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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:13 am 
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EDIT: Sorry all. As I say at the top, I don't post frequently and didn't mean to intend that anyone who is on bupe is "dirty" by any means. For the record: Suboxone saved my life and is an important tool to sobriety and living a healthy lifestyle. I encourage everyone to use it as a means to do so. But currently, I don't take any drugs but Zoloft. And for that, I am very proud.

I've elaborated more at length in a reply at the bottom of this thread.

___________

It's been ages since I posted.

And let me tell you, I'm off bupe two-and-a-half years and it is AMAZING.

The process of sobriety is like an uphill climb that never ends. What I mean is that sobriety gets better and then keeps getting better. Going uphill isn't a battle -- it's a continual process of personal development that clarifies who you are.

My humble advice/reflections:

I never did NA meetings, which I regret, but if you're just now getting off Suboxone, don't underestimate the power of talking to other people who have been in your shoes. Take what works for you from NA and leave what doesn't.

Be easy on your self. PAWS is different for every person. But that first year of sobriety is a fog no matter what. For as long as I've been off drugs, I have only recently come to the realization that I have been self-medicating my anxiety since I was a teenager. (I am now on/trying Zoloft.)

I moved to a new state last year with a new job. But being clean I get to ask myself what kind of life I want to live and what kind of friends I want to make. And that, actually, is exciting.

I still battle with anxiety, but I'm working on positive solutions -- not negative ones. I've let go of the thought-cycles that take pleasure in self-destruction and the attitude that I don't care if the community becomes shit.

These are all things I thought would never happen. But they do. I care about the people around me and my heart breaks when I see struggling addicts.

The first step begins with getting off the opiates. The second step involves time. And the third step involves a little action on your part.

Thanks for letting me share.


Last edited by Jabberwocky on Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:23 pm 
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The word clean is problematic because the implication is that people who are on suboxone or other forms of buprenorphine are dirty. Do you really think that we are dirty?

Those of us on this medication are in recovery. Some of us may be on it for life. Do you think that our lives are lesser? Maybe that was how you felt in your journey, but trust me that I am living a wonderful, full life because of this medication.

Implying that those of us on suboxone are not clean is really insulting. There is an edit button. Could you please "clean" up your post? Or I will have to do it myself.

So far I don't think that you meant any harm by sharing your experience. I think you just wanted to encourage others who are also working to taper off suboxone. I hope that I am correct.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Totally get what you mean Amy. I went to read some of Jabberwocky's previous posts just to see if that POV was common. By reading those posts, I have come to the conclusion that Jabberwocky never felt "clean"-so I agree that the OP was saying that you aren't clean while you are on Suboxone(or any other forms of bupe)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:39 am 
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That was what I thought yesterday too HTown and thank u Amy, u said word for word what those of us in suboxone treatment were thinking.

Jabb, I'll just shorten it to Jabb, from reading ur posts yesterday it did seem like u we're trying to say that ur clean now that off buprenorphine. I can't really stop u from thinking that and u won't stop me from thinking I'm still clean. So the only thing that I ask is to respect our views because this forum is a place we don't have to feel disrespected.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Hey all,

I can see how it read to you. You all know I'm a strong bup supporter bc my clean time started when I started bup and it continues now I'm off. When reading this post, I read it a bit different. I read it that now off bup, Jabber has not slipped/relapsed on full opiates or cross addicted to anything else in spite of no longer having the cover and protection of bup.
But even if Jabber does mean clean off bup, in jabbers over 3+ yrs here, in his threads/posts as well as during this same time, many threads/posts of others on 'getting clean - staying clean', it was not suggested their 'clean' word be changed.

Ya, the 'clean' word is a tough one to try to use. Just my 2 cents, Pelican

PS hope Jabber comes back to say a few words...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:33 pm 
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That is for Jabberwocky to clarify, Pelican.

