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    Old 06-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #31
    readerroz
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    I can't tell you how much your replies mean to me--even the "harsh" one, which wasn't really.

    OK, I'll do the 10% every 5 days, which I've been told multiple times is the path. 10% sounds do-able. That day that I was able to wait til 4:30 represented almost 16 hours clean and I had no symptoms of WD, so I'm not really so afraid of those symptoms, but maybe it takes longer than that.

    So, today is another day. Yesterday I held off til around 1:30, but about every 20 minutes I was watching the clock.

    What a long strange trip this will be. I have a huge amount of work today, at least it seems like that right now and I'm hoping that being busy will help delay the "process".

    I have to be totally honest here, yesterday I was thinking that if it weren't for the fear of getting trapped by the doctor shopping I probably wouldn't even be thinking about detox. Well, there *is* the worry about brain chemistry changes diminishing memory, even though the hydro seems to enhance concentration. (The latter may be delusional.) When I learned that that was a federal offence it was shocking.

    I *so* want to *want* to quit. Where did that initial commitment go????

    Again, thank you everyone for walking this walk with me.
    PS, I'm definitely calling my son tonight.

     
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    Old 06-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #32
    kewood
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Hi Reader,
    Sorry I've not been around much to support you but I've been out of town visiting family, which of course, has triggered all kinds of **** for me from growing up in this crazy, dysfunctional familly! So, even though I'm on suboxone, I am craving the escape of my discomfort and anxiety and the only way I know to do that is by taking LOTS of hydro...but I won't and I'll continue to feel these uncomfortable feelings...
    Now, on to your struggle, I'm proud of you for facing this and committing to your detox. It sounds like you have a very realistic plan and that you are committed to doing this for yourself and your children. Please know that if it gets too hard, like someone said earlier, go see an addiction doc and get on the suboxone. Like you, I was SO scared of the unknown and had no idea what to expect just stopping hydro and getting on this medicine I really knew nothing about. but, if you read some of the other posts, it is really not hard, it's a relief not to think about the hydro, look at the clock, worry about getting caught, etc. It has freed up SO much of my time and mental energy and now I am giving that to myself, my daughter and my partner in ways I haven't been able to for YEARS! So, I'm thinking about you and rooting for you. Keep up the good work!

    kewood

     
    Old 06-22-2009, 08:30 AM   #33
    readerroz
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    I am utterly amazed at the number of "views" and replies on this thread. What it tells me is that there are a lot of people with whom the title resonates. If nothing else, I hope that the back and forth we're doing here in some way encourages others on their journey, and for others, they won't feel alone.

    Two days ago I was able to delay first dose until around 5 by having to take a 5 hour round trip to pick up a new kitten. Again, no physical symptoms of WD, but lots of psychological "focus". Yesterday was another story, delayed first dose, then things escalated up to 120, at least I think it was 120, maybe it was more (I think I lost track, feeling secure that I had a small script ready for refill in a couple of days that will keep me supplied until the 90 count comes up the last week of the month. Although I'm trying to taper, I still feel like I need the security of access.

    During the day I'm able to just roll along, then comes the evening and I'm filled with disappointment that, once again, I've failed. Yet all of you continue in your patience to hang in here with me.

    It's a new day. Opportunity for a new beginning. Opportunity for success. The friends to whom I want to bring my acknowledgment are home every Monday, so I can call them.

    Yesterday, probably because I was "under the influence," I managed to to not call my sweet oldest son and wish him Happy Father's Day, which was more than likely he needed. I'm not sure his daughter called him as I think she may be using her drugs of choice again.

    Look at that. Three generations of this darn disease of addiction, I on hydro, son on alcohocol, granddaughter on meth and who knows what else. There's a possibility that even my sweet mother would have also fallen into the trap had she more access, and had she not led a a very Christian life style. There was some heavy pain drug in the '70s that was highly addictive, and pleasurable, that was eventually taken off the market. Thanks to the fact that I was working in a doctor's office at the time, a couple of times when she was suffering headaches there were samples of this medication and I gave it to her and she loved it. I never knew if it was the relief, or the pleasure component, but it scared me and I never gave it to her again.

