Just wanted to share-
Met w my pain doc. I got my usual 2 month scripts but asked to drop my amount from 180 to 150 a month.
This month I'm staying at 180 (back issues from all my hiking plus migraines lead us to this decision together) but next month my script proudly reads 150.
I'm very excited to start this. I hope not to stay at 150 for long and to drop to 120 in the next appointment or two.
At least I feel like I'm on my way since I set lowering my dose in motion. It's a little scary, but it's time.
I can't fill my script for a week and I'm enjoying my time away from the fog, although my headaches have made it difficult. But only from a pain standpoint, not really from cravings. If only I could balance a small script for my medical needs... and not abuse them. But one step at a time. I'm just slowly working towards my goal... and for the first time, it feels real.
Good vibes to all!
It is good to see you have a plan in place here. Good step!
Wendy, I am not going to say "Fear not" because I so understand the fear, so what I AM going to say is to remember it is all just a process... a process that has a beginning and an end. It doesn't matter so much how fast you go (big believer here in a slow and steady taper), but rather that once you make a cut with an opiate, you stay cut. Progress is the measuring tool and not time.
Along with the process of tapering, Wendy, you need to have a plan for figuring out WHY you abuse the meds and then deal with the issues. In the end, this is what puts a halt to addictive behaviours and what starts the process of sober thinking.
There have been a few times since I stopped the opiates when emergencies have come up where the pain levels were so high there was no choice but to go to ER and be given shots of morphine... once, for example, was a hrrendous kidney infection. I was upfront with the ER doctor... told him I had withdrawn from all opiates but that I could not bear the pain I was trying to endure. Took 2 strong shots of morphine to get the pain down to an acceptable level. I also went home with a script for Vicodin. As I am sure you know, Vicodin was barely an appetizer drug for me towards the end. Sad, huh? Anyway, I did take the Vicodin for the next 24 hours and then because I no longer needed it, I threw it away. Because I was disciplined in sober thinking by then, I truly had no desire to use the drug past the needed point. The throwing it away was just a safeguard that seemed very practical.
So, I am not advocating tapering with thoughts of being able to use again. I just want you to understand that we can get to the point where we are like "normal" people.... using an opiate pain med in an emergency and getting through it. I know I will never be able to be on opiate pain killers again. The dependence builds too quickly and I never, ever will chance again ending up abusing and crossing the lines.
Whew! I am getting long-winded here! Sorry. I guess I am so enthused about the direction you are heading that I felt like sharing some.
Wishing you well in all ways
The following user gives a hug of support to reachout: Phoenix (02-02-2013)
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to reachout For This Useful Post: Phoenix (02-02-2013), Wendy88 (02-05-2013)
Reach- thank you so very much! What you said to me has made me feel so happy and even stronger and more resolved.
I really look up to you and how you have been able to redirect your energies from being on pills to leading a "normal" life, full of so many other better things. It's quite inspirational. I've always found strength in your posts, in your mindset and just your general vibe which comes across even through cyber space!
So, your words to me( and your time spent writing) have a lot of impact.
I am working on myself and trying very hard to understand why I feel the need to bury my emotions.
My ex is visiting.. he has lowered his pill amount as well. we may try again but only if our pills are below 120 each. We've been talking about how pills helped to ruin our relationship in the past (we were engaged) and how we must commit to never letting that happen again. He really wants to quit. We have each others back with this. So I believe we can move forward with a very healthy goal at the end... us together in a happy and sober relationship , like it was at the start.
I'll keep you posted.
Thank you again for sharing with me and for your support. it means so much.
Good vibes to you!!!
Been doing well on my lowered script. It's so helpful to not have so many extras to play with all the time.
My ex (together for over a decade) and I officially got back together. He lowered his dose two months before I did. We will lower together probably every other appt. In order for us to keep working on "us", these are part of the rules, making cuts in out scripts so we both keep dropping. We both know they played a huge role in our issues and man, it is NOT worth it. He has a terrible chronic pain issue that isn't well controlled despite him seeing many top doctors across the US. I'm not sure if he can actually live without taking a narcotic pain med, but there are others out there that may not feed the addiction like roxys (example- morphine and dilauded I NEVER abuse. Dont feel a high, don't care for it, so those meds are safe for me. He may have a med like that he could use. But one step at a time... right now we just need to focus on getting down the dose.
