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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm 
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Suboxone withdrawal is probably one of the biggest topics on this forum. Lots of people have questions about it, some have horror stories, many are anxious, and a few sail through with no problems whatsoever.

I totally get why we freak out about going through withdrawal. Most of us have been through horrible cold-turkey withdrawal experiences during our addictions and have no desire to go through that again. Sometimes we don't get accurate information about what stopping Suboxone will be like before we start treatment, and then we read horror stories about quitting and we get scared. Maybe some of us are impatient to be done with treatment and aren't sure we have the patience or commitment to taper slowly, and still others are at a point in our treatment where we even want to consider EVER stopping.

And I think that I speak for the majority of us when I say that we didn't get addicted to opiates because we're the kind of people who are So Very Good At Dealing With Discomfort. We all know those people - they never call in sick to work, never go to the doctor for anything less than pneumonia and consinder taking an aspirin a moral failing. We are not them, and the looming prospect of suffering a month or more of withdrawal symptoms strikes the fear of god into our addicty hearts.

So I'm here to tell you that there is something positive to be found in the Suboxone withdrawal experience. That's right, there are reasons that I am actually GLAD that I went through the process of tapering down and stopping Suboxone! So without further delay, here you go:

1. The taper process gave me many opportunities to develop new tools for dealing with difficulties. I learned that I could in fact survive and function even when I didn't feel that great. Amazing, I know, and totally true. Life does go on even when it's not all bluebirds and happiness. We are more resilient than we realize.

2. Tapering and withdrawal sucked just enough to remind me that I don't ever want to have to go through that again. If quitting Suboxone was totally easy and painless...well then it might be a lot easier to rationalize just one more binge, know what I mean? Going through this process reinforced the fact that this is a serious illness that I'm dealing with and I shouldn't take it lightly.

3. I learned that having a plan and a support network in place really does make all the difference. There were definitely moments when I thought I might just stop and suffer through stronger withdrawals just to get it over with sooner, but I stuck with my schedule and was smart about choosing my time to stop the medication. Being patient and following through are really important life skills, so any chance to practice them is a blessing.

4. I discovered the true value of a positive attitude. Sometimes you have to fake it until it becomes real, and that's TOTALLY OK. Whining about how hard it is like you're the first person to ever go through a painful healing process isn't going to do you any good. I would often think about the horrible shit cancer patients go through in order to survive their disease...and then I would count my blessings.

5. Knowing that I made it through this experience has increased my confidence in my ability to cope, and that's a beautiful thing. The only way to grow and get better at life is to challenge ourselves, and having suceeded in this challenge makes me feel great. I feel like I can handle pretty much anything life throws my way, as long as I remember all the stuff I learned during the 2 years I was on Sub.

So there you have it, some food for thought. Let me know what you think.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:17 am 
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That was very well put. I think that everyone should read this post, if you're on suboxone, coming off of it, planning to come off of it or actually did come off of suboxone. This whole post (above me of course) is something that everyone, including myself, should take into consideration.

Thank you

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"The past is finished. There is nothing to be gained by going over it. Whatever it gave us in the experiences it brought us was something we had to know."----Rebecca Beard

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." ---Salvador Dali


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 Post subject: Bravo!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:41 am 
Diary, you are a really insightful person. Thanks for using that ability to benefit the rest of us. I don't ever plan to go off this stuff, but if I do it will be on my terms this time :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:39 am 
Thank you Diary! I loved the post - definitely food for thought, especially given the fact that we do talk about that subject so often here. Pointing out the good things about your experiences coming off Suboxone was a great idea.
Actually pointing out the good things regarding anything that is mostly considered a 'negative' is quite refreshing! We human beings (or maybe it's just me!) can be so negative!! I found myself cracking up yesterday at myself several times - I was in a pretty foul mood. I've been working more than I want to (at my husband's business, no pay check), I've got the post holiday chores to finish, moody teenage daughter, etc, blah blah.... I said something about "....all this shit I have to do..." My husband says "You say that a lot" Me "what?" Him "Shit" Me "Seriously?" Him "Oh yeah, all the time" and proceeds to tell me all the different contexts I use the word "shit". I just busted out laughing. There were several other things throughout the day that just made me laugh. Laughing feels great!! DOQ, I know you have said that laughing was so helpful for you during your tapering and withdrawing....I could not agree more. Find something to laugh about. Find something positive to say anywhere you can. It helps. You help DOQ!!
Gotta go to work. Shit!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:14 pm 
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Hey DOQ -

You asked for responses, and here is mine.

