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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Well, I said I would post again, since people were were so kind and helpful in their responses to my first post under the "Introductions" category, adn also soem people encouraged me to post again, so I don't want to just disappear. I've been reading a lot of the threads on this site and really liking it. There's a lot to be learned from other people's experiences, but also I feel like I'm getting to know people just a bit by reading their posts. But, so far I've been reluctant to add to the responses to other people's posts, it's not that I'm not interested, I really am, and much of what people write is very thought-provoking, but I dont' want to seem like I'm spouting off about other people's situations (I think I can do enough spouting on my own situation) and I really don't feel like I'm in a position to be offering advice to anyone. Support is another matter--I"d like to offer support to others, but so far, responding to specific posts hasn't felt right to me. Maybe later....But I am getting support by reading other people's posts and the responses they get, so it seems possible to me that by me posting, someone might be able to get that kind of support, possibly just by hearing about what I'm going through, or maybe from some of the responses I might get. I guess it makes me feel like I'm selfish, posting about myself but not responding to other people. But, I guess I don't have to apologize for that. I've decided to participate in this forum, that's the bottom line I guess and besides no one is obligated to read anything they arent' interested in.

So--to actually report on my condition--well, Friday was my last day at work and I have been really really depressed since then--the kind of don't-want-to-get-out-of-bed depression. As for how it's going with the suboxone--yes, I want to try to stabilize on it. I havent' done any drugs other than my prescribed medications since last Wednesday. I still don't know what dose of suboxone I should be on, and I havent really changed much what I've been doing--taking a little in the morning and then deciding to take more later, up to 16 mgs total. I really want to stop doing that. Taking 2 mgs in the morning--I always feel like taking more after that, so I've decided to try to take 4 mgs in the morning and leave it at that. Starting tomorrow. Today I took 4 mgs and then took another 4 mgs within the hour. I guess I have to admit that I'm still hoping to get high from it. Or hoping for some kind of relief from this really bad depression. Yesterday I also decided to start taking prozac. I have been on wellbutrin for many years, it really helps a lot with my depression, especially with obsessive thoughts about wanting to die. But lately it's been getting so bad--I cant' stop thinking about how much I wish my life would just end. The last time I saw my psychiatrist, back in January, I told her I had been really pretty badly depressed, but was just suddenly starting to feel better. She asked me if I've ever taken any other anti-depressants in the past and I said yes, prozac. So she suggested I go back on prozac. I filled the 'script but then didnt' take any--I found out right after that that I would be getting laid off my job, and I figured my depression might be situational, since I had started to feel better before that bad news hit. Since then, well, I guess it's been a lot of ups and downs, but now that I've finally had my last day at the job I feel hit by terrible depression of the debilitating kind. I've been in a slump/funk for a while, but now I really feel bad. Of course, I guess that's to be expected. When I first got the notice about my job (several months ago) I cried a little bit that day, and thought "there are bound to be more tears about this" but there havent really been--until yesterday, I was trying to write a post here and started crying.

Ok, I guess other people's posts usually seem to have more of a point than mine do. Sorry about that. So, anyway, losing my job is actually a good thing, because I was getting heroine at the jobsite. Now hopefully I can stay away from that. At least getting heroine wont' be just an easy thing to do now. So this is an opportunity. But...am I "serious about recovery?" I dont''t know that I can honestly say that. I wish I could but....well, I really just want to feel different than I do. My depression is serious. It has been serious all my life, and right now t seems particularly bad. Of course, I know, doing drugs off and on and not being on a stable dose of suboxone can't be helping anything. I think the first thing to do, like everyone advised me, is to try to get my dose stable (and to not take anything other than my prescribed medications of course). So, I'm now making a comittment to take 4 mgs a day from now on so I can see how I feel, at least to give that a few days, and stay there as long as I dont' have any physical signs of withdrawal. So that is the plan I have. Going to see my psychiatrist or looking for a new doctor isnt' something I want to face right now. I did get some good news on my last day at work though, it looks like thanks to a new healthcare bill I might be able to afford to keep my insurance through COBRA. OR, I may be able to find an individual insurance plan that will work for me--I also have the opportunity to talk to my former-employer's insurance broker about that.

