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  #1  
Old 13-09-2011, 21:39
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

I posted this in another place, but I'm thinking it should have been here initally...

My friend Chisai Saru sent this message from Valinor:

I recently came off (sort of) 6 years of daily opiate use. First, hydrocodone, then PPT, then IV heroin (for about 6 months), then 3 years methadone. After tapering down from 120mg to 4mg methadone with not many problems, I decided to try Kratom to assist in the final jump from the 'done. Brilliant, I know. The Kratom quickly became my DOC of course. I had so much energy! School was effortless. After a few months, as you might guess, the honeymoon came to an end and the energy and joie de vivre that it afforded me quickly became replaced by a soul sucking depression and loss of affect, on or off the stuff.

I decided I needed to get off the tea, as I'm in graduate school right now and have to be on my A game. This was at the end of the summer, a couple weeks before the start of school. Coming off the Kratom was extremely uncomforable, to say the least. I made it a few days, would relapse, make it a couple more, relapse. Then finally stopped for a week, without the same acute w/ds that I had experienced before. I believe at that point I was in the post acute widrawal phase. Already in school, suffering memory problems and extreme lack of motivation, anhedonia and all that stuff, was too much. So a week of feeling like this and I stupidly took a dose of 'done, 20mg, which didn't do much. I think there's a good amount of cross-tolerance with the Kratom, which I had been using roughly 4tsp 2x a day (not sure about grams), kind of a lot. Of course, relapse (followed by a couple more within a week's time w/ Kratom) was setting me back and I had some more acute w/d to go through.

Anyway, now, it's been 6 days with nothing, not feeling all that bad, just extremely unmotivated. And I've got tons of work to do...suggestions? Drop out of school? Muscle through it? I got a prescription for suboxone, but after reading horror stories about it (I know, I was on methadone), I haven't been able to take it. Scared for some reason. Probably for a good reason. How long will these PAWS last? Looking at years here? I'm so screwed. Anxious to hear your thoughts....thanks

Last edited by theendisnigh; 03-10-2011 at 05:39. Reason: Not specific enough
  #2  
Old 13-09-2011, 22:10
Moving Pictures Moving Pictures is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

Don't take suboxone unless you feel you need to be on opiate replacement therapy. If you want off opiates, don't take more! Six days is good, man. Really good. Physically, you're near the end. Mental is tough, though. However, you are not in PAWS. You are still in the acute withdrawal stage, though the tail end of it. Don't throw in the towel yet and give up on yourself. You still need a week or two just to get over the acute shit.

Give it time. That's the best you can do. Try your hardest. If worst comes to worst, you can always take a break from school (I'm guessing). Exercise, that will help you a lot. Try to get back into stuff yyou were interested in before dope. It will take time but you'll enjoy shit again.

I'm not really sure how it all goes though, tbh. I've never made it far enough. I've kicked a billion times but never stayed off longer than maybe 3 or 4 weeks. You do really start to feel better around 10-12 days though. You get your energy back.
  #3  
Old 16-09-2011, 07:05
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

My friend sent this to me via the Pony Express:

Thanks for getting back to me, that really helps. I feel better knowing that someone's there for support.

I have the suboxone, but really don't want to do ORT again, I feel that'll just put me further in the hole. One that may not be as easy (not that it is easy) to get out of next time.

I feel really strange mentally though, I suppose I hadn't got this far before so would know what the tail end of acute w/d really looked like. For the week (a couple weeks ago) that I didn't use, it was really rough. Memory issues, I would set something down and forget that I did, etc. Was that still acute, as well?

I can't work, or think. I'm a TA and supposed to be teaching a class! I've shown up and taught for the classes so far, they probably just think I'm spaced out. That really f*cks me up too, that I "should" be responsible but can't function like a normal human.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moving Pictures View Post
You do really start to feel better around 10-12 days though. You get your energy back.
I so hope this is the case for me.... I can't stand this lack of energy, it's driving me crazy.

It will be a week at 8:00 (roughly) p.m. tomorrow....

Another weird thing...I don't have the lack of sleep anymore, that was only at the very beginning of this whole torrid saga. I do feel quite tired, and could probably sleep all day. Could I still be in the acute phase? Thanks.....

theendisnigh added 316 Minutes and 19 Seconds later...

The following is based on a true story (though not mine) which was made into a major motion picture(the movie sucked):

Okay, so I've decided that my the best possible scenario would be for me to not get back on drugs (esp. suboxone) and stay in school. That's really where the challenge comes in. Last semester I was hot. Got so much done, worked like mad on the tea. Of course, the music must stop at some point. That point was when the kratom stopped working.
So now, I've set the bar pretty high as far as peer/faculty/self excpectations. The problem is, now I'm academically impotent, to say the least. Functioning at maybe 5% or so. Dropping out of school seems a bad idea, but so does getting back on drugs to "succeed." Perhaps I should be "ok with not being ok," as they say.

I don't know. I'm a wreck. I hope I'll look back at this and laugh about it. Or maybe I won't remember typing this. That's the thing I'm so concerned about...memory/learning and a healthy brain for the rest of my life. Why had I not considered the negative effects of opiates/drugs on one's brain sooner? Denial. I had read and interesting post by Dickon in which he mentions the Kubler-Ross Model (5 stages of grief) and I realize now I'm defnitely past denial, and I think I'm past the anger part. It'd be nice to jump right into acceptance, but perhaps it doesn't work that way. However, I do understand that it may not necessarily be linear.
But I digress (or do I?)....

I managed to run over a mile at the gym, I think that helped. I've been eating properly, for the most part. No caffeine, not too much sugar, besides cereal. Cereal, btw, seems to be the only thing that I can enjoy for some reason. Cleaning up after myself, dishes and so forth, is an incredibly arduous task. I know I'll probably feel better if I can force myself to do little stuff, but it just seems so ridiculous. How can I work, if I can't even do little stuff? Madness. Ugh.

I can sleep, which I think is the only thing keeping me sane. However, I really don't want to go to sleep, as waking up and facing the world seems like the last thing I want to do. I'm sure other readers (or someone who knows said readers) will have had the same problem.

theendisnigh added 1179 Minutes and 32 Seconds later...

Anyone there?

theendisnigh added 69 Minutes and 15 Seconds later...

I recently heard this, (should I keep writing this if it's a continuation of the same thread?)

Faithful readers (all 2 of ya),

Going strong, past the 7-day mark. The dark side is powerful, though. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. This was told to me by an all-knowing sensei. But really, isn't that it? I'm afraid of failure, that I can't cut it without drugs. That I'll crack up and drop out of school and disappoint everyone (family/peers/faculty/self). But perhaps I need to be instilled with some of the light side of the force.... So what? So what if I need to drop out of school and disappoint everyone? At least I will have not disappointed myself..... "Know yourself" as the greeks said. Perhaps that's the most important thing there is. More later.

theendisnigh added 180 Minutes and 3 Seconds later...

This message was sent from an acquaintance of mine (your humble narrator)...

Looks like I'm goin solo on this one.

We'll maybe some people are reading. I'm going to do my best to keep this active so that I can document this process. I imagine it is quite like having a child (not that I would know). Giving birth to a "new me," as it were. Woo hoo! I have begun to feel slightly more....optimistic? Is that the word? Could this be the "pink cloud" I've heard tell of? Probably too soon for that? It's only briefly, however. As if some endorphins are trickling down, one at a time, filling (oh so slighly) receptors long vacant.

If only I believed in god, that might help a bit with the endorphins. Seems to help for others. Nah, that would just be another pipe dream. It's time to man up and face the music. Who else to do this for than myself, though? It's life and death. It always was, though, don't know why it took me until now to realize that. Denial's quite powerful.

On MMT:
Although I do think that there's no way that I should have ever gotten on MMT, I will say that it gave me enough distance from my previous habit to be sickened by it. The thought (and sight, at least on TV (watched an episode of Intervention, though I hate reality TV) of needles and street drugs makes me ill. MMT, though, what a pipe dream! I can hardly remember all that time. Those years, gone, dust, hardly a memory remains. I had lost myself along the way (I suppose I had already lost myself before MMT). The one thing you should never do is to lose oneself. As David Bowie said (or sang, or wrote) "hang on to yourself." And, "know yourself" as I mentioned earlier. Thing is, I thought I did know myself. Sorry for rambling, back to MMT. I think different than an SAO, for example, being on long acting opiates such as methadone long term further distorts your perception of reality (there have been studies that investigated how people exhibit different behaviors while on methdone, compared to non-users and even heroin users, I'll find it later. Has to do with risk taking, etc) by allowing you to pretend you're normal. Yes yes, I will say that I believe it to be a potent form of damage control and harm reduction for those that far gone (perhaps I was one of those, however not in terms of duration of habit), but there's really no off time. All these years I've been opiated 24/7. Even on the lower doses I still had sufficient amounts in my system to not be functioning "normally" brain-wise.

I went really slowly, did it right, was just about off (I realize 99 is not 100, mind you), but then was thrown into a high pressure/stress environment without having the skills to deal with the real problem. While on MMT I didn't do any counseling to speak of, didn't go to meetings and really didn't address the underlying problem, the reason I was using. I think I'm a little more perceptive of that now, but still not quite there. Perfectionism, the energy it gave me in my academic endevours, etc. That, my faithful readers, of course backfired. It didn't take long for the negatives to outweigh the positives on that score. You're using it to get ahead, but then it begins to use you, trumping all other activites in one's life. I remember my couselor (I use the term loosely) at the clinic saying to me "your cells think they're getting cake and ice cream, but they're not." Meaning, that it wasn't like the dope. I was inclined to agree, being doped up from all this fake "cake and ice cream." However, if I had my thinking cap on, I might have said "actually, it's just a safer, yet potent and longer-acting cake and ice cream. But it's still cake and ice cream." I would have followed this with "put that in your pipe and smoke it, old man." Okay maybe not that last bit, but you get my drift. Then again, it wasn't him who forced me there. I was/am a junky, looking for an easy solution (as junkies often do) to a serious problem.

So now here I am, in the throes of late acute/early paws (am I?) over a week into not using. I'm in a situation because I though I was "normal" and everything was fine, that I could go to grad school. Madness. I'm gonna try and tough it out, school-wise. I don't wan't to ever go back on the stuff though. To have to go through this again? Lose even more memory/learning capacity, etc? F^ck that. If I get kicked out of school or have to quit, it'll suck bad, but at least I'll still be closer to knowing who I really am, and what I'm capable of.

theendisnigh added 1222 Minutes and 27 Seconds later...

My friend sent this....

Hello faithful readers. Back for more reports. It's been well over 8 days now, feelin alright. Trying to impart some positive thinking. Okay so I don't feel great at all, but I'm determined to get nip this in the bud, as it were. Oh man oh man. Anyone there? Could use the support, friends.

