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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 9:10 am 
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Hey guys. Bear with me as I'm on my phone and being eloquent is just frustrating for me without a keyboard.

I'm doing ok. 6 months clean, no subs, no methadone, no heroin, no alcohol, no nothing... except caffeine and nicotine. But hey it's early recovery and nobody's perfect.

I'm living in a recovery house in the inner city, and life is good. Most of the guys here are under 90 days clean, 3 of them are on substitution therapy - mainly sub - and are in the process of tapering. I'm smashing the NA meetings, averaging one a day, working off my community service hours at the Collingwood children's farm and refurbishing computers for an organisation that provides them to low income people.

There's been a lot of navel gazing for me these last few months, looking back over my life and the wreckage left over from my last relapse. I'm still convinced it was the relapse to end all relapses. I'm lucky to be alive and to have most of my faculties intact. I lost em for a while there.

But today life is ok. While I lost everything as a result of heroin, it's actually nice to live a simple life of meetings, volunteer work and benefits. As long as I stay in recovery, things will get hectic again no doubt.

I hope you're all well. I actually thought about the people here a bit in my travels. Will post more when I get to a laptop.


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 9:27 am 
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Damn it's good to hear from you again!! For a while there, I thought we lost you, man.

Congratulations on 6 months, TeeJay!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 12:27 pm 
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Hell ya!!! Was just wondering about you the other day tj..
I read many old threads too. But like Romes said I thought maybe you had gone on...
congratulations Tear, thats great news.....


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Good to hear teejay. Congratulations you should be so proud of yourself


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 8:34 pm 
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Big ups to six months. I know from experience that it is no easy feat.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:30 pm 
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Awesome to hear from you TJ! I remember that you were planning to go inpatient to get off sub and anything else you were using. I'm so happy for you that you're at 6 months off everything. I know that sub wasn't helpful to you anymore, so I'm glad you're off it.

Thanks for updating us! I didn't figure anything drastic had happened to you but I am relieved to know that you're doing OK. :)

Hugs,
Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:21 am 
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TJ! Hey man, great to hear from you! That volunteer work is chicken soup for the soul, keep at it. Congrats on the 6 months, and keep pushing through. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:00 am 
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Hey guys!

Nearly 9 months clean now, and things are OKAY. Life is so much easier now I'm not tied down to a pharmacy to get my daily Sub, or spending hours of my day waiting in my car for the dealer to show up. There's food in the fridge, money in my account, petrol in my car. I'm not stressed out about where I'm going to sleep tonight. I have a nice warm home to return to at the end of the day.

For people who are unaware from where I came. In 2013 I had a pretty big relapse after being on Suboxone for about 3 years. Whilst I wasn't completely abstinent from heroin for those 3 years, I only used once every couple of months. But that in itself was an indicator that I hadn't yet let go of heroin as an "out", or some kind of coping mechanism.

My personal experience with drug replacement such as methadone and Suboxone has been that, at best, it gives me some breathing space from my addiction and, at worst, it makes my using more manageable. While I squeezed three good years out of my last Suboxone stint, eventually my addiction got greedy and wanted something more. It's for this reason I chose to return to total abstinence based recovery rather than continue a recovery on drug-replacement.

People talk a lot about PAWS on this board. I wish I could comment more on my experience, but as my relapse involved a lot of heroin and cocaine use, I had to recover from a lot more than just the pathological effects of opioid addiction. I presented to rehab grossly underweight, psychotic, depressed, low testosterone, collapsed veins. Needing to recover from all this stuff means I'm not much qualified to comment on how it'd feel to recover from Sub dependence alone. All I will say is it's taken a long time for the brain fog to lift. I still feel like an emotional cripple, but that could be related to my psych meds.

I'm still living in a recovery house, working as a barista at a nice cafe in the CBD. The work's okay. As much as I love coffee (and cigarettes), it's still work. Next year I plan to return to study to FINALLY finish my degree, after a few interruptions. I just need to face the academic board and explain myself first.

Hope everyone's well. Will keep in touch.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:38 am 
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Hello, TJ,
THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATE.
AND THANKS FOR YOUR WISDOM
AND HONESTY. YOU WERE ONE
OF THE FIRST PEOPLE ON HERE
THAT ID READ AND COULD RELATE TO SOMEWHAT..
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, IT IS JUST
ONE DAY AT A TIME ISNT IT..

BEST OF LUCK....RAZ...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Hey TeeJay, so good to hear from you and it's GREAT to hear you're doing so well.

In my experience, 9 months is a big marker to hit. Right around 9 months is when I really started to feel pretty close to 100%, but you also know right around 9 months is when my first slip happened. Stay strong, bro, and work that recovery.

Congratulations on 9 months!!!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:39 pm 
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It's so good to see you back here, Tear. It sounds like you've been through hell, but some of us have to take a lot of punishment before we're ready to let go. I know I did.

I don't know if you were around when I got off Sub, but I went cold turkey off 16 mg in a detox facility. I remember you posted a lot about your difficulties getting stabilized on psych meds. I've struggled with my Major depressive disorder since I got clean. I, too, had a lot of difficulties with psych meds.

Ultimately, I ended up taking a genetic test which showed that I wasn't able to metabolize several antidepressants properly. This ruled out almost all of the SSRIs, most of which I have been on at one point or another over the years. I am currently on my second trial of using 1mg/day of buprenorphine as an antidepressant. The first time I stopped after about a week or so because I didn't like the way it made me feel, but at the same time I would look forward to my dose or double up - so I thought I was in trouble.

