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Day 10 Clean - After 7 Years

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by getoffsubs, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    If I had read what I'm about to write just 3 months ago, I wouldn't have believe a word of it. Not a single word. I hope others can find some level of hope and encouragement, because that's my only reason for making this post.

    I used to post here nearly 8 years ago. It was during my first time using sub to get off pain meds. I wasn't nearly as addicted back then, but it was still very hard and the WDs were rough. I was clean for about 6 months, and started back up on pain meds and then subs again. In the last 7 years, things have spiraled out of control, time flew by, and I'm going to be spending a fair amount of my foreseeable future trying to pick up the pieces. Over the past 7 years, I've taken anywhere between 4mg - 24mg over the course of the day, according to how I "felt". I was a mess with zero self control. I always had a plan to taper, but "life" always got in the way. As recently as the middle of September of this year I was taking up to 16mg a day.

    On September 24th, my spouse basically gave me an ultimatum to get off. I had changed so much, she didn't recognize me. I had no interest in anything, no friends, no real life, my business was suffering, my home life was suffering, everything was a mess. On that day, I decided I could do this. It was as if a light switch went off in my head. I immediately tapered back to 4mg and as quickly as possible, made sure I was only taking sub once per day as opposed to spreading it out. I also tracked my daily dosage and tried to reduce as quickly as possible, but without a set plan in place. 4mg, 3mg, 2mgs...

    It wasn't easy as I reduced. Emotions came flooding back, energy was reduced, chills, all the normal stuff. Looking back, I don't know what my exact taper schedule was, but the key was I was reducing as quickly as I could tolerate it. Some up and down in dosage until I could stabilize at the lower dose. I still had a business to run, family to attend to, etc. I had to somehow maintain "normal".

    By early November, I was cutting my tabs into smaller and smaller pieces. I only had 8mg films available, so I initially cut them into 4 equal pieces, then into 8 pieces. The real progress started when found a very sharp razor blade, a cutting mat and a ruler and was able to cut one film into 32 relatively equal pieces. I felt like I kept getting stuck at various levels, 1mg, .75mg, .5mg. In reality, I probably spent about 2 weeks at each level, but the weeks were flying by. I put the smaller pieces between my front lip and gum because they were too hard to handle and get placed under my tongue.

    By the end of November, I was making due with .25mgs per day - usually around 10am. I was probably there for 3 weeks or so. I didn't feel great, but I was able to make it through the day. I took some immodium for stomach issues, benedryl to sleep, advil for aches and pains. I also had some medication my doctor had given me for Restless Legs at night which I started taking as needed. I can't remember the name, but it was a HUGE help. I had chills and was always cold. One the flip side, my sex drive came roaring back, my appetite increased, and I felt alive for the first time in years. Thanksgiving came and went and I was doing okay.

    With Christmas and New Year's coming, I knew I didn't want to be in full WD's during the last week of the year and I couldn't drag this out any longer. Last Saturday was 12/13/14 and I liked the sound of that. On that day, I didn't take any sub. My last dose was actually on Friday, but Saturday was my first clean day. I was very fearful of the coming days and weeks.

    Saturday came and went without much issue. I spent most of Saturday night and Sunday on the couch not doing much. Monday morning I got up and went to work like nothing had happened. I didn't feel great, but based on what I thought was going to happen, I felt like I was living a dream.

    Last week went by so well I was shocked. Today I'm back at work, sitting at my desk typing this post, feeling nearly 100%. I don't even know what 100% is anymore, but I feel better today than I have in the past 7 years.

    I still have chills, I sneeze about 50 times a day. I've been taking Trazadone to sleep and the RLS med, but I think I might be able to stop that tonight or at some point before Christmas.

    To be perfectly honest, I'm confused by all this. How could it really have been this easy? I feel a sense of guilt just writing this - like others won't believe my story. I can't believe it myself.

    Things are far from perfect. My marriage is in shambles and I'm not sure we are going to make it. I've got a huge mess to clean up.

    If nothing else, I'm clean today. I've got left over subs I need to destroy but I've had zero desire to take any. I've never had that strength in the past. It's all very surreal. I just hope this strength stays with me. I know in my heart and in my mind I never want to go back to where I've been.

