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 Post subject: Relapse Averted
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:49 am 
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Well, I've had an interesting week and a half. It started with my NA meetings and my sponsor. I did my 90 meetings in 90 days and not long after I started to notice how the meetings were starting to drag me down. I kept being reminded of all of my character flaws, everyday, character flaws. My addict brain was loving it because it would maximize the time my brain would spend thinking of the character flaws and it would minimize any attempt I made to remind myself that I was a good person. I talked to my sponsor about it, but all he wanted to talk about was him and his problems. He's my second sponsor over my short 90 days in NA. Apparently, I'm a horrible judge of character when it comes to picking a sponsor. So, I knew I had to dump this sponsor too and it was really making me feel like an idiot for being zero for two in 90 days in the sponsor department.

Also, going to NA everyday and hearing people share their horror stories made me wonder if I had truly hit my bottom. They all ended up in jail several times, they had lost everything.....multiple times. This planted that seed of doubt in my mind that maybe I hadn't truly hit my bottom.

These things combined to overwhelm me over the last several days and we all know what any good addict does when they're overwhelmed.....they use. But I didn't!!!!

As all of this was taking place, I "felt" the door to a relapse open up again. I had that sucker slammed shut for over 3 months now, but it popped back open and I KNEW it this time around. I started using the tools that I had learned from people on this forum, tools that I picked up from my addiction counselor and tools that I picked up from NA to start dealing with the issues I was having and have them come to resolution. But just before I got the problems resovled, which was yesterday, I asked someone I know for two pills......he had just had surgery and I knew he had them. Thank God he said NO WAY DUMBASS. You see, he's a friend of mine who knows that I'm in recovery. He knows how bitterly I struggled to get off of all drugs and he did the best thing ever, he made me feel like a complete ass for even asking him.

Even though I asked for pills, I'm still very happy with the overall results. I've told most everyone around me that I'm an addict, for me, that's part of my recovery. If they didn't know, I know that I would be able to manipulate them into doing what I want in order to get drugs. So, by me leveling with this guy long ago about my addiction, I was working my recovery.

Anyway, the moral of the story......staying off of opiates can be hard at times. I would suggest that any of you who have quit or are contemplating quitting to start a recovery program. Quitting opiates alone is not enough, in my opinion.

Oh Yeah, after last night and discussing how I asked a friend for some pills with my wife and a couple of friends of mine, the relapse door is once again shut tight. Getting that crap out in the open, in the light of day, is one of my main weapons against this disease. It's extremely humbling to admit crap like that to people, but I know my continued recovery hinges on it, so I have to keep being willing to talk about it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:42 am 
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Yay, I am so proud of you! Are you going to continue to go to NA? From what you say above it seems like NA itself might be a trigger for you. I know they say you have to keep being reminded of what life was like while you were addicted buy in my experience it is counterproductive. I mean how are you supposed to stop living in the past if you have to relive it everyday? Have you ever had one on one therapy? I wonder if you would benefit from talking to one person about your problems vs a room full of people who are all there to talk about their own problems. I am not knocking NA just putting some other ideas out there. You should feel very proud of yourself, you stayed in control and keep on kicking your addictions ass!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:06 am 
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I'm really sorry that you are struggling. I guess I'd say that the whole 90 meetings in 90 days thing, having a sponsor, working the steps, etc., etc., are not hard and fast rules that you have to follow or else....or else what? There are reasons behind the motto of 90 meetings in 90 days. People are frequently battling so hard every single day that some of them need many, many meetings to scrape by and get used to the feeling of being sober. It's just so damn easy to slip, as you can see. Your friend could have said 'yes' and that is terrifying. Thank God for God shots.

Meetings are not all good. Sometimes NA is not a good fit for people. Personally, I like AA or DRA much better, and even for people who are not alcoholics, the AA steps and traditions are basically the same. I was able to find meetings where we didn't focus on all the negative crap so much. It takes time to find those meetings though. I recommend you try something that none of us are good at, which is moderation. You do not have to go to a meeting everyday. They are only there to help you and if you want to go hang with your family and do something fun, by all means, go do it! I probably did 90 meetings in 90 days, but it was only because I needed to, and some days I skipped and other days, I was having a really rough time and went to more than one. I never counted and nobody else did either. Right now, I never go to meetings, and despite what some people may say, I don't feel the need to go and I'm doing just fine and have few plans to go in the foreseeable future. If I need to go again, I will. I have not forgotten what I learned. It's all about helping myself. Meetings should never become a trigger. That's ridiculous, as they are supposed to be a help and not a hurt.

