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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:02 pm 
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:? This is my first post to this forum. I really don't know where to start, so I guess I will just begin. I am a 46 year old female, married for almost 32 years to the same guy, have four children, two married sons, my oldest has two young sons, 5 and almost 11months. My second son and his wife are expecting their first in November. I have two children still at home. My third son who is my grounding rod. He just turned 19, and then my baby daughter who is 17 1/2. The day before I went into my first visit at the suboxone clinic, my daughter told me she was pregnant. I was so discouraged that I almost didn't go to my appt, but I am glad that I went on. I have always worked outside the home, and held (for the small community where I live) fairly prestigious positions. I taught for about 7 years, then I took a position as the Executive Director of a large not-for profit organization and was there 10 years. For the last six years, I have been the branch manager and senior loan officer for a financial institution. I was one of those people who always "looked down" on people with drug problems. "No Good Pill Heads" was one of the terms I used a lot to describe certain people. Somewhere along the way of being Super mom, wife, employee, community member, and Christian, I turned into one of those "no good pill heads." I have a super bad back from a fall at one of the places I worked when I was about 20. So, off and on, my back would get really bad. I would call it "going out", and I would go to the doctor to get prescription pain meds for the pain. Then about 5 years ago, my sister was killed by her husband. Something happened to me then. I tried to take care of everyone and everthing, and truly believed that justice would prevail and my brother-in-law would pay for what he had done. Justice did not prevail, and he is scott-free. I began taking more and more pain medication to just "be numb" or in my case, they kept me going, working day and night to carry out all the responsibilities I had. Along the way, I became addicted to pain pills. I began taking them even when I wasn't in physcial pain. I managed to hide everything pretty well, even from myself, up until this last year or so. That is when I just had so much pressure and stress, that for the first time in my life, I would have rather popped pain pills than do anything else. How did I ever, ever allow myself to become an addict. I asked to be referred to a pain clinic, and of course, you pay cash and you get the prescription. Soon, though, I was running out before my next visit, so I just started complaining to friends and family about my pain. I still can't believe how many people carry pain pills on them all the time. So, it was easier than I would have ever imagined to get freebies. But, as you are aware, you get to the point that the only way you can get enough is to buy them. It also supirised me at how easy and how many people there are out there who sell. Always a good steward of our finances, I found myself spending hundreds of dollars a week for pain pills. In the last year, I have lost 60 lbs of weight, had severe sleep deprivation, and found myself unable to function at all without the pills. I was making poor decsions at work, and it was destroying my life. I confided in my husband, and told him that for the first time in my life, I thought I would be better off dead. I was going through life in a fog. He encouraged me to get help and promised to supportive and understanding. And, he has been.. i could not believe how well the suboxone films worked to stop the withdrawals. I had tried numerous times to stop cold turkey, and always ended up so sick that I thought I was dying. I am also going to counseling sessions, both group and individual; but, I am still so confused and mixed up. Now that the fog is lifting, I realize how much precious time I have lost and can never re-gain, and I realize how many mistakes that I have made at my place of employment. Now, I am having anxiety attacks, and I am trying to work all the time to correct the mistakes I have made. I am miserable and have spent the better part of this week crying my eyes out. I am thinking of resigning. Part of why I wanted to take the pills in the first place was because of my job and the people I have to deal with every day. But, I can't resign because we have to have my income to live. Just the thought of going to work makes me physically ill and a bundle of nerves. Most of the people that I got my tricks from don't believe I have quit, they are just mad at me because I'm not keeping them up anymore. I have not told anyone besides my husband that I am in a suboxone program. I have let so many things go---how do I ever get myself back? How do I become "me" again? I don't know how to do it. I do know that I don't judge anyone anymore. Because, the old saying that you have no idea until you have walked a miles in their shoes is true. I know now why people, at least the majority, get hooked. They are looking to fill a void. Looking for a means of escape. They are running away-hiding. That is what I was doing. I was hiding.I still have real pain, and now that my system is free of pain meds, I realize that my back is much worse. I can barely get out of bed in the morning or walk, stand, or sit. I have numbness and tingling in my extremties. I am swelling unbelievably in my feet an legs---could that be a side affect of the suboxone? I just need someone, anybody, or people to talk to that have been through this. I have to know that life can be good again. I am just confused and feel alone. My husband tries, but he can not relate. I hope I have not bored anyone too much with the length of this post. As I said, this is my first time posting. I'm not really sure how it works. So forgive me if I have bored you to tears.