    OK, kids starting to awaken, time to begin again. Right now I feel I can do the taper--even if all I do is stay away from the last 30 mg, (which takes total to 120 mg which has only been going on for about 3 weeks off and on). When I start later, it's easier.

    There is one wierd thing that happens and that is that often after the first dose I feel like I have to take another one about 2 hours later, then I can go several hours.

    Thank you one and all yet again for just plain being here.

     
    Old 06-22-2009, 06:24 PM   #34
    NotPerky
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Reader, well, as always, I'm not quite sure what to say....feeling insecure to give any advice because of my past failures at tapering. But I do get a few vibes from your posts....hope you don't mind my input:
    • It sounds like you're really not sure whether you want to get off the drugs. Like you "sort of" want to, but are afraid of life without them? IMO, you need to be really and truly sick of life on the pills before you can commit to getting off them.
    • It sounds like you're not sure whether you're addicted or just psychologically dependent. I don't think you've mentioned any WD symptoms. I know you went at one point 16 hours without a pill. IMO the body gets used to the dosing schedule, so if you typically don't take a pill for 12 hours or so, the body won't start complaining until it gets past the 12th hour. My point being, I would think at 120 mg per day, you would be physically dependent as well as psychologically....but then again, I don't know much about hydrocodone.
    • I think if you do want to taper, you should write down a schedule for the first few days. Not too many days, as that could be discouraging. But maybe start with just lopping off part of a pill (a few milligrams). See how that feels....then lop a little more off.
    • I didn't know doctor-shopping was a federal offense either....but I think that would scare me into a taper, especially if I had little ones.

    OK, I'll shut up now....

     
    Old 06-23-2009, 09:02 AM   #35
    readerroz
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Thanks, Notso.

    Thanks to a late in the day 2nd dose yesterday, I was able to taper (dare I even call it that with just one example?) to 80 mg. I'm using 90 mg as my stable dose as it's what I really usually take.

    You're so right about my ambivalence. That's really my main detox issue at this point. My wanting to be clean always happens in the evening, but during the day while I'm "using," or perhaps better said, under the influence, I seem to think that what's going on is OK--and that happens while I'm checking my 3 prescription bottles to see when the next one is up for refill.

    I like the idea of making a taper chart that just goes a few days ahead. The other time I tried it looked like it would be months before I was clean.

    I didn't know that the body could adjust to a long "clean" period. That's probably what's going on with me not having any WD symptoms.

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

     
    Old 06-23-2009, 01:22 PM   #36
    brianpain33
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    I'm not sure if you can do this without someone else holding onto the pills for you. You start to taper it seems like, maybe drop 10mg one day (80mg/day) and then up to 120mg/day a couple days later. Maybe you should start the taper from the 90mg/day which is 9 pills right. I think going 12-16 hours before you take 1 is a mistake becase then you make up for it later on in the evening. How about tomorrow you try taking them every 2 hours. So get up and this would be your schedule :

    8am (wakeup) or whatever time you get up: take 1
    10 am : take 1
    12 pm: take 1
    2 pm: take 1
    4 pm: take 1
    6 pm: take 1
    8 pm: take 1
    10 pm: take 1

    So this would be a total of 8 pills or 80mg of hydrocodone. How does that sound instead of taking 30mg at a time try this schedule and see how it goes. I really think it's going to be extremely difficult if not impossible for you to continue on the taper schedule without someone holding onto the pills though. Maybe you could give yourself a month and if things don't go well then decide to go on Suboxone. I have heard great things about it and it helps to break the obsession for the hydrocodone. good luck and keep us posted.

    brian

     
    Old 06-28-2009, 07:48 AM   #37
    readerroz
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Thanks for tip, Brian.

