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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:52 am 
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It's entirely possible that you didn't imagine the tone in that pharmacy tech's voice. It's unfortunate, but some people - even medical professionals - do still judge and see us as active addicts. It's an ongoing struggle. They need education on both addiction and suboxone.

The issue with the variety of doses has much to do with the cravings a person has. If a person is around the ceiling, yes, it will (or should) saturate the opiate receptors, but the thing is, they won't keep those receptors saturated. A higher dose addresses the cravings and keeps a steady level of sub in you. Doses are as variable as people are. Please don't compare your needs to someone else's. The important part is to get the most out of your sub treatment. Why be at a low dosage based on what other people say when if you'd raise your dose a tad bit (if that's what you need) all of your cravings will be addressed?

Thanks for continuing to keep us updated.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:26 am 
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It's great to hear that you are doing well Lena. It looks like you are seeing and experiencing first hand the whole issue about dose and "less is more" if that phrase can be applied here. I don't know how or why, but it is clear that over the years, Suboxone doses have been higher than they likely have needed to be. I have yet to hear from any significant number of patients who report having problems with less than about 8-12 milligrams - yet people still report taking 16, 24, even 32 milligrams - and not for pain. You are seeing first hand, that even right after induction, 4mg held you well. While that might end up being a bit too low moving forward, I'll bet you find that you can do fine at 8 or even 6mg. Still, patients end up being prescribed 12, 16 or more when they start. I really am not sure why this is. Certainly, being on a higher dose really does not hurt anything - other than your pocket book. It's not like if you take 24mg you'll have significant problems and certainly no added risk. From the manufacturers standpoint, certainly more is better as in more means more $$$. From a doctor's perspective, again, keeping you out of withdrawal, without cravings and lowering your risk of relapse, is the goal and a high dose will contribute to that. Then there are some people that don't do as well with absorbing their medication - many times because they don't take it like they should.

At the end of the day, the lowest dose that does the job is a great place to be. I've said it before and will say it again now, there is no doubt in my mind that I could have been induced on half the dose I was and I would have done just fine. There are many others out there just like me - and you seem to prove that. You had no preconceived ideas in your head, had no thoughts that unless you take 16 mg you'll continue in withdrawals and have cravings. You just went with it and that 4 mg took care of you just fine.

I hope your doctors appointment goes as well as you expect. Please let us know. I have no doubt you'll continue to do well and I'll bet you settle in on a single digit dose that does the job for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:19 am 
Im glad to hear you sounding so positive!! Speaking about the tone with the person you spoke with, you just have to ignore it the best you can. Or, you can do as i've done a few times an ask them what the hell their problem is. I've been hung up on, i've been apologized to etc. etc. I just finally found a pharmacy where my mom is friends with one of the pharmacist and i only speak with her so i get great treatment. I hope things continue moving forward as im sure they will!! I would also bet that you'll be able to stay at a fairly lower dose. I also was one of the people who, in the beginning could have taken at least half of the dose originally prescribed but the addict in me said it just wasnt enough. Now that its 20 months and im no longer thinking like an addict, i really badly wish i would have taken a lower dose in the beginning. Nothing has really happened that makes me feel that way. Other than when i decide to taper its gonna take longer. Keep up the great work!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:40 am 
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Again, I thank all of you for listening, and being a light house.

I think 4mg is a good dose for me, because I took the sub 10 hours ago and I still feel fine. BTW, I suspect having
to go into moderate/severe withdrawal before induction has a reinforcing psychological effect on the process.

One, you get a vivid reminder of the hell you live on the edge of ALL THE TIME when you are using.

Two, it made me so GRATEFUL for the suboxone!

Three, I would not want to go through it again, and can't imagine withdrawing from subs just to take vics and end up in severe WD again, and then use sub, and then go through WD, and then....you get the picture.

Four, yesterday was a huge symbol in my recovery. Sorta like the phoenix. I hope.

Again, I thank you. I admit going to the doctor, while I am glad to finally get there, is making me anxious.
But I think yesterday, going 21 hours without opiates, was the worst of this so far.
It will be interesting to go back to work tomorrow without pills in my pocket.


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 Post subject: Hi
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:32 pm 
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I want to write this at 1:30 p.m the time of your appointment.

Hi, I'm Queenie, the grandma of the forum.

