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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:52 am 
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I've been reading these forums for about the past month plus, I first started becuase a buddy of mine posted his expieriences with his getting off suboxone (it seemed to help him, from what I read to what he told me). My goal. My last dose of a 1 mg sub was taken on Jan. 16th @ 4 PM, my goal, is to never have to take this medicine again.

I'll keep the background short, I'm 24 years old, from the ages of 19-22 I was an opiate addict. I started taking vicodens recreationally at the start, this progressed into me taking them everyday and progressing to OC's, I'd do as much OC as money I had. I guess the opiate high appealed to me, and a fixation with putting drugs up my nose during this timeframe turned me into a full blown OC addict. I started taking suboxone at the age of 22, it started out as me not taking it seriously and constantly relapsing. Untill almost a year ago, when I last relapsed on an opiate, I'd go on binges and then take a sub for a few days. Now I've been taking subs consistently for almost a year and half or more, started at 8 mg's a day for most that time. I started my taper becuase my life needs to get back into order, I need to finish school, work, and not rely on taking sub everyday. My doctor and I got into an argument about my use of Marijuana (I like to smoke it, I smoke only high quality weed, and have no intention to stop), so we argued about my issue is my depenence on opiates, he then kicked me out of his program. So, I then started to taper my dosage down about four months ago, I went to 4 mg's to 2 to 1 mg the past month mainly on days I work or have a lot of school work. I felt a little uneasy at times going to 1 mg, but it worked out. Now, I've got time off work, so for me, it's now or never. Ha, how's that for a short background.

Well, I've got clonodine, vitamins, potassium, and some xanax/klonopin/valium & of course some high grade marijuana to help me through this. I also have a great support system with my family & friends, they're willling to help me accomplish this, even if it's going to be difficult. So, now I ask you guys to also help me the way you helped a friend of mine on this exact same forum, many of you posters supported him and it seemed to help. I'm thinking I could use all the help I can get, thanks to all.

Khalil- I'm in for the fight of my life, & I've never been so scared to face something I think in my entire life.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:03 am 
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Hello Fezafou and welcome to the forum. I hope you find the support and info that you're seeking - I'm confident you will.
My first suggestion would be for you to continue tapering lower before you jump. If you go much lower, into the micrograms, then you have a better chance at feeling less withdrawal symptoms. You are likely going to experience withdrawals from stopping at only 1 mg. Just something to think about.

I wanted to just let you know that many recent studies indicate that going off sub - especially for someone at your age - has a very high rate of relapse. Are you prepared to deal with triggers and cravings? What is your plan...do you have new coping skills? These things will increase your chances of success. Remember when going off sub - you must remain vigilant and be ready to deal with those cravings and triggers. Because they will come and if you're surprised by them and don't have a plan in place to deal with them then you are at risk of relapse.

I wish you the very best and I do hope you consider going a bit lower on the dose before you quit altogether. Feel free to use this thread to track the rest of your experiences. I hope it helps you. We're here to support you through this.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:17 am 
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Welcome! What does your doc have to say about your "plan"? Hatmaker offered some good advice. Continuing your taper would at least offer you a chance to reflect on what you are doing. You might want to read a bit on suboxonetalkzone and re-examine your life!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:36 pm 
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I appreaciate the reponses from you both, I did taper to a point were I would go up to 48 hrs or so when I wasn't working or busy with school. One days I could take it easy, I wouldn't take any sub for the day or take about .5-1 mg approx. I would put the extra powder from when I cut the 8 mg pills into 1/4th's under my tounge. So, I do feel that I was in a sense delaying the inevitable, this is my best chance to make this happen. I gave the reaminging subs to my parents to give me only if something goes terrible. As to the relapse issue, this will always be an issue for me, I'm forever a drug addict, but I know this, I never want to go through this again, that's my main motivation keeping me from relapsing, that and my support system.