I understand not identifying with people who have lost everything. I didn't lose everything either. I think you need to not feel like you are required to do anything other than take care of your sobriety in whatever way works for you. Personally, it helps me a ton to have hobbies and 'normal' friends and to not be talking about drinking and being in recovery so much. It gets old. There's lots of living to do. Sure, we will always be addicts, but why do we have to keep yacking about it so much? How could that be healthy even? We are supposed to be having fun!!! Romeo, you got your life back from active addiction. You still have an addict brain, but you have your life to live. Are you having any fun? What do you do for fun? People may jump me for saying this, but meetings can become an escape/addiction. We also have to learn how to interact with people who don't have addiction histories and, in fact, that helps, because I think many of us have forgotten how to enjoy life. We've been getting loaded or recovering from being loaded for so long.

So, in summary, Romeo, this is your one shot on God's green earth to enjoy yourself, your family, your friends. Figure out what you are into and fill up your time with stuff that is healthy and you won't feel so lost and vulnerable to relapse. Dream some bigger dreams and go start on them. Build something. Paint something. Volunteer. Make music. Take your kid out to do new stuff. Install an incredible zip line in your backyard. Build your kid a BMX park in the back! Build the baddest tree house you can imagine. Take your wonderful woman out to dance and have dinner, even if you cannot dance :wink: . Go to a concert!! Just get out and enjoy yourself. (These are just a few suggestions that I think sound fun.)

Oh, and with the sponsor thing, assuming you do still attend meetings to some degree, take your sweet time to find a sponsor. It took me a while. There's no deadline. I wanted one I could identify with. That's important. Get to know them better before you ask them to sponsor you. You don't HAVE to have a sponsor by any specific date and you don't even have to have one ever!! Again, that is just something else to help you. If you think therapy will work, then do that. Personally, I think steps and therapy are all well and good, but I think it mainly just takes time, taking it one day at a time, enjoying each day and making the most of stuff, before we figure out who we are as non-using individuals. You don't have to fix everything and be all better right now. You will never be perfect, but guess what? There's nothing so terribly wrong with you either. You are already a fantastic dude. Give yourself a pat on the back for being a cool guy who is adored by your family and by pretty much everyone on this forum. That's a good place to start.

(((HUGS)))

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:54 am 
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Good for you Romeo!!! You never cease to amaze me

the taper is the easy part staying sober is the hard part.............


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Lisa


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:55 am 
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the insight so very much.

I do plan on going to NA still, but I'm only gonna hit my home group meeting on Monday nights for a while, it's a great meeting. I love the Tues. and Thurs. night meetings, but I'll only be hitting those on nights that my daughter doesn't have math homework, she needs my help with her math or she's gonna fall behind. Right from the get go, I did not like the Wed/Sun and Fri/Sat meetings, but I kept on going because I thought it was what I was supposed to do?? I know better now. I'm not getting a sponsor anytime soon, if ever again.

I did one on one counseling while on Suboxone, once I quit Suboxone, I pretty much stopped going to see my counselor. I've seen him a few times since being off of Suboxone and because of this close call, I've got an appointment to see him tomorrow.

Moderation......what in the hell is that??? LOL!! One thing that sticks in my mind like glue from my one on one days with my counselor is him ALWAYS saying to try to learn to live my life in balance. I struggle with that one mightily, no doubt.

Ladder said, "We are supposed to be having fun!!!", I couldn't agree more, I took my daughter out Saturday. We went out to eat, we went shopping (girly stores, yuck!) and we hit the arcade too. We listened to that great Katy Perry cd on the way there and on the way back.....best time I've had in a while. Getting that intial OOOmph to go out is a little difficult for me, but once I get going, I enjoy myself.

