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 Post subject: un-relapsing
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Ok, I am starting a new thread instead of adding to the one I titled "relapse" because I want to give an update but I dont' want people to think I'm still relapsing--I'm not, but that might only be because of the prayers some of you have been sending out for me..... Im continuing to work for the same person in the same situation--there are tons of strong opiate pain meds there. I did NOT admit to taking the pills that I stole last week. Which had no noticeable effect whatsoever when I took them, btw. It has not come up. I worked 2 days and had no trouble at all being around the meds. I even forgot about them for most of the time. But I was not left alone with them. Then yesterday it came up again. I had decided that I will try not to be left alone with them again, just in case. But yesterday it came up--my friend/employer had to go out and I still had time left and work to finish up. So, I barely managed to get out of there without stealing pills again. Two things that might have made it harder: one is I was completely out of my sub and had taken the last crumb, maybe less than 1 mg that morning. The second is there is an entire container full of pill bottles that my friend told me were to get rid of--he said "those are all my old meds that I dont' take anymore, some day I have to go through all those and talk to my doctor to make sure about getting rid of them all and how to dispose or them." So I thought--well, those ones aren't even being used. I even thought about asking if there were any I could have. So I will be honest, I went as far as to open the big container and look at the pill bottles, some of which were empty. and I didn't see any that were for pain. I didn't look carefully, but I did open that container and glance through the pill bottles. So this is really not great, that I came so close again. On the way home after work I thought about how pathetic it is that I would be so tempted again and go so far with it again after how awful I felt last week after I took those pills. And...it's clearer than ever that I should avoid being alone there! Yesterday I really did have work to finish up. IN my favor, I did finish up as quick as I could and I left as soon as I finished. And...I did NOT take more pills. But I wanted to, even though I was telling myself to remember how crappy I felt about doing that, and how the pills didnt' even do anything anyway. So...I'm thinking, Re-raise and Hancal and anyone else who was praying for me.....well, maybe it helped because clearly I need all the help I can get. But..even though I feel bad about how close I came AGAIN...well, this time I did get through it. After work I got a ride to the pharmacy and picked up my 'script. I had called it in as a zero-refill. I ran through my last 2 refills of 30 8/2 tabs in about 2 months and 3 weeks...so.. on average I've been taking less than 8 mgs a day...but there were a few days I didn't take my sub at all--when I had those pills I skipped at least one day I think, and I was sick for a couple of days somtime before that, so sick I didnt' take any of my meds for at lest one full day....still, at least I'm not taking way more sub than I'm supposed to..but...no word at all from my doc, just a new script with 2 more refills on it. She is really leaving dosing up to me. SO...I'll try to stay at 4 mgs, again, I'll continue to try to stablize to that regular dose, once a day...but...if I'm not doing well, maybe I should just try a slightly higher dose. It seems to me that anything 8 mgs or less is really not that high a dose and it's better to be on a higher dose than to relapse. As my doctor pointed out though, the cost and my current financial situation ought to be incentive for em to stay at a low dose. All I know though is that it seems like when I try to go below 4 mgs, then the next day I have a big desire to take MORE than 4 mgs. It may just be psychological cravings but.all I know is it keeps happening. Anyway, that's pretty much it, I just wanted to post an update about what's going on with with me. I won't be working there again for week or so probably, and maybe that's just as well for now. But...at least I'm reporting a narrow escape. I was also around the box that I KNOW if full of pain meds and I didnt' go into that one at all. I almost did, my hands were on it, but I didnt' open that box. I know that is too close adn I really dont' want to be there alone if I can avoid it. New idea--bring my sub with me and if I am really unavoidably in that situation again...I could take some extra sub. I know that's far from ideal, given how much trouble I have already with dosing compulsively but...it would be better than stealing pills wouldn't it? I saw in on subdoc's blogs today, something where he said, an addict who just takes pieces of sub tabs whenever s/he feels uncomfortable in any way might as well be taking full opiate agonists. I dont' think I agree with that though...I see his point, I think, but...I'd rather be abusing my own prescribed meds for one thing than stealing someone else's and...I am TRYING to take my sub properly overall and I have been doing better. I'll try to stay out of the situation of being around those pills alone but...I'm just thinking as a backup plan, I could bring my sub with me to work, just in case. Of course the other thing I could do is TELL my friend that I cannot be alone around her meds. I should do that I guess, but I don't want to--out of embarrassment, even though I really think he would understand, and to be honest, probably because in the back of my mind I am still thinking about how to get some of those pills. and hoping I can get high, even though I really have proved that the sub ceiling effect prevents that. And also I dont' want to say anything out of fear that my friend will worry constantly and forever if I tell...well, he SHOULD worry I guess. But ....ok, I guess everyone reading will understand that telling would be hard, I don't have to give a list of reasons why. The worst reason is what I said about still wishing I could get some and get high.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:09 pm 
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Hi auto and thanks for the update. First of all I'd like to say I'm proud of you for not taking any more! Even though you wanted to the important thing is YOU DIDN'T!! Thoughts and desires in our head don't really hurt us so please don't beat yourself up for wanting to take them. Just keep reminding yourself that you resisted.