A coupe of people suggested to me that maybe I could give the suboxone to someone who could hold it for me and give me my daily dose. I think there is one person I could ask to do that..but...well, obviously it would be better if I didnt' have to do that....I already have troubles in my relationship with the one person I think I could ask to do that ant I think I might need to work on keeping more distance from her (or boundary issues in any case) rather than entangling her with my medication issues....it's a good idea though, and I'll try to consider it if I dont' start making some progress on my own about sticking to a stable dose.

I am really locked into a secrecy thing about what's going on with me right now. The only people I am totally honest with,, besides on this forum, are the people I get the heroine and other opiates from. This secrecy isn't great, I am sure, but...I really am much too afraid to tell anyone else the truth. I have been honest about my addiction in the past and I have to say, it never seemed like it helped ANYONE. And I've had quite a bit of experience....otherwise, I would much prefer to be honest and not keeping such a big secret.

One thing a lot of people took issue with on my previous post was me calling myself an idiot, etc. So I'll try not to do that, but, I guess there have to be people out there how understand about, you know, hating oneself, right? ok, here come the tears. I dont' feel good at all. I'm being honest about my feelings about recovery--I can't really say I'm committed to it, but I do know that my life will be much better if I can stay away from heroine and other opiates. As my doctor said "heroine addiction can just ruin your life." I know that and I know I"m lucky to be where I am--to have health insurance, a home, and ok, no more job, but hopefully I'm employable and also eligible for unemployment. And I have family and friends too. I also know that what I've been doing, messing around with heroine and methadone off and on and taking varying dosed of the suboxone is very likely to contribute to an unstable mood. I already have a mood disorder. I know it can take time to stablize. A big life change like going form employed to unemployed is also likely to negatively affect mood. I'm worried that losing the daily structure that my job provided might be really hard for me. So far it has been, but it's only been a few days. But....the first day, Saturday, at least I got out of the house and went for a longish walk with a friend. Yesterday I got out of the house and went to help a friend with some yard work for a while. Today, I've managed to wash some dishes and write this post. I know that I need to make applying for unemployment my highest priority this week, starting tomorrow. Today I want to work on housework, I think that will make me feel better.

As for physical symptoms, other than crying, today I woke up in a sweat, I had a headache for two days running before that and terrible lack of motivation, just lethargy. Today I feel determined to move forward and make some kind of real progress on housework.

One other thing that I hope is on my side-- I'm glad I'm not dealing with all this by drinking (which as I mentioned in my other post that when I stopped doing heroine before I drank heavily as a substitute for a long time) At this time, it crosses my mind that I would like to escape and maybe drinking would be an option. But I just don't really want to, so I'm not. The idea of drinking just depresses me. So I guess that's good. Basically, I still want to do opiates, but at this point I know that the suboxone keeps it from working anyway, so it's really pointless. I don't seem to have the self-control to stop taking my suboxone for a few days prior to doing opiates, so, it's really a waste anyway, then, if I do heroine for several days in a row without taking suboxone, by the third day I can feel the heroine, but it's no good at all anyway, I just feel like crap--exhausted, depleted. Though...it does take the edge off the depression--basically I FEEL less, which at this time seems like a good thing.

I know I'll feel better eventually if I stay off drugs, take care of myself and work on moving forward and managing my life, but it is hard to really believe that. I know it, but it's really hard to FEEL it. I know I've been in much worse places emotionally (and practically too) than I am now too. But I still can't shake the feeling of hopelessness that I'm just going to be miserable my entire life. And anxiety too, that things will only get worse. Well, I know things aren't likely to get better unless I try to take steps in that direction, so I'm going to log off now and work on housework, at least that is something and it is important to my self-esteem too.

