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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:10 pm 
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I'm very much with donh on this, Setmefree. That was very honest. I know I appreciate the insight and I'm sure most reading this board, even the lurkers, do as well.

Look, here's the thing: You're an addict. You can't change the fact that you're an addict any more than I can change the fact that I'm a guy....(well, within reason of course, you know what I mean).....this addict thing is a bell we can't "un-ring" which is why I kind of do this :roll: when I read posts on here or elsewhere or hear someone say "I'll NEVER do drugs again!"

The fact is, if you look at any objective statistical data on this illness, most of us relapse. Several, if not many times. That doesn't mean it's ok to plan your next relapse, but it IS a fact of life for the addict, which is why I think in certain cases there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with long-term maintenance, whether it be with Methadone or Suboxone. Now obviously the advantage to suboxone is the instant "take homes" whereas you generally have to visit a clinic each day (for at least a year, sometime longer) to get your dose of methadone......but suboxone has its drawbacks too, the main one being the fact that it renders most pain medication utterly useless. For someone like me, who needs to have an invasive and painful procedure every couple of years, that's a bummer, but, what is my option after 30+ years of training my brain to only function correctly when it has opiates running through it?

You are no different than any of us, Setmefree. We all have the potential to experience this EXACT same struggle you are experiencing now and many of us likely WILL experience it. So hang in there and keep fighting the good fight. I am grateful you are here and humbled by your honesty and sincerity.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:11 am 
Thanks donh and junkie for your supportive replies. I did fine taking 2mg yesterday and went ahead and took 2mg again this morning. As to whether I have 'felt' any of these crazy dosage adjustments?.......not in any sort of dramatic way. The big bump up, I do believe, made a difference in cravings/obsessions. As to why I did it?.......I truly feel I did it for both reasons - to make full agonists worthless to use, and in hopes of diminishing cravings enough to quit obsessing about it. I believe it worked on both issues. I did not feel anything in terms of euphoria, nor did I experience any side effects by bumping up. In dropping back down, all I've had is some runny nose and mild leg aches (always my early w/d symptoms.)
I am now beginning to see how people have trouble getting off buprenorphine. If nothing else, it really can mess with your head! It is such a safety net. Scary to think of it not being there. I have a feeling that if I'm to actually taper completely off, I'm going to have to get a more serious plan in place and stick to it. I've still got time and plenty of Sub to procrastinate a little longer! lol! Maybe I'll try to get back to 1mg tomorrow!. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Curious, Setmefree, are you still actively seeing a suboxone prescriber? Or are you now just relying on a "stash" you've saved up?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:10 pm 
My Suboxone prescriber dismissed me a few months ago when I told him I had tapered down to 2mg/day. I didn't see that coming, but yeah......He asked what dose I was taking and I told him I was down to 2mg/day. He said something like "Great, well anytime you're ready you can start skipping days and stop. I'm not gonna take your money every month anymore. I'll hold your spot for a few months in case you change your mind." And that was that! I asked him about 'comfort meds' like Clonidine, sleep meds and the like for the end of the taper and he declined, saying none of that was necessary. He, himself, was on Suboxone for a couple-three years and said he'd weaned himself and had no trouble at all.
So, yes, I'm just using the stock of Sub I have on hand. My doctor always prescribed more than I was taking. He started out writing me for 3 - 8mg/day. The 2nd month I told him I was only taking 1-2 8s/day and wrote for 3/day anyway "just in case" I needed it. That went on the whole year I saw him. I think, in all, I only filled 4 Rxs, but had to see him every month regardless of whether I needed a refill or not. He's a good guy, decent doctor I think, but requirements are fairly lenient. At least with me they were. But he knew I had already been through IOP and aftercare and NA and all that.
Well, that was a long answer junkie! I've got around #40 8mg tabs left at this point, so at 1-2mg/day, that can last a while. Obviously not an unlimited supply however. I figure I've got 3-6 months to make or break.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:12 pm 
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SetMeFree, I just got through reading this thread, through and through. You are an inspiration to me. Your honesty and self-evaluation are true signs of recovery. I think you are stronger than you think. I get cravings, and play out "fantasies" in my head often enough to make me uncomfortable (and I'm on 5mg/daily).

