in- which brought such solace and peace to my mind. But nothing and no one spoke in detail like this... spelling it out for ya- which is scary, but sometimes, people need to hear it.
My Mom, who's been my angel right now, surprised me last week with a round trip ticket home- knowing I was stuck, lost... and, well... at rock bottam. So I'm spending some time back home, surrounded by family and friends- the people who know me, love, and are in my corner on this- with support and encouragement. The effect its already having on me, in just 3 short days, it's blowing my MIND! Guess the brain IS a powerful thing- b/c I left a toxic, unhealthy, emotionally abusive household... without food, drinks, vitamins, etc... without the love and understanding from the man I live with, and love with everything I am... and this alone- has been like- a breathe of fresh air. I've spent the past 2 days with my Mom, pushing myself to "just get up" and out there... whether it's a trip to the grocery store, or a walk down the nature trail. We did some laps in the pool, spent a good 20 minutes sweatin' our asses off in the sauna (supposed to be amazing during detox- helps speed up the toxins leaving your body), forced myself to do some light weight lifting, and then came back and made ourselves an amazing...nutritional, healthy meal. Been snacking on and off (fruits, veggies, anything ginger) and taking vitamins, pro biotics, and herbal teas. Let me say too, I was NEVER one who believed in things like "over the counter" at-home-remedies... thought they were gimmicks, or that their effects on me would be too mild to even bother with. But, thankfully, I'm being taught I was only hurting myself believing this :/ That Verian Tea bullshit people rave about- yeah you think it's JUST tea, how much help could it do for me?! But, one warm cup of that last night... man oh man, relaxed my muscles, slowed my heart rate, and within 30-45 minutes I was nodding off and in the deepest REM sleep I'd had in WEEKS!! And eating greens, softer foods, fruit, rice, fish, drinking and drinking until ya can't drink anymore- it truly DOES make a difference!!! Shocking, I know :)
As addicts, I now see... that we're stuck in the idea of: will it make me feel good instantly? If not,... forget it! We seek things that'll provide INSTANT improvement, or instant gratification- that's what we're used to from our active addiction days. And we'd spent so much time neglecting our bodies natural urges/needs... so much depriving ourselves, taking care of, putting effort into improving- ourselves... we struggle to break these old habits and hesitate, prolong making news ones. But I'm telling you- if you EVER want to stop feeling like death during your Sub W/D, take my advice, and love yourself enough to care... enough to put forth the time and effort. Laying around waiting for a miracle to come, waiting for "that day" where you just open your eyes, wake up, and BAM! Discover- it's all over. You feel normal again. Instantly! Well, these are false hopes created by our old ways of thinking- and will only prolong the process :/
Know, if you're struggeling, or the misery of withdrawals have just dug their crawls into you and refuse to let go- take comfort in knowing... around day 40-45 YOU WILL, I swear to the Lord above, feel that change, that turn around, and suddenly... just like that, you'll be able to function again!!! It's not worth it to give in and go back to Suboxone use, even though I found myself several times, biking up to the pharmacy, fully intending to do just that! I spent a month plus suffering, out of work, hurting my relationship, disappointing people, "wasting time", loosing weight, and stuck in an endless cycle of puking, pacing, sweating, and TRYING to sleep...nothing else. And I do mean, nothing! And as someone who's been in that hell (all the while wondering WHY I was even doing this to begin with... questioning my motives...questioning my faith)- can say that Suboxone can be a wonderful medication. WHEN USED IN A SUPERVISED, CONTROLLED environment, for someone withdrawaling off heroin (or something similar), and for a week-2 weeks TOPS. Any longer, just doesn't make sense... not if you REALLY think about it. You've traded one addiction- for another... haven't you? And if you're like me, claiming Suboxone really doesn't do anything for you, that it's not this "drug" that gets you high- take a moment to face yourself... and really dig deep. IF this is truly the case, and taking it does nothing- WHY are you on it in the first place? While on Suboxone,...We're lying to ourselves, taking the easy way out, and walking through life wrapped saftely in bubble wrap. And getting off it... I think I'm finally reaching a place of content, where I am ABLE to look back and reflect- vs "just existing"/getting through the day in one piece. And I'm discovering that I am thankful, shocking as it sounds, for how HARD this process turned out to be for me... It's probably for the best in my situation. B/c had getting off it been simple, or nothing more intense than flu like symptoms,...had I bounced right back,... I don't know. It may not have had any real impact on me, or significance in my life. Ya know? And now, considering how low I got, and how much I've been through physically, mentally, and emotionally... I'll leave you with this one last thought... b/c of the battle I fought the past 40 days of my life, I KNOW without a doubt I won't go back. Not now... Not after knowing THIS is the price to pay when getting off it again. Just not- WORTH IT, not enough to endure this shit TWICE!!!!
Hang in there guys, and know you're not alone. My heart goes out to you, and my hat is off to you- for choosing better for yourself. Suboxone is part of our past, and I have a feeling- the future infront of us will be THAT much better, more productive, and full of adventure and happiness and possibility... BECAUSE OF IT! Time to face life on our own terms,... we ARE enough, and we WILL feel "normal" again- whatever that means, right? God bless and never give up- you, your personality, your relationships, your body, mind and soul, and the outcome of your entire future... DEPENDS on it!! Hang in there guys- pllllllease. It IS worth it. I swear to God, it is! And if you're right in the middle of this nightmare, then just take comfort in knowing you're fighting and suffering and misrable right now- for a reason!! Know too, that eventually...all you've endured- it WILL be worth it.
"If you're going through hell... keep on going! Face that fire- walk right through it! Just keep on goin', cuz ya might be one of them lucky few... who make it out... before the devil even knows they're there!"


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:56 pm 
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I agree so much with many of the things you said about suboxone. While I was on it I also felt like I was "just existing". I ignored the people I cared about most and isolated myself from the world. I'm thankful that it got me off the dope, but that's about it.

I'll never forget my doctors telling me that suboxone has "No withdrawal symptoms". Honestly people telling a 21 year old kid stuff like this should be in jail.

Well that is enough of a suboxone rant for me today. I don't want to offend anyone.

I'm glad you are doing well and I pray that in another 20 days I will be feeling as optimistic as you are!

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Sub free since July 2nd, 2014!


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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