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

In my field of work, no complaints means success. Finding things wrong or broken is the norm. I wonder how many people have figured out how to successfully taper/get off of Sub - but are so happy with themselves they don't post that!? But, boy oh boy, of someone has a real bugger of a time getting off opiates/sub - we all hear about it in detail (which is fine, it's just nice to see balance).

I appreciate your thoughtful posting. I need the same hope you offer - and it's also a reality check for me to understand what my doctor may think about tapering off! You Rock!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:19 pm 
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You get my vote for best post on this topic and forum. Really can relate to it. Pretty much what I am trying to do right now. Thanks again. Good stuff


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Its nice to here from someone who is basically did what I am trieing to do. I am down to 8mg per day and am nervous about droppmg the dose. Its sounds like even though ther are withdrawals they are berrible


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 Post subject: Excellent Post....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Dear Diary, ( little play on words)
Thank you very much for posting your experience with the Taper stage of Suboxone treatment...
You make some excellent points. I am still in the maintenance phase of my recovery, But it is assuring to hear the honesty and clarity that you post with.. It's refreshing to say the least. I for one would like to thank you for taking some of the mystique out of the whole taper process! As usual your post' are very informative... Keep them coming!
Thanks Again!!
TW


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Thanks for an upbeat excellent post about the good parts of coming off sub.
I'm no sub basher - it saved my life. But I'm ready to be off it, and I have scared myself reading some stuff on these innerwebs. It's nice to read good reports.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Definitely a good post and I needed it since I am teetering and having a hard time being off it right now. It seems the people who have gotten through this disappear from a lot of the blogs and whatnot. You hear from people the first 4 weeks they go off or while tapering and then nothing. It is like a big scary black hole and all I want to hear is that once I make it through I won't be as miserable as I am now. You don't sound miserable so I can certainly hold on to that today and see how things are tomorrow.

Thanks,
Cherie


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:43 am 
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I also see the "Blackhole" from many who post while tapering and then we see very little or nothing later. Diary Of A Quitter is a great example and inspiration to all who seek this path!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:50 am 
I'm afraid the "blackhole" is relapse in many cases. It takes a very unselfish and, in my opinion, a real psychologically healthy recovering addict to report back to us after tapering and weaning off Suboxone. DOQ's story gives me hope about the process...that it is possible for at least some of us to eventually come off Sub and do okay. Important to note that DOQ was on Sub for around two years, that she felt ready and felt that she had done enough work in her recovery and was at a stable enough point in her life to try this. She took her time and methodically reduced her dose over the course of many months in order to get to her goal.
She's helped me a great deal and so many others with her story. Her willingness to take the time to participate here even though her time on Suboxone is finished....is a wonderful testimony to what we're supposed to do in recovery. Reaching out to help others who are still struggling is a beautiful thing!
Thanks DOQ. And to anyone else who is out there who has been here and posted about tapering and/or stopping Suboxone...please give us an update on how things turned out for you. The success stories are inspiring for sure. But there is the other side....the stories of those who tapered off only to find that they weren't ready or perhaps should have stayed on Sub for much longer. We need to hear about those experiences too.
Thanks to everyone who participates here!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:45 pm 
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I completely agree with you Set Me Free! In fact I was at first going to respond to this post but just moved on past it. It is somewhat interesting to see how many people, very often brand new to this board, will tell us their "grand plans" for this or that. Those who have been here longer probably see right through those written words. Just given the very high relapse rate in general, not to mention the less than thought -out plans sometimes employed, it is almost certain that the writer has relapsed before too much time has passed. To come back and then admit that failure is something that none of us would want to do. We have already tried and failed so many times and often feel terrible about it. Why would we want to come back and tell everyone that we failed - yet again? But that is exactly what would help others not to follow down the same path. Honesty would be so welcome. I think we also have to keep in mind the nature of any Internet location such as this. The addiction community is certainly not unique with the fact that people come and go on-line all of the time, often say things they would never even consider saying in a face to face situation, can pretend to be anything or anyone they want to be, and on and on. I'm just thankful to those who are honest, come back day after day and truly help to make this board as helpful as it is. Perhaps we need to take some of the other "drive bys" with the grain of salt they probably deserve. By all means, we should never just consider that those who have not come back are off living this wonderful drug-free life, happy as can be, and just don't have the time to return here and tell us all about it. Unfortunately, that is rarely going to be the case.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:07 pm 
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I was looking up a few things and came across this quote:

"For newcomers to Suboxone, please realize that the people who post this sort of garbage are never around very long; they come here with a couple months of sobriety, all full of themselves and thinking they have all the answers... then a few months later they are gone, out using again and too embarrassed to post an apology. The goal is to live life in spite of opiate dependence. However it works for you is the right way. As long as it works."

