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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Hi everyone,

As far as support systems go, I don't have too much. I have this forum - and you guys rock, you really do! Then I have my husband (also great), and my family. My family knows about my situation and the suboxone and they're all very supportive. Since we moved last year I haven't really made any new friends and I don't go to 12-step meetings. Call it a difference in philosophies.

There's an internet site some of you might have heard of, it's called "MEETUP". It's a place where people from all over can start groups in their particular local area. Well, there's plenty of addiction groups as well as 12-step groups in my area, but none for Suboxone users.

So yesterday I set up a local, in-person Suboxone users group. I paid up front for the first 3 months, but if no one joins I can cancel and get a refund. I was hoping this would be another way to give and receive support in a safe, non-judgmental place. Plus it can be great for social interactions and gatherings.

I just wanted to let you guys know. I plan to keep you posted as to how many members join - if any!

While I'm on the subject of support I wanted to thank each and every one of you for the support you've given. Without you and this forum I'd be in a much less stable state of mind.

Melissa

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


Last edited by hatmaker510 on Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Well Hatmaker I'm really hoping you get several people to start attending. As we all know alot of people are shamed off suboxone from family members, counselors, 12-step programs, etc. Having a place to go where there is a group of addicts in remission taking Suboxone would go a long way I'd think in helping those relatively new to bupe maintenance/treatment. When I first started I didn't even know of anyone else in my area who was taking the medication and as a result it just made me feel ashamed. Like I was the only opiate addict who was too much of a pansy to stay clean through the use of a 12-step program. This forum and Dr. Junigs blog and videos helped me see I wasn't alone and there is NOTHING wrong with staying on maintenance medication because opiate addiction is a truly deadly disease. Having others suboxone patients around to talk with would have helped me immensly. Good luck Hatmaker and we're really lucky to have you as a member of the forum :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:23 pm 
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Melissa,

Thats really great! I hope you get some or a bunch that sign up. As matt said, it would be nice to get others who might feel ashamed or out of place about their suboxone treatment into a group who can be positive and talk about the different issues and concerns we all have. Good job!! Maybe I will look into that site......


Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Thanks for the well-wishes. I'm trying to be pretty pro-active on this project. I'm making up a couple different flyers and I found a list of nearby subox docs on NAABT.org. I plan to send the flyers with a brief cover letter to about 12 nearby docs. A good friend gave me the idea!
I'm hoping that they are willing to pass along my information about the group to some of their patients. I hoping to get those done and in the mail by the end of next week.

No new members yet, but it's only been about 3 days since I started the website/group, so I'm being patient.

PS Maybe I'll even do some public bulletin boards. Any further ideas would be appreciated. I'm starting to really get into this!

If anyone is interested, here's the web site: http://www.meetup.com/Lansing-Suboxone-group

Melissa

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:15 pm 
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I really wish I lived in Michigan. Well, okay, I am happy where I live but I wish that I could attend your group. I have been looking for something just like that in my area with no luck so far. If you are able to get this up and running in your state perhaps I'll give it a shot for Southeastern Wisconsin. I could really use a group like this and I'm betting there are many others in this area that could as well. Good luck! I really hope this works out in your area.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:00 am 
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YIPPEE!! After about a month of patiently waiting, I got my first member for my new support group. I'm so jazzed, this is GREAT! I wasn't sure I could get this group off the ground, but even with just one person it means I successfully reached out. It looks like she was referred, so perhaps my mass-mailing to local suboxone doctors might have actually helped. She's looking for something different from her court-ordered group, so I hope I can help her with that. I just feel so happy and wanted to share the good news with all of you.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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 Post subject: More good news
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:11 pm 
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I just got my second new member today! I'm getting optimistic that this will catch on. She found my group through a google search. How cool is this?

You guys are so great, I just had to share this good news with you. Without this forum I wouldn't have been in a position to even be able to start my group. So thanks!

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:14 am 
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Update: I've got 4 members now - YEA! And I've scheduled my first meeting for May 12th. I don't have a public venue, so I'm having it at my house. I'm very optimistic about this.

