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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:22 am 
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Oh..no BP, i read your thead. Im here on this phone every hour on the hour.lol.
What i truely meant was i dont really "know" you. Meaning we all have our lives to help or hurt our recoverys..

Your in an interesting place now in recovery. A placeim far far away from. I cant know how you must be feeling.

I guess what im tryn to say is maybe if you get the urge to use then sub will come back into your life.

Idk...wishing you the best BP....RAZ....


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:51 am 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Can we call you BP? I know you're not associated with British Petroleum, but I don't think anyone but me would make that association anyway! Lol!
Absolutely you may refer to me as BP, Amy! I'm not worried about it being thought of as British Petroleum, but hopefully not Big Pr_ _ _ or worse! LOL. We'll try it for a while ok! LOL. Kidding of course.

Thank you for such kind comments. I was overwhelmed reading what you wrote. I really do consider myself just an ordinary guy that was born with God-Given ability, while being in the right place at the right time. I'm definitely not someone that will ever take what I have been given for granted.

I'm in position to help others, and nothing gives me greater joy to do so. I'm closely involved with some very special charities to me, but silently. I don't need or want any recognition for what I do. Those charities are the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart and Lung Associations. I have family and friends that are/were affected by one or the other, and I'm sure we all know someone that has been affected by one of these diseases.

I also have a few ideas about a small business, putting time in at an existing business, or friends small shop. I'm use to being up and running all the time so I want to get as busy as possible as quick as possible.

You're right about adding some recovery tools. I've been to many NA/AA meetings, but not as much as I should and I know it. That is on my mind also. I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions Amy!

-BP

P.S. You didn't happen to be that babysitter I had years ago that played ball with me in the backyard all the time did you? :D


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:04 am 
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Ben100 wrote:
So I guess you have 2 options. See whether your mental state and moods improve over the next 12 months(paws they say can last 2 bloody years)and as others here have stated, try to increase your vitamins and mineral intake with good nutrition and exercise which definitely gives the rush of endorphins which are the ones our bodies are not producing well as former drug users. But if appropriate medication doesn't help for example venlafaxine which I take for my low moods, then don't let that low, low experience drag you back on using again, in which case go back on a low maintenance dose of Suboxone like 2mg. Hang in there and I hope it works out for you.
I'm in pretty good shape, Ben. I also work out daily, while taking the appropiate vitamins and eating right. I have 1 year off the subs now so endorphin production is pretty much back to normal I'm sure.

If I do make the decision to go back on a maintenance dose of bupe, your suggestion of 2 mg is in the range I was considering. I would have to see how I felt of course, but based on my 4 years of past sub use I think it would be somewhere in the area of 1-8 mg per day. Thanks Ben.

-BP


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:07 am 
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razor55 wrote:
Oh..no BP, i read your thead. Im here on this phone every hour on the hour.lol.
What i truely meant was i dont really "know" you. Meaning we all have our lives to help or hurt our recoverys..
Oh, I'm very sorry, Razor. I completely misunderstood your post. Thank you for making me aware of it. I get what you're saying now. I real slow sometimes! Lol.

-BP


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:36 pm 
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Ball Player wrote:

P.S. You didn't happen to be that babysitter I had years ago that played ball with me in the backyard all the time did you? :D



Ummm, no. I think I would have remembered a little kid kicking my ass in baseball! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:10 am 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
I, myself, have this fear that since I didn't have many negative consequences from my abuse of pain killers, I will start up again and think that I'll get away with it. I wonder if my "bottom" wasn't low enough. I have enough doubts about this that I don't see myself going off sub anytime soon.
I forgot to mention that I have the same concerns as you do about not having very many negative consequences, or hitting a rock bottom where I have lost possessions, friends, or lived horribly. None of that happened in my case either, and I certainly don't ever want it to happen, and consider myself extremely fortunate about that. And it frightens me whenever it's brought up. But I have stopped the sub, where you recognize where you are and have not at this point. Another thing to consider about going back on?

I also went back and read what I have previously written and feel embarrased that I've painted the picture I am such a good guy that I never got in trouble, caused anyone harm, or people to think less of me maybe. That is absolutely NOT the case. I'm not perfect in any way, and I sure had my share of making terrible decisions, and upsetting many others. I am certainly no different than any other addict. Sorry for making it seem that way.