    I'm 42 years old. I just pissed away the last 10 years of my life. I'm 10 days into the start of the rest of my life.

    As I said at the beginning of this post, just 3 short months ago I wouldn't have believed a word of this. I won't go so far as to call it a miracle, but right now, it feels that way to me...

    Keep in mind, I suffered some form of withdrawals every minute since September 24th, nearly 3 months. It wasn't easy, but I wouldn't change it for the world based on how good I feel today.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  2. mfnetworx

    mfnetworx Member

    All I can say is a VAST congratulations. Just for the heck of it, I would toss those subs you don;t need ASAP, but that is not why I wrote.

    I have been on 10 years now, and just today faced one of those "I'm out of sub and didn't call my doctor for an appointment" days. I was shamed by them, told I should I look for a different doctor, etc. I actually had a very good reason, but when you are a sub-addict - are there ever any really good reasons?

    I don't feel anything from taking sub anymore. I have had a number of phys assistants tell me stories similar to yours, that a lot of people just quit and actually feel very little. I just dropped from 16 down to 12 and it was noticeable but barely. Like you, I take it depending on "how I feel."

    I think going to a "once per day" schedule is a very good start for taper - that way you can really control what you are doing. I also hear what you said about tapering off when you can so it feels comfortable. I can't believe you went from 16 to 4 mg almost overnight, though. The bottom line is that I now hate being a slave to this drug. I get no benefit from it at all. Congratulation to you and thanks for the inspiring story.

    I guess my one question is this - do you feel the time factor, that you were on it for so many years, made quitting it different. I mean I am so over wanting a "high" and I don;t even really feel bupe anymore. I would love to be normal again. I hate to admit I fear the emotions coming back, crying at commercials, etc. But man, I would love to be clean again.
  3. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    I actually threw them away about 30 minutes ago so there was no way I could ever get them back. I'd actually been carry what was left of a cut up one in my wallet in case the crap hit the fan at some point, but it never really did.

    I think time was a huge factor - probably the biggest. I was on a dead end road and nothing was ever going to get better. They say you have to find your bottom. I thought I had found mine so many times before. I swore I'd never be one of those bums who loses a marriage over addiction and here I am facing exactly that.

    You sound like you are getting yourself in the right place mentally - that's probably the biggest thing you can do.

    Emotions - I'd recommend watching Jimmy Valvano's Espy speech just before he died. He talked about living a full life and how emotions are so important. I've cried more in the past 2 months than I have in the past 7 years.

    Jimmy V - "To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special."

    Jimmy was so sick with cancer he could hardly make the trip to accept the award, let alone stand up and give a 10 minute speech. We all need such inspiration... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E
  4. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Look I don't want anyone to believe that everything is roses based on my first post. I hope I made that clear but if not, I started feeling like crap yesterday after I made that first post. I think it was due to not eating breakfast. When I was using, I had no appetite. I could skip breakfast and lunch and just keep rolling, now, I get very hungry and I have to eat or I crash even harder.

    However, I have been able to make it through each day and accomplish just about everything I need to without much issue. So far today, the chills aren't too bad but they were awful yesterday. Still lots of sneezing.

    For the first time in a long time, little thoughts have been creeping into my head when I feel especially bad - "you know how to fix that, just take something..." For 10 years, that's how I fixed everything. Luckily, I've got nothing to take, also, I quickly extinguish those thoughts because after 10 years, all of the fixes are just temporary and lead nowhere.

    I've got little motivation to be at work but I've got stuff I need to get done. A long vacation on an island somewhere would sure be nice right about now...
  5. Fox face

    Fox face Moderator

    Congratulations!! Sometimes the fear of detoxing is worse than the actual detox. The real work begins now. You have to learn how to fix your problems/thoughts without that quick temporary (false fix). You can do it, stay strong and don't let your guard down. It will be a bumpy ride for a few months, but it can be done!
  6. spring

    spring Administrator

    I wondered if you were going to experience any lingering w/d symptoms since it had been less than 12 days from your last dose. For some, those chills come and go for awhile and the sneezes seem to be the last symptom to go, but you are so past that critical time where your body screams at you for drugs.
    Now it's the brain that you have to deal with and you seem to be handling it well. You really really want to stay clean, which is the key so you are well on your way. It can only get better from here.