My migraines and other pain issues have been much better over the past few months. That also helps me not want to medicate, cause i feel good!
Anyway, I feel very positive still these days. My ex and I talk a lot about why we each ended up abusing our meds. If you don't understand why, you can't fix the problem, avoid triggers etc. It's important to use this time to get to know yourself better. Only good things can come from that.
Anyway, I just wanted to check in, share in my ling and rambling style , and say hi.
I hope everyone is doing well!
Hi Wendy. Just wanted to drop an encouraging note to you to let you know that what you and your boyfriend are doing is amazing and wonderful. The fact that you are doing it together will give you a unique support system. I mean who knows an addict better than another addict.
I feel for you and your boyfriend that you have legitimate pain issues as well as addiction issues. It can really complicate things. I too am a chronic pain patient as well as a recovering addict. Some people may not agree that I am in recovery because I take pain meds for my chronic medical conditions. However, I take my meds as prescribed. It would never occur to me at this stage of the game to abuse my meds. My doctor knows about my addiction issues and has worked with me to find meds that worked, but didn't leave me loopy with side effects.
Like Reach, I do not advocate tapering with the idea of being able to use again. That is a decision you, your boyfriend (maybe?) and your doctor need to decide together. For myself, I couldn't live with the pain. I am a relatively young woman and I was bedridden. I had always known that there was a difference between use and abuse. And I am realistic in that I know I can't expect my pain to be gone completely. So I shoot for around a 4 to 6 on the pain scale.
Anyway, again I say good for you. I will keep you and your boyfriend in my prayers.
The Following User Says Thank You to Lotty667 For This Useful Post: Wendy88 (02-21-2013)
I wish I could ingrain into the mind of every addict the words you wrote:
"My ex and I talk a lot about why we each ended up abusing our meds. If you don't understand why, you can't fix the problem, avoid triggers etc"
There is pain, hurt, grief, fear of some kind behind every addict. When we are able to identify it and face it, we are on our way to a restored life. Drug abuse is but a symptom of a deeper problem that we can't, or won't, face and handle.
You are so on your way.
The Following User Says Thank You to reachout For This Useful Post: Wendy88 (02-21-2013)
Hi Reach and Liz!
I'll write mote later but I just wanted to thank
you for so much support and good thoughts.
I guess I'll add a little update...
When my bf moves to where I am, he will have to drop his out of state pain clinic and we will split my 150s and see if we can stay at that level (pain wise)... That's 75 a month instead of my 180... Which I just dropped to 150. It's a huge drop in my mind and it scares me, more than him... but considering that I can blow through 180 in two weeks, I'm use to lower amounts or even none. Perhaps that'll help.
Just gonna breathe.
We won't be living together for several months, but when ge cones, it'll be time for that drop. I just can't stress about it now.
I applaud you for allthe effort you have been putting into tapering down the drugs here. You have been doing a good job.
However, I do want to say to you, as gently as I can, that I think your change in game plan is not the wisest at all. From where I sit, there are a few flaws in it. First and foremost, your plan needs to be totally your plan. Withdrawing from drugs and getting our heads straight about them needs to be a "selfish" time in out lives. We need to work on ourselves and no one else. We need to help ourselves and no one else. Why? Because our drug abuse is our own problem and no one else's. To be successful, we can not use time to try and help another drug abuser. The time to do that is after we have truly attained sober-thinking for ourselves.
Wendy, you have a drug problem, your boyfriend has a drug problem. You need to resolve yours, he needs to resolve his. He is a big boy and needs to act like one. if he is dropping out of his state's pain clinic, then he needs to handle it all responsibly and make plans for the new state's pain clinic. And what's the current plan? YOU are going to supply him. How nice of you to take over and handle what needs to be his to handle. Sigh. Wendy, you are a kind person, but right now you need to think with a clear head, Honey. Don't take on a responsibility that is not yours to take on.
