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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:06 am 
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Rmac04 wrote:
Holy crap I don't even know where to start. Its been over 6 months since I jumped off subs in what feels like about 2 years. Maybe not that long but you get the point. I am only 25 and feel like Ive aged 5 years mentally and physically. I don't want to scare people, but I also want to be honest and not sugar coat my experience. It is what it is. If somebody told me 6 months ago that I would be 6 months removed from suboxone to start the New Year I would be stoked. Don't get me wrong, I am def stoked! BUT I would have thought I would be feeling great by now, at least much better than I am. Keep in mind I set myself back by a handful of relapses over this period. 5 to be exact, of which were only 1 day lapses each time. I have had at least 30 days sobriety between each lapse and currently have 42 days since my last. You would think 42 days removed of Opiates and 6 months off subs Id be feeling pretty ok but NOPE! This is truly mind boggling to me. I get that I set myself back but holy fuck when does it end? Every time I got sober from full agonists I was feeling like a million bucks by day 10 or so. Suboxone does a number on your system whether we like to admit it or not. Some more than others but it truly is a beast of its own. The mental aspect of anxiety and whatnot has surpassed for the most part, I really have no desire for opiates, it is just the constant fatigue and lethargy that is killing me. I have pretty much been stuck on the couch all week I have been soo exhausted, which is weird because I was feeling pretty good the 2 weeks prior. I could go on and on about the experience but I think you get the point. Basically it is a roller coaster ride and you gotta take the good with the bad.

A brief summary of the timeline..

1st Month- Not that bad. The acute phase was extremely mild. I was mainly hopeful for the entire 30 days thinking Id be doing great by the 2-3 month mark

2nd Month- Pretty fucking discouraging. I literally thought I had cancer or was possibly dying. Anxiety was all over the place. I eventually got blood work done along with a chest x-ray to check the lungs and heart. Everything came back PERFECT. The Doc told me I was has healthy as a patient she has seen. Social anxiety through the roof

3rd Month- Really fucking discouraging but stayed the course. No turning back now and all I could think about is it can only get better. Well it only seemed to get worse. Social anxiety still through the roof. I was extremely suicidal at this point and considering going back on subs

4th Month- Finally started to make some progress. Still had fatigue and anxiety but noticed some improvement. Pretty much accepted by this point that this is going to be a much longer process than anticipated. Social anxiety slightly improved

5th Month- Much of the same but anxiety levels slowly improved. Able to find some peace of mind from time to time

6th Month- I did have a couple ok weeks this month up until this past week. I am still hopeful but frustrated as hell at the moment. Wanted to start off the new year with a bang and instead I am stuck on the couch when it is 70 degrees and beautiful outside with epic surf. Social anxiety is def improving, finding out that I have become pretty socially inept over the years, but the anxiety I experience is def from the sub w/d because I have noticed improvements compared to where I was 2 months ago.

Since my last relapse I have gotten involved with AA and found a sponser. I will do everything in my power to never have to go on suboxone again. I am tired of a little piece of film/opiod controlling my life. I wish it were as simple as taking a blood pressure med, but its just not the case. If I was older I might stay on it, but I am too young to throw in the towel. I have always been against the idea of AA but I feel much better during this stint of sobriety than I did preceding my other relapses. Putting in the work is hard, something I never felt I needed to do while I was on suboxone, but boy do I wish I did. I don't hate suboxone, it gave me some normalcy back to my life, and without it I don't know where I would be today. It has helped my addiction to progress in the right direction and feel I am much much closer to conquering this beast. This whole process has been very trying but will make me a better person in the end and I can't wait for the day I feel well. I will def never take it for granted. I know my post was pretty negative, but that was my honest experience, it doesn't have to be yours, but the reality is most people have experiences like mine and worse so be prepared to have it rough for 6 months after jumping, possibly more. I just advise you that if you are considering going on it, know what you are in for. If I could go back knowing what I know now, I would have done everything in my damn power to get sober through AA. I just didn't want to put in the work and chose the suboxone route. Not to say that would have worked for sure, Ill never know. If you do go on subs, get involved in your recovery and have a good support system when you come off. Thats where I went wrong and prob could have saved myself from the relapses. Even though this process has been pretty fucking miserable, I would have to say if I find long term sobriety like I think I am on my way towards, the dues I had to pay to get there(stint on subs and getting off) are well worth it to have a shot at living a normal life. I wish everyone luck in their journeys and will update this thread around the year mark. Feel free to ask questions. Ill try to answer as honest as I can