So, yes it's very early for me in the process. I'm going to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, and just keep the strength I need emotionally and physically. I thank you all for the replies and support.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Well first off, welcome to the forum. Second, I think everyone has a journey they must take and no one can take it for them. This one is yours and I wish you the best of luck and success with this journey. I HIGHLY encourage you to set up a backup plan. No, this isn't like planning to fail. This is like planning NOT to fail.....just in case. You did this to some extent by giving up the spare subs just in case you absolutely cannot tolerate it. This was smart in my opinion. If nothing else, it will just turn into a bit longer of a taper. But I would find another doctor and at least schedule an appointment out a ways. You can cancel it if you don't need it but if you do, you will have that option and won't have to wait two months. I say this because I got off sub at one point and did not have a backup plan. It made it WORSE. I felt like if I wanted to even talk to a doctor about what my options were I would already be committing to going back on it. I would just hate to see you relapse if you get desperate.

That's just my opinion. Of course, I quit smoking recently and gave my cigarettes to my husband and told him he had to carry them around everywhere we went because I am the kind of person that so much as tells myself "no" then I want it that much more. So I tell myself "yes" repeatedly and then talk myself out of it. I know it's ridiculous but that is the only thing that works for me.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Day 2, feeling pretty shitty. Sleeping last night was difficult, I actually fell asleep watching a movie around midnight, then at 4 : 30 AM, I was awake and couldn't really fall back to sleep, a lot of tossing and turning. My parents & firends want me to stay active, but I just don't have the energy. I'm thinkin I might get out for a little bit today, I'd just love to eat something but I'd settle on just gaining the energy to get outside in the jacuzzi

Once again, thanks to all.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:19 am 
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So, it's day 5 & 9 hours sub free. So far, I've been mostly ok, I've noticed in the mornings I usually feel pretty miserable for a little bit, but it goes away. My appetite is just nothing, I try to eat stuff easy on my stomach ( even though I love spicy food), but I've been drinking plenty of water & juices. As for medicine, I'm pleased that I've only taken the Clonodine the first 2 days. Also, to the benzo's I was planning on taking to help get through this, the first 72 hours I prolly took about 1 mg of xanax a day. I took another one yesterday, but the anxiety has been tough but not as awful as expected. As to the marijuana I've smoked, all I need to do is take a hit or two off my vaporizer and it helps with the nausea and genereal lack of feeling like shit, so not much of that either, prolly smoked about a gram of bud over 5 days (it's amazing weed). To my other minor WD's being the lack of energy, I try to spend time out, but it just makes me extremely tired, same with the little exercising I've done. I've noticed I'll just get tired out of nowhere, maybe sleep 3-5 hrs, then I toss and turn mostly. Along with this is the constant sneezing, just a minor annoyance. I'm just very pleased with the fact that I've made it this far, I know it's still early but I've been strong along with the help of my family and friends.

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without ever having felt sorry for itself." - D.H. Lawerence