I'll report upon the day....
At least I can sleep. Not quite "the sleep of the virutous," as Dickon so eloquently penned, but sleep nonetheless. It's a strange kind of sleep, dreamless and black. I imagine death to be something like this, all void of feeling and sensation. Waking up, however, is a terrifying prospect, the reality of this consiousness far worse than the nothingness of this type of sleep. Okay maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but this is what I'm thinking lying in bed in the morning under the covers like a terrified child. Pathetic. But, the drug enduced and enhanced (albeit temporarily) days are over. I mourn the loss of memory....but perhaps more than this I mourn the loss of things that should have been learned. While yes, yes, it is very nice to be "energized" and feel empathy for anything and everything, and work manic-like, it's just not worth it. What good is the things you did/learned on drugs if you can't remember having done/learned them? Very little, says I. It's an attack on one's own future.

On the End of the World:
I often fantasize about the apocalypse, the world ending dramatically in a nuclear fireball. This would relieve me of having to face up to past actions, because I (and everyone else) would be dead anyway. How utterly solipsistic and selfish. The mind, ineffable as it is, perhaps is inclined to think this way (selfishly). Perhaps it's just self-preservation, survival tactics dating back to 200,000 years ago or more that are still in effect. Even the effects that opiates have on the brain triggers thing that are necessary for survival....I'm not a scientist (you could glean this from my writing)but endorphins are quite useful in daily survival. Reward center, all that. Feeling this reward naturally from things that are quite necessary for survival; food, sex, exercise, etc. When we're opiated, we get the same rewards for anything, without "deserving" it, if you will. Whatever you're doing while opiated, walking down the street, menial labor, anything, will feel better than sex. After a while, of course, as we all know, the brain compensates for this and this feeling is replaced by emptiness and despair.
I remember thinking "it's not fair! Why does it have to be this way? What did I do to deserve such crushing emptiness, pain, and hoplessness?" Well, unfortuantely, you have to pay the piper, as they say. All those nice feelings you had? They're not free. I had read an reasonably interesting article online called "The Future of Opioids." Kind of a what-if scenario involving how we might harness opioids (perhaps natually occuring ones) in the future in a way that could be benificial to human life. That perhaps we could always feel this way, empathetic, motivated, happy, etc, if we could somehow "engineer" our brains in the future. Every person does deserve that! I really think the world would be a better place. However, until that day, we'll have to be content with being indifferent, bored, and often sad. And for those of us who feel we deserve to be empathetic, motivated and happy, and try to use externally occurring opiates to achieve this, are punished (sooner or later) with a dose of the opposite.

theendisnigh added 19 Minutes and 51 Seconds later...

I know this is bad, readers, but I've been drinking a bit of wine at night. Not all that much, maybe a glass or two, but it seems to help with the sleep and such. I know the dangers of drinking and drawling (just made that up w00t w00t) but I think till I get past the acute I'll do it a bit. I never even liked drinking, is the funny thing. Much too sloppy. I enjoyed the lucididy of opiates, that no one knew (unless you were nod-tastic, or they were a fellow user), and you could work or whatever else under the influence.
What's PAWS going to be like? Worse than this? Better? Will I get that "pink cloud?" Do I even want the pink cloud? Why's it pink? Why not purple? These questions, and other, possibly stupider ones, have been on my mind. Perhaps some readers will share with tales of hope and courage, or give moral suport to one lonely soul (not that I actually think we have souls) walking through the dark woods of despair.

On Relationships
I remember thinking back on my younger days, when I was still honeymooning it up with P. Pod. Since those days, I don't know if I had a relationship that wasn't centered on drugs. What makes me think of this, readers, is that right now there's a girl that likes me. She's beautiful and smart and went to a very prestigious unversity, though I'll not mention names (even of schools) for fear of self-incrimination. She even told me at dinner the other day "you're so normal!" Also things like "I feel I can relate to you and talk to you more than anyone else here," etc. Makes me feel like such a worthless person, that she's way out of my league. Worse, I worry that I don't know how to form a meaningful relationship because of my past/present problem and my own lack of experience because of drugs. And I feel so empty. I should jump at even the slightest possiblity of being with such a person, but I can't feel anything. Is it the anhedonia? It's a loss of affect, to be sure. It's like the one thing that I should care most about loses out to my obsession with my own despicable condition. Ugh. Mess. Even on the 'done, I had way more "feelings" than this. Even mid-high doses I would feel sad, and, you might say "love." Now I'm empty, a shell of a person. What's the point? I've got everything, realize that, but want nothing. Hate it. When will it come back? Should I "fake it until I make it," as they say?

theendisnigh added 23 Minutes and 50 Seconds later...

I got (yet another) message just now...

Time seems to go by rather quickly now, strangely. I'm not counting the seconds, the hours, and the days, staring at a clock that I swear must be not be moving at all like I was while in acutely acute w/d. I'll lay there and do nothing, same as before, but there's not enough time for me now. It's like I want the rest of the world to be still while I can heal, perhaps this is the reason for feeling this way. However, as a Rancid fan might know. "Life Won't Wait." As a younger man, I remember not thinking too much of that...but now, I'm realizing how true it is. Also, Pink Floyd comes to mind (and I hate quoting music/songs, but I have to just this once, readers):

And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Isn't that true! Cliche, perhaps, but true! You wake up one day and wonder where the fu*k the last 10 years went. I remember being a teenager, bored and sitting listening to this record (actually an LP) waiting for a friend to pick me up in the evenings. Imagining, always with a shade of hopefulness, what my life might be like in 10 years. This isn't what I had envisioned for my life. Not in a million years. But those days are gone, dust in the wind (sorry, couldn't help that one).

On Atheism:
I suppose it all started with the painful realization that I would die one day, and that would be that. I had done some magic mushrooms and realized that the world would go on without me. That I wasn't that important in the universe. What a time to come to that! I was terrified.
I was always kind of sensitive, but now I really became anxious at times, thinking about the bleak truth of it. However, being so sensitive, rather than focusing on the fact that I was alive and well, focused on the fact that I would be dead and gone. This led to more anxiety, and what could possibly relieve this burden? Unfortunately, the most incredible short term solution, was opiates. If only I dealt with my problems like a normal human, and addressed them, rather than masking them. Now I seek to do just that. As Sarah Connor says in Terminator "we make our own luck." Or was that Papa Hemingway? You get the idea. Sorry for the ramblings, had a bit of the red red vino. In vino veritas, as they say.

theendisnigh added 12 Minutes and 36 Seconds later...

Oh right, one more question.....should I, or should I not be on an SSRI during all this? If not, should I taper off?

theendisnigh added 89 Minutes and 18 Seconds later...

I've been thinking back to earlier in this whole episode, how bad it was, when I was at the bargaining stage if one's to use the Kubler-Ross Model. After finally getting over the incredibly powerful and lengthy denial phase, I moved into anger. I was so mad! How could I have let this happen! I hate myself! This was often followed by a self-inflicted thump on the head, or punch on the wall. Stupid! Stupid!

After this, came the bargaining.....oh god (or any deity that might be available), help me! I'll give anything! My left arm! A testicle! If I can just go back in time! (I even googled time machine/time travel in my deluded state, even knowing time travel has been proven scientifically impossible (at least to the past). Maybe, though, I could be transported to another dimension, a parallel universe maybe, one where I didn't fuck up so hard. I am interested in the multiverse theory, perhaps that's where this came from. Anyhoo, the bargaining. It even got so bad I was willing to sacrifice my own life to be taken back to the past (ironic, eh?) to recover my old self.
Then, my slightly more rational side began to engage in dialogue with this endorphin-starved stark raving lunatic:
"Why on earth would any god care more about a junky, who got where they are by their own volition, than some poor bastard in Darfur ( who wants nothing more than safety, food, water, and shelter) who is currently getting his genitals stuffed down his throat and his eyes poked out?"
Or the countless millions tortured and murdered, etc.
I thought of Epicurus, who wrote this around 300 bc:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

I realized bargaining was futile. But, knowing it was, I still couldn't help it. Then on to the hopelessness.
Crushing hopelessness. It's better now, than it was, but really I couldn't see the point of anything. For example: "we're all going to die anyway, who cares? I'm not gonna remember this, or anything else at some point. No one else will either. In fact, the Earth itself will become uninhabitable because of the sun's expansion, so there'll really be nothing." Stuff like that. The shame was there, though, so perhaps it wasn't complete hopelessness, if that makes any sense. I think/hope I'm past that now, at least to some degree. I'm trying to accept this situation (like I mentioned earlier). Until my next ranting, faithul readers....

Post Quality Evaluations:
thank you for your valuable experience!

Last edited by theendisnigh; 16-09-2011 at 07:05. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #4  
Old 16-09-2011, 08:15
southern girl southern girl is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

Hey kid. I wanted to stop by and show you some support. I actually have to go right now and get my daughter off to school so I dont have time to post a proper reply. Soon as I get back I will though. I am sorry no one else has posted aside from MP. Normally its not like that around here, but sometimes and unfortunately threads get overlooked for whatever reason. I have no doubt that you will get more support and the support that you need. So keep your head up babe, and I will be back to properly reply and try and answer some of your question.

Keep going strong..

Much Love
SG.xxx
  #5  
Old 17-09-2011, 09:35
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

I heard this from someone. But who could it be? Was it me? Nope not me. (I can probably stop with the disclaimer, at least in the same thread/post whatever).

Going slightly crazy now. I think it was the vino. Shouldn't have had any. It was fine before, but now I feel all strange-like and not able to sleep. I've got to get up in 5 hours, so it had better happen. Why would the insominia come around now? Could it be due to alcohol? Only had about a glass and a half. I've even got some RLS, which had not appeared before now. Odd. Too tired to type, to wired to sleep. Chances are if you're reading this, you'll relate.

theendisnigh added 6 Minutes and 38 Seconds later...

Aw, thanks SG! That's really nice of you to come in and offer some emotional support. I won't fail!

Tomorrow it'll be 9 days, it's got to get easier now, right? Mentally tougher though? We'll soon find out....

theendisnigh added 327 Minutes and 41 Seconds later...

Update....

Horrible night's sleep (if you can call it sleep) perhaps due to alcohol. Will avoid from here on out, that's probably for the best. I've got some rethinking to do anyway, about how I solve problems. Instead of what might seem to be the easy way, i.e., getting slightly tipsy to fall asleep at night, is self-defeating. Good to know sooner rather than later. I've been taking supplements (l-tyrosine, ginko, other random stuff researched for this purpose), not sure that they help. Anything (not addictive, that is) that might help even slightly is worth a go, I suppose. I question whether any of that stuff works, given the severity of one's mental condition coming from a long term habit like this. I feel that it may be "pissing in the ocean," as they say. Well, I'm sure the vitamins help, though. At least as far as keeping healthy and warding off viruses (invited by general state of fatigue) and such. More later, readers.....

theendisnigh added 251 Minutes and 4 Seconds later...

I actually felt good for about an hour today! Halfway human even. Then it was gone and I was again zombified. Also, this fatigue was exacerbated by lack of sleep. But, if I can just hold on to that feeling, feeling natually good. Sacred. I'll try not to think of the future, dark and foreboding.

theendisnigh added 256 Minutes and 8 Seconds later...

