on the subject of addiction...do we really want to be drug free...free of the chains this disease gives ya...good topic at yesterdays a/a meeting was letting go of old ideas and thoughts and to day im sittin here thinkin of the rat race,insane stuff i used to do to obtain prescription narcotics...today i got a script filled for some medicine the doc prescribed and the thought of jumpin the counter at one time and fillin a santa claus size bag had crossed my mind...at one time..but id end up in jail...ended up in jail once for dui under narcotics...i was in a drug physcosis...today im very embarresed thinking of that one...we have all done some stupid stuff we regret,eh?...how serious am i of quitting drugs?...i go to a/a every week and its gettin to be healthy to talk about drugs/alchol and how the disease effected other folks and its inspiring to listen how some one has been free of opiates for2 months,2 years,we even have a couple of folks,they come every week...they are 20 years into sobriety...but they know what can happen and how fast it can,too.....most of the time im here at my restaurant thinkin to myself how am i goin to beat this thing for real,with my back pain and all....im not just gonna say,yeah come on,lets go and win this one....you have to prove you have it whipped......the first step is knowing you cant control the disease you have.....can you control your addiction.....honesty is the first step to recovery and its hard sometimes being honest even with yourself when you are addicted......yes or no..........chef
Honesty is everything, Chef, and I think a clean mind allows me to be honest now. When I was using, I could justify ANYTHING in my mind, no matter how irrational, or at what risk. I know the only way I can control the addiction is to not put that ***** in my body, so that my brain has the ability to recognize whether I am being honest or not, and act accordingly. Excellent post.
Last edited by User 205000; 04-19-2004 at 02:04 PM.
Chef, If recovery is the ultimate goal, what about short term goals? I have one that seems to be helping me. I keep thinking if I hold on the the little ones, I'll have a better chance at the big one. Your thoughts?...
i was just thowin some thoughts out there for folks to think/ponder about,dealin with their own recovery.....and honesty/honesty with oneself is a small goal...once they have obtained it they can strive towards the ultimate goal.....i look at the 12 steps as small goals that need to be acheived before i can become a sober person again....however,the last time i was sober for lets say 6 months i was 14 years old...ill have alot of fun growin up again...look at all i missed and im 44 now.......chef
Chef - When I think honestly about me being totally clean - I mean totally, I get so terribly scared, I just want to die. I do not believe that I can get off of Suboxone and NOT go back to using. I don't think that I could attend meetings as frequently as I would need to to stay clean. I don't even have time to take a shower some days or go to the grocery store. Seriously, I was going to work out during my lunch hour at work (which I always thought I could use that to go to a meeting if I needed too) and now I don't even get to take a lunch anymore because of work.
My problem is, the Suboxone is working SO WELL for me... why should I get off of it? Why should I get off and fight those cravings every single day for the rest of my life when it has me doing so well? I'm telling you - even my counselor cannot believe at how I'm doing. I've found a church and have my children and myself in church for the first time ever (for the kids... about 10 years for me). This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. Something I've wanted to do for years and was too scared to go to a church were I didn't know anybody.
I'm also keeping my house cleaner now. (apartment). At my old house, it was so messy that If DHR ever came over there, I honestly think they would have removed my kids. And the thing is, me not cleaning has been a problem my entire life, not just since I started on drugs. I guess my point is, I'm more of the kind of person I wanted to be prior to me ever being an addict, now that I'm on Suboxone. The ONLY thing I hate is the weight gain and you know that it must be doing some amazing stuff for a single woman who is usually thin but puts up w/weight gain. I'm just doing so much better and I'm serious - even better than before the addiction started... I mean way before!
So what do you do? Get off, go through withdrawals and fight the lifelong fight every single day, every single minute instead of going to a doc four times a year to get meds? Seriously, it's a very hard decision and I know you can relate. Even though you need meth for pain, I use Sub to be normal. And to be able to FEEL in relationships and have normal relationships. It's all very, very difficult to think about and deal with. I worry sometimes that my doctor will be (what's the word for Dis-barred for medical docs) and then I will be screwed because of no meds...