Update: I wrote this about a week ago but my internet went down and wasnt able to post it. I had a great week and have been feeling much better. Just goes to show what a roller coaster ride it is. I met a chick who had been on subs for a year and has been off for 2 or so. She said it literally took her a year to feel normal again. She said the physical aspect got better at 6 months, but the mental took longer. This shit makes you its bitch for sure!


Yup, dude, this is certainly one hell of a roller coaster, and exhibit 1 is the fact that it's 3 a.m. or so and my kid woke me up and now I cannot sleep because I've got the weird hot/cold flash/chills crap. Every little thing throws my system off. It's been nearly 5 months off for me and I thought the acute phase was mild too and that this would be a walk in the park. Not so. I've had my blood work done too. Full physical too. There is nothing wrong with me. In fact, everything is perfect...except I don't feel all that great at all.

It's almost like you don't want to admit it, or at least I don't. It doesn't make sense...I never had any prolonged trouble like this from quitting drinking, which is supposed to give you PAWS. Like you, I felt like a million bucks not far out from when I'd quit drinking. Of course, then I'd eventually screw that up by relapsing, but this is just a different animal altogether. I wish to God I could have that million dollar feeling once in a while. A part of me wonders if this is even worth it. When will it end? I've thought about resuming Sub, but it's so ludicrous to start it up after being off 5 months, especially since I have no cravings...

I don't know that I have the fatigue as much, but I also still have physical symptoms, and that takes precedence over any fatigue. I do have trouble getting through each and every day, because I don't feel good when I wake up and it's so hard to get going. Then, I start to poop out and feel crappy early evening, and then I want to sit down and be still, wrap up in a blanket, zone out.

There was a guy on here who told me his legs kept hurting months out from stopping, and I just thought he must be imagining it, but now I'm in bed and my legs are hurting. It's because I cannot sleep, which triggers a recurrence of symptoms, and I can't sleep because my sleep system is so screwed up. I can't eat half the stuff I used to eat, because it gives me symptoms. I have stomach issues everyday...

I'm sorry you are struggling Rmac, but I am glad you posted this, because I'm more than a little concerned and want to hear that someone else is struggling with this. For the record, I did not believe in PAWS. I thought once I stepped off, it was over. I still have a long way to go too and it's a serious battle, for sure. It's not in my head. It's not something I can simply distract myself from. I've tried that! Trust me on this. I've been the queen of "I'm fine. It's all fine and great." Except I'm lying to myself. I finally broke down and just told my husband I have no idea why I still feel like this or when it will end and I'm more than a little scared because I don't understand this. He was getting very annoyed and thinking I was just permanently lazy. So, I needed to explain that I truly just don't feel good and my body is not cooperating and I'm stuck inside this body that is rebelling against me. I'm sorry to all the people whose PAWS experiences I didn't give credibility to.

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 08, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Rmac, my eyes were buggin' out of my head while reading your last post.....it's like you typed out my experience with PAWS.

Listen, I assure you, it will continue to get better. It's gonna continue to take time, but you'll keep getting better and better. After the 6 month mark, my next "big" improvement came at 9.5 months off of Suboxone. I honestly felt about 95% normal around 9.5 months. I was still having some sleep issues and lack of motivation was still an issue too. At 1 year off of Suboxone, my sleep improved GREATLY. We went on a vacation to Orange Beach, Alabama and something about that vacation seemed to "flip a switch" in my brain that made my sleep improve drastically. Finally, around 1 year and 3 months off of Sub, I started lifting weights and Holy Shit dude, I feel so much better now.

Rmac and Ladder, y'all just keep hanging on, keep believing it will improve, because it will. I PROMISE!!

