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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:37 am 
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DAY 37

I'm updating because last night was the first night in a million years that I haven't taken anything to help me sleep... And I feel sleep almost instantly and slept 9 hours straight through.

I'm going to try it again tonight, I'm hoping this wasn't some fluke. I had heard people say it takes over a month to be able to sleep naturally. I've probably not had an unmedicated night of sleep since high school.

The past week I have been using 1/2 of one pill of Kirkland sleep tabs from Costco. As an addict, I've definitely NEVER taken a regular dose of anything for sleep, let alone cut that regular dose in half!! So I was pretty excited about that. Those little things work really well for sleep but they made me sooooo groggy the next day. The fog didn't subside until a good 7 hours after I woke up. Yuck. That grogginess was manageable with the pill cut in half, but still noticeable.

My mood has been better than it was, I'm not getting any real anxiety and not finding myself as grumpy as I was there for awhile. Which is nice. I didn't like myself and my attitude there for awhile but I could not help it.

I really believe Dr Junig when he says that the whole process of opiates withdrawal takes 2-3 months depending on the person. There's so much healing that has to take place after the body and brain has been dependent for so long.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:31 pm 
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37 Yay!!!! :)

What an awesome accomplishment Fish. U truly are doing wonderful. I can't imagine having sleep problems like that. I'm the type of person who is horribly moody and just almost a depressed feeling when I don't get enough sleep. So I can see how that symptom would be very tough. My son has sleep issues and when he doesn't sleep, I don't sleep. It's rough. That's probably one reason u were grumpy maybe.

I totally agree with you and doctor J about taking months for the body to completely get bk to normal after yrs and yrs of being dependant. Ur well on ur way to that mark though, so that's great.

Great job Fish, very happy to hear ur doing so good. Good days or bad days, ur still pushing forward. Big high five :)

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:38 am 
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Thanks Jenn Jenn! I am pretty excited to have made it this far. I never want to have to go through WD again. Yuck. Hope you are doing well also!!

I was thinking about we as addicts want to feel "back to normal". We want our lives back the way they were before we were really in active addiction. The more time that passes, the more I start to believe that maybe we can never really go back. Maybe we just have to learn a new " normal " and accept that our choices have changed us and that we can never really go back.

I was so young the last time I was not actively in addiction. Probably for a couple years back in my 20s and then I had about a year or two of not using everyday (only when I was actual sick or had access to something)... But that feels like so long ago I barely remember it. And I was young and going out drinking a lot like almost every night back then too so its not like I lived a clean and sober life by any means.

My year and a half on suboxone has so far been the longest and cleanest I've ever been, as I quit smoking cigarettes and quit drinking when I started my suboxone treatment. I'm still not smoking or drinking which feels good. I'd like to have a couple drinks every now and then but my husband is working on his sobriety (he has a problem with alcohol) so I'm fine with not drinking. It's not something I really miss or even think about.

Anyway, my point is that I'm trying to establish a new, healthy normal. A normal in which I cope with my emotions and cope with stress by doing something healthy.

Today is one of those days already that I would love to medicate my way through. I have such a busy day ahead of me and it's the gloomiest day ever outside. The kind of day that would be perfect for doing nothing. But, I'm going to the shower, going to dress nice and do my best to be a good person and ignore all the bullshit and negativity at work...


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:23 am 
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Yup, just go for it, Fishy and you'll be through the day before you know it!

Your hypothesis about never going back to an old normal is backed by the science, unfortunately. Addiction changes our brains. That doesn't mean we're helpless to get better. Just that, as you have found, we're have to adapt to a new normal.

I think that some of the people who have the hardest time with staying off opiates are unwilling to admit that they can't just go back to the person they were before addiction. So your realization is really important and necessary.

I also think that we, as addicts in recovery, should be preaching that to the people who are newly into recovery. The sooner addicts can accept that, the sooner and better chance they have to get truly well. I'm so glad that you brought this up because it's been at the edge of my brain recently. :)

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 6:14 am 
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Day 42...6 weeks off suboxone

For how agonizing as some of the moments during the first week felt, and for how slooooowww days passed when I was in the deeply fatigued stage as well.... It felt like time was passing by at a snails pace there for awhile. Each day I made it through felt like a milestone, something to be proud of.

And now that I have 6 weeks... Well, quite honestly six weeks doesn't seem that long. Only being 6 weeks into a major lifestyle change, only knowing and experiencing something for 6 weeks... That's not very long. Especially in the grand scheme of it all. I don't know how I feel about that.