-BP


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Hey BP,I Didnt feel that from you.
You are asking good ?'s about what to do at this point in your recovery.
This also has come up on another thread today, but why an how loug we stay or get off suboxone is really up to each of us. So many factors. I break it down to one. For the first time in my 55 years of living an 38 years of useing something, i feel clean and i feel sobor. It really is that simple for me now.

I cant an dont let others in the recovery world sway my choise today.
Ive had this problem the first an second year as an na member, but have come to see this is about how I feel . My recovery. I wont take the chance of picking up again and tbe addict inside me isnt happy im still taking Bupe..haha to damn bad..anyway, you seem like a good guy and im glad you have came to this great forum of ours..Oh and let me say Dr J's book Dying to be clean" is a great read. Maybe give it a look. He knows ..

...razor.....


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:01 pm 
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razor55 wrote:
This also has come up on another thread today, but why an how loug we stay or get off suboxone is really up to each of us. So many factors. I break it down to one. For the first time in my 55 years of living an 38 years of useing something, i feel clean and i feel sobor. It really is that simple for me now.

I cant an dont let others in the recovery world sway my choise today.
Ive had this problem the first an second year as an na member, but have come to see this is about how I feel . My recovery. I wont take the chance of picking up again and tbe addict inside me isnt happy im still taking Bupe..haha to damn bad..
I'll see if I can find that thread. I would be very interested to see how someone else might be thinking and doing.

You're right Razor, we're definitely in charge of our own recovery. It sure looks like you have made a very wise decision to remain on the bupe. You yourself feeling clean and sober after 38 years of using is all that matters. That is awesome. You were using longer than I have been alive. Wow!

I guess some might feel they aren't clean, subs being an opiate itself. I believe it's a personal choice to make. If you aren't using your previous drug of choice any longer, taking bupe and consider yourself clean, then you're clean. And the reverse is true too. If you personally feel you aren't fully clean on bupe then you aren't. I made the mistake once telling the group in an NA meeting I was on suboxone. Bad decision it turned out to be. It ended up in a shouting match between a few attendees about being clean or not. I never returned to that aprticular place.

I knew when I begin suboxone I needed to remain on it for quite some time. It wasn't going to be a 2-3 months on and then off for my addiction and drug abuse level. My very first sub doctor insisted all his patients required short-term limits on bupe. No one was allowed or given scripts longer than 6 months, and most only 3-4 months. Probably just a money thing for him with a quick turn over of patients? Even after explaining a long term, hard core addict like myself may need a longer time on bupe therapy didn't matter, I left and found another doctor that let me decide, or at least have a discussion about it.

Anyway, I'm glad I finally joined here also Razor. I was a bit frightened at first because I wasn't certain I would be taken seriously about possibly going back on the subs after a full year off? But all responses have been great, and I made the right decision after all. I'll try to check out that book you suggested. Thanks.

-BP


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:25 pm 
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Ball Player wrote:
Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
I, myself, have this fear that since I didn't have many negative consequences from my abuse of pain killers, I will start up again and think that I'll get away with it. I wonder if my "bottom" wasn't low enough. I have enough doubts about this that I don't see myself going off sub anytime soon.
I forgot to mention that I have the same concerns as you do about not having very many negative consequences, or hitting a rock bottom where I have lost possessions, friends, or lived horribly. None of that happened in my case either, and I certainly don't ever want it to happen, and consider myself extremely fortunate about that. And it frightens me whenever it's brought up. But I have stopped the sub, where you recognize where you are and have not at this point. Another thing to consider about going back on?

I also went back and read what I have previously written and feel embarrased that I've painted the picture I am such a good guy that I never got in trouble, caused anyone harm, or people to think less of me maybe. That is absolutely NOT the case. I'm not perfect in any way, and I sure had my share of making terrible decisions, and upsetting many others. I am certainly no different than any other addict. Sorry for making it seem that way.

-BP


One thing about addiction that is both awesome and humbling is that it's a great equalizer. It doesn't matter if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth or in a van down by the river. It doesn't matter if you're a college educated suburban mom or a homeless junkie turning tricks on the street. We have all perpetrated any number of sins and not one of us comes to the process of recovery unscathed by guilt and conscience.

Today I learned a distinction between guilt and shame in terms of self worth. Guilt is a feeling that comes from a good person who does a bad thing. Shame is a feeling generated by someone who feels that he/she is a bad person who does bad things. Guilt can be instructive and informing if one is not overwhelmed by it, while shame is destructive and debilitating and accomplishes nothing but the torture of one's soul.

