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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:58 pm 
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I'm new to the site, but wanted to contribute. I came across my suboxone journal that I was keeping while going through withdrawal, thought maybe it would help someone else. Just a little background, really dont need to describe how I got addicted i think we all understand. I went from a bad h habit to cold turkey (instead of jail) and it was the worst few weeks of my life. Started going back to h then read about suboxone. Went to a sub doctor back in 2010 and they put me at 24mg of suboxone. God I wish I had known enough to tell the doctor that was WAAAAY too much but I had no idea, and honestly I was happy to find a doctor that would help.

So over 4 years I tapered, slowly at first then faster. Always allow your body at least a week to adjust to dose changes. I went from 24 to 16 to 8 to 4 to 2 to 1 to .5 then .5 every other day then said I'm ready (actually the doctor called and said I was cut off but that just made it more official).

WITHDRAWAL JOURNAL

Day 1,2,3- worst by FAR was the restless legs. Would be so tired then lay down and within minutes my legs would feel like they were possessed by spirits. I seriously considered taking a baseball bat and beating my legs. I went through heavy h detox so i knew to expect this but its such an otherworldly feeling that its hard to describe and it makes sleep simply impossible. No matter how many times you move or whatever position you take, your legs after a minute feel like giant bugs are trying to burst out of your skin (which is of course why they call this "kicking the habit"). Somewhere around 4am finally fell asleep. Yawning, sneezing, body aches. Tried to exercise but didnt get far at all. At this stage very motivated (lets do this!!!) but very worried about how bad withdrawals will be. I know how long the half-life of suboxone is so just expecting the worst around day 4-5 but hoping for the best. Have to rest a lot, out of breathe (and i dont smoke and am very physically active)


Day 4,5,6- still restless legs but slightly better. Very tired, no energy. Very lethargic. Sleep patterns disrupted even after finally falling asleep (keep waking up). Drinking tons of water which seems to go right through me. Decreased appetite. Sneezing and yawning continues (sneezing worse). Extreme mood swings, go from happy to crying my eyes out at drop of a hat. Leg pains which got slightly better with ibuprofen. Decided to try taking Imodium to see if it helps with any of the withdrawal symptoms but from my experience it didn't do anything, and I wasn't willing to mix it with a p-glycoprotein inhibitor because I didn't want to relapse (as stupid as that sounds based on using two over the counter medications but who knows).


Day 7,8,9- notice my sense of smell has increased drastically (not sure why). Also very strange is that all of a sudden i dont have delayed urination anymore (used to take me 30-45 seconds to begin). Never attributed this to suboxone, assumed it was from getting older. Sex drive increasing a bit (considering it has been at zero for years with suboxone). Body aches much worse. First time i thought about how to get more suboxone but quickly pushed thought out. Notice that despite these things i am starting to feel really good. Not like im high, just like i am free and sober and seeing glimpses of my old self. Been reaching out to people, old friends who i ignored because of drugs. Several people have said (without knowing details of any of this) that i sound great and much better (obviously i think i am better at hiding things than i thought). Still drinking massive amounts of water, energy still low.


Day 10,11,12- energy levels still low but higher. Was able to actually finish some workouts but took longer and had to keep blowing my nose. Terrible stuffy nose (although could be pollen), still sneezing 3-4 times in a row and yawning. Sleep patterns are completely out of whack, minor restless legs (tip dont take benadryl if you have restless legs it can make it worse). Been taking melatonin for sleep, falling asleep easy but constantly waking up to pee. Also wake up at odd hours wide awake. Seem to need much less sleep now. Sex drive returning more, used to take 30-45 minutes for orgasm now takes 1-2 minutes which may be an issue but taking it day by day. Still have super human smelling. Emotions raging, tend to cry a lot at the most random things. Been lingering on the past a lot thinking of all the mistakes i have made which makes me cry again.