Hmmm....maybe I whoever started this thread should have made a catchier title....

theendisnigh added 150 Minutes and 0 Seconds later...

The following is functionally fictional:

Well, dear readers, it's been 9 days. Feel strange, a bit of RLS still there, strangely. Hopefully these symptoms aren't just now starting, but I haven't really made it this far before so I don't really know what to expect. I do feel bored and restless, and don't want to work. Mentally less foggy, though. Will I become less clear mentally as this continues? I am forcing myself to go out with a friend (girl that I mentioned in previous post) perhaps that'll help. Or I might get more bummed out wishing I wasn't "damaged goods," as it were. I am reminded of an Ozzy Osbourne quote:

"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most"

Or was that Mark Twain? Either way, great quote. I'm trying to eliminate external stress, but in this situation I don't know if that will be possible. I hope it doesn't come down to recovery/school, but I think I know the answer to that if it does come to that. Like I said before, what good are things you've learned if they'll just be forgotten in a drug-induced haze. But, perhaps it's good to get all this out of the way now, rather than later. It would have to happen sometime. And there's no going back. I find myself wishing, of course, I was a younger man, but wouldn't one wish that at any age in this situation? Perhaps that's just part of the bargaining bit again... "if only!"

I'm going a bit mad, but trying to invest myself into things that can inspire and whanot.
I thought of Tennyson's poem Charge of the Light Brigade (1854):

Half a league, half a league,
  Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

Perhaps this the kind of mentality that it takes to win such a fight. In the face of death, as it were. Knowing that you have to put everything on the line. Except my battle, readers, is a clandestine one. There'll be no poems poems or paintings valorizing my deeds, just the knowledge that I did what was right, and for the right reasons. Forward!


theendisnigh added 528 Minutes and 0 Seconds later...

No one around?

Oh well, I'll keep writing. Went out tonight, and felt strange. I can handle myself in a conversation, seem to have some wits about me I think. Other than that, I feel like a robot, unfeeling, uncaring, inhuman. I don't really care about anything right now other than wanting to feel alive again. I don't care about my future as long as it's real. We take it for granted, feeling the sun, the wind, the taste of food, being in good company. It's all grey now, there's no color in anything. I can't hear the beauty in music. What's the point of that? Perception is reality, so unfortunately, reality sucks right now.

I've been doing nothing, really, I'm pretty much frozen. Can't work, think. It's like I'm too afraid. Or maybe less so now, but rather completely unmotivated. Even though I know I have to, I can't seem to see the point...which reminds me of an Aldous Huxley quote:

"Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

More specifically, I feel I'm screwed either way, staying in school and performing poorly, perhaps even being asked to leave (I'd really have to fuck up, so that's not too likely) or leaving of my own volition and dealing with the shame of that (but being in a better position to focus on recovery). So what do I do? Nothing. Well, besides these musings at least.

You, faithful readers, are my lifeline at the moment. Perhaps one of you will gain something from this.... perhaps it will serve as a cautionary tale, or maybe you're going through the same thing at the moment need a comrade-in-arms. Or you have been there and know you don't ever want to go back to this point, and need some reminding why. Or you're a sadist, and enjoy watching others sqirm (least likely scenario, but thought I would throw that in there) and I can serve as some juicy entertainment.

Or it's a way for me to somehow gain something from this whole sordid experience, and this is a means to that end. I'll explore that for a minute... what could I possibly gain? Some insight into who I am? Perhaps the purpose of this journal is a way to help discover that. What I want out of life, what I'm capable of. Sometimes you have to name it. Or attempt to name that which cannot be named. Perhaps I cannot simply accept the amount of time I feel I've lost and the self discovery I've denied myself because of drugs. Perhaps this is a way to discover and document myself along the way, and perhaps become a better person as a result. Could I even gain something from all this? Can this give me strength, character, and the like?

It's a war in which all who participate are casualties, I think. If one things of things in a sociohistorical perspective, it seems so arbitrary. If we were born at some point in the past, most likely we wouldn't try drugs recreationally. Perhaps it has to do with post-modern "drug culture," and other factors that are particular to our place/time. Think of the Russians, for example. Roughly 3 million addicts, getting all that dope from Afghanistan, for social, political, economic, and geographic (probably more) reasons. 50 years ago, those same people would not be addicts. It was virtually unheard of during that time in the history of the Soviet Union. Anyway, think of millions of people that died fighting various wars historically (or contemporaneously), you can use the same logic to determine how fucking arbitrary it all is. Victims of happenstance, you might say. However, it is up to us how we fight these battles. I've not been to NA, but I think they say something like "addiction isn't our fault, but our recovery is up to us." Not verbatim, but you get the idea.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 17-09-2011 at 09:35. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #6  
Old 17-09-2011, 11:15
southern girl southern girl is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

Sorry honey, I keep trying to get around to replying to you but it never seems to happen. I know you need the support right now so I'll throw a few things out at you.

First of all, you are doing awesome! You really are. I think you should keep writing. I find it extremely helpful especially when you're feeling down. I write in a personal diary at home and also in my journal thread.

You know, all this depression is normal. Being on opioids for so long has messed up your brain chemistry and slowly but surely it will start to repair itself. A while back you asked about SSRI's? Well I think you should continue to use them. I wouldnt put your brain through too much at once. I take 150mgs of sertraline and I dropped 100mgs and was only taking 50mgs just because I forgot to pick up my 100mg tablets. Well my Dr gave me a stern telling off and said that rebound depression and anxiety are a big possibility when dropping your dosage.

Perhaps when you are feeling more "normal" you could start tapering off if you wish to do so. I know its hard to think or even believe right now that things will start getting better, but they will. Here's a thread on PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) which is pretty much what you're experiencing right now. I know the depression can be....well suffocating. Just like you said, you felt normal for a while the other day. Well that time will get longer and longer, until one day you feel completely normal. Hopefully this thread might be helpful. Exercise is great for getting those "feel good" endorphins going. Although it may feel like the biggest chore in the world, it will help.

http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=73599

I hope you find some good info and somethings that may help you. Your determination oozes from your post so just keep going strong babe. You are doing great. I have no idea why no one is responding to your thread. Somehow it seems to keep getting overlooked. Either way, keep writing. Just because some may not reply doesnt mean they arent reading, and maybe your thread is the inspiration they need to kick. You are pretty damn inspiring kid.

Keep going and Im still reading :)

SG.xxx
  #7  
Old 17-09-2011, 14:10
Oneiromancer Oneiromancer is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

Hello the-end-is-nigh


Please have faith - becasue the end is not nigh!

Well first of all like SG has said. Well done for getting this far. Kicking opiates is an incredibly dificult and draining experience that unfortunately lasts several days.

You have already been given such great advice and I don't feel that I can add a whole to it, but as always I like to make a post to anyone asking for help and advice in the R &A forums.

My best advice to you is to steer clear of the suboxone - you should be very proud of yourself that you have not caved and taken this pill already to be honest.
The fact that you haven’t used the suboxone yet (even if it was because you were afraid of addiction) says a lot about your character and your determination to quit opiates for good.

Yes it is hard, and sometimes people do relapse - but its no big deal - what matters is that you pick yourself up and give it another go.

If you are determined to quit the opiates (and i believe you are) then you will succeed. As my friend Miss Sparkles once said "It can't be that hard to quit (i mean yes it is hard but...) if it was too hard to quit then there wouldn’t be any recovering/ex addicts who are now abstinent and happy would there?

I’m not sure exactly how long PAWS last for , i myself was "only" addicted to Dihydrocodeine (amongst other things) and i am now addicted to tramadol.

But I’m sure other members here will be (and have already i believe) able to answer the PAWS bit for you.

Just keeping your doing great, it will get easier - and once your through it all and you feel OK just have a think about things if you can - and try to identify what it was (psychologically) that made you want to abuse opiates in the first place.

If you are able to identify that (whatever it is) then you can focus on removing it (by seeing your doctor or whatever route is best for you) and if you do this then you will be less likely to relapse in the future.

All the best - don't bother with the suboxone. Keep on with what your doing. Get some magnesium and B vits and Vit C supplements - take valerian at night to help you sleep. (as long as your not on other meds) - and let us know how it goes in the future. - Feel free to PM me as well

Bye for now and best of luck

O
  #8  
Old 17-09-2011, 23:11
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

SG: Thanks so much for the moral support! I'm really happy that someone's reading this, rather than it being like a time capsule, buried only to be found by those in the future. And thanks for the SSRI advice!

Also thanks for posting the thread about PAWS....good to know what I'm up against. Although it is depressing to think of things in terms of that long of a duration, at least the depression is chemical and will subside, give abstinence.

I think perhaps no one's responding due to the rather boring title, which, if I could retitle it (can I, moderators?) I would call it "Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction" or some such thing.

Thanks again for checking in SG, it means a lot.

O:
Perhaps the end could be nigh in a good way.... initially it had a dark and rather apocalyptic connotation (reference to 28 Days Later), but perhaps it could mean some sort of light at the end of the tunnel of all this, or something. I would probably rename myself now, to something less impersonal though.... to Jack, perhaps? I might get better responses with a human name.
Right ok, so from now on, anyone who would like to respond can call me Jack. Yep, that'll do.

Agreed about the suboxone, that's just going to be another trap. I went to a meeting to this suboxone group (without having taken the stuff), and they were spouting such nonsense like "because it's a partial antagnoist, your brain can heal partially." Stuff like that. Course the guy behind me was nodding out so hard he dropped his coffee all over the floor. They've got them on up to 32mg a day, some for vicodin! That's a ticking time bomb if there ever was one. At least methadone is more properly studied, and people know how serious it is. I mean, it can be good for harm reduction, of course, but for me, I think the best harm reduction is to let the old noodle heal.

That's good advice about talking to a medical professional, and sorting this thing out while I have the chance to prevent relapse. I really do want to deal with things in a healthy, positive way from here on out by dealing with the psych. reasons behind use in the first place.

Thanks O, I really appreciate the support....

theendisnigh added 35 Minutes and 13 Seconds later...

Another dispatch from the front:

That's exactly what it is, a battle in which we're all forgotten soldiers, our actions at winning the war of recovery often go unseen. Perhaps we're as soldiers in a war destined to be lost (not that we should give up) where history is written by the victors (or non-addicts). I imagine a scared Japanese kid, in a situation where the world is against him (even his superiors), outgunned and outmanned, but gives his all anyway. He'll be buried with no fanfare, and perhaps contempt even, just for being of a certain nationality. Perhaps it's this way with us, as well. The addict, contemptuous and vile, dehumanized. I'm not saying that we're victims, as if there was no choice, but by drawing this parallel it seems to be closer to a soldier on the losing side of a war, rather than the victim of a genocide, for example. The soldier, still had the capacity to fight, and with the chance to win battles, and to distinguish her/himself as an individual, and to do her/his best in the eyes of his/her fellow soldiers. Maybe I'll get some shit for typing this and I'm in the wrong mindset as far as addiciton, or it's not PC, but they're just thoughts. And by putting myself in the position of the soldier, you, reader, can be my comrade-in-arms. After it's all said and done, no one will know what we went through but us, and no one will understand or appreciate the struggle, and we might even face resentment for being in this kind of fight.

