I had another thought during this weekend, seems like I only think deeply on the weekends LOL, probably so as Iím too tired to think after putting in a full day at work.
Iím kind of focusing on post opiate addiction verses pre-addiction because sometime I think we take things for granted or loose site that post addiction has so many key factors and issues to manage and address. During our struggle in getting through the physical and emotional sides of post addiction I noticed a key strategy I needed to employ to remain drug free moving forward. Itís fairly simple, I recognized that getting off the drugs was a battle I had won, but I also realized it was just one of the battles we will encounter during our War with addiction. I recognized fairly early on, once free from drugs, that each and every day I had at a minimum, thought about the drugs I had taken. The thoughts varied but the issue was I could not go a day without thinking about the drugs as it related to my life and aspects of my life. It wasnít so much the urge to start using again, although when first free from drugs there are strong cravings or longings for capturing that ďhighĒ. It was more along the lines of missing a friend I had become so intimate with. I would remember for this event I would supplement with the pills, or for this social event I would supplement with the pills or this emotional issue would require pills to numb or get through the issue. Constant thinking about pills and how they touched the many aspects of my life. I was and still deathly afraid that this constant thinking will test my resolve and allow me to slip back into the throws of pain med addiction.
This is where I decided that my strategy is to mange this as if it is truly a war. Every day is a battle, and every day I canít let my guard down. Even today, there isnít a day that doesnít go by where I donít think of the pills in some fashion or another. IT IS, WHAY IT IS (remember that from my other post?) I guess its just another burden of addiction, but Iím not going to sweat this one, WHAT IS, IS, Iím focusing on what I can do moving forward, to continue to fight the battles and war and focus in on continuing to win the battles so I can win the war in the end. So key in on WINNING, be stubborn, you have so much invested with so much good to enjoy. Now I know there are a number of ways to fight battles (AA, NA, group, individual therapy, etc.) and I wonít go into these as most know where they need to go or be but if your having troubles along these lines just ask for help here and Iím sure you will get an abundance of ideas, direction and support.
Not sure this makes sense but if it does hope it helps some out.
Hi Phil! (The war, the battles, skirmishes) You tapered off & I am trying. I'm beginning to see that the notion of a "quick fix" has been a huge stumbling block to me, & just another one of (my) addiction related false concepts. "A reality I created that is consistently replaced by the truth." This taper is slow, hard work! Addiction is my lifelong fact, and this very structured, so tedious attention to detail is not fun. Then again, there is also a renewal of strengths I forgot I had! The tradeoff, - less & less of the drug & more & more self-confidence. And oh yeah, - from a very wise former coach, (he'd be approx. 95 years old today!) - "proper preperation prevents poor performance." Sounded corny way back when - but this IS a war filled with so many battles!
You mention "waging a war" in your addiction on a continual basis in order to beat it. I would like to respectfully take the opposite approach in my journey. I surrender. When I surrender it means I don't want to fight anymore and I admit defeat.Only then do I feel that the insanity of my war (addiction) is over, the chains can be broken, I can begin to clean up the wreckage of the battle (addiction), and choose a new peaceful (clean) way to live.
If I keep fighting a war in my head it WILL be a battle and I'll be constantly struggling back and forth making excuses of why and why I shouldn't drink that wine or take that pill. This causes me much undo stress and will increase my likelyhood of relapse. It did cause me stress this weekend because I was "waging that war" with my enemy, the addiction. You know the old saying, "you may have won the battle but you haven't won the WAR." Just for today I will chose to lay down my arms and SURRENDER and pick up the pieces.
I'm not saying I am where I want to be. Far from it. Part of me IS fighting that war you mention and NA hints on the "surrender" approach in its literature and that is very intriguing to me.
To each his own, whatever works for you. In my mind I canít rationalize the word or phrase surrender. I can rationalize acknowledgement far more readily. I acknowledge I have an addiction issue and I choose to fight with all my facilities to stay drug free and reclaim control of my life and what is best for my health, success and contentment. As long as Iím making a conscience (proactive) effort vs. sub-conscience then I consider myself fighting for the end results. If using the thought process of surrender accomplishes similar results then by all means use it to its fullest extent. Whatever works. Like math, there is always multiple mathematical solutions to a problem.
Thought I would clarify,
Last edited by Philster2003; 01-25-2005 at 08:48 AM.