will submit more later if anyone cares, have to write it up from handwritten.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Hello, I wanted to tell you that I found your journal extremely interesting and informative, even though I'm not tapering/jumping or even close to considering it yet. I think reading an idea of what to expect during this process will surely help someone going through the same thing. You seem to have a positive attitude and good outlook on this, and it seems to be serving you well. As soon as you're able to post more, you've got a captive audience here! :) and just to make sure you know. .. we do care! Everyone's recovery is important here, no matter how they get there. I'm glad you were able to find suboxone, and use it to gain back your life. Good for you! Please continue to update us on your progress and ask questions or just vent, that's why we're here! Welcome!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:37 am 
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I find your journal very helpful. I will be heading down the same path soon so, if you don't mind, keep up the good work.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:24 am 
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Hello :D Keep posting! I find it helpful as I have 3 days left before my jump from 2 mg! Thank you for taking the time to tell us of your experience and I will do the same. It helps to know you are not alone.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Thank you all for your kind words! I have been super busy at work but I did manage to write up a few more days from my journal (more to come).




Day 13,14
I cant believe it has come to the two week mark. This is now the longest i have gone in over 4 years. Amazing how powerful these drugs are that 2 weeks after taking my last opiate my body is still just beginning to recover. The restless legs have gone away (thank the Lord) and my sleep patterns have stabilized. I dont need as much sleep, 7 hours seems fine now where before i was getting 8-9 hours. Unfortunately energy levels are very low, by end of the day i am spent. My work is improving as I'm not in a fog for hours at a time. My stomach is accepting all foods again, haven't had to take Imodium in almost a week. Most noticeable withdrawal symptom now is that I feel like I'm a middle school boy again, I can't stand up without getting aroused. If you are in a relationship when you hit this point your partner will probably be exhausted in a few days. I honestly didn't realize just how much suboxone and other opiates were numbing my sex drive... it just kind of slowly disappeared and I didn't think much of it. Now it's back 10 times over, too bad my marriage didn't last long enough.


Day 15,16,17
I think for me at least this marked a big turning point in my recovery, but not in a way i expected. For the first 2 weeks (or however it takes you) i was dealing almost entirely with direct withdrawal symptoms. Now it seems that i am entering the longer term post withdrawal process which may be harder than I expected. Everything has been about quitting- lower my dose, getting ready for the withdrawal, and now that most of the acute withdrawal symptoms are gone, I find myself at a crossroads. For 4 years of my life (with suboxone) and years before that, I woke up every day knowing that no matter what happened that day, I could look forward for my drug. Now when I wake up I feel great, and I am so happy at my sobriety, but I almost feel like I lost a loved one. I am faced with all the problems that my drug use caused: all the damaged or lost relationships including my marriage, only seeing my children on weekends, losing my house, my money and my dignity, but with no real answer on how to handle everything. I can understand why so many people relapse- sobriety itself is wonderful but with clear eyes the damage comes in to full view. I did my withdrawal entirely on my own, no one knew, and now that is exactly how I feel. My advise for other people would be to expect this phase and have a plan- counseling, support groups, doing things that you enjoy, but after so many years of abuse you almost forget what you used to enjoy. Drugs took the place of so many things but it do so with lies and deceit. I see my other friends who I was once close to with happy marriages, family vacations, and plans for the future, and I have a new sober living but have never felt so alone. For years I avoided social events because I had to get home in time for my fix. Now with 2 years in to a divorce and the bags under my eyes have disappeared and I look so much like my old self again I don't know where to begin. My mantra seems to be adapting "just for today" to include "I'm ok being alone".


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Day 18-
One thing I have noticed is that once you hit about 12 days in your withdrawal the days start to fly by, at least for me. Remember how I said that most of the acute withdrawal symptoms seemed to be gone? Well they found their way back to me today. Really bad stomach issues today, in and out of the bathroom and just not eating very well. Energy levels seem to be at an all time low. For a few days I was actually needing less sleep, and today all I want to do is sleep. I had to work of course but I went out to my car to take a nap at lunch and wound up sleeping for over an hour (something that I have never done while on suboxone). I just felt like my entire body was fighting me every step. Also my calves have had a throbbing ache for days now that has intensified. I don't know if maybe there was a small holdout of suboxone in some remote part of my body that until now was unaffected (joking mostly) but I was very surprised to see so many symptoms return. I didn't have the restless legs when I was napping in my car so lets hope I don't get them tonight.