I look at posts on a case by case basis. If a member says something about being clean once in a post, I am on alert. I definitely don't say anything if they also mention that buprenorphine saved their life and they think that it's a wonderful tool for opiate addicts.

In this case, Jabberwocky mentions being clean 5 times. This was the second post of his I read.

I answered Jab in another post where the poster, Qweets, had been off suboxone for 17 days. Jabberwocky congratulated Qweets for having started sobriety and recovery 17 days earlier and implied that he had just started being "clean".

Also Jabberwocky tapered and stepped off suboxone right around summer of 2014, about 2 1/2 years ago. His first post was in October of 2014 and he mentioned being 99 days off suboxone at that point.

So, he did mean that his "clean" time started when he stepped off suboxone. And this is his other post from yesterday:

"Hey Qweets,

I know what you're going through. I was there too, pretty damn terrified in those first days and not knowing a thing.

I'd say first and foremost congratulations man. 17 days is not easy and you're on a great start to launching your sobriety and recovery.

I would schedule an appointment with a general physician. Doctors typically don't want to prescribe any psychiatric meds unless a patient has been clean about 90 days, but he may suggest Celexa, an anti-anxiety medicine. He may not.

The reason I say this is because you say you're bipolar. That's bad news for your relapse chances, and you'll want to get a hold on that quickly so a downward mood swing doesn't prompt you to take pills.

The other tiger in the jungle is your dad. Getting clean is going to be difficult if you live with a user who's also your relative. I suggest you take a moment and have a frank, civil conversation with him about your own intentions to get sober and see if you can do it together if you haven't done that already. It'd be powerful to do that together, you can keep each other in check.

You'll want to play video games eventually. Trust me. Video games are used by soldiers with PTSD and I used it too. It's a great way to occupy the mind from the withdrawals but doesn't make you tired.

Other than that. Stay healthy. Stay hydrated. Keep walking. Keep being proud of every day you have clean. That's what helped me get through. You can do it man, I've been there too!"

Like I said, Pelican, I look at the totality of the situation. Jabberwocky is being really supportive in this post, which is always appreciated. But between the last post and this one, it's just a little too much. Many 12 step meetings tell addicts on buprenorphine and methadone that they are not clean, so we've heard this term in a negative context many times before. That's why I've asked Jabberwocky to clarify.

Thanks for you 2 cents. Your comments here are always appreciated even during the few times that we don't agree. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:06 pm 
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In my over thinking way of seeing things, just for me personally, I see it like this..... if Jabberwocky is offering great and wonderful support to the ppl that's off suboxone but still possibly seeing ppl that's still on suboxone as not clean, then how can I (a person still on suboxone and consider myself clean) feel about that? So.... I hope that makes sense. Being incredibly supportive to those that are newly off buprenorphine but making the others feel a weird type of way, then he shouldn't use the words clean because it'll definitely ruffle feathers.

If one truly feels that way, then maybe just keep it to themselves on a forum such as this one, is what I'm saying.

I definitely felt the same way Amy did yesterday when I read all those posts, but just wasn't brave enough I guess to say anything, which was obviously my fault.

In the end, it's no huge thing but kinda disrespectful to the rest of us. Pelican, u have always been so supportive to everyone and never ever made me feel any different from u and I truly appreciate that. So maybe everyone be more aware of the "clean" word :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:26 am 
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Hi All, just my 2 cents....clean is when you feel that your drug of choice is not in control anymore. This is what I believe for myself and this is how I counsel my clients. Have a wonderful day!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:52 am 
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Agreed Michelle, thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:00 pm 
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As a member of the rank and file, I just want to say I don't feel offended because of jabb's use of the word "clean".

OTOH, it's certainly fair for the mods to point out how some might take offense. For the 12 Steppers among us, life is hard "in the halls" . No need to make it any harder for those taking bupe. Or any more confusing.

To be 100 percent frank, I'm not sure I'm committed to believing I'm 100 percent clean myself. There've been plenty of times when I've thought of upping my dose on rough days, and a couple of times I've done it. But on subs, I'm protected from myself. Which is a very good thing. I feel right now that I need that protection. It makes complete sense to me now, the common recommendation that people stay on bupe for a least a year.

