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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:34 pm 
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I was talking to my friend today - she is in the tapering process - and she asked me how I was doing with my Sub withdrawal. Well, the question kinda gave me pause, because I guess somewhere in the last couple of weeks I stopped even thinking about the withdrawal process, stopped counting the days/weeks that I'd been off Sub, stopped feeling any residual withdrawal effects, etc. Which I suppose means that I'm Done Withdrawing!

So two months out from my last, tiny, dose of Suboxone, this is how things are going:

I stopped with the crazy sneezing...about 2 or 3 weeks ago.

I am sleeping through the night without any kind of sleep-aid or any problems falling asleep...also for the past few weeks.

Energy level returned to "normal" and the past two weeks has even surpassed what was "normal" for the 2 years that I was on Sub. Which is not to say that I am bursting with energy - I am kinda prone to laziness really - but I am up at 7am and going all day and am not half-dead by the end of the day.

Moods are good. Irritability has abated and the mood-swings are gone. That only lasted a short time actually. I went to my best friend's wedding out of state and had an AMAZING time. Generally feeling positive about life.

Physically I am feeling better than I have in a long time. I have fibromyalgia, which triggered a lot of my pain-pill consumption, but my pain level is really low right now. Hopefully that will last.

Cravings - I didn't really experience cravings during the taper & withdrawal process. There were times when I thought about using but it was in a really passing way. When the thought entered my mind, I just reminded myself of the many reasons why it would be a bad idea and then I did something to distract myself. Now that the physical symptoms of withdrawal have passed, I haven't thought about using at all. I think I'm just in the habit of NOT doing it now, which is one of the best things about longer-term sub treatment, in my opinion. It gave me plenty of time to make good habits and reinforce them.

Other things I've noticed: My dreams have been very cool lately, I'm really enjoying music, I feel more motivated to go out and meet people and make friends.

So there you have it. It is possible to be on Suboxone for an extended period of time, work hard on your recovery, taper slowly to a very low dose and stop without horrible withdrawal or PAWS.

I couldn't have done it without this community, so thank you all for your support and I hope I get to return the favor many times in the future.

-allie

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:12 am 
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I can't tell u how cool that is! I'm very happy for u! And jelous lol. Your post r the ones that give me losts of hope that I can do this & do it under some stressful times in my life. I can't wait to b where ur at. So again congrats to u!! I do have a question for u. When u do the liquid taper do u just put the drops under your tongue and how long do u leave it there before u can swallow? I'm at 1mg per day now .5 morn & .5 night & will b droping in a week or two depending on stress level. Thank u & congrats again ratt396

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:38 am 
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I'm so happy for you Diary I think I can speak for all of us here when I say how much we've all appreciated your contribution and your continual positive and optimistic outlook on life :D
I'll be hoping things continue to go well for you

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"If you're going through hell, ....keep going!"
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:56 am 
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wow i cant wate to be 2 months..today is day 22 and im hoping this dam fatigue is coming to an end...congratz..im hoping im right on ur tail


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:24 pm 
Congratulations Allie! I am glad to hear that you're doing so well! Two months off Suboxone and feeling great!
I was just thinking today that I have now been on Sub for 3 months. I've read in some of your previous posts that you kind of felt less fantastic after that first month or two on Sub. Actually, I think I've read posts of several others about that as well.
I definitely have noticed a difference in the way I feel now compared to my first month. I don't feel "bad" and I never felt the Suboxone made me feel "good", but I just feel different somehow. I guess it's just that there was kind of a honeymoon phase on Sub for me. It just felt so wonderful to not suffer from withdrawal and cravings and constant obsession about pain pills that it was almost like a high.
Anyway, I have never had a history of depression or anxiety, but I find myself feeling what I would call a little depressed. I also have had a couple of acute pain episodes, and a flare of some low back/sciatica issues (what started my addiction to begin with). It has been during these times of physical pain and during the episodes of emotional pain that I have found myself craving opiates. Of course, when you're physically hurting you want relief and I am convinced that my opiate addiction turned me into a major whimp!
In any event, I hate hate hate the cravings. My mind starts going off to bad places like quit the Subs, try some pills, you can always go back on Sub. Stupid stuff like that. I feel guilty even typing these thoughts.
I haven't done it though. What I have done, however, is pop another Suboxone here and there to squelch the craving. I usually only take one 8mg/day, but here lately have been taking another half or whole one. I don't really think it helps. In fact, it seems like it just messes with me, like I feel kind of worse the next day or something.
I tell myself to just stick to one a day and I do for 4-5 days then something happens and I take an extra 4-8mg. I know intellectually that I am self medicating, but on the other hand, I think it's dangerous for me to have these cravings. I've seen you post about "pseudo-withdrawals" before, do you think we can have "pseudo-cravings"?!
I probably sound like a nut! I'm pretty sure I need to just stick to my 8mg/day and distract myself when these cravings come. But it is easier said than done. I just have so much on my mind about what I have lost because of my addiction. I am so sad about the loss of my career. I worked so hard to get to where I was and I threw it all away for NOTHING! I feel literally physically sick sometimes about what I have done. I so want to just move on, fast forward to better times I believe are ahead, but I have no idea how I'm gonna get there. I screwed myself out of a good paying, recession-proof job and I do not know what the Hell I'm gonna do with the rest of my life. That's pretty sad at 45 years of age!
Sorry I got on a roll there!
Thanks for letting us know how you're doing. You story is proof that Subxone works and can open the door to a new future! You've gotta keep on showing us how it's done!!
If anyone has any words of advice or wisdom - I'm listening! Thanks for letting me share!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:00 am 
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setmefree - I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to respond to your post. I wanted to write a thoughtful reply and I've just been so busy with school, and then I got sick and my laptop died so I have to steal my husband's when he's not using it...it's almost like the universe is conspiring to keep me off the internet!