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Hi MJPRK46,
First,welcome and Congr for choosing recovery.

Many of us have felt just as you have and you've come to a great place for support.
Try not to be so hard on yourself your headed in the right direction.
As far as your job,is it a possibility you can start looking for a new one?
All you can do is do the best you can the hours you are there. Staying late to try to makeup for things that have already been done is only going to stress you out.

It's great you going to Theraphy. Try to be totally honest with that person.

As for your old using buddies,boy,have i ever been there and one of them is my daug.in law. There is nothing you can do for them other than offer them a way to recovery when "they" are ready.
Right now your job is to take care of YOU.

I have something I do often. Journaling. It's great to write down the days events it's nothing that has to have perfect order or nothing you can or cannot write. It's your feelings and yours only.

Try to just slow down and truly take it one day at a time. It wouldn't be bad idea for you to do something that may bring you some pleasure.

Please check back and let us know how you doing.

Hang in there I promise it will get better....What dose are you on?

Marie


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:06 am 
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Hi there,

I read your story and really feel for where you are at right now. You can read my story under methadone maintenance if you want...it's long! But I am a "professional" and have had a long history of opiate addiction with three relapses. Never dreamed that would be me, you know? I remember before I really hit the big time I was taking just one Tylenol #3 a day...did that about a year...it started due to migraines and later on dental pain...but that first year of taking T3 daily was just the beginning of what would turn into hell on earth. I had no idea. I remember thinking 'do I have a problem?' and then immediately told myself that no, this is a prescription, I'm only taking one a day and not shooting up, my gosh! i'm no junkie. Well, soon after in my anethesia residency I shot up a 1/2cc of fentanyl. It rocked my world. All my pain and anquish and fear went away.

Fast forward...after one long treatment and 2 shorter ones I am now on Subutex 6 months in. I had been at a methadone clinic 2 1/2 years before the Sub change over and so i consider myself 3 years into recovery this time. I had 5 years from 2000-2006 (abstinence, no replacement therapy). It has taken me so long to deal with my issues...I'm blown away at how difficult I've made this for myself. But it takes what it takes...and today my life is pretty good.

That said, it is so difficult when once we 'wake up' and start to feel again or maybe even feel for the very first time, how overwhelming it all is. What I heard in your story was just that...you are so overwhelmed with so many things that you don't know what to do...so before you give up (not that you will) take a deep breath and just stop for a minute. You said you are going to counseling, groups and individual and you will probablyl be inundated with information....about drugs and about yourself. If you go to 12 step meetings (and there are ones that follow the 12 steps biblically, can't think of the name of them-you mentioned you are a christian and maybe that would be important to you) I'd suggest getting a sponsor right away. For me, having a really awesome sponsor is what helped me the most. She helped me prioritize and to get out of my head.

One day at a time...that's really it. It's hard to do when you are first doing that...I always lived in the future or regretted the past....and it took me years to learn how to live in the present. There is only so much you can do in a day...If I could impart any wisdom to you that is it. One thing at a time. Do what you can each day to make progress in your recovery and eventually things will fall into place. Don't use. Stay on Sub. It sounds like you are willing and open minded since you are going to therapy...so that's huge! Many people are fearful of going and it takes courage....so you are ahead of the game.

Don't overthink all the things that have happened. (well, try not to) and realize that there is nothing you can do about what has happened. It's done. it's over. don't beat yourself up...that is your addict brain wanting you to feel badly...do some thought stopping when that occurs...if you start to worry, get anxious, beat yourself up immediately stop the thought, think about something really positive and move forward. If you do this over and over you will soon stop going to negative thinking as your first line of defense. Just an idea...not a command! These are things that help me.