I dont' know, I hope someone might get something out of this, I know how I feel really is completely common, it seems pointless to just talk about it. But...at least it may be some kind of positive step for me to be talking about what's going on with my addiction online with people who can relate and at least I'm being completely honest here, even though I'm a little worried that someone who knows me might come onto this site and recognize me. If that happens, well, I'll jsut have to deal with it I guess I've decided it's a risk I'm willing to take.

I know if I can stay away from the heroine and methadone that will be a good thing and that if I don't it will just be a set back. So....that's all I have to report now. Thanks to anyone who read this far, I only hope it might make someone feel less alone if they maybe recognize something of themselves in what I've described.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:02 pm 
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I'm hoping that writing that post might have been a bit cathartic for you - or at least got a lot of stuffed down emotions out finally? That in and of itself is a good thing.

I wanted to mention something about your depression. i know you said you've dealt with it before now, but that it's worse now. Could it be that now that you've stop using/abusing drugs that the feelings that you were avoiding are now coming back up to the surface and are now causing some increased depression? It does have a way of sneaking up on us like that and you wouldn't be the first to get really depressed after entering recovery or addiction remission. Maybe discuss it with a therapist? Just a thought I wanted to throw out there for you.

I'm glad you're opening up. When we express our feelings something great happens - the intensity of those feelings subsides. I firmly believe this although I can't point to any studies on the subject. So keep opening up with us, because it means you're also opening up to yourself. Hang in there and think about some of this.

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 Post subject: catha
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Thank you Hatmaker, you're very kind. Yeah, it's some relief to at least be telling SOMEONE about what's going on. you are absolutely right that depression can be really bad after discontinuing the recreational (or self-medicating) use of opiates, especially at the beginning. It would all be much worse if I weren't on suboxone, I'm sure. I really appreciate your responding to me. I am concerned that it's important to be acting as well as talking, if I want to improve my situation. So, today I really am taking positive, practical action to at least improve immediate circumstances, by doing work around the house. I am really worried about the long term, but one thing at a time, I feel like because right now my depression is so bad, whatever constructive activity I manage to do on a given day is really positive. The addiction issue in my life is one problem out of a number of stressful issues in my life that I'm facing right now (the job change, also changes in my household). I know that the addiction issue can override everything else though, it can make everything else worse and it will never HELP anything. And it's clear my problem is serious, I will be so much better off if I can just stableize on the suboxone. Well, I have to TRY, but I still feel like I want to take it compulsively, even though I know better. This seems to be worse for me than most people. When I first started taking it I felt no cravings at all and was surprised that I felt so impaired (or high) on it. I'm also having trouble taking it the way it's been described on this site--the taste is so bad I dissolve it as quickly as possible, and dont' wait until eating or drinking something. I wonder how much difference that really makes...I also wonder if I should just decide on a higher dose, and twice a day and see if that's easier to stick with.--like maybe one 8 mg tab in the morning and another at night--it seems like a lot of people are on a dose similar to that. I know, no one but my doctor can really discuss this with me, but it seems like the doctor is just guessing too. I'd rather be on a lower dose of course, for cost, and also, sooner or later I'll have to discuss my dose with my doctor. And whenever I run out I'll have to finally see her, unless she jsut zero-refills me again, which I wouldn't expect. When I do see her, maybe I'll go ahead and try to tell her the entire truth and work from there. I hope so, though I'm also afraid to. Anyway, if I can stablize on WHATEVER dose I think that would be an improvement. For now, struggling on my own here doesnt' feel like it's going very well, but at least I havent' been using other opiates and at least I now have the intention to keep it that way. The main thing, right now, I think, is to not use illicit drugs--that at least would be a big improvement, and I can only continue from where I am now. Anyway, thanks again for your kindness.