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:07 pm 
Sounds like you're doing pretty well! Good job making it this far! I believe the worst of the physical w/d symptoms are probably behind you.....not completely.....but mostly. I've heard the sleep issues hang on a good while sometimes as well as the energy problems. Not so much unlike coming off full-agonists in my opinion. Therein lies the problem for a great number of folks.....Getting through the acutes is not fun, that's for sure! Of course, the "acutes" are a bit different with buprenorphine because of it's long half-life, etc. I think we all understand that.
What I've yet to experience for myself is whether the post-acute phase of w/d from bup is any less horrid than with full-agonists. The thing is, we only have a few members who've been kind enough to post their experiences after the one or two month point post-Suboxone cessation. For those few who've posted it seems that by having done fairly long, slow and low tapers, their experiences with PAWS have not been too bad. I cling to the hope that I will someday have that same experience! It's just all so subjective, you know. For example.....I'd be curious as to what kind of numbers we'd see here on the TalkZone regarding how many people have gotten over say 60-90 days completely "clean" from full-agonists. Only those who have truly know what the PAWS experience is all about. That being the case....it's tough to gain much perspective or draw much in the way of conclusions regarding how PAWS post bup compares to PAWS post full-agonists.
All that to say....that is more my concern for you. Not to be a downer, but like some of the others have suggested, you do need a back up plan. Nobody wants to think they'll have gone through all this stuff and then turn and relapse in a month, 90 days, or a year certainly! But it happens...all too often. Not because you're in withdrawal anymore....that's a memory by that time. But because of stinking PAWS and/or poorly developed coping skills, being around the 'wrong' people, etc.
Anyway......just be careful! I'm pulling for you! You've got a long life ahead with much to accomplish and much to enjoy. I hope you are able to do that completely drug-free at some point.....even the smoking (sorry...had to throw it in there although there are obviously far worse things one can do to themselves!) As far as the Sub goes......again, I support your efforts to stop. But again I must say there are far worse things we can do than to stay on it and I sense that you know that. Please do not consider it a failure if you find you need more time on it, as that is exactly what just happened to me.
Please keep posting!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:00 pm 
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setmefree- First, I just want to thank you for reply. Today in a half hour it'll be day 6 for me, which I'm pleased about. But yes, the PAW's now is my biggest concerns to this point in time. I've noticed for me, I'll get extremely tired out of nowhere, sleep maybe 3-5 hours wake up, then toss and turn, or just wake up. To be honest, one thing I've noticed about the entire issue with going to the bathroom, it's slightly getting better the past day and half or so. For the issue of relapsing or having to go back onto suboxone, if it happens I'll always regret that, I've said it before, it'll be an issue I'll deal with the rest of my life. I've stopped communicating with the people that would maybe draw me back into that circle, maybe that'll help. But, I'll always have to deal with being out at a party or drinking with my cousins in the near future and someone breaks out a bag of yayo (even if that's not my type of drug), even though they know not to mention if someone has opiates around me. To the point of being drug free completely, I'd love this (my support system would love also) but to be honest, each time I've got off oxy's; marijauna helped then, and now six days sub free, it has also helped. Maybe oneday I won't need this to calm me at nights, but I honestly feel that smoking every once in a while helps me not want an opiate, or takes my mind off it. As to going back on subs and having a backup plan, I've had a backup plan if I couldn't handle the WD's off subs, and this was going to rehab (my worse case scenario). Yes, I've been reading about PAW's, (didn't know what the acronym was at first, do now), very nervous about what the future hold with this, but like I've said I'm taking this one day at a time, I see it as the only way to accomplish this, I'm thinking about day 6 & 7 right now, not about day 20 or 30. Anyways, I appreaciate the reply and insight for you, thanks again.

In about an hour or so, I'm going to try and attend the Notre Dame vs. Marquette mens basketball game with my cousin. Going to eat first then going to the game at 7 pm. I really hope I don't lose all my energy and fall asleep during the game in the ND student section, I also hope I get my mind off of things for a few hours. We'll see, I'm very happy to be getting out, just hoping it goes well.

Officially day 6, I'm now 144 hours sub free, like a buddy of mine said before, and a lifetime to go.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Day 9 for me will be in aproxx. 3 hrs. I find that I'm feeling much better this far into the process. Some lingering symptoms, like lack of energy (trying to combat this with working out) and my sleep being very scattered. Most nights since I've started I'll usually fall asleep around 10 pm - 12 pm, sleep for 3-5 hours then wake up, some nights I've fell back asleep for a few more hours. Anyway, this and the sneezing still bother me, along with when I do wake up, that's the part of the day I usually feel a little shitty, but nothing too bad. I'll be honest, I braced myself for the worst, and so far, things haven't been easy by any stretch but manageable. On my 6th day I attended the ND-Marqutte bball game, that went ok, went to dinner before and then attened the game, at halftime I was getting tired and also extremely hot but wound up being fine for the night. Today is back to the grindstone with work for me, so hope that goes well. One day at a time.

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without ever having felt sorry for itself." - D.H. Lawerence


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:13 am 
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Fezafou,

I just now caught your thread, Congratulations on 9 days!!