It'll be 10 days in a few hours. Pretty good, although I still have the fatigue pretty bad. I'm still a bit achey and cold and with yawns, but I think I might be coming out of the acute crap. I'm trying not to do the caffeine, except for a soda here and there. I hope I get the energy back soon, I need it so bad. People will start to suspect something's up soon, with my lack of enthusiasm.... That's ok, they might not know about this and think I'm just a slug, but I know where I stand...

theendisnigh added 30 Minutes and 39 Seconds later...

Is it ok to post things from YouTube?

http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/loc...d=10975&page=1

I thought of this scene from Star Wars 4, where Luke gazes into the binary sunset. He looks into the distance with hope for the future, yet not without a sort of foreboding sentiment, made all perfect by J. Williams' music.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 17-09-2011 at 23:11. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #9  
Old 17-09-2011, 23:21
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

Hey sweetheart, I think you're doing really really well. I apologise for not answering sooner, there are no excuses.

I was struck by your determination to get some support for yourself, cos you've posted to this thread quite a few times, got no (or little) response, and kept posting. That says to me that you really are trying to be proactive in your recovery, and that you really want this. And this is all you need to get through PAWS, a kinda grim determination, grim to begin with, more positive as time goes on.

You know when I went through PAWS after I'd quit heroin, I thought life would never be the same again. My life "norm" had been a using "norm", everything I knew about life had been learned through an opiate filled haze. So I was quite scared that I was never gonna feel happy ever again. But I was quite right in the first place, cos life was never gonna be the same again.

At first I'd only get brief moments of happiness, and I'd only realise I'd experienced that when it suddenly went. These glimpses of happiness became longer in duration, and those sleepy, unmotivated times got less and less. But it was only when I looked back that I could really see how far I'd come. And that's why its an excellent idea to keep a journal or diary. The other thing I did was to write down (the night before) three things I was determined to accomplish the next day. As time went on, I gave myself more and more difficult things to do, gradually pushing myself, until I was doing all of the usual things from housework, shopping, cooking and socialising, without even a thought of drugs.

At the moment you're going through that roller coaster ride of emotions, one minute feeling ok, the next feeling low, and that will happen for a while, but eventually these mood swings will even themselves out. And this can happen quite quickly, it doesn't take that long. Try to allow your body to guide you, if you feel like sleeping (and you can) then sleep. Try to eat as balanced a diet as possible, make yourself go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time, even if you haven't slept well. Eventually you will sleep normally.

You see its about creating a clean time routine, cos usually the lifestyle we adopt on opiates is anything but normal. Sleeping properly, eating well and making sure you get enough exercise. Its about starting to care for yourself as you really deserve to be cared for. You treat yourself badly, abuse your body with opiates and you're sending a message to yourself, that you don't matter, that you don't love yourself. And it's extremely important to care about yourself.

I've always felt that if you're ok emotionally then your body just follows suit, kinda goes along for the ride. But you have to do the physical stuff to make that happen. You know when you've been working, feel all hot and sweaty. Well imagine not getting a shower, and sitting around like that for a week? Yeah, not a nice thought is it. But imagine how you'd feel, just from this one act of neglect towards yourself? Have that shower and you feel like a million dollars. Well that's what we do to ourselves when we use, perhaps not in that way, but when we don't give ourselves the best we can give. It saps our confidence and self esteem, makes us feel self conscious. You know I was talking to a friend the other day, he was exceptionally self conscious, and I was trying to explain this to him. So I told him to stand up where he was, on the other end of the phone while I was talking to him. I told him to hold his head erect, shoulders back and chin up.

Then I told him to try to just act depressed, and to say out loud "I feel really, really depressed." He told me afterward that as soon as he tried to say that sentence he could feel his shoulders start to sag, could actually feel his body trying to hunch over. Felt his chin immediately go in towards his chest. Try it, see what happens. We stand differently when we're depressed, you can't hold your head up, stand tall when you feel like shit. So if what you say can change something physically in your demeanor, how much more will what you think about yourself change how you feel? How we treat ourselves, what we think can either have a negative or positive effect, just like not bathing can have a detrimental effect on our confidence, so can how feel about ourselves.

Basically, what I'm attempting to explain (I get really carried away with this stuff as I'm so passionate about it) is that you now have to change your routine, and as you do this the way you think will change, until gradually you'll have a completely different way of operating. This can start with you just changing three things that you do each day.

So to recap...

Setting up a routine for yourself is an excellent foundation to build on. Healthy eating, plenty of exercise, and a solid sleep routine, and time. It took a long time for you to get to this point, it didn't occur overnight did it? So it takes time to get back to where you were pre addiction. But you can do it. Hell, I always thought the first month was the worst, personally. I loved my early recovery. It was hard work, but then I'd been using for so long that I wasn't even the person I was when I started out. So I was introduced to a whole new person, it was really exciting. Or maybe that's just how I saw it. I do think that if you can look at recovery as something positive, something to enjoy rather than endure, it does seem to be easier. Start truly believing you deserve this, and that's what you internalise, eventually you will believe that. But you also have to show yourself that you (physically) and your emotions are on the same page. And that's where the new clean time routine comes into the equation.

Anyway love, I've rambled on enough for one post. If you want to chat about anything I've touched on please PM me.

Take care.

Sparkles.
  #10  
Old 18-09-2011, 09:23
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Getting off opiates

Aw Missparkles, thanks so much for the great reply! It gave me hope and inspiration, at a time when those things are in very short supply.

I'll keep posting no matter what! Even if no one replies, I'll still do it, becuase maybe one day these words will spur another sufferer on, toward a better future. However, it is quite nice to get feedback and words of encouragement as well.

It's so great to hear about your experiences, and know that there is a light, as it were, at the end of the tunnel. That these brief periods of happiness get longer, and one can realize that they're normalizing. And that you can be happy again! I long for that, desperately.
Side note, but related:
I realize what I fucking robot I've become, and it sickens me. I went out today and went on a drive/walk in the country with the girl I mentioned earlier, and I should have felt so alive! It was so beautiful, and so was she. I could fake it like I was "normal," but I was devoid of emotion and feeling. Perhaps that I went in the first place might refute that slightly. I couldn't even feel sadness and mourn my lack of feelings, for lack of feeling! Ironic, isn't it? Or cyclical or whatever.

That's great advice about getting in a routine and being good to one's self, I fear lately I've been a bit of a "dry junkie," all mopey and stagnant. I think that my whole mentality needs to change... perhaps I can change my perception of the world, making that the new reality. I've got to get up and force things, I think making a list would help with that.

Indeed, also great advice about enjoying recovery rather than enduring it. If this makes me a better person, what's not to enjoy? It's brutalizing and disheartening, but I know it's good. Like going to the gym. "No pain, no gain," as they say.

You're absolutely right, this didn't occur overnight. I can remember what I was like before all this...I was motivated, confident, and generally happy. While I was at times quite anxious, I was doing things that I loved: socializing, working, sports, sex, projects, etc. Slowly the insidious monster of addiciton trumped all those things, and even life itself. I became a shell of what I was. I realize this, and I know that I can become what I was, or die trying. Well, that's a little dramatic, but I think that's what it takes.

I do deserve this! I'm not afraid anymore. The binary sunset scene from Star Wars 4 will be my mantra (does it work that way?). With grim determination, yet hope, in the face of such darkness on the horizon.

theendisnigh added 22 Minutes and 20 Seconds later...

I will continue posting the disclaimer that the following is fictional:

Forgot to add:
An acquaintance of mine had some sort of Kratom he said worked much better than the stuff I/we had before. I thought of taking some, but why the fuck would I want to restart this whole mess? A month ago I was already a week into it, had some Kratom, (which did nothing positive anyway, thankfully) and it pretty much restarted the w/d show all over again. I suppose that needed to happen for me to learn not to. I only wish I would have thought this way years ago! What a fool I was!

I tried to justify using things like kratom that are "natural," and seem to be a far cry from IV heroin. However, even if the danger of one dying directly from use isn't there (falling out), when using we're like the living dead, so it seems to be the same difference. We become zombies, always hunting for more brains (drugs). Perhaps readers will be amazed that I've just come to this realization more recently in my addiction, and I suppose I am too. Denial is more potent that I could have imagined, especially while in denial. Oh, the irony!

theendisnigh added 311 Minutes and 43 Seconds later...

I wonder if I should have called this thread: "Is This Darkness in You Too? Will You Pass Through This Night?
Hopefully I'm not being self-incriminating by sharing what I feel to be a relevant reference to one of the best movies of all time, The Thin Red Line. I'm sure countless others will share my enthusiasm for this film, though. Another related and relevant quote from the movie:

"Who's doin' this? Who's killin' us? Who's robbin' us of light and life?"

In this situation, I might answer these questions with yet another quote:

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
-From Pogo, comic strip by Walt Kelly circa Earth Day 1971

I'll try my best to keep more on topic, but wanted to share some of these things...

Feel a bit better, almost...hopeful? I'm remembering more and more things I've supressed since I've been off...things right before all this mess, and even things during it that I've chosen to ignore. Probably intentionally forgotten, subconsciously.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 18-09-2011 at 09:23. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #11  
Old 18-09-2011, 09:46
Dickon Dickon is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Theendisnigh,

Let's hope your user name is nearly right! The end has already come, at least, let's hope so. I have changed the title of this thread as per your request and have read through a fair amount of it, although I haven't read it cover to cover quite yet. I am enjoying the left-field erudition and interesting cultural references.

For one thing, you're not in post-acute withdrawals quite yet. Give it a month or so to get over the acute side of things, and anything then that remains you might be able to put down as post-acute. For now you are in the late stages of acute withdrawal. At least that's how I'd call it.

Yes, the lethargy, the lack of perceived intellectual ability and inability to focus, concentrate and motive oneself can all seem interminable, and can induce a sense of malaise and gloom. It feels like all that is good or vibrant and exciting is gone from the world. I'm laid up in bed feeling lousy and it's much the same. I am unmotivated, unfocused, and it feels like something from post-acute withdrawal. However, for you and for me this is just a temporary state of affairs.

I know you have touched on existential issues in your posts, and I'd like to point out that I felt that meditation was a great way to help with this kind of thing. I practice Zen and although (everything I say here will be wrong but here goes....) one is working with existence that goes beyond concepts sometimes a preliminary framework is helpful. I find remind myself that "life is suffering" can be helpful. We are exposed to so much idealisation in the media that it is easy to forget we're not supposed to be some kind of morally perfect (by who's standards?) superman capable of almost anything.

For now it's enough just not to use drugs. I'd say stick with the college if that is something that matters to you. You'll have some dodgy weeks most likely, but with a little perseverance you'll get back on track in time and can just put down current performance to the true fact you're not feeling well at the moment.