Your thread really has helped me focus, and feel hopeful. Please continue to post as it is of great value to those like me, who are a ways behind you in their taper.

Thanks so much, keep it up. You have come such a long way, don't forget that!

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 Post subject: Back on track
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:16 am 
I've gotten myself to a little bit better place....taking 1-2 mg/day for the past week and no more than that. I feel pretty fine except for a runny nose and some yawning and that weird feeling of needing to stretch my legs often. I have set myself up on a written schedule for tapering in hopes that will help me keep better track of what I'm doing and give me some better delineated goals. For the next two weeks I've planned to take 1.5mg/day, then will try going to only 1mg/day after that. The main goal being to stop throwing in extra 'pieces' of Sub on an 'as needed' basis. I have to prove to myself that I am able to do that before I can have any real confidence that I'm ready to try to come off for good. My written plan so far will take me through early November. If I run into problems when it's time to go under 1mg/day, I will consider switching to the liquid taper method instead of working with the little crumbs.
I know I'm not the only one with this problem, but I struggle sooooo much more with the psychological than the physical symptoms of tapering. I wonder if that will change as I go on. But it almost feels like I'm in a state of protracted PAWS ever since getting under 3-4mg/day. I just pray to God that because of this, I am shortening or at least minimizing the severity of PAWS when I'm all the way off. If not.....if this is only the beginning of what's to come in terms of PAWS symptoms, I don't know if I'm prepared to see this through or not.
Any input or perspectives on these issues welcomed.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:27 am 
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smf, thank you for posting your taper story I feel very similar to symptoms and progress that you are going through and omg I feel so great to read a similar story. It really helps me feel like everything i am going through is "normal". I am currently at 2mg and stuck, really stuck. I am trying to get down a bit more maybe 25% reduction because 50% hasn't seemed to work out to well. I currently take 1mg in the am and 1mg in the pm. I noticed that your earlier posts mentioned you taking your subs 2-3x a day and that helped you decrease. This really may sound stupid or dumb, but how did that help and if you were taking it 2 or 3x rather than 1x a day weren't you taking more? If you don't mind let me know how that worked please and thank you, :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:57 pm 
Bubble....I meant to thank you before for your kind words and encouragement!
Luv.....Oh boy can I relate to that "stuck"ness at around 2mg/day!! It's been exceedingly difficult to break through that barrier! I find that I can do it for a little while, then wind up bouncing back up to 2mg or a little more as soon as I get 'uncomfortable' in any way! I bet we are not the only ones either!
I really have come to believe that this drug is super, super strong, even in relatively small doses. I have known this intellectually all along because of Dr. Junig's wonderful explanations of the drug and how it works. But now I know it, first-hand, I guess you could say! I know that there are people who struggle with reductions at the higher (above 8mg or so) doses and I don't mean to poo-poo their experiences (I remember having some myself,) but in my opinion, this doesn't really even start to get hard until under 2mg.
Anyway....to answer your question. The reason I thought to go to dosing more than once a day was because of something Dr Junig said about that being an option when one gets under the ceiling dose of buprenorphine. His explanation being something like this......at the lower doses we're getting the half-life of the drug down to a point where our blood levels of bupe could be really bottoming out and bringing on w/d symptoms, etc in less than 24 hours. You know, there's that 'stacking' effect of dosing.....You take 8mg now, you take another 8mg in 24 hours and so on and so on. Each dose stacks on top of the previous dose, essentially giving us enough bupe circulating to keep the blood level pretty high over ceiling and it takes days and days and days with no dose to ever so gradually bring that high blood level down to nothing again. That basically explains why it takes such a long time for someone on 8mg/ day or more to feel any sort of withdrawal if they were to cold-turkey off bupe. Well, think of that in reverse.....and that's where we are when we're under the ceiling dose. We're going to have quicker peaks and valleys of that blood level of bupe because we're no longer stacking big dose on top of big dose, etc. Soooooo.....if we're only taking 2mg/day, it would seem more advisable to take 1mg in the morning and 1mg in the afternoon/evening in order to allow a more steady blood level to adjust to. The main problem being, like you referred to in your post, NO, you can't take more overall. We have to keep it at just 2mg a day, we're just splitting it into 2 doses. Does it really make that much of a difference? Heck if I know!! lol!! I have done such a poor job of record keeping and have been so flexible in all this, that I honestly coudln't tell you. I do think it probably helps and I would certainly recommend you trying it. If you're stuck at 2mg, perhaps try taking 1mg in the morning and then the second 1mg in the afternoon/evening. Then you could continue 1mg in the a.m. and try shaving a little bit off that second 1mg evening piece of Sub. You may find that will help you break through the 'stuck' you're in.
I wish I could offer more sure-fire advice for you. I'm just so feeling my way through this right now. Sometimes I feel like it's a big joke, to be honest! But I do know I've come a long way. I'm no kind of example for anyone to follow that's for sure! But I do think we all help each other even with our shortcomings and stumbles. This is hard, plain and simple. I wish it were easier and maybe there will come a day when in hindsight I will say, "It wasn't as hard as I thought after all." But for now, it's one day at a time....Period!
