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 Post subject: The Fishbowl Effect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:11 pm 
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I made a post (around this time last year, I believe) entitles, The Mr. Brownstone Effect. In it, I alluded to the lyrics of the eponymous song and their assertion that one can do a little until a little won’t do it and so the little becomes more and more. It’s somethjng I’ve struggled with throughout my history of addiction, really with every substance I’ve taken either to quell or combat my addiction. I put some of the blame on tolerance levels, which are a thing unto themselves, but not wholly to blame in my case. I’m opting instead, these days, for a similar but different analogy that brings much of the culpability back home to my own doorstep where perhaps it belongs. It goes something like this: If you put a little goldfish in a big bowl, the goldfish doesn’t not benefit from the boundless new environment. Instead, you just get a larger goldfish, proportionate to the new environment.

Over a year ago, I switched doctors and got myself on what I felt at the time (and still really do feel) was a more appropriate dose of the buprenorphine/naloxone combination, Zubsolv. I went from two 1.4mg tablets (a very small goldfish bowl, indeed) to two 5.7mg tablets, effectively multiplying my dose by eight. I thought my worries were over. There was no way I would ever need more than that. That was, until I did. Or felt I did.

A huge part of my problem with dosing Zubsolv is that when I start to even think the effects are wearing off, it’s time to slip another one of those babies under my tongue. Within jut a couple of months, I was running out early again. The doctor increased the dose to three tablets daily. And again, the issue persisted. It isn’t that it isn’t working, that my receptors aren’t coated. They are. Big time. But now I’m just a bigger goldfish in a bigger bowl. The point is, if I have one, that addict behavior pays no attention to quantity, only effect, both real and perceived. I went to my doctor yesterday when I was on the cusp of running out about four days early. Not too bad. In the old days, I would white knuckle it two weeks at a stretch. It was awful. I’ve gotten better about approaching my doctor when I run out—and at that, with a lot of help and encouragement from the fine folks who populate this board—but I don’t seem to have improved in my behavior. Yesterday, my doctor and I talked about this behavior, and my anxiety. She told me I need to go back into outpatient rehab. She suggested it more than insisted upon it, but was adamant that I find a counselor or a sponsor or both. I’ve had neither for the past two and a half years. She also wrote me two additional prescriptions, one for Prozac and one for Valium. I am dubious of the latter. Apart from its part in the cocktail of drugs that make up conscious sedation, I’ve never tried it, but I’m not a fan of its bigger badder brother (or sister), Xanax. We’ll see what happens. I have a mixed AA/NA meeting I’m aware of on Saturday mornings, and may start attending again. The trouble is going to be telling my wife any of this. Those of you who have read my past posts know that that particular kingdom is far from peaceable. I’ll keep everyone posted on what follows, but wanted to say thanks to everyone who has chimed in in the past. Not everyone’s advice was followed, it was never ignored.

Peace be the journey (or something along those lines),

B. Byrner


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 Post subject: Re: The Fishbowl Effect
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:28 pm 
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Adendum to the above post, I went to pick up my prescription this morning. Insurance didn’t cover because it was too early and there was no way to disguise the expense. I came clean with my wife about it. That was almost four hours ago. When I texted her the details. Haven’t heard a word back. I’m tired of being in the doghouse over stuff like this. I ran out three days early. Maybe five, if we’re being technical. If I’m allowed to sleep in my house tonight, it may very well be in the guest bed. I just don’t know anymore. For as much as I have put her through, she will have her vengeance. And it isn’t pretty. It’s subtle, and it ties my tongue in knots to try to articulate the scope of it. It would be nice, for once, to see what things look like from the moral high ground. As it is, I keep reenacting Pickett’s charge in a perpetual Gettysburg that has defined the last three years of our marriage. At least I don’t drink anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: The Fishbowl Effect
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:55 am 
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I can't remember if your wife knows you are on suboxone at all and that's what you were telling her, or if you were just telling her you went through your suboxone too soon. I'm certainly not a marriage expert, but she just seems overly dramatic about most things and self-centered to boot. I don't know what to do with that.