    Well, I'm just starting on my second cup of coffee for the morning, so I can get a few words down here. (I'm a real java jane, lovin' my joe)

    This is the start of day 5 on my taper, with the exception of one night that got kind of confused, I've managed to stay at 80 mg, down 10 mg from my usual 90 (and sometimes 120 mg/day habit). I haven't felt any different, as the decrease is my last dose of the day and I try to make it as late as possible, usually around 4-4:30.

    I can go for 12-16 hours with no SE. Although someone kindly suggested not going so long between doses, for some reason I always try to extend this break.

    The thought of taking 10 mg every couple of hours was very intimidating and I just couldn't bring myself to try. Also, I don't have anyone to "hold" my pills for me, so in the end it's just up to me to control the jones.

    I just read someone's post where they wrote that she/he had begun to call friends again, which made me wonder about my somewhat reclusive behavior. The project I'm working on is totally consuming, and as I've previously written, I'm enjoying it so much that it's hard to stop work every day to come in and hang out with the kids, so it's been hard to tell if it's the addiction, or the project that has made me less and less social.

    While my only available time is in the evening, and limited by family life, I've found over the last several months that I just don't feel a need to be around other people very often. It doesn't feel like it's because I'm "high" because by 7-ish, I'm not really feeling any "effects" of the drug, hence, I'm just not sure.

    In psycho-analytic terms, I suppose the drug has become a friend, a very cozy companion always within reach. I'm feeling a challenge that without it I'll go through some a sense of abandonment, of loss, like a person would feel at the death of a long term friend. So, every afternoon when I take the last dose of the day, I almost feel like I'm saying a small farewell to that old buddy. . . .

    My other "issue" is the seeming impact hydro has on my concentration, my ability to focus. I have ADD and take Vyvance, without which I'm rather hopelessly blurry. I saw my psychiatrist last week, and, of course, didn't say a word about the addiction. I did tell him that I felt I needed a higher dose as I usually take a boost around 3 PM. I'm hoping that that will compensate for any decreased focus from the taper.

    So, what's with this enhanced sense of focus on the hydro??? Is it a delusion? Is it reality? In about two months I estimate I'll be starting on phase 2 of my project and I'm worried on two fronts. One, that I won't be able to focus very well without the hydro, and then the complete opposite, that if I don't stop by then I won't have the creativity required. How's that for a weird dichotomy?

    (Due to a surgery, which shortened my upper intestine, I have absorption issues that can have an impact on certain medications depending on their point of absorption. Therefore, with time-release caps, such as the Vyvance, toward the mid- to end-phase of the cycle, there can be quite a reduced effect. Although hydro isn't time released, to ensure total absorption, I always chew it, rather than swallow, but the absorption question may have an impact on the Vyvance.)

    According to my math, on a 10mg/week taper, in 2 months I'll be clean. That's going to coincide, more or less, with phase 2 of the project and it really frightens me to think about entering that period of my life "alone."

    I have to tell you that, even though I want to be free, there's a powerful component in this process that just plain *never* wants to quit. This is a very seductive drug. With a sweet clarion call, it sings to me, enticing me into the pain-free euphoria of an altered consciousness.

    Even though on one very powerfuly level I really don't want to quit, my little engine is on track and I think it's just going to keep chugging along, almost with a will of its own. And, just now I'm thinking that that's my higher power taking over for me when I might otherwise stall. . . .

     
    Old 06-29-2009, 09:04 AM   #38
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Hi Reader,

    I've read most of your thread, and in reading what you've written, I saw myself several years ago. Juggling online and in-person drs, becoming isolated, feeling more creative on pills, all of it. There's a tendency to see things while high as pretty good, you know? Unfortunately, for me, there was also all the lieing, manipulating, and stealing. Not to mention the scrambling around for pills all the time and the money to pay for it all and the stress and anxiety that created.

    At the time it seemed like that lifestyle could somehow go on forever, but eventually I became suicidal, started getting fired from jobs, had a lein filed on my house, became detached and unavailable to my kids, and was sick all the time. I began posting here and even through the outpouring of support, I still wasn't ready.

