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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Romeo wrote:
This just dawned on me, this forum is here to discuss recovery from opiates whether the treatment is with Suboxone, Methadone or Abstinence based.

I've seen plenty of newcomers to this site who are on Suboxone and relapse, get back on Suboxone and relapse. Those folks are never urged to quit Suboxone and try Methadone or Abstinence based recovery, they're encouraged to get back on Suboxone and try again.

My question is this, why doesn't my Abstinence based recovery get the same respect that Suboxone treatment is given on this forum? Is it because I've relapsed a few times? If so, then why do the people who relapse while on Suboxone get treated differently than me? Shouldn't we be telling them that "I hope the next time you OD that you're alone?"

Baby Doll and Dannyb24k are two members I remember who were on Suboxone and continually relapsed, I don't remember anyone telling them to quit their chosen method of recovery, which was Suboxone and try Methadone or Abstinence based recovery.

All I ask is a little respect for my decision to go Abstinence based. After all, the third rule of this forum is to show respect for the decisions of others.

I am NOT mad at all with any of the responses I have got, I understand that if y'all didn't care about me, you wouldn't even post in this thread. I just ask the same respect be given my decision of Abstinence based recovery that is shown for recovery with Suboxone.


That's a really good point. I think it's very important for people to realize that one method of treatment does not work for every person. We are all different. Just because Suboxone is the answer for some, it's not the answer for everyone. Life is never, ever that simple.

I think ReRaise have you a good, swift kick in the rear/wake up call about taking this dead seriously, and he had a great suggestion: AA. I really encourage you to try AA. It has a way different feel than NA, and I am not knocking NA!! I'm not saying this either just because I'm an alcoholic. I just did not identify quite as much with the people in NA and this may be true for you too, Romeo.

Thanks again for your honesty.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:12 pm 
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I am going to come at ya from a harm reduction standpoint here Romeo and say, next time you're about to take a pill you've never heard of, Google first. And then reconsider taking it at all, ok?

I respect your decision to pursue abstinence-based recovery, and I think what you are going through is pretty typical. I think that maybe somewhere in the back of your mind you still believe (or hope) that you can use opiates recreationally. Wouldn't that be amazing and awesome? I'm sure we'd all love to be able to pop pills once in a while and get away with it.

I have to admit that I harbor these same feelings about myself. Sometimes I think it is only my dire poverty that keeps me from using. You and I were both pretty high-functioning addicts and I think because of that it's easy for us to revise history and fall into the trap of thinking that we were never really "that bad" and that maybe we got out of control for a while be we've obviously learned our lesson and we would never let that happen again. Now hand me that vicodin!

Unfortunately, as much as we know these things intellectually it doesn't change the neural pathways that we laid down with our opiate abuse. It doesn't change our genetic disposition, and it doesn't heal whatever emotional or mental pain we are trying to avoid. So even if we can control our use for a while, eventually it's going to lead somewhere unpleasant at best.

My opinion is that our best bet is to try to find some way to live that helps us heal those hurts and fill the empty places. We have to find some way to be connected to a community of people around us and we have to find things that we love to do and that help us create meaning in our lives. I don't think there is a one-size fits all approach to doing this, but there are certain pre-made communities that can help us find our way and provide a framework when we are adrift. For some it is a 12-step group or another kind of recovery community. Or church or some kind of spiritual community. It doesn't really matter as long as it's some kind of support network of people who are not actively in addiction.

Unfortunately, this work is really hard and our culture is not set up to support creating a meaningful life. It is set up to support mindless consumerism and isolation. So we are combating a lot of forces, both internal and external. I think it's to be expected that we will stumble and backslide along the way. Even if we don't use, we backslide in other ways. We have to recognize that "abstinence based recovery" needs to mean much more than simply abstaining from drugs. There has to be positive action too. We might have to try a lot of things to find out what works, but the important thing is to keep working at it.

I'm sorry that I don't have any easy answers for you. I know that sometimes I get tired and bored and I don't feel like doing this work on myself. I long for things to be simple and easy, to not have to pay attention to the places where my mind likes to travel when I'm not in the driver's seat. I think I would like to float along unconsciously with the rest of the sheeple, tuned out to reality and numb. I have noticed that it does get easier with time and effort though. It becomes less of a struggle and more of a habit to do the things I need to do to take care of myself. Kind of like how working out really sucks in the beginning but gets easier as your body gets stronger.

