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 Post subject: Yeah. It's a relapse
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:58 pm 
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It's hard for me to admit this stuff esp seeming I throw out so many words on this forum. Hopefully I haven't put myself on a pedestal or anything. Regardless, it's hard to admit to a relapse.

It would have started a couple of weeks ago. I'd quit smoking for a couple of months, which was a recent boost, but the interferon was getting rougher with every injection. I've taken time off school because of the treatment and so have found myself with more time on my hands than I'd like.

It started with a few Valiums. I don't have much of a history with benzos compared to other opiate addicts I know. I'd use them, then stop using them, sometimes to help detox, sometimes if I had them. I'd surfed overdose with benzos and gear a bit, but the nod was always a bit intense and I know of some people who've passed that way so I steered clear.

The valium was perfect. I think it gave me more relief than any opiate could at the time. I slept for the first time in nearly a week. 15 or 20mg at a time, floating along like a jack johnson song. It ran out pretty fast. So I got a few more. Burned through them. By then cigarettes had magically appeared in my hands again. After I ran out, I realised I was blatantly abusing the vals, even if I thought I was using them to relieve my side-effects. Maybe part of me still thinks drugs are the answer to very uncomfortable physical and emotional pain? Not good.

Stopping wasn't as easy as I thought. Valium and me have a weird relationship. I can binge on pretty much any benzo, but valium withdrawal sends me nuts after just a week on. So my interferon insomnia turned into a raging britney spears melody scraping my skull for 14 hours a night and a thoughts jarring me constantly like a strobe light (even now!), unending, 24 hours. Not fun for a guy who uses drugs to shut up an already busy head.

All the while my Subox was still 12mg, 8mg morning 4mg evening.

I thought I needed to call in the A-team. Genius. Went to the dealers, got on, used heroin. It worked. Not as well as it could, but it worked. Even though I'd dosed 8mg that morning, I could use at 6pm that night. If this tempts anyone, don't bother. Certain meds make me burn through Subox much faster. Recently I got put on certain meds to help with the depression from the interferon. God my medical situation could have its own post and would bore you more than this.

Anyway, a couple of days using heroin, which wasn't working too well, and honestly the gear wasn't helping with the valium withdrawals as much as I would have liked. So, I got some more valium. Then I was gone. Only for a couple of days though thank God, but those days were pretty black overdose-surfing nodding.

So basically I went from being on these drugs:

Weekly Interferon Injection (google!)
4 pink ribavirin a day
150mg pristiq
700mg lithium
Lamotrigine (200?)

Plus all the toxins I put in my body - $200 heroin a day. Not huge but decent. But after those two days, I was in more pain than I'd normally have been from a 2 month binge. I feel like I'm taking so many pills at the moment or they're just taking their toll on me. Interferon is luckily only 6 months, but it seems to amplify anything bad I do to my body 20 fold. Maybe I'm lucky, because in one of those gaps of being out of valium I had a moment of clarity, realised that if I kept going I would soon stop taking interferon and relapse longer, or die. Basically just pain. More pain.

So 3 days of withdrawals so far. No sleep. Managed to take the girl out lastnight anyway. She's really loving me back to life, honestly. It's huge this relationship. I feel like I've got pieces of recovery from all over the place, but she's giving me the missing piece I've needed but couldn't find in NA or SMART or rehab or the methadone clinic. I've also realised I've been unnecessarily harsh on NA in this forum, because in that moment of clarity it was mostly stuff you hear in the rooms that I experienced. I've thought I've had these moments before, mind you.

I'm not in the clear. But yesterday money came in, and I was in the throws of withdrawal and I didn't score, buy cigarettes and managed to spend my money on taking my girl out lastnight for dinner and movies. She appreciated the thought more than the company no doubt. Today is liver clinic day, which will mean picking up more interferon and getting my bloods done, which has always been a really sneaky trigger for me. But if I got through yesterday no reason I can't today.

Keep u posted. Thanks.

t


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Hey Tearj3rker -

I'm so glad you were able to rein it in before you went totally off the deep end. And I'm so sorry for all the shit you're having to deal with.

I'm at work so I can't stay on here long but I just wanted to let you know that I read your story and I'll be rooting for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:15 pm 
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I'm here rooting for ya too T!!! I love ya Bud!!

Put on your big boy pants and work through this.

You're a sharp cookie and you already know what you have to do to get through this.