What I'm trying to say is that it is assumed that everyone who comes here has behaved like an addict. That includes really reprehensible behavior such as lying, cheating, stealing, wronging our loved ones. However, like Romeo's signature says, "Our character defects do NOT define who we are!" We define ourselves every day by the strides we make in recovery and how we treat others. So, the fact that you have done the things that addicts do, does not make you terrible in our eyes. I've always made it clear, as much as I can, that I am not above anyone because I never IV'd heroin, for example. As long as you are not presenting yourself here as better than others, either because your bottom wasn't that low, or because of your career, you are fine. And I've not felt that attitude from you at all.

Don't be embarrassed. There's no need.

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:13 pm 
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Appreciate that, Amy. I'm still in the thinking process of making a decision. I'm weighing all options, and considering everything others have mentioned here. I'll make my decision soon I'm sure.
-BP


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:35 pm 
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I see so many people wanting off the subs and some struggling, and here I sit with a full year and one week since my last dose of sub or anything else. I put in a lot of hard work to get where I am right now. I think I must be crazy to even consider going back on a maintenance dose.

I think a huge part of it is I was working my "job" and around as many drugs as you can imagine every single day. It was offered and there for the taking even when you didn't want it. So relapse was extremely high during those days.

But now that I'm retired, I'm away from the majority of it, and those scary temptations, and would need to "go looking" if I wanted something. So I guess that lowers my chances considerably. Not being naive, I realize the drugs can find me when I least expect it. A maintenance dose would protect against that happening.

This is becoming much more difficult than I ever imagined.

-BP


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:29 am 
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BP, it's a very good idea to put a lot of work into this decision. I know that it's extremely difficult. The level of difficulty when you got off sub a year ago is an important factor. Was tapering difficult for you? What dosage did you jump from? How long did it take before you were feeling back to normal? (Forgive me if you've already mentioned these things.)

I have often thought about opiates in the same way. It is much easier for me to stay away from them because they would be difficult for me to come by. In some ways the job of the recovering alcoholic is so much tougher because alcohol is legal and ubiquitous. I wouldn't know where to find pain pills besides a doctor's office and that has helped me enormously!

No, I don't think it's crazy to consider going back on a medication that helped you start and continue to be in recovery. I wish we could help you more with this decision, but unfortunately only you can make it.

Just remember that we are here for you no matter what you decide. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:27 am 
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Hello I'm a first time user on this site or forum so first off hello and glad to be here. Now to your question of the second go round with suboxone. I understand that sub treatment involves self decipline just as much as Dr supervision. With this in mind I have no problem with you tryin again. We all are only human we make mistakes! Your second try you must want it and I'm mean really want it and do exactly as told by Dr. If you don't your getting no where. In other words ask yourself this, how ever long you have been a user of opiates or drugs ect... Has abusing drugs which more than likely led to your sub treatment bettered your life in any way? Really think about it. But I think it's a good move for you only if you are serious about getting clean! But most of all congrats on trying I'm proud we do not give our selfs enough credit for being strong enough to face these demons but u got this I know you do! DO IT THE RIGHT WAY IT WILL WORK ALOT BETTER!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:56 am 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
No, I don't think it's crazy to consider going back on a medication that helped you start and continue to be in recovery. I wish we could help you more with this decision, but unfortunately only you can make it.
I fully realize this decision rests with me alone, but I sure wish there might have been a few others that had made it before me to give some experienced guidance. I scoured the forums trying to find others that had also considered this, but found no one. Oh well, maybe I can be one of the first and give my own account of how it goes? Thanks Amy for your continued insight and responses. It is much appreciated! :D

-BP


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:17 am 
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HeHateMe wrote:
I understand that sub treatment involves self decipline just as much as Dr supervision. With this in mind I have no problem with you tryin again. We all are only human we make mistakes! Your second try you must want it and I'm mean really want it and do exactly as told by Dr. If you don't your getting no where. In other words ask yourself this, how ever long you have been a user of opiates or drugs ect... Has abusing drugs which more than likely led to your sub treatment bettered your life in any way?
HeHateMe wrote:
But I think it's a good move for you only if you are serious about getting clean! But most of all congrats on trying I'm proud we do not give our selfs enough credit for being strong enough to face these demons but u got this I know you do! DO IT THE RIGHT WAY IT WILL WORK ALOT BETTER!
While I honestly appreciate your response, I'm not certain you have read my entire thread to give yourself a better idea of what I'm really asking here?