Sleep is notoriously crappy once any opiate is discontinued. Some people get their sleep back very quickly while others (like me) aren't so lucky in that department. Being on day 9 and getting 3-5 hours of sleep is light years ahead of where I was at 9 days. I know lack of sleep sucks and I'm certainly not trying to downplay your lack of sleep. I'm just trying to provide another frame of reference for you.

Hmmmmm, sneezing too, eh! Holy Mackerel, I remember getting sneezing fits too. I know of MANY others who share this symptom with you. The absolute worst is when you have a mouthful of food!! Everyone duck! I don't have any clever ways to prevent a sneezing attack, but when you feel one coming and you have food in your mouth try exhaling all your air. When the sneeze tries to force you to breath in deeply, resist that deep breath by closing your airway the best you can and this minimizes the sneeze GREATLY. Once in a while it stifles the whole repetitive sneezing.

Keeping your mind and body busy as best you can is by far the best advice I can offer and it sounds like you're already doing that. Great job. Exercising is also great for wd and you're doing that too. Man, it sounds like you got the bull by the balls. :D

Stay strong and be prepared for some up's and down's. A lot of us have experienced those too. Don't let it get to you, it always gets better.

Again, I have to say Congratulations. Deciding to quit is a scary proposition for many, but here you are 9 days out!! Awesome!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Romeo- Thanks for the input. So today is day 10 for me, and last night I returned to work, wow was that difficult, with my general lack of energy and after 6-7 hours of work my legs started to feel like they were giving out, by the end of my shift they were barley functioning. Anyway, I just got to fight through the pain, something I used to never be able to handle back when I was taking opiates. As to other symptoms, I finally got about 7 hours of sleep, due to me being amazingly tired last night, that was nice. Still sneezing, but that's just an annoyance like you stated other than anything. Now, I'm preparing myself for any PAW's that I might encounter, hopefully nothing too bad.

Thanks to all, & as I've said, I'll take this one day at a time.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Well today is day 16 off subs for me and things are going well. I've been very busy getting back to work and school this past week after taking a 8 day break from life during the first few days of getting off subs. Being back to being busy was difficult at first, my legs felt like they were going to give out at times while working but I made it through those first tough 2-3 days back at work. Along with this is my energy has still not taken full form, days of going to classes in the mornings and then working after is very difficult at times, but managable. The one symptom that's still the biggest issue for me is obviously sleep, I'd say I still average around 5-6 hours of sleep a night, but I'll take whatever I can get in that regard. I think three or four night ago I ate some cookies with THC in them, and to be honest that has been the only night I slept about 7-8 hours, ha. Anyway, back to other lingering symptoms, the sneezing is still hanging around. Another thing is the random sneezing fits ( this should go well during one of my speeches for my Public Speaking class). I'm so happy to have made it this far, and I've got no desire to ever use an opiate again.

Half a month down, many more to go. One day at a time.

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A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
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 Post subject: One Month Down!!!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Very pleased to say that as of yesterday at 4 PM, it was the four week mark of me taking my last suboxone. So, today is day 29 in my journey, I know I haven't provided many updates the past week or two, just was extremely busy getting back to life (work, school etc.). Getting back to my daily routine of waking up early and working out, then going to class four days a week in the mornings/afternoons, with a shift of work 5-6 days a week was alright. At first, work was very difficult, lacked energy, and still do some days, but not nearly what it was like the first two weeks or so. I'm back into the swing of things with school also, and have dedicated myself to limiting my distractions and accompshing the goals I set for myself long before I was addicted to opiates, I'm happy to say I'm feeling much closer and sure of my abilities to accomplish my goals. As to any lingering affects from PAW's has yet to be as signifigant as I thought it would be, I still haven't slept for longer than 7-8 hours since I've been off the subs, but it's better than the 3-5 hours I'd average the first few weeks. To be honest, I like this solid sleeping routine, never had one before, I used to love sleeping in when I could, but now I'm happy I only getting my solid 7-8 hours a night. I still have a lack of energy at times, but I've noticed it has gotten better over time. Lastly, the random sneezing fits that always come in two's, and pretty fierce sneezes, but if these are the worst things I've got to deal with, I'm happy with where I am at in this process. I've honestly have had no desire to use opiates since I've last relapsed about 14 months ago, and this past 29 days since I've stopped taking my subs. I even had to deal with co-workers talking about oxy's while I've been working and I just think to myself that, those things are behind me, I'm going to have to deal with these problems when they arise one at a time, and just stay strong.