Ultimately "clean and sober" is a state of mind. Life isn't always clear with bright red lines to be guided by. I remember people taking flak in AA for using antidepressants, which of course is ridiculous


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:13 pm 
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I can completely understand defending suboxone when someone talks negatively about it, bc it truly does save lives but I didn't see anywhere in jabs post where he talks negatively about suboxone. He didn't imply that someone's life on suboxone is lesser than his, but his idea of being clean is being off of all substances, including suboxone. Personally it just bothers me how sidetrack posts get sometimes, anywho, just my humble opinion. Congrats Jab on 2.5 years off of suboxone! Keep it up!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Godfrey, I understand your perspective and thanks for chiming in.

I'm currently taking a class called Relapse Prevention. There are a kabillion acronyms in the treatment world and the new one I learned is called AVE the Abstinence Violation Effect. AVE is the guilt feelings, shame, and loss of control an addict feels when they relapse. Most addiction treatment in this country is founded on the Minnesota Model, which is based on 12 step programs. Why is AVE so common among relapsers? Because when they slip up they lose their "clean time". It is demoralizing. Treatment professionals know that AVE causes a lapse to spiral into a relapse.

I think of some of the things that TJ has written here. Like about when he lost his clean time in NA. He went on a long bender because, what the hell?? He lost his clean time! And he has had friends who have gone through the same experience, but didn't make it out the other end. They died from overdose. Relapse for opiate addicts is a very high risk experience, especially from the point of abstinence. That's why you hear of addicts fresh out of rehab who die the first time back to using. Although their tolerance is low, they go back to the same amount they were using before, so they overdose.

These are the reasons I don't react well to the concept of "clean" and "clean time", particularly for opiate addicts. An alcoholic can go on a bender and have negative consequences, but their moms don't usually find them blue and unresponsive. The emphasis on clean time and its loss is potentially destructive. There are other ways to motivate addicts to comply with their program.

The last thing is that I'm looking out for the current members here and the future ones. When Jabberwocky or anyone else tells people how they will feel when they are clean. There are plenty of addicts who will think, "So I'm not clean. I guess I'm dirty. I guess my method of recovery is sub par and not true recovery." I'm not worried about members like you Godfrey. But not everyone has used 12 step programs as part of their recovery. They shouldn't have to feel stigma when they come here. Jabberwocky could replace every "clean" with "off suboxone". That would be a factual statement with no judgment associated with it. He has chosen not to. That speaks volumes to me about his opinion.

If anyone else wants to make an argument over the use of "clean" please start a thread in "Freestyle", where you are free from moderation to a large extent. Everyone can write their opinion there.

Thanks for listening.

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:30 pm 
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I need to add that I looked up the last time Jabberwocky was on the forum and it is the same day he posted. So he could be quite unaware of the posts on his thread.

What I said about him not changing his wording after I asked him is most likely not accurate. I don't know if he was planning to update and move on, so I can't say that his unedited post means anything.

Just wanted to be fair and clarify.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Hi Amy,

Thats' all very nicely expressed and I get it completely. I have all the respect in the world for you and the rest of the mods. While I wasn't personally offended as I said, it's obviously not a good word choice and I certainly wouldn't have used it. jabber seems like a well meaning, sincere fellow and there's a culture here he might not have been aware of. I don't know his history, if any, on the forum, so I'm just speculating.

When someone using bupe proudly states he or she is clean and sober, I totally buy it. Dr. Junig has a great post somewhere on so-called character defects and how they tend to disappear in opiate addicts who are on maintenance therapy.... because they're free from the need to go out and find drugs and because they've been freed from cravings.

Over and over again I hear how people are so grateful to e free. Grateful people aren't likely to relapse, which is the bottom line it seems to me.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:13 pm 
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No one is right or wrong here but everyone has to be taken in consideration-lurkers,members and future members.

