Well, perhaps for my 100th post I should introduce myself, and tell my story.
I have been addicted to a few drugs in my life...both cocaine and crystal meth 20 years ago, but I met a girl and stopped cold turkey and changed my life. It was hard but I loved being clean, after having abused myself so badly.
After about 6 years of being clean, I learned through a blood donation that I had hep c. At the advice of my doctor, I did a year of treatment with interferon...Little did i know that at that time the odds of it working were only about 5%. It didn't work. I was about 30 years old at that point.
I went on about my life drug free, but with moderate drinking. I never had a problem with alcohol, and i ignored the doctors advice not to drink ever. So about 7 years ago after a nasty breakup and a ton of stress I became very very ill. I had a bunch of terrible things happen in my life, and to top off I was turning 40 and single again...and sick beyond my wildest imagination...I was certain i was dying.
A liver biopsy showed that things were not good, and i was well on my way to having cirrhosis. New drugs had come out for treating hep c and the odds were now better...much better. After the 1st round of interferon years earlier I had vowed I would rather die than use that again, but it was the only option I had other than killing myself, which i was strongly contemplating.
I was never so sick in my life the year I did hep c TX., and I had so much pain. An old friend with MS decided to "help me out" and started giving me a few oxy's every month. That was 7 years ago, and within a years time I was buying another MS patients entire oxy script every month. After a few years things progressed to heroin, a drug I swore I would never try. I didn't even like it the first time I tried it, it was so different than oxy. It made me nod off instead of that normal lift I was use to. I later learned why.
For me hitting bottom was injecting heroin. I had spent 2 years of my life in serious treatment to rid myself of hep c and vowed to never abuse needles again.
I tried at least a dozen times over the past 5 years to quit, through various methods. I did quit several times, for a few weeks usually was all and i would relapse, just like everyone else...and every time I tried to quit it got harder to stay clean it seemed. I even tried a quick few month detox with suboxone, but not under a doctors care.
So Jan '07 I got into a suboxone program with a doctor about 2 hours away, and i have come so far. I did have a few slips along the way, but i think that is typical. The last 2 times i used were really bad. One time I used a needle that was given to me and I wasn't sure it was new....a real scumbag gave it to me and said it was, but it didn't appear to be and I used it anyways, and became really sick a few weeks later. I waited 3 months and tested for HIV and hep c and was neg..whew. Then the last time I used was this summer. it was about a 4-5 day binge on heroin...I quit taking the suboxone of course. On the last day some ultra high test stuff came around. I went out to the garage and did a double dose at once, even though i had been warned not to because of it's potency. Lucky for me, my non drug using room mate whom I was hiding my slip from came looking for me and found me laying on the garage floor unresponsive. I woke to him crying and shaking me. I think if he had not found me right then I would have died...and as stupid as that was, I had 8 bags left out of a fresh bundle and used it all. It was really tough getting back on the sub, once again...it felt like I was starting from square one, and i probably was in reality.
Since then I really view things differently, and have fully disgusted myself. things a re much better now...i have weaned down to 1.3 mg of sub over the past year, and will slowly taper to nothing over the nest few months. I actually have tapered from sub before and been clean for a month, but i had done it quickly and without any counseling, so i still didn't know how to handle triggers. I'm still not perfect, but handle things differently now, and I am really confident. I'm going to try and taper off the sub completely, against the advice of both of my doctors. We'll see how it goes. I never believed it, but counseling and exercise have been major helping factors. I use to hate the counseling and thought the group meetings were a waste of my time, but I did take some things from those meetings. I'm also back to work now too...part time for now but am always busy with something, and i think keeping busy is essential for me. It takes my mind off of my pain for a while, and makes me not want to use so i can continue improvong my business...I'm self employed and have been for 20+ years.
I actually went to my 1st ever in my life NA meeting last night. It was a very small group and not what I was hoping for, but I'll try another one. I really have a hard time saying "I am an addict". Labeling myself like that feels so negative and degrading. I even tried switching their words around, because I had to read this newcomer statement... I was supposed to say " I am an addict" and i changed it to "I am addicted to opiates". Well, they wouldn't accept that, so rather than starting something I conceded. Like I said though, I will try another meeting with hopefully people I can relate to better. NA is much different than the REBT therapy I have been using the past few years, but there are no smart recovery meetings in this area and I feel like I need more than message boards.
