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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:16 pm 
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Ha ha. Obviously, I'm still here because of the huge power trip I get from being the forum moderator! RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!

Seriously though, I can hardly believe a whole year has gone by. When I was tapering and withdrawing, it seemed like a long and arduous process that might not ever end. Looking back now, I realize that it was such a small part of my life, albiet an important part.

And I'm still here because I got so much support here during that time, and I'm greatful for a chance to repay, or pay forward, what was given to me when I needed it. I also love having a place where I can come and know that there are at least a few like-minded individuals around...people who get it. I'm sorry that more of our sucessful taperers don't stick around - but that's the nature of life and the internet I guess. The regulars who do stick around - on Suboxone or not - have become my "recovery family."

Probably the most important thing that I've learned this past year is that I'm still me. I still struggle and have to work hard to keep my life moving in the direction I want it to go. I'm generally happy but I still have times when I feel beat down and depressed. I've learned to manage both my physical and emotional pain much better than ever before - but I still long to escape it sometimes. And I'm really glad for the time I spent on Suboxone, because it gave me an opportunity to practice how I was going to deal with life without opiates.

I've also come to realize that "relapse" can mean so much more than picking up a drug. For me, there's a mental part of the relapse that comes loooong before I even consider using an opiate - if it even gets that far. The relapse is in my thinking and in my behavior. I start thinking pity-me thoughts, like how life isn't fair and I shouldn't have to work so hard when my body hurts, and I can't help it that I get depressed, blah blah blah. And then I "give up" in the face of those thoughts. I stop going to the gym for a week or two, I stop taking walks, watch too much tv, don't eat a balanced diet...

All of those good habits take work to maintain, and unfortunately they can slide into disuse way too easily. I know when I get like I described in the paragraph above, it's just another few steps before I'm thinking - Hey, I really do DESERVE that vicodin, I WORKED SO HARD TODAY AND MY BACK REALLY HURTS. Whatever. Insert rationalization here.

I guess what I"m trying to get at is that this process (for me) has NOT been about trying to get back to some "old me" who was a certain way before I got addicted to pills. The way that old me was; well she was on a fast track to addiction anyway. Instead, this process has been about me learning how and where I'm able to take personal responsibility in my life, figuring out how to be a different person who takes care of herself, dreams dreams and creates goals to achieve those dreams, learns about the way her thought-process works and then gets in control of that to make it work for her.

This is all hard work, but I'm glad to have the opportunity to do it. I don't want to ever open my medicine cabinet again, see all the empty pill bottles, and realize that I've gotten myself into a really fucked situation that I just can't get out of without lots of help.

Thanks to everyone here who has supported me along the way, and thanks to all the lurkers who've read my posts. My heart goes out to you all and I hope that each of you find meaningful lives in recovery.

-Allie

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:57 pm 
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I'm so glad you're doing well and have stayed around here, regardless of the fact that you off suboxone. You have so much to offer to everyone here that I can't imagine this forum without you. You're an inspiration when it comes to self-improvement and motivation and I really respect that. Keep up the good work.

I agree that we can't really go backward and try to find that person who we used to be before the addiction. Once we get to recovery I think it's a matter of finding the right balance and just trying to be the best person we can be. I think you're smart to strive for your dreams by constantly making goals. Again, this is why I respect you so much.

Keep up the good work. We're happy you're still here and we appreciate you!

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Thanks for this post DOQ, you're an inspiration. I'm struggling right this minute with "life isn't perfect and neither am I but I have to keep trying to do the best I can." What you said about never again wanting to open your medicine cabinet full of empty bottles and realizing what a bad situation you're in--well, it makes me think. Yes, me too, I sure would hate to find myself addicted to my DOC again..or any other substitute for it..I'd rather stay on sub, even though that hasn't been perfectly easy for me. Anyway, I just wanted to respond to your post above, becasue it means a lot to read it, thanks again.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Thanks so much Allie lol if I can call you that I'm just so used to knowing you as Diary. You've always been such a huge benefit to my recovery. I've continually learned from your experiences. I have especially learned as you just wrote that relapse begins way before actually using, at least for me and you obviously. I still continually struggle every day with the thoughts that I am simply not capable of all the things that are required of me. There have even been some distressing times when I think about quitting bupe maintenance and going back to using. In spite of all the pain, strife, and distress that opiods have caused me to endure I still remember how whole they made me feel the first times I used. I have begun to learn both through my own life and your experiences that nobody expects me or anyone else to be perfect though and that realization alone has helped me to quell those thoughts of using. I have learned my weaknesses as well as strengths as a person who can no longer use opiates to make everything better. I have even learned to endure many situations that would have previously crippled me if I did not have access to opiods. And well by far the most important thing I've learned from you is that life is always going to be a continual process of not giving up or giving in. I used to have the dillusion that I would eventually wake up one day and have everything figured out and I would no longer have to continue to work so hard to stay up with the things that I know are required for me to continue a more healthy and satisfying life while maintaining my cleantime. You have helped me to realize that life truely is a process and that in order to move forward I have to be willing to try new things and be open minded and to foster a more positive thought process of telling myself that things will be okey even if I fail the first couple of attempts and that the world will not be ended by my occasional mistakes or failings. I know now that many times the best thing to do is to get back up off the ground and dust myself off and just keep moving one foot in front of the other and setting smaller goals for myself each day rather than allowing myself to become overwhelmed. I'm truly in your debt Diary and I cannot begin to express what a huge asset you have been to our forum. I look forward to reading future posts from you and I really appreciate your dedication to others here and myself.
Thanks so much for all you do,
Matt

