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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:51 pm 
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I started going to NA meetings recently and really enjoy going. I honestly believe that this program could help me change and live a better life. Here's the thing, I have not told anyone in the program that I am on sub. I do not want to be judged and I know that there are some people in NA who are closed minded and believe total abstinence is the only way and that they would consider me to be not "clean". I'm afraid if I say something I will almost certainly be judged and have my recovery deemed "unworthy" in the eyes of some. I don't want to take that chance because my goal is to go off sub WHEN I'M READY TO. And I think I'll need NA to get to where I want to be in recovery in order to go off it. If I say something I know I'll walk into those meetings every day after wondering who is judging me, even if they don't say it to my face. Not wanting to sabotage my own recovery by putting myself if the position where I know I'll just stop going if I feel awkward, I'm forced to keep my mouth shut about sub and I feel guilty for that. I have led them to believe that I went cold turkey. I have actually gone cold turkey twice before and got through the horrible wds but around day 25 both times I relapsed. The severe depression and anxiety kicked in and I just couldn't handle it. I went back to oxy and both times my addiction spiralled further out of control. I really feel like this is it. I HAVE to stay in recovery and as far away from oxy as I can get. Aside from meetings I'm also getting a therapist to help me work out some of the dark issues that haunt me - watching my mother die a horrible death from liver failure, the physical and sexual abuse I suffered as a kid.. and other things that I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with just anyone or especially a group of people!

I shouldn't feel so guilty about my decision, after all it's my medication that I'm prescribed and NOT abusing so why should it be anyone elses business? I'm not doing oxy and that's what should count. But still, I can't get that nagging voice out of my head that tells me I'm a cheat. I know it's just my addiction trying to find an excuse to sabotage my recovery and lead me back to pills. I mean I guess it would be easy to justify a relapse by unintentionally sabotaging my recovery by telling them the truth then feeling all awkward in going to meetings and that would give me the perfect excuse to go back "Well I tried but NA didn't want me.." So I think keeping my mouth shut is really neccessary. Living a lie is uncomfortable but living in active addiction is simply unbearable. So it's a no brainer really, keep my mouth shut and celebrate my clean time along with everyone else. I just wish I didn't feel so guilty. Not fair that some people are so damn judgemental in that group that people like me are deterred from getting help for fear of being ostracized. If they really wanted to help people they should get with the times and rid themselves of the black and white views. Funny they talk about being open-minded yet have no room in their narrow thinking for the idea that there might be more then just one way to recover from addiction.


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 Post subject: Hi
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Hi Free_Bird, my name is Queenie, the grandmother of the forum.

Welcome. I hope you like it here & will stay. I'm sure the others will reply to your post also. I am just jumping in to welcome you.

As far as the NA meetings are concerned and this is just my opinion, I don't particularly care for people that are stuck on one thing and don't open thier mind or accept anything else. However, if you really feel you are getting something you need in your recovery from these meetings, then by all means continue to go and don't tell them about the subs.

The imortant thing is for you to get better.

Please write to us. There is a lot of support & valuable information here also.

Everyone is always so friendly & willing to help

Love, Queenie


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Thank you for the welcome Queenie.

It's weird on one hand I do like the meetings and there's no doubt it has helped many get and stay clean. I like not feeling alone in this and since I isolated myself so severely during active addiction it's nice to get out and talk with people. I have met some really wonderful people in the program and a few jerks but I guess people are people and there are a few in every crowd.

But the fact that they are so narrow minded does drive me crazy and makes me question my sobriety (am I really clean?) that kind of stuff. I think for the time being, NA is helping me stay away from pills. Even being on sub, I'm still struggling a lot with the mental cravings. Not sure why it's so hard this time around but really it's been rough.