I appreciatey you posting this and making us all think about this.
User - I am very proud of you for doing what you are doing. You have to realize that you are an exception to the rule... doing this without the assistance of AA/NA or anything else is quite amazing. Most people cannot quit like you have done, by themselves. It's just not possible. The drug has too much power over addicts. Seriously, I honestly believe you have done an amazing job and you should be very proud of yourself. I also think that if you leave this board, you are leaving people that you could potentially be saving. I know we have disagreed in the past, but it doesn't mean that I do not have the upmost respect for you and again, am just in awe at what you've been able to accomplish. I have to ask you - how in the world is it that you do not have cravings? Seriously, how are you doing this ALL BY YOURSELF? I just don't get it. I've heard so many times people say addiction is not about willpower. So what are you doing?
Banker, I quit because I didn't have a choice, and when one doesn't have a choice, that means one MUST do what is necessary to save one's life, and everything they value...spouse, children, career, money, freedom, etc. I am not proud. I am angry and disgusted that I put everyone and everything valuable to me at risk. What if I had been arrested or killed? What if I had crashed my car with my family as passengers? What if I had lost my professional licenses? For whatever reason, these things did not happen, but they could have, and I must take stock of this and stop this cycle now.
Are these drugs powerful? You bet. Look at me...on paper, I have a career people would die for, I am well educated, perfect house, perfect family, perfect pets, and yet, the drug reduced me to the level of a street addict.
With respect to the cravings, I believed that if I rid my body of chemical influence, over time, the physical cravings would subside, as my body returned to normal. This has happened. Mentally, if I CHOOSE not to put drugs into my body, they cannot influence me. If I don't have them, I can't take them. If I did have them, now, I wouldn't take them (but I won't temp fate ;-)) I did this by myself (with some initial encouragement from people like you, here) because I am the only person who can control what goes into my body. I have decided it is MY WILLl to not be addicted to drugs. In the end, we, and we alone, are responsible for our actions. So to answer your question, "what am I doing," I have simply decided, in a moment of clarity between doses, that I was going to stop abusing hydrocodone, find another solution to my pain issues, and I quit.
I know you have come a long way, and I am proud of you. I really am. But you have asked "why would I want to get off it (the sub)". Three reasons: First, do you really want to take a narcotic and anti depressants the rest of your life? I know there is no euphoria with sub, but it is still a narcotic, and it changes your brain chemisty, and comes with ample warnings. Second, and you already know this, these medications affect your body and mind, as evidenced by your car accident last week, and auto piloting to day care. Third, and I think this one may surprise you, but I believe that you can overcome the cravings you fear. I know this terrifies you, but I am telling you (and I think I was taking a lot more hydro than you were) that they go away. What we have to change are our habits. If you get a craving, simply think about what you risk or could loose if you cave in to it. You are obviously an intellegent woman, who has already lost some things important to you, are working to get them back, and already have, but, would you risk it all again? I don't think you would. I am also convinced that once you stopped taking these drugs, your confidence will build, and what you think you feel now in relationships will be even better, like it was before, and maybe more so with wisdom. Bottom line, addiciton is different for everyone. If you think meetings are a good idea, and they would help you, then go to meetings. If you don't think you could go as much as you think you need, re-prioritize, or simply call your sponsor, who would be there for you whenever you needed. Don't be in awe of me...I'm just like you, and decided to save my life, since I was the only one that could.
ps: I think you should join that rock band. My guess is that your depression would be gone after the first set! Best wishes, Glen
I am still in awe no matter what you say. O.K. This post is to everyone as well as you. What about the 'big book' that says 'we are powerless to this disease'? I felt completely out of control when I searched for a doctor to help me. I mean, to the point of suicide - I could NOT stop taking drugs. I honestly FELT that I had no control. The drugs controlled me (Sub and others still do, I guess but I can function).