I forced myself to work out tonight, every cell of my body was crying foul but I managed to finish my entire workout and actually lifted more weight than ever before. Now right after the workout I feel so much better, but I also feel I could lay down and go to sleep in about 10 minutes. So my theory at least is that since our bodies have basically shut down endorphin production while we flood our body with opiates (which target the same mu receptors in our brains) that exercise is pretty much the closest thing to taking more opiates. This is really the double edged sword of recovery- the last thing in the world you want to do is exercise, your body is crying out for the one thing that will make all this misery go away. But exercise is about the only natural thing that will produce what your body is desiring.

I have read so many other journals of people quitting, and the ones that seem the most successful are the ones that recognize the importance of moving and activity. I would almost recommend forcing yourself to work during week 2 of withdrawal (unless you work in life threatening environments) just to get your mind distracted. When I was going through my divorce two years ago I will never forget the day my ex-wife came and took the kids out of our house to live in their new house. I will still in the denials of addiction. I cried so hard some vessels in my eyes burst. I drank myself to sleep. The next morning as I awoke in an empty house surrounded by ghosts and memories of a lost life I knew I couldn't stay anymore. I spent the next week packing up everything left and selling the house. I truly believe if I had curled up in a ball like I wanted to I wouldn't have ever come out of that house. Our brains are amazing, but I believe the studies that show we cannot focus on two things at once. If you are working, moving, reading, exercising... you aren't thinking about withdrawal. Don't get me wrong, you are still FEELING the withdrawal, but every ounce of your mind isn't magnifying each symptom.

My advise for this day is to get busy living. Even if every cell in your body is screaming to be left the hell alone, and your brain is betraying you with thoughts of suboxone, get out. Run. Walk. Read a book, talk to people. Your brain will shut up, just for today.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:59 am 
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Day 19-
I wound up going home early from work yesterday. I just felt horrible. That was actually the first time I have missed from work due to suboxone withdrawal, and it happened 18 days in. Thankfully I have a very understanding boss. I haven't told anyone at work what I am going through. I really considered it early in the process, came so close to telling my boss because I was fearing the worst with the symptoms, but I realized that no matter how understanding he is he would never look at me the same way again. From that point forward if I said "I'm not coming in today, I am sick" would he (or someone higher up) wonder if I had relapsed or just didn't trust me anymore. I don't want to think that way about people but this is business. I dedicated back then that if the withdrawal symptoms were bad enough I would tell a close friend or family, but to keep work out of it.

Unfortunately I did not sleep well last night. I had all those withdrawal symptoms return yesterday and I was worried that the restless legs would return. Thankfully the restless legs did not make a return appearance, but I just couldn't fall asleep. After tossing and turning I think I passed out around 3am and got about 4 hours of sleep. Could be worse.

Even with the lack of sleep I felt pretty good. I went out with some friends and they kept saying how great I look. That feels great and gives me a boost to keep going. I am so proud of myself for going this long, and I am actually looking forward to things again. I honestly forgot what that was like. At night instead of laying down like a zombie I am dreaming of my new life, meeting a great girl and sharing life together. I am dreaming of the new me, sober and clear


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:52 am 
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Day 20-
Really need a pick me up today. Sitting at work and just feeling sad. After 20 days I would say that most of the withdrawal is done with the exception of sneezing, low energy, disturbed sleep and wild mood swings. On the positive side the withdrawal symptoms include no more bags under my eyes, no more looking like the undead, being fully engaged and alert, no more waiting at the pharmacy like a dog begging for scraps, no more doctor appointments or money spent on drugs. If I had to make a list of the pros and cons there is NO doubt that the pros outweigh the cons.

