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 Post subject: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:32 pm 
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Today is day 8 for me so I know this is still not much time under my belt. But I want to share my experience so far.

The anxiety when I first got up the past two mornings was INSANE. I didn't take anything yesterday for it but I also didn't have a real work day either so I just lived with it and cleaned a lot all day. Today was my first day back at work since the jump so I think that's where most of the anxiety came from. I ended up taking some clonidine. Then I got too tired so I took a power nap on my lunch break, then took 1000mg l-tyrosine and went back to work. Enjoyed work, I think the anxiety will dissipate tomorrow knowing what to expect. I think it was just a big scary thing I built up for myself going back to work.

As for the good parts about being off suboxone.... I already feel like I have really more genuine interactions with people and my feelings (bad or good) seem to come from a more authentic place. Music...music sounds soooo good to me. I really enjoy listening to music more than I did. My eyesight has improved drastically, which is something that I never expected. And I feel more confident too, like already I don't feel like I'm trying to please everyone or avoid conflict. It's weird, hard to explain. Kind of like when I was on suboxone it was like being on autopilot and going through the motions... Now I feel space between my thoughts and time to breathe and listen before speaking, time to actually configure a sincere response and not just say the first thing that comes out of my mouth.

Today I called and left a voicemail on the machine at my sub doctors office, canceling my appointment for next week. I said that I was done with my taper and 8 days out and didn't feel I need to come in. They called back and left me this long message about how proud they are of me (it's a doctor and his wife in a private practice) and I should feel really great about what I've accomplished, that its a huge deal to actually succeed at stopping suboxone and that if I ever need anything in the future to contact them. I thought that was awesome and it gave me a boost. I was one of the lucky ones who had a cool sub doctor, worth the 4 hours each way to my appointments.

I got lucky with my primary care doctor too. Hes one of the good ones. Im going to keep seeing him. I was thinking the other day that it's amazing how helpful doctors can be when you're being real with them... Opposed to the active addiction bullshit I tried to pull with every doctor every time to get a prescription.


So, so far this has been a great decision. I'm going to get through this week just focusing on catching up at work, then next week I will start back up with hard exercise.

My appetite has been non existent which kinda sucks, but I need to lose some weight anyways so maybe it's not so bad. Tonight I'm going to try and eat actual food. I've been surviving on meal replacement bars the past week or two. Haven't weighed myself but keep getting remarks about me looking skinny. (Which is a relative term... I couldn't be actually skinny if I tried) don't even know what I weighed before.


Looking forward to tomorrow to see if the morning anxiety returns. And looking forward to seeing how I handle it.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Day 9 is almost over. Not the easiest day I've ever had. The anxiety in the morning felt less than it has, which was nice. However, once I got to work all of my energy went down the tubes :(

Took 500mg of l-tyrosine but was still dragging ass trying to get through the day. Tomorrow if I feel like that I'm going to try to take more of it, because it was not fun working on my feet/dealing with people for 7 +hours.... And that was a short day. Another fairly short day tomorrow, then Friday is going to kick my ass big time.

Other than the fatigue, I have no other symptoms to complain of. And I was encouraged from another member evolvedrevolver who said after a few weeks the fatigue was better.

So I will just put my head down and suck it up. I guess it just gives me all the more reason to never have to go through this again.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:33 pm 
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Hey Fish,
Good job lady! I have some experience with l-tyrosin. Back in my constant withdrawal days I would use it quite a bit. I would take 1000 mgs in the morning with out any food in my stomach and a glass of h20. I wouldn't eat for at least an hour. Sounds harsh but it works like a charm every time. I would go for 6 hours straight. That was the limit, after that I would start to come down. I learned to do it that way from the Thomas recipe. It's a guide to get you through opiate withdrawal when you have to work.

~Sherah


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:51 pm 
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Thanks sherah! I think about 6 hours is how long I felt the effects when I took the l-tyrosine yesterday. Might be taking it twice on Friday... Have you ever had any experience doing that? Anyone else have any input on how long it took them to return to normal energy and activity levels?


