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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Today was quite the amazing day for me. A day like this makes me wonder why I ever picked up opiates in the first place. I literally just had a 4 hour mental and spiritual orgasm. BUT, let me back up first to this morning…

So earlier this morning I was watching some YouTube videos that Dr. Junig had posted about subs, getting off, etc. Although I do agree with much of what he says(about being in the right place mentally before getting off and that some people should stay on for awhile) I did find it depressing when he said it is impossible to stop subs and stay clean without going to meetings. I don’t want this part of my life to continue with me forever, I want to move on and try to forget about this terrible chapter in my life…well not forget because it did make me the person I am today, but I don’t want it to be a daily thing that I have to address by attending meetings. I don’t want to feel like I have a disease for the rest of my life.

So anyway, after that buzz kill, I decided to go for a bike ride. Every spring and summer I take this beautiful bike trail for about 5 miles to this great park. Today was my first time doing the trail off of subs. I have been off for a little over two weeks after a painless jump from .016mg. So I put on my ipod, made a great playlist and was off.

I found the bike ride to be somewhat of a spiritual awakening. Now, I am not religious at all but I felt so connected with nature on this most beautiful day. Being alone on my bike with nothing but a blue sky, 65 degree weather, nature and some great music, I drifted into a meditation like state that I cant describe. Now last year when I was on subs this bike ride was just a nice day out of the house. I cant ignore the fact that I feel so much more alive off subs. I know some people need to stay on subs and that it did save my life at one point but I cant lie when I say I feel so much more a part of life now that I am off. I feel the peaceful and calming beauty in nature is enough to keep me sober. If I ever feel the urge to use I know now all I have to do is jump on my bike and the power of the outdoors will bring me back to where I need to be mentally.

I cant tell you how great this epiphany has been for me. I had to come on here and talk about it. I think we all need to find that “something” that will keep us from using. It has to be something that hits us spiritually. It does not need to be god, just something that connects with us more than drugs do. For me its nature. I hope everyone finds something more too.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Just FYI, I've been off Sub for 20 months and I don't go to meetings. So I guess it can be done. But you're right, you have to find something(s) to live for, and you have to pay attention to the way that you're coping with stuff in your life.

Honestly, I think a lot of addicts get "better" without going to meetings. I have plenty of friends who abused drugs and/or alcohol pretty intensely and then just sort of grew out of it, grew up, got lives and moved on. None of them went to meetings or rehab.

Also, "they" say that nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs, yet people seem to quit smoking and stay quit without NA/AA. I think the 12 step groups just have a stranglehold on addiction recovery because they've been around so long and in many places they are the only game in town.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Also, congrats on your awesome day. I'm glad you wrote it down - you might think about bookmarking the link to this thread and coming back to revisit it if you ever have a bad day (or week, month, whatever) that makes you think that sobriety just isn't worth it.

I know that when my dad died just a few months after I quit sub, coming back and re-reading some of my posts helped me remember things I needed to remember and helped me keep motivated.

Best of luck to you :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:01 pm 
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thank you so much for that diary, that makes me feel a lot better. Really, really good point about the smoking by the way. I cant believe I have never heard that idea before. I did go to meeting back when I was in active addiction and it did help get me started in my recovery but as you said, I feel like such a different person now. I want to shed this addict inner image of myself and start living life again. I will always know the power these drugs had on me but I dont want to give them anymore time interfering with my life. I really appritiate your comment and I hope I am doing as well as I am now in 20 months. Also, I kept my extra subs so if there is ever an emergency I can always take a sub instead of a opiate.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:13 pm 
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yeah I am actually going to bookmark this so I can come back and read your comment. It was very very encouraging and I am going to remember thoes points you made always.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:48 pm 
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Thank you for sharing as it is always so helpful to read about people that were where I am and are on the other side.
About the whole 12 step things, I have been going to SMART Recovery Meetings and they very different. They don't believe addiction is a lifelong disease nor do they want people to attended indefinitely. They are based on scientific evidence....anyway Thanks for sharing your "thing" that will always be there for you.
Cassie


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 1:42 am 
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Hey, l i v in, you are such a good person. You're always on here talking people up and giving really good advice and you've inspired me tons. It's fantastic that you had such a great day. I bet you will have many, many more to come, too!!