I am really trying to stay positive with all of that good news but one of those wild mood swings has taken me and I just feel completely worthless right now. I feel like a failure as a human being, someone who had to cheat to get by. Our office has a health screening today and all these families are coming in, all these new couples with their new babies and new lives. I have three children that I love more than anything, but they don't live with me (one of the downsides of being a drug addict). 20 days clean does not make me clean for life, I know this and accept this (although I was taking my suboxone exactly as prescribed for 4 years so I could debate I've been clean for 4 years and 20 days but I am not going to argue that point). I know my ex-wife will never forgive me for what I did. I know family who will never trust me again. Two years ago some things went missing at a relatives house and everyone assumed that I broke in and stole the items for drug money. This absolutely wasn't true but I understand why they thought that (they found the items months later where they had last put it but forgot).

I find myself thinking more and more about suboxone which is frightening. The withdrawal is only the beginning, I have to be strong and positive. thank you


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:55 am 
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Just wanted to give you some encouragement, I am over 70 days off suboxone, and jumped at pretty close to the same dose as you. I really didn't feel that great until 4 weeks or so off so u are. Doing great, and keep it up, it gets much better. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:06 pm 
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Day 25-
I didn't really write much the last few days as there wasn't much to write about. It has been 25 days since I stopped completely taking suboxone (no substitutes, no other opiates, nothing). Clean. I cannot believe how much I have changed in just 25 days. Yes the withdrawals can be tough, but honestly they weren't nearly as bad as I pictured they would be in my mind. I think in our minds we imagine the worst because maybe we just don't want to quit... I for one felt many times like my brain was trying to stab me in the back ("just take one suboxone, you know you love it!"). But as the days turned to weeks and the withdrawals went away I realized that I don't NEED suboxone. I don't WANT suboxone. I want ME back.

The sneezing finally stopped a few days ago. The restless legs are gone, I am sleeping again through the night. My energy has returned, I am back to exercising 5 times a week. And you know what? I feel great! I feel like overcoming addiction (for now) is the greatest thing I have ever done. And I was a MESS. And I am fine without having suboxone anymore.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:42 am 
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doingit...you're an inspiration to me!! Awesome work...it HARD!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:38 pm 
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Hi DoingIt, I hope you'll continue to share your journal with us. The insights that you've made on your journey are helpful to others going through the same thing.

I was wondering when you made the leap and how long it's been since you wrote the journal. It must have been this year, right? But how long ago?

I hope you keep the progress going!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:48 pm 
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Amy-
Thank you for the post. I quit March 22 of this year, so I am going on 7 months and a week (and a couple of days). It was a hard road but not impossible, now I am dealing with identifying the triggers that lead to those thoughts of addiction and trying to stop them before I relapse. There have been some close calls along the way, and I do pause every time I am online and see an ad for Suboxone or read about some other narcotic.

My life is definitely better now, when I see my children I am all in. I am no longer a slave to the pharmacy or the doctor. I don't worry about running out of strips or pills, I can suddenly go out of town or out with friends without terror about not having my medicine. I don't get foggy in the middle of the day after taking my Suboxone or edgy when I am coming off. I still have a ton of guilt, I have to constantly tell myself "I am doing the best I can." I tend to be exponentially harder on myself than anyone else and after two years in to a divorce I have had maybe two dates. But I honestly believe that I wasn't ready before, I was pretty much "dating" suboxone. It was my everything. I have to learn to forgive myself and love myself and then I can love someone else. That was a bit of a tangent but it is all part of the process. Good luck to everyone!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:48 pm 
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Yes! You do need to cut yourself an enormous amount of slack!

You describe opiod use as a love affair and that's exactly what it is. The difference for me is that suboxone does not represent the same type of infatuation. Maybe it would be appropriate to consider suboxone a good friend of mine who I would miss very much if she left. Does that make sense? I'm not ignorant so I know that I am dependent on sub, but the feeling I have toward sub is night and day from when I was on percocet.

I'm sorry that you have gone through a break up with your significant other and I don't blame you that dating hasn't been foremost on your mind. Divorce is a grieving process that takes time, just like your process getting off sub. I really do like reading your journal entries and I think they are helpful for those going through a similar undertaking.

Amy

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