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:02 am 
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Hi Fish :)

Just wanted to tell ya that I have been following ur progress. I think ur doing great! I always read everyone's experiences as they are going through this process. Maybe I do it to see what I have in store for me if I ever decide or feel the need to stop. I could be a lifer though, it's been yrs and I still don't feel like I am remotely ready, and I'm ok with that. I think ur doing awesome. I know ur having problems with energy and I'm sure that totally sucks. I always hated that part of withdrawal. You've made it pretty far now, hopefully things will start getting better and better. At least u know the worst is behind u. Anyway, I have no input or advice because I haven't went through this yet. But I did wanna pop in and tell ya ur doing great and I think ur very brave. Sometimes just knowing other people are cheering u on helps give ya an extra boost in ur day :)

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:21 am 
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Thanks jennjenn! I really appreciate you cheering me on and following my progress:) you're right, it does give me a boost knowing I have support:)

Today marks Day 10. I actually slept through the night last night, got my 8 hours of sleep! I was prescribed amitriptyline for sleep and I didn't think it was working but for some reason last night it did.

I've only been up for a bit, but I can tell I feel much more like myself today than I have been. Except that I'm cold all the time now. But I'll take it! Beats that horrible anxiety I had early in the week!

I am amazed at what a difference each day makes in this process of getting off medication. Ive never ever in probably about 10 years been able to put together this many days clean from opiates. However, I did stay out of active addiction during my sub treatment so I still count those as non-using days. :)


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:13 pm 
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Congrats on a successful jump Fishy! I'm so happy for you. What an amazing accomplishment!

It's awesome to read your daily progress. I am so encouraged by it, hoping that I will be able to push through the final jump as you have.

Best of luck to you!

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:29 pm 
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Bad kitty meow,
Thank you for the congratulatory words:) I know that when you are ready you will totally be able to do it! Its totally doable...I would've never thought just 10 days later I'd feel so much like normal. There were days when I thought that was just how I was going to feel FOREVER...not the case, it turns out. So when the time comes for your jump, even if it's absolutely awful, please know that you will NOT feel that way forever. And really, in the grand scheme of things, you actually won't feel bad for very long.

Something interesting I noticed today... (And I think it came into my head because of something evolved revolver told me) I think I got it in my head that somehow I was feeling my perception altered when I was on suboxone.

But honestly, today I felt exactly the same way I used to feel all day when I was at a stable dose of suboxone. Almost exactly the same. So when people tell you that being on suboxone only makes them feel normal--they aren't lying!!

Its kinda the same feeling of being on nothing, only you don't feel chained to a pill to stay well. At least that's my perception/opinion as of right now.

I believe we get this idea in our head of how much different we are going to feel when we aren't dependent on dosing every day, and we build it up to be something it is not. I feel today the same as I did when I was stable on suboxone and taking my morning dose then going on with my day, never giving it a second thought. (If anyone followed my story they would remember I got obsessed with dosing towards the end of my taper)

Day 10 has been a success... The morning anxiety wasn't really there today, or at lest not to a noticiable degree. The fatigue didn't happen today but I took 500mg of l-tyrosine this morning on an empty stomach.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:53 pm 
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Fish,

I remember the feeling of being cold all the time several years ago when I quit for several months. The only time I felt warm was in my car without the air conditioner running in the middle of summer. Then one day I was driving to work and all of the sudden, like turning on a light switch, I got hot...my hypothalamus finally "reset" and temperatures felt normal again. I do dread going through that again at some point, although not as much as the RLS, that and the muscle/bone aches are the things I dread the most.

So happy for you and your accomplishments!


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Morph,
That's interesting that your body reset itself after awhile. I hope mine does, but I used to be hot and sweaty all the time so maybe I hope it doesn't reset too much!!