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 Post subject: Keep Posting......
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:03 am 
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Hi autononymous,
Thanks for posting and please Don't worry about responding to what other people are posting. You are helping others just by sharing your own story of Recovery. I just wanted to jump in and tell you I enjoy reading your post' and hope you keep coming back.. I'm sure others are enjoying your post' as well.... Also, If you have a chance try to make the meetings that we have started ... Monday's @ 9:00pm & Thursdays @ 2:00pm you can find some great information there as well!!! I wish you continued success in you Recovery and hope to hear from you Again soon....

God Bless
TW

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:18 pm 
Hi autononymous. I just wanted to add my support. Keep taking the prozac - you probably know from last time that it takes maybe 2 weeks to fully kick in. Also, try to stabilize with the sub. I wouldn't raise your dose to 2 8mg tabs a day. I read recently that they are considering raising the maximum dose to 16mg/day. It doesn't sound like you need to be on the max dose. I would try to take a litte longer with the dose you are already on and let it dissolve fully under you tongue, and wait 20 or so before eating or drinking. I know it tastes bad, but it's worth getting the most out of your med. These are just my humble suggestions. Also, I've suffered from depression, too, so I know how hard it is right now. Just celebrate the littlest victories and treat yourself kindly. Just deciding to stay off the drugs and start Sub is a huge step, so keep the focus on that. Keep reading and keep posting. There are a lot of good people here, and I learn something new everyday.
Take care,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:20 pm 
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Hey Auto! Really great posts you have going! And like TW said, simply sharing your experiences here can and will help other people.

There are a great many of us who are serious about getting clean again, and some who...like you so honestly said, "maybe aren't ready to quit." There are also some here who have stabilized on a specific dose for intractable pain and may need to be on it for life. One of my very good friends here is in that situation.

As far as cost goes, brand name Subutex (not Suboxone) now has a generic form of the 8mg tabs of buprenorphine! I dunno if the FDA has approved a generic for Suboxone yet, but it was costing me $300 for thirty of the 8mg brand name (I live on 674 a month through SSI) but at the pharmacy I go to the generic form (which IS just as good) is $110 in WA.

I was inducted to 16mg at first, but weaned myself down to 2mg twice a day. Once you drop to 4mg or less the chemical half-life shortens dramatically, so though part of your "double dipping" is very probably related to the therapeutic half-life, and shouldn't be taken as an "I'm a failure," type of thing.

One other thing might help you too. I just couldn't STAND the taste of the brand name bupe either, but my friend informed me that if you take either one sublingually to melt under your tongue it not only tastes nasty, you only get about 35% "bioavailability." However if you take it intranasally, you avoid that taste, it doesn't "burn," AND you get a 50% bioavailability. I was able to stabilize at 2mg every 12 hours, and as long as I maintain a steady dose, that dosage schedule seems to work pretty well. The "euphoria" isn't there (it's designed that way) but you won't go into serious w/d's.

Which brings me to another point about the depression. Buprenorphine (especially under withdrawal conditions) does seem to cause depression on it's own, and if you do have a pre-existing issue with clinical depression, it CAN be much worse than "normal." For me, as long as I stay at the 2mg doses, it's not too bad, but I have been trying to cut that down following the "Liquid Taper Method" in the Stopping Suboxone thread, and I can make it through about 7 days during which time I get more and more anti-social, eventually to the point I can't even TALK. I just saw my doctor today and he prescribed Prozac.

THAT scares me. My old family doc got his Medicaid contract suspended for an "audit," so I HAD to find a new doctor, and I don't think he has been made aware that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Clinical Depression as well as all the physical issues. I tried a few antidepressants before, but they all turned me into Gork-the-Stone-Man, except for Effexor. I hate to NOT at least "try" what he suggests, but all the product info says if you have serious depression, suicidal thoughts or acts, not to take it. So now I'm not sure WHAT to do...

So see? You may very well have some good advice about Prozac, since you have depression issues too. I don't think I have ever tried Prozac (head injury destroyed most of my memory) but when I read about the depression and suicidal ideation that can be caused by Prozac all by itself, it really worries me about the depressive issues I feel so strongly when I get down below the 2mg point.