One month down, 29 days in, and a lifetime to go.

Thanks to all for your support and replies, I'll be checking in sparingly, giving updates as to my status, whether they be good or even if the worst happens, I'll be honest. Thanks again.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Thanks for the update Fezafou.

Congratulations on 4 weeks, nice job! It sound's like your PAWS were pretty manageable, that's great to hear too.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:29 pm 
Fez...I'm sure proud of you! I hope you're able to feel proud of yourself as well.
Thank you for posting an update and I do hope you'll continue to do so every once in a while....especially since you've said you would regardless of what happens in the coming months. As I said to you in my previous reply...that's what I'm most interested in at this point....how it goes after 30, 60, 90+ days. Please don't take that as to minimize what you've already accomplished! It's a lot! I'm really pleased to hear that at this point, your symptoms are reasonably mild and that you're not having overwhelming cravings, etc. That is fantastic! Wow...hearing chatter about oxy and feeling no real desire to get your hands on it! What progress! That must feel so great!
Keep up the good work and know that if you're feeling the least bit of cravings or feeling some weakness toward potential 'triggers' or just anything that feels even close to 'picking up' those former drugs of choice....STOP, count to 100, go for a jog, take a shower, whatever.....anything that will stop you long enough to pick up your phone, hop online here with us, reach out to a trusted friend or family member....and DO NOT go back!! It can happen so very quickly...."just one more time"....Remember everything you've been through and don't throw it away!
Okay...I'll let you go now! Thanks again for the update. I have confidence in your ability to keep this going. So don't take what I say as a lack thereof. It's just that I know how fast a relapse can occur and I don't want it to happen to you. It's not our 'weakness' or 'strength' or 'willpower' or anything else that comes in and takes our sobriety....it's the disease, the addiction that can overpower even the strongest among us. So stay on your toes and know we're here for you!


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 Post subject: The Relapse...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:08 am 
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I’m 25 and I’ve been addicted to oxy’s/ any opiate for the past 4-5 years. I started using hydrocodone recreationally at first which then went to using them daily and you probably know the rest, started snorting oxy’s, a few 40mg/80mg’s a day (about 160 mg and up daily). I did this for about two in half years. I got help here before and think I need it again.

I finally started a Suboxone program about three years ago, at first I didn’t take the subs as I should’ve, I’d use for a while then take a sub for a few days till I could get more oxy. Finally, after a year of not doing the suboxone program the correct way, I stopped using oxy and took 4-8 mg’s of suboxone daily. I did this for over a year and didn’t use any opiates during this time. At this point I felt like I was ready to be off the subs, I tapered down to about 1 mg a day, I got a week off work and had time off school to withdrawal from the subs. This was very difficult as I expected, although I have a great support system with my family and friends to always help me out, and they helped me during this time. I went through a week or so of miserable wd’s from the subs but stayed strong and got off them. Returned to life as a recovering addict and accomplished things I never would’ve if still using, I finished my degree and found a good job at a great company. I never had craving for about 10 months during this time, not having resist the urge to use. All this came from the help and support of you guys here, many people here encouraged me and replied with great advice. Most of what was talked about was the chance of relapse and I thought I made it past that being clean for 10 months…off subs, opiates, all of it.

