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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:06 am 
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To make this is brief as possible, basically I've been on sub for 2 years. For the majority of the time I've been on 1/2 mg daily. I recently have run into financial problems and am basically being forced to quit and I'm nervous.

My sub doctor gave me seroquel to help with wd's which I will get to.

So yesterday was the first full day of no sub and it wasn't so bad, but I know better than to think that's how it will stay. I know the drug is still in my system and will be for a couple days which is what scares me. Although my physical symptoms are very minor, the mental ones are torture. I feel like I have a major need to take the sub, when in reality I have no reason to need it. Physically there is nothing saying I need to take it. Which leads to my question.

Is it ok to take a benzo (ativan or klonapin). As mentioned my doc gave me seroquel and holy crap did that stuff throw me for a loop. I have take many different things and never have I had a reaction as I did with that. I could not move. I was out cold. I slept for hours and hours starting about 3pm till 4am. Waking up here and there to stuff food down my throat and fall back asleep. I'm a light sleeper, typically about 5 hours is all I need. My wife was scared something was wrong...I tried to explain I felt fine, other than the fact i felt like I couldn't move (lol). So, unless I'm really feeling physically miserable I DO NOT want to take that med again, but the anxiety is what will make me give in. I believe I'm strong enough to fight physical symptoms, but not mental. I need something for anxiety and would be better suited with ativan to get me through to stretches, rather than knock me out for hours. i need to be able to function. I have a 2 month old baby here (which is more incentive to quit) and do not want to leave my wife with all responsibility. Luckily she is supportive and wants to make whatever sacrifice she needs to help me overcome this, but I feel guilty knowing she is frustrated at times. I did not trust myself to hold the baby yesterday because I was so out of it. I know ativan does not do this to me.

Anyone have any advice/experience.

How long can I expect wd's to last? What will the worst of it start? It would be great if the worst was right now but man I know that's a dream within a dream!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:25 am 
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I'm not surprised Seroquel did that to you. It's a very strong/powerful medication. I completely respect and understand your desire not to use it again. (My husband was given the same thing for anxiety and had the same reaction you did. He never took it again either.)

What's commonly used to treat opiate withdrawals is Clonidine. It's a blood pressure med. You could probably also take the ativan for remaining anxiety symptoms. Hopefully that will help you with the discomfort.

No one can say exactly how long the withdrawals will last. You said you were on "1/2 mg"...Do you mean 1/2 a mg or 1-2 mg? Sub withdrawals usually kick in full force around day 3-5 on average. That's because of the long half-life. The worst of the acute withdrawals symptoms could last anywhere from say 6 days to a week or two. It just depends on the person.
Others who have stopped sub will likely come along and give you more specific info on that.

Lastly, what many swear by to help them feel better is exercise. Force yourself to get some good activity in every day. It helps produce natural endorphins.

I wish you the very best...I know you can do this. Just keep reminding yourself it's only temporary.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:46 am 
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Ativan wouldn't kill you. Neurontin is less addictive and actually works very well for anxiety. Clonidine is good too but generally on a shorter term basis. Ativan might be good through the worst of it and then neurontin more long term since. I didn't find anti-depressants in any form worked well for withdrawal but everyone is different. The length of withdrawal varies for everyone. I would agree with Melissa that acute symptoms are about 2-3 weeks but insomnia and fatigue and the mental symptoms can last FAR longer including 2 months or longer. You will likely experience PAWS and that varies as well generally 6 months to 2 years. But I have seen people nearly escape it as well so who knows. Unfortunately, there really is no great answer to your questions.

But, there is a patient assistance program for suboxone if you find you are struggling and it is either sub or relapse. Pick the sub.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:37 pm 
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You have already received some great advice, if I may I'll just add these...

I don't know much about the ativan, but I understand the klonopin is fairly safe, for a benzo. You obviously don't want to take the klonopin on a long term basis, benzo withdrawals are worse than opiate wd.

I quit sub and I was somewhere around 4mg daily. I had a few 1mg Xanax that I used for the first few days then I tapered to .5mg for a few days then every other day and after 10 or so days I stopped the Xanax. I would not recommend Xanax, but it's all that was available to me.

You can fight the mental part too you know, I had a whale of a time with the mental part, but it can be done. Many others on this forum have quit sub...you have to be strong as possible right now. I know it's hard, it might even seem impossible...BUT IT'S NOT.