    Eventually I took that long days' journey into night known as methadone maintenance. It too was great...at first. I will always remember that freeing feeling I had the first day I went to the clinic. All of the angst, despair, anxiety, worry...it was all gone. Instantly. I couldn't believe it. With all good intentions I planned on using methadone for 6-12 months. Five years later I was once again filled with an all-consuming dread of having to use a chemical every single day to feel normal. The cost kept going up, I had to go there every day, travel or even weekend getaways were out of the question. I wanted to sleep all the time.

    It took $18K and 90 days in rehab to wean off methadone. Unbeknownst to me, that 90 days was then followed by the most hellacious, psychological and physical pain I could ever imagine. I don't have words to describe how very, very awful it was...and still is. I've been off the 'done for almost 3 mths. now, and I still have lingering physical effects. Drs tell me it could be another 3 mths to feel 'normal' again. Then there's the total and utter boredom I feel without all that stuff.

    I guess I tell you this because you sound so close to wanting your life back and being free from opiates, but I've got to be honest and tell you that for me anyway, it's been the hardest, life-altering set of circumstances I've ever put myself in. I wanted to let you know I understand the magnitude of how great it feels coupled with how difficult it is to stop. If I'd known then what I know now, I like to think I would have endured the pain of ct and/or tapering any day to going off the methadone, but in reality, I didn't have the stamina for it then. I hope you do. This isn't said to try and dissuade you from taking whatever route works but to let you know I understand where you are and that things might still even feel a tad bit ok right now.

    Keep doing what you're doing, it will be the best thing you've ever done for yourself although it may take awhile to see and feel it so please consider taking the other poster's advice about na meetings. It's a way to break out of that self-imposed incarceration. Once I wrote that as addicted as I was it was an embalming of sorts and I was already feeling dead. You will know what I mean...


    Dallas

     
    Old 06-29-2009, 01:31 PM   #39
    NotPerky
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Reader, you're vacillating again (said with love). May I remind you what you said in your first post here:

    I'm afraid the hydro is going to permanently damage my brain chemistry. I've taken trazadone, lamictal, and abilify for years to manage major depressive disorder and can say it has been very successful, but now I'm afraid that eventually these meds won't work anymore and I'll plunge back into the dark side.

    I'm a writer and worry that the abuse is going to destroy my creativity.


    You may feel "enhanced focus" now....or feel like you're going to lose that without hydro. But remember, you initially posted exactly the opposite concern. I'm not a hydro expert, but I can pretty much guarantee you you'll lose your focus and destroy your creativity if you CONTINUE taking the hydro. Remember, you're not just taking opioids for pain management -- you're illegally doctor-shopping, you're upping your dose every few months....classic addiction symptoms. Trust me, you will eventually lose your creativity and zest for life. Stop having buyer's remorse. You need to continue with this taper. If you're not having any symptoms now, then maybe you'll be lucky enough to get off hydro with no major WD symptoms. Which means you won't suddenly go from "creative" to "non-creative", because your brain won't be in sudden shock.

    Come on, you (we) can do this.....

     
    Old 07-01-2009, 07:02 AM   #40
    readerroz
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Notso and DallasAlice,

    Thank you for your kind and patient responses.

    Notso, holding up the mirror of my first post gave me a jolt, and, Dallas, the comments on the creativity issue did a good job of actually scaring me again. The ambivalance I expressed is a frustrating seasaw. For some reason I stopped having those evening waves of fear about my abuse, which led to feeling like I really was coping well on the drug. Then, last night it surfaced again. The fear is a good thing. It's a deterrent.

    So far, it's been about a week and I'm holding on to the decreased dose. I had one slip, but got back on track by focusing on the fact that I hadn't felt much different with that 10 mg decrease. Yesterday, I got in touch again at the end of my work day with the fear of losing creativity, which inspired a recommitment.