Day 11
Still feeling good, just slightly grumpy this afternoon. Just took l-tyrosine to get through another 6-7 hours of work.

It's strange I feel my personality is changing. I'm feeling like not as content with things, like the place I live and the career I chose. For the most part my life is really stress free... And it makes me feel like I need a more high stress job lol.

Or maybe not necessarily high stress but something that makes a difference in people's lives in a non-superficial way.

But, that would mean going back to school and I don't think I have the time and especially the $$ to make that happen. I'm already 33 and I think that's gonna be too old once I finish school.

So I must make peace with my current job situation. It's not that bad and I work at a nice place.

My point is, I think as an addict I got used to having drugs to think about. And then when I was stable on suboxone I was just so happy to be out of active addiction that anything pleased me. Then for the past 6 months I had the taper to think about. Then the obsessing over when to jump. Then the jump. And now that's over with and I'm feeling like a normal person, I guess I feel some sort of void. Like I need something to be obsessing about!! Haha!!

Super excited for the weekend. I still have today and tomorrow to work though. So I'm going to try and really give 200% this afternoon/evening at work and try to focus on just my job, and not letting my mind wander to other things...


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:43 pm 
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When I was on opioids I was mentally and emotionally numb, and had very little ambition. Now that I'm beginning week 7 of Sub I find the fog/numb/low-motivation lifting. So, with you being off everything, I imagine that drive is coming back pretty strong in you.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:20 am 
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Day 12
I can't even believe Monday will be two weeks. Crazy how fast a body can repair itself.

Today my anxiety is gone again and my energy level is normal, even considering I didn't sleep much.

Stoked!


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:48 pm 
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Day 13

Today was easter and I had absolutely zero energy. Saturday night I could not sleep and I finally got a few hours from 3am on.

I decided I don't want to take the amitriptyline my doctor prescribed. It made me more constipated than I ever was on suboxone or any other opiate for that matter. And it didn't really work for sleep. Plus its a antidepressant and I DO NOT want the side effects of being on that stuff.

So I'm trying benedryl and aspirin combo tonight. That's what worked in the past since I don't have access to ambien. I think my doctor will Rx me some but not until I have given the amitriptyline a couple of weeks. Lame, but whatever, he's the doctor not me. (Even though as I'm sure you can relate to I thought I was my own doctor during active addiction)

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty darn good considering it will be two weeks tomorrow since my last dose of suboxone.

I'm not going to lie, I had some cravings this morning when I woke up super tired. But they weren't anything real, nothing I would act on. I have my mind prepared for the addict in me to show up unexpectedly and trick myself into justifying using. The cost/benefit analysis is just ridiculous. And I play the entire tape out in my head of what would happen if I used again.... I have too much to lose and I've worked too hard to throw it all away.

I'm going to hopefully have an easier week days 14 on out. I'm hoping the worst of the fatigue is over. Yet, im still not going to be too hard on myself this week as well. But I am going to try and get at least a couple days of exercise in.

Pretty excited to have made it this far. It seems longer than 2 weeks but im still counting days. I can't wait until I start counting months and then stop counting at all!


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:02 am 
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Way to keep pushing through Fishy! Girl, you are almost there; almost back to feeling 100%!

Sounds like the fatigue is your main lingering symptom, which is hard. I really hope it diminishes and that you start having more energy. It's so frustrating to feel like all you want to do is rest, but you are sooooo close; from everything I've read and heard, it ends at about the two week mark. So you may just wake up Monday and feel good. I hope so!

Best to you and thank you for letting us know how you're feeling. Keep it up, tough girl!

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:13 am 
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Fishy

I am really happy to read how well you are doing, and you are doing well! IMO, you have the right attitude and tapering is the way to go. I have read so many horror story's about people not sleeping for 2 weeks etc. But they jumped from high doses.

You have had some rough spots but pushing through when you need to and giving yourself permission to chill is helping you IMO. You seem to know yourself pretty well.