I followed you & followed you. You are amazing! I can see why so many have come to love you here.(Isn't Romeo a sweetie?)

This forum was a lifesaver for me too! I hope you will read my story when you feel better(If you haven't).

I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter in ths story. I need to be half as brave as you are.

Love, Queenie


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:15 pm 
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I am exhausted...but I made it, guys! Just about the time my suboxone began to wane, I walked into the office.
The staff was as nice in person as they were on the phone, and finding out I have gained 15 lbs. in the last six months
was a big bonus! Just one minor example of how I neglected my health while abusing opiates.

When the doctor came in and I saw her kind eyes, I started crying and adimitted everything, including
that I have played with addiction for years, and the last two years of using is as far as I can go.
There is so much to tell when you finally decide to be completely truthful. "Doctor R" usually has patients stop using
and come to the office when they are in WDs so she can assess them personally, but I told her about
my self styled induction with 4mgs suboxone from my friend...and how hard it was to go 21 hours without using anything.
Since I used the COWS sheet (THANKS AGAIN, HAT!) and it went so well (THANKS TO ALL OF YOU) she agreed to
prescribe for me based on my observations.

Boy, this doctor is not about talking for five minutes and handing out scripts. She spent over an hour with me today,
and asked the right questions. In order to get treatment, I had to sign a contract stating that I will keep appts., not give away/sell suboxone, behave in a civil manner in office (seriously?), and consent to random urine tests! There is more
to the agreement, including consenting to find a therapist and get some counseling to deal with issues I have struggled
with for years. I agree therapy is a must for me, but I am on the fence about 12 step programs. More thoughts on that another day. (What do you all think about NA? What is NA's official stance on suboxone?) I was required to take a
urine test before leaving today.

She subscribed 4mg once a day, with the option of taking an additional 2mg tomorrow if I need it. The doctor gave me a coupon for suboxone film (ten 8mg films FREE!). She prescribes film simply because she has that generous coupon. I had to wait quite awhile at the pharmacy, so I didn't get to take my next 4mg until 4PM!

The film definitely melts quicker than the pills, but are there other advantages any of you know of from experience? Again, the sub is working great for me. One of the things I especially appreciate is the way my body tension melts away. It is literally like having a weight taken off my shoulders. I am still afraid it won't work, or that it won't keep working, etc.
I think I need to relax just a bit.

Tomorrow I go back to the office at 1:00PM to touch base and see if my dosage needs to be adjusted.
So things went well. The office visit cost was very reasonable. People, I am so relieved and grateful.

I want you all to know how highly I praised this forum when telling Doctor R my sordid story...I am not sure
I would have gotten in there today, especially with my supplier trying to change my mind, if I had not come
upon your forum. You are so kind and supportive, and the info has been invaluable.

Oh! Queenie, thank you for the sweet compliments- no, I have not read your story, but I am going to look for it
tonight. Is there an easy way to find particular postings using a user name?

Thanks again, guys, and think of me tomorrow morning- I am guessing that working without fueling myself on pills
will be a new experience.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Lena, congratulations on everything from the way you resisted your dealer to the way you got honest with your doctor, and eveything in between. From everything you have posted, you have sucess written all over you. Welcome to your new life in remission and especially welcome to the forum. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Fellow posters- I am so tired. I am overwhelmed.

I went back to work today, after driving there at 5:30AM on black ice...and I know one thing: My job is going to be one of my biggest triggers. That is no surprise, I deal with people and product and I am passionately involved with both. But I am
thinking some of my devotion may be another way to not think about myself and my own issues. Yes, I am one of [/i]them...
a worker bee. It is difficult for me to talk about any of my issues without taking a detour onto the subject of someone else.

Then I went to the doctor as ordered at 1:30PM. Turns out my urine test didn't make it to the lab, so I had to pee in a cup
again. I noticed my feelings of "well being" were not as strong after 16 hours or so which surprised me. By noon I definitely
felt like I was closer to the dreaded edge of withdrawal. It is hard for me to know what is going on with suboxone since
I have only had 3 doses now. The doctor said we can adjust until I feel comfortable. I took 6 mg at 3:30PM, once I got
home. Tomorrow I will call her and let her know how I do on 6 mg. Thank god I don't have to go back there till next
Monday.