My house is a mess because every time I try and clean it I get major cravings. I used pills as energy to do pretty much everything so now even something as mundane as doing the dishes brings a torrent of cravings and I hate that I feel "frozen" unable to function normally because I want a pill. It's nuts! It's almost 4 pm and I've spent the better part of the day trying to clean up my house. I'll do a bit and then have to stop because the cravings get to be too much. It sucks for sure and I wish this would pass! Anyone else go through this??


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:44 pm 
Hey freebird thanks for sharing this I am in the same situation with meetings, I have told no one and will not tell anyone either. Don't let these type of people make you feel that you are not clean because you most certainly are, anyone who takes the stance that you arent are like you said narrow minded individuals. Also just like you are keeping this secret about suboxone (which in my opinion you have no choice because the way 12 step people act about this type of thing) there are also Im sure many others who have their own secrets as well. Ive heard about lots of NA people who were addicted to hard drugs (opiates, cocaine, meth etc.) who will quit their drug of choice but then keep using marijuana or alcohol because "they are soft drugs and they dont have a problem with them". Not everyone in NA/AA are exactly who they appear to be and they are not perfect, you realy only know what they share at meetings. Im not saying everyone at meetings is subsituting drugs but Im just saying that it does happen. If I were you i wouldnt share about suboxone and also would not feel guilty over it, at this time NA/AA is not accepting of medication assited recovery so its not your fault you cant realy share it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Hey, free_bird! I have been on suboxone for 10 days, and my doctor has strongly suggested NA along with suboxone
but I have decided to skip NA and look into therapy. My experience of people who attend NA in my area has led me
to believe the majority of them are extremely judgmental. I agree with suboxOWNED when he says
these people are only human, none of them are perfect. They are in no position to judge us- BUT they probably
will judge you for being on suboxone. And other However, if you are getting encouragement from the meetings
you should attend them and keep the sub use to yourself.

I heard a segment on NPR the other day that was about this very problem! Apparently hard core NA/AA people don't even believe that people diagnosed as bi-polar or depressive can take antidepressants and still consider themselves
to be CLEAN!

Go to the meetings if they help you, share your sincere desire to recovery from the ABUSE of opiates,
and keep your self respect. You are doing the right thing for yourself and your family.
You can tell us about your entire recovery, and we will support you.


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 Post subject: Secrets keep us sick
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:34 pm 
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FreeBird,
My name is Heather and I rarely post on this site, (just read), but I feel like sharing my experience with you. I am a recovering heroin addict who has been on Suboxone for 4.5 years. I have been to NA in the past, but when I started Sub I chose to go to AA instead. I never share about my medications or drug use in meetings, but my sponsor/network knows everything and that is why I say that secrets keep us sick. They keep me sick I shall say. My sponsor is so supportive and never questions the medications I take. Suboxone was the missing link and now I don't obsess about opiates 24/7 anymore. A major part of my recovery is meetings, the steps, speaking commitments, etc. I doubt a sponsor would tell you to get off an antidepressant and Suboxone should be NO different and if a sponsor doesn't get it then find one who does. NA believes in NO Mood or Mind Altering substances. AA's only requirement is a DESIRE to stop drinking. Don't get me wrong I've had my issues w\ alcoholism too, but I will always choose heroin/crack cocaine/ Benzos b4 anything. I suggest you find meetings that work for you. Many people on Sub don't feel a need to attend meetings and that is fine too. But, for this addict/alcoholic I chose to be around people who think the same why I do or I can go right back to my old way of thinking and behaviors.
I wish you lots of luck through your journey of recovery.


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 Post subject: Judgment
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:36 pm 
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I got sober in AA many years ago and the judgment is the same there as NA. Now I am on Sub and have told no one. Why? Because in the years I have been there, there have been two people I knew who were on antidepressants and the high and mighty AA folks told them they weren't clean.

What ended up happening was both of them committed suicide. And one of them was my sponsor, the man I give credit to for saving my sick addicted arse. That's why I don't say anything.