I think it's a good idea to take your sub with you when you work there. There's nothing wrong with taking a small bit of sub when you're struggling that badly. I think Dr. J was talking about taking small doses of sub and regularly using it to just get high (at low doses it works more like a full agonist). I don't think your situation or how you're thinking about addressing these cravings is the same thing.

I do think you should tell your friend/employer that you don't want to be alone with her/his meds. BUT...I don't think you need to say why. What if you just said something like, "I see you have a lot of different prescription medications. I don't want to be responsible for moving them or possibly knocking them over, so maybe you could tuck them away somewhere when I'm here?". What do you think of that? Would that be an easier way to get them out of your line of sight? I hope so.

As for your dose, here's what I think (my unprofessional opinion): Since you're still struggling at 4 mg and you are prescribed 8 mg, why not split the difference and try stabilizing at 6 mg? It's still a nice low dose and it's still less then the 8 you're prescribed. Maybe you'll have less cravings? Isn't it worth a try?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:24 am 
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Hello Auto,

Congradulations on passing one of many tests! I know how hard it is, as my parents have a bunch of pills right downstairs un locked and for the most part unnoticed if I just grabbed a few here and there. Trust me I think about it all the time, it is definatly a true test of how bad we want this.

As far as telling your friend I would be doing the same thing you are, I guess addicts think alike. But, for today you can say your getting stronger, soon hopefully you {WE} might be able to not even think twice. {God I hope that is true!!!} I had a test of my own today, I get paid bi-weekly and today was pay day, so I get out of work cash my check and sitting there with a bunch of cash, knowing I could be very comfortable for a few days. But I went to a NA meeting instead, I really had it set in my mind all day I was gonna get a few. But when I got out of work someone called and asked for a ride to a meeting and I took it as a sign from God!!

I have taken a few extra pieces when I have been feeling bad cravings or had to do something that normally I would have needed a lot more oxys, not often but a few times. I'm sure some would say "addictive behaviors" and "not good" but I think it has to be better than the alternative?

Anyway good luck, good job today, and will continue you in my prayers :) :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:42 am 
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Wow. I mean - WOW. I really have to disagree here. I don't at all think it's a good idea to take your Suboxone with you and take a little piece to satisfy a mental craving. I have to be honest HatMaker, I'm surprised that you would even say that. I mean, step back a second and think about it. I know that you just want the best for Auto and at first blush I guess stealing more meds is higher on the scale than taking extra Sub - but are they the ONLY TWO choices that he has here? I will agree if either taking extra Sub or stealing pain meds were the only two choices, I too vote for the extra Sub. But I think there are multiple things that can be done in place of either of those.

Auto, let me first say that I think it's great that you have been staying on your Suboxone and are continuing to hang in there and try. No one ever said this was going to be easy and you are certainly living proof of that. The thing is, it clearly is going to take more than just being on Suboxone for you to beat this. For some people, getting on Sub gets them 90% of the way to remission. Others get a little helping hand but still have a lot of heavy lifting to do on their own and I hate to say it but you may be one of these. Have you thought about getting a sponsor? It would not necessarily have to be an "official" 12-step sponsor but is there someone who you could trust and rely on to be able to call them when a temptation like this comes up? You have to figure out how to make it through these triggers and cravings. Are you involved with any in person meetings? Are you seeing an addiction councilor? Can you?

I also think that you need to start getting honest with the people around you. You don't necessarily have to tell them all of the gory details. But could you tell your friend/boss something like "I hate to admit this but in the past I've had some problems with abusing pain medication. I got treatment for it and have been doing well but I'm telling you this because it would really help me if you could make sure that I don't have any access to those type of medications while I’m here." I think most people would respond by being very willing to help you. And, my friend, you really do need anyone and everyone there to help you.

This has nothing to do with will power or a lack of it. This is part of the disease of addiction. As Dr. J says, it really does not help you to take little bits of Sub here and there "as needed" It's been a while now and this struggle is continuing for you. I hope you don't get mad at me (and that goes double for you Hat) but I think the last thing you need right now is support in continuing with extra doses of Sub.

