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  • #27661
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Kickin’ at home: I’ve done dozens of times before.

    Most times, it’s been physical hell–the sweats, the chills; the aches; the restlessness; the insomnia when all you want to do is escape through sleep; the anxiety; the edginess; the fuzziness of thought and action; the overall misery of allowing my body to rid itself of the toxins I’d so long ingested.

    This time, physically, it’s not AT ALL bad: just some minor restlessness, a little stomach discomfort, and, of course, the insomnia. I’ve found myself praying to God just to thank Him for the ease of physical symptoms, it’s been that “easy.”

    So why did I wake up this morning and, within 30 minutes, have a plan in place which took me to an ER and got me six ounces of hydro syrup?

    The committee always wins. You know, that group in your head that just waits for you to defer to its judgement? I’m not an idiot, I know this. I know that the minute I even think about obtaining that stuff that I’m toast. The minute I provide weakness in thought, that group is right there to fill the void with all the wrong ideas.

    The committee ALWAYS wins.

    This time, more than any time before, the mental withdrawal is holding me down. The lack of motivation to even walk down the hall to the kitchen for water is so overwhelming. The anxiety–which I’ve written about in my earlier posts–is my main oppenent in this struggle. Those feelings of mental sluggishness are killing me.

    Why can’t I ask for help when I’m in this mode? What is keeping me from calling names on my list?

    The compulsion may have control at those moments, but I still have the ability to make a phone call, don’t I?! What keeps me from reaching out?

    I feel so fortunate that I’m not experiencing the horrific physical symptoms of withdrawal. Many (many) times, I have gone through the hell that we have all gone through, so I truly appreciate that my desire to quit is happening at this point in relapse–I know it will get a whole lot worse.

    Why am I f’ing up a blessing??

    Why is the mental component so much stronger this time? I know that relapse becomes harder and harder to emerge from as we get older and our disease progresses…is this what that means? The physical is pretty much science: the body will go through a set series of events while the poisons leave our system. It’s pretty static in its evolution.

    But the mental, like all things psychiatric, can’t really be predicted or scheduled. It goes through its process on its own terms. The degree of control it holds over us varies and what may have happened with previous recoveries means nothing in terms of what to expect.

    The other side, something I’ve been pushing out of my mind for obvious reasons, is that maybe there is a very real depression happening. One that is separate from that caused by substance abuse. I know they say we should wait a few months into your recovery before pursuing this line of thought, the idea being that, indeed, the depression was SOLELY a result of drug abuse. But it is possible that a naturally-occurring chemical imbalance is there, too.

    I don’t know how else to explain the degree in which I’m experiencing this emotional and mental stagnation.

    I just know that it is keeping me from getting past day two, and I desperately want to get to day three and beyond.

    #106349
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    trunlu wrote:
    This time, more than any time before, the mental withdrawal is holding me down. The lack of motivation to even walk down the hall to the kitchen for water is so overwhelming. The anxiety–which I’ve written about in my earlier posts–is my main oppenent in this struggle. Those feelings of mental sluggishness are killing me. . . . . Why is the mental component so much stronger this time? I know that relapse becomes harder and harder to emerge from as we get older and our disease progresses…is this what that means?

    Trunlu,

    According to one model, each relapse/withdrawal cycle becomes progressively more difficult because of what is called the kindling effect, i.e. it gets harder and harder to quit any time we relapse.

    Like you, I noticed that sometimes the physical symptoms were muted compared to other withdrawals. So much for the kindling effect . . .

    Take advantage of the milder symptoms to defeat your addiction this time.

    The mental depression is (an inevitable) part of the withdrawal process. It’s the rebound from missing the meds, and it’s usually temporary. The problem with depression is that when you are in the middle of it you can’t seem to see a way out. It will get better. Have faith in your your brain’s ability to heal and find emotional equilibrium on ITS OWN time schedule.

    I talked to my doc’s nurse about my depression during withdrawal and she advised me to stick it out. It worked. The problem with antidepressants is that they take a number of weeks to start working, and by that time, you should be feeling much much better on your own.

    Alternately, if you were depressed before addiction, then you may certainly be depressed after . . .

    The last time I quit (7 months ago) I just resigned myself to the idea that I was going to lose a full week, feeling $hitty, but after that the time was mine!

    THE ONLY THING THAT MADE DEPRESSION BEARABLE FOR ME WAS AEROBIC EXCERCISE, SWIMMING LAPS FOR 1/2 MILE. This gave my brain an endorphin boost and if I did it in the morning I’d feel good or great the rest of the day.

    trunlu wrote:
    Why am I f’ing up a blessing??