What I am doing is just not taking chips or giving a sobriety date. If and when I get off the Sub then maybe, and I mean maybe, I'll start taking chips and credit for a clean life.

Do I consider myself clean and sober? Yes! And you should too. I keep it a secret to avoid being judged, that's all.

Stay your ground and be very proud of yourself for seeking help and sticking with it.

Congratulations on your CLEAN recovery!!!

Tom


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 Post subject: Hi
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:13 pm 
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I am responding to your post where you tell me the difficulty you have even cleaning your house because you can't do it without pills.

I suffered the exact same thing. On pills I could do everything. Shopping, cleaning, laundry while I'm cooking. Go go do my hair & nails, visit friends. Oh, everything was wonderful. Then comes the sad part of pill addiction. The withdrawal & being in bed not being able to get up even to get some juice. Horrible isn't it? The opposite of when I was on pills. I remember my daughter saying "Mom, I'm hungry" and I coldn't get up to fix her something to eat. So, I know just how you feel.

Now on Suboxone, I find that if I get up and don't think about it and start doing something, I finish it. I put the radio on in the kitchen and start cooking or cleaning and before I know it, it's done. Maybe not with enough energy as before but it gets done. It's harder for me now also because I am an amputee of my left leg so I do things from a wheelchair. But, I do it eventually & so will you.

Addiction is a horrible thing and it takes so much from us. But, with the help of the subs, some will power and the help of my counselor and the people here in this forum I am coming along just fine. I have my ups & downs and my bumps but I bounce back. My good friends here help me conquer whatever obstacles I come across.

Don't give up. Keep fighting. Don't let the devil pills win. You will clean your house just fine. You'll see. Don't force yourself. Give it time.

Please, please promise me you will keep on touch with us & tell us how you are coming along. I know I speak for the other members here when I say you can write to us anytime.

Love, Queenie


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:16 am 
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This is an oft-repeated subject. I have the same feelings about NA, but then I have always gone to AA regularly, and almost never hear these problems. Your medical history and treatment is between you and your doc, revealing any of it to a recovery group is your choice, and choosing to do so has consequences. I always have to remember how fluid my own definition of "abstinence" has been over the years....I was always "right", in that my own use of everything from tobacco to Rx meds was "acceptable". As soon as I encounter some of the more rigid types, my ego tends to rear its head, and I want to get defensive and debate the issue. Really, its just breathing life into old resentments.

I guess at the core of the issue is one thing: this problem has to do with people in the program, not the program itself!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:35 am 
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Isn't there a kind of 12-step group for dual diagnosis that is more open to such medications (including psychotropics)? I think we have a member here (Laddertipper, maybe?) who attends these groups (I think she actually started one) and speaks very highly of them, especially when it comes to their acceptance of medications.

Also, some of the "regular" NA/AA groups are rigid, but not all of them. It sometimes is just a matter of finding the right group for you.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. In my opinion you shouldn't feel guilty about keeping your medications to yourself. That is between you and your doctor.

I hope you can reconcile this within yourself and get some peace of mind. Take care.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:02 pm 
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This has been an ongoing concern for a lot of people. At my last visit my doc said he was going to start a Suboxone support group. I really hope he does, and I think all Sub docs should consider it. Let's face it, even 12-step members who are "out" about their Sub use really can't talk about their questions and concerns about the medication at meetings. I let you all know if the doc comes through. He hasn't always been 100% reliable in the past, but I'm hoping.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:45 pm 
Hatmaker are you talking about "S.M.A.R.T. Recovery" or is that something different? Ive heard of SMART and was intrigued by it since its not 12 step and supposedly not religious based. I know 12 steppers say its not religion its spiritualality but thats a farce if you ask me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:02 pm 
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No, it's like a sub-group of AA/NA for people with dual diagnoses, many of whom I believe take psychotropic meds. Like I said, I'm pretty sure Laddertipper knows a lot about it. Hopefully she'll see this and weigh in.

