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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Since Sunday night, I’ve been taking only enough Suboxone to keep me uncomfortable but not so uncomfortable that I can’t function. As you may expect, sleep has been minimal, at best. I won’t go into my reasons for doing this. I’ve posted about that on another thread.

I’m posting here because I messed up last night (it seems that I end up in this forum a bit too often). I’ve been on 1mg for a couple of months but have been taking .25mg-.5 mg a day for the past few days. The anxiety was pretty intense last night and, when I decided that I wanted relief, my relief dose transformed into an attempt to get high.

The thought changed so quickly. I took about .25mg and then thought, "Had I taken 1mg, I would have been back to my typical dose. That would have brought sufficient relief." Next, my head started scheming that it would only be 1mg with pretty much nothing in me from the past few days. I could take a 2mg strip and (who knows) maybe (hope against hope and experience too) that doing so might bring just a little euphoria (after all, I’ve never been on this low of a dose when I’ve tried it before). Of course, there was nothing more than the shitty kind of foggy high that too much Sub gives you when your tolerance is lower than what you take, oh and the annoying nausea that comes along with it.

Nevertheless, it’s a relapse. I want to argue that it’s not because the Suboxone was “owed” to me since Sunday night. Besides, I stuck with the Suboxone. In the past, my sponsor would point out, “But, you didn’t turn to the Suboxone. You took the oxy.” (That did go through my mind when I took the extra Suboxone). I want this not to count because I took Suboxone instead of a full agonist, though I know that my sponsor would never suggest that it’s the least bit acceptable to take Suboxone with the intention of trying to get high, regardless of how lousy that high might be.

Damn! All I've done is give another reason why I shouldn't be on Suboxone. Why do I keep shooting myself in the foot? (Yes, the question is rhetorical. I know the answer. I'm an idiot!)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:35 pm 
I know you think it is but I in no way would call that a relapse, just because you have gotten yourself down to a certain dose doesnt mean that if you need to take more on certain days to keep you from relapsing on regular opiates doesnt mean its a relapse. Im on an insufficient dose due to cost and some days my daily dose just isnt enough and I take another 2mgs, sometimes I even think the same thought you describe, you hope that you may feel a lil something but in reality you and I both know you didnt realy think you'd feel anything you just "hoped" you would. At least thats how it is with me. Dont get down on yourself over it, getting by on .25 mgs of suboxone daily has to be extremely hard. Are you trying to taper off completely or just get to the lowest possible dose that you can maintain on?


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 Post subject: you are not an idiot
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Christin you are not an idiot. You're an addict and it's difficult to overcome cravings when you're an addict. I am not going to argue with you about whether or not this qualities as a relapse except to say that to me, it sounds like more of a reason to stay on suboxone and at a high enough dose to be above the ceiling than a reason to get off it. But it is your decision and I think I can understand that there are plenty of reasons why anyone would wish to get off suboxone. I just wanted to respond somehow, because I really do relate to you with how the cravings to get high can become unbearable. IN my case, I am pretty well convinced that my substance abuse issues stem pretty directly from my chronic depression issues. Although, then, adding addiction to depression brings its own problems. I may sound like a broken record when i ask you, and others, if you have depression or anxiety issues that predate your substance abuse issues? Because, for me at least, I know that treating those issues is critical to my well being and to my having any success with sobriety. I'm sorry, I cannot remember your entire story but I do know that living with all these cravings is no fun. I guess all i can do is remind you that we can only move forward. I think you're being awfully hard on yourself. Maybe you should reassess your plan, talk to your sponsor, talk to your doctor, but...you can't change what's already happened so I hope you can stop feeling so angry at yourself and try to move forward now. I wish I had more to offer you, but...for me, right now if I can stay on suboxone and away from illicit drugs I'm satisfied that I'm doing well enough for now. Life is hard enough...even when you're lucky, which I am...but it's not that lucky having severe depression or other issues that end up causing us to eventually become addicts...All I know is whatever we have to deal with, we can only move forward. I hope you feel better soon. And I want you to know, I'm always moved by your posts, you are such a very honest person here, and that counts for something.


