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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:48 am 
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Hey TJ,
Thank you much for the update man. Have been wonddring how you ve been fairing these days.
14 months is huge in my book bud..wow.
Its funny how our recovery has so many twists and turns.. Are you sponsoring others, service work the whole bit? Id bet you are..
After reading you these past 4 years i gota say yoh did have an effect on my recovery. You show others it can be done If you want it..
Back to school and working will help for sure..
I know how you have struggled man, you have been very honest here and many prayers have gone out for you..
Gota run..oh and that word Stuck may jump tbe place abit..ha..watch it man..peace too ya..

Razor...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:33 pm 
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Always great to hear from you TJ!! I'm glad you're back at university and once again heading for a degree. Thanks for stopping by!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:41 pm 
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Hey TJ,

I'm so glad to see yet another positive update from you! The difference in your posts from 2 years ago to now is immeasurable.

It sounds like you have a lot of positive things going on for you at the moment. Going back to University is such a great decision. I can totally relate to the vaping addiction. I can't tell you how many different mod setups I have bought in the last year. And I love finding new vendors on-line for my liquids. It has proven difficult to find any particular flavor that I like long term, so I'm always looking for my next favorite thing. :P Have you tried Mount Baker Vapor yet? They have one called Moo Juice that I'm in love with right now.

Okay, I'll be looking for the next big update sometime in August!

Q

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:13 pm 
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TJ, it is so good to hear you're doing alright. For as long as I've known you, I never would have believed you'd be one to be completely clean and sober. It is friggin' great to be wrong!

Thanks for continually popping in and updating this thread. I may edit the title a bit.

rule

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:23 am 
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Greets to the crew and thanks for the kind responses. The only real challenge to my recovery lately has been that I soaked my whites, and my new laundry sink left brown blotches on them. 1st world problems. Going to an NA meeting tonight to catch up with the sponse. We have similar "defects of character", so he gets me. Got a date lined up for Friday night. I'm cooking! She's nice. Excitement.

QHorse >> Mt Baker is my "go to" e-juice site! I have a few favourites. Green Apple, Demon Energy, Honey Berries to name a few. Recently tried Moo Juice. Reminds me a lot of a strawberry milkshake. It's not bad!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:04 pm 
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I almost ordered Honey Berries, Monday. I'll have to give it a try, thanks for the recommendation!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Vaping is so fun!! I really got into it when I first got clean. Hundreds of dollars later I have a pretty decent collection of mods myself :)

Have you guys tried Five Pawns Bowden's Mate? Been my go to everyday liquid for over a year now!

Just had to add my two cents, this made me happy to see that there are fellow vapers here :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:26 pm 
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Hey guys. Time for a much needed update.

I experienced a relapse on heroin a bit over a month ago. A few factors I think brought it on, not least of all the death of my best mate to a heroin overdose. We became good friends in rehab at the start of this recovery, and while I managed to stay clean for 16 months, he experienced a few relapses in that time. Despite the relapses I stayed in touch, and reached out to him all the time. I guess the shared experience we had in going through that boot camp rehab together created an impenetrable bond.

Most recently he was on Suboxone, and was genuinely sick & tired of being dependent on it. I'm not sure if me dragging him to NA meetings may have perpetuated these feelings, but he definitely left meetings with renewed commitment to get off Sub and be able to identify as "clean". He decided to jump off 1mg, and was doing quite well for a week or so. Then when his payday came around, he was found dead from an overdose in a multi-story carpark in the projects.

I was in shock over the news. His girlfriend was hysterical. I felt an immense sense of loss. He was like a brother to me. I didn't use straight away, but I felt my recovery had taken a hit, and I was definitely vulnerable. I also felt increasingly isolated. Not only had I lost him, but my other good mate had relapsed on crystal meth and alcohol, and was looking more and more like a trainwreck. This all happened in a time of year where my bipolar traditionally flared up. March / April (fall) I seem to consistently experience depression, and my doctor often tweaks my medications around this time.

I work on my own at an espresso stall downtown, and I noticed in periods of low activity my head was dwelling on using. I shared about it at meetings, and talked to my sponsor about it. He told me to keep going to meetings. I started to spend all my free time on my couch at home, or in bed trying to sleep to avoid my feelings. I felt that as long as I was asleep I couldn't be of any harm to myself. Some of my old depressive core beliefs started to surface - the thought that I'm too damaged to get recovery, that drugs were my self-medication, that I'll never fit in in the world. Then at a family gathering, the night before my mate's funeral, I felt incapable of contributing any decent conversation to the table. This just reaffirmed my negative beliefs. I made an excuse to leave early, went for a drive and scored. 5 mins later I was stoned, and 16 months of clean time went down the gurgler.