But yes, SMART recovery is most definitely a secular recovery group and I've heard very good things about it. They have meetings online and in person. Maybe if they have groups in your area, your PO would let you go to their meetings instead of 12-step ones. Check out their website.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:13 pm 
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i too like meetings but prefer AA meetings to NA. I have noticed that most NA meetings in the area are a small group of people that are very stuck up about their sobriety and they think that the way they got sober (cold turkey, no help except NA) is the only way to go. These people dont take into account that everyone is different and we all require different recovery methods that meet our basic needs. I, for one like AA meetings alot mainly because i have a friend in the methadoane program that goes with me to meetings. It seems like (from what he has told me) there are alot of people at these meetings who were poly substance abusers and they do speak about this sometimes eventhough it is not technically allowed. I dont go to meetings a lot simply because i prefer therapy, but they do help sometimes especially when my head is in a funky place.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:02 am 
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Wow, I'm so glad you shard about this topic, as I am facing the same decisions. I just started my sub again after a few years more of pills under my belt. I am going to go to more meetings, but wasn't sure which to chose more of, the NA or AA. Along with private counseling as well.

I just wanted to say that NOT sharing something about yourself isn't lying. You have chosen not to say something. And that's ok. Because in your case, it will cause you discomfort, problems, and just may not be a good idea for you right now. That's not wrong. That's putting yourself and your safety first. Your mental and emotional safety are important too, as well as your physical safety. I won't say anything when I start going again about the sub. It's no one's business unless I choose to share it.

I used to go to a lot of meetings, and I did meet a few people who felt that anti-depressants and anti-psychotic meds were not necessary, and all I can say to that is they don't have a medical degree, and they aren't responsible for my mental health. I know that in my case, I have a chemical need for these anti-depressants, and they don't alter my mood. Not taking them would be ridiculous. But I did come across a few over the years that thought it was a bad idea, and telling other addicts to not take theirs is reckless and dangerous on their part. I met people who taught me that as well.

I wish you all the best in the world with your recovery. I have the same issues with motivation too, cleaning and laundry and any tasks that I have to perform, but just don't want to without pain pills. It's hard at first. At least with the sub, I have energy but not euphoria. It's a god send for me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

freefall


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:03 am 
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There's Dual Diagnosis Anonymous. There's also GROW in my country for mental illness. Both are 12 step based.

What I don't understand is that there used to be methadone anonymous meetings. If so, why can't there be suboxone anonymous meetings?

SMART are fantastic as well. I highly recommend them and they are more tolerant of pharmacotherapy.

Although the official line on psych meds is one of tolerance in NA, the reality is far from that. My sponsor, the resident "guru" all 30 years sober, told me that the cure to my bipolar disorder lay in the "power of the steps" (sounds a bit PRAISE THE LORD). It didn't matter how many times I told him I'd previously worked the steps, gone off my medication, gone manic and relapsed. He still wouldn't listen. Then I tried to flip the script on him and say well "if it can cure my bipolar, why do you still need to take your HIV medication". he was like "don't be stupid, if I stopped taking them I'd die". I was like "well, there you go..." . . He still didn't get it.

NA. Only useful if you're lonely and wanna get laid. And you can do that in SMART anyway :D

PS>> Look at how many NANA's smoke? They're not supposed to drink alcohol, but they can smoke cigarettes, which are way more harmful to your health? Next time they do around the room ID chime in whenever a smoker claims they're clean over 1 hours.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:01 am 
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Hi everyone. I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I too struggled with if I was really "clean" because of being on the suboxone because I have been to some of those na meetings where they are so closed minded that they considered taking even simple cold medicine as a sign of relaspe. I decided that those types of meetings were not for me. I do go to AA but I keep my medical history between me and my dr. who is also in recovery.I think that there is wisdom in knowing what to share and what not to share. As for me Suboxone has saved me from a life of hell. Don't let anyone make you think that you are not clean. hold your head up high. Be good to yourself. This site helps too. There is alot of good support here as well as good information. Have a great day everyone!