    I don’t think there anyone on 12 Step National Meetings who has been sober for at least a month who isn’t aware that every day he/she makes a decision not to use. It is a conscious decision . . . . a choice.

    When you are good and ready to quit you will do whatever is necessary. Until then, you are battling a love/hate relationship.

    Just hunker down & go for it. If you can’t sleep or are really anxious, ask your doctor about no more than 1 week’s supply of meds, and then only take one when you simply can’t stand it. You shouldn’t need more than that, if your experience is like mine.

    Good luck buddy. You can do it.

    Buzz

    #106351
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks, Buzz, for your reply. This is the second time you’ve responded to one of my posts and your words really hit home.

    I read your “swan song” and was struck by the feeling of familiarity. What you wrote I could have written, but probably not as concisely or as thoughtfully. I appreciate your insight and, more important, your ability to put words to your thoughts. You write very well–both thematically and grammatically–and that will be missed on this these pages.

    Thanks for your support tonight. And best of luck on your next journey.

    –Trunlu

    #106350
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the kind words.

    How’s the battle going today?

    Buzz

    #106344
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You can have as much pain as you want. When the pain is great enough you will truly understand the programs and stop. Some never reach this point and die. I hope you are not one of those.

    #106352
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Good day today…so far, anyway…

    Instead of waking up and wallowing in the anxiety, I forced myself up, made the bed and took a shower. Then I got out my meeting scehdules and found a new meeting to go to. When that was over, I came home, ate some lunch, then took a long walk.

    This is a drastic change from my normal behavior lately and it feels good to be doing it differently.

    I am lucky that where I live is home to the most NA meetings per sqaure mile than most anywhere in the country. My choices for AA, which I prefer even though alcohol is not my problem, are just as many.

    I’m still looking for a home group and have narrowed it down quite a bit. I’m looking for another meeting for later this afternoon and again tonight.

    I keep thinking about tomorrow, hoping that it goes like today. But I know that is the wrong way to think. All we have is right now, this moment, so to be concerned about tomorrow is a waste of energy and thought.

    I just know that so far today, I’ve made good decisions and remain clean.

    #106345
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I went for years just getting to day 3 ….or so then falling back into old habits…you are smart to get into some new habits….

    I have finally got 2 months under my little belt…..grateful to have them…grateful to have new habits….

    I wish you well and try to stay positive and not get far ahead of yourself..and next time you start to get on the commitee just remember….they can be wrong too…and destructive…tell the to **** off …or whatever the word of the days is …..

    Peace ~B

    #106353
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Congrats, Smyle, on the two months…I know what it takes to get there and you should be proud of the accomplishment!!

    Frankly, I’ve never know the commttee to be right, so it is a matter of learning to recognize when I’ve fallen under their control and then give it the big f*** off!!

    The other good point you make is not to get too far ahead of myself…as an addict I want it all and I want it all right now. It is common for me to skip steps and try to get there faster than is possible. Thanks for pointing that out. I tend to get all fired up in these VERY early days of new recovery and it’s easy to not see the whole picture!

    Peace.
    –Tru

    #106346
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It goes back to the whole Verruca Salt thing…I don’t care how I want it NOW…

    I try to picture her singing to willy wonka and destroying the place only to be sent down the chute as a Bad Egg….when I start to get that going inside…i realize I don’t wanna be a bad egg ….I wanna win the chocolate factory ….

    Please do not think I am totally crazy….just a tad and I have 2 kids …they love that movie….I swear it is really about the 7 deadly sins…or close….

    So I just say to myself….chill Verucca and I laugh and take a one down !!!
    ~B

    #106354
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    An additional thought on my day so far…

    My going to the meeting this morning was such a big thing because, without realizing it, I have isolated terribly again. I am SO grateful for this site and all of you…you are available to me 24/7 and, now more than ever, I need that “babysitting.” But, there is a real lack of personal, face to face, socialbility that I, as an addict, tend to avoid.

    I hadn’t realized it until I was sitting in that group how much I was missing personal contact.

    I don’t know why, after 17 years of on-again, off-again addiction, that I find myself surprised at the predictibility of the progression of this disease. OF COURSE I was isolating! OF COURSE I was avoiding any real social situations!

    It’s what addiction means to me. It’s what the disease puts me through.

    Every time.

    #106348
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yep – its a swine of a disease? Same old symptoms – quite recognisable – and still they sneak up on you!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……………
    All the best………….
    woops

    #106347
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Trunlu -oh man do I relate to what you said in your first post. Not so much right at the moment because I am feeling pretty good about the path I am on – but been right there in the same place you were. So alone with not a clue how to dig myself out of the hole I had made. Waking up in a panic and going almost on auto pilot doing things that I didn’t really want to do if that makes any sense. I would have the plan laid out, the lies told and the prescription in my hand so quick it was almost as if someone else was doing it.