Hang in there everyone who is trying to taper. Let's keep encouraging each other and we'll get there eventually!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:54 am 
Okay....it's been four long months since I started this thread! I have now been on Suboxone for three months longer than my original "longest case scenario" of being on it for one year! My how things change! As any of you know who have been around here for a while, I have bounced around and around with dosing, tapering plans for some time now. I'll not rehash all that, instead I'll just go on to where I am today and how I feel I've gotten here.
I really believe my biggest hurdle with tapering and quitting can be summed up into one word: FEAR. I've been afraid of withdrawal, afraid of PAWS, afraid of cravings, afraid of failure, afraid of going backwards, afraid of relapse......just afraid, afraid, afraid! It's time for me to stop allowing this fear to rule me. For me, part of that involves backing out of the constant thoughts about the issue and just allowing Suboxone to fall into the back of my mind rather than the forefront. Part of that means that I have stopped visiting and posting so much here. I'm trying to stop thinking, reading, talking about addiction/recovery/Suboxone so much and just go about my days living my life as I used to. After all I did manage to live 40 years of my life with no substance abuse issues whatsoever, so unlike some addicts I do know how to live without the insanity of all this.
I realize that my thoughts here may run contrary to the 'norm' when it comes to recovery and I don't wish to open a debate on the issue. I'm not an expert about addiction or recovery or buprenorphine, I'm just trying to find my way through this the best way I can. I want off the drug. I feel it has done for me what I hoped for it to do. I feel that I really don't have anything further to gain from remaining on it and therefore am ready to be done with it. I do not, at this point feel that the drug is what keeps from relapsing as I have been under the ceiling dose for many months. I have skipped a day or two or even three of dosing and have not experienced any horrific phsyical withdrawal symptoms, so I am quite convinced that my biggest battle is indeed psychological, as I have mentioned before....and most of that involves that fear that I mentioned earlier. Obviously, when I do get to the point of not taking any bup for more than a few days, I may experience some phsyical w/d symptoms....that is often just part of the deal and I can face it.
The bigger concern for me has been fear of PAWS. My prayer is that because I have been on such a low dose for so long, that I will have already gone through kind of a milder, protracted PAWS-like state for some time now and that it won't get much worse than that. That is my prayer.
As to where I'm at today.....I have taken NO MORE than 1mg per day for a couple of weeks now. I have dosed one time per day at the most. I have not reached for any extra doses or pieces of Sub at all during that time. I have skipped a day of dosing twice and I have been feeling pretty much fine. I am no longer setting myself on any 'plan' other than taking the least amount of Suboxone that I must in order to function and feel well. I'm having minimal cravings. I feel like I am getting there.
We are all so different. I have learned so much about myself during this 'taper'. I am not a structured, strict person. I will not likely ever make it through a rigid tapering process, messing with liquid tapering, etc. I'm tough.....stopping Sub doesn't have to be completely pain free for me. I have let fear rule this process and I don't intend to any longer. That's why I feel this time will be different. That's where I'm at. Thanks to all who have been supportive! And to all who are in this with me, hang in there and try not to be so afraid with me! I hope to come back and post when I'm all done and completely drug-free. Otherwise, I won't bore you all anymore with my lack of progress!!
Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:53 pm 
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SMF, it sounds like you're doing well and that your head is in the right place. You've identified what the problem is and are tackling it (fear). GOOD ON YOU! As for not posting around here much anymore, I completely understand that. There have been times when I've wondered if my time spent here was keeping me thinking about my addiction too much. So I think your plan makes sense. I think you're doing really well. You and I have had our differences, but I'm certainly not going to let that keep me from telling you how well I think you're doing. So hang in there and do what you've gotta do for YOU. Good luck. I look forward to hearing more on your progress.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:54 pm 
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The thing is, you are not boring me with your "lack of progress" as you put it - and I really don’t think you are boring the others here either. Plus, I don't see it as a lack of progress. In fact, the exact opposite. If there are two common themes that I see on the boards it would have to be both the theme of getting off of opiates and onto Suboxone treatment and the theme of stopping Suboxone. These two topics consume these boards, telling me that is where the largest amount of interest is. Hearing about your specific struggles is anything but boring. Then again, nothing says that you owe the rest of us anything and have to publish your very personal story for all of our benefit. I, for one, get great information from what you write - especially since you are much farther down a path I am likely to tread myself one of these days. I think the fact that you have been willing to come on here and pretty much let us in on what has been going on with you, even when you are pretty much telling us that you have not achieved the goals you have set (who wants to admit that) is huge! HUGE!!!