Be kind to yourself today and keep your eyes and your heart open. They say when the student is ready, the master appears. Maybe whatever or whoever it is that you're looking for is already right there in front of you.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:29 pm 
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What I've been learning about my relapses is that they're kind of like a bowl of soup, there's a shitload of ingredients that go into a relapse.....for me.

One constant ingredient is that I continually underestimate the power of this disease I have. Like I mentioned in another thread a while back, this is the only disease that I know of that will convince me that I don't have this disease?? What I'm gonna do to combat this is to be more honest with my support group, I have to be brutally honest with the thoughts I'm having and the feelings I'm feeling. A friend of mine calls it "telling on my disease."

Another ingredient, cockiness. Just when I get to a point in my recovery where I think I'm doing pretty darn good, WHAMO, I'm putting opiates in me. This time it was getting my 90 meetings in 90 days. Once that happened, I was like, "Phew", now I can take a break from my recovery.....WRONG!! That cockiness has bitten me TWICE now.

Another ingredient, I LOVE DRUGS......I FUCKING LOVE DRUGS AND BEING HIGH AS JACKSON BROWNE.....I LOVE IT!!!! I'm not gonna sit here and lie and say how drugs ruined my life, blah, blah, blah. Like DoaQ said, I'm a functioning addict. You put the fact that I'm a functioning addict together with the fact that I LOVE DRUGS and you got a bomb waiting to go off. The thing I have to remember is that I CAN NOT USE DRUGS RESPONSIBLY. I can't do it, I've tried and tried, I tried for 20 some odd years, I can NOT use those bastards responsibly.

Gotta go, I'm hitting a meeting tonight, I'll finish up later.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Romeo...That's really good that you're learning. You've learned some beautifully enlightening things about this disease. I too am a functioning addict. I didn't get that high on the vics because I was only taking 6 a day to keep the withdrawals away, but reading your post made me realize one really important thing about myself......I'm a control freak. This is why I limited my use to 6 per day. I would be thinking...."I want another one", but would always say back to myself. "You ain't gettin shit, you better enjoy the one's you've already taken!!". The thing about those opiates is once you start them bitches....You can't stop! Even though I was still to some degree in control, I was outta control because I couldn't stop. I hated being a slave to those pills. I kept telling myself. "You gotta get off these things", but I just couldn't stop. I think for me...It's going to be the fear that the addiction left me with that's gonna keep me sober. One of my worst fears is a relapse. I don't ever wanna revisit that again. I just wanna say, I really admire you for sharing what you have learned. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:41 pm 
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Romeo--
My neart goes out to you and your wife. I know how disappointed you must be--but if there is anything I have learned about the insidious nature of addictions is we are never as strong as we think we are. That;s why these communities are so important. I have only known you through posts and a common problem--but I consider you a friend and an important part of my recovery and my life. I appreciate your honesty and feel your pain--and if there is anything I can do besides be in your corner I'll do it with all my heart. To use a corny saying--Every journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Start walking man. And I get your decision about Subs. Keep us posted and feel free to IM me anytime amigo.

brian


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:18 am 
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I usually like to reply to most people who offer me advice on this thread, but I've been pretty wrapped up in my own shit for the last week and I've neglected to do that, so I'm gonna do it now.

Hatmaker, when I first read through your reply and got to the "Let's hope your alone next time" part, I actually read right past it for a second then put on the brakes and was like, "what did she just say??" Hat, you know me well enough to know that it sometimes takes a ridiculously good hard swift kick in the butt to get my attention. Believe me, you got my attention.

Laddertipper, as always, thank you so much for everything. You articulated my concerns about going back on Suboxone better than I ever could have. It was actually kinda freaky how you did that. It was like reading my own thoughts.

