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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:09 pm 
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**Edit - If this should be in another section besides intro's, I do apologize. Mods please move if necessary**

Hello All

I guess I'm here b/c I'm at my wits end with Suboxone and paying the crazy bills the doctor requires to see him every single month. I want freedom from this drug and the baggage being on it brings with it. I've been reading this forum for about a month (water taper method was insightful) and decided it was time to join and get some support/advice.

I'm 30 years old, started with pain-pills when I was 16, worked my way up from popping Vics/Percs to slamming Heroin & Oxy by the time I turned 20. By 23 it was an every day thing to dose before I even ate breakfast. I have some wonderful people in my life that care for me and pushed me to get help, which I accepted via a two week inpatient rehab where they used Subutex to get you off the street stuff. The Subutex was a taper over three days, then nothing, but there was a Suboxone doctor visiting every morning and if we so chose we could meet with him and "see if Suboxone treatment was right for us." Let's just say it's "right" for nearly everyone when you've gone from feeling great to feeling like crap, and someone offers you the key to feeling good again; And the doctor wasn't turning anyone down. So, I got right on Suboxone, 16mg (8mg x2 day) and that was back in 2008. I can honestly say I've not relapsed since my Suboxone induction seven years ago, so that's a good thing, but it also means every single days for seven years I've had Sub on the brain!

I came down in dose over the years, graduated college, got a great job in the Information Tech field, and have sat at 4mg over the past two years, then I started my taper to null about two months ago b/c despite my sterling history with him the doctor won't switch to seeing me every three months w/ refills (office policy, they say, is required monthly visits), and is requiring everyone to get pee tested every monthly visit, which my insurance won't pay for, so it costs me about $500 a month just to see him, not to mention the time off work and mental bondage of still feeling like a user every time I go to that office. I desire freedom from Suboxone, but now I'm loosing my mind. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

So I went to 2mgs by choice around two months ago, and that wasn't so bad, mostly mental/emotional stuff like when you know it's time to take a dose but you've cut back so you won't be taking it and you get anxious/nervous, which I can deal with, but no physical aches/pains/headaches. After two weeks I was down to 1mg, and the first three days of that really sucked as I was getting these cluster headaches and anxiety attacks, but they backed off mostly and it was bearable. I sat at 1mg up until last week, and then I was just done with it b/c while it was bearable I still felt like crap 75% of the day and I couldn't concentrate or be the person I wanted to be (i.e. it was impacting my ability to work and achieve like I have for the last five plus years), so I jumped last Friday 5/29/2015. Friday I took a sliver of a half of a 2mg tab, likely between .25 and .5mgs (guesstimate) and then Saturday up until now, nothing.

I can't live like this! This is not mental/emotional stuff I'm feeling, this is debilitating cluster headaches/migraines, ADHD type loss of concentration/motivation, intense piercing head and neck pain, and my BP is through the roof (160/110)!! I had to leave work in the middle of the day today and come home, and I'm not the type to miss work. Not to mention, I haven't slept in two days, at least not REM sleep. I wake up every hour on the hour. You know the feeling when you physically hurt so bad that nothing else in the world matters except finding relief from the turmoil your in? That's how I've felt for the majority of the past four days.

I am a big guys, 300lbs, and my BP is normally around 140/80, so I've been exercising every day 30-60mins a day for the past two months in preparation for this (lots of cardio & light weights) and I've also been juicing for the past two weeks to detox my system. I've got the melatonin, the clonidine, the herbals (DLPA, GABBA, NAC, Multi, fish-oils, yadda yadda) but they aren't even cutting into this brain pain!

Sorry if that was kind of sporadic and piecemeal, but I wanted to be as thorough and get as much info about myself out there in hopes that someone might have some uplifting words or advice. Maybe all I really need is a place to dump my heart while I'm going through this. Really, I just don't want to go back on subs, b/c I feel like even taking a little will reset these past four days and make all the pain worth nothing. What have I done to myself?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:26 pm 
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Addiction is a nightmare! I think we all wished we could turn back the "hands of time" but time just keeps moving forward and we get trapped in it. The only thing I can offer you right now is words of encouragement. If you feel you need off then you need to try. But if it gets too bad don't beat yourself up about it. Maybe try taking a small bit every other day. Then maybe every 3 days. Personally I have never tried to quit Subs. I guess I feel they are a part of my lifestyle now, but maybe someday. But as for now, I am trying to get the other parts of my life sorted out. I just wanted you to know, we do care and are here for you.
Welcome to the forum, I am sure there will be others along shortly.
Happy