That was written by SuboxDoc a year or two ago. To be clear, it was not in direct response to a black hole post, but certainly seems to apply just the same.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:23 am 
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Great post Diary, and one that gives us a positive to think about rather than negative horror stories.
Thank you


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:00 am 
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Excellent information...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:03 am 
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Thought I would bump this up since we still have many members who are tapering, thinking about tapering, have questions about the process, etc.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:21 am 
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DOAQ,

I'm glad you bumped this thread. I had never seen it before. I remember as I was going through and coming out of wd that I had many, if not all of the same feelings. I just never put them all down on paper all at once. I'm glad you did!

I learned I could not only survive on 2.5 hours of sleep per night, but I could function very close to 100%. That one shocked me because I'm the guy who likes to get 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night. Now, I hated not being able to sleep, but eventually learned to stop dreading only getting a few hours of sleep and just accepted it. You said, "We are more resilient than we realize." I agree 100%.

You also said, "I don't ever want to have to go through that again." Yeah, that was a huge one for me. Honestly, I still have some minor, minor PAWS? symptoms, I hope they NEVER go away. They serve as a constant reminder to me not to use, not that my addict mind doesn't try to override things once in a while and talk me into using. I wish I could get my hands on that little addict dude in my brain, I'd like to choke the shit out of him!! :D

Number 3 is where we differ, I totally screwed up my taper schedule and jumped at a high dose. But I did have an awesome support system in place. Got lucky there.

For me a positive attitude = Rock N Roll, music gets me going and charged up. I listen every chance I get. It brightens my day, sometimes makes me laugh, but always turns my attitude back to positive. When I couldn't sleep at night, it was VH1 to the rescue....RockFest!

When the worst of my acute wd and PAWS passed I remember thinking that I was thee badest person on the planet, I felt like I could bench press a skyscraper. I felt so incredibly strong mentally and physically! I made it through wd and held on. I just kept holding on and holding on. Eventually, I got better and I'm so happy to be where I am today.


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 Post subject: Great thread
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:07 am 
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Wow, I love this thread. There actually are good sides to tapering, which is all i can talk about right now because I'm not off yet. Still at 2 mg.

Okay, the best part of tapering is getting my sex drive back, LOL! I'm serious though. I thought that thing was dead and BURIED!!

Also, it feels really good to get to a lower and lower level and hang in there and realize, "Hey, I CAN do this!" And then it all reliably levels out and knowing that is always going to happen eventually is a huge incentive to keep going. It is so very much about learning to have a positive attitude. Hey, that's not always easy but it makes a world of difference if you keep reminding yourself to look at the bright side, which is always there if you only look hard enough. The fact that I'm being so careful with my taper and recording my progress and everything makes me feel responsible and worthy of all the effort.

I feel very alive. Maybe that sensation will start to fade after I'm off and get used to being off Sub. However, for now it's both a great and a not-so-great thing. I am getting into music and just started playing piano. The not-so-great part is recurrence of fibro pain, which sucks, and at the same time I know I can control it with lifestyle. Sometimes I just don't want to. I want to eat crap and not get any exercise and all that. As I taper, i find that cigarettes are literally CALLING to me sometimes. Even worse are cigars! HAHAHA! I love those suckers. Arturo Fuente! That is a sure fire way to piss my body off and send me into fibro flare hell. But then, when I make that big push and keep on saying no to smoking and keep taking good care of myself, the fibro pain is indeed manageable, and realizing THAT is such a fantastic thing that there are no words. Knowing that I can live with fibromyalgia as long as I take care of myself is a huge deal to me, and it DOES make me feel like I can bench press a skyscraper!

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Hey all! All you guys have posted to me at one point or another, and reading this has definitely impacted me on a number of levels today.

First, Jack Kornfield, I will be printing out your original post here and taping it to my mirror in my room. Thank you!

Second, I think our addict brains are trained to complain! I find myself dwelling on the WD's and every little shitty feeling sometimes, and I have definitely been implementing sit-ups and staying awake and active in the afternoons (rather than sleeping them away like I was doing back up around 24mg). Now that I'm on 6mg (for the past few days) I feel like I've come a long way; I feel proud of myself and I feel like I have a generally happy attitude for the past couple of days, despite the occassional RLS symptoms and squirmy-skin feelings.

Third, to Laddertipper, Hooray for the return of the long lost sex drive! I believe that Suboxone seriously KILLS IT, and not just for men! Us women suffer too! I know for myself, despite all the romance and attempts at excitement my man can throw at me, I could honestly take it or leave it sometimes. But when I do decrease on my taper, I do find it much more appealing than, say, eating a plain unsalted tasteless cracker, which is what it was comparable to back up around 24mg's....

I digress and I will post elsewhere; just had to throw my 2 cents in!! :)


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