    My withdrawal symptoms were always both mental and physical…but I can survive a few days of physical symptoms and pretend I have the flu. If only it ended right there I would be okay. But every time and without fail that insanity creeps in and takes firm hold of me. I feel posessed. I know that it is up to me to make a choice and I don’t even know how to explain how that choice got made over my wish to do something differently. The best way I can describe it – like a battle for good and evil going on inside and I could almost feel it tugging.

    Now that things are leveling out in my life I must have some equally invisible part of me that thinks I don’t deserve to be happy. I am on medication assisted treatment as we have discussed in another active thread – I am nearing the end of my taper with that and looking forward to being on the other side of it. I am being hopefully optimistic and plan to fight like hell to hang on if that is what’s necessary. But the dillema is that here I am at a time when I am just really rebuilding my life a little and things are happening around me very quickly that could really change the course of my life. I don’t know what to do. Decisiveness is not one of my strongest attributes.

    Here I go off-topic…so I’ll appologize in advance. Just an example from my own life of being faced with my addiction and a decision that needs to be made.

    I work in an upper level position as a director of financial collections, contracting, payer billing and reimbursement. I have been with the agency 10 years. It is a rather large organization and as such I am responsible for oversight of alot of people over a pretty big geographic location. The place is maddening and there are plenty of reasons for me to move on – but it can’t be that simple can it? I have alot of flexibilty, I can work from home when I need to, I pretty much come and go as needed to deal with whatever professional or personal crisis is most pressing that day. Prior to this job I was a practice administrator for a large pulmonary medicine provider. I have an offer on the table to join a large specialty practice locally -to set up the womens center, laboratory, surgical wing…do you follow me?? Hidden in this blessing is a very dirty little reality – narcotics.

    I worked around them for many years in the past – I was in recovery then and it was never an issue..never even crossed my mind. I am working toward recovery now but have not finished my Bup treatment. I want to do what is right for me – this is a wonderful opportunity – but I am also well liked and rewarded where I work now. ARRRRRRRRRRGH!!! I hate these decisions.

    Sorry if I sort of hijacked this thread but I related so much to what you said and how some of our compulsions and behaviors serve only to shoot ourselves in the foot.

    My primary point here is that I can relate to your struggle and feelings and fears 100%. Thanks for sharing so openly about your experience so it can be here to inspire someone else to keep working forward no matter what.

    #106355
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks, Begin, for your post! I thought my thread was dead, but thanks to you and woops, it got a reprieve!

    I’ve been running across your posts on this and other sites lately and I feel a bit of a kindred connection with you. As you know, I am facing a decision that you yourself made, and I gotta say that your posts on the subject have been VERY helpful. In fact, your experiences are weighing heavily in my decision-making process. Thanks for that!!

    No worries about taking the thread off-topic; I am happy to share any and all input and hope to hear more from you and others.

    That feeling of being possessed is so familiar to me. The compulsion of addiction, the way it takes over your every thought, makes your stomach drop, your heart race…I HATE THAT!! And, YES, that idea of going on autopilot from the moment you wake up…that was great wording…something else, something VERY powerful is definately in charge at that point!

    I know how difficult it is for we addicts to exert as sense of decisivness and certainty in thought. I’ve always avoided such problems by gulping down another ounce or two of cough syrup. It is so much easier that way, isn’t it?!

    I appreciate the decision in front of you. Speaking from someone who hasn’t held a regular job in over five years (during that time, I was a student and a stay-at-home stepfather to my ex’s now-11-year-old son) and someone who has been looking for work for three months, I wish I had such a decision in front of me. It’s funny how relative it all is, huh? Your “struggle” would be such a welcome dilemma for me!

    It sounds like you have a good thing going with your job now; the flexibility is a WONDERFUL thing to have with a job. On the other hand, the proposed job brings a lot of responsibility and allows you to take charge of something very important. I always liked being in charge at work, being in “the know.” I can see why the decision is so difficult.

    You hit on the key factor, though. The dirty secret…I know, for me, that to put myself in that environment would be trouble. I don’t trust myself anywhere near the availability of narcotics. It’s a tough call and I hope you listen to your gut and your heart. And I wish you luck on that decision.

    Please keep me informed on the process. If I can offer and support or help play good cop/bad cop, let me know.

    I have some other questions for you that I think I’ll send privately…nothing truly personal, just, perhaps more appropriate in a PM setting.

    Thanks, again, for your post.

    #106356
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It always happens, when

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