My friend who started taking suboxone a month ago and told me about it went to a clinic type office where the doctor
scoffed at him for seeking subs to treat a 10 per day vicodin ES habit. He was abrupt, patronizing, and dismissive
but he prescribed 30 8 mg tablets! No weekly follow up, no therapy, no contracts, nothing! It cost him more than my
visit cost me, which is probably the reason his doctor does nothing other than prescribe subs. My friend has already lowered himself to 2 mg a day and I think he will be off subs fairly soon. He just wanted help with the physical
withdrawal. We are on very different routes.

It is not for me to judge or second guess someone else's plan...at least he is out of the circus ring, and honestly,
if he hadn't gotten suboxone and told me about it, I would still be sucking the witch's titty! However, I am looking
for more than release from the actual physical addiction and want to get help with my underlying issues.
But all that being true...I am feeling overwhelmed. I asked my doctor if I could wait a week or two to start
looking for a therapist but she insists I must have something lined up or an appt made by next Monday.

As she told me, I need therapy to learn how to deal with anxiety and people, etc. The sub is just to keep me on course
while I try to learn a better way to live. BUT I AM STUNNED AT HOW MUCH MY LIFE IS CHANGING!
Seriously, I don't think it is my inner addict looking for a way to avoid treatment. Does anyone else struggle
with the enormity of all this? I still gotta work, shop, clean, cook, love on my man...

Well, I gave my word to Dr R, and she knows better than I what works, right? She said 12 step programs are an option,
and I can go to a meeting instead of a therapy appt, but I have a whole big issue with attending meetings in this
entire part of the state. The reason I cannot imaging going to NA right now is my ex-boyfriend/fiance/controller
who was, and still is (I think) in NA for many years. Some day I will tell you why I cannot bear the thought of going
to NA...it's pretty heavy duty.

People, I hope you are all hanging in there. I pray for all of us, I really do.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:50 pm 
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P.S.-

I really want to know more about all of you- Hat, you filled me in pretty well on your intro to suboxone,
but I would love to hear what stage of recovery you are in now, and how you are doing it.

SuboxOWNED, I KNOW you have many, many things to teach me.

lifesaver- please tell me more about yourself.
l
uvapitbull- I also have been sort of involved in PB rescue for quite awhile.

lilyval- thank you for your kindness- more, please.

In short, I want to know more about all the incredible people traveling on this path.
I am also just plain old curious about your stories. And I am very glad to have met you all,
especially in a way that allows us to be honest without the usual social fears. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:11 pm 
Once you get stabilized on suboxone and enough of it has built up in your system you will stop feeling like you are "getting close to withdrawal" like you said so I just wanted to let you know that so you dont worry over it because I went through the same thing. The first week was tough for me but once I was stabilized on 16mgs I never felt any withdrawal in between my doses at all it was great. Hang in there you are still very early in treatment so you have yet to feel the full benefit of suboxone yet, just want you to know it gets better. Once you find a stable dose you will feel completely normal all the time as long as you take your sub. The first week was hard for me and it started getting better the second week and than after 2 weeks I was full stabilized and felt great. It may not even take you that long because I was coming off a strong habit to a long lasting opiate with a 48 hour half life so my transition could vary a lot from yours since vicodin has a significantly shorter half life. Good luck hope things start getting better (they will trust me :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:50 pm 
Whats up LenaD!!

Their is a lot of peoples experiences with NA on here. I personally do not attend NA or anything of that nature. NA does not consider a person taking sub "clean." My beliefs and NA's beliefs are completely opposite. All they do at the meetins where i live are talk about their drug use, drink ass loads of coffee and smoke cigarretts. I usually left the meetings wanting to get high. I hated those meetings. I would much prefer a one on one therapist if i had to choose. At least then you could talk about your own problems instead of being told that you may come to our meetins, but all you can do is sit and listen. Thats the kinda mess some NA places tell people takings sub. I will never agree that their way is the only way. It never worked for me and i've tried it many many times before i found sub. Suboxowned is right, you will eventually get enough in your system to where you want feel like your on the edge of withdrawal. The doses will stack onto each other over time and you will just feel normal 24/7. Im glad things are going so well for you!! I hope they continue in the direction they are going!! Just keep doing what your doing and i just know your gonna be alright!! Oh, and it sounds like you have a pretty dang good doctor!! I would be very thankful!! Their are many people who arent so lucky. I dont mean that negatively. Im just saying its awesome that you have a great doctor. peace


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Hello, hello! Hope all of you are having a wonderful day out there. Honestly, I think I need to relax just a tad now that
the hardest part is behind me. Gotta remember that I have broken off with my drug source, gotten my butt to the doctor,
and here I am, into my third day on suboxone! Judging by how well I felt today at work, and how well I slept last night,
6 mg is a better dose for me than 4 mg. I don't understand why a drug with a ceiling of 4 mg works differently for me
when I take a slightly larger dose, but I feel much better.