You are right - I would really like to not have to take anything and just be normal. I would like to be able to drink a glass of wine on a date - but I can't because of my meds I'm on. I would like to LOSE WEIGHT - but I can't because of the meds. They have really screwed my metabolism up as well as me starving ALL of the time. There are many reasons why I don't want to be dependant upon drugs. But the thing is, and you said it perfectly - I almost lost everything. I am so scared that I would not be strong enough and I would CAVE into those cravings and then be right back to where I was. It's like Suboxone is my insurance that I won't abuse hydros. In fact, it's exactly like that... and of course it comes with a price which are the things we both have listed. My counselor (who knows I have NO self control at all) has begged me to stay on it because I am such a different person now. She has said 'just give it a year'... she wants me to learn how to live life out of the habit of a drug addict. Know what I mean, dr shopping, buying off of the streets, etc.
You have to know that people who end up overdosing and losing everything they have - want to live just as badly as you do. What about those people? Why can't they stop abusing drugs? What is the difference between me and you - why can you do it and I can't? Can it be simply a matter of will power? Again, I've heard so many times that we do not have control over drugs... this is why we are addicts. So you DO have control over these pills... It's really is amazing what you have done and I mean it.
And you're right about the band - my lifelong dream. I would LOVE it!!! But would it really be appropriate for a VP and mother of three to sing in a band? lol
B, give it the year... she is right. Let me make an observation that may answer your question about caving or not caving in. I think that once someone is drug free, the sense of gain (on a daily basis) is one that you don't want to throw away (like an alchoholic not taking a drink), especially after working so hard to get there. And, the more time that passes allows for better judgement, as the brain is free of chemicals. Don't underestimate will power, especially given one's realization of what is at stake. Oh, and regarding the band, I have friends who are CEO's, attorneys, a bank president, etc. that play in bands. Go for it! It sounds like you have a gift, so share it with others, and you will be doing something enjoyable for yourself.
Last edited by User 205000; 04-20-2004 at 09:30 AM.
Thanks user - see... don't leave this board. I don't think you understand just how motivating you can be and I'm serious. I don't just type to type. I mean it! In addition, I don't hand out compliments but you are living proof that it CAN be done and Lynn is so right when she says we need clean people here to show us that life goes on without drugs and that people are actually happy.
Can I tell you how many threads I've seen where addicts are thirsting to hear success stories. They are dying to know that it can be done and that they will not have to suffer every single day of their lives. Everything happens for a reason in my opinion - and your calling may just be to help people. Now, if staying on this board is going to jeopordize your sobriety by 'being around' and the 'condoning' of drug use, then by all means, don't stay. But I would love for you to be around here for a long time to continue to help people.
Who knows - maybe you can help me one of these days when I'm trying to fight those cravings after I get off of Sub. I've always said 'if/when' I get off... at least now I'm saying 'AFTER' only because I do feel like I will want to get off one of these days. Maybe sooner than later because apparently, people can stay clean and have happy lives without anything.
Another question for you - do you think will power is something learned, inherited, or just a simple matter of choice? I'm a smoker as well and it's hell. Why can some people do it and others can't. Is it truly who wants it more? Honestly, I cannot figure it out. Thanks again for all of your help. You really, honestly are an inspiration.
B, I thought I was ******* off people more than I was helping them, which is the last thing I wanted to do. I am just a blunt and straight forward person. If you two think I am wrong, then I will help anyone who wants it. And I recognize that I am clean today, but tomorrow is a new challenge. If you decide you want to get off sub, I'll be there for you...count on it. If you don't, I will be there for you anyway, but I am going to keep trying to help you convince yourself you won't need it forever. One thing that influenced my thinking on living a life with no medication was that pain clinic experience I described. They had me on so many meds, that they were basically treating side effects of side effects. It was a viscous cycle. So I do think that people can live happy lives without anything, once the body adjusts back to normal.