Oh Yeah, I wanted to add one more thing. My lack of motivation....one of my last lingering symptoms finally let up just recently. Exercising and lifting weights helped it a lot, but I still found myself wallowing in self misery at times. Just before Christmas break, I talked to my boss about how frickin' lazy I had been acting at work and I asked him to help load me up with work to keep me busy. Staying busy at work AND coming home and lifting weights has greatly minimized my lack of motivation. My point is, don't be afraid to ask those around you for help. Let them know what you're struggling with, chances are they'll be more than willing to help you out, I know my boss sure was!!! He's got me loaded down with work like I'm some kinda pack mule!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Thanks for the replies guys! Ladder whatever you do don't give up! You almost have the worst behind you. I think the 6 month mark is a big milestone for when things start improving. I can tell you I have had a great week this week and it is truly amazing to have some energy and experience that natural happiness. I surfed all morning in beautiful sunny weather and fun waves, and as I was driving home I had my windows down and was just enjoying the breeze. I could feel the endorphins pumping and damn did that feel good. The whole time I was on sub and for a few months after being off I couldn't enjoy stuff that like. It was just like going through the motions to me. The endorphins are finally firing and I just felt truly "free". Just take advantage of the good days and grind out the bad. Sometimes it seems neverending. Last week I was miserable so I just layed on the couch and read, watched movies, and ate a bunch of carbs waiting to feel good again. Sometimes you feel like giving up but then bam you have a good day and start stringing them together. Its all gonna be worth it in the end!

I never really believed in the PAWS thing either. Trying to stay positive through it is damn near impossible. I don't care how strong your will is, it will kick your ass. It def helps to know you re not the only one going through this. I felt like I had cancer. When I try to explain to my non addict friends they don't understand. Same with my family. They are like "Didn't you get off that 6 months ago and you are still having problems?" Its like they don't believe me, or that it is even possible to have symptoms that far out but people just can't comprehend it. The girl I met the other night is the only person I have ever met in person that has successfully gotten off suboxone, but just to talk to her was awesome and made me feel not so crazy. Just stay the course and it will pay off in spades. My libido is back, prob a lil too much ha! I am a freaking horny toad now whereas when I was on subs I could really care less. I mean if you put a naked chick in front of me I wouldn't hesitate, but I sure didn't have the motivation or desire to go out and seek it. My emotions have come back and within the last month or two I have started to play/listen to music again, something I lost the desire for when I was on subs. My sense of humor is coming back too. Its crazy how medicated I really was on subs. Not high, just not myself.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:26 am 
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Rmac04 wrote:
Thanks for the replies guys! Ladder whatever you do don't give up! You almost have the worst behind you. I think the 6 month mark is a big milestone for when things start improving. I can tell you I have had a great week this week and it is truly amazing to have some energy and experience that natural happiness. I surfed all morning in beautiful sunny weather and fun waves, and as I was driving home I had my windows down and was just enjoying the breeze. I could feel the endorphins pumping and damn did that feel good. The whole time I was on sub and for a few months after being off I couldn't enjoy stuff that like. It was just like going through the motions to me. The endorphins are finally firing and I just felt truly "free". Just take advantage of the good days and grind out the bad. Sometimes it seems neverending. Last week I was miserable so I just layed on the couch and read, watched movies, and ate a bunch of carbs waiting to feel good again. Sometimes you feel like giving up but then bam you have a good day and start stringing them together. Its all gonna be worth it in the end!

I never really believed in the PAWS thing either. Trying to stay positive through it is damn near impossible. I don't care how strong your will is, it will kick your ass. It def helps to know you re not the only one going through this. I felt like I had cancer. When I try to explain to my non addict friends they don't understand. Same with my family. They are like "Didn't you get off that 6 months ago and you are still having problems?" Its like they don't believe me, or that it is even possible to have symptoms that far out but people just can't comprehend it. The girl I met the other night is the only person I have ever met in person that has successfully gotten off suboxone, but just to talk to her was awesome and made me feel not so crazy. Just stay the course and it will pay off in spades. My libido is back, prob a lil too much ha! I am a freaking horny toad now whereas when I was on subs I could really care less. I mean if you put a naked chick in front of me I wouldn't hesitate, but I sure didn't have the motivation or desire to go out and seek it. My emotions have come back and within the last month or two I have started to play/listen to music again, something I lost the desire for when I was on subs. My sense of humor is coming back too. Its crazy how medicated I really was on subs. Not high, just not myself.