    Oh and..GOOD that you got rid of the last of your sub when you did. That right there says a lot about your determination.
  7. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Thanks spring - appreciate your reply and positive words! I made it through Christmas just fine. General lack of energy but that's not surprising. Chills and sneezing are definitely reducing. Today is day 15. Sleep can still be elusive at times.

    I've been trying to work on the marriage issues some but she may be too far gone. I really screwed up. Just not sure what the future holds on that front.
  8. spring

    spring Administrator

    Ya know, I once lost everything, well more than once, but I'm speaking of my last time...I lost the respect of my family, had isolated myself away from anyone who wasnt an addict, no job, a felony on my record, on probation, no home, etc. And after I got clean, it took a few years but I gradually got everything back and then some. That felony is far back in my past so no one remembers it, I not only got a good job but was able to put together my own business in these past few years. I am closer with my family than ever and my (adult) daughter no longer has that pained look in her eyes when I see her.

    I didnt have a spouse then or now so I didnt have that to deal with and I'm sorry you're having marital trouble, but my point is that whether you two stay together or you dont, just keep on doing the right thing and the good things in this life will find you. You'll be surprised at how drastically situations can change for the better once the drug is long gone from our lives.
  9. spring

    spring Administrator

    An after thought...I remember a counselor once telling me that my "normal" was having the drug in me and was why I felt so abnormal without it. But she explained that if I stayed clean long enough that I would develop a 'new normal'. She was so right, I remember doing a half a dilaudid after being clean for a time and it felt so foreign! I couldn't wait for it to leave my system. And then again a few years later, being in that same position I tried a taste once again but this time I continued the next day and the next and it didn't take long for me to be right back where I started.

    You have had that opiate cushion in your brain for the past 10 years so it's not surprising that you're getting those thoughts of using a little bit. Please try to remember that is the craving talking, your receptors don't feel normal being emptied....but hold out! You will eventually get over that and reach your new normal. When those thoughts come just let em pass, they will. And they will get fewer and further in-between until someday they leave you altogether. None of us are doomed to be an active addict the rest of our lives, we all have the ability to get beyond it with a sincere desire and a lot of determination.

    We are here for you!
  10. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Thanks Spring - I'm doing pretty well in terms of mental attitude and symptoms. I've been really struggling to fall asleep the past couple of nights but I can tolerate that.

    I heard someone talking on the radio about struggling with anorexia, and her councilor told her to treat that little voice like a demon - like you are possessed. That the little voice doesn't represent you and doesn't have your best interest at heart. I know over the past 10 years, that voice has been my demon as I'm sure it has been for just about everyone else going through something like this.
  11. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Day 19 - doing okay. Sleep continues to be elusive, actually more so than during the first 2 weeks. Other than having less energy and motivation during the day, I'm hanging in there.

    Still doing okay mentally. No strong desires, and no access to anything anyways.

    Happy New Year to all! I'm so tired right now I doubt I'll make it to midnight but we'll see!
  12. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Day 24 - doing fine. Back at work after the holiday and getting ready for the snow tonight and tomorrow! Just wanted to check in and say hi!
  13. StuckonSubs

    StuckonSubs Well-Known Member

    Congrats! Keep at it.
  14. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Day 27!

    I haven't taken anything for sleep or symptom relieve over the past 5 days or so except small doses of immodium when needed. Over the weekend, I slept like crap and felt like the benedryl was having the opposite effect on me so I stopped it. I've been sleeping okay, but not great. I usually sleep good for a night or two, then have a rough night or two. RLS has all but stopped. Stomach issues are still around but no where near horrible. Mentally I'm doing fine and haven't experienced any seeking desires. Still dealing with major spouse issues but trying to work through those. She doesn't trust me and doesn't believe me when I say I'm done and that I don't have a desire to use again. I understand that. As I said in my first post, I wouldn't have believed me either... I don't know how you ever get past that except to live every day as best you can and try to express yourself to others. I've been so introverted over the past few years, it should seem obvious, but then she worries I'm just putting on a show. It's definitely an uphill climb, but I'm the one who put myself at the bottom of the mountain.
  15. Fox face

