I told my wife (again) and I am starting the taper. How do I make this work? Why is this different than before? Why do we (opiate users) fail so much? I will make it through, but how will I stay off forever. We need opiates for REAL reasons. That is what confuses me. What if? surgery, injury, etc. doesnt seem fair. I have come FULL CIRCLE. I changed my screen name. I have 300 + post, but I coudnt deal with the screen name. Makes me think of meds. I DONT NOT WANT to be that guy. I am in some serious mental stuff right now. dont exspect answers just thoughts on recovery and how to make it work.
I think most opiate users fail because they quit for the wrong reasons and haven't reached that place, mentally, that you need to be in. A lot on this board have had to quit because they had no choice. Some out of guilt. Some, because they are just tired of it. Whatever the case, if you aren't in the right place in your mind I don't think it can be done successfully. If I had been forced to quit, I couldn't have done it. It had to be done when I was ready. For me it was fear. I scared myself into quitting by allowing myself to feel how bad the drug was controlling me by going through WDs for a day. THat scared me beyond belief. That combined with being tired of the constant doctors appts., pharmacy visits, pill counting, schedule checking, the constand worry when I traveled or wanted to travel, the loss of my sex drive etc. Whatver high the drug gave me, and that short temporary feeling of well being and the warm "everything is going to be alright" feeling was not worth all that comes with it. The dulling of the physical pain that it did may have made life bearable for a time, but there has to be a time where you have to allow your body and mind to try control your pain without the pills. That is my hope anyway as I near my halfway point in my taper.
I think you need to do some serious soul searching, talk to anybody you can, get some help and try to find that place in your mind that you need to be able to succeed. Think about what works for you as a motivator. It has always been fear for me. WHat is your motivator. Money, love, fear, pain? FInd a way to use that to your advantage. Once you have that motivator, it will become a driving force for you. It will give you strength. Try to find a place in your life when you were pain and drug free. Think about how that felt. Remind yourself everyday, because it is often hard to remember that there was such a time. But the more you think about it, the clearer that memory will be, and the more you will realize that there was a time you were able to be happy drug free and there will be a time again.
Hey Full Circle, you newbie LOL
Wonder if we spoke in your other life. There are a few people I have not seen post recently that I'm kinda worried about. It's almost 1am and as usual, even with a sleep aide, I'm awake. I've been off daily addiction to hydrocodone for 6 weeks now. I had some extreme headaches while trying a new anti-depressant, cymbalta, and some hydrocodone came my way. Well, with the headache as bad as it was, I took some. It numbed the pain, but I did not get the good feeling I used to get from it. That was a good thing. I still have it and am not taking it. If it made me feel good, I'd be back full circle where you are now. I hope we don't need surgery or have an injury that will call for opiates, but I know if the pain was horrific, I'd have to take it. I'm sorry you are starting over. I can't say with certainty that it won't happen to me also as it seems to for so many people. I've thought of changing my name also, just because when I was trying to find a name that was not already taken, I came up with Granny0. So I think people think I'm some real old lady or something. Not young, 47, just not that old yet although I feel old as dirt! I hope it helps to hear from someone who can relate to you. Best wishes for a new and permanant beginning.
Thanks for all the nice words. I am kind of numb right now. For the last 5 years I have always been super motivated to quit becasue I get SICK OF the pills. They dont work the same and I see what I am doing to myself. ie scared of dieing etc. BUT and this is the BIG BUT --It always about 1 month later and the demon creeps back into my head, so I completely agree that I need a NEW motivator at that time. I lose focus and BANG, slip right back in. I know there is always a way to get pills, but I have completely shut off my means this time. I have told my DR., I have said on all records that I am Allergic to Vicodin, The online pharmacies are going down the tube (i hope they get busted big time) and they are getting very strict on records (1 year instead of 2 and MRI reports etc ) That is REALLY GOOD. I do realize that is all FLUFF, the real change has to happen inside me.
Had to think about your post for a while before responding. I had to think what was the biggest hinderance in my stopping the drugs before I was forced to do so. It was fear. I know this and understand it now more fully than ever before. It was fear of what my life was going to be like without the drug crutch. Fear that maybe I couldn't function without the drugs. fear that maybe I would be very sad without them. Fear that I would miss them too much both physically and emotionally. And I didn't begin to understand this until I was already tapering for quite a while and finally accepted that my life was going out despite the fact that I was coming off the drugs and that eventually I would be off them altogether.
Now I am off them, and as life has continued, I see more and more clearly that the fear was without warrant. As I face more and more life situations on a daily basis and do not, can not, reach freely for a drug to fog the issue, I realize that I survive despite no drug help. As time passes, we begin to see drugs differently than we have in the past. We see them for the purpose they were designed... as a short term aid usually for some medical issue and not for psychological issues ( there are different meds for that). The thinking changes and becomes more embedded in us the more time passes. The new thinking just becomes a part of us, part of out everyday normal thinking. it is healed thinking. Our thinking became very sick when we crossed that line from use of drugs to abuse of drugs. The mind heals off of them the same as the body heals and restores.