Recovery is an interesting process. I get so impatient with it sometimes.....I want to be recovered already!!! But, it just don't work like that. That's OK, I'm sticking with it though.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Hi Ladder, your post was really insightful. I agree with everything you said 100%. I was just talking to my husband and pretty much saying the same thing. I don't even know who I am or what I like anymore and i really want to find it. I am also having the problem Romeo has about getting the oomph as you say to get up and do it. I think as you can probably relate ladder that its not just the fact of being an addict, its also being a mom to young children that it becomes even harder to focus on yourself and what you like to do. I have 2 boys ages 5 & 3 and 10 month old twin girls and if and when I finally get me time I tend to want to do nothing, a few times lately I have made myself do something and am always glad I did, I guess I just have to keep fighting my laziness. Sorry to jack your thread I just wanted to comment on ladders post as it is something I am having difficulty with. Hey Romeo maybe we could find some kind of hobby together and I don't think watching old Beavis and Butthead reruns counts, haha!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Dear Romeo,

LISTEN TO LADDERTIPPER.

Love,

DoaQ

PS: You ARE already improved. Journey, not destination, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Breezy Fan ( :lol: ),

You didn't hijack my thread and I wouldn't care if you did. I loved what you had to say. I feel the same way after working all day, I want some me time too, but that me time is what gets me into trouble because I sit around too much on my me time. Like you, I don't know what the hell I like anymore?? Ladder is so right in everything she said, it's just convincing my dumbass brain to do that stuff now!! Actually, I was just talking to my wife about not doing stuff after work or on the weekend. It's funny, when I thought I had to go to NA meetings I would drive an hour each way and sit through an hour NA meeting, but when it comes to doing stuff with my wife and daughter I'm all like, Ho Hum. I'm completely selfish, that's my biggest problem in this area. I know this now and that's part of why I took my daughter out Saturday. I have to force myself to get out and enjoy life and make a habit of it. My habit for 25 years was getting off work, coming home, getting stoned out of my mind and vegetating on the couch then repeating that cycle everyday. I have GOT to break that habit or I don't think I'll see the progress in my recovery that I want to.

Dear Doaq,

I am going to listen to ladder!!

Thanks for the PS too!!

Love Romeo :D

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 Post subject: Re: Relapse Averted
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Romeo.....Good Job......! Addiction is an insidious, wicked disease. I lived, ate, breathed, slept NA for 18+ months. Did H&I's twice a week, attended over 200 meetings in my first 90 days. NEVER attended LESS than 14 meetings a week for over 18 months. Chaired meetings, spoke at meetings, spoke at NA birthday celebrations. Attended NA national Conventions, cookouts, campouts etc. LONG STORY SHORT.......I RELAPSED ! That dosent mean it is Hopeless...what that means is that as stated...it is a cunning, wicked insidious disease. I can hear you saying..."Give me a couple pills" as if I had said it myself..as I did ! I would bet just as it happened to me......all of a sudden "IT JUST CAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH". Praise GOD for a TRUE FRIEND that told you to screw off. The one I ask obliged me and I was off and running down that same path of destruction for another 3 years. I am Blessed to still be alive. NA meetings are as differant as the people that attend them...I attended NA, CA, AA...made me NO differance as long as there was an "A" on the end of it...As I have said before in here..It makes no differance what the substance is that causes us to crash...we still crash ! Recovery is a PROCESS as you know...it does not happen over night as we would like it to...as addicts we are used to that INSTANT GRATIFICATION...and we want that in everything we do..including Recovery !!!!! I may be New in here and New in Suboxone recovery but I am NOT new when it comes to NA, Dope use and Relapsing !!
THANK GOD FOR GOD !!!! And I thank GOD for Suboxone, these forums and YOU PEOPLE !!!! After crashing again the way I did, I had almost given up hope. But after starting Suboxone, I again can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I truely don't think it is a train coming at me.
Romeo...stay strong, stay on the path..newbies like me and others need people like YOU to be able to talk with and gather strength from. Like meetings, we gather here to Help eachother stay strong !!!
"GOD, grant me the serinity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the differance and GOD HEAVY on the wisdom Please !"

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 Post subject: I can relate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Hey Romeo,

Thanks for all your support on my post, I am sorry to hear about your struggles. Lately I have had a serious obsession with the reality that I can get loaded again. I tried twice in the five years I was on suboxone, and it did not work ...at all. So all of a sudden I am off suboxone for 20 days, and now that I am over the worst part of my detox, all I have been thinking about is how I can get high again.

I have been doing all of the recovery stuff, all of it and the haunting obsession is still hanging out. I have read that it happens when you get of subs, so I am not too concerned. I found myself looking for pills on craigslist, today " just to see".

Anyway, keep up your work towards living a sober life and thanks for your help with mine.