To be honest, this really is very likely way beyond what I or anyone here on the boards can "council" you with. We can certainly support you and such, but you really do need to get some more regular, perhaps daily, help for a while so you can get this under control. I'm sure you are sick of having to live this way as well. I sense that for you this is nearly as bad as active addiction. It sure seems like mentally it is because you beat yourself up every time something like this happens. You are not a bad person. You are not weak. You just need to get some intensive help to get you firmly planted on the right road.

I hope I have not made things worse. I just don't want to see this continue for you and hope you'll be able to put a stop to it. Just don't reach for more Suboxone as the answer. It is not the answer for you. It really is not. Now, by this, I mean "as needed". I very much agree with HatMaker that you may need to take more than 4mg a day if that is not working. But you need to find a dose and stick with it. You've been dancing around, dose wise, for a while now and that is where my concern is. I really think you need to find the dose that works, and then stick with it. As Hat says, you may need 6 MG/day or you may even need the prescribed 8 MG/day. What you don't need is a different dose everyday and to take a little bit here and there "as needed", because just as Dr. J states, that is pretty much like active using - even though it's prescribed and doesn't give you a high. Being on Suboxone is supposed to make you stop thinking about dosing all the time and stop the cravings and drug behavior.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:13 am 
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There's no hard feelings whatsoever, don. I always respect what you have to offer and to be honest I won't say you don't have a valid point. The thing is, and you wouldn't know this, auto and I have discussed some of this via PM and I have somewhat of an idea of the limitations regarding other options available to her. But in hindsight perhaps I should have responded for the benefit of everyone and put aside what I already knew. As for now, I'll resist the urge to explain some of those limitations and will instead step back and let auto explain and respond to your ideas herself.

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


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 Post subject: good points
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:44 pm 
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First off, Hancal, I'm glad to hear you avoided a relapse and thanks for sharing about that too. All of you, thanks for the responses and I'm not upset by the honesty. It's true of course there are more options than taking extra sub or stealing pills! And it is true what Donh says that I've been going on and on with this struggle. It is also true that I really COULD tell my friend that I don't want to be around the meds. Actually my friend already knows I have a history and even knows I'm on sub! Regarding telling that i feel it's better I not be around those meds, I think I would be met with understanding however, putting them away is not something my friend can do because his disability is so severe. Of course I could do it for him or one of his family members could, but I' really don't want to get into having to explain to the family members! Now, I don't want to just make excuses, though that is usually the most compelling thing to do, but I do want to just say, well, maybe you guys remember how much trouble I had telling me doctor the truth?! Even though I really wanted to be honest? And finally I did and I felt so relieved when I did but....well, I'm just saying I have the same kind of agonizing now about telling my friend. I feel the worst danger is when I'm left alone there too, I haven't had any trouble other than that.

Ok, good point that I seem like I need more than just sub to get stable. and for whatever reasons my doctor can't offer that much support, not even with the dosage issue. And...when my addiction was in remission before, I always relied on NOT BEING AROUND OPIATES as my main defense. Lots of people have told me that won't work and they are being proven right I guess. It was the one thing I was happy about losing my job--that I'd no longer be facing the situation of being able to get my DOC there. Then, what do you know, I get this work and there's the strongest kind of prescription opiates there all the time, right in the area where I work too...When I got honest with my doc at the last appointment, she even said, ok, it seems clear that you won;'t go out and seek out heroin, so that is the silver lining to you losing your job. Now, my doctor did, previously, recommend 12-step, but didn't get on my case about it when I didn't do it. I think she mentioned some other kinds of meetings, I think there's one called...sobriety ring or something and I know there's something called Secular Sobriety. Have I looked into any of this? No. I', more interested in looking into SMART recovery, which is, l;ike this forum, online isn't it? Which this forum is the first support I've ever found that I ever clicked with and yes, it's the only support I have besides being on sub too.

Also, what Donh said about getting honest with the people around me..and that would mean not necessarily just the person I'm working for...I think it's a good point too. I think honesty is a big part of recovery if not for everyone, for most people....And I am usually a very honest person...but when it comes to addiction...it's another story...also, I used t be a lot more open and honest about it and,...well, let's just say it didnt' always help anything, sometimes I have to say, it really did make things worse..though...there are some people who I guess I have to admit, they have a right to know if I'm using...like my housemates and also..my employer if there's a question of me taking their meds!!!!

As for getting more support and limitations on that...well, thankyou Donh for suggesting that I need more support, adn maybe in person support, and thank you hatmaker for saying you understand why I don't have more support. Well, it is true I may face some limitations, such as, I don't like 12-step (please don't miss my sarcasm there) I don't have much money, and I don't drive. These aren't insurmountable obstacles though, obviously. So, I WILL think about what you've said. The idea of an addiction counselor does appeal to me.

