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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:08 am 
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I wanted to share my story, because every story I've found online, not necessarily on this website was so negative and defeating. They made it sound as if getting off of suboxone is quite impossible, and that you will never be normal again, and what a hell it was. It by all means wasn't easy, probably one of the hardest things I've ever gone through, but it wasn't at all the way people described. I wanted to give some tips and just share my experience, and if anyone reads this hopefully it gives some motivation or peace of mind :)


I for one never believed I could get off of the suboxone. I never even considered it. In fact I took a leave of absence just to go visit my boyfriend more even though it was intended to withdrawal from the suboxone. On my last month of my leave of absence it hit me if I don't do this, I will be addicted to something for the rest of my life. I'm in my mid 20's and that is not something I wanted. So It was bare this struggle and at least try it, or be a slave for life. So I did it. I was taking around 6mg for a few weeks, got down to 2mg after a couple weeks, then down to 1mg after a couple of days. (Not something I would recommend for anyone else, but given the fact I was in some denial towards the end I had to rush the tapering process.) After being on 1 mg for a few days I somehow lost my prescription. I believe it fell out of my purse. I chose to think it was a sign of God. Instead of driving all the way out to the subox doc and telling him my story (which I'm sure he would think is a lie) and spending even more money and time being a slave to a drug, I said to hell with it. I have 30 days exactly before work begins. LETS DO THIS!!!! So I drove to Walmart the on the night of my last dose, purchased 5HTP, St. John's Wort, Ashwagandha, ZZ quil for sleep, Clonidine (prescribed from my doc) and immodium. I cried the whole way home. Gave my mom a hug, and said tomorrow is day one time to buckle up.


Before I describe each day I will explain what I took to begin each day. Every morning I woke up, took a 5HTP, then St. John's wort and one full clonidine. I would take 2 advils sometimes just because I knew I'd need them. One thing I will say about clonidine, it helped tremendously with the anxiety and restless legs. Although it did make me very weak throughout the day. You can't have your cake and eat it too though I guess. Then I took my second dose of clonidine at 4PM which I later changed my clonidine doses that I will explain on day 4.

Day one
to me was pretty hard. Even though most people say it should be easy, I was dragging a bit. Got a shitty night's sleep, and my mind was racing. Restless legs began. Day 2 was about the same.

Day three
I was rather positive pushed myself to do some laundry, thought I could get through this. I was very weak, but also because of the clonidine, yet still positive. Still wasn't eating much though, I had my mom pick up some ensure for me on her way home. .... THEN I got about an hour of sleep that night.

Day four
Holy Hell!!! Full withdrawals began taking effect. I got no sleep the night before. I was so foggy, couldn't put one thought together. Couldn't stop going diarrhea. My body began dragging even slower than the previous days. Sweating profusely yet freezing at the same time. I had to carry a heater around with me everywhere we went, and I live in California! Sweats, sweatshirt hoodie on and all. I didn't know what to say to my family or even how to think for myself. I couldn't eat any solid foods really. I don't how to describe it but chewing on food and swallowing just sounded horrid to me. I had a creepy crawly feeling up and down my body. Couldn't stop sneezing, sometimes four times in a row. I remember looking at the clock all day long, just waiting for 5PM to come along, and when my mom came home I would have some form of hope. Each hour felt like 5. TV isn't interesting anymore. Pure hopelessness. You know what got me through my days. SUNSHINE. Day 4 was probably the worst, since I got absolutely no sleep the night before. I cried all day. Then I went outside blasted some good music, positive music! Smoked a cigarette and laid by the pool outside with my puppy. That was probably my saving grace during withdrawal, nature and being outside. I could finally smell the grass and flowers again, the chlorine in the pool. Feel the wind around me. Smell triggers emotion, and the smells of the outdoors and warmth of the sunshine (things I never appreciated on suboxone) felt amazing, along with some good music.
That night I decided to change my clonidine dose in hopes I would get some sleep. I would for now on take half a clonidine in the morning, half at around 1PM and a full one between 8-9PM along with my night time medicine. I'm not sure if that's dangerous or not, but I was so desperate for sleep, I decided I had to try something different. That evening I prayed to God. I wasn't very religious before. I know there is a heaven I've lost many people in my life, to cancer, and overdoses and accidents and I can tell you one thing I know there's a Heaven. God isn't something I've thought too much about though. Through getting off of suboxone I definitely found him. I laid my soul out to him and cried in the bathroom. I apologized for everything I've become and pleaded with him. I said I'm begging for some sleep tonight, because if I don't get some I don't know how much more I can endure. Sure enough I slept 8 hours that night!