I was on suboxone for 4+ years. And I've been completely off the subs, and everything else for just over ONE FULL YEAR! I'm doing very well, not struggling with life, and in a very good position right now.

But knowing this disease as well as I do, I know fully well a relapse could happen at just about any time. I have read of those having years of clean time, and I personally know a couple addicts that have been clean for many years only to succumb to the demon yet again. The doctor that started this forum, Dr. Junig himself found it can happen to anyone, at any time also. He relapsed after having 7 years of abstinence. I do not want to be one that builds multiple years of clean time only to have it all really go out the window so to speak.

So the reason for me joining the forum and beginning this thread is to get the input of anyone that cares to comment if it would be a good decision to get back on a lifetime of bupe maintenance to help prevent future drug involvement? Or do I not even consider it and continue as I am and take the chance? I'm taking this very seriously, weighing all options and responses, and then ill make my decision.

I do welcome you to the forum, and hope your life is in a good place right now. Perhaps you can begin a thread and tell us a little about yourself?

-BP


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:27 am 
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Hey BP...ok ya didnt ask me really but ...
So, what I havnt read or heard about is how have stayed clean this year? Maybe I missed it. Im a true beleiver in our good Dr. J here. Opiate addicts dont have to many choises. He states it takes a life time of meetings and service work to stay clean without sub or I new life so far away for our useing days that we May have a chance.

Do you feel, that after this year, you can keep up with your recovery plan that is in place. You do have recovery tools ill assume..?
It takes alota work. But im an addict and no where near thinking about stopping sub.I guess what in say BP, if thoughts of useing are dancing in your head maybe its time to consider the med. Im not pushing here and drug free is great for some, I just cant do it as of yet. Man, best of luck on this. And it isnt a step back in my mind going with the sub....hey just my 2 cents bud...have a freat day raz.....


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:45 am 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
The level of difficulty when you got off sub a year ago is an important factor. Was tapering difficult for you? What dosage did you jump from? How long did it take before you were feeling back to normal? (Forgive me if you've already mentioned these things.)
I forgot to answer your questions in the last post, Amy.

Was tapering difficult for me? Well yes and no. I tried jumping at higher doses such as 4 mg, 8 mg, and even tried jumping at 12 mg once. Not for the faint of heart. I read here where several have made the successful jump from higher doses and they all certainly have my respect! I couldn't do it, making it from several days to about a week before getting another sub under my tongue as fast as I possibly could! :D

I tapered different ways too. Tried reducing by 1 mg increments, even tried reducing by 2-4 mg doses when I was at the much higher amounts. I began at 24 mg daily. Felt terrible, had many symptoms, and tried to find a better way for me to get off.

I ended up finally jumping at .25 mg. I personally found that I could reduce by larger amounts at the higher doses above 4 mg, but once down to around 2-4 mg I needed to take things a bit slower. Trial and error is a wonderful teacher, and provided me with lots of experience should I ever find the need to do it all again. I know exactly what I would need to do from any dose I happen to be on again.

How long did it take before I was feeling back to normal you ask? Being as honest as I possibly can, it took about 2 months before I noticed a big improvement in how I felt. In the first days and weeks I had stomach issues along with the usual sweats and chills. I had this blah feeling and energy was difficult to come by. And please remember that I am/was a professional athlete that is always in tip top condition. I'm 6' 3" and weigh around 190-200 lbs. Staying in shape made all the difference, and I don't plan on stopping my work out routine anytime soon.

I also believe I felt poorly those first couple of months was because of my length of time on the subs (4+ years), and the very high dose (24 mg) I was on for quite some time. Maybe someone that is on bupe for less time, and their dose isn't quite as high would have fewer symptoms? Hard to judge sometimes everyone being different. Thanks for your questions Amy.

-BP


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:26 am 
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Hi BP,

Like others have said, that 1 year milestone off of Suboxone can be a tricky one. It's like we put so much effort into getting to that 1 year mark, when it hits, we're like, "OK, now what?" When I hit a year off of Suboxone, I was very wobbly in my recovery. I had already suffered a couple of brief slips, but I pushed on and am currently almost 4 years off of Suboxone.