You're not alone, stay strong and keep posting if possible...you'll get terrrific support here.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Desire2GetClean - I just recently jumped from around 4 mg and I am on day 10, I agree the first few days mentally were hard because the more I read online about how long this would last the more horror stories I ran across. Once the acute symptoms hit full swing I realized that no matter how much you research and how closely someone elses story matches your own you never know. I also didn't have any comfort meds for my jump and I can say it wasn't as bad as my mind made it, I did break down and freak out at times but you need to find good motivation to keep moving, thats key I think. Look at you'r child and just think of how awesome it will be when you'r completely done with this kick and how happy you and you'r wife will be. Not only that but you'r wife wont become frustrated and she will be so proud of you! I had the same sort of problem except when my GF got upset about it, it was hard to console her because she doesn't know addiction and is the type who thinks everything is mental and WD's don't exist. :shock:

Anyway, when ever you can try to stay active, it will be annoying as crap to do things and handle responsibilities but it will push this a long faster and help you'r body recover. Staying in bed will make the days longer and probably do nothing but slow the process down, at least thats how I felt. Of course some bad days you will lay around, sure, but when ever you can don't do it. Not to mention you want to be extremely tired so when you try to sleep you actually can. The hardest part for me was the restlessness and insomnia, the first 5 nights sleeping was near impossible and right now my days are good, I feel healthy but my insomnia and RLS is still in full effect.

You came to the right place as a lot of forums around will do nothing but scare you with horror stories and such. You will find a lot of support here and people will show genuine care and concern for you. If you jumped at a half milligram of suboxone I think you will have a way easier time than me and who knows it may not even be too bad for you? Also, a lot of people swear by natural supplements like Melatonin for sleep and a high mg supplement of Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc which can help with the restlessness.

Remember stay POSITIVE!! Good luck and keep us updated.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Just to reiterate what inneed said, because it's SO true, you can read and research all day long about what wd has in store for you, but all it's going to do is give you a rough guideline of what to expect. The more I learn about wd and recovery the more I understand how individual, personal and profound it is. Your wd will be unique to you and I think a lot of the individuality of wd is due to it having such a large mental component. If you can somehow keep a good attitude, it seems to help a lot. I know it sounds like I'm asking you to push molasses up a sandy hill, but you have to try.

Don't let the word profound scare you, you're going through some mental changes and you will gain some insight into yourself that you may not have been aware of before. It happened to me anyway.

Thanks inneed for reminding us how individual wd is. It's an important point!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Desire2getclean:

I understand your fears...and you could be right that psychologically you might make this worse for yourself then it needs to be. If you can exercise, like hat said, that is helpful. Drink a lot of water with lemon, too. Try for a gal. a day. Flush it out.

Just to tell you my w/d experience....I was on 75mg methadone maintenance and made the switch to Sub almost a month ago. I was terrified to jump at that high of dose but the way things happened it was what I did. I psyched myself out so much that I know I waited longer than necessary to start the sub...but just for perspective, and of course we are all different in how we respond to w/d, I went 6 days with out methadone...using 2 5mg vic a day for three of those days (one of the days I had something important to do and I couldn't afford to be sick and it was day 5 off of methadone). I doubt the vic did anything at all but psychologically helped me feel better. I really had very minimal w/d symptoms...and I never would have believed I could go 6 days off of methadone stopping at 75mg. I waited that long to induct on Sub because of pwd's and probably could have started sooner.

So, you never know how it will be for you. Try to get out of your head. Get out of the house if possible, do something physical (Of course I didn't....but hey its great advice..LOL). It may be smoother than you think is the point...
Hang in there.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:51 am 
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Thanks everyone. I'm currently have not taken sub since Friday around 5pm and I am going through hell right now. I have a little drippy nose, a little belly ache here and there but it's nothing...My issue is the desire to crawl outside of my skin. AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhh I hate this feeling I can't sit still for two seconds. It goes so bad last night I gave in and took the serequel and I'm so glad I did because I wouldn't have been able to sleep.

I thank you all for the words. One thing is for sure, reading so many horror stories of people coming off sub makes the situation so much worse so i'm trying to refrain from reading the negative and focus on the fact that I'm on my third day which should be the start of the worst of things to come and so far I haven't had anything major physical.

Someone asked above if I was taking 1/2 or 1 to 2. It would be 1/2 (one half mg) so I'm hoping because of that low dosage maybe I won't have 2 weeks plus of misery. I'm just going say it because I'm feeling this way. There is no way I can do this for 2 weeks or more. I'm freaking out. I need the anxiety to go away. It might get to the point where I take the serequel 3 times a day and sleep the days away. I'm going to try and get out....no..I'm going to go out for a walk today and see if that helps. Even though it's FREEEEEZING out and I'm already freezing just siting in my house.

oh man I hope I can get through this.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:53 am 
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I think you "can" get throught this. I do think you need a plan for that feeling of needing to crawl out of your skin. That is what kills me the worst too and it makes minutes seem like hours. A benzo will help with that short term and neurontin will help long term but you need a plan because that feeling lasts lonoger than any of the others. If you can control that symptom, the rest will go away.