Anyway, welcome to the forum, and if you or anyone else out there has an answer to this dilemma, I surely need some advice.

Peace,

Vinny


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Are you seriously suggesting that someone should snort their suboxone/subutex? How is that not the behavior of active addiction (unless of course your doctor is instructing you to do that)?

I'm only responding to this because I don't want any new members/guests/lurkers to see that and think that it's a viable option for taking it. People who are serious about their recovery really shouldn't be seeking ways to take suboxone that aren't in line with it's intended purposes. I'm sorry if I sound pissy, but I've been on this forum for over a year and I guess I'm a bit protective of the integrity of it, not only for its members, but for Dr. Junig, too.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Hatmaker:

NO!!! I am not suggesting to anyone on the board to "snort" either form of sub. One of the very, very long time posters and personal friends with Jeff was the one who told me about the bioavailability from oral, intranasal and sublingual use.

For ME, MYSELF ONLY, because chemotherapy for Hep-C destroyed most of my salivary glands, even getting the pill to dissolve was more than I could handle, and the taste of SubuTEX made ME very nauseous..

As I have been trying to taper down, dividing things by 50% was one heck of a lot easier than trying to divide by 35%. Though ensnufflating does cause a bit more to reach the bloodstream, for those who can't take the taste or have salivary problems it is an "option."

My MAIN point was the depression and the fact that when you get under 4mgs, the chemical therapeutic half life drops out dramatically, so anyone who has gotten down that low shouldn't feel guilty about dosing twice a day. BTW, Jeff was the one who told me about the half life decreasing.

I personally think Jeff is a GREAT doctor and a great MAN as well, and would NEVER intentionally disrespect him OR the site, so if my intention was not clear, please pardon me. I know I am not the only one who has to "snort" it, and if you can get past THAT, maybe you will see that I was giving an example of bioavailability; NOT instructions on how to "snort dope," and my fear of being placed on Prozac.

But thank you for putting me in my place.


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 Post subject: limited computer access
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Vin--thanks for your input... it can be hard to tell with antidepressants--I was worried that the prozac was throwing me into a manic (or actually, hypo-manic) state, but the psychiatrist told me that I seem to be suffering from some agitation from anxiety about valid concerns about survival. I came home and told my housemate--oh, great, I have "VIS--Valid Irritability Syndrome." Anyway the psychiatrist and I decided I'll stick with the prozac for now. I AM doing a lot better too...the reason I haven't posted in a while is because I've had a computer crash (actually more than one) and I suspect i need all new equipment now....Now I'm just checking email and so on from time to time when i get the opportunity.

Ah, thanks to you too Hat, for your concern. I'll stick with sublingual sub. I've been doing pretty good at sticking to 4 mgs once a day, but still not 100% and STILL I find I am inclined to take an extra dose when I'm upset. But...less and less. I tried to go down to 2 mgs one day but the next morning I woke up in a sweat...adn woke up in sweats in the night too...taht was always the first and worst of WD for me and I've never have sweats as a side effect of sub so....now I'm trying to stick with 4 mgs, or a little less (maybe 3) and I'm doing ok, I think.

As for antidepressents, Vin, I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. I have a history of obsessive suicidal thoughts and the medication that has helped me most with that is wellbutrin. Seriously, it has had dramatic positive results for me int hat area. So you might ask your doc about that. I know, as I said, it can be frustrating trying to find antidepressents that help you...everyone says the right combo and the riight dosage is really important, but..it's always so hard to know what's going on...and whether it's the antidepressents or your life circumstances that are effecting you...plus the tme lag form startign to take a new med and when it really starts to kick in doesn't make it easier to detemine what's going on...i.but...sometimes it's just clear....with me, the wellbutrin is clearly a really huge help. Prozac is harder to tell, but I'm gonna stick with it for now.

Ok, hopefully I'll get my computer situation sorted out soon...meanwhile, I'll not be able to post that much..and I doubt I'll make the meeting today...but..I'm doing pretty well, and I hope you guys are too...