I think that perhaps you have not let yourself stay off the drugs long enough for the thinking metamorphosis to take place. It is where we often fail when we don't have a strong aftercare plan in place. The safeguards are all good... like cutting off access, telling doctors and pharmacies, that kind of stuff. With enough safeguards in place, we can make it off drugs. However, unless we give ourselves enough time off the drugs to rid ourselves of the fear of missing them, we stay in jeopardy, in harm's way. The thinking can change! It does, but just like with the initial detox and withdrawal, it is a process that takes time. We make time happen for us by arming ourselves with knowledge on what to do when cravings, when temptation hits. Perhaps you need more knowledge of these things? More tools in your arsenal to protect yourself when the tests come... and they do.
I was able to arm myself well and when I had to have morphine for severe pain this past weekend, it didn't turn into an issue at all for me. I was tested, I survived the test and I am feeling relief and happiness because of this. I am in no way alone in this. Many others have found this to be true also. It is here for you. Know it will be a lifelong committment, but that we deal with it day by day.
Hi reach --we are close. I am an open honest person, so I will not lie to you (of all people). You are special and we hold a bond ( cancer etc). Its MEDDGUY. I HATED that screenname and wanted to change it this time around. I had a great summer and now I have slipped again. Your words and the fact that you are still clean make me smile and have faith. I need to make this work this time. Reach, you help. This time feels different. I stopped at a time that I normally wouldnt. I hate the pills, but you are right, I fear losing them. The taper is boring. Wd's-----whatever, I will get through it once again, but its the next step that I need help with. I am a very successful, smart, energetic person, that is a ADDICT. I need to stay clean and get on with my life --LIKE YOU.
O (that is a full circle --97 -07 --year i had cancer and all this pill crap started --at the end of 07 --it will be 10 years. I want it over)
Oh, I love you! It was tormenting me not to be sure who you are for sure. My dear friend, I am so very glad you are here and working this out. And you will work it out. I have no doubt of that. Your committtment is there... I think it is more the ability to handle the challenge when you are feeling the draw that has caused the relapses. There is a huge need to figure out why the draw for the drug continues.
For me, I now understand that even though I thought I had dealt with the cancer in me, I always felt it a great insult, a great hurt, that God allowed it to occur in me. The whole year before my own saga with it began, I took care of my Mom and Dad and uncle who had been diagnosed within just 3 short weeks of each other. Oh, I was superwoman through it all. I used intellect to understand something in my mind that my feelings never really were in sync with. When the conflict between the two would come, I hid behind a huge sense of humor and tried to laugh my way through it. When it was finally all over, after my Dad and Uncle died the ame day, after my Mom survived, after I survived, there were no more physical issues to deal with. Only the emotions were left and I obviously couldn't deal with them and that is when the first huge bout of depression hit. And I I got better, thinking with my mind that I had worked through the issues, I think that is when the line began to be crossed from use of drugs to abuse of drugs. Oh, the drugs were being used legitimately enough for physical pain, but I believe now that I was using them simutaneously to not deal with all the emotional pain that was still so deep inside me that I could not allow to the surface. I feared that emotional pain more than I feared anything else. I feared the hurt, the insult, the great sense of loss of so much in my secure world that I didn't think I could bear it. All my coping strategies were intellect-based. Figure out practical solutions, find the humor in all situations, use my smarts to handle all issues. Rule with my brain, not my heart, be strong, be brave. And when my heart felt so broken, I tried to use my mind to fix that, too, and it just wasn't possible. grieving for ourselves, for the loss of others just can not be done with the mind. We must allow our souls to feel the emotions and THEN we can go on.
So, I used the drugs to fog out the emotions, the fears. And then I had a heart attack. You know what? All that day, I knew exactly what was happening to me on an intellectual basis. I mean what jerk stays at work with arm pain, shortness of breath and times the minutes of the chest pain like labor minutes????? What jerk does that? The kind of jerk that does not have the emotional wherewithall to face up emotionally to another life-threatening situation, that's who. I just couldn't deal with it. So I didn't. So I had the heart attack. And what did I do? I laughed my way through it. tell jokes at the hospital. Go back to work and joke around about having worked through an impending heart attack. All the time somewhat proud of myself for 'handling" it. But I wasn't it. I was fogging my thinking with more and more opiates and now big time Xanax use. Thinking too clearly would have left me vulnerable to knowing I was not well, especially emotionally. I mistook this for a sign of strength in myself. How sad. And it led to the second huge breakdown. Oh, it took its time coming. I kept forging ahead, using meds to keep going physically and emotionally. And then, finally, it all caught up with me and when I fell, I fell harder than ever before in my lifetime. Ten years in the coming, but finally, I was forced to come off the drugs in an attempt to regain my life.