You gave me hope that i am not living in a total fog on sub. I feel very guilty about being on it but don't see ever going off because of chronic pain, my age & my health.

Keep on Keepin on!


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:27 am 
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Thanks for the support tiki and bad kitty!! You guys are awesome, it means a lot to me to have someone cheering me on. I don't know that I could've made it this far without this forum and all the supportive members here. {{{{Hugs}}}}

Tiki,
I don't think you should feel bad at all if you have to remain on suboxone. If you have chronic pain and it is helping you then its a good medication for you, and not a bad DRUG like people tend to use the term negatively. Like no one says "oh I'm on DRUGS for my blood pressure". They say " I'm on MEDICATION for my blood pressure "...yet, when it comes to being on medication for treating pain or for treating opiate addiction people refer to those medications as drugs. Wtf? It never made much sense to me.

And I am completely serious when I say that when I'm feeling good (and not super fatigued) I feel EXACTLY the same as I did when I was stable on suboxone. The things that I thought were foggy or that kept me up at night... They were still there and everything looked the same as it did before once I got through the acute withdrawals. I think too many people (myself included at one point) want to attribute their uneasiness to their suboxone, when really it's just life.

I will say though that once I started dropping below about 2mg the medication did not have the same effect and felt more like I was just toying with the receptors and the pleasure/reward center in my brain. I'm assuming this was an indication that I was dosing below the ceiling, thus not creating the right effect for it to be effective. This is when I started thinking seriously as to whether to go back up to a stable dose or rapidly taper and jump.

I am glad I am no longer on the medication however. It just feels good to not have to worry about it. Only you will know what feels right to you and one thing I've learned is that there is no one size fits all to this recovery process.

Today marks 2 weeks and I'm hoping I'll feel really good today! I'll probably check in tonight to report back since it is an alleged turning point day!


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:30 pm 
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Hey Fish :)

Congrats on two weeks!! Very awesome and inspiring. Also, I wanted to just give u a big cyber high five for what u said about sub not being the reason for things that is actually just life. So many ppl want to blame sub, when really it's just life and possibly underlying issues not the sub. That makes it so much easier for me to follow ur progress and just be glad u recognize that. I have all sorts of issues but I know what causes them and in the end I'm always going to be thanking sub instead of blaming it for every time I get a negative symptom.

So again, ur doing so great and if the time comes for me to stop, I'll be glad I read ur journey. Two weeks.....U absolutely got this now.

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:12 pm 
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Great job fish! I'm going to need to remember your post about the feeling on and off.

"And I am completely serious when I say that when I'm feeling good (and not super fatigued) I feel EXACTLY the same as I did when I was stable on suboxone. The things that I thought were foggy or that kept me up at night... They were still there and everything looked the same as it did before once I got through the acute withdrawals. I think too many people (myself included at one point) want to attribute their uneasiness to their suboxone, when really it's just life."

We get so many Suboxone bashers saying it's the drug causing all their mental troubles. Then we get someone like you who sets the record straight. You're not the only one to say that. We've had others but I'll try to remember this thread in the future.

Please continue to post your progress as time goes by. We all want and need to hear about months and years w/o Suboxone. It seems we get a lot of 10-20 day people who preach to us all the evils of Buprenorphine, etc., and then they disappear and we never know if they stayed off or not. And thank you for never bashing Sub either. Those of us who still take it need to know we are still making the right decision. Each one of us will know when the time is right to taper and stop, if ever.

Keep posting,

rule

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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:29 pm 
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Two weeks off!
Hooray!! Feels real good to say that I've made it two whole weeks. I must admit I feel remarkably better than I did in the beginning days after the jump.

My energy was better today, and without l-tyrosine. I didn't get sluggish until about 5pm. Not bad considering my sleep has been HORRIBLE. I guess that people say that's the last thing to come back.