I'll be back when I'm able...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Auto,

I just love your posts because they are so genuine. I also do appreciate that you commented as to why you weren't responding to anyone else. I would feel the same way if I wasn't responding and would be concerned people would see me as selfish so I understand why you made the point. I think you are good just keeping up your posts for now because you really help me every time you do.

My first question (I have not read all of your posts) is to ask if you are only on 4mg per day? If so, that seems quite low for someone who is having a hard time staying away from opiates. Seems like that could be part of the issue.

Second is that I understand that deep, deep depression. I have been there many times. You do have some valid concerns though and good reasons to be anxious. It sounds like you are doing pretty well considering and you keep being very honest with yourself and us which is awesome. You keep on trying which is also excellent. I am really impressed with how you just keep sticking to it even when you feel like you have made a mistake and you just keep on trying. That is a testament to how serious you actually are about your recovery and it is a huge deal.

I would agree to keep on with the prozac. Also, being unemployed is difficult for anyone. When I don't have structure my ADD and depression get way worse. So kind of like I had mentioned before with the bills, you have to take things one at a time. If it was me, I would force myself to make a schedule for my days. Get up and drink coffee...meditate....look for jobs....apply for jobs....work out....eat breakfast....shower....clean house....and so on. Then I would stick to that schedule the best I could every day. All the spare time on my hands and time for thoughts is what would drive me to want more suboxone. The emptiness makes me feel like I need to fill it with something. (I don't generally take extra suboxone most of the time but on occasion it does happen).

That is the only thing I can think of that might help. I am really sorry you are feeling this way. I know how it can make the days drag on and quite honestly, even stabilized on sub, there is often that voice in the back of my mind that doesn't care if I live or die. I don't know where that comes from because generally speaking, I am in a pretty good mood and do alright. I have things to look forward to. But it lingers on.

Keep posting. I like your honesty.

Cherie

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 Post subject: 4 mgs a day
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:56 pm 
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Thanks Jack. Well, I am doing a lot better, and glancing back over this thread a bit makes me realize that. Yes, I'm anxious about my financial situation of course. And you make a good point, it may be important to structure my time some. I've been pretty frantically busy the last few weeks actually, dealing with some stuff at home, preparing for a new housemate and also dealing with a home repair that went wrong...now things are calming down again. i did just recently see my doctor and although I was totally honest about how (and WHAT) I've been doing, my doc only really suggested that i take as low a dose of sub as possible. One good thing is that away from my old job = away from easy access to heroin.


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 Post subject: more..
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:03 pm 
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oops, somehow that last post got away from me before I was done....Anyway, yes, i agree with you Jack, I'm not sure 4 mgs is the right dose...but...i do want to follow my doc's advice of course....and i am doing so much better now i think i can stablize at 4 mgs. i tried to go down to 2 mgs but I got some symptoms of WD so i went back to 4 mgs. I still wish I could get high sometimes too, but i FINALLY am believing, based on a lot of experience, that taking more sub doesn't do anything for me there. So, I'm doing better. Today I found 2 tabs of 0.1mg clonidine in my room. I just looked it up because I wasnt' even sure what it was. I guess it isn't really a recreational pill though, so....I guess I'll just put those 2 pills aside. Others use the term "like a good addict..." boy, that's how I feel too sometimes, some of the behavior is so...well, typically addict-like I guess...

Anyway, my depression has eased soem as well lately, maybe due to the prozac.

I see it's time for the meeting now, so I think I'll check in....
Thanks again for your comments Jack. I'll write more when I can (computer issues still not resolved for me).


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:44 pm 
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Auto - Sorry I'm so late here, as I have been stuck in my own world and on my own thread with my own issues..... I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate your posts and support that you have provided to me in the "Members Section". I also wanted to let you know that you have helped me out tremendously. You have a lot to offer. Keep posting you're awesome!

SuperBuper


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

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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