And regaining my life meant finally dealing with all the pain, all the loss not only of those I cared for, but for my own personal losses. The caring emotions that I poured so freely on others all my life, needed to be poured on myself. The time came for me to understand, to learn, not only to appreciate the love others had for me, but to allow them to use it to help me. I am not superwoman, my intellect may be a gift, but it is not all that one needs to survive. I am not perfect and I can deal with that now.
FullCircle, dear friend, is it hard for you to deal with the fact that you have addiction issues? It is such an emotional issue, so damn emotional. Is there conflict between your mind and your heart that this is a part of you? There sure was for me. Are there hurts in you that are so painful, perhaps, that the only way you have tried to deal with them is with your mind, that you stuff down the pain of them because it seems less painful to just try to forge forward like nothing is wrong? Is the fear so great about something(s) that it seems too overwhelming to face head on?
I have often said that this journey off drugs has been a time of more learning in one yera than all the years of my lifetime combined. It has been not just intellectual learning, but soul learning. I feel connected to life in a different way now. I feel connected to both success AND failure in life. Oh, I will always still strive for perfection, for betterment, in myself. But I can accept now that fear is a part of all of us, of me. That hurt is not evil, that grieving is necessary. That I do not have to fog my thinking to survive that that is so painful. That I can survive physical AND emotional hurt. The acceptance of fear allows us to deal with it in healthier ways than we have learned to do with drugs. It brings us truly into the full circle of life. There is no intellectual answer as to why I have had tragedy in my life, why life pulled a 180 degree turn on me at 45 years old. It is merely life on life's terms and as a living part of life, I must go with it or break. We all must or we are going to kill ourselves if we choose bad coping strategies like drugs to try and deal with it.
Chuckles. I guess I missed you more than I knew as I can not seem to stop writing this post to you. I think as I try to share with you what I have learned, it is simutaneously a re-affirmation to myself. Search long and hard inside, Friend, for the source of what keeps drawing you back to the drugs. Get help to do it with professionals or with people who have gone through this. It is a rest-of-our life searching that never stops once we begin. I now work at understanding what is behind my overeating, my smoking. I am starting to see more fully the connection between all these things. The feelings of what occurs when I use these bad habits, what I am hiding from, what it is that makes me drawn to continue.
Okay, enough, enough already! Smiles. I can only hope that you understand the deep connection I feel with you, with all on this board. We share a sometimes indefinable-through-words bond that somehow can help each of us learn to understand ourselves better.
FullCircle, dear friend, is it hard for you to deal with the fact that you have addiction issues?
Not really, i guess that the reason I keep going back is because I get bored at night. I used them as a crutch, I LOVE the way they make me feel (at first). For some crazy reason I tell myself that I will be able to handle it or wont do as much this time.
Originally Posted by reachout
Is there conflict between your mind and your heart that this is a part of you?
Not sure about this one, My heart is dear to my family (3 kids, and wife) I have never cheated, stole, etc. I would never do that. I need to make them and the future with them more of a FOCUS. A real FOCUS. It was easy to slip back right now because the kids are young, but one of the reasons I bagged it so quick this time, instead of waiting the whole winter, was because I want to be more a part of the kids day, sports, homework, reading, dad stuff.
Originally Posted by reachout
Are there hurts in you that are so painful, perhaps, that the only way you have tried to deal with them is with your mind, that you stuff down the pain of them because it seems less painful to just try to forge forward like nothing is wrong?
I have never dealt with the mental pain. I got cancer and got rid of it. That was it. My first real connection was the FEAR OF THE CANCER RETURNING. I hated those follow-up visits. I would get super anxiety and thats when I was introduced to valium. Till that point I didnt even take advil. It made my mind free, float away and go to sleep (which is one thing that has not been good in the FULL CIRCLE (97 -07). I used to fall asleep soooooo fast before cancer. NO WORRIES. after being diagnosed and treated, i needed help to sleep. That is how I got introduced to Vicodin. I was given it for tooth pain. I kept the script after the pain went away and used it to sleep. For the next few years I would use it every now and then (special occasions) for sleep and fun. But I was careful not to abuse it. How blind I was becoming.
Originally Posted by reachout
Is the fear so great about something(s) that it seems too overwhelming to face head on?
Again --The fear is deep, I think it is more of a HABIT at this point. I do not think about "C" at all. I am not scared of it or anything. Its gone and thats that. I was left with an addiction though, that is waht I have to deal with. Dont you think that if I could just get a bunch of months under my belt it would get easier? I hope. I want to make it 1 year!
Love to you Reach --lets keep it going --not bad WD's right now --down to 3 a day. Went for a HUGE HIKE today. almost tooo much. You know me though. I attack the taper and the wd's. I cant believe I am here again. Its almost Surreal!