Your doctor, aside from the valium prescription, seems to be pointing you in the right direction. As addicts, we have to change our thinking beyond just taking our medication. I've heard that it's possible to do this through a 12 step program, but I tend to rely on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques which are specifically aimed at changing your thinking on the things we tell ourselves. Like, "I need to slip another Zubsolv under my tongue right now." SMART Recovery is focused on stuff like this, so even if you start going to 12 step meetings again, maybe it would be worth looking into. There is so much information and meetings online! smartrecovery.org

Most of us do go through this struggle, so we get it! It's hard to get out of an addiction mindset. Our addiction hijacks the amygdala (the lizard brain) and that is hard for the frontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex to overcome what becomes instinctual. So we have to practice! Get to practicing, buddy.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: The Fishbowl Effect
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:24 am 
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Thanks, Amy!

I’m going to see about going to that meeting in the AM. I came home from work tonight to a lukewarm going on chilly reception. My wife didn’t bring any of it up. Neither did I. I was afraid to. Maybe she needs to sleep on it and we can tackle it tomorrow, or the next day. All the same, and even though I told her what had happened, I didn’t tell her while it was happening, which will of course, be seen as a betrayal. Perhaps my last. I don’t want a divorce, but I don’t want to keep living like this. Her actions are not responsible for my addiction, but her reactions certainly aren’t helping. I feel like I’m on my own, and my roommate is a combination of the worst aspects of my in laws. Time will tell. Then so will I.

BB


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 Post subject: Re: The Fishbowl Effect
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Bunsonbyrner,

You need to take into consideration that your recovery should come first. I understand you have a wife, & that you need to save your marriage, but what about you?? You gotta save yourself first! I am also having a problem with this. As we speak actually. My husband holds onto mine for me. I've been a year sober, & I haven't started any therapy or meetings yet. I have my first therapist appointment on the 26th. It seems like we put our spouses through hell, doesn't it? But if she loves you, genuinely, there isn't any "vengeance" that needs to be made. For the next two days, I'm getting four mgs instead of eight. Why? Because I took more than I should. & I don't wanna screw myself over & be without. Why don't you tell your wife what's going on? Sit her down, & talk with her, tell her everything. Tell her you love her, but your recovery isn't going to be successful if everyone around you isn't supportive. I sometimes think I wouldn't be here had it not of been for Saleh or his mom & sister. (My husband) We are here for you Bunsonbyrner, we are your support system.

Hope this helps.

Love,

Ash

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I may not have all what I want, but thank GOD I know how that I have all that I need.


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 Post subject: Re: The Fishbowl Effect
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:36 am 
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Hey bunson!

I’ve suggested counseling and I really really wish you’d try it. I’m not one of these ppl who thinks therapy cures everything but I know it for sure helps. It puts a lot of things in perspective. I still see my counselor and every single time I feel better and I understand myself better. Heck, you’ll probably understand ur wife better (maybe lol).

I don’t think u should always feel guilty over spending money. Aren’t u the working one anyway? Yeah I get it, in active addiction we all put our family through hell but dang we can’t be punished for that for the rest of our life. And ppl can’t always get a pass for being an a-hole just because of what we did in active addiction. Those ppl chose to stay in our life, so if they chose to stick it out with us then they’ll have to stop thinking they get a pass every time they get upset over something..... that’s just ridiculous and frankly that’s mean. I know I’m only getting ur side of the story but going by what ur saying, it seems like u think u deserve some of this treatment from her because of everything u put her through when u were in active addiction. It doesn’t have to be that way and u deserve forgiveness. Don’t feel like u have to walk on eggshells because of ur past, especially after this long. Ok I’m going to hush now but I want u to realize that ur not always in the wrong.

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Jennifer


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