I didn't make a plan before I jumped and on day 5 or so went to the ER. They were able to make a list of my symptoms and they found a drug for each of them. Once I had those drugs in my system, I felt WAY better. It wasn't perfect, but it did get me through the rest of the worst part of withdrawal. Then I had to go back and see my doctor for something for sleep, but outside of that, I was ok. I never missed a single day of work except to go to the ER.

If you can, exercise. It WILL help take that feeling away. I could never make myself do it but others have and they ALWAYS seem to do better. I haven't seen one person who posted that they worked out and didn't feel better in some way or another.

Hang in there.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:27 pm 
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I'm glad it was .5 mg and not higher. You jumped from a relatively low dose, but it's certainly not unheard of to be suffering withdrawal like you are.

I had the 'crawl out of my skin desire too'. This might sound stupid, but the best thing I found that helped me was music. Rock 'n Roll turned up to the max! I had the good fortune of recording a Stone Temple Pilots concert and I watched it like it was on an endless loop. Loud, Loud, LOUD. Then I lucked into an Iron Maiden (live in Rio, I think?) concert on VH1, recorded it too.

What I'm trying to say is you have to find something to occupy your mind. For me, music fit the bill. It didn't make all the wd symptoms go away, but at least I didn't lose my marbles...even though I came close.

Find something to occupy your mind and if at all possible, your body too. This is the absolute best advice I can give you for where you are right now.

Hang in there, man.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:40 pm 
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Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to keep busy because it's certainly worse when I'm not doign anything. I love movies so I think I'm going to go in the basement and start a movie marathon. I just had a spurt when I was very sad, crying even. For whatever reason just looking at my daugther I felt immense guilt and would immediately start crying.

There was a point today where I felt almost normal and wondered, could this be it? Or is this the calm before the storm. Then the crying storm hit. Man this is so overwhelming. I'm too far in to turn back now but the unknown road scares the living shat out of me. Could it be days, weeks or months before this feeling goes away. I'm sure it's going to be a long time before i get back to truely being normal. Especially when I go back to work I'll have to adjust to those moments when I start having the anxiety. maybe try going for a walk or something. I dunno, i'm rambling. I just want to be ok. For me, for my wife, for my daugther, and for my entire family.

I've been trying to find info on what the real half life is of suboxone but it seems like nobody truely knows. i am wondering if because my does is so low, will it be as bad as some stories I've read. I am believing the answer to that is no it won't be as bad but i could just be nieve. If it's been approx 65 hours since I took my last dose, what are the chances it's still going to get worse from here..


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Your experience makes me want to print it out and show my current and former Sub docs. People who wean down to 1/2 mg "aren't supposed" to have any w/d. However, you aren't alone. I used to go to meetings where tons of people were on Sub and every single person who weaned down to .5 mg and thought they wouldn't have w/d DID have w/d. I just don't like doctors denying this sort of stuff or even worse, telling us it's "in our heads".

All that said, you deserve a big congratulations because you were on a very low dose of Sub. Of course, .5 mg is still 500 micrograms, and anything over 200 micrograms will tend to give people w/d so it's no surprised. At the same time, your w/d shouldn't be anywhere near as bad as someone who jumped at 4 or even 2. You were quite below the ceiling, which is between 2 and 4. As others said, don't read tons of horror stories because they really will make this harder on you. You CAN do it!! You probably aren't that far away from feeling much better.

If I were you, I'd stick with the Klonopin for anxiety and not the Ativan. Ativan gives me rebound anxiety and also nausea for some reason. Just take the minimum you need. Start with a little bit and if you need more, then take more, but watch it because Benzos are addictive. Also, Clonidine would be great if you can take that. It seems like that helps people more than anything else. It actually eliminates some of the worst symptoms. Again, take the littlest that you need because it gives people a hangover.

Holy cow, when I read Seroquel, I immediately knew what you were going to say happened to you. I HATE that stuff sooooo much. It's awful. My first doc prescribed it to me and I took 25 mg and thought my heart was gonna stop and the whole next day I was drugged and hungover. What a nasty med!!! Of course, for people who need it as a psych med, it doesn't mess with them as bad. Stay away from Trazadone, too. That's my advice. That did the same freaky thing to me. I used to take Ambien and it worked so well. I stopped it and it took me a few days to be able to sleep again. However, even knowing that, if I were in your shoes, I'd definitely consider taking it again during the worst part of w/d. A few days of bad sleep later on may be worth it.