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 Post subject: threads.............
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:45 pm 
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christen, If I were you I would have just posted on my ( your ) last thread, It would help with the play by play... Good Luck still, Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Wow - you really need to ease up on yourself. You're not an idiot - you're an addict. You said you don't want us to tell you it wasn't a relapse, so I guess I won't. But I will say this, why not decide for yourself (based on what you know about addiction, how suboxone works, and what other relapses you've had in the past were like), instead of allowing your sponsor to instruct you on what it means.

I've read some of your other posts and I hope you don't mind what I'm about to say. The sense I'm getting is that you are indecisive and rely on your sponsor to judge your actions and thoughts. I mean no offense or disrespect. I only say this so I can encourage you to trust and love yourself. And the shame I'm hearing in your posts is normal, but at some time we have to let go of it. It's based on things we did in the past and the past is over. You're not an addict because you have poor judgment or bad character. You have a disease. You can make amends for your past if that's your thing, but it's self-defeating to perseverate on things that are over and done with. (I say this about shame in general, not about you.) Cut yourself some slack and focus on today instead of yesterday. Forgive yourself, like I said, it's a disease. Would you beat yourself up for having diabetes or cancer?

I hope I haven't said anything offensive or hurtful. That's truly not my intention. I hope you take it in the spirit that it was intended.

Finally, I won't argue the point, but I'll just say I don't consider that a relapse.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:43 pm 
Id be willing to bet that the shame hatmaker mentioned is directly correlated with the sponsor. It wouldnt be the first time Ive heard of a sponsor shaming someone to get off suboxone. AA/NA people kind of make me sick sometimes, they have no problem putting someone in danger of relapse if they arent doing it "the right way" which is "their way".


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:26 pm 
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suboxOWNED wrote:
Are you trying to taper off completely or just get to the lowest possible dose that you can maintain on?
It's not really either. I'm just confused and STUCK and just messed up, I guess. (This is where sullimi is correct in that tagging this post onto my other thread might have proved somewhat helpful). I spoke with my husband a little tonight. He suggests that I stop chipping away at the Suboxone and just get regulated again, which is probably a no-brainer. I don't typically turn to him for advice. It probably would help if I did more often.

I do have a terrible time making my own decisions about my recovery and Sub. There are so many opinions out there. I'm lucky to have the sponsor that I have. She is very kind and has done things that most sponsors wouldn't do when someone is on ORT (such as take me through the steps). I also have an NA group that doesn't judge me for my Suboxone treatment.