For about the first year of my time off Suboxone, I really had no good idea of what recovery was. I had heard the term, but didn't have a good understanding of it at all. Once I started practicing even the most basic principles of recovery, things got a lot better for me. During my addiction, which was long and protracted, involving most every drug known to mankind, I had developed many behaviors that were not at all conducive to being clean. Sure, I had quit Suboxone, was off all drugs, but just being off drugs didn't mean I wasn't an addict anymore. That was a hard concept for me to accept. I thought getting off drugs meant I wasn't an addict anymore. Recovery taught me that I'll basically always be an addict, prone to excess, prone to compulsive decision making, prone to poor judgement when it comes to any mood altering substance, but recovery also taught me that I can learn live with those behaviors.

I understand you when you say you don't feel quite as good off opiates as you did on them. What you have to remember is that when you flood your brain with exogenous opiates, you will feel more energy, you will feel pretty damn good, but those feelings are also "fake", for lack of a better word. While on opiates and Suboxone, to some extent, I operated at 150%. After all the opiates were taken away, I was left to operate at 100% and that was a pretty foreign feeling to someone who had abused drugs for 20 plus years. Know what I mean?

Like you, I've wrestled with the decision to get back on Suboxone at times. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that if I need to get back on Suboxone, I'll know it, there won't be any doubts, just like when I got off of it.

Do you have a decent support group in place? Do you have people you can talk with openly about your "secret" feelings and thoughts of using? Being able to talk through those feelings without judgement has been very beneficial to me. Keeping that shit locked up inside of us is a recipe for disaster, IMO.

BTW, I read somewhere in this thread where you said you wouldn't start back with one or two pills, but a handful. That's a surefire way to OD and kill yourself. Some of the best advice I ever got from a friend on this forum was that if I was hell-bent on using again, to start very slowly. That advice probably saved my life at some point. I'm certainly not recommending you use, but if you lose it and do use, start slow.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:32 am 
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Really great questions, Razor! I sense that you really know the drill and I appreciate your comments!

How have I remained clean this past year? A small part of it is me being so damn stubborn. Tell me I can't do something and I will attempt to prove you wrong every single time. The very few teammates that knew my little secret all said there was no way I would ever be able to stop, and stay stopped. That gave me such a huge amount of motivation to quit and remain free of opiates. But I know it takes much more than that.

I have read comments by Dr. J where he is adamant meetings and other work are required to remain free. I do attend both NA and AA meetings, but no where near as much as I should be going. While playing ball, free time was a premium. I didn't want to spend it going to meetings. Sad, but true. I did see a sports physcologist regularly that knew of my addiction. It did help me remain off. I still see this person.

A very large part is my time on subs allowed me to really consider where my life was heading if I didn't stop. It gave me time to realize the things I have done weren't all so good. Some of the people I hurt may have forgiven me, but I can't forget it's still there for me to remember. Made me understand I didn't need drugs any longer to deal with life. Am I completely healed, certainly not because I know active addictive is just a moment away. But at this point I have absolutely no desire to use again. With much more time on my hands I will become more involved in group meetings. I'm also involved with some charity work that helps keep me grounded. Don't want to disappoint those less fortunate.

razor55 wrote:
if thoughts of useing are dancing in your head maybe its time to consider the med.
I wouldn't say it's a constant, everyday problem, but I do know it could happen at anytime and that right there is grounds for this consideration.

I commend you for realizing now is not the time for you to stop the subs. I read where many just want to stop and are no where near ready. I don't look down on anyone, and try not to question an individuals decision too much, but there is a time to stop maybe, and there is a time to remain on the drug that maybe saved your life. Thanks Razor.

-BP


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:13 am 
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Hey there, Romeo. Your analogy of things is spot on. You sure do "get it" and I can so relate to the things you have said. The one year mark is a tricky time as you and Rizob mentioned. It's like it gives you bragging rights for being so commited, but planning on living many more years it's hardly reason to go all out celebrating and telling the world. You mentioned "slipping" in the first year off, and being completely honest I have not slipped once thus far. I'm very proud of that fact. I'm NOT saying I was stronger than you either. Shit happens I know.

WOW, congratulations on almost 4 years off the subs!! That is amazing! I do find it refreshing you've considered getting back on the subs also. NIce to know theres another that has considered it after substantial time off. I hear what you're saying about knowing when the time is right to do so. As you said, you knew when the time was right to get off, and so did I. BUT with slipping as you admit, you realize the potential of the beast. I as well. I know I'll be an addict the rest of my life, but ACTIVE addiction doesn't have to be a part of it, which makes this decision so difficult.

Great post that makes a lot of sense!

-BP


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