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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:05 am 
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I have a doc appointment Friday afternoon. This is the 2nd one with this doc. She requires 2 NA meetings per week. I haven't gone to any and probably won't hit any by Friday afternoon either. I have no idea what to tell the doctor or what she is going to think about me. Here is what happened......

I don't want to go to NA to be honest.

I just got back on the suboxone and have felt like crap for 3 months. I have gotten behind on EVERYTHING and it has ALL been NEGLECTED including my wonderful husband. I really wanted to take any extra time I had and do what I wanted to do.

The first week I was back on the suboxone I actually felt kind of high and although I considered going to a meeting, I also thought it wouldn't be good to go there like that. I figured after 5 days or so I would be used to it again and could just go over the weekend.

Also, my condition acted up and I had a hard time getting around for 2 days or so and didn't want to go anywhere. It was hard enough to go to work let alone ensure extra pain by going to a meeting. All I wanted to do after work was take a bath.

I can't go during the day right now because I missed so much work (leaving early, doc appts., psychiatrist appts, therapist appts, chemical dependency appt., and the list goes on if I include medical appointments) that I am out of sick leave and I am not going to use my vacation. It isn't "too" horrible but I normally work 9-10 hour days and dropped down to 6.5-7 hour days and it looks highly suspicious especially since I was looking pretty rough for a while there and hid in my office. I feel like I need to get back on track before I draw too much attention.

I was going to go over the weekend and then my parents made a surprise visit which cut out my hiking trip too. It isn't like I only cut out the things I didn't WANT to do. I just didn't want to go to a meeting when my parents were in town visiting me.

This week started and same thing....can't take time off during the day. Figured I would go this weekend since appt. was Monday.

But then with my condition flaring I had to take some extra sub (pre-approved by doc) so I had to change my appointment to Friday so this weekend is out as it will be too late.

Now my condition has flared again and I can barely sit here comfortably and write let alone go to a meeting. All I want after work when I am like this is comfy clothes, a bath, hot tub, and to find a comfortable position and stay in it. Also, this condition makes me miss a lot of things that are fun, not just things like NA that I already don't want to do. In fact, my condition interferes with my life so much that I have become very picky about what I do with my spare time. If I feel well, I want to go camping, hiking, exporing in general, shopping, work out, etc. I don't want to take 2 1/2hours to go to a meeting.

I have no intention of EVER going off sub again. I don't see the point in meetings for me. I connect better with you guys because you all know suboxone and you understand what I am going through. I do want to change some behaviors still but I would rather make my own plan for that. I would like to attend some meditation classes. I do love going to see my therapist. I just don't want to do NA.

But all of the above...ESPECIALLY because there is so much of it, will only sound like addict excuses to the doctor I am sure. I do not want to lie to her though because I like and respect her and lying (although I seriously considered it and made a plan to do it) is addict behavior. I am so nervous about it and I am even MORE wordy when I am nervous. I am just afraid it will come out wrong.

What do I say?

Cherie


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:28 am 
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Hi Cherie,

You explained your reasons to us very clear and concise. I recommend you tell her what you just told us. I'm sure if you're honest with her and tell her you intended to try it, but circumstances just wouldn't allow it. From what you've said about your doc, I think she'll understand. Explain to her why you don't want to go - philosophical differences, religious differences, whatever your issues may be.

Then I'd tell her about this forum and all the support you get from it. The way we respond to each other is kind of like a meeting, don't you think?

I hope it works out for you. Let us know how it goes.

Melissa

(PS It's late and I'm tired, I hope I'm making some sense here!)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:20 am 
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On here we actually respond to people which would be the primary difference. The only response anyone really gets in NA is "keep coming back". Everyone gets a chance to talk. When I go I feel like I am entering into a cult. There wasn't ONE meeting I went to in the 3 months off sub where someone wasn't an injured worker. Nothing against them but I work with their employers for a living so that means I have to remain EXTREMELY anonymous. They just don't do anything for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:52 am 
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I know what you mean. I went to some NA meetings years ago and I just felt so uncomfortable there. I would actually leave the meetings wanting to use more than I did before the meting.

Have you decided what you're going to tell her?

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:47 am 
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No. But the more I think about it the more I think I may actually have enough time to explain the above information to her. Part of the stress is that you usually only have about 15 minutes to get out everything with the doc and get out of there. There isn't enough time to explain anything sufficiently so you have to give them the short version all the time. They don't have enough time to ask so they walk away with whatever assumptions they feel like. I have to keep in mind that this doctor schedules people for 30 minutes to an hour EVERY time because she has that special program. So I will probably have enough time to talk to her and give her the full explanation.