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:01 pm 
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Hay manim there to,worked a dead end job for 12 years because I couldn't pass a drug screen to get a good job but finally got on sub's and got an awesome job making 70gs a year but been on sub's for 7 years also ,I'm at 6mills and can't seem to make myself go any lower.told my doc I wouldn't be back .I've got about 150 8 mill pills left so I'm going to have to drop sooner or later,so we are in the same boat.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:42 am 
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Hi boogie and welcome to the forum :)

I've been on subs for 7.5 years and am tapering...currently at 1 mg. The key to success, I feel, is pacing the reductions on your body's ability to handle it. You can see below my name my reduction schedule. I have been pretty much symptom free every drop. I tried to taper off before and did it much too fast and got sick.

The thing about subs is that when "we're done, we're DONE" and we want off immediately. It just doesn't work like that if you want a comfortable taper. It's going to take time...up to a year for some folks...and you've just got to buckle down and do it. Some people on this forum have quit from a high dosage...2-4 mgs and up and were able to get through the withdrawals. I did not feel I could do that so I took the other alternative...low and slow.

2 mgs is still a lot to jump from and is considered to really be the mid-point of a taper. 2 mgs is when you are just starting to free up receptors. Please consider doing a slower taper from 2 mgs and allow your brain to adjust to each drop before dropping again. I think you'll find it much more pleasant than just dropping off from 2 mgs. Let us know what you decide and good luck!

CA

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Thanks for the welcome and insight guys. Just taking it all in, reading more, trying to figure out what to do. Will be five days today w/o anything...

Last night I still didn't sleep well, but better than the previous two nights, only waking up 3-4 times instead of 10-15x. The extra/better sleep helped, as so far today the headaches haven't been as terrible as the past few days were. I'm going to keep pushing this, keep trying to not go back on. I know their there, sitting in that damn bottle in my medicine cabinet if I need them,...but man, I'd hate to be only a few days away from some kind of "break through" to only reset myself back to day one by dosing again.

Anyways, trying to make it a productive day and stay at work the whole 9hrs. Thanks again guys/gals, appreciate your thoughts/time.

l8r

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:01 pm 
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I'd hate to have you half way across the lake only to have you turn around and swim back. I get that. Unfortunately, if you fall in the category of an average person who has tried this, you are about 25% through it. Most people have the worst symptoms for 7 to 10 days. They then start to feel a little better but still "bad". Nearing about 10 to 14 days they will have a day where they actually feel Worse! This is often the turning point where they will feel noticeably better until they hit around 75% normal by about three weeks in. From there they will see consistant progress until arriving at 90 to 95% by one month. Sleep is often the last to return.

Will this be you? That's the average. Some do better faster. A few others but not many do worse and take longer. At this point taking "just a little" Bup will make you feel better for a day but set you back by 3 to 5 days.

If you do decide to go back on, Tapering to 0.25 mg will decrease the intensity of all of this. You jumped at a pretty high dose yet at 2.0. You have to decide. The other option is finding a doc that will see you every three months even if you get a UA every month. They are out there. You just have to find one.

Best of luck and keep us updated!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:38 pm 
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@donh

That is the worst of it right there, just not knowing how long this could last. Always that little voice saying, "you know how to make this stop, you know you can have some semblance of normality back if you just dose a little." If someone told me positively it would be 15-days to feeling better, or even 30-days, than I would at least have hope in knowing it would break. But not knowing, not knowing if it's gonna be another 3-days, another 10-days, or the worst; What if it's going to be like this until the day I die? That is a crusher of hope...

I did okay up until 2pm this afternoon, and by okay I mean I contained the symptoms w/o letting others know something was wrong with me, but then the destructive, mind numbing headaches, and the panic/anxiety/irritability/ADHD kicked in, with a vengeance. It decided to take on a snuffy nose just for kicks I suppose, but I haven't been able to breath all afternoon/evening.

What do you do when you know that the next person that walks up to your desk and tells you they have an urgent issue and you need to fix something is going to get hell b/c the physical torment you are in will make you lash out at them for no reason? That's enough to make me have a panic attack right there!

I'm been watching these motivational videos on youtube, or at least listening to them while I'm working, and I found this one were shia labeouf is screaming at the camera to "just do it." He says, "if you are tired of starting over, STOP giving up!" I keep thinking of that. I want this so bad I cry about it sometimes. Not b/c I pity myself, and not because I'm actually even sad, but b/c there is a hunger in the pit of my stomach to accomplish this insurmountable task that lies before me. I crave victory over this drug.