I will not give up. I can't imagine going backwards after all this hard work!! I finally do understand why some people say that getting off Sub was the easier part, but the PAWS is why they went back. I get it!!! However, I can still win. I don't want to spend anymore of my life medicated. I feel the same as you. My sense of humor is coming back; my emotions are coming back. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by emotions, but that kinda feels good too, lol.

The fact that PAWS apparently does exist and that it's so prolonged and trying makes me more resolved, actually. I don't want to ever do this again. Once it's done, it's one.

Thanks for that 6 months mark comment! It's almost been 5 months. Maybe it will be significantly better in one more month, and this month is better that last month.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Keep it up! I am on 2.5 myself, about to drop the .5 off today or tomorrow. I started at 8, and have gone a milligram a month (two months on 4). I like reading posts like this it gives me hope. When I used, I would often self-taper off them and was able to stay off for months sometimes. So I know how it feels to finally be producing your own endorphins. I found the two hardest drops I have had were 8 to 7 and 4 to 3. Other than that it has been pretty easy.

I also lost lots of interest in music. Its weird stuff. I am just now starting to listen to it again.


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 Post subject: PAW FEARS
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Hello all,

I am currently taking 1mg of Sub once a day. I have been stable at that level for almost 2 years. Way too long. Recently, the urge to jump off has become more prevalent. I'm 25, and I feel like I'm just to young to give in to a lifetime of being medicated because of some horrible decsions I made 6 years ago.
ANYWAY, the fear of PAWS has always been what has held me back. I had a prescription for Methadone for a year and hated it. I was a walking zombie, but it allowed me to function and not chase Oxy like a birddog. I made the decision to quit (AKA Dr. cut me off) I tapered to 5mg a day and made the jump. The acute withdrawal was not fun but I got through it.

That's when the real problems started. I don't remember the exact time frame as this was a few years ago, but I was completely medication free for nearly 3 months. I was miserable. It's such a hard feeling to put into words, but it was this horrible mixture of anxiety, discontent, self-loating, and depression. None of which was so severe that I could not function but WOW did it make every day a struggle. Who want's to go through life like that?
So, when my psychiatrist offered to write me a script for subs I dove at the chance. Now, it's a few years later and here I am again. Hating being a slave to an orange hexagon but at the same time...why is it even worth it to get off if I'm going to be completely unhappy? I guess I'm just venting....Take subs and be generally content but enslaved to a drug or be drug free with the possibility of never "feeling right" again. Ha the funny thing is, I'm not sure I'd know what "normal" would feel like if I reached it after 7 years of opiate use. What a nightmare. But hey, atleast I'm not dead or in jail like the rest of my long lost friends.

Taylor


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:53 am 
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Thought I would update my thread. Its been a little while. So currently I am approximately 10 months removed from subs give or take a few days. I am 5 months completely abstinent from all Opiates!! I have finally seen the light and am getting some energy back and feeling good mentally. I was literally no joke miserable for a solid 7 months of being off subs, and didn't really notice major progress till the 9 month mark. The little slip ups I had with the oxy and opana def set me back a bit, but at this point I really doubt the impact was too major in my progress. Sub kicked my ass plain and simple. I see the light now tho and life has never been better. I am unbelievably thankful to have sub in my past. I can now feel, have normal emotions, and am the person I am supposed to be and no longer slaving to the little tiny film which ran my life. I have freedom I could never have imagined and all things are now possible. You can do it too! God Bless


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:48 am 
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I just read through your taper story and wow! I am in the middle of doing the same..I must say it does scare me a bit to read you were miserable for 7 months however you DID IT! Thank you for checking in-I like to read about folks who have done this thing-stopping Suboxone!

Take care..your journey is an example of how powerful the addictive mind can be! You have overcome-keep on the recovery path-you are doing great..:)


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