I have absolutely been through some ups and downs during my suboxone treatment. I felt amazing for a while and then I came down off of that pink cloud with a resounding thud. It sucked. But friends that had been there and done that assured me it was a normal part of recovery and that all it meant was it was time for me to really get to work.

Pain is a HUGE trigger for opiate addicts so if you've been dealing with pain then it's not suprising that you're having cravings. And I mean physical and emotional pain. I chose not to go with a traditional 12-step based recovery plan and instead I designed my recovery plan with the help of my therapist. One of the first things that I worked on was figuring out my triggers and developing new ways to deal with them. Pain was the number one issue for me and I spent the first year of my recovery developing strategies for reducing my pain and dealing with what couldn't be eliminated.

The one thing that probably helped me the most was The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. I kid you not, if I'd had this book 5 years ago, I might not have ever gotten addicted to painkillers. It's written by a man who was a piano mechanic and developed chronic pain that forced him to stop working. So he started researching and learned about trigger point therapy...and then he figured out ways to self-treat trigger points (traditional trigger point therapy involves lidocane injections and PT) and wrote an easy to understand, illustrated book about it.

I had horrible sciatica for 6 years - ever since I was pregnant. This book taught me how to get rid of it. My doctor said I had plantar fasciitis and I'd just have to stay off my feet (yeah, right), this book taught me how to get rid of it. I've eliminated about 85% of the pain that the doctor said was fibromyalgia, as well as what they thought was arthritis in my knees. I fixed my mother-in-laws "arthritis" too. Please do yourself a favor and get this book.

The emotional pain is harder. You're going to need to give yourself space to grieve for what you've lost. It's ok, it's a process that you have to work through. I don't really know what else to say...without saying some trite bullshit, you know? You did work hard, and you did lose a lot, and that sucks. But you don't know how the rest of your life is going to play out. Recovery is a transformative process and it's really hard to say what you might encounter as you progress on your journey. You can't hurry through your feelings, but I think the trick is allowing yourself to feel them without letting yourself dwell on them. That balance is yet another thing that I've worked hard on in my recovery; yoga, meditation and spending time outside seem to help the process.

You said that you threw it all away for nothing, but that might not be entirely true. There are Buddhist teachings that liken addiction to a kind of spiritual hunger - a deep longing to be whole, to be connected. That longing isn't unhealthy, just the means we used to try to satisfy the longing were. When I look at the strength of that desire as it manifested in my addiction I see how loudly my spirit was calling out to me to change my life, and how much I needed the wake-up call. I'm just so damn stubborn that noting less than a full-on crisis was going to get my attention.

Cravings are nothing to be ashamed of. Craving is what our brains do, and we reinforced that tendency repeatedly when we were using. Those neuropathways are well established and it will take time for new ones to be created. Time and patience and practice. Try to recognize that a craving is a signal that something is bothering you. It's a clue that you can use to know yourself better.

I feel like I have more to say but my daughter is demanding my attention now. I hope that you're finding your way through this. Know that you can do it and anytime you need to vent or want feedback I'm willing to do what I can to help.

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:51 pm 
Thanks, Diary, for taking the time to respond. Your encouraging and insightful words are most appreciated!
I have had a better week. I've stuck to my 8mg/day and have felt less tired and less moody with that dosage. I will pick up the book you mentioned next time I'm out near the bookstore - it sounds like it could be helpful. I am familiar with the traditional "trigger point" therapy that you referred to and I also believe strongly in other pain management techniques which do not involve medication. Thankfully, I do not deal with daily chronic pain, just occasional episodes that I am learning to deal with better.
I completely agree with you as far as addiction representing some form of spiritual lack. I had fallen into a great deal of apathy in my spiritual life in the years leading up to my addiction. And like you, unfortunately it takes a ton of bricks falling on my head to get me to slow down and look at myself and what is going on with me. You're right - I do have to grieve for what I've lost and then move on. With each passing day, I am making peace with what I cannot change and looking more and more forward to what lies ahead. I am certain that God didn't bring me through all this for nothing. It's just takes a lot of faith to accept that. For now, just being grateful for what I have today is enough. As we all know - recovery is a marathon and sometimes I just need to remind myself of that and slow down and just stay in the moment!
Thanks again for your support and congrats on finishing that degree. You may have to change your name! "Quitter" may not apply so much any more!!


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