PM me anytime you feel like it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:15 pm 
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You've been through so much, tear! But, you've already taken steps and are are moving forward. And you're talking about what happened. That isn't always easy to do, so good on you. Hang in there and I'm glad you were able to turn to us during this difficult time. Don't be too hard on yourself. Deal with the triggers so you can address them better next time and then move forward.
Good luck and take care.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:14 pm 
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Hey Tearjerker, thanks for posting about what's been going on with you. So, just to clarify--you are still having withdrawal from the valium? I've never experienced benzo withdrawals but i have heard that it can be very harsh. But--you weren't taking the valium for all that long were you? Maybe that will help some. I sure hope you start feeling better soon. I know that the interferon treatment you're doing can make people feel pretty crappy and run down too. I remember you posting about your issue with the fast metabolizing of sub and how you were relapsing on heroin. I thought you had found a way to adjust your dose that helped with that....but now you're having more trouble with fast metabolism because of a change in your medications? That sounds like a tough situation. I have had a lot of trouble with relapses on heroin myself, despite being on sub. I can relate to a lot of the things you have mentioned, including having a pretty severe mood disorder. I don't have the fast metabolism issue though--I guess that is fairly rare. Does that cause you problems with a lot of meds or is it mostly just the sub? I guess there's not much chance that you would do better on subutex or even naltrexone instead of suboxone is there?

Of course, speaking from the experience of my own relapses, I know that sub treatment, helpful as it is, is not a guarantee against relapse and we still have to take responsibility for our actions. But I sure know that relapsing is more likely to happen for me when I am struggling with bad depression. I too have been struggling with smoking--and when I feel so bad that I don't even want my life to continue, I find it harder and harder to care about relapses on heroin OR cigarettes. But of course in the long run relapsing just makes everything worse and harder. But, i can tell from your post that you DO care about your life and your health and that you want to get through this. I too think that your writing about it here is probably a good sign. Will you talk about what's been going on with any of your doctors or whatever mental health professional(s0 you see? I don't think there's really any one solution to getting through all the stuff you're going through but it seems like facing it and discussing it with whatever support you have is probably a good idea.
Anyway, I just wanted to add my support to you along with the others who have responded here to you. Please keep us posted. And...take as good care of yourself as you can.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:43 am 
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TEAR3JERKER'. You help a lot of people on this forum, to understand stuff' continue to keep it up.
i hope you also use your work more in to your self' so you can also get a much better relationship
with your recovery. you got what it takes!! :)


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 Post subject: Reply to relapse
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:17 am 
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Hi, so obviously you are not alone in the relapse department. I've had a few, more than I would like to admit, but I prefer to see them as learning experiences. Every time I do, and start back on sub, not only is the physical pain a reminder of why I shouldn't give in to the cravings, but on the mental side every relapse teaches me things about myself, my triggers, and the futility of chasing the high.

So chin up, and onward! Eventually we will all slay the beast. I am encouraged by people who do quit and stay clean. It seems there is a mental switch that happens and that's that. It happened to me with pot - thought I could never go a day without it but one day I didn't need it anymore. I am confident the same thing will happen with opiates.

Best wishes,
Jimmy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:59 am 
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Thank you so much guys.

Things have been really rough, as you know. I saw a GP / methadone / suboxone doctor today who I hadn't seen for years, just because he's a GP as well and I was told to see him to get a script by my psych.

Anyway, waiting room full of people on methadone, all still using obviously, doing it hard.

This doc has a lot more experience in treating people with bipolar on interferon. Basically for 6 months he said I'll be going up and down, and I gotta be fast and the docs and me gotta tweak my meds accordingly. He told me jumping off the anti-deps is urgent, as my mood has been going manic for the first time since my early 20's. I can't let myself go back there, so will basically do everything this guy tells me.

In the past, when my mood's flipped, drugs have been in the story in some way. I think I seek them for relief, and they make it worse. The heroin was shit, everything about that was ... shit. Excuse language. Life of pain, go to death.

Autonomyous it's really complicated. I'm sick of shit being complicated. But basically, it looks like I'm more sensitive (awwe) to coming off benzos being bipolar, and now I'm on interferon it's made me even more. Also in the past, when I've gone to detox and been put on valium for a week, I end up going thru a real painful valium withdrawal for a week after the heroin detox. But it doesn't happen for other benzos nearly as much. Maybe I'm allergic to diazepam? Hell I'm allergic to all drugs.

My issues with metabolism aren't that common, but they happen. I've only found a few other people with it, and yes it's only with Suboxone / Subutex. My metabolism issues have made me end up jumping off Sub numerous times in the past. Only one doc I've spoken too has confirmed it's real to me (the doc today), and he's really well read. He suggested I go see this specialist in pharmacodynamics (?) at some hospital to get genetic tests blah blah. All cutting edge stuff. I couldn't be stuffed. Was probably back in addiction. I've found it only gets triggered by certain psych meds.

A really important lesson has been learned tho. It's like a cog turned in my head, or I surrendered at a much deeper level. But I've had enough of looking for relief of my bipolar in drugs. I feel like I can't justify it anymore.

Hey guys, just to let you know I'm going to disengage from here for a bit and hang out on an interferon forum. This interferon treatment is the real challenge, and I kinda underestimated it. I'll still drop in and say g'day :lol: Only 3 months left to go.