I guess it just goes to prove that recovery is a lifelong process. And maybe as an addict i would do best to try and live one day at a time? Do I still think about recovery and opiates and my time on suboxone? Every day. Maybe I always will? Once again proof that this illness never really leaves us.

I'm laying awake at almost 4am, still up from yesterday (Sunday). Big full moon shining through the cracks between the blinds, lighting up the entire night sky. So monday came without sleep from Sunday. Might just stay up at this point.

It used to concern me if I couldn't sleep. Now I pay it no mind on the occasional restless sleepless night. I know myself and know my body can't go more than one night like this so the next night I'll sleep good.

Tonight I've been having some really nostalgic feelings about my past love affair with opiates. I probably won't go into detail because we all know the types if things I'm referring to. Remembering all the good feelings...the warmth, the rush, the happiness... pushing the rest of the story to a place so far off it makes the sick and the broke and the desperate seem almost like it never happened... Thinking of all the crazy people i had connections with and how hard really I worked to find and keep those connections going... the sketchy situations i was putting myself in on a regular basis...pretty standard,probably things we all think about in recovery.

I suppose I think about these things more now that I'm not in the safety net with being on suboxone anymore. I didn't think of any of this much during my suboxone treatment. Proves how effective it is in managing cravings. Or maybe I just knew I couldn't think about these things up until now. I don't think I was at a point in my recovery where I could go down this road in my mind without fearing a total fall apart. Now though, now is different. I now feel so strong, like I'm able to overcome anything. I think that's what time does to us in recovery, it gives us strength and confidence in ourselves that we are tougher than we ever thought possible. Once we are no longer controlled by our DOC that's very powerful and helps us move forward.

I wish I didn't have these old thoughts going on right now. They've been rattling around my head as I lay here thinking about things.

Part of me is impressed (and proud!) that I severed ties and walked away from such a well connected, abundantly sourced means by which to maintain my addiction, my love for doing drugs. Part of me is also sad, feeling like I'll never have the chance again. I know that is asinine. But it's also real.

And to ever make the choice to go back on suboxone, it would take more than a few cravings. In fact, it would take more than a few slip ups. I would have to be pretty damn deep back into things first. I'd have to be failing at multiple attempts to try and get back out. Still I never say never. But it was not worth the weeks of pain and suffering to break the dependency to ever go back again, unless I knew it was going to be for life.

But first, I would like to try life on life terms again. Or rather for the first time. 6wks off sub seems like awhile.... But it's just the beginning of the beginning. I am going to give it an honest chance, and I am going to keep working hard to improve myself and my health and my happiness. I'm going to continue working on my recovery and continue to seek good clean living.

Will I ever slip up? Most likely. Will I ever slip waaaaay up and end up back to where I was 1.5yrs ago, desperate for help, willing to take any way out of active addiction I could get? I would sure like to think not. I would like to think I am going to stay strong and continue to recover.


Although I do know the statistics for relapse after stopping buprenorphine is high. And I do know that many many people don't get this recovery thing right the first time. Or even the 2nd time. Or even the 10th time.

This is my first try at real recovery. More than year and a half at it now, 6 weeks with no suboxone. I hope I am persistent enough to get it right this time. One thing is for sure, I'm going to continue to give it everything I've got.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 11:46 am 
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Yuck yuck f**k! Cravings are still bad today so I'm going to do the only thing I know how to do and leave the house this morning and stay verrrrry verrrry busy and hope that this feeling passes.

I woke about 40 mins ago after sleeping from 5am to 9am. I guess maybe what recovery circles say that not getting enough sleep can be a relapse trigger is true. Yet I was thinking about stuff pretty hard last night...

For my 6 weeks today I should have my mind elsewhere, so why is it thinking of drugs?!

Traditional step based recovery says to take your recovery in smaller time chunks when feelings like this arise and to get busy doing things that are helpful to recovery.