Please don't give up if this is important to you. I worry that all the negative stuff online will psych you out. Stick around here because there's so many positive people here. You have already comes so far. I'm on 4 mg and weaning down. I hope someday I'll be where you are.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Just real quick: Suboxone's mean half-life is 37 hours. (This doesn't apply to it's pain relieving properties.) And the ceiling is pretty much accepted to be at or around 4 mg.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:52 pm 
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So it's safe to say most of the sub is out of my system by now?

The wd's is mostly the anxiety/restlessness. The only physical symptoms are running nose and being freezing. I can't seem to get warm. I just absolutely hate that feeling of not sitting still, not being able to breathe. I am going to hang in there and am not going to read more stories. I did come to realize that the people were on higher doses and people on the lower doses did much better.

I actually just took another serequel. It will be my third time. Last night it helped me sleep and I felt much better this morning so my hope is to just sleep through some of this. I will keep checking in. I can't thank you all enough. You are giving me strength to keep pushing through this. I greatly appreciate it!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:03 pm 
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Desire2GetClean - I noticed during the worst of my jump and even now on day 11 the WD's come in waves, on day 5 I thought I was better and was jumping for joy but the next day it was back again. I really think you might be almost out of the woods and in to a clearing and doubt PAWS will have a huge effect on you. So happy you cried, happens to me a lot now and I am also happy you are finding tons of inspiration in your daughter and wife, thats great! The WD symptoms also don't seem to just vanish one day, they leave SLOWLY and thats what gives me the impression of never getting better but you most definately will. In a few more days, read back and try to think about certain daily activities and how much easier they are getting. For me walking the dogs every day is my measurement for success because I know the first couple of days I couldn't make it half way without stopping for 5 minutes to gain the strength to walk home again. I can now do the walk easily and I am not panting as if I just ran a marathon.

Good luck with you'r coming days, hope you feel better and get some good sleep tonight.

EDIT - Just curious what people mean when they say ceiling effect for suboxone?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Although the half life, on average, is 37 hours, when you've been on sub a long time, you will also have the stacking effect, which extends how long the sub will be in one's system after they stop it. There used to be a graphic floating around here a while back, but I don't know where it is.

OK - the ceiling is the point at which the opiate receptors are fully saturated. Taking more sub after that point will NOT result in increased effects like it does with full agonist opiates. This is why people do not build up a tolerance with suboxone and never need to increase their dose. It's also why you don't hear about people taking too much sub and overdosing (as long as there's no other CNS depressant in the mix). You can take more and more and get ZERO additional effect from it. Now the ceiling doesn't always address one's cravings and doesn't necessarily apply to people taking it for pain. At dosages below the ceiling, the receptors are not saturated and sub then acts more like a full agonist. This is why people "feel" their very low doses and is why people say "less is more".

I hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:42 pm 
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The suboxone should be out of your system by day 4 at the latest. I had bought several buprenorphine(suboxone) urine tests online. I had 10 tests. I tested incessantly the first few days waiting for it to be out of my system, day 3 I got a very weak positive for sub and day 4 I had a strong negative.

I am not ashamed to admit I cried like a baby a few times during the first several days, your brain is pretty confused as to what the hell is going on and it's trying it's hardest to re-gain balance. Emotional swings are completely normal...every symptom you mention is completely normal. Don't be afraid to cry, you'll feel better afterwards.

inneed brings up a good point, wd doesn't seem to disappear all at once. One by one they get better. I know it's nearly impossible to believe that you'll get better, but trust me...you will...and it won't take forever, it just feels like a really long time.

Keep posting, it helps too.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:53 am 
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Had a very long and miserable night. Couldn't sleep. It seems like the more tired I am the worse everything gets anxiety wise. I could not sit still, tossing and turning and no matter how tired I got, i couldn't sleep. I hate to admit it but I ended up taking an extra half of serequel and that seemed to do the trick. I finally got to sleep for a few hours.

Right now, I kinda feel like sh*t. I honestly can't tell if I'm just super tired or if I'm feeling sick (or both). I need to stop sitting around the house waiting to feel better, I need to get up and moving and try to forget about all that's going on. Last thing I want/need is to feel like this come xmas eve. Sitting in front of my family feeling like a bugged out loser.

This feels like years and I'm only on day 4 today. I can't stop wondering when it will end, when will I pass the hump. I thought for sure today would be the day until I woke up this morning. I am a bit calmer (for now). Just feeling a bit frustrated, overwhelmed, guilty...you name it, I feel it.