So, I cannot tell you I'm going to rush out to the nearest 12-step or even that I'm going ot do ANYTHING right away about finding support. For an unemployed person I have been amazingly busy lately--in fact, I wan to mention, the freind I've been working for lives on a property with multiple units and now I've been asked by two other pople on that property if I can work for them too! Which is actually great news, even though, well, it's not a career or even a steady job, but it's WORK, paid work, and plus, I feel good that people are asking me if I want more work becauue they see how hard I work and the results....In fact, I'm working again today at one of the other units and have to get to it soon here...What I will say, is that I will take seriously what you said, Donh. I will re-read your post. I will think about looking into SMART recovery at least, even though it is online, it is still more support. I will also think about looking into seeing if I can find free or affordable therapy(well, nothing has been "affordable" lately, but things ARE starting to look up a little for me financially now). Usually one-on-one stuff does work better for me. I really don't thing 12-step is for me, but...I know that 12-step is NOT the only kind of support available. And...the relapse I had last week is really a serious thing in my opinion, and I might face those circumstances again, it seems pretty likely I will..so..I really think you're right, I ought to do somethinn besides jsut say "oh, I'll take extra sub" although...I will say that yes, we all agree that would be better than stealing pills.

As for my dose...I think Hat might be right, maybe I should try a bit higher dose than 4 mgs, like 6 mgs. and the Main thing is to get consistent. I do with my doctor had more to say about dose. But..I do think that if I find a dose that works for me and I'm able to take it consistently, yeah, as long as it's not more than 8 mgs, that would be an improvement, and it's not some outrageous high dose, and I think my doctor would understand. AS for what dose I'm actually prescribed--thats' the thing, it's still not clear to me--on the bottle it says one tab (they are the 8/2 tabs) once a day, but my doctor clearly wants me to take less...originally she prescribed 4 mgs, but then said 2 mgs when I told her (at the very beginning) that it made me feel high/impaired. Then later, when I told her I was taking 4 mgs again, she asked why and encouraged me to try to take less. At my last appointment...again, she only encouraged me to take as little as possible, without any real guidance. And on the bottle, it still says 8 mgs once a day....so..anyway, I dont' mean to blame my trouble being consistent on my doc, but I'm just saying, I do feel I've been left on my own with it more than I would like...

So...I'm going to keep trying anyway. I was doing better for a while with the dosing. And I take your point Donh.

Thanks again for the responses you guys, I will keep you posted and I hope I'll have something positive to report soon, regarding finding more support. And...Hancal, I wish you the best, I hope we both keep going forward and dont' relapse! Yes, it should get easier.....and...I guess for me, I really do have to remember that cravings really do not last forever, we can get through them....and..when I am truly feeling ok, I don't have cravings...I just wish that were more consistent....I know that I cannot expect my life to be perfect or to be perfectly comfortable all the time, but...the depression I've suffered from almost my entire life really has been of the serious variety and the anxiety is no picnic either.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:03 am 
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Hello Auto,

Just wanted to say hello and see how your doing? I hope all is well!! :D :D


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 Post subject: back in town
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:40 pm 
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Thanks for checking in Hancal, I'm ok, I just got back from a fun camping trip, so I'll be catching up here on the forum soon. I hope you're doing well too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Hello Auto,

I'm glad to here that your doing well! :) I hope you had I great time camping, I always loved camping{before I had children}, I just don't think it would be as much fun now, maybe not though?

I have been doing ok, I have been trying to go to a meeting every night. I still don't no how I feel about the whole NA/Suboxone thing but I do know that those people are great, and they have so much in common with me.

Anyway I am very glad to know your doing well!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: updating
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:43 pm 
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Well, I just thought I'll put an update here....I'm doing ok, not worse in any case....Well, I still sometimes dose more than once in a day, but I'm not all over the place as much. I know it's not great, I still can't say I'm exactly stable with my dose. I'm off of one of my other meds right now (antidepressant)--it's been well over a week now--I havent' refilled it because of money worries...I know that's not great, but at least i still have plenty of prozac....The main thing to watch out for, I think, is if I start getting into a state with obsessive thoughts about suicide.....but even with my medication, sometimes that doesnt' go away completely. So, I havent' had any paid work this week which on the one hand is a nice break--I ended up feeling physically wrecked after the last big push I did of working a lot for pay...but..I'm a bit worried about the lack of structure in my life and handling that...I dont' want to fall into an unmotivated slump...I know that could easily happen. Anyway, I'm definitely going to the online meeting here today, hopefully see some of you there...


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