ReRaise, you said how I gotta get my head out of my ass and quit fucking around.....I didn't quite get it right then when you said it, but I do now. You are so right. You know 2 days after I thought I pushed myself to the brink of an OD, I wanted to use again!! 2 frickin' days!! The vomitting outside and not being able to breathe were painful by themselves, but then having the urge to use again 2 days later....WTF is wrong with me......I'm an addict, that's what's wrong. Another thing that's wrong with me is I don't like to listen to others. How arrogant of me, eh? I'll spew advice all day long on this forum, but when it comes time for me to sit down, shut up and listen.....I don't do it. Well, I can either let my addiction kill me or I can start listening. For the first time in months, I actually heard the people in NA last night and I came away a better person for it. Jim, I don't mind you being blunt with me, sometimes that's the only way people can get me to listen.....I'm a hard headed SOB.

Breezy__Ann, your comments kinda shook me too. You said it, I know what I've got to do, the question is, when am I gonna apply it to myself......the answer.....TODAY and tomorrow and the next day and the next day. I got to a point in my recovery where I thought I was doing pretty good, I slacked off and it bit me. I'm gonna start applying the things I've learned in recovery to ME today. Then you went on to hit the nail on the head, you said that I need to care about myself as much as I care about everyone else......that's what came out of my meeting last night. The lady sitting beside me asked me why I hate myself and I said, "Huh?". She asked again, "what is it that you don't like about yourself that you can't get over".......then it dawned on me, she was right. After a lot of soul searching last night, I finally remembered what it was that started this whole mess of me not liking myself.......if I don't come to terms with that one, I'm just making my recovery exponetially harder than it needs to be. Thank you for pointing that out to me Breezy, it started me thinking about my issues again and it allowed me to not get defensive when my friend asked me those questions last night.

DoaQ, what can I say?? So many things you said to me were so true. Honest to goodness, all the stuff you said to me was the other part of the meeting last night. Those people were just peppering me with that stuff, then once the meeting was over, they ganged up on me. They didn't leave me alone until I started speaking the truth about me and my recovery. Again, after hearing it from you first, it kind of softened up the ground for me to be honest with the folks at NA. My disease gets me to lie about it more than i ever knew.

foundhelp, you said, "The thing about those opiates is once you start them bitches....You can't stop!" and you are so right. The other thing that I continue trying to do is to separate the high I get from drugs with all the carnage and baggage that comes with drugs. For decades, I've been trying to figure how to get high without having to endure all the other crap that comes with using drugs, you know what I figured out last night.......those two things are inseparable. If they were able to be separated, don't ya think after 20 plus years of trying, I'd have figured it out by now??? LOL. I astound myself with some of the notions that I've held onto for so long. I keep thinking I can maybe use drugs successfully.....get high from them, but somehow avoid the crap that comes with using. If I want to use drugs, fine, but I better start getting used to the idea of the dump truck load of crap that's gonna come with using.