I think I understand the method you are going to attempt, and I also understand you don’t want to debate it, so I guess I'll just ask out loud, can any of us actually get past all of this addiction crap and Suboxone stuff by pretty much ignoring it? It almost sounds like your plan is to try to forget that you are now an opiate addict and on Suboxone and go back to your previous life. Just stop thinking about it and focusing on it and it will go away. Is that the plan? If so, I kind of, of sort of, understand it. It's sort of like the guy (or girl) who is obsessed with finding a mate or partner and puts all sorts of effort into it, trying as hard as he or she can to find the love of their life. It is not until they pretty much give up and don't even think about it anymore that they actually find what they were looking for. Can the same thing happen with opiate addiction? Hell, I don't know. It is an interesting thought, however. Something tells me that the "experts" will say that it is a step towards relapse, that once we are an addict, we can't ever go back or un-ring the bell as it were. Or perhaps would they not say that? Again, I don't know.

I certainly hope that, if nothing else, you will at least continue to come back here and update us on your progress. Like a few others on the board, you are sort of another test subject here that has very valuable information to provide, and a very good ability to provide it. I get that spending an hour or two a day reading and posting is exactly what you want to avoid, but hopefully 15 minutes every week or two in order to provide an update is extremely valuable and anything but boring! Don't underestimate the value that you bring to the table. In fact, for many of us, people like you are pretty much all we have in order to help us to figure out our own addiction challenges. I wish you all the best over the next weeks and months. I hope you'll keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:57 pm 
setmefree- far from being boring I think this thread is extremely helpful for anyone getting off, or hoping to someday get off of Sub, which is a pretty high percentage of us. I can understand what you mean about wanting to get away from reading, thinking and talking about Sub. It seems like the days I end up taking "extra" Sub are often the days I spend a lot of time on the boards - it's like I can't get my mind off of it. But, selfishly, I really hope you can still participate on this forum, because I would really miss your insightful, compassionate and well-informed input (as would a lot of others, I think).

You referred to your "lack of progress" but it seems to me that staying at 1mg or less for 3 weeks IS progress. It's slow, steady, meaningful progress; not rash, cocky, uninformed progress, like those who come to the boards and say "now that I've been on Sub for a month I'm quitting for good and I'll never touch pain pills again!"

Your post prompted me to go looking for an older post by shelwoy that's been in the back of my mind for a long time. For the life of me I couldn't find it. Shelwoy , are you still out there? The gist of it was that a doctor (I think) was telling her that the way he got off of Sub was by getting down to 1 (or 2)mg, then taking 1mg every other day, then every 3 days, etc. with no set in stone plan, so if he ended up taking it 2 days in a row it wasn't a big deal. I like this because I've seen so many people "jump off" at a certain dose, then if they end up taking a little a few days later they call it a "relapse". That's not a relapse in my book, its just part of the process of coming off. I like the idea of spreading the doses farther and farther apart with no set "end date" looming, and if you don't adhere to that date, you failed.