Sparkles will help you far more with planning and goals that I ever could. I'm a bit scatty and just tend to muddle through. I admire the planners and organisers of the world, and if you are one of them fantastic! I did once upon a day find writing down a list of things I wanted to do in a day helpful, but again this isn't necessary in the first few weeks (well it's not necessary at all, but might prove a help). For now, just don't use.

Keep writing on here. You remind me of me when I was writing my detox journal: Screaming in the night air. It's just one of those times we all have to get through in our own way. You are showing great fortitude, and I'll second everyone who has said not to use buprenorphine. That would be a major step backwards.

We're all rooting for you and hope you succeed. It's tough, but once you accept that this is what you want and are willing to endure whatever life throws at you without using drugs it gets a lot easier. Often the mental struggle with "will I? won't I?" is worse than what is actually going on taken from the frame of reference of "I will get over this without drugs, whatever it is".

Distracting the mind is great if you can do it, as is doing something physical. It doesn't need to be extreme and addictive, and it is best to begin learning to listen to the body. I'm feeling yucky now and have not been doing nearly as much exercise, specifically yoga, as I'd like. Any yes, I could drag myself to more classes feeling crap, but I don't feel it would actually be a good thing. Sometimes we just need rest. Hot baths or showers are of course great and once the skin has regained some thickness (you know what I mean!), you can sit still and rest and perhaps even get a modicum of sleep, it might be possible to feel grateful since in severe withdrawal you'd probably have given almost anything to reach this place. Low grade shittiness might persist, but you might well have moments of great joy and clarity and emotion. It's all good!

Hang on in there, and in time your body and mind will adjust. Eat well, rest (sleep if possible), perhaps think about yoga, meditation, martial arts, or just exercise in general. Don't expect too much of yourself and count each day clean as a victory no matter what else happens.

You might not get encomiums from the world at large, but there are many of us here who will understand what an achievement it is to remove this monkey from your back stab him through the heart, spit on him and move on. It takes a certain warrior spirit.

Be well

Dickon
  #12  
Old 18-09-2011, 11:26
southern girl southern girl is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickon View Post

For one thing, you're not in post-acute withdrawals quite yet. Give it a month or so to get over the acute side of things, and anything then that remains you might be able to put down as post-acute. For now you are in the late stages of acute withdrawal. At least that's how I'd call it.
I apologize for my premature post and link stating the OP was in PAWS. I always thought the first 5-7 days were the acute withdrawal stage and there after was considered to be PAWS territory.

Sorry for the wrong info; I definitely dont know everything so I'll consider this something new I learned today.

SG.xxx
  #13  
Old 20-09-2011, 06:19
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Dickon,
Thanks for getting back to me here, and also thanks for changing the title! Much catchier now.
I read Screaming in the Night Air, which was an ispiration that I could do this. It was also an ispiration to write more extensively in this journal.

Damn, still acute? I've got a long way to go, but I suppose that I can function somewhat is a good sign. I want so bad to have the motivation right now, but I'll have to come to terms with it just not being there.

I noticed from Screaming that you discussed meditation and the positive effect it had on you, and that's definitely something I want to get into. Doing that seems quite counter-intuitive given the state of things, but, like exercise, would be quite beneficial.

You touched on the issue exactly for me, I think. Thinking that I have to be a superman all the time, especially given how much time I think I've wasted. But that would just be wasting more time by using to produce more. Wish I would have realized that sooner. I do enjoy the Zen mentality of looking at things, that life is suffering. Perhaps one can look at the situation from a sort of Spinozian perspective (minus the god part) as well: that whatever happened, had to happen and therefore must be good. Btw, anyone can correct me if I've bastardized Spinoza. I'm trying to look at these things in a way that minimizes regret, I suppose.

I do feel better and am grateful not to be where I was before, I'm sleeping well for some reason, actually that's all I want to do is sleep. When I should be working on things. I'm trying to see things long term, and hopefully the energy'll come back soon. At least enough to get through the semester.

From the advice she's already given me and numerous other posts I've read by her, I would surmise Sparkles is a recovery jedi. I do need to get the planning thing down, that's been really hard for me lately. I always seem to put off doing what I need to do for the day, until tomorrow. But tomorrow has a bad habit of coming around and then I'm still thinking the same thing.

If you don't mind me asking, are post acute symptoms coming back for you now? Is that normal given your timeframe? You're going on 3 years, right? I'm looking about a month of this, followed by an indeterminate timeframe for PAWS (which I've never really expereinced)?

Thanks again for the reply and support, it gives me further determination to win the fight! After all, we humans are social animals, it makes sense that we need some kind of support system in difficult situations, this, in my opinion and as far as I can tell so far, being one of the most trying.

theendisnigh added 341 Minutes and 1 Seconds later...

Regret is hard to live with, but one must face one's past unflinchingly. Easier said that done... I keep thinking of a quote:

"Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are 'It might have been."'
-Kurt Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle)

All though perhpas I should have quoted the Whittier (but not necessarily wittier, ha ha!) original:

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been."'

Anyway, back to topic. It's been over 11 days now, and I'm still a bit paralyzed. I wonder if it'll get better, hopefully soon? At least enough to function on a basic level? Ugh, what a mess.

theendisnigh added 324 Minutes and 5 Seconds later...

The following may or may not be true:

I feel, for lack of a better word, impotent. Creatively, physically, intellectually (forget intellect! Basic mental function, more like), emotionally, and any other things we often take for granted. I so long for the boredom of the mind in equilibrium! Like it was before chemical derangement, I mean.

There was a great post I read here awhile back that I've been thinking about, I can't remember who wrote it. It was by the loved one of an addict, and she likened the addict's mind to that of a dog's (but not in an offensive way), something about it being sensitive and perceives threat and responds the only way it knows how, with violence out of fear.
The world seems so pernicious and violent, everyone and everything seems threatening. Noises seem too loud, people seem to be malicious. Other types of animals, or some dogs, respond by retreating from situations (flight rather than fight). To continue with this analogy, I think I might be one of this kind of animal. Rather than a dog that bares it's teeth, barks or bites out of fear, I believe I might be one to try and escape from threatening situations. I find myself wanting to be alone, and sleep if I can. I've always been a bit sensitive, and I think perhaps this is the part of me that wants to respond this way.

I want to throw in the towel at times, even though this whole thing's just begun. I don't know if I have the strength to keep this charade up. I'm sure it will be apparent soon that I've been getting nothing done, and am intellectually neutered. Ugh. But, readers, I won't give up. I'll find a way to fake it until I can get through at least the physical crap of all this.

We all think that we're somehow "special." This sort of things comes in quite handy when it comes to physical survival, no one wants to believe they're going to die, or that ill will befall them. In war, it would be especially useful, or other situations that require biological survival. In this situation, no one thinks they'll get addicted, probably due to this same mechanism that may be so useful in some situations but detrimental to one's own life in others. Pride and vanity, I suppose. Utter solipsism!
Even now, I found myself thinking, "maybe I won't get PAWS," after reading that 90% of opiate addicts get it after sustained use. I'm not sure where those numbers are coming from anyway, but it's probably ridiculous to think that way.

I've got to stop with the bargaining thing, and I know this is self-indulgent, but if I could only wake up back in 1994 with my mother saying, "time for school! wake up!"
And all of this was just a dream, a bad bad dream.
Ok, I'll stop with that. I'll limit the self-indulgent posts from here on out.

theendisnigh added 778 Minutes and 13 Seconds later...

This is most likely fiction:

I'm doing my best to keep posting here, I think it's the only thing keeping me from the dark side. The dark side, which, incidentally, I was tempted by today. I want so badly to be productive again, I hate this lack of motivation. However, I realize that the only way to achieve any lasting sustainable academic practice (or any sort of life, for that matter) is to abstain. As I read somewhere else, "a life on (your drug here) is not a life in forward motion."

I thought about leaving it all to become a wandering ascetic, giving up a life of material possessions and earthly pleasures and ambitions. However, I don't know if I could cut it. Perhaps that's just a way to try and run away, to get out of this situation. I think I need to face it head on.

Some symptoms (what I take to be acute) still: severe lack of motivation (obviously), backache, anhedonia, not much else. Not bad, all things considered. I need to get more exercising in, I hear it helps.

theendisnigh added 294 Minutes and 46 Seconds later...

Again, fictional:

Well, it's been 12 days now, the longest I've gone since this whole thing spiraled out of control. Not that it ever was in control, from the first. Anyway, I want so badly to have enough motivation to do what I need to do. Should I try to force it? Or will this make matters worse? I mean, will that lead to frustration which could lead to the dark side?

theendisnigh added 7 Minutes and 6 Seconds later...

Also, will I become worse mentally? I feel that I'm mentally decent enough to function, but when PAWS comes around, will this get worse? I mean the confusion and stuff?

theendisnigh added 239 Minutes and 37 Seconds later...

O snail
Climb Mount Fuji,
But slowly, slowly!
-Issa

Last edited by theendisnigh; 20-09-2011 at 06:19. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #14  
Old 20-09-2011, 06:30
Dickon Dickon is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

It all sounds really good stuff.

Just to quickly come back to your earlier question. No, I don't think how I feel now is PAWS at all. I'm just ill and it feels similar.

A couple of things. The "should I force it?" question is a deep one. It can be useful sometimes to grab yourself by the scruff of the neck and make yourself do something, but it can also be important to relax into the situation and let energy and focus come naturally when it is ready to do so. Perhaps a little gentle encouragement is best. If you are feeling tired and lazy, perhaps go for a walk rather than run a marathon. If you feel you need study, do 20 minutes, rather than 4 hours, and don't get too bothered if your focus is off.

You are at the very beginning of this journey and how you feel now is not going to be how you feel in a few weeks. There is no need to panic and worry at all. As for PAWS it is something that generally just improves with time although it does come in waves. So, you are not likely to get markedly less focussed from here on out, rather the opposite.

Also remember that we age and that if we are looking to a baseline from many years ago this is unrealistic. Maybe at your age this isn't so important, but I know that being in my 40s makes it unrealistic for me to expect to be capable of the same things an 18 year old could do. I am that bit slower now.

Try and do a little exercise if you can, and have patience. It's very much the addict mentality that wants everything now! Just accept where you are and try and be comfortable with that even if it isn't exactly where you want to be. It is all good.

Keep posting. You really are doing amazingly well, so give yourself a big pat on the back.

All the best

Dickon
  #15  
Old 21-09-2011, 07:08
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Dislaimer: May not be true
(btw I typed this first one yesterday but didn't send it...)

Dickon,
Thanks for the continued support, it really does help in this time of great turmoil.

The laziness factor is definitely the worst. While I should have been working today I instead sat there, unable to move. I'll have a bit of explaining to do on that score tomorrow, but I'm not going to focus on that now. In fact, where anxiety over getting things done should be, instead there's this strange detatched nothingness. Emotional numbness, you might say. Perhaps it's a reaction to the situation, like men (or women) in battle who are overcome with a calm that's uncharacteristic of the situation. Still, I feel like I'm dealing with a kind of procrastination that knows no bounds.