Hmm, I should make some copies of the literature I got from NAABT...hadn't thought of that until just now.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:14 pm 
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I would not be surprised if NAABT would send you a half dozen folders/kits if you contact them and let them know what you are doing. I've never asked but just get the feeling if you tell them about your new group that they would be very willing to provide their information kits to you to be able to hand out. It's worth an e-mail or telephone call to them. I'm sure the members of your new group would greatly appreciate it as well - not to mention be impressed that you took the time to get them.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:25 pm 
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That's a great idea, Don - I ordered them tonight. Also ordered a couple from SAMHSA. Thanks for the tip.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:56 am 
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This is excellent! You have inspired me to try to do/start something similar! I let you know what happens....
Please keep us posted on your group!


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 Post subject: Disappointment!!
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 11:20 am 
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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all the support with my group. Last night was supposed to be our first meeting. I say supposed to be because NO ONE SHOWED UP!! How much does that suck! LOL. But I'm staying positive. Hey - at least my house is clean now. LOL. Plus I've touched base with some of my members and a couple still want to get together. So it's not a total bust and I'm not giving up. I'll do what I can for the people that still want to meet, because we can still provide support to each other without the confines of a formal meeting. I'm optimistic and will continue with my efforts.

On my group's site I posted links to this forum and the doc's blog, so hopefully that will help some people out, too. And with all the literature I've got from NAABT and Samhsa, I might just put some of it on the group site, too. It will take some typing, but hey, all I've got is time! I think I'll start out with NAABT's "The importance of words". If any of you haven't read this, you might want to...it's great.

You know, I'm not usually this optimistic or positive. I've been known as pretty pessimistic most of my life. But since I've been on suboxone (i.e. stopped using drugs) I've continued to become much happier over time. It's been 17 months now. Of course now that I'm not high all the time I'm actually able to get some real work done in therapy. So I'm sure that's the main reason I'm so much happier now. It's really nice to finally be happy, despite all the other troubles in life - money, etc. I think I've managed to stop looking backwards and what and who I used to be and am now enjoying the current and what I have NOW. That was a hard habit to break, let me tell you! But it seems to be working - finally. Ah the sense of accomplishment upon seeing the work of therapy succeeding.

Thanks again to all of you, because you all have had a part in this new me, too!

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:15 am 
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The group is finally coming together! We've got another meeting scheduled for this Friday evening and right now there's at least 5 of us who will attend. I can't believe this is only a week after no one could come. When I started this group in March I really wondered if it would actually take shape. Now I see that it is, and weekly meetings no less! So you can see why I'm pretty damn thrilled at its current progress. What's also great is that I'm meeting some really nice people. I don't have a huge circle of friends, so meeting new people who also know what living with addiction is like is just icing on the cake. This is really happening!!! And because you all have been such a support since this group's inception, I wanted to keep you up to date.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:56 am 
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I am so glad to hear you are still trying to do this. Hey, nothing worthwhile is ever easy! You could have easily given up after the first time but you didn't. Way to go!

I (like you) am working hard to adjust my attitude. It has made a big difference. Hard to believe but it works. Gratitude and compassion have replaced my pessimism and negativity. I have my days of course still (lol). Helping others like you are doing is the best way we can help ourselves. I am in awe that you have actually done this. Let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:09 am 
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Hatmaker congrats on getting your support group together! It's impressive at how proactive you are about your own recovery and altruistic you are by helping others get the support they need. I am a huge fan of 12 step programs and I know they don't work for you but one of our "truisms" is that you can best help yourself by helping someone else. We know this is true whether it's AA, NA, a board like this or a group like yours.

I am so shocked at how judgmental people are in recovery at others taking certain medications. I myself was on a low dose of pain medication throughout my sober time in AA and I know if I made that public knowledge tongues would wag and my 'sobriety' would come into question. I was ok w/ it because I was honest w/ my sponsor, my network of people and I honestly knew I never took a pill if I wasn't in pain. Although I didn't keep it a secret, I didn't make it common knowledge either. I got my best support from a retired, disabled firefighter who was sober 20 years and needed a walker to get to his meetings every day. He was constantly hunched over at almost 90 degrees at all times. I spoke to him about the conflict I felt having to be on painkillers in recovery and he told me he would never be able to get to a meeting or help anyone else if he didn't take his pain meds every day and that it was no one's damn business what I (or he) had to do in order to live a sober, productive life.