    Fox face Moderator

    Your doing great! I'm Kinda in the same boat as far as martial problems, just a little further along than you. I was just as ready to call it quits as my husband, maybe even more because I wanted him to understand and he just can't..... 18 years is a lot to give up, especially when it seemed to be the perfect marriage... Damn dugs! I had someone on this site tell me to wait a year and reevaluate, that was the best advice! He still doesn't trust me, but the more hes sees me doing good, the more he believes it. I stopped trying to make him see things from my point of view. We still have a long way to go (mainly because I have hit a bump or two) but that's part of the process. Thank god I finally have accepted the fact that all drugs alcohol included are bad for me! I know I have no control and don't try to anyone.

    Keep moving forward!
  16. StuckonSubs

    StuckonSubs Well-Known Member

    Yeah it takes time to get that trust back but I do think its possible. It took me quite a while to earn my family's trust back, but it did happen and now they trust me completely (I think, anyway). I had to bite my tongue a lot that first year or 2, when they'd act suspicious and kind of interrogate me. But I did out them through a whole lot, so I felt it was only right to cooperate with what they wanted/needed me to do to gain their trust back.
    Now a days they don't even question if I am clean because it is so clearly obvious that I am. Things have changed so much. I have changed so much. I look back and think about how slick I thought I was when I was getting high. How I thought I was fooling everyone and they didnt really know if/when I was using... Lol, I wasn't fooling anyone but myself! And that is painfully obvious now.
    Just keep staying clean. One day at a time. If you continue to stay clean of drugs (both prescribed/legal and illegal drugs) and alcohol everything else in your life (as far as your wife & family etc) will fall into place. But until they see you stay clean (for a long period of time) with their own 2 eyes, you can't really blame them for doubting it. Seeing is believing. Just show them.
  17. getoffsubs

    getoffsubs Well-Known Member

    Damn! Time flew by when I was using and time is continuing to fly by now that I'm clean. At least I remember a lot more of what has happened over the past month and feel more connected to the world around me.

    31 days clean today. I guess that is a month! Doing fine, trying to continue to work on relationship problems but not getting anywhere.

    I have a question that I'm hoping someone can help me with:

    My wife wants me to see a therapist. I've been to drug counseling 3 previous times and I've never gotten much from it. I tried, but at the end of the day, I was still trying to fool myself and everyone else. I don't want to sit around and talk about why I used and bring all that up again but my wife is trying to make it a condition of us even having a chance of getting back together. I keep trying to tell her how I feel about it and how I have no desire to use again, but she assumes I'm still trying to fool everyone, even though in my heart and my head, I know I'm not.

    So should I suck it up and find a therapist?

    As I type this, I feel I know the answer already. But I also don't want to go just because I'm being told to go. Under those circumstances, I feel like I won't get anything from it again. I'm just "checking a box" in the requirements my wife is setting out for me, and I don't like it.

  18. StuckonSubs

    StuckonSubs Well-Known Member

    Why bit go and actually open up to the therapist? Maybe you will get something from it this time if you are honest. Maybe it will help you to make sure that this addiction problems stays in the rear view for good this time!
    Plus, it really is a pretty simple thing to do to make your wife happy and help you guys repair your relationship. I guess it depends on how much you actually want to repair that relationship...

    I say do it! I don't see how it could hurt anything. On the other hand, how much damage would it do to your marriage if you refuse?
  19. StuckonSubs

    StuckonSubs Well-Known Member

    Hey, congrats on 1 month clean by the way! Keep banking those clean days!
  20. Fox face

    Fox face Moderator

    Wow! Congrats on your month. I wanted to see a therapist and my husband didn't. He said he didn't need anyone telling him how he was suppose to feel about my drug use. I did go, but after the 4th time, I went straight to the liquor store after...... The therapist basically hinted that my husband was my trigger.... It really scared me. I haven't been back. I have been looking at the 12 steps and been thinking very hard about doing the 4th step, but not so much the higher power. I got myself in this, I have to be the one who gets me above it. If it a condition, then I'd go, but the most important thing is to be honest with yourself. It has taken me well over a year to realize I can't control how I feel, but I can control how I react to it.

    I'm not sure if this helped, but I wish you the best.

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