Thank you for your comments. None of them were the least bit offensive. I'm going to try not to dwell on what happened last night.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:26 pm 
As far as I'm concerned, Hatmaker has never been more right on the money with her reply to you Christin!
As I read your post and reflected back on some of your other posts, what immediately came to my mind was whether your sponsor is really helping or hindering your recovery. Like Hat, I mean no offense.....I really don't. And I don't mean to be judgmental of your sponsor or of NA. I think the programs are great for many people out there. I participated in NA heavily for about 8 months. I had a sponsor whom I genuinely liked and respected and I did a fair amount of stepwork. This was before I got on Suboxone. I say that just so you know that I am familiar with the sponsor/sponsee relationship and stepwork. I have no idea what your sponsor's story or situation is, whether she's great, good, so-so or terrible as a sponsor. It sounds like you feel that she has been good to you and I respect that and believe you when you say so. The thing I question is whether some of the things she says or implies are actually detrimental to your recovery. Whatever the case, to me, it seems that you are hanging onto your recovery by your fingernails. Believe me, I know how that feels. I think that's where I was for all those months I spent at or under 1-2mg/day of Suboxone. I was a relapse just waiting to happen. Why? In large part, in my opinion, because I was not using my Suboxone properly. Taking that low of a dose was nearly pointless to me. It wasn't enough to provide the blockade effect to other opiates. To me, the only time to be that low is if you have a well-planned taper in place with a definite end-point and all you're doing is trying to get off the drug with minimal discomfort. These low doses, in my opinion, serve no good purpose in terms of maintenence. There will be some who disagree and that's fine. I'm just sharing my own experience and what I've learned from it. So, in a nutshell.....If one is NOT truly and completely ready (not just the want-to) to try life drug-free, one should remain at a therapeutic dose of Sub, period. I can almost promise you, Christin, that if you did as you discussed with your husband and left your sponsor out of it, and went back up to at least 4mg/day of Sub, you will feel such relief. I know I have!
Do you, or have you considered seeking personal therapy with a private, experienced addictions counselor? Something to consider. I did in the beginning but stopped and am coming to realize that I probably need to get back in and work through some stuff.
I hope I didn't come off bad here. I just can read the anguish in your posts and I want you to be better. Listen....we are addicts! Addicts want drugs....we want to 'feel' different....it's just the way it is. Statistically relapse is practically inevitable, after all! So what to do? For me....I know the answer. I need to stay on a good dose of Sub. It just is what it is and I have to accept it. It's not because I'm weak or stupid or an 'idiot'....it's because this addiction is so very strong. I hate it, but it's the truth!
You'll have to choose for yourself what direction you want to go at this point. Do try to not be so hard on yourself. You did not relapse....you gave yourself a dose of the medication that helps you recover from this disease. How can that be a bad thing? Please hang in there. You're not alone!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:18 pm 
I, as im sure others may also feel, like you are being somewhat indirectly guilted about being on suboxone wether you realize it or not. I really do feel for your situation. You should not feel one single bit guilty about what you did. You took extra suboxone for its purpose. In my personal opinion, i would go back to a stable dose of sub. Thats just me. I also would have to agree with setmefree about seeing a professional. I think i would much rather speak to a professional rather than a sponsor who's intent may not be what you think it is. I do not say anything in meanness or harshness towards you but i just cant find any way to say this more nicely. Im very angered by this because i can see exactly what it is. I want directly talk about my theory but i have to say, its pretty shameful what "i believe" is going on. It happens all the time an ends up putting a lot of people in danger of relapse if not death. If im wrong about what i think, i would gladly admit it and apologize but i really dont think i am. I can just sense it. I think your husband could be a great place to turn when you need some help or someone to talk to about this. I so badly wanna just blow up in anger about this but i wont out of respect. I think for the benefit of your recovery, getting re-stabalized is the best thing you could do no matter what anyone else tells you to do. Suboxone is the best method of treatment i've ever came across. I've tried meeting after meeting and had a couple sponsors as well with no success. I had a sponsor in the beginning of sub treatment who i did not mention my sub treatment to at first, however after a bit of time and building a relationship with this person i told him about being on sub. He said he was ok with it and i was so relieved. Finally someone who understood what i was going through. Well, it basically turned into him every chance he got tryin to convince me that sub was not the answer. I dont even wanna go into the details but i will say i dropped him like a ton of bricks because his advice was gonna kill me. Sub was and still is saving my life. In my opinion, those people at those meetings that are so gung ho with these steps do not truly believe that sub will help someone no matter what they tell you. Thats why your situation angers me. Im sure you can see what im getting at without me having to say it. I hope you will re-stabalize and stop working against yourself. You are doing so good and sub sounds like its saving your life, at the proper dose. Why discontinue it? As others have said, i dont mean anything offensive about anything i've said. If something is offensive i apologize. I just couldnt find any other way to say what i was tryin to say. This situation just seems way too familiar to me and it angers me. Goodluck and please keep us updated!! P.S. YOU DID NOT RELAPSE. Dont put yourself through that. You could have turned to full agonist when you felt bad but you didnt, you took more of the prescibed medication for the purpose of which it is used.


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