T


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:03 am 
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Hey kinevol,

Many of us, once we get off of Suboxone, have those same thoughts. They can be pretty strong at first, but it subsides with time. Personally, I can go for pretty decent stretches without any real cravings whatsoever, then, usually when I've let a lot of stress build up in my life, I start to notice cravings. This recovery thing is a learning process. We have to learn our triggers and avoid them or learn to deal with them. I know now one of my triggers is letting stress build up. I shared about this in my meeting last night and about how I tried to use Saturday, after the meeting several people came up to me and gave me their phone numbers and insisted I call them anytime I need or want to.....I'm going to be taking them up on that offer.

Recovery is not always a smooth road, it takes work, it takes persistence and a little bit of luck thrown in there never hurts either.......my luck came in the form of God denying me any drugs on Saturday.

Stay strong Bud!!

Okla51, I hear ya man. Thanks!

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 Post subject: I am CRAZY
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:16 am 
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So today, I cleaned my office at home, which is something I have needed to do since I started my detox but just could not bring myself to it. Today I got the thought that if I cleaned the office, maybe I would find a 2mg sub that fell into some dusty corner.

I know this sound crazy, or it would to a "normal" person, but it made perfect sense to me. I actually knew the reality of finding a stray sub was extremely low, I ALWAYS KNEW WHERE EVERY ONE OF THOSE BASTARDS WAS AT ALL TIMES.

I am thankful to report that I did not find one, and once I realized it was a lost cause I wandered away from my cleaning chore, and rode my bike to a meeting.

Sometimes recovery is just not getting what you think you want, you should thank your friend that would not give into your insanity, thats a good one.

T


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:48 am 
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I thanked him, I just didn't thank him the night he wouldn't give me any pills!! Actually, I cussed him pretty good that night!! LOL!

I got zinged by a couple of NA folks yesterday. We went out to eat and the discussion inevitably turned to my near relapse. I picked up two good things, one guy told me that I'm expecting 5 years of recovery after 3 months....that's true, I was. Next, one of the ladies reminded me that my character defects do NOT define who I am. I didn't get it at first. Actually, I didn't get it until about 4 or 5 hours ago. This young lady knows me fairly well and she knows that I am my harshest critic, she knows that I tend to dwell on my character defects and I let my character defects define who I am.

Finally, the light bulb came on and I was like, "Oh, now I get it!!!" I have many character defects, but those defects are not who I am, they are just a small part of who I am. There are a lot of aspects of my character that are great, but I somehow ignore those most of the time??? Frickin' sick ass brain of mine!!

It's funny because people like you, Laddertipper, okla51, DoaQ, Breezy__Ann, mg113, setmefree, rule62, marie, panpacific, Miss.Self.Destruct., filur11, Robin, Brian__Tx, Johnboy, Painter, Queenie1959, tearj3erker and some others that I've surely forgotten have all told me that I'm a good person, but it never really sank in.......I was always too focused on my character defects that make up a small part of who I am??

I guess this young lady tonight worded it just right to where I could finally understand it or up until tonight, I wasn't ready to understand it??

Kinevol, I'm glad you didn't find any Suboxone. I'm glad you understand that sometimes recovery is just not getting what you think you want too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Oh Romeo! You sound like I feel. I have been dwelling on things I shouldn't, which in turn makes me feel depressed, and then crave! I'm glad you could not find the stuff you were looking for. I think guilt keeps me from going back. I would feel like I would be starting over. Stress does put a huge damper on your life. And about the selfish thing, I am the same way. I am beginning to wonder if it is because I don't want to spend time and do things because of recovery, or is there something else. I was wondering if anyone has been diagnosed with ADHD?

I know it sounds crazy, but I cannot help but question why we became addicted in the first place. Some people would never become addicted because it doesn't effect their receptors the way it does for us. So I just want answers. Lol. I sound crazy, but I cannot help it. I wish I had the answers about how our brains work.

I went to a NA meeting because I had to for the addictions class. I found it to be very depressing, and I could not relate either with ripping people off and losing everything. But I am not against it, if it works then that is great.

When your counselor says everything in balance, you have to reward yourself. So you need to do nice things for you that are not harmful. If you dont, then you run the risk of relapse. I learned that in the addictions class too.

You have a great support here and it sounds like in your meetings too. You are an inspiration to all of us, but now you have to inspire YOU! That is not selfish either.