I actually sent this PM to Jabberwocky right after I posted my comment.

Hey Jabberwocky! I'm so happy that you tapered off of your Suboxone and are doing well! That is awesome!! I just wanted to give some advice, maybe a "head's up ". Please don't feel like you are being attacked in the responses to your comments-. You know we are a sensitive bunch and feel like we ARE CLEAN by taking our medication. We also have to think people about who might read this in the future and are trying to decide on Suboxone therapy and decide not to take it because they would not be clean or in recovery-that person could try to quit drugs and succeed(for a while) without Suboxone, relapse(as many,many do) and overdose. The "not clean enough" attitude is what gets people to quit Suboxone too soon (and with the relapse rates high for someone doing that) and if they relapse it could most certainly cause an overdose. I just don't want you to feel unwelcome or make you feel like we aren't proud of your huge accomplishment-we are, we just don't like someone telling us that we aren't clean-because we most certainly are! Just wanted to let you know our view, and to tell you not to take it personal-and keep posting!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:38 pm 
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I don't think Amy really has to defend why she or I responded this way. We have every member in mind when we post what we post. Not every member will be offended or take it like I or others may have, and that's great, but think of the ppl it did make feel less than.

So imo we should always be looking for healthy ways to respect all of us, and if changing a word does that then please do it. I don't think anyone was rude to jabber, we just asked to change a word that could have offended some of us..... there's nothing wrong with that. I have asked ppl before to not use the clean word like that, before I was a moderator here.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:04 pm 
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Hi Jenn,

I don't think anyone was challenging Amy or you. I certainly wasn't. In fact I didn't even disagree with
Amy. I only said I wasn't personally offended and gave my own personal reasons for that. Then I went on
to actually defend her position, especially by sympathizing with bupe people who have a hard time in AA because there's a bunch of know-it-alls trying to tell them they're not sober. That's destructive there, and it's destructive here.

My point about not being offended by the word had to do with my own personal struggles, during the first
few months in MAT.

.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:02 am 
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I think that we've all come to a good understanding with each other and I'm grateful that we can talk these things through and have people explain their positions.

One of the things I know I can always count on Jenn for is having my back and making sure I feel supported. In fact she does that for many members here. I hope to do that as well as she does someday. Another thing I love about Jenn is that she's always looking out for the feelings of our members here, especially anyone who might be an underdog, like a member who might feel that they are not good enough because of what some other member said. That's all that's happening here, I think.

HTown, I think it was very sweet of you to message Jabberwocky and help explain the position of those who might feel bad at the implication that we are not clean enough or good enough.

Godfrey, thank you for continuing to dialog and for giving us your point of view.

I'm always so proud to be here among so many great people who truly care about each other.

Thanks guys!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:27 am 
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Godfrey, my post wasn't anything towards u & I'm so sorry if u felt that way! Gosh if I'd thought u thought I meant it towards u I would have messaged u immediately, but I just saw ur post. I know u meant no harm :)

I just wanted Amy to know she didn't do anything wrong or wasn't being supported in her response, so she was right about that's what I meant lol, she knows me well :)
Thank u Amy!

And HTown, awesome thinking on that pm, was very cool of u.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:59 am 
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As someone who just returned to the forum, I'd like to throw my response in, if no one minds.

I also took the OP's use of the word "clean" off bupe to mean that those of us on it aren't, thereby, "clean". I've felt "clean" (I've always hated that word) - let's just say in remission - ever since I started on sub and straight through until I slipped after being off sub for over 2 years. It was being off my DOC that put me in remission or in active addiction. It's whether my life is in control or out of control. I could go on...

I also have to say I had little to no trouble getting off suboxone. I told my story here at the time and by no means did I experience any fogginess or haziness or mood issues for any time afterward, nor did I experience any PAWS. If anyone has questions about how I got off it (and why I got back on it), just ask.

JMHO

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