I know I'm not going to sleep tonight, I've got that buzzing in my head from the headaches all day. That exhaustion that makes you more wired than tired. Well, one more day in the bucket; 5-days down. Here's to day 6 and the renewed optimism I've found from dumping my mind/heart here in this moment.

Thanks again, to anyone reading/responding. I swear to you that every thing you say helps me stay just a little bit more sane through this.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:19 pm 
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This task is SOOO NOT insurmountable. It's hard. It's tough, but no way is it impossible. You're going to get through tomorrow and Friday and then you're going to do whatever makes you feel better this weekend whether that's a marathon run or a marathon of The Walking Dead (you've got to feel better than a zombie!) Then on Monday it's going to be day 10 and you'll be that much closer to turning a corner.

Sometimes imitrex works on my cluster headaches. Ask your doctor for a script.

Just do it!!! :D

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:23 am 
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Don't give up, I'm guessing the headache might be because of dehydration, are you eating/drinking okay? I had one for about 2 weeks, i get migranes every 3 months so it didn't bug me, so maybe it is common. day 5 aND 6 were the worst. It slowly got better every day after that, the insomnia was the worst for me and it lasted around a week, it wasn't until I accept that it wasn't going to happen that I just stayed up and watched comedies! You're so close to getting your clear head and the first relief. It's normal to have high blood pressure, I think, mine was through the roof too and has gone down since. I took 3 .1mg chlondine a day, if you have a dr that can get you roboxane I'd ask. I told my Co workers I had a stomach bug and if you need to take a few days off don't feel bad. I saw you were working out before but are you still, that is what made me feel more normal then anything. I hope I answered your questions, if I didn't just ask again. One minute at a time if you need it, even though it might feel like an hour you will feel better.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:13 pm 
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@ Amy-Work In Progress
Thank you for your thoughts. You are right, it's not insurmountable, but it sure looks like that from this side of the mountain. Just do it! Heh, that made me laugh, thanks for that. If you haven't seen it, google search "Shia LaBeouf delivers the most intense motivational speech of all-time." Make sure you get the 1 minute version, not the hour long one, and don't have your speakers up too loud at the beginning. I swear I've watched that video 10x again today. It's kinda funny, but I swear it gets me amped to do this. If I'm around long enough to work on my profile, I'm gonna quote that video in my signature.

@ jjindamorning
Yeah, I'm definitely a heavy water drinker, probably 80+ ounces a day, plus I'm juice fasting right now in an attempt to shorten the duration of this crap, albeit greatly intensify the WDs over a shorter period of time, at least that's how I understand it's supposed to work from my research, so I'm probably getting closer to 100oz water per day.

No salt, no sugar, no caffeine, no nicotine (I quite tobacco four months ago); I guess I'm being more militant about it b/c I've heard for so long "don't punish yourself" or "just try to change a little at a time," and I'm at that point where I realize I've lived for self-gratification and pleasure no matter the cost for so long that it's time to go hardcore, I need to be all in all the time during this. Is it making the pain worse? Possibly, but I'm praying it's going to work out for the best by compacting this process.

I am still working-out, but I cut back to cardio only since I hit the weights so hard Monday b/c my WDs make me irritable and sometimes downright angry, that it made the nights of sleeplessness and aches so much worse being so sore (and my protein intake is low right now.) I work out after work, like 6:30PM-7:30PM, and I was worried that maybe that would make the insomnia worse. When (what time of day) do/did you work out, and what's your diet like? Also, I feel you on the comedies! I watched two hours of stand-up last night and almost felt manic for awhile; forgot I was "sick" for a bit. LOL.

Day-6 down:

So, I called the doctor, and since I've been a "good boy" for the past seven years he called me in a 15-count script of 1mg Xanax to combat the panic attacks and anxiety. I've never been a benzo guy, so I'm not too worried about addiction, especially with only 15 of em'. I ended up taking .5mgs last night around 9:30PM, but by 10:30PM I was going nuts unable to sleep. So, I took a total of 2mg (+1.5mg to what I already took) out of desperation for sleep. Around 11:05-11:15PM I felt like a zombie. I was so tired but the pain in my head and body just wouldn't let me take advantage of the sleepiness. I think I finally passed out around 1AM, slept until 4AM, fell back to sleep around 4:30, and slept until 7:30AM.

