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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:51 pm 
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This is my second post on this forum,
a little about myself.. 23 year old from seattle washington, was a very fat kid growing up which left me with very low self esteem. i have always had problems with substance abuse since about the age of 15. I began drinking very heavilly andf would be drunk pretty much every night. about 3 years ago i took my first perkocet 5mg and man i fell in love.
stated taking pain pills a few times a week for the next year or so about 20-50 mg of oxy. got layed off from my job
(boeing)in early 2010. sitting at home over the next 8 months is when i realised how bad of a problem i had. i started taking oxy, almost everyday and started doing things i swore i would never do like smoking it and snorting it. my use at its worst was probably about 100mg a day almost everyday. I have severe anxiety,ocd, and an eating disorder, (i know im blessed)
that i have been dealing with over the last decade. I scarred myself with the drugs as i tried to stop many times and kept doing the 'one more time thing'. so i went to a sub doc my cousin had been going to for his addiction and got on the program. i started at 16mg a day which was way to much but i didnt no much about it at the time.after a year on sub i am down to 6mg a day and just looking back and trying to convince myself that i made the right choice by going on. i am now thinking about weaning off sometime in the next 6 months or so and trying to be completely clean( not saying their is anything wrong with being on sub or implying anyone on it is not clean) but am aftraid of how my life will be without it. i have always been one to run to drugs or alchohol, or food for that matter when i was younger.. to try and medicate myself. i just want to make my mom proud of me and be a good person. i have never stolen anything or done anything that bad but i am an addict and just wanted some advice,comments anything really thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:34 pm 
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Welcome to the forum Wu-shankster,
Congratulations on your year long treatment. I have heard similar stories like yours from other young people. I see you are struggleing with making a choice to taper off suboxone or not. I will agree it is a decision well worth thinking about. I guess I would ask you a few questions before I making any suggestions one way or another. I am no professional, I am just a person on suboxone, like you. Do you think, if you got off sub that all the issues that caused your drug binges are going to cause you to allow yourself to fall back into another situation? Do you feel you are now able to deal with them in a positive and healthy way and perhaps find an alternative solution? Have you been in or considered counseling or some type of therapy beyond suboxone? I ask this because you seem quite unsure. I am glad you are giving this some thought. I know there are many people on this forum that will reply to your post. Suboxone is a very complex medication and if done correctly it can be an extremely valuable tool to help get yourself on the right track. You are so young and you seem very smart for seeking advise on this matter. I hope that you get what you need to live a long healthy life because you have many wonderful years ahead.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:03 am 
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Hey wu shankster,

After reading your post, the thing that really jumped out at me is this.....Suboxone alone is NOT recovery, especially if you're contemplating quitting!! Recovery involves addressing our issues that lead to our drug abuse. We have to become aware of the issues that made us use, we have to learn how to deal with those issues then we have to learn how to cope with those issues in a healthy way. For most of us, that involves working with some kind of addiction counselor or attending NA/AA/SMART recovery.

Quitting drugs is only part of recovery. It took me a while to learn this lesson, I'm glad I finally learned it, though.

I would suggest you look for some kind of addiction counselor who can help you to at least get the basics of recovery under your belt before you even think about quitting Suboxone. Just my opinion Bud.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:12 am 
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Yeah I'm very unsure about my life in general right now. I am afraid that I will not be able to live my life without some kind of substance.
I am pretty sure if I tried my best to taper off that I could but then what? I feel an overflow of emotions almost on a daily basis and have used substances as a coping mechanism for a long time. I am just concerned for myself and my future. I have been in councelling for my OCD and anxiety in the past but never for addiction. I am just a young confused person looking for my next move but I am afraid of what could happen coming off of sub. I am very hard on myself all the time and feel like a partial failure. I live a normal productive life and am happy at the moment but I have some deep issues obviously that are preventing me from being able to live the life I've always wanted. And last thank you very much for your kind words they mean everything to me at the moment:)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:20 am 
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Romeo; you are right. I'm thinking gEtting into addiction councelling will be a very good move. And yeah I agree with you about the sub alone thing. The first 6 months or so on the program I wasn't really thinking long term and just taking the suboxone, but now I'm trying to take some steps to make sure I get better. Thanks for your help, I guess I just wanted an outside opinion. Thanks guys


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:53 am 
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Hey wu,

Don't, for a minute, think that you're the only one with issues. You're not an oddball, you're not a screw up, you are an addict, you are a member of the human race and you have some "mental issues" that you need to address.....welcome to the club, there's a shit load of us in the same boat you're in.

I suffer from OCD tendencies, I deal with anxiety on a daily basis.....it sucks, but it's how God built me and I'm learning how to live with it. Truth be told, my obsessive behavior is a major bonus in my occupation. A big part of my job is problem solving and my obsessive nature allows me to COMPLETELY focus on the problem at hand. I'll run through a million scenarios mentally, I'll narrow the list down to the top two or three then I see if they work. I do all of this in a matter of minutes while it takes my co-workers considerably longer to perform the same tasks. Because of my OCD, I have steadily moved up the ladder of success at work and I have a kick ass job. OCD doesn't have to be all bad.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is more of a challenge. I haven't found many bonuses with having anxiety so I've learned simple techniques to fight it. Focusing on your breathing is a real simple one. Learning to not overanalyze certain things lessens my anxiety. Learning acceptance has lessened my anxiety.

