Was just reading some threads and thinking. When I detoxed from Oxycodone and then Xanax, it was a long, long and slow taper that I chose. Took about ten months to finish taking the drugs and then a few more to really level out from the symptoms of withdrawal. I moved into sober thinking as I progressed in the taper. My thinking changed about drugs tremendously as I worked through the taper. At the end of the taper, I so did not want drugs of any kind. At points I was even bucking taking Toprol Xl, which I take after a heart attack. Eventually, that thinking changed also and I recognize and accept that I need to stay on that. Now, I believe my thinking about medicine in general is balanced and I am moving on well in life.
As I read some of my friends stories here, I see how the cravings, the thinking about the opiates, is still consuming for some. I, too, was consumed about the drugs during the taper. Not so much with craving, but consumed with doses, cuts, reactions to the cuts, progress, wishing for it to be finally over with. When the time came that it was finally over with tapering and I realized that I had taken my last dose, it was kind of anti-climatic for me. No more need to think about when and how much on the next dose. Just plodding through the lingering of the aftermath symptoms. My thoughts turned to sleep as that was still a big issue. I would have thoughts cross my mind many times during the day concerning, ( and concerned about) sleep that night. Then, finally, the sleep came. All the goals had been reached that I so wanted. So what do we do when the goals are finally reached?
We move on in our lives.
Part of that moving on is accepting that we are once again in the realm of 'normal' life. It is boring a lot of times. Work, family duties, just everyday life. Happiness and joy are waiting fore us again, but there is definitely a need to recognize that the excitement ( yes, I do believe that detox creates a certain excitement in us.. a real sense of fighting for a goal), fades. For me, there is calm joy in my life... joy spending time with my family and friends, 'mundane' happiness in going about the simplest of tasks in my life, but always aware that now I can go about my daily business of living. Cook a supper, vacuum, go to a store. These things were overwhelming burdens just a year or so ago... now they are markers of a life being lived.
Moving into sober thinking happens, I believe, as we change old habits into new, or long-forgotten, habits. It is a plodding along progression that takes time and work. We can truly become works in progress if we allow ourselves to see past the reaching of the goal to detox. We have not reached an end to our progress when we reach the completion of detox, we have reached a stepping off point of beginning to relearn how to live in a peaceful, probably fairly mundane, life. There is nothing wrong with mundane! It is what most of us prayed fervently for when we started! If you are feeling a bit lost now that detox had been completed, please relax about the concern. Recognize that you have, indeed, met a goal that was a big struggle to meet and that it does take time and plodding along for the mindset to catch up with what we have accomplished with the body. This is where the whole thing about it taking a good year or so to really heal comes in.
At the moment I am thinking in the forefront of my mind of Meddguy and Winnie. I really like Meddguy's approach to having various 'nights' in his life now. No TV nights, family nights, etc. He has changed and moved into some new habits to avoid some of his trigger areas. As he continues to reinforce these new habits, they are going to become automatic. His thinking is being redirected from 'drug opportunities' to mundane, but enjoyable, everyday activities. Consistent effort to keep redirecting his thoughts will lead to changed thinking. At first, I am sure he was very conscious of why there is no TV, why there is a specific family night, but this consciousness will fade into routine. Winnie, I think you are at a bit of a standstill... perhaps feeling like, "Okay, I detoxed, what is supposed to happen next that is so great?" The truth is that what happens is life, everyday life. We keep practicing what we learned from our struggle to get detoxed and relearn how to live without the fake excitement of the drugs and all they entailed in our lives. We learn to go about our daily business and spend some free time interacting and impacting the world from our tiny corner of it. We move out from our isolation in the drugs to participating not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us, in positive ways. We leave a life of oblivion and move into a life where we, little by little, appreciate the simple things of life and know that life in its simplest forms is good.
Well, anyway, I just so don't want anyone to give up hope and feel that the struggle is going to be harsh for the rest of our lives. If you are plodding right now, keep on plodding. Time will pass and little skips will start happening and eventually thre plodding is over and we are walking, and even running, in life again.
Thanks for your post!! I've been waiting to hear from you!! Anyway I've read your post and yes i am scared of what happens next. It has been seven years that I have used these meds and they were in my life and everything revolved around them. My whole entire life was getting high thats all I cared about. Now that they are gone it's like I have nothing I'm standing in the middle and everything is swirling around me and I don't know what to do next. I don't know how to be normal because for so long I've been high...thats all I know right now. It's like I have to relearn everything and start completly over. The past couple days I have caught myself just standing at the kitchen counter thinking well it's 8:00 PM and usually I would be high right now and be laying on the couch stairing at the TV ..what do I do now? I know I need to find new and exciting things to do with my family and I will but I just need time to figure this out. How I'm going to do this I don't know but each day will be better and hopefully a new learning experience. Hopefully with the great people here they will help me find my way back home.