I actually had a "decent" day today (please read that in the context of my last five days of hell) but I'm concerned that it was the lingering effects of the Xanax (I was slightly zombied all day, and while it was in no way a good or high feeling, it was far better than the agony the day before). Could I have a rebound bad day tomorrow after being slightly sedated all day? God I hope not, I feel like if tomorrow is better than today, than I'm getting close to that light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm going to try not to take any sedatives tonight since I kinda still feel tiredish, and I'd like to see if tomorrow can be a better day without the help of chemicals.

Thanks again for your time and thoughts. I hope everyone of you are blessed with peace and joy in all that you do in repayment for your kindness. It's outstandingly beautiful the brilliance, insight, and compassion people who the outside world would label junkies and dope fiends can demonstrate when they aren't pigeon-holed and judged right off the bat. You guys are amazing!

...sorry so long a post...it helps me forget for awhile.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:52 pm 
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Hey Boogie,
What a nice thing to say. There are good people out here . As they say addicts are people too..best of luck to you and all you other jumps. Your in my prayers for real..


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Good job on making it through day 6! What your feeling is what I went through at this point. So just know it's normal. It is such a weird state because you are so tired yet you can not sleep. Is your stomach in knots yet? One thing that really helped me with that was peppermint and ginger oil and you rub it on your belly. I thought it was crazy but it worked for me. It made me want to puke but you gotta pick your battles. My diet was a lot of Olive gardens zupas tuscona, esure shakes, bananas, gatorade (G2) so I didn't have to much sugar and mostly vegetables, anything processed made me want to puke, I think it was day 14 I ate normal food and had the full feeling, it felt so good! I can now eat anything and I'm always hungry, I try to eat heathly but the bad stuff is to easy. Listen to music, keep working and each day will get better.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:00 pm 
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@razor55
Thanks so much, I'll take every prayer, well wish, and blessing I can get!

@jjindamorning
I haven't had too much stomach pain or stomach issues at all really. I'll take that as a small win! Sleep is still a nightmare. Last night was more of the same, a waking nightmare of RLS, body aches, zombie head/fog, and racing thoughts. I fear the night and what it means for me. Not sleeping makes my headaches worse during the day, so I'm praying sleep returns as soon as possible. I feel like that would be the key to feeling so much better!

Day-7 Done
Last night was another night peppered with 30-60 minute sleep cycles. As much pain as I've endured these last few days, it's the night that pushes me to the point of wanting to dose up again. I have taken sleep for advantage for so long, and now that it is next to impossible to claim, it seems like the most precious of rare gems.

This morning, into the midday, was similar to yesterday. It wasn't terrible, not good either, but the destructive headaches didn't show up at least. Brain fog was super thick, I mean I felt (and still do into the evening) so completely unmotivated to do anything but stare. I can only stare at things. I probably spent as much time working today as I did staring at Youtube. That really gets to me b/c I've been such an ace worker for the past five years. I've gotten two promotions, multiple recognitions, I always step up for the hard work and the extra tasks, but now I just feel like saying screw it! What's the point? I hate that, I don't want to feel like that. I want my edge back.

Well, at least it's the weekend and I can stare at things until my heart's content. LOL. I guess that fact that I can joke about it shows that there are moments of clarity and serenity through this thing. Little gaps in the cloud that make you want more of feeling like you can have highs and lows again, and not just feel 'meh' all the time. Here's to the coming of day 8! First, the battle with night-7....

Night guys/gals.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:02 am 
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The nights are so hard, you just want to sleep and no matter what you take it doesn't happen, it will happen, you'll get your energy back too, just keep exercising at night and then take a nice long shower. Your brain just needs time to figure out how to sleep without opiates.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:38 am 
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Sorry you are having such a rough time of it but time WILL eventually heal you. It just takes time....getting through one day at a time...and one day you will have a GREAT day and this will be over. I admire your "trudging through it". Hang on! We're cheering you on :)

CA

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:25 pm 
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I would get rid of the suboxone in your house. You don't want that thought on your mind 24/7.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:23 pm 
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@ClearAqua
Looking forward to that day!!

@jjindamorning
It's reassuring to know that sleep will return sometime, hopefully in the near future. I've read that others can use OTC stuff like Dramamine or Benadryl with success, but I can say personally I tried Nyquil last night and it just made it worse! It was like a really bad drunken sick feeling. Then there is the Xanax. Of the 15 Xanax the doc gave me, I've still got 10 left, and taking them really hasn't been a problem for me b/c they don't seem to do a thing. I guess that's one of the side-effects of having used so many substances in my life.