Lifesaver, you are right as rain. I DO have a good doctor, and I am fortunate she is making treatment
affordable for me. Her office is literally 5 min from my work, too. But it is amazing to note the difference in my
experience and what happened to my friend. He lives only 40 min from me. All he wants is help with physical
WD, and he aims to be completely off subs within a few weeks. More power to him, but I am looking for a multi-dimensional
recovery plan. I don't mean to be ungrateful or bitch about my doctor. Perhaps all the hoops are one way to determine how sincere a person is about treatment. As I settle into my "new life" and my suboxone gets established in my system,
I am sure everything else will become easier and easier.

Today I called a support line my doctor suggested and am enrolling in a program that will provide me with a "coach"
who will be available to talk to me when I need help. I am not sure if it utilizes the phone or happens online,
but it seems like a good resource. They will also email me info and more coupons for suboxone...and that is
a very good thing. Anyway, my doctor will accept this coach as a therapy contact.

You know, NA has probably helped many people keep their recovery going, but NA is not for me.

For nine years I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a man who was in NA, which he started attending
before I met him. He was/is involved in a large network of people from different areas and I have no respect for any of them. You never heard of such nasty head games and power struggles. A big nest of narcissists who loved to hear themselves talk, talk, talk...and they were snotty, too. He was extremely judgmental about other alcoholics and addicts,
and that way of thinking was rampant in the program. I can just imagine what those people would say about my taking suboxone to lead a "clean" life.

Here's the kicker: he is a pharmacist, and guess who introduced me to vicodin?
He was my only source for several years, and gave me thousands of pills.

To get back to present day: I go back to the doctor next Monday. Unless something changes I will keep taking 6 mg of suboxone each afternoon, and will keep checking in here daily. I plan on spending some time reading other topics on the forum. There is so much to learn...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:41 am 
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I started sub about 25 months ago. It was tough the first couple of months. Luckily, we moved a few months after I started sub and that removed many triggers for me and got me away from my "friend" that used to supply me extras when I needed it. I've been in therapy for years, but once my head was clear I was able to really get to the heart of things. I slowly started seeing major changes in myself. I'm a work in progress and will probably be just that for the rest of my life. I've got traumas to deal with and the whole time I was high, well, I sure didn't get much done in therapy. I can't tell you how much being in therapy has helped me. I'm lucky in that I found someone that deals in trauma and is the right fit. Sometimes it takes some time to find the right therapist for you. I hope you find a good one and soon. Thanks for showing interest in my story. Keep up the good work.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:50 am 
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Hello, people. This is where I am today-

I saw my doctor again Monday, Jan. 24, and she seems satisfied that I am making an effort at getting other forms of support so I don't go back to her office until Feb 03. I have contacted a support website connected to the manufacturers of suboxone
and they offer a "coach" whose function is to speak with me three times a week for six weeks, then once a week for a month.
So far they seem very nice and supportive, and they can answer questions about sub very well. My next assignment is to
make a therapy appointment and to attend a yoga session within the next 2 weeks. Obviously, my doctor believes
we need more resources than just this drug in order to not abuse opiates again. So far, I can agree.

We also agreed to raise my dose to 8 mg, and I can take it anyway I want to within a 24 hr period. I did notice that
my sense of well being seemed to wane about 4 hours before my next dose was due when I was on 4-6 mg of sub.
The 8 mg dose is working well. Hatmaker did a good job of explaining how suboxone saturates our opiate receptors
and keeps cravings at bay. Based on that knowledge I decided not to be judgmental about taking more of the sub.

I also decided to see how this goes and work on stabilizing the rest of my life before I think about cutting back or getting
off the suboxone. After all, I took large amounts of drugs that I obtained illegally for several years. I think I can live
with having suboxone on my body under the supervision of my doctor for a while. LOL

Hope you are all doing well, too. I am still reading the threads on this site, and knowing I can log on anytime
and find good info and familiar names is a huge comfort. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:06 am 
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Lena, I'm so happy to hear you're doing well and I'm glad some of the information provided here was helpful. Most of everything I know about suboxone I actually learned on this very site.