Brian__Tx, thanks so much Bud. I really appreciate your support. I hope that I'm finally learning that I'm never as strong as I think I am in my recovery, I pray to God that I'm finally REALLY coming to accept that. That episode this past weekend was painful and I do NOT want to go there again. It scared the snot out of me. I'm back on my journey of 1000 miles, I've just started taking my first steps again and it's good to know I'm not walking alone.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:27 pm 
Romeo, I've been thinking quite a bit about your most recent slip. There's a lot of 'terminology' out there regarding addiction that I have a hard time with. For instance....the whole "clean versus dirty" labeling, and even the idea of a permanent label of "addict" or "alcoholic." Another term I question is "relapse." I mean, I know what a relapse is.....you can even think of relapse in terms of cancer......perhaps someone was once in remission and now has had a return of the cancer, or a 'relapse.' In that case, the relapse may be minor and caught early, quickly treated and the patient returns to remission of his cancer. Or it may be a severe relapse. One from which another remission is highly unlikely.
Sometimes I think that addiction/alcholism relapse should be viewed in a somewhat similar fashion. I mean, in my mind, there is full-blown relapse.....entering back into active addiction, daily drug use and all that goes along with it, which in all liklihood will require detox and/or starting or restarting medication-assisted recovery, or an intensive abstinence-based treatment program or the like. Then there is another kind of relapse, which I personally would prefer to call a "lapse" or a "slip," in which the addict literally slips, perhaps finds himself in a situation with a convenient excuse to use and a small quantity of drug/s to abuse on a one- or maybe two-time basis. To me, that is far different from a full-blown relapse into active addiction. I also think it's possible to have a brief relapse or lapse wherein a circumstance arises with an addict who is in crisis mode or party mode or whatever, has limited access to drugs for a time-limited period and has a bit of a 'bender'.....uses for several days or a week, then stops, gets his head cleared and gets back into recovery, immerses himself into those practices and gets his addiction back into remission before any huge consequences have occurred.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wonder if labeling what happened recently to Romeo as a "relapse" has any true worth. I'm not saying it doesn't.....I'm saying that I'm not sure. Romeo obviously knew that he had f....ed up royally after he took that Opana. We all know that doing so was wrong, pure addict behavior.....from the excuse to use to the seeking of the drugs and finally to the snorting of the drugs.....all clearly not cool and not the behaviors of an addict in recovery. However, he recognized quickly his mistake and realized that what he had done was not only not a good thing, but also a very seriously bad thing, as he very likely overdosed and given a different set of circumstances, he could have had dire consequences. So I'm not in any way minimizing the seriousness of what happened. I'm just questioning some of what happened afterwards when he shared what happened with our support group. I think Romeo did get some great responses and advice. But I agree with something he mentioned about not getting better support for his choice to continue on with his abstinence-based recovery program.
It does seem like this forum is much more pro-Suboxone treatment than anything else. In fact, there have been several discussions regarding why anyone would ever want to stop Sub. And there have been many instances in which members who are on Sub have a relapse and are just encouraged to stay on Sub, increase their dose or whatever, as if that is the right answer for anyone who struggles with slips, lapses, or relapses. I personally don't believe that is the only answer. I personally would never encourage Romeo, based upon the lapses he has had, to get right back on Suboxone. In my opinion, that would be overkill. Yes, he's had some slips/lapses/relapses (whatever you want to call them) but the last time I checked that was almost always part and parcel to recovery to addiction, as this is in fact a chronic, recurring disease, with relapse being just a part of the journey. That's not say that it HAS to be, but for most of us, it is part of it. The wonderful thing is that with each relapse we survive (God forbid, I know that some do not and that is the biggest concern) we learn something and are given the chance for that to be the LAST relapse we ever have. I think that the most important thing is to take each and every slip or relapse very seriously, stop it before it turns back into full-blown active addiction and get back on the right track again, stronger, not weaker than before. And more determined than ever before to get it right this time....to have this be the LAST time!
As to the question of "why get off Suboxone?" or "why not just go back on Suboxone?" I can't speak for Romeo. But I can speak for myself, being very, very close to being off Suboxone. For one thing.....I don't want to keep seeing a doctor once a month at $200 a visit to pick up a Suboxone script for another $200+ a month. I don't want to have to take a drug every single day for the rest of my life. I don't want to worry about being discrimminated against should I need medical treatment and pain relief. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with pinpoint pupils and other side effects that become less and less acceptable to me over time. I want to be free......free from active addiction and free from a medication that alters my mind. I certainly will never want to go back on it once I've gotten completely off of it, because it's rather difficult to do!
These are only my opinions and my thoughts. I mean no offense to anyone who feels differently, as that is their right. I believe that most everyone here has one another's best interests at heart and only desires to help their fellow addicts. As Laddertipper (I believe) said we're just all different and what works great and feels right for one, doesn't necessarily hold true for another.
Romeo.....I believe in you. I think you messed up and in a pretty big way and it was a good wake up for you. But as far as I'm concerned, in some ways, it doesn't need to be made bigger than it was. You did a foolish thing and you learned from it. You are aware that you could have done serious harm to yourself and that is probably the most important lesson, and I know you're grateful that you lived through it. You are no longer an active addict, your tolerance is down near normal and you can't play around with this shit anymore! However, in my opinion, you haven't lost everything! You've still been completely clean and sober for the vast majority of the past year plus, right? Now that is something to celebrate!!


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 Post subject: Not buying in
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:00 am 
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SMF.......You know I have always been a supporter to you but I have to tell you the words you just typed out to ROMEO is giving him a PASS to do it all over again...and again.