Thanks for your support :D

Oh and PS: Off the drugs 5 days. (smokes are back though.. dammit)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:11 am 
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Hi Tear, I'm really sorry you are going through all of this. To be honest, after the last time you posted (before the lapse) I was alittle worried.
I was lookng into Xanax, because I was thinking of getting some for my Sub WD. Some sources said you can get a physical habit in a week of round the clock dosing, and I would guess that Valium is similar. From what I've read bezo WD is a nightmare. I wasn't totally clear from your posts where you now stand on the Valium. If you just went off of it CT you might want to consider getting a small amount and tapering off of it if you can, and if it's OK with your new doc.

I'm glad you found a good doc, and that you have a supportive girlfriend and that you are posting about it here. All of these things sound like good assets for your recovery. I hope you get back on track and feel better soon.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:51 am 
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Tearjerker said, "A really important lesson has been learned tho. It's like a cog turned in my head, or I surrendered at a much deeper level. But I've had enough of looking for relief of my bipolar in drugs. I feel like I can't justify it anymore."

That's GREAT to hear!! I'm sorry it took a relapse for you to get to this new understanding, but I also completely understand how your relapse was critical to you getting to this point.

I hope things turn around for you real soon.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:06 am 
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Now that things have slowed down a bit, I don't know if I'm really in a place to say what caused what. Was there valium withdrawal? My doc said I was going manic after seeing me (a bipolar thing) and made me go straight off my anti-depressants and upped the lithium and added seroquel. Juggling bipolar and this liver treatment is turning into a bit of a battle. Only 3 more months to go. The whole thing kinda came to a head after I switched anti-depressants. Things just started going really fast. Sick of this bipolar ride such a biatch (scuse language).

But a week out of that relapse / binge / whatever you want to call it, things are getting better.

Only 3 months to go.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:44 am 
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It's been over a week now and I'm not missing drugs at all. No cravings, no desire. Something has changed. I hope it's not just the tx messing with my head.

Just to give u guys a picture of where I'm at. At the moment I've taken a semester off my studies because of the treatment. I've also had to stop working. Being an Australian and having a social life which goes hand in hand w/ drinking, I've retreated from my friends as I can't drink on treatment, and it's hard to keep up a front long. 4 months or so no alcohol so far, not that I was a big drinker. I can't deal much with busy public places.

Now I'm not using I have so much time on my hands and so little to do. I will admit that I have no life right now, but I knew this could happen and I know it's temporary. Going to my girlfriends, we try to do what we can, even if it's just going for a walk. But I try not to spend too much time there cos I don't want her getting sick of me as I'm a whiney screwloose atm.

I think this is something only people who've done a stint of chemotherapy or something similar would understand.

Maybe it would be good for me, learning to sit with myself with no distractions for the next 3 months. If I can get through the rest of tx without using, I'll know I have no reservations about relapse.

t


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:39 am 
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tearj3rker wrote:
It's been over a week now and I'm not missing drugs at all. No cravings, no desire. Something has changed. I hope it's not just the tx messing with my head.

Just to give u guys a picture of where I'm at. At the moment I've taken a semester off my studies because of the treatment. I've also had to stop working. Being an Australian and having a social life which goes hand in hand w/ drinking, I've retreated from my friends as I can't drink on treatment, and it's hard to keep up a front long. 4 months or so no alcohol so far, not that I was a big drinker. I can't deal much with busy public places.

Now I'm not using I have so much time on my hands and so little to do. I will admit that I have no life right now, but I knew this could happen and I know it's temporary. Going to my girlfriends, we try to do what we can, even if it's just going for a walk. But I try not to spend too much time there cos I don't want her getting sick of me as I'm a whiney screwloose atm.

I think this is something only people who've done a stint of chemotherapy or something similar would understand.

Maybe it would be good for me, learning to sit with myself with no distractions for the next 3 months. If I can get through the rest of tx without using, I'll know I have no reservations about relapse.

t


Congratulations on getting a week out and getting comfortable in sobriety again.

I really can only imagine how tough it must be to go through this sort of thing. The best way to get through difficult times is to stay busy, yet your body is weak and you and fighting a huge physical battle. It must be such a mental battle as well!! I guess the only thing I could compare it to was being on bed rest during pregnancy and how much I hated that. The only thing that helped me was reminding myself that even though I was doing nothing, I was actually doing the most important thing! This is true for you. Baby yourself. You deserve this and you need this. This is your chance to shed a huge weight by getting past the Hep. Try to think of yourself and your health as your most precious thing; this is your time to get well; you are laying the foundation to the future or your choice. You probably will have to remind yourself of these things many times a day to help avoid falling into a mental rut. I wish you the best!!!

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:46 am 
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Thanks laddertipper.

Yeah tx is hard overall. I have my good and bad days. For 3-4 days after each weekly injection can be really rough. Today I'm 5 days after my last injection, plus recovering from my mania and relapse, so a bit of sanity has returned. Til next shot!

Yeah pregnancy isn't something I will ever understand, unless there's some kinda medical / religious miracle.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Glad to hear you are doing better. Maybe this last time reinforced that dope does not work for you or something else that you found within yourself. I never got into the injection or dope game but I have much respect for anyone who quits that stuff. If I had ever figured out how to score on the street, things would go to hell quickly.


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