My sub doctor called me in some ambien today so I can actually sleep more than a couple hours solid. Im going to try and be real selective about when I use it and not use it every night. I think once I get used to falling asleep again I will be OK. I've had sleep issues my entire life though so this is nothing new.

Jenn and rule, thank you for the nice posts, they really were a pick me up today!! I'm so glad I don't come across as a sub hater or someone who thinks that everyone should and can jump off just cuz I did. Quite the opposite in fact. I have nothing but praise for suboxone and I hope it has a bigger place in the recovery community in the future. In fact, I think it could be helpful for treatment resistant depression too and I'm excited for the future when people can stop the stigma and accept all forms of recovery equally. Sub saved my life and I wouldn't trade my time on it for anything.

So the verdict at 2 weeks is that I felt slightly better than I did in recent days but markedly better than early post-jump days. Makes me realize looking back on it that it totally sucked to jump! Haha I probably shouldn't say that but it was not fun. The worst part of it was the combination of not being able to sleep but being super exhausted yet a ball of nervous energy all at the same time. The entire week of that was my least favorite part. But it was worth it for me.

Now if I could just get some decent weather and start exercising outside... Or get caught up at work so I could take time out of the day for some hot yoga classes! I think my energy is getting better enough that I need to start exercise again. I am on my feet all day and have a fairly physically demanding job so that was plenty for getting back into the swing of things. Time to take it up a notch, especially since I'm going on a beach vacation in about a months time!

I probably will post again when i have a change in the way i feel like when my sleep returns or the fatigue is totally gone etc. And I will most definitely post an update farther down the road because I agree that the forum needs more of those experiences too.


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 Post subject: Re: life after suboxone
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:36 pm 
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16 days
OK so I'm still alive and kickin it sub free. After the two week mark passed (Monday) I haven't been thinking as much about how I'm feeling minute to minute. Which is good, I believe. My sleep still sucks a big one, even with ambien. But it always has so this is nothing new. I'm actually drinking coffee right now. Yes seriously. And I never drink coffee. It's making me wish I still smoked! haha a cig and coffee together is a fun thing! But I'm glad I don't actually smoke anymore.

So past the two week mark I'm starting to feel pretty normal. I understand normal is very subjective.

The one thing that is really bugging me though is my eyesight. I've been neglecting it for soooo long that I feel like I can barely see, except when I wear this really outdated pair of prescription glasses I have. So I'm scheduled for an eye exam next week, going to try being a contact wearer.

OK I actually started this post with something to say... Oh yes, the pink cloud (or lack thereof).

Where is it?

I was really looking forward to bringing on the fluffy pink cloud once my detox was over. Could it be that although im pretty active, ive yet to start back my hard exercise? Maybe that means the pink cloud is yet to come?

Or maybe because I was essentially clean and so far removed from active addiction during my time on suboxone that I don't get another pink cloud the way I did when I first started suboxone treatment.

This is both sad in a way and pretty cool/remarkable. Im ok with it either way, simply speculating. If the pink cloud is not coming since my detox from sub, that's just one more argument for sub making a person feel completely normal at a stable dose. Goes to show how much progress people actually make while stable on suboxone.

My other theory is that I'm not far enough along on my detox to have the pink cloud yet. Because people have said the full circle of opiate detox (suboxone or otherwise) can sometimes take 2-3 months to be complete. That would mean I'm not even halfway through. In fact, my primary doctor said he wouldnt be too concerned about anything I'm experiencing until about 6 months out, at which point we can rule out the detox process as a culprit. Interesting.

With that line of thinking, maybe the pink cloud is several weeks out and yet to come. (I'm not going to hold my breath)

Also I don't know that I deserve the pink cloud a second time. I guess I can accept that things aren't always guaranteed in life. (Although I would like some satisfying sleep)

I'm extremely happy and grateful just to be alive and well and that I was able to have the power over myself to taper off successfully. Its really really nice not having to think about taking medication to stay well. Maybe this is the pink cloud! ;)


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