Here's the thing with meetings. I benefited a great deal from them, but I WANTED to go because it helped me so much, especially in the early days of sobriety. I found a great group and it worked because there were patients there who were at their bottoms and they got so much from talking to those of us who had been there and gotten through. It made me feel indispensable to be helping those people. I also went to meetings I did not like and did not go back to. I don't like the cult-ish ones. I don't like the group think thing. So, some of us have had incredible experiences with meetings, but I sincerely don't buy into the helpless, hopeless mentality, which is what I think was getting you down today. We are not helpless and hopeless. You don't want to go to meetings? Don't go. It's okay to go for bike rides and get on this forum and maybe talk to a few close friends. That can be your recovery program. The point is to just take care of yourself and if meetings helped you do that, they would be a good thing. Thinking you 'have' to go or you 'will relapse' is such a negative and harmful way to see things. I'm glad you aren't buying into it. I certainly don't buy into it. Going to meetings does not promise you won't relapse and not going doesn't promise a relapse. You aren't a passive person, floating along in space, waiting for meteors to come and take you out. You have a lot more control than that. You don't have to use. For me, it was a huge turning point in my recovery when I realized I did have power over my life and my first drink. After that, addict brain may take over. Before that, I'm the master of my own destiny. And so are you, so keep on livin'! IMO, you are doing a wonderful job.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:05 am 
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thanks foe sharing that livin its so good to ready happy stories

I think the meeting part is a personal choice, for some it works and helps, I have been to meetings but for me I prefer one and one counseling when I need it.


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:50 am 
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thanks guys/ladys. Thoes SMART meetings sound very interesting by the way. I am glad to hear there are groups out there that lean less on religion and more on science. Anyway, I am glad to hear you all dont think meetings are the only way to sobriety. The way Dr. Junig made it sound was that I WILL relapse no matter what if I dont stay in this "i am an addict with a disease and I need to attend to that disease every day for the rest of my life" mentallity. I am only 23 and I cant imagine doing this forever. I mean I feel as though I was a very immature 18 year old when this started and I have grown a lot since then. I didnt realize the consequences to my actions and now I do. I know drugs will always have to be out of my life but I just didnt see why they had to be discussed everyday for me to stay sober. Ladder, I do agree with you that going to meetings makes you feel good, like you are helping others, just like we do on here. I just dont like the process of going to a church everyday, talking about my day and feeling like I am still giving my drug habit time in my life. I do agree that if its something you enjoy and are happy to do than by all means do it. I just hate hearing that meeting=sobriety and no meetings or no suboxone= relapse. Thanks again guys.


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 1:18 pm 
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livin...man I can realte! I just got up early this am, walked the dogs, had a good breakfast and can't wait to get htis day started. When I was on pills or subs a day like today would have been ok but still would have depended on how many pills I had or how the subs were treating me that day. Feeling more "alive" is a great way to explain in.

I also don't go to meetings. Never really have. I went to 2 when I was getting close to jumping off subs but found them to be really ....unhelpful. I don't know if that's the right word but I can't see how going to those is the difference between staying clean and relapsing. I, also, disagree with tihs position Junig takes.


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 6:27 pm 
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I don't think it's even a healthy thing to start believing that if you don't go to meetings, you will absolutely relapse. That's pretty ridiculous, actually. I'm not going to meetings at this point in time. There's always alcohol in my house. My husband drinks beer. I don't drink it. It all depends on where you are and what helps you. Meetings are supposed to be a positive thing. Making them an undesired necessity makes them sound threatening and completely negative. Not good. I do believe 12 step programs can help people turn their lives around. However, they are not for everyone and that's perfectly okay, IMO. If I bought that I had to go to meetings or I would drink, I'd probably almost find an excuse to drink in the fact that I'm not going to meetings. Absolutely counterproductive. I wonder if Dr. Junig goes to meetings every single day.....

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:52 pm 
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laddertipper wrote:
If I bought that I had to go to meetings or I would drink, I'd probably almost find an excuse to drink in the fact that I'm not going to meetings. Absolutely counterproductive.
laddertipper


hahaha I would probably drink over that idea too.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 10:27 pm 
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First of all, great story- the bike ride. I agree, being off of subs now for only 20 days I feel the same way. It is so awesome to feel again. I think that those nature walks or rides can set you free. My addiction counselor told me when I asked should I go to meetings- not to. She advised me to do yoga. Lol I used to go to aa when I was 19. I know not even old enough to drink. I was a major alcoholic. I think the meetings brought me back to reality a bit. However, I totally agree that thing you said about outgrowing it. I can have a beer and not become a major drinker. I doubt I could have a vicodin or norco and feel the same. I would want more and more. So the idea of taking things from a science standpoint makes a ton more sense. It is all about the way our brains are wired. Understanding that can be a major asset to recovery.