SMF if I am in a resturaunt or bar and order a diet coke and choose not to smell it before I drink it and take a drink only to realize it is Jack and Diet Coke. That SMF is a SLIP..............

Asking for a narcotic from a family member and not getting relief and then asking for more and then snorting it.........to the point of vomitting and hugging a tree because he thought he was going to die is a RELAPSE. He even said 2 days later he was craving opiates again.

I don't know how many members on here that have never returned have OD'd and died and that is why we don't hear from them but I don't care what type of recovery ROMEO does.....suboxone, abstinence based....methadone whatever...just do it.

If this was me........and only me.....I have seen this movie before. I know how it ends and it ends badly. I would make arrangements to check myself into a 30 or 60 day program. I know that sounds extreme because most of us know what to do when we want to use. The only place I ever felt safe was rehab......I hated to leave there and have often wanted to go back to feel safe again. Some of us will die with this disease.....so far all I know is suboxone is keeping me from using. I hate paying for the doctor's visits..........the meds.......the stigma.

I love my boys and if it must be suboxone.......then suboxone it is. If one can do abstinece recovery through NA/AA or church, outpaitient or therapy I am going to do it.

I just don't want someone to minimize what they have done to the point that they give themselves a pass. My AA Sponser told me that Relapse is not a requirement to be in AA and that there are several that have not experienced a relapse including himself and his 28 yrs of sobriety. There are no exceptions..........death, divorce, loss of job.......we do everything we can to stay sober and if we can't get ahold of anyone then we jump on this website and we plead for help.........someone will come. I know.

Jim


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:07 am 
Jim, I appreciate your thoughts regarding my post. I can't disagree with a single thing you said.
I would never want to come across as giving anyone a 'pass' to use and therefore run the risk of death.....never. I don't want anyone to think that I take any of this casually. Opiates completely wrecked my life!!! It started with swallowing a half of a 5mg Lortab and ended with syringes full of any narcotic I could get my hands on, shot into my veins hundreds of times. I often think about how fortunate I am to be alive.....I overdosed several times, just was lucky enough to not lose consciousness completely in the process. So I am the last person to look upon any of this as 'no big deal.' If I sounded that way....I am sorry from the bottom of my heart....and I appreciate you, Jim, for pointing it out to me so I could try to clarify.
Really, all I intended in my post was to share what was going through my mind....what has gone through my mind before when we talk about relapse, staying on or going off Suboxone, etc. These are just things that I wonder about.....whether or not there are 'degrees' of relapse, whether it is best to place a label on it and if so, does the label itself really matter? I realize that a lot of this is simply a matter of semantics and perhaps it is of absolutely no consequence. I just believe that the most critical part of the issue is that the recovering addict is able to evaluate what happened and address it appropriately. For some, that may mean checking into rehab. For others, it may mean getting back on medication-assisted treatment. And for others, it may mean getting back into meetings, getting back on track with spiritual practices, etc. That is something that I certainly am in no position to judge for anyone other than myself. I think I'm just sort of repeating a lot of what I said in the original post. Anyway....these are just things that I have wondered about.
As to Romeo's situation......I get it. I noticed that Diary of a Quitter replied that she did, as well. I think most of us do get it. The unfortunate truth is that many of us (myself included) would love to think that we could use opiates from time to time. Despite the fact that I wrecked my life with my addiction....I was actually also highly functioning. When the truth came out about my drug use (because of internal safeguards within the hospital pharmacy system,) there was a lot of disbelief that this could possibly be 'me.' I think that does leave some of us with the impression that perhaps we could get away with a little recreational drug use. Does sharing that thought imply that I believe that's okay...that we could or should try to use recreationally? I hope not....because I don't think it does. Any more than DOQ's statement about her "dire poverty" keeping her from using means that she is suggesting that if she or whomever has some cash, we should try to use successfully.
I'm sorry, I feel like I'm just rambling, trying to explain myself in a manner which will make sense to everyone. Sometimes I think that just isn't possible. Romeo knows where my heart is.....that I would never purposefully advise him in a direction that could hurt him. I guess I just struggle with finding the balance between taking a lapse/relapse very seriously, while at the same time not giving it so much weight as to cause one to feel like giving up on sobriety. I know that relapse is not a 100% given in recovery.....of course it isn't. However, statistically, I'm pretty sure the odds are greater that we will not only have one relapse before achieving the goal of complete long-term abstinence, but that we will have more than one. That being the case, I believe the emphasis needs to be placed not on the relapse itself, giving it lots of thought, emotion, a serious enough label, etc, but on relapse prevention. What about next time? How will we deal with the next craving we get? How can we make it nearly impossible to get our hands on drugs? and so forth.
For many folks, Suboxone is the answer to all those questions...and that is fine. But for Romeo and for others....that is not the answer. That is not the way we want to maintain our sobriety over our lifetime. And I feel that is fine too. I actually feel that it is admirable. This is not easy, but Romeo is giving it Hell. He's fallen and he's gotten back up to fight another day. He's screwed up, he admits it and tries to do better next time. I believe he will get this right. He seems to learn something valuable with each lapse/relapse he has had. And that is something that I can relate to. I've had a difficult time sustaining my own sobriety.....even while on Suboxone. I think there are plenty of us for whom Suboxone has not proven, over time, to be the end-all, be-all of sobriety and for us, finding other methods for relapse prevention is critical. And I think Romeo did hit on something when he mentioned that those who are approaching recovery from an abstinence-based veiwpoint don't quite seem to get the same support as those who are committed to long-term buprenorphine. I would not want any addict to feel that this site wouldn't be supportive of complete abstinence just as much as it's supportive of long-term bupe treatment.
I have to apologize yet again for going on so long here. I'm pretty sure that one of my character flaws is my desire to be understood by everyone, to the point that I try too hard toward that end and end up being even less understood! Again, thanks ReRaise for pointing out how what I said could be construed as giving a "pass" to relapse. I will try to be more careful about that in the future.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:48 am 
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Hey SMF and ReRaise,