I also know it's very normal but when I look at my daugther it really chokes me up. I feel really bad right now because I want nothing more than to hold her and play with her but I can only hold her for so long until I start to get that tied down feeling. My mind is such mush that it's hard for me to interact with her and keep it going. I have to keep telling myself that she'll never remember this and this sacrifice now is going to help my family in the long run. Something I don't even remember if I've said before and to be honest, I don't feel like going back to check so at the risk of repeating myself...Another big factor of me stopping sub is the financial reasons. my family has some debt and it kills me to think how much money i've thrown away first on all the opiates I bought, but now the monthly sub visit and script. I want to give my daughter the best life possible and that money I'm throwing down the toilet could be used to better my family. Don't get me wrong, I am sooooo glad I got off the drugs and onto sub. It brought me back to reality and help me regain my life. I'm just ready to take that next step and try to regain the rest of my life back and rebuild what I couldn't while still on suboxone. I really hope I can make it through this. These hard times make it feel sooooooooo impossible. So far in the future that I feel defeated. One poster was right, minutes feels like hours. I'm very proud of myself that I've even made it this far. Knowing sub is sitting in the next room waiting to take this away, I still don't want to give in. I admittedly almost did yesterday. I picked it up and tucked it in my pocket. Something I did everyday. It just made me feel better even though I didn't take it.

Which reminds me, why the heck don't they make a placebo pill. One that looks, feels, tastes exactly like suboxone, it would help that urge to put something under the tongue. Almost like quitting cigarettes. I know people miss that feeling of something in their fingers or sitting on their lips.

Anyway, sorry, I'm rambling again. Thoughts are flying through my head faster than I can type (which is pretty damn fast). Writing usually helps me so I'm just letting it fly.

One other thing, I think the comment about the stacking affect really threw me a curve ball. During my restless night, I kept having thoughts of trying to do the math of how long I've been taking sub and how many doses I actually have stacked. If all that is true, the sub will be in my system for a loooooooong time since I was on it for such a long time. i still can't think coherently to do math but at this point, I don't think I want to. So yeah, it kinda bugged me out.

Ok, sorry for rambling. Again, I can't tell you how much this means to me. Having the support behind you can give you that little nudge when you don't think you can take that extra step. Thank you for reading, thank you for responding!!!!

Woah...I feel good right now. Like I just lifted 10 pounds off my shoulders.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:23 am 
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In my experience, once I got through the first two weeks, things did get better day by day. It was just a very slow process. But I jumped off 12mg. NOT .5. However, the experiences are similar in ways, but intensity and timeframes are often different. I remember posting and saying that each day I felt better, but I also still felt like a basket case half the time. I completely relate to feeling like your brain is mush. You are in the eye of the storm right now so just think, you ARE doing it. Of course you don't want THIS to last forever. But THIS won't. THIS exact feeling will go away. Then each day, symptoms will lessen just a little. Week by week as you look back, you will realize that this week you feel better than last week.

When people post about stopping it is really hard for me because of my own experience. I feel two ways. I do believe people can do this if this is what they really want to do and they taper correctly, etc. I want to support that - obviously. At the same time, it is okay if you change your mind at some point and decide to go back on sub. I am not at all saying I think you should do one or the other. I am only saying whatever choice you make is okay and can be supported.

It's like this. There is nothing wrong with "trying" to be totally substance free (including being off sub). There is also nothing wrong with trying to be in recovery (being on sub). The only wrong answer is relapse.

Hang in there. It does get better.

Cherie

_________________
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

- Winston Churchill


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:13 pm 
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One Month or More
One Month or More

Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:55 am
Posts: 35
Well, got out of the house with my wife and baby this morning for a few hours and I felt great. I feel very emotional but most times it's a strong sense of happiness, which then makes me cry. I'm a big sap, I can't help it. Overall, up to this very minute, I'm feeling soooo much better, anxiety comes and goes but I've been on the go so I get easily distracted away from it.

I'm now in an empty house so we shall see how things progress. I'm going to relax for a few, basically just to see what happens/how I feel. If I start to get that really anxious feeling, I'm going to go outside and shovel the nasty snow on the ground. I did a bit this morning before we left just to clear the walkway (nobody slippin with my baby in hand!) so I have more to clear up.

My doc kept telling my 5 days I will be over the worst of it. If I trust his words/wisdom then I'm only one more day away. I'm not turning back now but if at some point in the future I end up back on sub, so be it but my plan is to go forward and hopefully get back to normal, at least to the normal I was when I was on sub, or even better. Hopefully better. One day at a time I guess.

Report back later.


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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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