So I guess instead of sitting here in my bed, I'm going to get my ass up and take my dog outside and then head to a hot yoga class and try to focus really hard on being healthy today. Hopefully these weird feelings will subside. I don't like them... :(


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:14 pm 
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I was there, right where you are, am now I'm not!! That's how fast it happens. Once I started to feel really good every day those thoughts of "having a little fun" came back. Like the old days I could take something and get really high and not think about it again. I made it 6 months with only a few small "day long" slips and was feeling great, healthy, energized, more motivated then every before. Heck I just got back from Disney world!!!! I let my guard down and now I am back at day 1. It was such a beautiful thing to be feeling so great off suboxone and I ruined it by wanting to get a little high "one time"... Stay very vigilant and remember, you don't want to go through another day one. However, Suboxone is not a bad thing for most people. If you feel like you aren't ready for this life and its not safe then I wouldn't hesitate to look back into suboxone rather than active addiction. I'm not saying to give up, please don't do that. But if it gets too hard to handle and you just can't manage, don't go to the drugs we all love so much. Sorry if this sounds stupid, I'm on day 1 of suboxone withdrawal so I can barely see what I'm typing. hahaha. Exercise helps me with cravings but also, which I had posted on here once. I was given gabapentin by my doctor while I was in cravings sooo hard and it took them away completely. But the gabapentin made me feel a little high sometimes so I stopped taking that and lost control. Don't end up like me going through this again, you've made it too far. At 4 months my sleep was great, I had more energy and motivation than I ever did on suboxone, I was more active with my wife if you know what I mean, and I was the happiest I ever been. I enjoyed people so much that I wouldn't go a day without stopping by one of their houses. It got to the point where I stopped texting and if you text me I was calling you cause I wanted to talk.... I screwed all that up by letting cravings get to me and thinking I could control myself. WE CAN'T, PLEASE DON'T GO DOWN THAT ROAD!! and lastly, your thread was the one that inspired me to try again, please keep posting!! later


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:27 pm 
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oh one more thing. I too was sad about the fact that I'd never get to get high again. I'd never be able to experience that. I kept telling myself that I can never do just one and it kept making me sad to think about it. So when I did slip up I realized that what makes me even more sad is being dependent. I think I needed a relapse to get me to understand that I am not superman, I am not better than anyone, I can't control this, etc. It's really not worth it and if you let yourself get there you'll see that you don't need drugs, or want them. Good luck, keep us posted.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:34 pm 
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Fishy, this is also a great time to figure out what your trigger was for these cravings. When you come out the other side of this bout of craving after keeping busy to get through it, go back over what may have happened yesterday that prompted the nostalgia you felt last night.

Perhaps it was the nostalgic feelings themselves that were the trigger, or perhaps it was something else. Did you feel low about yourself yesterday? Did that make you want to remember the good old days when you were proud of the network you created to supply yourself with your doc? Maybe that was a time in your life when you felt competent at keeping all your (juggling) balls in the air. It's OK to feel like there were some good times back then and that you were doing something well. You can condemn your drug use and addiction, but still see positives from that time. However, if you recognize that those nostalgic feelings are a trigger to cravings, you will need to find a way to short circuit that cycle.

I'm remembering a couple of friends and their triggers and the ways they would stop the cycle. After his third slip, one friend figured out that his cycle would start by feeling bad about a personal relationship. Then he would be tempted to listen to a certain type of music. These were signs to him that he was about to slip up, so he would call one of his sober friends so he could talk it through.

Another friend recognized that she would start to think of how great it would feel to get high. She trained herself when she felt like that to think of what would happen if she got back in that lifestyle. How she would disappoint her family, lose her kids, lose everything she had rebuilt. She never allowed herself to think nostalgically without thinking of the horrible cascade that one hit would start.

I have used that myself. If I feel nostalgic about getting high I follow it up with what would happen to my life if I allowed that to happen. It has a pretty chilling affect on nostalgia, that's for sure.

Write it out, whether here or in a journal. Examine the reasons you ended up feeling nostalgic. If you find yourself there again, have a plan for how to get through it. Learn how to safeguard yourself. You're a smart person. You can figure this out! :)

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:35 pm 
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Thank you both, amy and quiet for responding to my post and sharing your knowledge and experience.

I have given it extensive thought and I can't for the life of me figure out what triggered the cravings. Yesterday was a good day by all intensive purposes. Nothing was causing me any anxiety, I didn't have anything weighing on my mind... So I think just the nostalgia itself was enough to get me craving.

I tried and succeeded to keep busy all day, and the cravings never subsided. Here's how it all played out: I gave it enough thought to realize I have literally ZERO means to go through the whole ordeal to try and obtain pills now. My go to guy also made the decision to get out of the game for good. That was right about the time i decided to get clean too, and he hasnt gone back either. Which is fantastic! He was a good person to be in business with, even if it was an immoral endeavor like drugs. I feel fortunate all the time that i was kept out of harms way once i started almost exclusively with him. Most likely without that business relationship i would've found myself in a lot more sketchy situations than i already did at that time.