    It's time for another decrease and I'm not wanting to do it. Last night I was thinking that maybe for psychological reasons I need to go another week at 80mg, but I'm thinking that that may be the disease talking. On the other hand, if it's not the disease, my reasoning is I really want to let my brain chemistry adjust for every step down, and I'm thinking perhaps giving myself at least another couple of days at 80 will help with any WD symptoms.

    I see in the news this morning that an FDA advisory panel has recommended that Vicodin and Percocet be taken off the market due to the high acetominophen content and its dangerous potential for damaging the liver. Well now, that ought to send a lot of people into a high state of anxiety. It did give me pause for a minute, and then at the same time, I felt some relief that I'm at least trying to deal with this addiction, and that if and when the FDA follows that recommendation, I'll be free of the problem.

    Then, on the financial front, I've been also feeling some relief knowing that as I'm tapering I'm using less which will stretch refill time, which will save money. I don't know how I could have gone so long without adding up the expense and thinking about what a burden it is. That $500 or so a month represents a couple of weeks of groceries, or plane tickets for the kids to take vacation with extended family, or a lot of books for my research, or, oh-so-many things. . . .

    One of my cats escaped yesterday morning and has yet to return. I nearly used that as an excuse last night to help me cope. I live in coyote and owl territory. He's only about
    6-months-old and I'm afraid he's a goner, but on the upside, today I don't feel like I need an extra "boost" to see me through this. I can manage the loss, but my children are in a lot pain, especially the 12 y/o who still deeply mourns his father's death 8 years later.

    I carry the list of NA meetings in my purse and will try to make a determination to go to one this evening. The kinds that have each visitor share are the best for me right now. I feel like I need to hear multiple life experiences.

    The number of viewers of this thread continues to amaze me. If I'm becoming someone with whom others can identify, but who can't express their own personal torment, then I'm happy that my halting journey is in some way helping others.

    Again, I welcome all comments, and invite others who are thinking about starting down this path to join me, either in words here, or silently in their own battle.

    I *do* know that I (we) can do this.

     
    Old 07-01-2009, 03:02 PM   #41
    brianpain33
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    reader:
    I think that you need to stick to the taper schedule and drop it down by 10mg or maybe try dropping by 5mg for 3 days and then another 5mg 3 days later. You can do this by splitting the pill. If there is not a little dividing line on the pill, then go to the local drug store and get a pill splitter. It might come in handy too at the end of the taper(like dropping down to 1/4 pill which would be 2.5mg hydrocodone). I think dropping by 5mg at a time would not be felt as much as dropping by 10mg at a time. Just don't drop by 5mg for a week. I think that will draw out the taper too long.

    The FDA advisory panel voted to ban Vicodin and Percocet but the FDA luckily did not follow that ridiculous vote and decided to NOT pull them. This is very important for people in Pain Management(like me) and Post Op for alot of people after surgery. keep us posted on your progress. Give yourself a pat on the back for going from 120mg down to 80mg. That is a big drop.

    brian

    Last edited by brianpain33; 07-01-2009 at 03:02 PM.

     
    Old 07-01-2009, 11:20 PM   #42
    iloerose
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    readerroz
    i am exactly where you are, trying to taper and I'm scared to death myself. You must stick with your taper. I agree with brian. Try to go down at least 5 mg every three days. The hardest part is when you get down to those last few. You have to make up your mind to do this thing. Right now it sounds like you are doing just what I'm doing, using every justification I can think of not to let go, listening to that whispery voice of the drug. This board has a good detox suggestion in the stickey notes, which has the same componant as The Thomas Recipe. I'm tapering from 100mg and tomorrow I will be at 60mg. It's not going to be easy. As for being physically vs. psychologically addicted you are both. Just because you made a few hours between doses and didn't go into w/d doesn't mean anything. W/D will begin seriously after 16-24 hours and it's like having a bad flu. It lasts for about 5 days, with days 1-3 the worst and days 4-5 getting better, most report feeling much better between days 5-7. W/D from vicodin varies from person to person, if you have high blood pressure you should see a doctor. You need to make a taper plan and stick to it. Don't try to go for long periods as this just makes you psychologically crazy, at least it does me. If you are going to do this yourself, like I am, because like you, I'm horrified that anyone should know about this, do some research. I am going to try to find an NA group, but I'm not christian, not that I don't believe in a higher power, it's just not christian. You can do this! After the pills it will be better, I know that much from reading other struggles on other boards and not one person says that getting off this soul stealing junk is not worth it. I do know one thing, you have to WANT to stop. This IS a seductive drug.