I've changed so much in my recoveries. If I was to go back to the beginning and realize all the work I had to do I would have hid under the covers! I had some childhood pathology to work out and it was not fun. I'm still growing and changing and always will be I hope. But it's easier now. and it will be easier for you, too, as long as you keep trying.

One thing at a time. And when you don't know what to do, do nothing. Seriously. Doing nothing IS doing something, it is making a decision. What doing nothing does for us is allow us time to respond to things rather than to react to things....

It's great you have a support system. You'll know if you need to quit your job....it will become apparent to you I think. And personally, at this point, I wouldn't share much about recovery to anyone yet. People judge. People are ignorant about addiction and Sub or recovery...Talk about it where it is safe...group and therapy, your husband...even if you attend 12 step meetings i would keep the sub us to myself...there is still alot of prejudice out there and it will only sabotoge your recovery hearing negative and misguided information. You might feel you are lying by omission...but think of it as you are talking about it in group and therapy and it doesn't mean you have to talk about it to everyone in your life. KWIM? My ex used to run around our small community (he is a dr.) and tell everyone about my recovery. Who the hell know why he did that....but it made me so angry. I finally told him to stop it..that if he wanted to 'share' any information with the town to share his own pornography addiction. That shut him up!

You are on the right track it sounds like...addiction is SOOOO insidious and tricky. It is amazing how after 2 treatments and then five years clean and sober working super hard in AA and in recovery that after a bunch of stress I saw a vicodin and told myself I could take just 2 and it wouldn't cause me any grief...it would "just take the edge off"...well...2 years later I was back in my 3rd and hopefully last treatment. I do NOT believe I'll have another recovery if I go out there again. I have to do everything in my power to keep peace in my life, to do what I know works for my recovery, and for me that is 12 step meetings, working the steps, having a sponsor, and to close all the doors to my addiction. Because remember this...relapse doesn't just happen. It happens long before we pick up the drug...our thinking changes, our brains make it ok to use, it is very insidious, and we find we've given ourselves permission and when opportunity hits, viola!, we use.

Take good care of yourself. This will get better. You didn't get here over night so give yourself some time to acclimate to this new life. All these things that are rolling around in your head will sort themselves out. You don't have to fix it all right now. that was a hard lesson for me. patience. letting go...but I also believe that you have God in your life and that will help you a lot.

One last thing...this sounds really stupid and I thought it was idiotic when I first heard about it...but I have this God box. It is a little box that someone gave me, with a lid on it. I could never "let go" when I first got into recovery. I didn't know what that meant. and at the time in 1993 I was an agnostic. I believed in God...but had no idea what that all meant really...anyway, I was told to write down my problems, my resentments even, things I wanted in my life but were not happening (like a baby, or anger at something...)write it on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it in the God box...then pray that God handles it...and then stop thinking about it and give it to God. It was a great tangible way for me to learn how to let go...it may help you...or not!

There is also a thread on here about what we do for our recoveries...and you might get some ideas that will help you. It could overwhelm you, too! You'll know what fits for you...

Good luck. and Don't give up.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:29 am 
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Hi mjpurk,

Gosh, I'm sorry that you're in so much pain, both physical and emotional. Your story rang true for me in so many ways and I wanted to say a few things to you.

I'm 43. I let 26 years of my life go to addiction. 10 of those years on pain pills. Just like you, I suffered a fall (from a stupid tree) and that's when I got on pain meds. My addiction switched from coke to pain pills almost instantly. The first year or so I could manage on what the doctor prescribed me, but then it wasn't enough. I had to start buying them off the street. Because money wasn't an issue, I soon had a good chunk of the supply of pain meds that the small town I live in had to offer. At the height of my addiction, I was spending around $80/day on pain meds.