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"If you're going through hell, ....keep going!"
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Hey Allie. I'm glad you stuck it out all this time without sub and relearned some important behaviors required to deal with sobriety. I've been on sub since July 07 and urn to be sober one day, whenever that day may come.

A few things I need to know. What is it like to be sober after suboxone? Are you happier? Is it true that sub numbs emotions such as joy or sadness, and that sobriety awakens these emotions again?

Please elaborate on how you feel now as opposed to being on suboxone.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:20 pm 
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Diary - you're an inspiration to me. Keep on keeping on. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:17 pm 
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Mike T wrote:
Hey Allie. I'm glad you stuck it out all this time without sub and relearned some important behaviors required to deal with sobriety. I've been on sub since July 07 and urn to be sober one day, whenever that day may come.

A few things I need to know. What is it like to be sober after suboxone? Are you happier? Is it true that sub numbs emotions such as joy or sadness, and that sobriety awakens these emotions again?

Please elaborate on how you feel now as opposed to being on suboxone.


Hmmm....these are tough questions to which I don't really have simple answers.

When I first started looking into Suboxone, I was in hell. I was addicted to dilaudid and then lost my supplier. I was scrambling to find anything just to keep from getting sick. I was horribly depressed and really didn't see any way out of my situation. Truly, I was fucked.

Then I started Suboxone, and I felt amazing. I had a great ride on the so-called "pink cloud" early in my Sub treatment. After a while that leveled out, but all along I was going to therapy and working really hard on the areas of my life that needed it.

I went though a period of depression while I was on Sub as well. At first, I was convinced the Suboxone was to blame and I tried to quit...which lasted like 3 days maybe before I realized it was a bad idea. I was also very tired but I chalked it up to depression (which I have had off and on since I was a teen). Finally, my hair started falling out and I went to the doctor - lo and behold, it wasn't depression or Sub side-effects, it was my thyroid. My medication needed adjustment, and within a couple of weeks I was feeling good again.

As I worked through my recovery and became physically and mentally healthier, I realized that I could start to decrease my Suboxone dose. I would say that for the majority of the time I was on Sub, I was on 4mgs per day or less. I experienced the whole range of emotions, but I would say that the Suboxone kept me a bit more stable, less prone to depression. I never felt that it interfered with my ability to feel joy or happiness.

During the end of my taper and when I first stopped taking Sub altogether, I went through a period of time where I felt almost oversensitive to my emotions. If I was happy, I was really happy...and if I was irritable, watch out! This experience gives me understanding of those who say they felt their feelings "come back" when they stopped Suboxone. I guess I was just working so hard on processing all my issues during my treatment that I never felt numb...or maybe I just didn't have that side effect.

In any case, after a few weeks, my emotions calmed down and went back to normal. I have to say that I feel pretty much the same now as I did during the last year of taking Suboxone. The only real difference is that my sex drive has returned, most thankfully. Other than that, I'm the same. I even asked my husband and he said I seemed the same on Sub as I do now.

As for what it's like to be sober after Suboxone - it's pretty much the same thing as being on suboxone. I'm definitely a happier person now than I was three years ago, and I don't regret a single day that I was on Sub. Those two years gave me the time to put a lot of good habits between me and using, and during that time I got my life back on track so I know I'd have a lot more to lose if I decided to start using again now. The main difference is that I don't have that fallback of knowing that I couldn't get high anyway because the Suboxone would block it - but I didn't have that security blanket for a long time when I was tapering anyway.

So I hope that answers your questions, but if not, ask some more and I'll do my best to answer you.

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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