     
    Old 07-03-2009, 04:19 AM   #43
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    dear readerroz,

    My story....if it helps. HOPE it does. I was in PM, for 1 yr. I was taking much higher doses than you, of morphine sulfate er, and ir. Very high doses. I decided, like you, that they were gonna kill me if I didnt stop. I had many reasons, but 4 people I knew this last 6 months had died, and my nephew had become a heroin addict. Enough was enough.

    I dumped. Period. Not weaned....DUMPED. No suboxone, no nothing but supplements, boost, muscle milk, juice, water, gatorade, and MISERY. I took 1 1/2 weeks off work....completely necessary...and when I had to go back, I was still freezing and very fatigued, but I pushed thru. Sleeplessness and anxiety were the worst part....but that got better in about 2 weeks, and continues to get better all the time.

    Klonapin and Ambien helped some, but I kept them to an absolute minimum, as to not be addicted to anything else. I flushed my body til I thought I'd float away!! lol

    Now, its 4 weeks. Im GREAT! Sleeping 7-8 hrs a night, working with energy--almost my full energy at this point, and my pain is almost non existent.

    Dont get me wrong, I cant underestimate the hell I went thru. Lots of inability to sleep, sit still for a second, rocking, shaking, puking, diarrhea, anxiety, crying my eyes out, etc. Absolute hell. BUT, for me, the hell was worth it, b/c its the biggest reason Ill never put one of those things in my body again. My doc offered Suboxone, and I refused. Im stubborn as heck. lol...

    I just chanted to myself every day..(and sometime every 5 minutes)"this can only get better.....every day will get better.... it has to!!) and it worked. Im 4 weeks today, and KNOW I will NEVER take another opiate. I even put in all my medical charts, and at my local hospital, in case I get carted in by ambulance unconcious, NO NARCS, under any circumstances.


    This weekeend, Ill go for a 4th of July pool party at my sisters, and Sunday, go to see Tiger play at Congressional all day in the sun. And I feel NORMAL. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Normal!!!! To think 4 weeks ago was the sickest Ive ever been...and now, normal?? OMG, what a relief. I've walked thru the fires of hell, and come out on the other side a WINNER!!


    You can do this. Just know you're gonna be real sick for a bit, prepare, and if you're strong and have the right mind set, you can do it. Tons of people have quit cold turkey....remember that. They've been alright. They've never gone back. Some have been major rock stars w/ tons of money and access... remember that. It CAN be done. Just wanted to let you know. Peace to you, and good luck.

     
    Old 07-04-2009, 08:55 AM   #44
    readerroz
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    There is no way I can go CT. I'm just not there psychologically. My next step-down is going to be 5 mg rather than 10 just because I can't face a speedy detox.

    The last 72 hours have been very intellectually rugged for me in terms of commitment to detox, but when I awaken every morning I look forward to the dawning day as my next step toward recovey. If I stumble, so be it. I'm not going to beat myself up and add to my problem. I just get back on the pony and ride.

    Today, I'm grateful I live in America and rejoice in the freedom we have here. My oldest son is taking the youngest 3 to fireworks tonight so I'll have the evening to myself and that also is something to look forward to. LOL

     
    Old 07-06-2009, 05:29 PM   #45
    brianpain33
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    Re: Scared, almost ready--long post

    Alright, just think that is 1 step closer in your recovery. We are here to keep you honest and for support if you slip just don't fall

    brian

    Last edited by mod-anon; 07-06-2009 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Please respect the privacy of other posters.

     
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