Recovery is a learning process. We learn about ourselves. Some of the things we learn about ourselves scares the crap out of us, then we learn how to deal with it. Some of the things we learn about ourselves are great, but we tend to minimize those........bad, bad, bad!!! Like my signature says, Our Character Defects Do NOT Define Who We Are. For too long, I let my character defects define who I was. How crazy is that......my character defects make up about 5% of who I am and I was letting them define 99% of who I was. I don't do that anymore.

This stuff didn't happen for me overnight, my recovery has been a long path, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lastly, remember to Be Kind To Yourself.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:49 am 
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Hey Wu-shankster -

My fellow Seattle dweller! You must know you're not alone because pretty much everyone in this rainy ass city has some kind of mental disorder :lol: Sometimes I feel like they should just add Prozac to the water supply every November.

All kidding aside, you've gotten some good advice from my protege Romeo and from Sweet16. I agree with both of them completely. Also, co-occurring disorders are pretty common amongst people with addictions. I myself have depression and anxiety issues that predate my addiction issues.

Ideally, I think that the most successful Suboxone tapers (and continuing recovery) happen when we're tapering because we are moving toward something, rather than away from something. What I mean by that is that you've worked hard on your recovery, learned what triggers your drug use and developed ways of dealing with those triggers, made new friends, got new and healthy interests and hobbies, have a good job or gone back to school, developed a support network, started taking good care of your physical and mental health and learned how to deal with the emotions and stress that just come from living life. Then your desire to taper and try recovery without medication arises naturally out of that process as a kind of "next step" on the journey.

The opposite of this would be to try to stop Suboxone just because you want to be "free" of it, even though you know you haven't really made the fundamental changes that will sustain your recovery. Believe me, I understand that feeling and I think it's pretty normal. But it's also kind of wishful thinking. Just trying to be "clean" without doing the necessasary prep work probably isn't a great plan. So definitely examine your motives.

Suboxone can be a great recovery tool. It's like training wheels that keep you from wiping out while you practice living without getting high all the time. It took me 2 years of Sub treatment to be ready to give it a go on my own, but it was worth it. I finished my taper in August of 2009 and now I'm over 4 years opiate free. I know it was the right choice for me to go on Suboxone - but it was just the first right choice in a string of right choices that I had to continue making. Going to therapy, going back to school, meditating my ego to death, changing the way I eat, starting to exercise and do yoga...all of those things have added up to success for me so far.

Stick around the forum, there are some really wonderful people here and I bet you will find some of the support that you need to help you along.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:00 am 
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Wu-shankster wrote:
Yeah I'm very unsure about my life in general right now. I am afraid that I will not be able to live my life without some kind of substance.


I understand that fear so much. It's the fear of the addict, and it's not actually real. The reality is, that fear is the wrong way around completely.

Fact is, we cannot live WITH any substances.

Us people with addictions and other mental health issues simply cannot take drugs to try and relieve the pain of our underlying conditions. OCD can be a painful condition, and by all accounts opioids give some with the condition a feeling of relief. Same reason why people with bipolar / depression / schizoaffective / borderline etc have much higher rates of addiction. That drugs give us this magical feeling of relief is exactly the reason why people like ourselves should avoid them. We easily fall under the illusion that drugs are the answer to our problems.

I have bipolar disorder, and for years I was using drugs to try and calm the chaos. I thought I found a solution in heroin. After a few years I realised that my life was a shitload worse after I found this bullsh*t "solution", and I tried frantically to get clean for years. But I kept relapsing because I secretly thought heroin would help if ever my bipolar played up again. But every time the opioids just made me sicker. It's taken years to realise that, no matter how bad my mental health issues get, opioids only make it worse.

Ever since I realised, I've been amazed at how much uncomfortability and insanity I can push through on my own. And I was always a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for. Addiction just likes to tell us we can't get through life without it, that we're "too weak". In reality, we're a lot stronger than our addiction leads us to believe.

You're clearly resilient to have survived thus far with your conditions. So don't be afraid to push through. You will likely surprise yourself.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:49 am 
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Hi Wu-shankster and welcome to the forum. You've got some great responses already that I wholeheartedly agree with. Going off suboxone before you know you are ready doesn't set yourself up for success.

The idea of seeing an addiction counselor is a great one. I've been on sub for coming up on 3 years and I personally see an individual therapist instead of an addiction counselor, but that's because of my own personal mental health issues that also pre-date my addiction. Yup, I'm another person with co-occurring disorders. Like someone above said, so many of us addicts are like that. So please don't feel so alone in this. As unique and individual as we all are, when it comes to addiction we have so much in common.

Hang in there. Deciding to stay on suboxone for now isn't a decision for the rest of your life. It's just for now. Spend some time working on YOU, you need that time...You owe it to yourself and you deserve it.

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


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Thanks to everyone who replied, it means alot to me. Yes my mental problems started at a very early age a d I'm still young and learning to deal, you guys have helped alot I'm glad I'm not alone. And that 5% that defines us thing was really helpful. Never thought of it like that.
God bless and good luck to you all:)


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