So glad to hear it won't get worse! With the PAWS stuff I mean. That was making me sort of second guess myself which probably made it seem like it was worsening.

I am worried about the age factor and that this will just get worse over time and I won't bounce back as quickly as I might now.

I do want everything now! I realize that's the addict talking though, so I'm cautious when thinking like that. It didn't serve me well in the past, how could it now?

I'll be back for more later....

theendisnigh added 38 Minutes and 34 Seconds later...

This post is actually from today....

I did have some explaining to do and managed to pull it off ok. It sucked, but I didn't get kicked out of school. I don't really know if I can do both of these things at once (school and this whole thing) though, I think the facade I've haphazardly erected is now falling in earnest.....

I've got to keep up my fighting spirit, my elan. Perhaps if I got some red pantaloons, like the French at the beginning of WW1 (they believed these pantaloons to be important in this regard). Actually, that didn't work out so well for them. Moving targets.

I'm so tired though, just want to be normal. I feel like a monster. I can act all nice to people and act as if I'm fine, but once I'm alone then I just sit there. I don't know how much longer I can fake it for, readers. Something's gotta give, as they say.

theendisnigh added 331 Minutes and 39 Seconds later...

I'm sorry if I've been a bit self-indulgent (but then again, who isn't?) and whiny, it's difficult to try and keep a positive mindset. Perhaps it helps to realize that this is all chemical, and as such, is not real. Then again, perception is reality. Ok, not helping.

I was extremely tired this evening, after very little sleep. I got some stuff done today, though. I really really didn't want to but I went to the gym this evening and forced running/fast walking upon myself for 3.5 miles. Pretty good, all things considered. I felt pretty good directly after, but after that I felt really strange, confused, muddled thoughts, etc. Probably worse than before, don't know why.

I'm really craving fattening/sweet foods for some reason, doing my very best to avoid those, but that seems to be the only thing that gives me some pleasure. I'm sure that's chemical too, like the brain trying to compensate for lack of endorphins. I've got to resist that, the last thing I need right now is to get fat and lower my self-esteem even further. All that hard work getting in shape during the methadone taper, I don't want to further exacerbate the going backwards with kratom by going backwards physically too. It's also about fighting those moments of fleeting pleasure (good ol' addict mentality again) to give the future a chance. Which brings me to.....

The conundrum of the future:
This is the most difficult thing for me to get past, the fact that now, right now, the moment, is all we've really got. The past is done, finished, never to be returned to. The future doesn't exist. Our perception of the future is always fantasy. This can lead to some pretty nihilistic views, the thinking being that there's no future so one might as well enjoy the present as much as possible. That, unfortunately, can mean drugs, which make one feel quite good in the present moment. Of course, when this feeling is replaced by a sincere loss of affect, one isn't living to the fullest. It's really about quality of life, I think. If one is depressed on drugs, one might as well be depressed but not be on drugs.

All this is so demoralizing, and even dehumanizing. I feel pretty mentally handicapped about now. I suppose, for all intents and purposes, I am.
But, today marks 2 weeks without, so I'm pretty pumped about that. At least there's that. Woo! Or, woo yeah! Whichever you prefer to imagine me saying, somewhat sarcastically, but at the same time with a degree of sincerity.

Post Quality Evaluations:
This whole thread has been an inspiration even if you are struggling. Helpful to other who intened to tread this path.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 21-09-2011 at 07:08. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #16  
Old 21-09-2011, 15:09
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

It is difficult trying to stay in the moment isn't it? As hard as you try your mind forces you to evaluate the past, and you come out of it not looking too good. And then you find your thoughts jumping to a possible future, a happy future that seems so far away. I'm sat here with a knowing smile on my face. Cos I know just how you feel.

And that's where this journal is so important. The fact that you've been prolific in your postings will help you. Have you gone back, re read what you were thinking right at the beginning? Can you see how your way of thinking changes constantly? That's how it is with PAWS.

I liken it to an emotional roller coaster ride, cos one minute you're up, and the next you're incredibly down, not being able to hold the good thoughts and not being able to let go of the negative ones. This journal very much reminds me of a few others that I've read at DF.

This one from Burnz...

https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=140322

And this one of Dickon's, which I'm sure you've read...

https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=69742

If you look through both of these you'll see that both went through the ups and downs that you're now experiencing. But look at the beginning, then read the last few posts that these two posters made. You'll see a huge difference between the two. And you'll se this in your own journal too.

You'll see how much things change and improve. Try to focus on that if you can? I found that when my thoughts were getting stuck in the past, with all of the "should/could have done " thoughts, I'd have to drag them back to the now. Cos it is so easy to get bogged down in the past. And that's dangerous territory to be in.

If you can't stay in the moment then try to focus on the future, a future without opiates. Try to see yourself, what you'll be doing, Imagine how much better life can be without being tied to an addiction. I was fortunate, I had my studies to focus on, I found that motivated me. I imagined where I was gonna be in two years, and gradually I got there.

I'll be honest, it wasn't easy, but it definitely wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done. The fact that you're pushing yourself, making yourself do things is good. But don't forget to reward yourself when you achieve a goal. That's really important as well.

But you're doing really well love. I'm impressed with your determination. The posters who wrote those other two journals are still clean today. I think some of that was due to their journal writing. Getting stuff off of their chest and down on paper can be quite cleansing, cathartic.

Have another thought about perhaps telling someone in real life, a close family member perhaps, cos you know real life support is as good as it gets. When you're not feeling too good there's nothing like having someone to pamper you a little. If it helps we can continue to chat via PM, I really do enjoy talking with you.

Sparkles.
  #17  
Old 22-09-2011, 00:51
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Thanks Sparkles,
I appreciate the support, I really look up to you, what you've done and what you're doing to help others.

I so badly, but I don't know if I can make it through. It's already testing me to the very limits. I feel like I'm ruined.

Going out right now, that might help...

More later....

theendisnigh added 4 Minutes and 26 Seconds later...

I meant so badly want this....

Last edited by theendisnigh; 22-09-2011 at 00:51. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #18  
Old 22-09-2011, 06:09
Dickon Dickon is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

When things are tough, try to keep it in the day. "Sufficient to the day the problems thereof". If the problem is mental fuzziness and inability to focus, just think if you had a cold or other illness that made you feel that way you'd be annoyed but it wouldn't be pushing you to breaking point. You'd know that with a little time you'd get over it and be back to yourself again. This is one way to think about what you are going through now.

If you want this so badly you will have it. There is nothing inherently difficult about not taking drugs, yet we all seem to make such a meal of it in the early days! I wonder if you're not reaching a very important point somewhat similar to something I went through, when all the fight left me. I simply didn't have any energy to battle any more. But there was nothing to battle! The opponent was imaginary, since I was fighting to not do something.

So, perhaps simply surrender to exactly where you are at, good and bad. Just accept this is exactly where you are at right now. It's all ok. Also you have got this! There is nothing to want so badly that you don't already have. It's a case of maintaining it.

It will get easier as I've probably said before, but for now it will feel new, alien and there will be temptations. All the self-doubt (can I do this? Is it worth it? Am I worth it?) is a manifestation of the addiction trying to manipulate you into using. But you have the power here. All you have to do is say no to those thoughts that are trying to take you back.

Keep it up and you'll feel better soon.

Lots of respect and good wishes

Dickon
  #19  
Old 23-09-2011, 20:19
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

I appreciate the support, Dickon. I'm feeling a bit better now, but worry that my fighting spirit I once felt so strongly has given way to a general sense of despair. It is comforting to hear you had similar feelings and have come out on top. It's not complete despair though, as today I managed to go out and take my mind off things. Even cleaned the house a little, somehow. Seems to help to try and do something.

That's so true about thinking about this having another illness and how one might deal with it. Much easier to do if dealing with things on a day-to-day basis, rather than thinking about having an illness for months or so. I think that's the thing that's getting me right now. I can't imagine keeping this up! Indeed the best course of action would be to accept it, and move on. One doesn't exactly regret getting a different illness, bronchitis for example, and focus on that. Instead the healthy thing to do is think about what you can do to get better, and what you're capable of achieving that day.

I'm doing my best to see it that way, that there's nothing left to battle as it's about not doing something. I suppose one could say the war is won, and now the task is mopping up.
It's hard right now because I'm still in the mindset, and the very unfortunate place of being in a demanding situation (when I had all this time before school I could have done this!) where not doing drugs equals not doing work. But I realize the flawed logic of this, because it ended up in the doubly bad doing drugs and not doing work! Madness, it is.

That's right! I do have the power to beat this thing. I don't really even crave the stuff like I once did, I just want to be normal. But I feel very not normal. I've got to access the most rational parts of my being as I can now, knowing that "the only way out is through," as they say. Not really sure who exactly the "they" is, but they do say that. It's also comforting to hear from someone who's been there that it will certainly get better. Many thanks for keeping up with this, and I'll keep posting....

theendisnigh added 692 Minutes and 34 Seconds later...

I feel a bit better today, perhaps something resembling what a person without this problem might be like ("normal" for all intents and purposes). Slightly not normal, maybe kind of an unmotivated dunce, but you get the idea.

I do keep thinking of all the work I got done last year, and sort of fantasizing about how great it was, or how happy I was. I'm keeping that sort of thing in check, being the malicious addict voice intent on trickery. If all's well that end's well, the inverse must be true. It obviously didn't end well, so it wasn't a good thing, even at the time.

theendisnigh added 245 Minutes and 50 Seconds later...

I think perhaps the decaf I thought I drank was actually caffienated. I feel very strange, and am greatly resenting being limited with a body and mind in such a state. I've been thinking about the "burden of the body," and how the burden of having a corporeal form is amplified many times over with this sort of chemically-induced chaos. I keep thinking about the freedom that I once had without all this, although didn't realize it at the time or recognize any "freedom." Perhaps it's similar to the way one might think about the outside world while in prison, not realizing how great it was until incarcerated.

That seems to be another ontological problem, lack of appreciation of any given situation. Even now! All the things I've got to appreciate are marginalized. I don't want to keep fantasizing about "the life that was," I would rather start living. I mean, time's going to go by no matter what you do. It would be equally bad to live in constant regret, I would think, as it is to be a user and live in a fog. Either way, time, precious time, and life, would be further lost.

I cannot remember so much about what was going on when using, it's really scary. Bits and pieces, is all. It doesn't seem to be linear (not that all memory is), just strange things that come up for no good reason.

I will refer back to the haiku that's my current mantra:

Oh Snail,
Climb Mount Fuji,
But Slowly, Slowly!
-Issa

So beautiful. I need things like this to remind me of what it felt like to be alive, I can hardly remember.

theendisnigh added 160 Minutes and 33 Seconds later...

A little bird told me this....