I tried to stop pain meds on my own too, I made 30 days once and I couldn't handle the crushing depression. I figured I had completely screwed my brain up and that I was a lost cause. I kept living day to day, spending all available free time running down pain meds just so I could make it through the day. I knew I was in major trouble, but I couldn't figure a way out of it. Going through withdrawal was NOT an option. Going to some inpatient clinic, not me man, no way!! Then I found Suboxone. I remember running upstairs and telling my wife that I think I finally found something to help me. I was SO excited!!

My first day on Suboxone was fantastic. I was completely blown away at how well it worked. But, like you, I had MANY underlying issues that needed to be addressed. I started working with an addiction counselor and slowly, we made progress. Dang it's hard to accept some of the things we did in our past, but that's addiction!! Addiction is a disease that affects our ability to make sound judgement.

Listen, I got to the point of HATING work too. I couldn't stand the thought of going, but I knew my wife would kill me if I quit, so I kept going. The anxiety I would get in the morning before work sucked!! I eventually just convinced myself that I am going to have to go to work everyday and I kind of accepted it I guess.

OK, here's the thing I want to respond to the most. You said, "how do I ever get myself back? How do I become "me" again?" You do it one day at a time!! You face the mistakes you made in the past and learn to live with yourself. You FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR YOUR PAST TRANSGRESSIONS!! LEARN TO FORGIVE YOURSELF, that is by far my best advice on this subject. You need to forgive others as well. Forgiveness for myself and others saved me. It won't happen all at once, it takes work. I am SO glad to hear you're working with a counselor and going to group....keep going....put forth an honest effort and things will change for you.

Lastly, you are not alone!!! Everyone on this forum understands exactly where you are, where you've been and where your going. You are not alone!!

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Be kind to yourself. Our character defects do NOT define who we are!


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Hi mj and welcome. Congratulations on starting recovery. You will find you are in good company here. Many of us are professionals, parents, pillars of the community, Christians, etc. and found ourselves addicted to drugs. Take a deep breath and realize that you cant fix months or years of wreckage in your first weeks of recovery. Things will come back together over time. If you can help it, please don't resign from your job. It sounds like you've built up a lot of trust and credibility over the years, and now it's time to cash in on some of that. Let people know that you have been facing a serious personal crisis over the past year, and that's why your work has suffered. But now you've taken some time off to deal with things, and you're ready to get back to your old self.
As far as the pain and edema, when we first get off of opiates we feel even MORE pain than normal, because our internal opiate (or endorphin) system has been suppressed for a long time. Use OTC pain relievers like Alleve as much as you need, and, if you can, see a doctor about your underlying back problem. I did have some swelling at one point while on Sub, but it didn't last. Drink plenty of fluids and elevate your feet when you can. Hopefully it will pass soon.
Hang in there, it will get better. Post as often and as much as you need to.
Take care,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Every bit of the above advice is so sound. I agree with all of what China and Romeo and everyone else above has said. I too used to (and still do sometimes when I'm feeling a little down) ask myself 'how the hell did I become addicted to this stuff?' Do you know what I don't worry too much now, it's happened, it's life and I'm not going to dwell on it anymore. Sometimes I get myself so so stressed; worrying about the bigger picture and that i have to fix this now. Its like I get myself into such a state and catastrophise everything. Why? Its not gonna change anything! it's taken me a while but I finally now have got to the point that I TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. that is all you need to do - one day, get through that one day and then breath. It feels so good. Please take it easy, keep your mind on track, stay strong and listen to the advise on this sight - It honestly has and is working for me. x C x 8) :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:10 am 
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Don't want to jack the thread at all because the OP needs all our support...but I just wanted to say that Romeo I can tell by how you are writing yesterday that already the meetings have made some impact on you...I just wanted to encourage you and let you know that its obvious you are changing. I can "feel" it in the tone of your message to OP. I hope you continue to go...you will be amazed at how you will see things differently, learn so much about yourself, and learn some really valuable coping tools that will replace old thinking and behavior!!
That's all I wanted to say....

Back to OP's thread.....I've read some great advice to her. And I am always amazed at the support here...


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