I'm a fighter Phil...and i like that attitude and this post really has helped me today....Thanks Phil, you are top-notch in my book!
I am finally able to accept that YES, i will be fighting off feelings for pills for the rest of my life. But i can put up one heck of a fight!!!!
luv ya tons,
Isn't it great to know there is more than one way to a clean and sober life? Surrendering or giving up the notion that I could control my drug taking has been a great turning point in this battle. I absolutely can't control it once I take it. But I have to watch out for that first one. I also have to consider my reasons, triggers and what I will do when I have an urge or desire to use. Addiction is something I will always have to be on the lookout for. The strangest things can make us crave. I know I will always have battles with my addiction. It is the sneak attacks or craves I have to be on guard for.
Mike, I'm so happy you are here. I love reading your posts. I'm glad to see you got right back in after a little stumble. Thanks for your honesty. It helps us all.
I agree...it is a battle and we've got to fight it everyday. Addiction can be so sneaky - and I just think that when we let out guard down it makes us vulnerable. I've seen too many people relapse because they thought, "oh, I'm okay now." Getting clean is not the hardest part of this - it's staying clean and I think a lot of people forget that.
I think that NA and AA are good programs and I think people can learn a lot there but I guess I just never really liked the idea of "surrendering" to the disease. To me it just sounds too much like giving up. I'd rather fight.
I see it as putting an end to the insanity. Let's face it drug abuse is insanity as is war. You can't pick up the pieces until the war is over. When war is over there is peace, restoration, and ammends to be made to ourselves and loved ones that we hurt. I just love this analogy right now. How about calling it a "truce" or "cease fire" instead?
I fought the good "battle" over the weekend. I ended up drinking some wine and taking a pill. Not a tragedy by any means but still a slip. Since thinking about raising the white flag to my addiction and compulsion to use I haven't even thought about using the past 3 days.
I like this discussion. It's a very interesting difference in philosophy on staying clean.
Keep the posts coming.
Thanks toomany for the very kind words, and thanks everybody for sharing their take on this subject.
Hi - Amazing how we can "sound" so different while working towards a "common" goal! Someone stated it very clearly - "so great to know there are so many (different) ways to get well!" Man, that sure makes sense to me!
I have been an AA "drop in as needed" type, for 9 years because it just "helps" sometimes. Simply knowing I am w/others attempting positive changes is enough. 9 years w/out a drink & now working a taper off pain medication plan, & AA still helps. Posts help, so many things help & "whatever works" is as "effective" as the individual's desire to recover. It's all so very good! Best wishes to all,
I fought the good "battle" over the weekend. I ended up drinking some wine and taking a pill. Not a tragedy by any means but still a slip.
I hear you. I quit an Oxy addiction Cold Turkey back on January 3rd. That first few days were a living hell. I beat the worst of the withdrawls but then did a small 20mg OC on the 6th day, went another 6 days clean and then got ahold of a few more and did a few 20s over the weekend. Dabbled with a 20 here and a 20 there over the course of the next week, doing one then not doing one for 2 days, etc. I am, once again, about 42 hours into another cold turkey stopping of using OCs.
It is like fighting a battle. 30 yards forward, 10 yards back. Another 40 yards forward, then the enemy drives you back another 10 to 15 yards, until one day, you are the sole army standing on the battlefield watching the enemy retreat, hoping that he won't regain strength with additional forces and come back at you. If you feel him coming back, you duck your head, dig in , and take him on, again.
I'm not ashamed for dabbling back with the OCs a little. I know I have an addiciton that needs to be defeated and I will. These are small setbacks in my battle. I was doing 20mgs - 40mgs daily for 1 1/2 years. For the last couple of months up to the new year, I was doing 80mgs - 120mgs daily. So, when I quit back on 1/3, the symptoms were relentless. So far, I haven't had to go through them again. I did a 20mg at around 8:00pm on Monday night. It is now 2:15pm on Wednesday and I am doing OK. I slept well last night without doing any and I feel pretty good. Arms are feeling a little weird (the restless arms during my withdrawls are the worst) and my stomach is a little woosie, although I have an appetite, but my dose has been so low that maybe I am winning the battle. I will quit them all together. For now, I am happy with winning the small battles.
Last edited by Proward; 01-26-2005 at 12:16 PM.