I found some tea in my bag today. I didn't take it of course, but having it there is probably just asking for trouble. Perhaps it needs to be immolated, burned in sacrifice in a symbolic gesture of my defiance of the monster that believes that life was better in its embrace.
Yet, I kind of like having it there in a somewhat perverted way. Like I'm not quite over it.
I've made my choice though, it must be destroyed. Or I'll be. This shit (the whole dysfunctional extended opiate family) is liable to put one in an early grave, one way or another. Maybe you'll get shot trying to cop, OD, suicide or jail, etc. If not physical death, then emotional/intellectual death is a certainty.
What part of that sounds like part of any decent plan for life? It's not like it's even living on the stuff! I liken it to the atomic bomb, and if one remember's Oppenheimer's famous stament (from the Bhagavad Ghita):

"Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds."

Except this "destroyer of worlds" has been destroying lives since before history. I remember thinking I was in some kind of mystical lineage stretching back before time with the Poppy Tea. Eating this "natural" thing which had been eaten by countless cultures and people throughout time. It's this kind of denial and delusion that perpetuates the whole thing. One could easily relate with cultures of the world and across time based on things much more meaningful (or even basic) than chemicals. We can relate to them through shared experience: our hopes, fears, loves...whatever it is, from the poetic to the mundane.

theendisnigh added 652 Minutes and 48 Seconds later...

Went to the gym and ran about 2 or so miles, and I did notice that I was feeling better after. I really need to start going every day, kickstart the endorphin-starved brain of mine.

I had, earlier, a bout of negative thinking about wanting to use. I believe the appropriate term to be "stinking thinking," if we're to use the NA vernacular. I was looking up things online, having to do with drugs and coveting what I might get. I just neet to accept that this is the way it'll be, and it will be over before long. We're so impatient! Especially in the postmodern world and all the trappings inherent in late capitalism. Want some food? Here you go, hot and fresh (not really fresh) in 3 minutes. Bored? Here, watch this movie, sure to enteratain with minimal effort. Not feeling as good as you want? Have some drugs. But, are we really happy with all this? I'm not saying that people in the past were necessarily happy before all of these things, but unlike us, they knew how to better deal with life for what it is. We don't seem to understand that you can't really be happy all the time. Happiness is all relative. One can only feel happiness if they feel the opposite at times. It's seems quite natural, even scientific. As in Newton's Third Law:
"for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

I'm sort of losing track of the days since last use. I think it's day 17, but they all kind of bleed together for some reason. It's also hard to know what day it is, regardless of time elapsed from d-day. It's almost as if...I'm apathetic? Hmm could be. Or the memory thing. Hate that so much.

theendisnigh added 380 Minutes and 20 Seconds later...

I'm tring really hard to pull this thing together, but everything is painful and takes so much effort. I've been getting to school and doing well in teaching, somehow. But when it's time to get my own work done, I can't. Thinking abstractly is very difficult as well. I think the stress is definitely making it worse.
I haven't failed yet, readers. And I don't intend to. As I said before, it's life or death. Kill or be killed. Hard to think in that way when all you want to do is sleep and not wake up. Not die, mind you, but not wake up. Or at least for a long time, Rip Van Winkle style.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 23-09-2011 at 20:19. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #20  
Old 23-09-2011, 22:59
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

I was talking to a friend yesterday, he's also in recovery, and we were discussing that need to feel happy, or "normal" as he put it. After a long discussion we decided it wasn't normal, it was high. The point is when you become addicted to opiates high becomes that new normal. But it's not real. And that's exactly what its all about. It's about staying drug free for long enough that this mental state becomes the new norm, and that high feeling you get from opiates becomes as alien to you as normal is at the moment.

That make sense to you love?

And slowly it will happen. One day you'll find yourself laughing at something you've heard or seen, and you'll suddenly realise its real happiness. And these happy, contented times gradually extend in duration, until that numb feeling you've got most of the time now, only happens occasionally. Now I can't tell you how long this is gonna take, all I can tell you is if you hang in there it will happen.

But at the moment, the way you feel, you can't imagine that ever happening. I know I've been there love. This stage is all about sucking it up, gritting your teeth and getting through it. There are no quick fixes. It's all about determination, and motivation. If you can find something that you really enjoy doing, and focusing on that, you'll get through this...no problem.

Cos opiates do seem to leave a gap in your life don't they? And now is the time to find something to fill it. Eventually your life will fill it. You'll get joy from going for a walk in a park or on a beach, you'll get excited about meeting a friend for coffee or a meal, and you'll begin to notice the change in yourself, and you'll like it. You just have to remain as determined as you are now, and you'll get through to the other side of this.

I've just been to play bingo with my mum and a few of her friends. Now if you'd have told me back when I was going through PAWS that I'd actually enjoy doing this, I'd have thought you were crazy. I mean seriously. But I do enjoy it. No, not the bingo, it's the joy I get from seeing my mum happy, not worried sick cos she knows I'm at home using. I get pleasure just sat curled up on the sofa with the dog, watching a movie. Its so hard to explain, but you'll know it when you start to feel it.

Stay focused, stay determined, you're doing awesomely well love.

Sparkles.

PS. No, I didn't win at bingo.
  #21  
Old 24-09-2011, 19:54
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Sparkles,
That's a great point that the "normal" during drug use is actually high, therefore not really being normal at all. I think it's easy to trick oneself into thinking that you were functioning normally while using, but actually that's just delusional. I can't even remember a lot of the things I said or did while under the influence, that makes it hard to justify even for someone who felt that life was better in some ways. Like the motivational thing, I keep thinking "well, I got so much done," but really I didn't. I just cheated my future self by getting high and working a ton so I could justify getting high. Now I'm not working at all, so that doesn't seem like it was worth it in the end.

That does make sense, though, about things getting better gradually until the feeling of being high seems alien. I think in some ways I'm starting to forget what it was like, maybe this is in part informed by my repulsion of the way I was on the stuff, and how I could lie to myself for so long. It's true, though, I can't imagine ever being happy or feeling content or "normal" again. Yet, at the same time, I never want to put myself through this again. It's nice to hear that it will get better with time, and perhaps I can have somewhat of a normal life.

That sounds so nice about enjoying the little things in life! I can't wait to get to that point. Just to be able to look at myself in the mirror again would be nice, the shame is sometimes too great to bear. All the wreckage and devastation this kind of a life leaves in its wake takes a toll on the psyche.

Thanks for keeping up, I'll post more later....

theendisnigh added 35 Minutes and 2 Seconds later...

The previous, and present post are probably untrue:

I wrote that last post yesterday, when I seemed to be overcome by darkness. Today, I feel better, I really do. At least right now. So true, Sparkles, I can see how these moments become more and more frequent, even now. I actually was able to clean the house, laundry, and now I'm going to run some errands and do what needs to be done, rather than hiding from these things, hoping they'll go away. If I can hold on to these moments, sieze them, and savor them, perhaps I can make it through, knowing they'll outweigh the dark times.

Another thing I've been thinking about is what Jack LaLanne said:
"Life is hard, death is easy" (or something very similar)
One of his feats (if we're to believe wikipedia):
1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 Mile.
(If I'm not allowed to post that via d/f rules, I apologize)

I think if one realizes that life is suffering and embraces it, they'll be much better off through life. Maybe it takes a masochist to do that, I don't know. I'm sure it takes even more of a masochist to pump one's body full of drugs, though.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 24-09-2011 at 19:54. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #22  
Old 27-09-2011, 07:59
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Still hanging on, I think things are getting better incrementally, although I feel extremely unmotivated and often confused. I think it's day 18, 19? Not exactly sure. Feels like much longer. It's the rollercoaster thing that really gets me, I often don't know what to expect....

theendisnigh added 518 Minutes and 46 Seconds later...

In recent news:

I'm doing better, for sure. I wonder if this isn't the pink cloud I've heard so much about. Maybe not yet, though I don't know. In a way, I'm hoping it's not, and things continue to get better. Bad and good, being relative, makes it difficult to judge my present condition. What I mean is, I'm not sure if I should expect better, or not.

Whatever the case, "make hay while the sun shines," as they say. I'm doing my best to take advantage of my better condition and do all that I can while I can. I did manage to get some stuff done, and that feels good. I could have done more, but one could always say that. No one should ever be in this position, I strongly feel I would have been better off being in some accident that left me without an arm or a leg, than this. At least my brain would be intact! Enough of that self-indulgent bargaining thing again, though. That's over and done. Tomorrow is another day. But the days go slow, and the years go fast! How strange life is. With all it's twists and turns. I am starting to think more and more than one must make peace with it, rather than fight it.

The nervous energy that I have put toward this journal was well spent, and I'm doing my best to continue posting but the words don't come as easily. More later, though.

theendisnigh added 923 Minutes and 26 Seconds later...

Ran 3 miles, I think that helped. At least for a short time. I do feel better, and I'm going back and looking at old posts to compare. I keep wondering how bad this PAWS business will be....

I still feel empty, it's like I don't even remember what it feels like to be happy, and to be alive. It'll happen, though, I'm sure of it. What's weird, though, is that the flood of emotions I've experienced in acute w/d in the past, didn't seem to come this time. Maybe I got all the acute stuff out of the way, because when I relapsed after a week in the beginning and used maybe 3 or 4 times I didn't seem to get nearly as bad acute w/ds. Perhaps, then, I'm functionally more than 19 or 20 days or whatever it is. I feel a bit like a robot, but I suppose that's better than a crazy person.

Don't really have the cravings, just want to regain a sense of normalcy. I remember having drug dreams in the past, even on methadone. About going to nasty neighborhoods to score. Now, strangely, I have food dreams. I'm not sure what this is about, but I'll take it.

theendisnigh added 575 Minutes and 27 Seconds later...

Went to the gym again after getting a decent amount done. I actually feel pretty good. I'm going to continue updating on this, it will be nice to have something to look back on, and also share for readers to potentially relate to. It's up and down all day, but the up times are getting more lengthy. It's a hard battle, but one that must be fought and won. Perhaps now the real fighting is over, and now it's about letting events play out.

Patience has never been one of my virtues, but perhaps this doesn't need to be detrimental to recovery. Doing things that are proactive, like going to the gym, seem to ease the suffering and give the impatient an advantage. Making lists, as Sparkles recommended, seem to help as well. The time will elapse either way, might as well fill it with things that one can feel good about at the end of the day, rather than sitting there in miserable procrastination.

I know now there's no going back, I'm deeply disturbed by all of the time and memories lost. Lost, and most likely gone forever. I will begin meditation, I'm down for anything that might improve cognitive function and sense of well-being.

Last edited by theendisnigh; 27-09-2011 at 07:59. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #23  
Old 27-09-2011, 11:21
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Bonus of planning and making lists is that you do get stuff done. As for meditation, I found that I always felt calmer, felt better about myself and where I was in my recovery, after doing this. I would sometimes feel quite anxious, feel like nothing seemed to be moving forward. After a session of meditation it wouldn't matter how far I'd moved forward. I'd just be content to be where I was. The other benefit of meditation that I found, meditating nearer bedtime helped me to sleep a lot better.

Sparkles.