Day-8
Another one down, and into the night we go. Oh joy.

Seriously, today was a better day. The headaches have toned down a bit and have pretty much dissipated into a thick, sludge-like fog of the mind. I'll take that over all-consuming migraines any day. Now I'm just feeling very anxious, jittery, and unable to concentrate on anything. It's like an energetic exhaustion; a paradox. Just like being hot and cold, unable to find equilibrium. I find myself shaking my leg, or rocking my head back and forth, not even realizing I'm doing it. And the yawns, I've yawned more in the last 24-hours than I think I've yawned in my entire life!!

Exercise helps, but I'm terribly afraid of getting shin splints or sore muscles again like I did on Monday. The nights are already bad, but having shin splits/soreness on top of it makes it even worse. Light cardio on a treadmill or bike has been the best choice for me.

I've been feeling very apathetic all day. Not depressed, just uncaring and irritable. I don't want to learn, I don't want to read, I don't want to talk, I don't want to listen, I don't want anything except to feel better.

Until tomorrow...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:02 am 
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Hey congrats on day 8! It sounds like the worst is over, it sounds like you have a week left, but it is not close to this week. Everyday you should start feeling better. I would only do what your body can handle without rest, shin splints are no fun. Also a quick side note, nyquil has alcohol in it and alcohol makes withdrawals worse and only take one benedryl if you try that route, it's easy to overdose and has the opposite effect. I used melatonin and it eventual worked, I don't take anything now, I was as stressed as you about it not coming back for months, your body will eventually re teach itself. There isn't some magical drug (except opiates) you can take during withdrawal to make everything better, you've been doing that for years and now you got to pay up. There is no better feeling then clearing your head of the opiate fog.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:18 am 
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I am so sorry you have had such a rough time of it. Some people, the taper affects more "mentally" and some more "physically"...seems like you have had both hit you. I admire your tenacity in hanging on. You are getting through the worst of it now and if you can make it one more week, you will soon be feeling better each day instead of dealing with all of this.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:52 am 
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You guys/gals are awesome, thanks for staying with me and replying.

Man, I actually got some decent sleep last night. Took some melatonin like jjindamorning mentioned, I think I had 4-5 straight hours of sleep. That is a blessing.

Today is a different beast than all the rest so far. I no longer have agonizing, mind numbing headaches, and the body aches/pains have toned down, but the restless/anxious boredom is setting in hard. The fog is still heavy in my head, and every thing that should be fun; watching movies, reading, playing games, working on computer stuff (I'm a geek), just sounds awful. I try to do it, but then quit 15 minutes in b/c it's so unfulfilling. I feel like my ADHD from middle school/high-school is coming back. Perhaps it never went away and it was just the opiates masking the symptoms? I'd hate to have to go back on a stimulant, man I hate that stuff.

Here's the irony of today. Multiple times this week I thought that dying (I am not suicidal, nor would I hurt myself on purpose) would be a welcome reprieve from the onslaught of agony I was enduring, but it gave me something to focus on overcoming, something to beat. Reading back over my posts I realize there were a bunch of times I thought about dosing, but it almost felt easier to turn it down in the midst of that chaos than it does now. Now that I feel like I may be reaching the top of the mountain, I can't stop thinking about it. I get the thought I'm sure others have had before, "with all this time off of subs my receptors have freed up some, imagine how good it would feel to use them just one more time, I'd probably get off on it like 7-years ago when I first started." Pitiful, right?

And then I remember this past week, and I want to punch myself for even entertaining a thought like that once, let alone the four or five times I've already thought about it today. This brings on a new concern, something past the WD and PAWS of the present, something I haven't thought about for 7-years b/c I was content and sheltered from it both physically and mentally; Am I able to stay sober without Suboxone?

Do I ask my doctor to hold a slot on his roster for me just in case? Do I keep some subs around, or leave them with a loved one with instructions to "only dispense in the face of a pending relapse?" Do I flush the rest of the bottle and keep on with the militant all or nothing attitude I've used to get through this first week? These are the thoughts I wasn't able to have earlier this week b/c I could only think about feeling better.

Now that I am feeling a little better, these are the things I'm preparing to deal with next...

_________________
"If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up. Don't let your dreams be dreams. Just do it!"


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

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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