Thank you all for sharing. That was awesome!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:50 am 
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I'm on 1-1.5 trying to get down to .5 and I have been bike riding also. It's great because it's not hard on your joints and gives you some good exercise.

I avoid strenuos workouts or exercise when I'm detoxing because I find if I work out my muscles to soreness the pain is increased at night. SO I do more stretching, tai chi, yoga type of exercise.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:55 pm 
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there aint no woman like mother nature, thats for sure!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:01 pm 
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If the meetings help ya then go for it, but the biggest key is to not use any mind altering substance ever again and learn to live life without instant gratification, i know it is hard but I firmly believe it gets easier the more we practice, so bottom line just don't take that pill and everything will work out, just not to much,too fast or too easy, patience grasshoppers! I jumped from 6-8 daily habbit after 6 years of use and now I am closing in on 80 days clean, so I am an expert/warrior now, so thx you very much! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:15 am 
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i'm not trying to preach but why do we cross GOD out. i thought he made nature ? God did not ask man to go to meetings every day. "MAN DID" he only wants people to know him 1 hour a week. and only more if anyone chooses . i think this is why suboxone helps . i don't know" but subs can help us wipe some of the mist off our minds . i can see some very smart people,
leading a normal life. and found out they'r on suboxone. O.K i'll Stop now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:37 am 
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Thank You for sharing..such an important post,this is just what I needed to hear! What an experience,I want that.For me I will go to meetings for a very long,long time.Everytime I stopped,inevitably I relapsed.I do not want to make this disease a reminder of every part of my day...however.I must remember it is chronic.Just another view on meetings,eventually ,with some sober time,we are not there just for ourselves,but for the newcomer who is shakin and bakin.To share where we were and where we are now.Like pay it forward.I am a firm believer in God and we must give it away to keep it.I am not pushing AA or 12 steps on you..however try to find a way in your form of recovery to help another.Just like you did with me by your post.People do recover other ways..absolutely! You now have something to offer to another suffering.! thank you for your awesome post.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:40 am 
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Hey hopewins,

You brought up something that I heard a fella say in an NA meeting the other day and it stunned me when he said it. He said that he was no longer attending NA for himself. He mentioned that he is now attending NA for the newcomer, he's giving away what was freely given to him and I thought that was pretty cool of him.

He shared some of his experiences as an addict and it always amazes me how similar we addicts are in many of our beliefs about ourselves, our behaviors and our opinions of the outside world. It makes me realize that there is a very real possibility that I am not from another planet( :lol: ), even though I felt that way a lot of my life because non-addicts just seemed SO different from who I was.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:27 am 
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Thanks for sharing, Livin. I made those videos a couple years ago-- most of them, anyway. Since then I've seen a few of my patients do well after stopping Suboxone, and I would probably word things differently. Realize also that when I made those videos, I was trying to counter the thought that most addicts have-- i.e. each person believes that he or she is somehow different from those other people-- those people who relapse. Most people who start Suboxone tell me that they want to be on it for only a short time, and then they want to taper off. When I tell them that studies show an almost 100% relapse rate in people who take buprenorphine for less than 6 months, almost everyone says 'I know-- but I'M DIFFERENT.' Nobody thinks that the will have any problems with relapse-- yet almost everybody does relapse, by the numbers.

BUT... we don't have data on the situation that many people find themselves in now-- people who took buprenorphine for over 12 months, who changed their lifestyles and contacts, and who then moved forward without buprenorphine or other opioids. This is uncharted territory, and I don't want to discourage anybody-- the one thing I'll say, though, is that it is important for everyone to recognize that opioid relapses often occur years down the line. The secret to staying clean, in my opinion, is to be wary of the little thoughts that come alone-- such as 'I'm different now, and I can control opioids-- and taking something once will be OK', or 'it wasn't all THAT bad.' One of the valuable things about NA is that it reminds people of how miserable things were, so that they remain intent on never going back.

I'm glad you're doing well-- thanks for sharing!


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