Reach i dont know your age but im thinking alot of that has to do with maturity. I know an addict is an addict no matter what age ..but im 45 yrs old, and i can relate alot to what you are saying..im not an addict tho..I crave peace and quiet . I love a routine and can appreciate the small things.. Maybe its because my family has been thru so much with my son and his issues..it could be a part of it but not all. So many people including some of my good friends are fighting cancer, they are in their 40's with children. When i talk to them it puts things in some sort of perspective for me..Life goes by so fast, you have to enjoy everyday like its your last...Now if only i can get my son to see that as a reason not to use drugs. and not a reason to use..Can you understand?
Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. Age and maturity has a lot to do with my thinking. I am 56. I have 56 years of experiences behind me. It has definitely been an advantage for me as I struggled through detox and reached sober thinking and reclaimed my life again. Every year we live, we experience more and more in seeing suffering among friends and family as well as enjoying the peaceful times. Like you, I want peace in my life.. serenity. Like AA says: Serenity.
We age and grow and come to learn that there is joy and happiness in the calmness of everyday life. Not boredom, but contentment. I think that youth has a disadvantage here... like your son. Not enough of life in all its aspects has been experienced yet to fully appreciate that there is joy in everyday life. I guess the appreciation can not come until there has been turmoil experienced as a comparison. I guess it is like trying to convince a 16 year old who has had her heart broken that her world has not ended and that she will feel better and be happy again with time. She will only truly believe it and comprehend it when a new love comes. Then she can compare.
When we come to depend on pills and drugs or alcohol to deal with whatever is amiss in us, we can not really reach sobriety and sober thinking until we allow ourselves to learn to cope in a different way and recognize each little sober success in coping. Then we can compare. We can compare our life with the drugs to the one without. It feels so much better to me without. I think I was able to endure the struggle not because I am a superwoman, but because I am a woman of age and experiences. I had a lot to fall back on and a strong knowledge of my desire peace and serenity. Perhaps that is what curbed the cravings in me.... I knew what peace and joy were and I wanted them back again. Like you. Smiles.
Yes, Jules, I understand what you wrote about Son needing to discover why the very nature of life being so short that drug abuse just hampers the time we do have. Sigh. Old, older, oldest... that is so far out of his realm of thinking right now. I wish he could feel into the future what he would want if his future child begins a journey into drugs. I wish he could develop a plan for that future child to not use drugs and then apply it to himself. I wish he could understand that some time down the road, his gravestone would be marked, "Productive Member of the Human Race, " and not " Drug-addicted." Oh, if wishes were magic wands, huh?
Hope, Jules. The older I get, the more I experience, the more hope becomes a part of my being. We keep breathing, we have hope. Hope for ourselves, hope for our children and hope for the human race.
I want you to know that I am glad you started this thread. I have been thinking a lot about you lately and how much of an inspiration, support you have been to me and so many others here. I am sure that when you were going through the withdrawal/tapering process others were here for you as well.
You are a remarkable lady, I hope you know that. You also are a human being who has traveled a journey that led you here. It sounds like a good place for you. I truly am happy and grateful for your "mundane" living. I'm sure it's not always good times. I am guessing you still have ups and downs like everyone has, but you get through them by using your support system which does not include pills or hiding in bed. I can't wait for that day to come for me. I know you had said in another post that you were dealing with the reality of having to do an early retirement or go on disability. How are you dealing with that now? Do you think if you were still using you would be this far along in accepting it? I think those are the things we need to look at when challenges face us. You are always here to support us. I would like to thank you so much and add to it that I know you must have your own support group because whenever you write, it doesn't seem like you are asking for much support.
How did you get to be so strong? I know mostly how you have through your posts and replies. Just a thought because sometimes I wonder whether you still have struggles. I know you must, you are a human being and all human beings do.
Mostly what I am trying to say is THANK YOU, thank you for your support, words of encouragement, what it was like for you when you were here where I am, and of course for being part of this board. I love it!!! and you sweetie
Yes Reach, you have a much better way with words than i do..But, we are on the same page. Im not saying either one of us is old, but when they say "youth is wasted on the young".....I finally get it! Peace!!
You know, I am very glad this thread is running, too. As I share with you what is happening with me, it reinforces in me where I need to be and where I need to look for my own happiness.
Captnanny, thank you for your words... tucking them away to revisit on a rainy day. Smiles. It felt good also to read that you want to LIVE. Honey, so many issues have controlled your life for so long. Deny them power over you anymore. They have caused you pain and unhappiness for the first part of your life... reclaim what is rightfully yours and fly with it. Time for your tirmoil to end and the time is ripe for you to come into your own. You are going to wow the world with your presence because you are gaining so much understanding about how life works..... against us when we allow it, for us and with us when we demand it.
Jules, we share, above all else, being Moms. We see the world from a perspective that only a mom can sometimes. I am glad we are friends.
Winnie... I feel where you are, Honeybee, and want to encourage you to stay the course. It all comes back, just like riding a bike. A little shaky at first, but soon enough, we get back on track and pedal confidently.
Lisa...stay strong! Work it and it will fall into place. There comes a point when identifying ourselves as an addict is not our first, or even second or third, thought anymore. We re-become just Lisa, or reach, or Captnanny, or Meddguy or..... I feel like Ms Marianne on Romper Room from years ago. Chuckles. I am sure you understand, guys.