Then i thought of all the other skeezy people i used to know. And I figured it wouldn't be too hard to track them down again, but then just thinking of them and allllll the dumb waiting games, going to shitty parts of town and standing out like a sore thumb... Getting promised things then getting backed out of at the last minute either because someone thought i was a cop or the whole thing falling through because... Because, let's face it, drugs and the people one obtains them from generally don't have their shit together. Then, I had a few fleeting thoughts of going to a walk in clinic and trying to pull one over on some doctor. Then I realized how much $ that would cost, for no guarantee, and most likely if my schtick did work (which it probably wouldn't, I'm rusty) I'd only get a couple 5mg hydros. So the basic cost/benefit analysis changed my mind on that idea. Not to mention the guilt I would undoubtedly experience if I went back to my old ways and pulled a stunt like that.

I don't want to be that person anymore. I just want to be a regular person, someone who doesn't do dishonest things like that. Someone who just goes about their day and doesn't think about getting high.

So, I guess if nothing else this past 24 hours has taught me that I am unwilling to go back to getting creative to seek out my drug of choice. This is a good thing I suppose! Just having the clarity of mind to realize that I didn't want to deal with all that B.S. anymore is a huge realization for me that when it comes to actually seeking out a means to relapse, im still waaay far away from taking those measures.

The bad news? I also realized that if something were to just fall into my lap (which will literally probably NEVER happen, based on the way I've distanced myself from everyone in the using world)... If I were to find pills somewhere or something...I would almost definitely slip and eat them.

Fortunately for me, the above situation will probably never actually happen.

I'm thinking I made it through this one unscathed.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:57 pm 
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Fish,

I know you've been through a lot to get to where you are, but do you think it's good for you to be off Suboxone? I have some occasional thoughts about how it was to get high, but no strong desires. But I know this is because I am on Suboxone. If I were to take that away, I'm sure I'd be craving really bad.

Do you have any bupe in the house that you could go to if things got deperate?

Just concerned,
Morphing


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:24 pm 
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You know what's funny (well not at all funny) is my cravings started at this exact same time, like 47 days or something. I made the call and unfortunately, they had extra subs. I don't know if I told you this before but subs are my DOC.. It's what I started on and its my favorite opiate, or whatever.. Kinda crazy, huh? Anyways, I hope you stay strong and seriously use my failings as an example. I thought I was better than everyone and not a real addict but here I am, heading into my day two and realizing how far I had gone just to throw it all away. Of course you guys seem so much smarter than me so please take my, I wouldn't call it advise, with a grain of salt (I believe is the saying).. Have you started working out yet? Working out hard keeps te cravings away, makes you feel great, and for me made me pretty proud of how my body was turning out!! Now I'm just a bloated sweaty sick smelly guy, but not for long. One day I'll post before and after pics.. I just had a great workout so I feel good and am rambling. Have a good night fisher.. Please update your feelings tomorrow if you get a chance. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 12:08 pm 
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QA, we all have this same brain disorder of addiction. Your experience and opinions are just as valid as everyone else. We could all be geniuses, and we would still be having the same problems.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 12:36 am 
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Update:
Today was a super busy day at work for me. I didnt have time to think about cravings. It was nice to feel back on track :)

Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts and experiences!


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 10:59 pm 
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DAY 44

I think I'm pretty used to how I feel now, except for the day + where I was experiencing my first real cravings. I'm glad I had the super duper bad ass people here to "talk" to and to read your posts and thoughts on how others deal with cravings helped a bunch. Thank you again, everyone.

I still do not want to be back on suboxone, although I really did give serious thought to what was said here (as to whether or not I truly feel I am ready to face life without it).

I went back through and reread all my threads... I do NOT want to go through the hard work and pain of a taper and jump again!! THAT is enough to keep me from using again, because if I start using I will be forced to go back on sub because I know what path I will end up on after a short time. Maybe as addicts we forget the bad and remember the good... I guess that's the whole concept of nostalgia isn't it?

I did play out the tape all the way to the end. The very end this time, meaning jumping off sub and getting to this point. Not a life experience I care to repeat.

Oh and I thought it out so far as to look on-line and googled my sub doctor. Read a whole bunch of reviews about him (only a couple positive, even though I personally really liked him and had zero problems ever). Found out my instincts were legit. He is indeed phasing out his practice and will soon be finished rxing suboxone. And I think retirement altogether.