My concern is that with limited time you could easily get out one excuse and if they interrupt and start talking, you can't explain all of it. They launch into the lecture without even hearing you out. It can be a lot easier to just lie.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:16 am 
Hi Cherie! My opinion - don't bother with the excuses. That's all they are....excuses. They may be true but the real truth is - you don't want to go to NA meetings. If it were me, I would go with that truth. Tell the doctor that you've gone that route before and you didn't feel like it helped you in your recovery. Explain that you are in therapy/private counseling and that you participate in an online group for bupe users and that you feel that is sufficient. I would ask if the doctor is okay with that. Or are NA meetings an absolute requirement for this doctor?
Personally, I've been the route of having an "entity" dictate my recovery (the state Board of Nursing) and it didn't go so well. I had to go to a minimum of 3 NA meetings a week plus a 'nurse support' group meeting once a week plus an outpatient recovery aftercare group meeting once a week......that's 5 meetings every single week!! Plus a host of other requirements. While I can't say that I derived nothing good from all of it, I can say that it wasn't working. I resented the Hell out of it and resentments are like fuel to the fire of my addiction. As you all know, I ultimately bowed out voluntarily and started Suboxone. Ironically, with the help of Suboxone, I feel like I could've made it through all the Board's bs requirements and kept my RN license. But.....the Board's #1 requirement is NO med assisted recovery allowed.
Sorry....rambling. All that to say - If your doctor requires the meetings, you have two choices as I see it - 1) suck it up and go to the meetings and make the best of it. Or 2) find a new doctor who doesn't requires meetings.
Again, personally, I don't think it's anyone's right to dictate someone else's recovery plan. On the other hand, I believe that part of recovery is learning to humble ourselves and accept that perhaps someone else might know better than us what works in recovery. I realize the two seem mutually exclusive, but I don't think so......I think we should listen to others, try new things, try many ways of approaching recovery, but ultimately we should be able to choose what works best for us personally.
Don't know if that helps at all. I think you know what to do. Go in and talk to your doctor openly and honestly; be willing to do whatever is necessary to progress in your recovery; find what works and stick with it.
Let us know what the doc says.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:22 pm 
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Welll, the appointment is tomorrow and I haven't entirely made up my mind yet. I certainly wasn't going to leave out the part about me not wanting to go to meetings. But if I tell her that and leave out the rest of it, that isn't really true either. I don't feel like they are all excuses. To me, they seem like some pretty good reasons it didn't end up happening. But I appreciate your take on it because they sound like excuses to you which is what I was afraid the doctor would hear them as also.

There isn't anyone else in my town who prescribes suboxone. I just found a doctor and am not losing her. The 2nd closest doc still requires meetings AND an outpatient program. I really don't have the energy to start finding a new doctor again already. So to me it is a pretty big deal to try to change docs and I really don't want to get fired. After the last 3 months, I don't have it in me to start all over again.

We shall see.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:36 am 
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Would your doctor accept SMART recovery meetings in place of NA? They have physical meetings and online meetings, just check their website. SMART is not 12-step recovery, it is based on rational-emotive behavioral therapy, which is a form of CBT and is empirically researched...unlike some other recovery methods.

When I first got on Suboxone, my doctor wanted me to go to NA but would accept SMART meetings as well. To be totally honest, I only did a few online meetings, but I did find a LOT of useful information about recovery on the SMART website. They have a good library of self-help materials.

Since I didn't want to go to 12-step or other meetings, I worked out a plan with my therapist - who worked in the same practice as my Sub doc - where I did 3 recovery-based activities per week instead of the meetings. So I did yoga, went to a meditation class, and worked on my blog...or basically anything that was a healthy activity that would help further my recovery goals. I got so much more out of that than I would have gotten out of forced attendance at NA meetings.

Anyway, it's a thought. And for what it's worth, there's no way your doctor can check up on your meeting attendance, is there? Do you have to get something signed that you were there? That seems like it would violate the whole anonymous aspect of it.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:24 am 
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Diary of a Quitter,

THANK YOU! That is an excellent idea and I am going to check it out first thing in the morning. At least then I can walk in with a plan that is well thought out and I don't sound like I don't care. I would rather read something by Jack Kornfield once per week than go to an NA meeting :) (I noted your quote at the bottom of your post). So happens that my therapist AND the doc are both fans of Jack so I probably could work something out that was agreeable to everyone. I really want to get into this meditation thing as well. I wold so much rather do that as a focus than to go to NA. To me NA makes me obsess about addiction instead of focusing on re-building my life.

That also resolves my problem about feeling like I don't have the time to do BOTH NA meetings AND meditation classes, or yoga, or the reading I want to do and the working out, etc. etc. etc. The time spent just driving to and from the meetings takes a while whereas a lot of the things I want to do I can do from home or combine with getting exercise, etc.

I will start putting a plan together right away. GREAT IDEA!

Cherie


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