Day 5-6
Pushed myself to go on a long walk with my mom. Being around groups of people in the Old Town we went to visit, caused a little anxiety. Everything looks different, feels different. It was hard to take it all in, but I accomplished that walk and it felt good. My muscles are beginning to ache a bit more. Everything else was remaining the same.

Day 7
Day 7 was a game changer. I still felt hopeless, I couldn't do much or have any creativity going on in the brain so my dad suggested I listen to some Bob Marley and go do yard work. Yard work? hmmm Okay I thought at least it's better than sitting on the couch. THAT WAS THE BEST THING I COULD'VE DONE. I was hurting, I was weak, but I told myself I'm going to finish vacuuming the pool and raking those leaves if it's the last thing I do. With the sunshine keeping me warm, and Bob Marley's good vibes I accomplished so much. I remember my dad coming out to me saying maybe you should stop, you've lost so much weight and look so frail that you're bones are poking out maybe this is too much for you, but I kept at it. That night I ate steak and vegetables and was able to keep it down. I felt very accomplished.

Day 8-11
Everything began turning around. I began eating solid foods regularly. I was sleeping more. I still had the withdrawals going on but they were much more manageable. I could laugh here and there. I began driving again. Walking my dog regularly, and taking in each day at a time.

Day 11-20
Days started going by quicker. My best friend since the age of 6 was withdrawing from alcohol. We kept each other company during the day. We both knew we weren't quite right so we didn't feel the anxiety around each other. It was nice to have someone to talk to. If I needed to go grocery shopping I'd bring her along. If I was having cravings I'd call her. When someone brought alcohol around her I'd pick her up and we'd hit up an AA meeting together. It was good to lean on one another. I went to the library with my mom and picked up a few books on meditation and cleansing of the soul. I've had so many traumas in my life it was time to start dealing with them.

Day 20-30
Were the best!! I am turning in to my old self. I'm no longer cold all the time no more sweats. I still go to the restroom quite frequently even now, but that's Okay, I was so constipated from the opiates my body is just fixing itself now. I sleep. I am still sneezing, again that's totally okay. I'm actually getting excited about things again and visiting old friends. I'm no longer a couch potato. On suboxone I was okay with watching TV all day long. Now I can't remember the last time I watched TV. Sure I will always put in Good Fellas before bed to listen to as I fall asleep, but vegging in front of the TV, not really my thing. I'd rather go for a walk, go visit someone, have a conversation with someone, read a book, clean my room, exercise whatever, anything to keep my mind busy. Boredom is your enemy. I'm enjoying my family so much and being around them. Playing with my niece. I'm taking in each day at a time. I never appreciated ANYTHING on suboxone. In fact I took everything and everyone for granted. Nothing seemed important. Did I realize it then? No. Now do I? yes. I was missing out on so much. Truly was. You think you're normal on suboxone, and you're "sober" that you have it all figured out, that is such a misconception. If you have struggled with opiates for over 10 years and you truly can't stop, maybe suboxone is the answer. I just know I can definitely live without it.


Now it is day 38, I am back to work. I feel so accomplished. Am I 100% no I'm not, I'm not going to lie. I still struggle a bit in the early morning to get my day going. I still have bathroom problems, but that's to be expected. Is that the end of the world though?? NOOO! I'm way more stoked about life than I was on suboxone. Suboxone only caused stress in my life, not just about the actual medication but I was always stressed out. I was always in such a rush. Now I take each day in, each moment in, each breathe of fresh air and the smell of the outdoors, and relationships I'm now reconnecting with old friends, and taking my time with each person. I don't look so skinny and hollowed cheek bones anymore, (I've gained some weight) Again that's okay. I'm normal now. I have to regulate my body like a normal human being, can't eat junk all day long and stay skinny anymore. Can't be high all day long and think that's normal life. I've gotten over 20 compliments from people at work (who don't know I'm an addict) telling me that I look so great I seem so different, and so happy and easy going, and that I'm just a ray of sunshine to be around. That's a great feeling, because you're so worried to get off of subs and have your personality change. Well it did change, but everyone loves it, and I LOVE IT. My point is suboxone is totally possible to get off of. I pushed this aside for 2 1/2 years out of fear. I wish I got off of it after only a month. I missed out on many years, but now it's time to get them back. I can't wait to lead this new life. I'm so proud of myself and anyone else who has accomplished this. It does take brass balls, but you know what it's nowhere near impossible. Thank you GOD :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:46 am 
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Wow, what an amazing post. Thanks for sharing your story with us and congratulations on 39 days off Suboxone!