PS. You're not alone, at the moment I'm finding myself needing to meditate.
  #24  
Old 28-09-2011, 04:38
theendisnigh theendisnigh is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

Thanks Sparkles, I'm definitely going to try meditation tonight. Or rather, I will meditate. A wise master sensei once said "do or do not, there is no try." I think that statement's important in this situation, where it's all or nothing.

I'm definitely having better moments now, where it seems that I can think more clearly (somewhat) but still feel that I'm quite rigid in my thinking. Hopefully doing things like meditation and yoga will help with cognitive issues.

I still can't believe it's gone this far, and that terrifies me somewhat, how it could get to this point. But, I'll have to make my peace with the situation if I'm to move on. I know that I must accept the situation, otherwise it will most likely be my undoing. I find myself often going back to the whole "how could this happen?," thing. I am realizing it would be more pragmatic to think "it happened, let's not let it happen again."

I know this sounds like I'm bargaining, and maybe I am, but I can't help it. Time, unfortunately, is percieved by us to be linear. That makes it difficult to cope with situations where there's no going back, but you feel that you almost could go back. Like it's just out of your grasp, to be back in that situation and make the right choice. Perhaps if you could go back it would play out in much the same way. Maybe it's the same when you go back to those times and places mentally, you always make the same choice and the same thing always happens, because it did happen. Not sure if that's really dumb or profound. Or both?

I felt pretty good for a moment earlier today, (20 days in, I think?) was functioning pretty well. Now I think I've lost that momentum. Just not there. I'll get up to do something, then think, "what's the point?" This feeling does seem to be letting up, though. I think I can take advantage of the brief moments of lucidity and energy while they last. Certainly it's not as bad as before.

theendisnigh added 33 Minutes and 28 Seconds later...

I remember reading some foreboding and disheartening statistic on the percentage of people who successfully quit opiate addiction. I can't remember what it was, only that it was dismally small, 5%? The argument was that with opiates, one gets a feeling of "being at home" when using again, that they get back a certain "missing part" of themselves, or some such. I'm sure, comrades, that you might take offense to these stats, and probably for good reason. Who knows where they come up with these, etc. Who are they referring to? How long were they using? Etc.

Perhaps these facts are defeatest and become part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. As in "no point, in even trying, I'll never make it." Or perhpas others just ignore these, knowing "I'm in that 5% that makes it out." Maybe it does take a certain warrior spirit (love that term, thanks Dickon) to make it out, and to defy the odds.

theendisnigh added 93 Minutes and 53 Seconds later...

This isn't true, most likely.

I wanted to ask what readers thought about my having a glass of wine at night, about every other day. Will this interfere with recovery? If so, to what degree? I realize that it's probably not a good thing, as "one thing can lead to another," as they say.

I never really liked drinking, though. But, I find myself liking it more now that the ruthless dictator El Pod and his family have been deposed.

Perhaps you might say that I just answered my own question, because I find myself saying that I like it more than I did before, and therein lies the danger. Or, perhaps it could contribute/exacerbate depression from current condition of w/d and/or PAWS. Is it setting me, back, recovery-wise? I mean, will I have to endure lengthier w/d or subsequent PAWS due to this? Or would I have to drink more frequently/heavily?

Last edited by theendisnigh; 28-09-2011 at 04:38. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #25  
Old 28-09-2011, 11:23
missparkles missparkles is offline
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Re: Fighting the Good Fight: One Man's Battle Against Addiction

The times that I've gotten clean, then thought about why I'd ended up where I was, thought (stupidly) that it was all down to making the wrong choices. I assumed that with this new insight, this new wisdom, that I could go back and use, just not making wrong choices this time. It took quite a few relapses (almost 40 years of them) for it to sink in that when I was using all of the choices I made were wrong, simply by virtue of the fact that my thinking was distorted by my opiate addiction. I didn't have the awareness when intoxicated to make any good choices. I could only see my situation in relation to my drug use. It wasn't until I cleaned up each time, that with a clear head I thought totally differently. You see my desire/need to obtain my DOC was always the most important thing in my life, not reducing or quitting. It's almost like my choices were already made for me, and if I wanted to continue using, I had to make the choices that supported that use, not ones that undermined it, or any effort I might have made to control it.

For example, I told myself that one of my new rules to enable me to keep my drug use at a lower level was never to buy more than I needed, so when I got the chance to buy in larger quantities I'd justify it, tell myself that I might not be able to score in 2-3 days time, so buying in bulk was a sensible thing to do. Totally blew my own rule out of the water. Of course if there's more on the table I always used a little more, just a little more. But how much does it take, for how long, before you wake up and find you need 4-5 bags just to feel well. When a month ago you were getting off on just one bag a day? Its too easy to fool yourself. And this self delusion starts right here, just where you are. Just that thought that perhaps if I'd done it differently, I might have been able to control it. You're already starting to think "what if."

I truly believe that relapse does not begin when you pick up, doesn't even begin when you make that first phone call. It starts here, with those using thoughts that begin to intrude now. Can you hear that creaking sound? These are those "what if" thoughts, creeping in through the back door. Even while your conscious thoughts are telling you that you never wanna go back to that time there is a part of you (lets call it your subconscious) that already making its pitch. It's that part of you that is languishing in the background. Its this part of your psyche that is completely unguarded at the moment. This is why you need to be ultra aware of all of those "what if" ideas and thoughts.

When I got clean and found myself thinking that if I could go back and do it differently I'd make sure I did this and that, and these were the dangerous thoughts, cos all it took was for me to decide that "yeah, I could do it differently" for that choice to be made. Chances were that although I could stop myself all the way through that process from the original thought to using, once started it's an almost self propelling chain of events. Once I thought that I could do it differently, got that urge to use, it was almost impossible to put the brake on it. Within weeks I'd be using. And no, I didn't do it any differently, cos there were factors I didn't take into consideration in the original equation. Things like tolerance.

How did I stop this from occurring once that thought had hit my head...I told someone, and once I did that I closed the door on that occasion. It did happen again and with frequency, but each time it occurred and I told someone how I was thinking, they could then sit me down and re-enforce what I really knew to be true, that it could never, ever be different. At times when these thoughts became pervasive I'd hit a few meetings. Nothing like NA/AA to remind you just why you never wanna go back to that place again. And no, I'm not a proponent of 90 meetings in 90 days, I just use NA/AA when I'm struggling. I've never been a huge supporter of meetings to be honest.

When I first cleaned up back in 1967 I was told about meetings. My first meeting scared the shit outta me, cos all I seemed to hear about was where I would end up if I continued using, there appeared to be nothing good about quitting, just a message of horror if I didn't. I have to admit that the fear of what might happen to me if I continued using was what kept me clean, it had nothing to do with desire, and all to do with me being terrified of relapse. When I didn't immediately land up in jail, a psychiatric hospital or in the gutter, I knew that I'd taken the message a little too literally. But one thing about that very first meeting came back to me when the fear about relapse had worn off, and I'd relapsed again. I remembered someone telling me to "take what you need from the meeting and discard the rest."

The next time I went back I was in complete wd. People cared for me, took care of me, and I saw the message of love and hope, and that's what I took away with me. I continued to relapse for 4 decades, but when I did eventually clean up the last time I found that meetings helped me in times of crisis. I did find a really tiny AA meeting in Staffordshire (UK) that was so wonderful, I went once a week for a couple of years. I even surprised myself by offering to do telephone service for them. I did this for almost 3 years. I got a helluva lot from doing this. I'd advocate anyone to begin any sort of voluntary work where the focus is on enabling and supporting vulnerable members of their community. Doing this was personally empowering for me, it also raised my level of awareness, kinda opened my eyes in a big way.

Kinda off topic...

It was this telephone service and those meetings that made me aware of a gap in the support system for addicts, when they left in patient treatment. People coming to meetings would talk of the terror they felt in those very first few days, at home after detox. I realised that due to their behavioural problems while using, most (if not all) had no outside support when they immediately left hospital. Usually discharged from hospital after Friday morning ward rounds and being expected to leave the detox center/hospital on a Friday evening, most went home to an empty cold house. They were feeling nervous and jittery, some even being afraid to leave the home to buy groceries, so scared that they'd relapse. For some of them that fear was well founded, having come home to an empty food cupboard they'd need to buy basic food items such as milk, tea/coffee and bread. And in most stores alcohol was freely available.

So I started a group which comprised of 4 people (ex addicts/alcoholics) who would escort a newly discharged patient from hospital to home, from home to a store to buy basic food items. They made sure that their home was warm, that they had food, and that any letter/bills that had arrived whilst they were in detox could be taken care of. You see most of the support agencies that helped newly clean addicts (alcohol and drug) closed on Friday afternoon and opened again on Monday morning. When you're newly clean your confidence is quite low, and usually you're really scared about going back to the place that might have half empty bottles of booze lying around, or drug paraphernalia that was just left when you were admitted to detox/treatment. Some times just knowing that there was someone to talk to was enough to get them through that first weekend.

I'm digressing here...perhaps. The reason I'm relating all of this is because I wanted you to know how important voluntary work can be to your recovery, how something as simple as a meeting can open up all sorts of avenues. I handed over control of that group after two years, but I still remember the work I did, I still remember how good I felt whilst helping others. In fact I still get a good feeling deep down in my tummy just thinking about it today, sixteen years after helping my first client. I can even remember their names, their faces, where they lived. That's why I tell everyone to get involved as soon as they feel able. I found that using NA/AA as I wanted to use it, taking from it what I wanted, enabled me to stay clean for long enough to be in that position to offer others help.

Kinda back on topic...

Of course you can't go into any voluntary work to that degree at the moment, today you have to put yourself first, but there are simpler ways of supporting others. Perhaps just being open to the needs of others. If that comes in the form of smiling at someone who looks quite low, to getting up and offering to help at home, when usually you'd just sit there. It has to begin in a small way. I started by carrying shopping from the car, talking to people at bus stops, just chatting to people in general and being aware of what they may be going through/feeling, as opposed to sitting there and focusing on why I felt low.

I suppose it all comes back to awareness doesn't it? Once I got clean I had two ways I could go. I could endure what I was going through, or embrace it, see it as a time for good change. Even the times I felt low, and wouldn't have recognised a positive thought if it bit me on the ass in broad daylight, I still had that faith to hang in there in the knowledge that positive feelings and thoughts would happen again. I did everything in my power to hang onto them when they did come back, being aware of my own moods, knowing that they were cyclical. No I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I was just so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I knew I deserved better than I was currently giving myself. As do you, love.

You know some days, when I was working in that group, I didn't wanna get out of bed, let alone pick someone up from detox, take them home and take them shopping. But once I actually got up and showered, I was up for anything. I just had to make that initial effort. So for you, if you're starting to think about how you could have done it differently...realise that this is just your addiction, and its trying to sneak in that back door. That's when you need to do something, anything that pushes those thoughts out of your head. If that's something nice for someone else, even better, cos you'll feel better for it.

I hope my inane ramblings (senility might be setting in, who knows?) haven't put you to sleep? I hope that my trip down memory lane has not been too trying for you? Certainly made me feel a lot better, at least that's something huh?

Sparkles.
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