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 Post subject: various support groups
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:44 am 
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This is a good topic to be repeated...the more information we have the better for our recovery.
This is what I know about community support so far:

-12 step programs, including one for dual diagnosis, one for gambling, sex addiction, eating disorders, even shopping!

-SMART recovery which bascially is a cognitive behavioral concept...we change our thinking so we can change our behaviors. There is no sponsor, no religion or higher power, they do support abstinence but are probably more open to harm reduction...don't know for sure. SMART recovery follows a text of sorts that you can get online. I have attended these meetings as well as 12 step and although I like them because I believe I need to change my thinking and behavior...but for me I like what a lot of 12 step offers as solutions for my "living" problems...for me doing a 4th step is important for healing and making sure I look at what I'm doing everyday and make amends when needed, clean up my past and all of that, and giving it back, helping others gets me out of my own head...so that is why I like 12 step. I fought it for years! I hated it at first, then loved it, then didn't need it, on and on...now I am back with some balance in how I think about it, have a sponsor and work on my own shit. I think the thing I learned the most is to just work on myself...I don't need to bitch about other people in my life not doing what I want them to do...I had a sponsor once say "Work on your own issus and everyone else around you will get better". Very true. Doing that changed my perspective and kept me grounded in the reality of the fact that I cannot change anyone but me. I can still voice concerns but the outcome is not mine.

-Individual therapy: psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists

-Celebrate Recovery- It uses the 12 step premise but works the steps Biblically. It's pretty cool for people who want to work in their church and work on their "Christian" walk while in recovery. I have patients who love it. I have never gone yet.

-Some communities have Sub and methadone meetings

-I personally would like to start a Sub group in my community and am working on that...not a 12 step but a group therapy since that is my work...I am surprised that even in a large city there have been no Sub groups. (where I used to live anyway)

-An idea is to start your own group! You only need 2 people! Find a church that might let you use a basement for free, or a therapists office...I know I'd be open to allowing that in my office. Ask around.

-Rational Recovery-I do not know anything about that....is this the program that said people could drink in moderation? Not sure...but I know I can't use or drink in moderation! One is too many, a thousand never enough. When I heard that I knew that we me!!

-One I heard about years ago, don't know the name, I wonder if that is the harm reduction type program? Or I know there was a program out there that said people could drink in moderation....which I know for me doesn't work.

That's all I can think of right now. There are online groups for 12 steps and maybe for SMART, too.

I'd love to hear others' experiences in meetings or other support...what's out there, what can we add? What do we need? Ok I'm going to start a thread on this topic.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:45 am 
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This is a tough topic, because if you read the literature of NA, they DO state pretty clearly that their program is one of "complete abstinence from all drugs" and of course many of the members take that very seriously.

I went to NA for many years, but I eventually migrated more to AA because I felt that the actual level of recovery and the content of the meetings was quite a bit better. Now it could have just been a regional thing, but I've been to NA and AA meetings all over the country (used to travel a lot for work) and overall I find the AA program to be, well, just a lot more mature. Less "war stories" and junk like that.

As far as "recovery based on a lie" goes, well, I think it's a pretty slippery slope to get on, but I understand not wanting to be judged. I guess it's up to each individual to determine how much value there is for them in keeping the suboxone secret to yourself. Personally -and I am only referring to myself here- I would not do it. Or at the very least, I would confide in someone I trust. (sponsor, maybe?)

Look, at the end of the day, you need to do whatever it takes to avoid relapse. If going to NA helps you achieve this and if keeping the suboxone use to yourself makes it easier for you to attend the NA meetings, as long as this secretive behavior is not leading to other secretive behavior (that's the slippery slope I mentioned above) then I say do what you must to avoid relapse and don't worry about what other people think.


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