Glad you couldn't get what you thought you wanted! :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:58 pm 
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SherGonnastop,

Holy Crap, where do you guys come up with this stuff?? You said, "now I have to inspire myself".....you just knocked my socks off!!! That goes hand in hand with, "my character defects do NOT define who I am." For the longest time, my character defects did define who I was because that's what I thought about the most.

I'm just now understanding how my character defects do NOT define who I am and it's an awesome feeling. Now that I'm not dwelling on my negative features so much, I WILL be able to inspire myself!!

You SO rock for telling me that!!

Sher, it's my belief that the selfishness was made exponentially worse by our drug use and the behaviors caused by our drug use. We may have started off as about normal as far as selfishness goes, but the drug use and the behaviors associated with it made us CRAZY selfish. We just have to unlearn some of that shit.

Believe me, I've been working my ass off trying to unlearn certain behaviors and to learn the proper behaviors......it's been hard as hell for me, but at least I'm making progress.

One thing I've been doing since quitting Suboxone is waiting for happiness to come to me. It just hit me the other day that I have to go out and find my happiness. It ain't gonna come knocking on my door and say Ding Dong, your happiness has arrived......I gotta go out and get it myself. Since that revelation I have been getting more active with my daughter and my wife. We went out to a nice restaurant tonight about an hour from the house.....on a Wednesday night!!!! That's a shocker for me!!! Mon - Fri were stay at home. Sat and Sun, I'd stay home if i could too. I'm finally getting my butt up and out and it's helping a lot.

BTW, you said you sounded crazy.....no way.....you're just looking for answers, just like me. Nothing crazy about that.

Unfortunately, recovery is a process. Knuckleheads like me want to drive up to the fast food window and order 5 years of recovery and in 25 seconds be outta there with my 5 years of recovery......LOL!!! Now that's CRAZY!!! LOL!!!

Keep hanging in there Sher, it gets better, but it does take work and time and patience and good friends.

One more thing, about inspiration......the vast majority of people on this forum inspire me. Whether it's the person just getting on Suboxone or the person who is maintaining on Suboxone or the person who is trying to get off of Suboxone, they're all doing their thing in regards to managing their opiate addiction and that's fantastic. Opiate addiction is a BEAR....a big Grizzly Bear.....who just got stung by a swarm of angry bees......and he fell over and jammed a big ole stick up his arse.....AND HE'S PISSED AS HELL. That's opiate addiction and anyone who dares take on that bear, well, they inspire the hell out of me!!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:26 am 
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Well I am glad I knocked your socks off! Lol. Life is always full of ups and downs today I tried taking my nuvigil instead of Wellbutrin I felt bettor more energy and memory was sharper. I am striving to feel normal. Not just go through the day depressed or sad or worthless I am proud of myself for being clean from subs and opiates now for146 days. Getting close to 5 months. But there are many times the emptiness inside makes it so hard to not want for that feeling of being high.
My thoughts are to keep pushing through, feel the pain, learn from it, and know deep in your heart what a special person you are! Things always get better, sometimes we forget and feel as though the feeling will last forever.

It cannot last forever, just like living on opiates can't live forever. I know I am rambling. But just to show you how this addiction can mess up your mind, my dog was prescribed tramadol for pain. I had a sick feeling the first day it was here, but the next day it didn't bother me. Your mind can be a powerful thing. Stay strong and stay focused!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Hey Romeo. Remember the train wreck that was active addiction? I truly believe the 90 in 90 was designed for people who have just ended that phase. Many folks have just been through a painful detox, gotten out of jail, lost jobs or any number of other crises that active addiction leads to. Many people literally have no where to go and need the meetings for some structure in their day. But since I believe that being on Suboxone is being sober, you have a lot of recovery behind you. You're not the traditional "newcomer" the way they define it. So I definitely agree with your cutting back. NA is a tool, and should not be a help, not a hindrance to your life.
I also have to say GOOD JOB on telling on yourself. The first few times I tried to get clean I didn't tell anyone, which was an easy out if I wanted to use. When I finally got serious I told every single person that I felt was trustworthy. So, like you, someone would call me out if I tried to get pills.
So, good job averting a relapse and thanks for coming here to share about it. A lot of us here are about to enter the "no safety net" phase that you are in.

kinevol - you're in a risky spot with the cravings and no Sub. Keep posting about it, and if you can tell someone in the real world who supports you. Cuz one of these days a pill is going to turn up somewhere, and you need to be sure you can resist it. Keep up the good work.


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