The most poignant memory of my relapse was the feeling I experienced the next day. Having done NA for the last 18 months, there was an insurmountable fear in my gut of the pandoras box I'd opened in picking up the first drug. I knew I was powerless to stop, and that I'd use again. And I did use again. I broke up with the girl I was dating because I didn't want to bring her down, and honestly she'd probably just get in the way of my using. I binged on heroin for a good 2 weeks.

I don't exactly know when, but somewhere I had the presence of mind to realise I didn't like where this relapse was heading. I looked around at my flat, and knew it was just a matter of time before my TV, Playstation, laptop etc would disappear to my addiction. Then I'd stop paying my utilities, my rent, and I'd end up shuffling between crisis accommodation centres and boarding houses. I had to somehow find some brakes. I went to an old GP who prescribes Suboxone, methadone and naltrexone implants. I told him I'd relapsed after 16 months clean, and I desperately wanted to get back on the recovery wagon. I didn't want long term Suboxone or methadone. He gave me a script for 4mg Suboxone, told me to take it for 6 days, and come back in a week to get a naltrexone implant. He also told me not to use heroin for 5 days before the implant.

I was meant to come back the next week, but unfortunately I didn't stop using heroin until a couple of days before I was meant to return. I was honest about it, and the implant was postponed a further week. I kept using between taking my Suboxone, and had one last shot 3 days before I was due to get my implant. But this time I wasn't honest about it.

Needless to say the induction on naltrexone was fucking rough. Shaking, chills, immense diarrhea, sweats, insomnia. It was nasty. But it subsided over the next 48 hours. I took the antibiotics to prevent infection of the implant site, and gradually I came good. I'm now 2 weeks clean. The implant apparently lasts 5-6 months. For $1200, that's a pretty good deal I feel.

Now I'm smashing 1-2 meetings a day, back in "early early" recovery. Ahwell it is what it is. If I could have my time again, I would have probably put in effort to widen my social circles a bit. I knew heaps of people in NA, but my only "friends" who I'd call regularly were people I did rehab with. So when my mate died, and my other mate relapsed, I found myself isolated. Too many eggs in too few a basket.

Anyway, just thought I'd keep you guys posted so maybe you can learn something from my experience.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:28 am 
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Teejay,

Thank you for sharing that with us. I'm so sorry concerning your two good friends. I hope before too long everyone will come to see validity of medially assisted treatment and view it as "clean" so that we stop losing so many to relapse and overdose. I understand the depression during the Fall (September and October here in the northern hemisphere), as I used to experience that myself. Trees losing their leaves, days getting shorter and colder. At least you now know to anticipate it and see your doctor in late Summer).

I'm glad you were able to stop before you suffered too much loss from a financial stand. You're right, you probably need to expand your circle of friends that can offer you support when you need it. It will be a benefit to them as well...we all need someone we can rely on when we get down.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:00 am 
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Hi teejay,
So deeply sorry for the losses of your friends. :( I can't even imagine what it would be like to go through that. I'm sorry to hear about your relapse as well, but really really great job for getting back on track. That's the important part, and you've been through a lot.

Thank you for continued posting of your progress. Obviously addiction/recovery is a journey and not a destination! Hope you are well today and can find some peace and happiness even if just for a moment.

Hang in there!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:48 am 
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Hey Tear,
Man im sorry bout your mate. Ive lost two myself this yesr alone. This is opiate addiction. We can never think is over.
When i first came here four years ago you were someone I followed. Your battles are a great example of what can this is all about.
I also follow our good dr here. Every word . Sub can save us. NA ya if you follow that to a tee. . Ive done it too..It isnt easy. Doc says we must form a new personally . Change. . Can we change?,really?..

I read here how going off sub makes a person feel free. Until the cravings come back and the addict uses again. I dont wish that on anyone. But I dont hear a recovery plan much either with folks..Opiate Addiction never ends. The pull is to great.

Glad you have made it though this . Hang on to your recovery friends but yes find thoses outside of all this recovery/med world if you can. I started doing tbis last year. Sometimes in the bubble of recovery we miss the rest of the world around us..