I honestly get what both of you were saying. I didn't think SMF was minimizing my lapse, I think she was trying to keep me from spending too much time dwelling on what I HAD done instead of what I NEED to do from here.

I think Jim brings up a good point that I always need to hear, I can NOT let my addict brain minimize ANY slip I have. My addict brain is a master at getting me to forget some of my hard won lessons. Without regular reminders from others, I do tend to forget some of my lessons learned.

The thing that clearly bothered me the most about this incident last week is not so much the fact that I came near an OD situation, it's the fact that I was ready to use again 2 days after because I got pissed at something that happened in my home life. All these things happened because I once again underestimated this disease of mine. Think about how strong this disease is, I came somewhere in the ballpark of an OD, but was ready to use again 2 days later......insanity.....shear insanity.

Of this I am sure, without constant attention, this disease of mine will find a way to get me to use. I can never again think that I have this shit figured out and that I'm good to go.

SMF, you asked, "You've still been completely clean and sober for the vast majority of the past year plus, right?" Yeah, I quit Suboxone on June 4th/2010. I had a total of 3 lapses whose total days number about 15. So, I've got 448 clean days and 15 not clean days.

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 Post subject: relapse
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:12 pm 
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hey, we all have done it dude. keep your head up dont beat yourself up for being human!!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Romeo wrote:
I've seen plenty of newcomers to this site who are on Suboxone and relapse, get back on Suboxone and relapse. Those folks are never urged to quit Suboxone and try Methadone or Abstinence based recovery, they're encouraged to get back on Suboxone and try again.

My question is this, why doesn't my Abstinence based recovery get the same respect that Suboxone treatment is given on this forum? Is it because I've relapsed a few times? If so, then why do the people who relapse while on Suboxone get treated differently than me? Shouldn't we be telling them that "I hope the next time you OD that you're alone?"

All I ask is a little respect for my decision to go Abstinence based. After all, the third rule of this forum is to show respect for the decisions of others.


Romeo, despite your lapse, imo you're still doing well. You got to 90 days, no? 90 days no suboxone, no alcohol, no drugs. That's really commendable. I mean, your average non-addict person out there would tip their hat at you for doing that. Don't forget that. I think it's really easy when you do meetings to forget how well you really are doing, when there's all these people around with years and years of time up. It's easy to dwell on failure while forgetting our success.