I just started again 3 days ago because I've had some serious depressive episodes and was in the hospital for it at one point. So the jury is out. Im working very closely with my psychiatrist and my NA support group, and being very honest.

Like Romeo said, I relapsed close to the 9 month mark, too. So please be vigilant. Hope you keep us posted.

Blessings,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:05 am 
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Damn! I'm so happy to hear from both TeeJay and Lilly!

TeeJay, 9 months looks good on you!! Holding a steady job, having a place to live, and thoughts of finishing your degree...all good stuff! As much coffee as you can drink? Bonus!! Just take it steady and slow and eventually your emotional life will improve too. I truly believe that!

Lilly, it's wonderful that you've found out the kinds of medications that won't work for you. That's a good part of the battle! I hope that your second trial of bupe goes better than your first. There seem to be a certain number of people who can only be helped by opiates.

Please both of you keep us updated here! We miss you!

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:01 am 
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Hello, congratulations on 9 months. Ive been on another forum for almost 9 months and the only people that are 9 months+ clean from maintenance subs, are me and 1 other person. So this forum is very encouraging to see so many people clean for quite a while. Again, congratulations : )


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:17 pm 
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Congrats! Good for you. Nice to hear you are doing ok since choosing subs weren't for you.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:50 am 
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Hey guys... in a few days (Sunday) I'll be celebrating my one year clean off all drugs, including Suboxone and alcohol. If you asked me a year ago if I could picture myself a year clean, working and a functional member of society, it would have been a big stretch of my imagination. I couldn't even stay clean on Suboxone for any length of time, let alone off it. In terms of cravings for opiate drugs (esp heroin), I'm in a much better place today at 1 year off Sub than I was even while taking my daily 12mg's. I guess my brain and body has had enough time to recover. The obsession to use has long left me. These days it's more about re-learning to be a responsible member of society, and achieving the best quality of life I can for myself.

My bipolar is largely under control, though at times I wonder if my mood-stabilising cocktail is making me an emotional cripple. I'm on Lithium, Zyprexa and Pristiq. Whilst I don't like the idea of having my spectrum of mood and emotion constrained by meds, it's a much lesser evil to being suicidal and bed ridden. Such states traditionally lead to relapse for me. Even at my darkest moments I still get out of bed and go to work. And most days I'm quite happy and content, esp after a 2km swim or gym session. My only real addiction is to my e-cigarette, and possibly women. But that's another thing. Juxtapose this with me at my worst last year, hearing door-bells ringing in my head day and night, arms flapping involuntarily, convinced God had forsaken me and interpreting graffiti as signs telling me I should die. It's unbelievable how much the mind and body can recover if you just take care of yourself, and continue to put yourself in situations that extend you and encourage growth.

I haven't really been hanging around on Suboxforum as much as I used to. This is probably because I've put that part of my life behind me. I squeezed some good years out of Suboxone, but in the end I found being tied to maintenance opiates wasn't conducive to my mental health. I do think I was more prone to depression while on buprenorphine, and perhaps that medication didn't work as well while on it. These days I go to NA to treat my addiction, and to a doctor to treat my bipolar. Keep both in check separately, and the other doesn't seem to flare up. I know it's highly hypocritical that I've returned to NA given my 12-step hate rants, but I'm approaching it a lot differently this time. Just taking what I need and leaving the rest. There's something therapeutic in spending time with other people who are trying to move in a positive direction. All the God stuff and dogma I'm still quite oblivious to.

Anyway I'll keep dropping by from time to time. All the best suboxforumers!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:00 am 
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It's completely awesome to hear from you Teejay, and especially that you're doing SO WELL!! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear of your continued success!

There were times last year that I felt so helpless not knowing what to do or say to you to make you feel better!! I believe I just ended up giving you a virtual hug and prayers on the side. I didn't know if you would make it! Thank goodness for the perseverance of the human spirit, that drive to keep going.

Hang here any time, but I totally get why you don't very much!

:)
Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:57 am 
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Gotta update the header on this thread, or start a new one...

good job, TeeJay. It's good to see that you're doing well!

J


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:00 pm 
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I am thankful to see this post! Nice work TJ. I've watched you struggle from a far, for quite a while, and it makes me happy to see such clarity and peace in your posts now. Congratulations on your journey thus far.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:42 am 
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Thanks guys for the best wishes and prayers. Amy they probably helped me get through!

Yeah TD I was definitely lost there for a while. Guess I had to do some "more research".

I'm taking my 1 year milestone "on the road" at the moment. Here, you get to share your milestone for a week. Starting to get sick of hearing people sing happy birthday, and sharing my story. I'm not really one for the limelight, though you probably can't tell on here.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:54 am 
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Hey guys...

14 and a half months clean and still kicking on. I recently moved into my own flat right next to uni. It's been weird moving out of a recovery house where I was getting tested regularly for drugs, and into my own place where I'm accountable to myself only. There's been a few moments of temptation, but they were only fleeting.

I'm returning to university in a couple of weeks, which will be fantastic. Feel like my brain has atrophied somewhat with the relapse, and then the non-stop recovery talk that comes with 12-step based immersion and isn't very stimulating, so it will be good to give my mind a workout. I'm also working 2 part-time jobs, so things are going to get busy!

The only real addictions I'm experiencing now are to my Vape, which has been fantastic. And I'm nursing a nasty Tinder habit, which has been fun! Much lesser evils to heroin, and being stuck on Suboxone.

Will continue to drop in from time to time.


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