I certainly don't mean to rain on your parade or anything like that, but do you have plans to remain opiate free? I was off Suboxone for 9 months before cravings hit. When the cravings hit, I was unprepared for them and slipped.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:06 pm 
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I've already experienced some cravings, even for stuff other than opiates things I did as a teenager. Very strange because I thought I was past all of that junk but I get through them. I don't plan on ever using an opiate again, even if I get extensive dental work done, I know that I can't touch an opiate again. My experience wasn't all positive, there were plenty of crappy days, and cravings here and there. Dealing with traumas I put on hold for five years with my opiate addiction. It's been a bumpy ride, but can't tell you how amazing it is to be able to feel again! So worth every second :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:06 pm 
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I don't know as we ever get past the cravings completely, however, we can certainly learn how to deal with them without using.....just takes work.

We addicts tend to have a default path to using when we don't like how we're feeling. It's almost automatic for us to use, we have to learn how not to do that. Past traumas often trigger using behavior. If you can get a handle on that, that would be a good start.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:46 pm 
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way to go on 38 days. I am too on day 36 god the first 2 weeks were hard but its getting beter every day. The only real issue I still have is low energy. are u too having this. thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:10 pm 
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38 days. I guess any difficult task deserves a pat on the back. And I'm sorry about the parade too..

Residential treatment--- where people are in meetings all day long working on themselves, working on change, working on insight---- is recognized as fruitless if it is shorter than 90 days (if success is measured by staying clean for a year). If you were in treatment, you wouldn't be half of the way to completion. When my own relapse came at 7 years, after going to hundreds of meetings and working recovery all that time, it felt like no days had passed at all.

Maybe my post will piss you off enough that you will stay clean just to spite me-- and that would be fine. But put a note on your calendar for two years from now. I'll still be here---- come back and tell me you're still clean, and I'll say a well-deserved 'congratulations'.

Sorry-- just seen so many people celebrate the same thing... but then watched the rest of the story.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:01 am 
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Peterv - Congrats to you as well! I struggled with energy almost the whole time, it was one of the hardest parts of my day. If you were ever taking clonidine, I would say stop taking it as long as it's okay with your doc. Once I stopped the clonidine, and started working out I felt better. I bought liquid B12 at CVS and drop it under your tongue that helps as well. No matter how horrible you feel push yourself on a walk or get outdoors, once you start doing something the energy comes back. Listen to music and take in each day at a time. Good luck!!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:12 am 
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admin1 - I would love to prove it to you, because I am a little pissed off :) No I understand where you're coming from. I know the statistics. I'm not a naive little girl thinking life will be one big breeze because I completed almost forty days. I know. I'm still fairly early on in my recovery, but it's going pretty damn good so far, so instead of looking at it as half glass empty and saying well the statistics say I will fail, so no need to congratulate myself. That's bull shit. I'm going to pat myself on the back every day and know I won't be a statistic. I look at glass half full, life could be far worse, and I'm not crawling back into that hole ever again. Do I think I'm too good for relapse? No. Am I going to focus on that every day? No I'm going to look at all the good I've accomplished and further proceed in staying sober. We all heal differently, because I chose to do it in my home doesn't mean I haven't been to rehabs and meetings over the course of my young adulthood and even adolescence, as well as watched my friends and family go through it. We all shake the habit differently. I wish the best for every other addict. I would love to prove you wrong ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:20 am 
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I am so very fearful of those first days. The sense of hopelessness is so dangerous for me.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:43 pm 
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I congratulate you on your success in getting off Suboxone, that's a wonderful accomplishment.

however, many members here who take Suboxone aren't fooled into thinking we're normal or sober while taking it........ we are normal and sober, not high all day believing that we are normal. no misconceptions about it. Dulled emotions have been reported by some people who've taken subs, but not all. I haven't experienced that at all, in fact my experience as far as my emotions go has been the opposite of dulled emotions. For the first time in many years,I feel things again that I hadn't in a long time. I laugh at silly things my kids say and do, and cry at sappy movies, or when overcome with emotion. especially when I look at my kids and think about how much I missed of their lives while using. Sure,I was here with them, but so zoned/ tuned out on drugs that I wasn't the mom I should've been to them. I appreciate the small things in life again, like a beautiful day, or watching the flowers and trees bloom in the spring time. I've gotten back to the business of living a real life again, engaging with my children, taking back up old hobbies I'd given up for drugs during active addiction, working hard at my full time job and saving money for the first time in forever. while I was using, I lost a lot of weight, and since beginning my sub treatment, I've gained back that weight and am healthy again for the first time in years and receive many compliments about my appearance, attitude and general demeanor since getting clean with the help of Suboxone, from people who knew nothing about my addiction. I rarely flop out in front of the tv anymore the way I did when I was getting high. I'm so busy now getting on with my life that I dont have time to isolate and vegetate anymore, the way I've heard many people say they did while on Suboxone. It's interesting how different people's experiences with Suboxone are. I, personally think recovery with bupe is what you make of it.