Look at it this way. Your handful of lapses hasn't damaged your life too much. You've kept your job, your relationships have stayed intact as have your finances, and your health (though you came close to damage recently). I'm not saying it's OK for you to lapse. All I'm saying is all in all your life hasn't moved backward. The only thing that's had a beating has been your self-esteem and your pride, and your clean-time. By my definition of recovery, overall you're moving forward still.

I remember when I did meetings, milestones were always a struggle. Leading up to them, and shortly after them. Whenever I went through periods of wanting to use, they'd usually last a few days. At first they'd happen every week, then every couple of weeks. At 90 days clean, they were happening every 3 weeks to a month? By a year clean, they were happening every couple of months. It's important to remember that those periods - which for me had using dreams return and everything - would pass after a few days. They usually hit a peak then disappeared. I think they happened more around milestones because I felt that every milestone was a commitment, or a "locking-in" of abstinence, so they came with a bit of fear.

Anyway, all I'm saying is don't think that everything's back to square one because you're restarting your clean time. Keep it up. Aim for 6 months this time :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:32 am 
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Thanks Jenzo, I appreciate the support.

T, I did get to my 90 days. I actually got to 105 days, but the 90 days was my trigger. I thought, Phew, I got to my 90 days, now I can slack off........wrong!! As soon as I let my guard down, I get screwed with my pants on. Thanks for your reply, I can identify with all of it.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:46 am 
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Romeo - what can I say? I care about you and I feel for you. I feel the pain that you are trying to cover and I feel the seemingly never ending desire to get high one more time. Spending time this weekend with a mother who lost her son to an OD recently scares the shit out of me, for you, and for your family, who I know love you deeply, and for all of us. Thank you for coming here and talking about it - it is so important for all of us to hear.

To tell on myself, I am a very highly functioning addict, too, and honestly I fantasize about being able to get high again when I'm off the Sub, as wrong and as dangerous as I know it is.

Also, I do understand the nuance of what SMF was pointing out between a lapse and a relapse. When I was in NA I had to count taking a hit off a joint that just randomly passed by at a party as a relapse. So it took me three years of being 99.9% clean to get a one year chip. To me that sort of "legalism" was a stumbling block, and I seem to do better not counting days. On the other hand one small "lapse" can be the one that kills us so it's deadly serious.

Romeo you're still breathing, and it's a new day. That's really all we've got. You can go home tonite and kiss your wife and daughter. All we can do is pray for God's will for us and the power to carry it out. Keep going, keep moving forward and we will be here to support you.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Don't forget too Romeo. A person who lapses in your situation, with zero tolerance, has a much greater chance of overdose than someone on Suboxone. It's the people who use after a period of clean time, who have no tolerance, who are in the highest risk category for overdose.

So be careful man!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Yep, I just did #4. I have 1.5 years off of Suboxone next week and I just wrapped up lapse/slip #4.

This is the first slip I've had where I was determined NOT to meniton it to all y'all, but then I got a PM last night from someone who has a similar drug history to me and they were stating how "if Romeo can get off of Suboxone and stay clean, then they can too" and I couldn't, in good conscience, not tell you guys about my slip. If people are going to look to me as proof you can get off opiates and stay off opiates, then they deserve the truth about my laspes. I have tried to be very open and honest about my "issues" and my lapses since getting off of Suboxone because I want people to know the truth, I want people to understand that living life without drugs is possible, but it's also pretty damn hard sometimes. I'm sorry I considered hiding this last lapse from you guys. I consider so many of you on this forum friends, I guess I just got embarrassed and wanted to hide it.

It started Friday.....actually, the lapse started weeks ago, the drug use started Friday. The only drug I could get my hands on was Opana. After my last lapse using Opana and now knowing how strong that shit is, I started off pretty small, it still amazes me how wicked strong that crap is, though. I used a 1/4 of a pill (10mg.....snorted) Friday, 1/4 of a pill Saturday, I flushed the remaining pills I had Saturday evening, with the exception of one more 1/4 and I used that last 1/4 this morning. The pills are now all gone and I'm not getting anymore.