As far as your question about will power, I think it is a combination of the three elements you mentioned. I, for one, am about as "type A" as you can get (big surprise, huh? lol), have always been strong willed, yet, my will totally escaped me with this addicition. Go figure. Truly wanting something is key, but when I was under the influence of hydro, my will was subverted. It takes a serious event, wake-up call, or something similar to make your brain, when influenced by a narcotic, to bend to your will. Once your brain is free, however, your will can be implemented much easier, because the barrier to clear thought is gone. Does this make any sense? And thank you for the warm comments.
Last edited by User 205000; 04-20-2004 at 12:38 PM.
Chef and User--Uh oh, I'm 58 and ya know what? Unless I plan to make it to 116--I'm no longer with you guys--at the half-way point!! LOL!!
The question you pose, Chef, is at the crux of my own addiction. Do I WANT to give up drugs!?! I finally admitted to myself that, although I've had no trouble controlling and keeping down the number of pills I take, I have not wanted to completely give up those ridiculous 20 minutes or so of "inspiration" I get from taking one. And the truth is..I really no longer get much of a reaction, anyway. (One 500 mg hydro at a time (about 5 a day....or half a 40 mg oxy a few times a day (I don't mix the two) may not be a horrendous habit compared to others....but it's my inability to 100 percent WANT to completely stop that is challenging me. That is why I always hesitate to answer certain posts..I just have no right to. Because my small supply is coming to a permanent end, I will soon join the ranks of the "clean"--but what a ignoble way to do it!!! Not exactly a "coming clean" story to lift the hearts at my neighborhood NA meeting!! :-(
Being rather a loner anyway, it took me a long time to figure out that wanting to spend ALL of my time either with just myself, or my twin, was NOT the way I had lived years ago. I just sort of slunk into a sort of agoraphobia after a very bad depression two years ago...and kind of stayed there. No wish to get out (other than having to get to my very busy job)..and certainly no wish to arrange to see friends on weekends or in the evenings. I KNOW the pills exacerbated that trait in me. Yet....I continue to hold onto those pills...a low-enough dose to keep me just "okay"--but high enough to have changed my day-to-day life. I almost didn't answer your post...'cause I didn't feel "honest" at all. It's such a good, simple question....and I suddenly realized I did not want to deal with the answer. So, Chef, thanks for making me do a reality check. I'm very good at "making believe." :-) So--your posts have been invaluable to me, in their honesty. You guys sure "cut to the chase" so much quicker than we women do. :-) Women can't stop the analyzing...and the "schmoozing." LOL! (Or adding smiley icons and writing LOL all the time!!!)
PS. Chef--any new, good books about the restaurant business or by more chefs with an axe to grind? (Those are fun!!) I think I've read most of them that were written--but you'd be the one to know what's just come out! (I also have a great book on "Reviewers"--critics--and how they affect restaurant's chances.)
Lynn, let me tell you something: Everything you just wrote, we have all thought. I think it is very honest. I am not sure anyone really wants to quit...these drugs are damm good, aren't they. But I think, like I said to Banker, that we get one good scare, and hope it isn't too late, then realize we have to quit. At least that is what happened to me. Do I miss the buzz? Sure. But I can say now that the buzz of life is better (and I never thought that possible). I "see" things now that I haven't seen in years. btw, men and women do communicate differently, much to the exasperation of my wife!
Last edited by User 205000; 04-20-2004 at 11:21 AM.
Thanks, User. Getting "scared" about drugs was what cut my dosage way down!! I could feel these "zap" like feelings in the brain. Not good....noooooooo way!!
Although we had lots of great political, philosophical, etc. conversations together, my ex-husband would tend to remove 99 percent of the emotion from the issue we were discussing....which meant that I had little left to say. LOLOL! :-)