It seems your relationship has been up and down with your boyfriend. I am not pointing fingers because of that, only recognizing it. I am glad that he is not moving in with you at this point. Again, gently, this is not the time to try to rekindle and fix past problems and try to sort it all out. You both need private space to work on getting these doses down. Get that accomplished and steady, and then work on the relationship. You would hear these same words at any AA or NA meeting and from any counseling professional.
Last, but no less important: To totally cut your drug intake in half all at once is not what will best help you get where you are trying to go. You know from experience the price you will pay with your body and brain. You have oftimes gone through bouts of being without because of abusing dosages and as soon as you got a new script, you would blow through them again. It has yet to be a successful way for you in the past. Why would you think it would be different this time? Coming down slowly gives the body and brain time to restore as you taper along.
Wendy, I am no drug guru here and my thoughts do not have to be yours. I am just another woman who has walked the walk. I so want you to walk it successfully also. Please, at least think about this change in plans and perhaps reconsider what is best for you. I really do care.
Thank you. You know I respect what u have to say and think about it a lot.
Um- first piece of risky news- we ARE moving in together. We both have our doses down to 150 (he may be at 120 already) and then were gonna cut in May to 75 each. From there, we will see. He is making a huge move so he will eventually need his own doctor set up, but this is a good temp so we aren't swimming in pills.
I'll keep going down. The split of pills to 75 each is a test. It may be too fast. And I know my tendencies. Blow through whatever I have in 2 weeks. We both have lived apart for two years with little physical contact and have discussed in detail how pills ruined so much for us.
At times I think he wants to fully quit more than me. I think we can do it. Im just more scared. We will both be in therapy , and can get help there too.
I know it's risky but I we feel ready and we can't keep waiting. It's time to shot gun it and see what we've learned over the past two years.
I know I'm nice, too nice in fact, but I truly refuse to lose this relationship to my drug addiction. I know I'm an addict and we both want to fix it. He knows he is too.
My guy is a weird rare breed. It's why I have hope that we can actually do this. Like, if we started upping our doses again, he'd leave.
I don't want that. I don't want to be married to my pills.
Thank you for all your thoughts. I'm open to them all. I was a bit hesitant about us dropping so fast from 150 to 75 instead of 120, but my bf doesn't like the idea of all those pills around. I can't say I blame him. But it requires perhaps more thought. Then again, maybe we just do it. 80 pills a month is still a lot. And I will have cut 100 a month over the past 3months. Hmm
At least I understand why I abuse them. As does he. We discuss it often. Man it feels good to get that off my chest.
I'm a bit scared about my big cut, but I still have time. 2 months at 150 before that happens. And pills are like a sick friend. I can see im slowly saying goodbye to them and it's a weird feeling.
Thanks for your support and my rambling. I know I've repeated myself several times here. So much in my head.
Good vibes and thanks to you sweetie!
Glad you have been open to hearing other thoughts. :-) Kind of a relief to me as there were no ill intentions in giving them.
You know, Wendy, this may be the perfect plan for you in the end. It is difficult to try and walk in another's shoes and really understand what plan is best for them. It really has to be an individual choice in the end. What is good is being able to bounce ideas off one another as we try to reach our own conclusions.
It is going to be great that you will both be in therapy. Aftercare is the part so many neglect and it really is a vital component to truly reaching sober thinking. Good for you!
I had to give a bitter-sweet chuckle when I read your words:
pills are like a sick friend. I can see im slowly saying goodbye to them and it's a weird feeling.
I so understand that! As I tapered along, I would sometimes fret about how I was going to live without the pills. Every cut would bring up the thought. Funny, though, when I finally ended the taper, I never looked back as far as missing the pills. Instead, I was in awe of all the life I had been missing while on the pills. It is a great feeling. :-)
Wendy, whatever plan you work out for yourself, I will be rooting for you. There are many paths leading to rstoring ourselves and leaving drug abuse in the dust. The path we take is not anywhere as important as long as it leads us to ending the abuse.