Whatever you decide to do, I support you. You've been through a lot with you addiction but you've faced every challenge admirably. I know you had to "walk away" from a career that you loved. But sometimes walking away is the only way to save your life at the time. You lost your old life to find a new one. It's very biblical, if you think about it. Keep fighting, and I hope you'll keep posting.
blessings,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:23 am 
Hatmaker, donh and Lilly.....Thank you very much for your support. I will continue to check in here once a week or so. For some reason, I no longer receive email notifications when there has been a reply to my posts, so the only way I'll know is if I visit the boards to check. Plus, I do feel kind of a 'bond' with several members here and I care about how you all are doing! So I don't plan to just disappear, especially knowing that a few of you might benefit from what I'm going through.
Donh, to answer your question.....No, I don't think that ignoring my addiction will make it magically go away. I know the 'bell cannot be unrung.' For me, I think it's more about balance. Yes, there is the 'addict' part of me. But it's not all there is of me. It doesn't have to consume me. Again, I know that there are people much more knowledgeable about all this than I am who will say I'm wrong....that I should never even think that I can put this in the past.....that I must forever be diligent and thoughtful about my addiction to avoid relapse. To me, that sounds a lot like bondage. I want to be free. And I believe I can be. That's not to say that I can just walk away. My daily life will have to include practices which are healthy and which keep me going in directions that never, ever lead towards drug abuse. For me, that shouldn't be too difficult. I don't have 'addict friends' and I don't really have any access to drugs. I would have to work pretty hard to find a source for drugs. I also have a lot of accountability. I know that if I choose to abuse drugs again, I will lose all that is good in my life and I've lost enough already! Anyway....is that enough to keep from relapsing? Maybe not. That's where my faith comes in. My faith tells me that I do not have to be held in bondage by this disease for the rest of my life. I must remain aware of it, but I don't have to be consumed by it.

Lilly....It was actually my doctor who tapered this way. Funny that I would ultimately go back and try to do it like my doctor suggested in the first place!