This was my hunch the last two times I made the trip (4 hours each way) to see him, even though he never came right out and said it. So I knew if I didn't start tapering I would find myself in a possible predicament with access to care. Turns out I wouldve been correct in my assumptions.

Also the other night i said I couldn't think of a trigger to my horrible cravings but I think i figured it out to an extent: a break in vigilince from my self care routine.

The other night staying up until 5am reminded me of how I used to stay up by myself all night during active addiction. And then I think the next day, running on 3 hrs of sleep... when I tried to do something positive to counter act the shitty feelings, it didn't pan out (my yoga classes getting cancelled for the week)...I think I was just sleep deprived and tired and got complacent with my thoughts. So the cravings continued. Negative lazy thinking took over.

I've been having a hard time feeling very happy this week not getting my classes in. And not motivating myself to go to the gym instead. I now see where self care is soooo soooo important in recovery. Going to try as hard as I can to wake up tomorrow and get moving and sweating early before work. (I suck at getting out of bed in the mornings)

Just the ramblings of an addict in recovery..


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 9:47 am 
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I really enjoy reading your thread. Exercise and supplements and health are so important... I hate to keep reminding myself cause I feel like a loser but when I was almost 6 months clean I had absolutely no sadness anxiety paws RLS nothing... I slept great, I was taking naps on Saturdays, etc... And all that started when I really started to exercise. If you read my day 71 post on here and my 3-4 months you'll see that until I got into a real good exercise routine I couldn't get over the hump, once I did start it was a quick progression. The kicker was I felt so great I wanted to reward myself for it "being over".. I lost control fast and here I am again.. I didn't understand addiction, still don't fully, but I'm learning and I now I can't control use, and honestly the great feeling you may get isn't worth this..


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 8:16 pm 
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Day 46...
I messed up and took some sub. Made a whole post on it in the stopping suboxone section. Feel free to check it out and offer your two cents.

:( feeling sad and confused, hoping to get back on track immediately.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 10:18 pm 
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Go back and read these post. You went through a lot to get here.. You are stronger than the average person!! I mean holy crap look what you've been through, and how you got all the way here, not many people AT ALL do.. So you can still pick yourself up, its a slip, screw it were addicts. But were fighters too!! You got this, you're too strong not to be able to figure it out.. Don't give up


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 10:54 pm 
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Quiet,
You know what... This is EXACTLY why I don't want to let my slip be the end of my fight to get off suboxone. It really was tough, and if I am/was strong enough to make it through that, I GOT THIS. and just because I made it off does not mean that's the end of it. Opiate addiction is a chronic disease, which means that the fight will continue for life for me. If 6.5 weeks of fighting and being strong was all we had to go through as addicts to recover from our illness... Well than shit, everyone would be saved!

Unfortunately that's just the beginning of a lifetime of work for me, and for all of us. Thank you for your support, maybe this stupid slip was what I needed to fully open my eyes to the reality that complacency in recovery has actual consequences.

And maybe it's good that I slipped with suboxone instead of one of my many other D's of C... At least I didn't overdose or feel really really good (or even actually get remotely high)... That could've been a real slippery slope.

Yuck. I'm over it. Back to working hard on being a better person and a better addict in recovery. Going to try and drink tons of water and get twice as much exercise as usual to pull myself and my body/mind out of this.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 11:49 am 
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tfish did you have a 5 second pause before taking the suboxone? Did you give a conscious thought and then say to yourself i will deal with it later, rationalizing? Also I admit I totally failed in responding. I had linking/compilation errors. :roll: anyway I read through the last part of April. You where way ahead of me with regard to my post yesterday. What you said a few weeks back was what I was thinking or stated yesterday. With that said umm Mars Volta? really that statement does rule. Anyway once again I am thinking out loud.

Do you know what scares me? what scares me is my Dr. retiring He/she isn't going to live for ever. What scares me when I look into the future wondering where I am going to be, with this when I get into my 60's on up. I mean somewhere i am going to have to repay the debt or price, even if in the end it is to eventually reinstate. I don't know if that makes any sense but these are the only reasons that cross my mind at the moment for quitting. Well one more. Normality or Pre damaged inc. days but as I am learning it is perception. It is our perception having to carry a dependency or addiction. Again it is perception. The normal folks are just as jacked up if not more so in some ways. I am running parallel with this analogy of perception. After all What good would money or currency be if everybody just stopped believing in it? thats all for now. Be good to yourself fish.

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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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