Reach- thank you so much for your kind words and support. I appreciate all the thoughts and ideas. It gives me a lot to think about.
I know in the future these pills will be gone and I'll really be back to living again!
Just thought I would stop in with a "hello and how are you?" :-)
Maybe I can share a one of the many nice things that have happened for me (and will for you) after breaking the cycle of drug abuse I was caught in. Throughout a lot of my tapering, I was living each day fighting to get through the tapering and fighting the symptoms. It is what consumed the majority of my time. I was reading the boards 15-20 times a day. I was practicing breathing, talking walks as I could, sharing with friends here, making my doctor appointments, working with the Clinical Social Worker to discover the root of my abuse. Those pills had consumed my life when I was taking them, and were consuming my life as I worked to get off of them. In my head I could only see myself as a drug addict, my life nothing else.
Then the day came when I was finally off the drugs and, slowly, a change came over me. It probably took a few months, but eventually I no longer identified myself as an addict only. I was beginning to identify myself as other things, too. A wife, a mom, a grandmom, an educator, a worthwhile woman. Oh, I stay aware that I could fall into that cycle again, but it no longer is what identifies me, especially to me in my heart of hearts. This is one of the greatest things that comes about. :-)
At the depth of my depression ( ihad had a complete breakdown before I began tapering), a friend here wrote something to me that will forever be sealed in my heart. He wrote that I would have joy and happiness again in my life. He promised it would happen and to fight hard to get there. I put my hand on the computer when I read those words and cried. It was the moment when I found a glimmer of hope come into me. Man, I held on to those words throughout the rest of my journey. Though they were hard to believe, I clung to them and fought even harder to get where I needed to go. I am passing his words on to you, Sweetpea, because you will have joy and happiness in your life again. A greater light-heartedness than you have probably had in a long, long time. We stop merely existing and begin to truly participate in Life again. The bumps in the road will still show up on occasion, but the joy and happiness will far outweigh them.
Take care, stay strong and commited and reclaim your life.
I wish I had posted sooner but I've been so distracted by getting ready to move!
What you wrote to me was truly beautiful. It means so very much. I do believe all those things are possible and will happen for me as well.
Those words you have passed on to me I will keep close to me snd I'll remember them when I have overwhelming times. Thank you
I too had close to a breakdown, which kicked off my real desire to quit. I then was without pills for 2.5 weeks and it helped lift my depression and showed me a glimpse of how I use to feel. I never forgot that and I know I can get there and stay there. I want that feeling back all the time. No drug can replicate it.
I believe next month is my last month with my 150 pill count all to myself before I start giving half to my boyfriend. Just as a reminder, especially to anyone just reading this post- he has the exact same script as me. However, he won't join a new pain clinic when he moves to my town. He will still be followed by his regular doctors for his pain situation. Too many pills in the house and we are both quitting. We will evenly split my 150s for a bit, then taper down and down.
I get nervous sometimes. It's tempting when I see my doctor in 2 weeks to tell her to raise it back to 180... But I truly know I won't do it. I've promised myself and I know I'll keep it. This lifestyle is not me at heart. I love all the things pills zaps your energy for. This has been going on for 10 years. There's a whole world out there I've only been experiencing a part of.
Also, my boyfriend is counting on me, and I on him ... we really want our relationship to work and if I do that I'm setting us up to fail.
Anyway, just sharing how things are.
I hope you are doing well and are enjoying this extra hour of sunlight we are getting these days! I hate losing the hour of sleep, but the extra daytime is a good trade off. (feeling a little emoticon happy today!)
Hi again Reach!
I just read through some of our older posts and reread your kind advice to me about dropping down, sharing the meds, starting the relationship.
I know you had said on a positive note that in the end this plan may work for me... as we will each be in therapy etc...
I do want u to know that I really understand what you said. Especially the relationship part. I know it's not advised.