Thanks for telling your story again TJ. Your a fighter man. Jump back in with both feet ..i know you will....Razor


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:39 pm 
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Teejay,

I'm really sorry to hear about your recent troubles. And I'm angry too. Not at you, maybe a little or a lot at NA though. Now, I know that you have a long and complicated relationship with sub. It's been necessary for you to weigh your quality of life with the medications you need for bi-polar disorder and your addiction. I wish there was a better maintenance drug for you or that going off maintenance medication had a better success rate.

I am sick about your friend and I know you are far more upset than I could ever be. But I'm so SICK that part of the recovery community has to perpetuate that it's more important to be off all medications than it is to be ALIVE!!! It's not your fault that your friend died. You are doing what you need to do for you and because sub has possibly caused some of your emotional problems to flare up! But your friend was totally influenced by all these NA zealots who made him feel that being on sub wasn't good enough. Really, wasn't being alive good enough??

I'm so proud of you for stopping your relapse cold. You looked it in its face and shut it down. Good for you. We absolutely don't want to lose you. It doesn't matter that you're across the world. We need to know that you're OK. Could you please check in here more often in the next few weeks? Does it matter to you that we care? I hope it does. Big hugs for you... Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:19 pm 
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I would not suggest that you go into a NA meeting and disrupt it by beginning a debate in favor of buprenorphine. However, I think you can be a powerful force in support of those in the future who mention it in meetings and are met with resistance. You can judge when the time is appropriate...during the meeting, or afterwards one-on-one, but you can support that person and relate your experiences and give them support in their therapy. You can be the voice of reason for them, that like Amy said, being ALIVE is the greatest measure of success!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:15 am 
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So I'm back on Suboxone. I was doing quite well with the implant, but unfortunately the thing wore off much sooner than I anticipated. It was sold as a 6 month implant, but around 4 months in I noticed significant cravings started edging their way into my thoughts. I battled them for a couple of weeks, then one evening at an NA meeting (ironic location I know) I found myself stuck in my own head, not listening to a word, thinking of nothing but using.

So I left, scored, expecting nothing to really happen because the implant should have still been working. It was more an experiment than anything. And I got smashed that night. And the next night, and the night after.

I made an appointment to see the implant doctor as I had the funds to get another one. But to my surprise and disappointment he told me he was no longer doing them, and was waiting on a new manufacturer to provide his implants and he won't be doing them for a number of months. He then printed me out a script for Suboxone and told me to stay on the Sub until the time came to get another implant.

So as I said, I'm back on Suboxone. I really do miss the freedom I felt I had on the implant. It was a different freedom to the 18 months of total abstinence on NA, which felt precarious and fragile, and dependent on attending countless meetings and a belief in some interventionist power. The meetings instilled this constant fear of relapse, which is meant to act as a deterrent, though I have suspicions it may have pushed me closer to the edge. On the implant I felt like I could have the occasional drink and the world wouldn't implode. I didn't feel as dependent on meetings. All I was reliant on was a chip in my belly, and I could almost ignore it completely as it was totally set-and-forget.

Now I have to go to a pharmacy 6 days a week to pickup my dose. And this new pharmacy I go to I pickup a vibe of discrimination against me for being an addict. 5 days in and they've already threatened to not dose me over a script that was unclear, and they wouldn't accept my clarification, opting instead to call my doctor who of course wasn't available. And there's the fact my bipolar meds don't seem to be as effective while I'm on buprenorphine, or any opiate for that matter. I'm more prone to depression it seems.

I wish it was good to say I'm back, but it is what it is.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:22 pm 
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Hey Teejay,

Thank you for keeping us updated on your circumstances. I know you've had a rough time balancing the treatment of your addiction with the treatment of co-occuring mental disorders. It sucks that your bipolar medications don't work while you're on bupe.

When it comes to your treatment, TJ, I think you are stuck with fixing the most obvious problem at the moment. For example, you relapsed on H so treating your addiction came first and foremost. If at a later date you can't cycle out of depression on your own, perhaps your focus would shift to the medications that can elevate mood. It's not fair that treating one of your problems makes treating the others impossible! That's why it will always be such a balancing act for you. You deserve better than that, but unfortunately we all have to play the cards we were dealt.

I do hope that the fact that you are back on bupe means we may see you around here a little more often! I've definitely missed your input!

Amy

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