As I said before, I have been successful at skipping some days already. I do feel that I'm having some natural endorphin production starting to happen. The other day, I was at about the 2 1/2 day mark with no Sub with my previous doses having been ~1mg/day. I had spent several hours working outdoors gardening (which I typically do enjoy) and as I was finishing up, I felt a surge of, well, happiness.....not quite euphoria, but just extreme happiness. Just like that, out of the blue. Man it felt good! And I felt hungry, craved Mexican food. And I felt quite energetic despite having worked hard for several hours. I don't know....I just hadn't felt quite like that in a long while. It was very cool. So I feel strongly that I am starting to get some of my own 'normal' brain functioning back...at least I hope so! The following day was a different story. I began to feel 'icky' in terms of mood....lethargic, unmotivated and my legs were aching. So I went ahead and dosed with ~1mg of Suboxone. It took about an hour, but I did start to feel better. I'm pretty sure that if I skip more than 3 days, I will have some withdrawal set in. Maybe someday soon, I'll be willing to ride it out beyond the 3rd day. This isn't a good time as we have a short trip planned soon and I don't want to not feel well for that.
Over all, I feel positive. I am not afraid. I am hopeful. I am confident that I will do this. Thanks again for your support!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:13 pm 
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I hope you don't mind if I ask a personal question, SetMeFree, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I was wondering how old you are?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:48 pm 
I'm 46 years old, junkie781. Since I was gracious enough to answer, I hope you'll be open enough to tell me why you ask. I have my own theory about age when it comes to addiction and recovery. Perhaps that's why you asked. In any case, I'd like to know why.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:39 pm 
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setmefree - your mindset sounds right on the money. Congratulations on all you've accomplished. I believe, as with any medical condition (mine being opiate dependence), the more you dwell on it, the worse it is. Staying positive and active works wonders. Certainly if the going gets tough - forums like this are a great resource to vent, get advice, etc. Keep up the great work!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:32 pm 
Thanks for your encouragement Matt. I've been following your taper as well.....Hang in there, you're doing really great!
Junkie....guess you've been too busy calling others to task on nearly every word they say, to take the time and answer my question back to you as to why you inquired about my age. Perhaps you expected I was younger because you read something in my posts which you feel is 'incorrect' or 'wrong thinking' in your expert opinion. Perhaps you'll take me line-by-line through by post using quotes from me to point how wrong I am about what I doing/thinking. It seems that you and a couple of others around here have decided to be judge and jury about everyone else's recovery....at least that's how it looks to me. See, it's easier for me to recognize it, as I have been guilty of it a time or two in the past myself. Although I'd hope to think I wasn't quite as ugly about as you have been lately.
I don't claim to be an expert on addiction and recovery, and I don't think you are either. I don't think any of us regular posters are as a matter of fact. There have been several folks come along lately posting about their tapering plans, etc who have been pretty much blasted for the ignorance of what they're planning. Of course, it's based on 'statistics' and your own personal experiences and so on, so there is certainly merit there. However, that doesn't mean that someone else's thoughts, ideas or plans have zero merit or worth here. And that's the impression that I'm afraid a lot of newer members might be getting, therefore they won't stick around here.....to continue basically being told how foolish they are. Of course, it's all in the name of 'calling people on their crap' and 'saving their lives'. But you know, I think that can still be done, in a kinder and gentler way than public ridicule from everything from misspelled words to alternatives to recovery other than life-long buprenorphine.
Anyway....I suppose after what I just wrote, you'll let me know that your question about my age was purely out of curiousity, not that you had some preconceived notion about it because I mentioned 'faith' playing a role in my recovery and that I felt I did not have to live under the bondage of addiction for the rest of my life. No matter......
Guess I just needed to get that off my chest because of all the nit-picking, adverserial, confrontational posts that seem to be popping up so frequently lately. Not just from you, Junkie....there are others as well. I've been guilty of it myself in the past. Thankfully as I've grown in recovery, I am able to see more and more how important humility is for me. I do not know all the answers. I certainly no longer pretend to know that because something is true or works for me means it will work for someone else. Further, I apologize to anyone I have ever replied to in a condescending or demeaning manner. I hope that has been infrequent given the whole of my posts here on the forum.
As for my taper.....it continues to show promise. I am taking just a small crumb (1mg or less) about every other day and doing just fine. No w/d symptoms to speak of other than a little night sweats now and then. Can't wait to be free! I'm tired of doing this dance with Suboxone. I now have a much better understanding of how it feels to want to be off this medication but it being more than just a little difficult to break off the relationship completely! Looking forward to the day when I can say it's been a week, a month, three months with NO drugs whatsoever!!
Those who pray....please keep it up for me. It really does work!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:43 pm 
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SMF -

I find your comments about fear and also about the need to back off from the forum and from thinking/writing/talking about addiction & recovery really interesting. I recall needing to step back from the forum several times during my taper and withdrawal. I think it was a part of the process of letting my thoughts and ideas become integrated into my actions and practices in life.

I was also scared of withdrawal, mostly I was scared that my depression would come raging back when I stopped Sub. I meditated a lot around this, and came to the same conclusion - that I needed to let go of that fear or move past it somehow. I thought a lot about something that I read long ago: that the opposite of fear is love.

But how could I come to love the prospect of my impending Suboxone withdrawal?

As I grew more in my life and started doing more things that I loved (like you gardening!) I came to see that the process my body was going through and the uncomfortable side-effects were evidence of healing. This isn't to say that I loved every minute of it, because I truly did not. But I was able to see that my actions (tapering and stopping suboxone) were deeply rooted in the practices of self-love that I had been working on throughout my recovery. I don't know that I'm articulating this very well, but it was almost like something changed in me and I began to feel truly ready for the next step. I didn't even end up tapering as low as I originally thought I would - I just knew I could stop and so I did.

So, yeah, stepping back from the forum (and the computer/internet in general) and doing things that made me feel good and confident and competent in my life were a HUGE step in the right direction when it came to moving past my fear. So it's really interesting to me to read that you're going through a similar process as you get lower in your taper.