I can't really explain our timing of it very well on the board. Nothing nefarious, just it's kind of a long story. (a romantic story)
I've thought about that slightly large jump in my pill cut... as of know I want to try (being at 75 is scary but exciting) and if it's too much, i'll have my boyfriend join a clinic. There's a number of reputable ones around my town. But I really don't mind going to my clinic for now. Even after I go off Oxy, I'll still need to go for the dialuded. (this drug gives me no high at all, so I'm not tempted to abuse it... so I think it's safe for me to use for my migraines)
Anyway, I just wanted you to know I really appreciate your opinions. They make me think about my choices. And even if my end decision is different, it's so important to hear what others think who have been through this. You're doing fantastic, so obviously you have some good stuff to share!
Good vibes my friend!
Been busy with the grandbabies but found some time tonight to catch up on some board reading. Want to touch base with you also.
So how long until the move and the big drop? I was thinking, Wendy, that if there is time yet, perhaps you can start moving down a bit more before the big drop comes. Yeah, yeah, I am a worrywart for sure and am probably being too much of a mother-hen here. Just don't want you getting overwhelmed and end up moving backwards. If you have a month left of 150 pills, maybe you can try using only 120? The drops when we are still on a high dosage are not as bad as the drops as we get closer to the end of the taper. Just a thought here, that's all.
It is heartening to see that your commitment remains strong. Way to go!! We really are so much happier off the opiates... they depress every single system in the body... including our emotions. I never, ever want to go back to that dark place they brought me to, ever! I sit back and reflect sometimes ( reflection is good for us) and think and compare where I was to where I am. I am so thankful that I was able to get out from the horrendous grip those pills had on me.
I no longer dwell on my being a pill abuser, addict, hide-in-the-closet-and- from-myself, barely existing being. I have so many other, healthier ways to identify myself now. :-) Oh, I never forget that dark part of me, but it usually only surfaces when I have a health issue and possibly have to take pain pills. At these times, I stop and think, and truly evaluate the degree of my pain. I even stop and think before taking an aspirin. But basically, I am just participating in Life and enjoying it and have learned to love myself again.
Hmmm.. this is one wandering post here, isn't it? Chuckles. I guess it is time to end it and say goodnight, rest well. I hope you sleep with a smile on your face as you dream of how wonderful your restored life is going to be.
As always, thanks for your post!
I wish I could say I could get 150 but only do 120, but I don't trust myself with having extras around. I just know my habits way too well. Blah.
So... today I did something I believe was the right move. I'm not sure what you will think but I hope my reasoning makes sense.
Since our drop is very soon- end of next month, I decided that my/ our drop should be a little slower. I moved my script back to 180 so we each get 90 instead of 150 where we'd get 75.
Then when we feel ready (we both have legit pain issues) I'll drop the script to 150 to split, then 120 etc..
My reasoning was (and I really thought about it)
Moving is a huge stress (BF is moving from a far distance and after my move I'm traveling to my old homecity to help on his end). Not to mention, we will be living together after so long and now reuniting. I dont want us both going through more pill withdrawal/ adjustment than we need to in the first month or two. After that, we will be moved in and a drop will be more than crucial to our relationship and the promises we've made about this topic.
I also kept thinking about what ive read here- how big drops aren't always encouraged. I got scared I was setting up too many moving pieces to fail.
The only issue with my choice is this month I am back up to 180 as the split doesn't happen til next month. I knew this when I went to the doctor and have decided on my first challenge before the big drop, since I'll need this willpower.
This month, I am challenging myself to have enough pills to last til next refil aka take as directed.
To NOT run out before next refill.
I have yet to succeed there, although I've come close many times.
Even on 150 this month, I'm only 4 days short. Usually I'm 1-2 weeks short from 180. Even though i messed up again, im still proud i used better control. It means i can do it.
I'm usually not this honest. It feels good to share all this but I feel strangely vulnerable. I guess I don't want to post this time around that i really failed in the end. I really do want/ need it this time. It makes it different and higher stakes than the other times I tried to quit.
How do u not let that play a head trip on you?
Thank for everything, Reach
__________________ my issues have issues!
The following user gives a hug of support to Wendy88: kaylalala (04-10-2013)