Is the program you're doing called "Here to Help"? I really hope it helps you. I didn't sign up for their phone counselors (or whatever they're called), but I did utilize the website. They have great information there about addiction and relapse prevention.

Keep up the good work and thanks for the update. :D

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


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 Post subject: Impressive!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:49 pm 
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LenaD wrote:
Hello, people. This is where I am today-

I saw my doctor again Monday, Jan. 24, and she seems satisfied that I am making an effort at getting other forms of support so I don't go back to her office until Feb 03. I have contacted a support website connected to the manufacturers of suboxone
and they offer a "coach" whose function is to speak with me three times a week for six weeks, then once a week for a month.
So far they seem very nice and supportive, and they can answer questions about sub very well. My next assignment is to
make a therapy appointment and to attend a yoga session within the next 2 weeks. Obviously, my doctor believes
we need more resources than just this drug in order to not abuse opiates again. So far, I can agree.

We also agreed to raise my dose to 8 mg, and I can take it anyway I want to within a 24 hr period. I did notice that
my sense of well being seemed to wane about 4 hours before my next dose was due when I was on 4-6 mg of sub.
The 8 mg dose is working well. Hatmaker did a good job of explaining how suboxone saturates our opiate receptors
and keeps cravings at bay. Based on that knowledge I decided not to be judgmental about taking more of the sub.

I also decided to see how this goes and work on stabilizing the rest of my life before I think about cutting back or getting
off the suboxone. After all, I took large amounts of drugs that I obtained illegally for several years. I think I can live
with having suboxone on my body under the supervision of my doctor for a while. LOL

Hope you are all doing well, too. I am still reading the threads on this site, and knowing I can log on anytime
and find good info and familiar names is a huge comfort. Thanks again.


I'm truly impressed with the work you are putting into your total recovery (finding a doctor, induction, determining how you needed to change your dose, finding a coach, and setting goals like making a therapy appointment and doing yoga). PHEW! When you see the length of that list, you just have to be impressed with where you've gotten in such a short time.) IMO, you are on the right track with focusing on getting your life the way you want it right now. I mean, look at all that you just accomplished. You do not need to burden yourself with worrying about lowering your dose or getting off Suboxone. You are doing fantastic. I'm really happy for you that you escaped that hamster wheel of addiction. Don't you feel a whole lot more free at this point?

laddertipper

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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:56 am 
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Ladder, thank you for putting that list of accomplishments in writing. You gave me a whole lot of validation.

To tell the truth I almost feel like a different person...not quite, but almost. It's hard to believe it has only
been twelve days since I was inducted onto suboxone. Freedom is a concept too big for one word,
and I am almost afraid to think too much about it or look too hard at it, because it might not be what it seems.
To me, it seems almost too good to be true.


I am so grateful to have this respite from the bullshit of buying pills, worrying about the next batch, putting
up with people who get off on me needing them and spending every extra penny I got on something that
just disappeared, over and over again...in other words, yes, yes, I am glad I escaped that hamster wheel
of addiction!

Feb. 3rd I see my doctor again, and by then I will have an appointment with a therapist. Hopefully, the doctor
will feel comfortable with giving me a script for 3 weeks of suboxone. She can trust me. I can trust me.

In the meantime, I ghost this forum, following the postings of you lovely people who have given me so much
instruction and encouragement. I try to give back a few words now and then.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:06 am 
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So glad to hear you're doing so well, Lena. I do hope you stick around on the forum and contribute. Just remember your unique experiences will most definitely help people.

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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: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:42 am 
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LenaD,

Thank you so much for the update, I've been thinking about you and wondering if your first few days went like mine and most others as well.

So, it almost seems to good to be true, eh! Yep, I remember that feeling. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop too. As time passes, you'll feel more and more comfortable about feeling good. I know, it's almost a strange feeling to feel so good again!

Happy for ya!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Romeo, How are YOU doing now? I will find the thread you mention where you explain about your near relapse (?)
but just want to say, HANG IN THERE! Please feel free to talk about your struggles, send a PM if it helps.
You have been a mainstay for me and others on this forum, let us give some back.


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

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