Active addiction was what made me a recluse, uninterested in my life and kids and job and relationships, bupe brought me out of that darkness,and has helped me really participate in my life again instead of just letting it all happen around me. I'm not mislead in my belief that I'm sober on sub, and I'm certainly not high. I'm happier than I've been in many years and am grateful for the reprieve from my misery that buprenorphine treatment has given me. I felt enslaved to the pills that I was addicted to that were ruining my life, but not to bupe. I have the disease of addiction. I treat the symptoms with medication, like many people with illnesses do. Sure I depend on my medication, but so do people with hypertension, diabetes ,asthma and other diseases. Some of the meds for those diseases have many more side effects/ or risks than bupe. To me, that dependence is a small price to pay for getting my life back.

I'm happy for you that you wanted off and had the determination and strength to do it and wish you success in remaining drug free, only wanted to point out that we all have different experiences with this medicine and that many of us DO consider ourselves in recovery and sober while on Suboxone.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:02 am 
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Lizzie,

I so get you when you talk about being around for your kids but not being "checked in". I was talking to my almost 16 year old the other day. We were watching a little blurb of Real Housewives and Kim Richards talking about how she missed so much of her kids' lives and the guilt she felt because of that. I told my boy, "You know, that's one of my biggest regrets about abusing drugs, that you didn't get as much of my attention as you should have because I was in active addiction. Have I ever apologized to you for that?" He said No. I couldn't believe that with all the guilt that I've felt about doing that to him, I had never apologized!! I did it right then and there, and of course, I cried while I was doing it. But I think he really appreciated hearing my regret and my apology. I try to be so careful now that I give him my full attention as much as possible. I only have 3 years left with him at home!!

I agree with what you said and I appreciate the reminder that we've really come a long way!

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:29 am 
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Amy,

All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you for your heartfelt reply. I had that conversation with my kids a few weeks ago actually,( and a couple times before) and sincerely apologized to them for all the times they came second, and felt second to the drugs, tears in my eyes telling them how truly sorry I was. I can't seem to apologize to them enough. I know that's just my guilt eating me up though because my oldest son tells me, " mom, we know you're sorry, you don't have to keep telling us, it's over now" there I was crying again! sometimes children have wisdom they don't realize. kwim?Those talks are so tough to have, but so necessary, imo, for everyone's healing. They tell me I'm forgiven, but I fear that somehow they'll resent me for it as adults. if so,I hope that they find a healthier way than Idid to deal with their negative emotions. sometimes I even get all teary eyed thinking about that! No dulling of my emotions, for sure. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your story Amy! I truly relate.
bupe therapy, imo, really is what one makes of it, and I think that's one of the biggest reasons people have such widely varying experiences with it. I think that some people think that all they have to do is take the bupe and all will be well, and end up disappointed when that doesn't solve things for them. Even on subs, recovery requires work on my part. I could have stopped using took my sub, and continued to lay around watching t.v. avoiding my life..... just not using. But when I started treatment, it was not because I just wanted to quit,I wanted my life back, and to be that great mom, and do the right things, have money again, pay bills again, enjoy things I used to again, so that's what I did, once I got free from the trap of active addiction. I think one's goals should go beyond just stopping the using and include plans for recovery work, fulfilling hobbies/ activities etc. and living life like productive people in society do, in order to get the most benefit from Suboxone.
Yesterday, when I had my psychiatrist appointment,I took my sister, niece that I hadn't seen in ten years, and my daughter. it was a wonderful day. After my appointment, we walked around downtown Durham NC, went out to a great lunch, took pictures, went shopping, and made a real day of it. I laughed, cried and joked with everyone. I found myself so grateful that night as I reflected on the day. six months ago, I'd have never thought I could have a day like that, with no pill counts/ phone calls/ sneaking off to snort, chew, or even worse. I'd have avoided going altogether and missed out on what was a beautiful day!
Don't getme wrong, difficult situations still arise, and I think about how" easy it would be to get high and not feel the stress of it all, but when I play that tape all the way through, it's just not worth it. when I have those thoughts I try to remember, the misery, and price of that short lived escape from reality..... and it just isn't worth it! What a feeling of freedom, to know that I never have to live that way again. I'm not really sure I will ever go off bupe, and I'm ok with that, considering the alternative. my life is so full, busy, exhausting and WONDERFUL now! :-) thanks for sharing Amy, made me glad to know that it's not just me feeling that way.

Lizzie


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