Around the New Year of 2012, I was around some people who wound up having some 30 mg oxy’s, I bought a few to feel that high again and next thing I know, two weeks later I’m back to using every day and spending way too much of my income on oxy’s. I relapsed like the addict I am. Now, after using for the past 5-6 months I’ve decided I need sobriety again, I detoxed about a month ago, made it five days and relapsed again, tried again two/three weeks ago and the same thing happened. Now, it’s again day 4 (100 hours, I count every second as a victory) and I’m trying to stay strong for once. I feel the worst of the wd symptoms are past me besides the ever challenging mental aspect to this.
Here’s where the main issue for me is, I can’t go to my family or close friends for support, and they don’t know I did relapse this past go around. I’m going to see an old psychologist that I used to see tomorrow, so that should be nice to be able to talk to someone. But, I feel I need other support, so I ask, for the great people that helped me before, I could use some help again. I’m desperate and helpless I feel.

I just want my life back, to be able to enjoy things that I used to and have to numb myself to feel happy or complacent. Anyway, sorry for the length and any replies would be greatly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:18 am 
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Ahh man I know the feeling of relapsing. Don't kick yourself too hard about it but it's important to take action now. If I were you, I'd go back to what worked - Suboxone. This is mainly because of how long you've spent using, it may be worth getting some of that old stability back before you consider your next move.

The alternative would be an abstinence based program, or rehab. But the statistics aren't as good with them as it is for Sub.

Time to lick your wounds, regroup, and get your life back!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:05 am 
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Hey Fez,

While it's good to hear from you again, I sure do wish the circumstances were different.

I'm gonna have to agree with Tear, I think you're best option would be to get back on Suboxone, even if only a low dose. Quitting Oxy's cold turkey is like going from 100mph to zero. It's painful and then you're left with the lingering cravings that are WAY strong. Stepping down to Suboxone, for me, was like going from 100mph to 10mph, but without much pain. Living at 10mph for a while gave me the distance from my active addiction that I needed. IMO, you may need that stability that Suboxone provides to get things back on track.

The advice I just gave you may sound a little hypocritical because I've had a few lapses too. The difference between my lapses and yours is that my lapses only lasted 3 or 4 days. My lapses, IMO, were never long enough to really get me back into the "swing of things" deep enough where I needed Suboxone again.

Also, the part about not being able to go to your family or friends with your secret is troubling to me. Our secrets tend to keep us sick. Your addiction loves the fact that you're not willing to tell your family and friends. It will use that against you. I've found that to be successful in recovery, you have to constantly do things that weaken your disorder (addiction), not strengthen it! Telling on it and letting those secrets out is one way I keep my addiction weakened. Understanding and accepting the fact that I can NOT use drugs successfully helps me a lot too. I've tried using drugs successfully for too many years, I can't do it, they always end up in charge, they always end up my master. Sound familiar?

Whatever you decide, I wish you the absolute best.

_________________
Be kind to yourself. Our character defects do NOT define who we are!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Hey Romeo, I wish the circumstances were different too…hope you’re doing well.

Thanks for the replies from both of you, I appreciate that. And Romeo, you stated the issue for me right now, the cravings and continual relapsing. I always hoped I wouldn’t have to go back onto Suboxone, but if it can get me to the point where I was when I remained clean, which was during and after following the sub program the correct way. I’d love to get back to that point, one thing though is I’d rather not be on the subs for any extended period again, I would prefer a few weeks of small doses. I think you both might be correct in the fact that subs could be my best way of getting clean again.

As for the family/friends aspect, you’re completely correct about what you said, but my issue at this time is the people that helped me over a year ago to get off subs would be sooo absolutely disappointed in me…my GF would most likely be done with me (she said she would if I relapsed again…harsh, but I’ve put her through a lot) and my parents would be devastated, I just can’t do that to them with their issues right now. So, normally I’d be left with my three cousins who are my “brothers” so to speak, but amazingly all are out of the country, two are Marines and can only communicate through FB or the occasional skype, and the other is doing research for school in Japan. This leaves me with a few close friends of who I feel I could confide in, but really only two of them would I be feel comfortable talking to about this subject, and one’s an idiot ;). This is why I’m going to see a psychologist today after work and I have had a good relationship with from earlier addiction issues.

Anyways, thanks for the input, was needed very much
I hate how difficult this is, my emotions are just shot.

_________________
"I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself." - D.H. Lawerence


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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