The thing that brought this lapse on has some similarities to my first two lapses. Emotional turmoil that got to the point where I didn't want to feel those awful emotions for a little while.

The emotional turmoil started with me trying to help a couple of fellow addicts from NA. One of those addicts is a guy, the other is a young lady. Long story short, I ended up helping both of them financially and it backfired on me. I really thought I was helping these people out, I honestly did, but it turns out I was just keeping them from hitting their bottom. Then, add a wickedly shitty 3 day week of work this past Mon, Tues and Wed and you've got lapse #4.

To be fair, I knew for the past week or two that I was becoming very unstable emotionally because of the situation I had put myself in with these 2 people, but I couldn't seem to extricate myself from it all. Over the past 5 or 6 days, I started to "joke" to a few people, here and there, about using drugs again. You all probably know what I'm talking about. Those are some of the smaller behaviors that I know I exhibit leading up to a relapse, but I chose to ignore them.

Anyway, that's my update.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:22 pm 
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Romeo wrote:
To be fair, I knew for the past week or two that I was becoming very unstable emotionally because of the situation I had put myself in with these 2 people, but I couldn't seem to extricate myself from it all. Over the past 5 or 6 days, I started to "joke" to a few people, here and there, about using drugs again. You all probably know what I'm talking about. Those are some of the smaller behaviors that I know I exhibit leading up to a relapse, but I chose to ignore them.

Anyway, that's my update.


Yeah, I know that all too well. The relapse circumstances change, but how we deal with them never does. In the end, the situation doesn't really matter, it's only how we dealt with it. I'm always really harsh on myself leading into a lapse, and a bit "carelessly carefree". Joking about using drugs would def be my style as well, as turning my life into a bit of a "joke" makes it a lot easier to lapse. I remember "laughing all the way to the dealers". Do you think ordinarily you'd have reacted to your mistake, the lending money, as harshly? It seemed well intentioned to me.

It's almost like we have no choice but to ignore the signs, especially later on, because we lose a lot of insight when we're like that. It almost needs someone close to step in and say they're concerned, or something outside ourselves showing us we're doing something wrong. NA is great for that stuff, and it's good to have a couple of close friends in the rooms who know your "signs".

But you've said it before yourself .. that relapse is a big part of recovery. I'm a big believer that relapse doesn't mean restart. Losing one's "clean time" in NA can make it feel like that. As long as a person's moving forward, and that each relapse brings a greater determination to stay clean, then they're moving forward IMO.

Good luck dude. Don't let your addiction keep secrets from us! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:55 am 
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I guess it wasn't the lending of the money that pissed me off, it was the fact that both of these people were using me that really torqued me hard. I thought these people were my friends, then come to find out they were just using me.....that hurt and that's when the emotions went Kapow!! Worst part, I was warned about people like them, but I plowed ahead full steam and got burned for it.

Once I did decide use, I decided I was gonna use responsibly this time too. BAH HA HA, I just made myself laugh out loud by saying that, but the thing is, I really thought I could do it this time. Phew, some of the silly shit I can get myself to believe!! Anyway, the whole using responsibly thing went out the window pretty fuckin' quick!!

Like you said T, live and learn.....*sigh*, live and learn.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Romeo, I am glad that you're ok.

I guess it's an important lesson that we all have to learn sooner or later: you shouldn't have to do anything you're uncomfortable doing to keep a friend. Real friends will respect your boundaries, right?

I know you care for these 2 friends of yours and I hope you're able to find a way to establish boundaries with them that protect your recovery. In the end, that will be better for them as well.

Keep us posted ya ding dong! And take care of yourself.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Come on man! Give yourself a chance to heal,quit fucking up every couple of months and take the pain for a year or 2 and if you still have issues the drugs will be there for you, but God damm give it a rest and enough excuses, don't put another god damm pill in your mouth, nose or up your ass. Stay clean and deal! So nothing for 2 years starting today! Be a hero and do it, but all these relapses are undoing any good you have done. I also dont want to hear about your 1 1/2 year clean time off suboxone, you now have 1 day clean time off Opana. Welcome to the school of Hard Knocks.


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