So that's my story...It seems like you have a nice group here, and it sure is an active place! I have done a lot of research, and have learned a lot about addiction, and like trying to help people...Usually too much so. My past few relationships are often based on trying to save someone, and while nice in theory, doesn't wind up helping me very much.
I am so glad that you have shared your story. Great 100th post, Friend. Smiles. I find all of your posts to be on target and now I know why... you have seen and done it all and are living to share it.
I am going to read through this post of yours a few more time to really digest the details. Just had to post a quick response and tell you that I am happy you are a survivor, happy that you are sharing on this board with everyone, and feel surely that you will, indeed, mak clean and stay there for good.
wow mano, very proud of you for posting that story. you sure have had a rough ride, but you didnt die on that garage floor, you are alive for a reason..you have to keep on keeping on, try another n.a meeting. i promise you that you will find one that you like.. hep c is more common than you think it is and they have come out with new meds other than interferon. have you researched it? Are you healthy other than liver issues? my bil is 54 he has hepb and hepc from years of drug use and drinking..he is still telling us that the hep c is from a tattoo he got 40 yrs ago. but we know he was a needle user..anyway, he is now on the liver transplant list going nowhere tho, he is not healthy enough for that surgery...i give 5 yrs to live if hes lucky. n.a should help but chances are its not enough, could a rehab be in your future either outpatient or inpatient?
Thanks all...Jules. i guess I didn't mention but my 2nd round of hep c treatment 7 years ago was successful. I was one of the guinia pigs for the new meds, the pegyated interferon and ribovarin combo. The virus is still undetectable in me, and i am cosidered cured, so while my liver has some damage, it is functioning adequately and my liver function tests have all come back normal. Yes, Hepatitis c is a huge problem in the wprld and is spead 100 times easier than HIV. I'm pretty healthy other than that...i suffer joint pain and have been labeled as having fibromyalgia, but i honestly think it will be manageable without opiates. As far as the rehab thing goes, i just finished 12 months of outpatient suboxone treatment with counceling and group therapy, and am in the final stages of weaning. I can't remember the dosage equivalent, but I think 1.3 mg of sub is something like the equivalent of 10 mg of hydrocodone a day, so I am almost there. The biggest thing is I have finally lost that mentality that maybe I can someday use again and get pleasure from the drug and control it...something that took years to sink in.
It's nice to be here, and I look forward to getting to know you all better.
You have been an inspiring person to me.. even before I knew your story. You made me aware that it is possible to wean off of sub successfully. That had been one of my biggest fears, after seeing what some people have went through on this board. But I know that fear is something I have to overcome and I'm ready to get this tapering under way.. So please stay on and keep us posted. You've helped me out quite a lot!!
Thank you for your story. That is not always easy to put down on paper. Everyone's story is different and important. You sound like you have been through so much and have come out the other end. Stay strong, you sound like a great person.
Your story really moved me. Please give na another try. Being an addict isnt really a bad thing. You could be addicted to coffee or sugar and still be an addict. I went to AA about 11 years ago. I had a really bad drinking problem and also did lots of coke and pills too. I had to say I was an alcoholic in front of everyone and that to me, was an uglier word that addict. Addict was cool, alcoholic sounded old and lush like--sloppy. AA gave me the best life ever-- I was the happiest I have ever been in my whole life when I was going to AA--then I relapsed on pills- and never went back. After I detox off sub I plan on going to aa or na. You have to remember that those people arent there because things were going well in their lives. They probably hit a worse bottom than you can imagine. They only want to help you. They dont think they are any better than you and you being there, is actually helping them so much. Dont worry what anybody thinks. You are there for yourself. Just listen, take what you want out of the meetings and leave the rest. Thats what I was told and it worked. And nobody is judging you. They all have compassion and can relate to you. I had a friend who has hep c and was a heroin addict, then went on methadone and detoxed off that with vodka and pot, then went to aa and he is the happiest and healthiest Ive ever seen him. He is in his 50's now too. His hep c doenst show up anymore. Ive met some of the coolest people at AA -- a couple stars and stuff that ended up being really nice. There are some people I didnt like too. Some real wack jobs!! haha-- Just give it a chance-- if its not for you, then we find something else-- as long as you try-- I wish I was down to a crumb of sub like you-- ackkkk-- im finally at 3mgs--but i hate it-- i want off now!!! take good care! rozetat2
Last edited by rozetat2; 01-21-2008 at 11:30 AM.
Reason: misspelled word