When I find those 'empty spots' of time that I normally would have been zonked out and now am not, they still hit me very consciously at times. I actually think outloud at these times and have to say to myself, "Do something, Dingbat. Anything." Maybe I sweep the floor while I think of something constructive to do. Then I might go pluck the deadheads off the flowers or go up into the attic and tackle one box of whatever and straighten and clean it. I have spent a lot of "empty time" cleaning out my school stuff and then getting my butt in gear and distributing it to various people. Not working any more is an additional adjustment for me, so I have lots of hours to fill! I am connecting on the phone or with a visit to many, many friends. I am writing letters to aunts who have been long neglected. ( Some times an old-fashioned hand-written letter is good for the soul. Chuckles.). Hubby and I are working to set up and fix his childhood train set for the grandbaby prince. It is a lot of fun to do something together with him. He was a pretty neglected man for a long time, too. My getting better and retiring has left it open for us to renew oyur friendship.
Yes, I still have struggles. Health struggles, money struggles, relationship struggles with my daughter-in-law. Now I don't hide from them. I take them and roll with them. Right now I am going through a barrage of tests concerning a health issue. I spent the afternoon at the local hospital for a preocedure. In the past two weeeks, I have been through a lot of poking, prodding, and general assault of my dignity. I wait for a lot of test results, but not with the horrible anxiety I once did. After today's procedure, I once again await the results of some biopsies that were done. I am crossing each bridge only when, and if, it shows up. Day by day, Lord, day by day. Whe this testing is all done, I will begin the process of filling for disability. This has been a hurdle for me for a long time. I am at peace with it now and it is what I have to do. I hope it comes through, but if it does not for some reason, I will be okay. We will survive and be happy.
So, when your 'empty times' come for you, PUSH yourself. Make a conscious decision to do something. Pushing a broom is mindless and allows thoughts to come about a more fun activity. If all else fails, get up and take a walk around the house. If it is cold enough or raining, thoughts will come quickly about something else to do. Relaxing was a very difficult thing for me to do when the taper ended.... doing simple things passed the time and made me feel like something worthwhile had been accomplished. It is getting easier and easier to just relax sometimes now. It comes. It comes.
Oh reach, i didnt realize you were in the middle of a medical issue...That is scary and i feel for you. I worked for doctors for lots of years and saw alot of things i didnt want to...what i hated the most was knowing that docs do not call patients back fast enough with their good biopsy results. They are just too busy. My thoughts are with you, i know how upsetting that can be.
Wow, this is SO what I needed to hear right now. I have been on this site before, but not posted recently. I got off ultram after over a year addiction back in October I think. I'd have to look it up to be sure, but it's been awhile. Since then I've struggled to quit drinking and intermixed in this time, dabbled in vicodin and percosets when I could get them prescribed. Luckily for me...I have no other access to those like I did the ultram, so I never had them for a very long time period...I went thru them too fast, sigh. Anyway...as I write on day 10 of being free from alcohol and about 20 or so since my last actual pill, I find myself craving that release...that same feeling of wanting to escape. From what? Life? You are so right, Reach, life will be mundane sometimes but I've also had some good belly laughs lately and those were hard to come by when I was using (something) daily.
So, thank you for this...gives me more hope and reason to stay the course.
Laughter... That was a BIG sign to me that I was getting better. Real laughter. Like you said, belly laughs, truly finding something funny. It is good to read that you have experienced laughter again. I am happy for you for that.
Reading your post got me to think about cravings. I have written before that I did not seem to go through a period of craving the drugs. When I read your words, [U I find myself craving that release...that same feeling of wanting to escape][/U]
something seemed to click for me. I, too, craved a release. I craved a release from not knowing what to do with my time. Like what the heck am I supposed to do if I am not going to take a pill and lay down? I really didn't think of taking a pill because it was just taboo. So the times of craving just forced me into activity. Many friends on here fill some of that time with exercise. That is not a real viable option for me physically in the traditional sense of the word. So I exercised with all those boring activities that I write about... sweeping the floor, walking up the street and back, folding laundry. Perhaps my physical limitations have been a blessing in disguise for me... it pushed me back into what real life is for me.... daily tasks with some family occassions and such to break the monotony.
Oh, well, just rambling along here maybe, but wanted to share. Chuckles.
Here's to any more belly laughs in your life
Reach, I agree and just found out yesterday how much finding a distraction helps. I also realized that since I admitted the obsession with pain, it wasn't so bad yesterday. I did my laundry, updated my ipod, cleaned the living room, all the things I had meant to do. I also did not obsess about the pain and it was not even that painful. WOW- when I couldn't relax I find myself now going for my nintendo or ipod. Before I know it an hour has gone by.
And of course I love to catch myself laughing. It is such a good feeling. That is when I make a mental note like, "today I laughed" feels so good.
I want to thank you again for the thread. What kind of tests are you doing? are they for disability or is something wrong? Do you mind me asking?