I remember those feelings of my natural endorphins coming back. So wonderful! I remember just sitting in the sun at the park one day, watching my daughter play with some kids on the playground, and it was like I could just FEEL my brain making happy-chemicals, and that gave me so much hope that I would be ok and that I hadn't totally ruined my brain chemistry forever.

I agree with your thoughts on achieving and maintaining some balance and not allowing "addict" to define you. I think in that Ram Dass video I posted here long ago he talks about how addicts can become very tied to the identity of being an addict. I don't want to be like that. At this point, the fact that I experienced opiate addiction and went through the hell that I did, and then spent 2 years on Suboxone and went through the withdrawal from that - well, I let it inform the person who I am but I refuse to let it DEFINE who I am. Nowadays, for me, my "recovery" is more about living a healthy and fulfilling life, setting goals and moving toward them, enjoying my time here on earth and not stagnating than it is about "not relapsing." I know this might not be the right approach for everyone, but it is working for me.

I hope you will succeed in finding the balance that works for you. I have always admired your thoughtfulness and your dedication to your recovery and I hope that you'll keep on keepin on and will share what you find to work for you to the extent that you're comfortable with sharing.

One last thing - I found a lot of great info and inspiration from this blog: Beyond Meds She doesn't update anymore, but there is so much good info there. The author went through a hellish withdrawal from a poly-psych-med cocktail that she'd been taking for like 20 years. What she went through made Sub withdrawal look like a day at the beach, but through it all she created this amazing resource for other people who were withdrawing from psych meds (benzos and atypical antipsychotics in particular) and a lot of it applies to what we go through as well. I would go there sometimes when things were hard and I always found something to lift my spirits or some valuable info.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:09 am 
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I have to agree with the idea of not letting the label of addiction become who we are first and foremost. I like to consider myself a person first, wife, doggie-mom, daughter, sister, etc, second and somewhere down the line also a person with an addiction problem. Defining ourselves as addicts FIRST and overwhelmingly can keep us bogged down by it. At least that's what I think. Yes, we need to be active in our own recovery, but I do believe balance is in order, too.

I still believe you are doing well with your taper, SMF. You are not sticking to a particular plan, but rather doing it at your pace in a way that is comfortable for YOU. I believe that will lead you to success.

Keep us updated, but keep your balance, too. You may not always need us or this forum, but you will ALWAYS need that balance in your life.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:28 am 
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DOAQ, you said something that really caught my eye, how can I love the thought of quitting sub. That is exactly what happened to me.

I had been on sub for years and wanted off the whole time, but I was deathly afraid of the wd. Done that before, didn't want to ever do it again! Then earlier this year I started to notice a change in my thoughts/behavior, a greater desire to be off sub is what I was feeling. Over the course of a few weeks I knew that this was going to be my last year on sub. I can't explain it very well, but I knew I was quitting this year. I set a date of late spring because when I have tried detoxing from Lorcet years ago I would get so cold, so I figured beginning of summer I could at least eliminate feeling cold. Anyway, as my quit date approached I was not nervous, not fearful, no apprehension...I WAS EXCITED...I COULDN'T WAIT FOR THAT DAY TO COME! I did it too, I quit that day and have not looked back, I somehow have not had any cravings for opiates either. I'm telling you I made up my mind that I was going to finally end this and so far it has worked for me.

Over the years I had been making a mental list of all the things I didn't like about sub and I think this helped me to get excited about quitting. For example, having to drive 1 hour every month to go wait in a crowded Dr. office, deal with snooty 'nurse techs', be treated and talked to like I was somehow beneath them, pay $250 cash, drive to the pharmacy and get treated disrespectfully there cause I'm filling a script for narcotics, pay more money for the meds, drive 1 hour back home. This is a small sample of the list I had and I think it helped me in my decision to quit.

SetMeFree--you sound like you're doing fine to me. I think when you are ready to quit you will know it. You will certainly have a lot of support and my prayers are with. Without my faith, I honestly don't think I would have made it. It was/is a difficult process, remember Footprints in the Sand where it ends up we were being carried, well it felt like I got dropped on my head a few times when I supposed to be being carried, but I got picked back up again and we moved forward. As far as getting dropped on my head, it was probably my fault for wanting to do things my way. Just know you can do this, others have and so can you!


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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