I also sponsor a woman that goes to AA and NA and won't share about her use of suboxone for fear of being judged that she's not really clean. It makes me sick that people that are actively trying to help themselves get flack for it. I think it's always been that way. People are afraid of what they don't understand. When I first came to AA in 1990 people were judging others that were on antidepressants! Can you imagine??? Prozac! Not narcotics. The school of thought was that a person was using a mood altering substance to get out of themselves!!! Talk about intolerance. It's sad that the world (not just 12 step programs) judges us by our outsides and not by our insides. Another truism for me is that people that matter don't judge and people that judge don't matter.

So now that I've rambled...lol I want to wish you the best in your new support group! I'm sure you'll help lots of people that need a safe place to just be themselves. :) I wish we had something like that here. Keep us posted on how it's going.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:26 am 
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Smat and Suboxone Success - Thanks very much for the kind words. Since I haven't worked in three years, doing this gives me a real sense of accomplishment that I've long been lacking. I advertised this group as something different from 12-step groups and so far everyone that has joined is of similar mind. This whole thing has me smiling big - :D . I'm so glad, smat, that NA/AA works out well for you. Intolerance from any group, organization, or person can be hard to overcome. Education is the key, at least if you think like I do, that intolerance rises up from ignorance - at least in part.

Oh, and Smat - we WILL be starting online meetings here next week in our chat room. An announcement will be made soon about days and times. Myself and a couple other moderators will be hosting them. Look for the announcement soon! We hope you can join us.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 11:09 pm 
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My first meeting was tonight. It wasn't a total bust like last week, but I am a bit disappointed. I expected 4 people, but only two showed up. And one of the no-shows just RSVP's yes only today! I never understand how people commit to do something or to be somewhere and just blow it off. Personally, I always try to do what I say I'll do and if I'm unable I at least call. Maybe I expect too much? Anyway, as I said I'm a little disappointed, but not beaten down in any sense. The two that showed up want to return weekly, so that's a good thing, right? And I keep reminding myself that these things do take time. So I'll just keep on keepin' on.

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


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 12:18 am 
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There is a reason that airlines overbook flights and hotels overbook rooms. I hope you really will think of it this way. If between 5-10% of people will fail to show up for their flight after having paid several hundred dollars, you can perhaps better see how people don't follow through in showing up for a meeting. It really is in no way any sort of reflection on you. Having said that, I completely share your feelings on this. I just hate it when people don't follow through and do what they say. It is a huge peeve of mine. If I say I'm going to be somewhere and I fail to show up, please send someone to look for me because something has happened. It is just amazing how people will confirm to be someplace and 12 hours later fail to show up much less call. It is beyond rude but seems to be a way of life for many people. Dare I say when dealing with those struggling with addiction, the number of people in this category may actually even be higher? It's just a guess.

Just keep plugging along. You had two more people than you had last week. Perhaps next week will be four. If you can then engage those four to even just bring one additional person – look how fast things could grow. Just keep at it for as long as you can. After a while it will become more and more of a priority to people. We may need to do this exact same thing with our on-line meetings. Both will be worth it though.

Keep on going with your meetings!


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 8:12 am 
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Thanks don - Your perspective is valuable and helps me to keep pushing forward. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your insight with me. I've been called a Pit Bull before and I guess I still have that "I won't let go" quality. I'm not giving up on this group anytime soon. And I still believe that if I manage to reach out to even one person and can have a positive effect on their life and recovery, then my efforts will have been successful.

All the people on this forum have helped me so much, in that without this forum I don't think I would have started this group. I don't think I truly understood the meaning of support before I came to our terrific little community here. I was floundering in my recovery - doing well, but treading water, if you will. Giving and receiving support has been so beneficial to me and my overall recovery. I just want to keep giving that back and that's what my efforts are all about.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 11:55 am 
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Way to go Hat!

I'm glad you had a couple people come. I hope your introduction meeting went as planned.

I would like to thank you for setting an example with this meeting, as well as working with other moderators on the forum and the chat meetings.

I appreciate it.

--LD


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