It has been a while since I have written anything in my blog. I have been busy working on my path of healing. I completed outpatient therapy for my addiction to pills. I am here to tell you that it was not easy by any means and it was very expensive. But I did it and haven’t taken a Percocet in 19 weeks, almost 2 days until my 20 week mark. I ended up leaving treatment at around 10-11 weeks because I felt like the group setting wasn’t helping me. I did not relate to any of the other women in the group. I just stopped going and the therapist said that she didn’t think I was ready and needed more time in treatment. I think she was right. However, there was talk that they keep you there for as long as they want too, and I could have been there for 6 months! I told myself that I would go to AA meetings or contact a therapist that specializes in drug addiction, but I haven’t. I know that I need to see a therapist, go to AA meetings and attend church regularly.
There are days that I have cravings, but not as bad as I did when I first quit. I chew a lot of Trident gum! I pretty much had to give up everything including Xanax, alcohol and marijuana. However, 3 weeks ago I went to a Kenny Chesney concert and had a few beers. Since then I have had drinks twice on Saturday nights. This past Saturday, I realized that I cannot drink alcohol anymore. It doesn’t agree with me and makes me feel ill the following day and the days after that. It is now Wednesday, and I still do not feel quite right. I take this journey day by day and try not to beat myself up for having a few drinks. I just know that I cannot drink alcohol, at least not right now.
I want to stick to my path of healing and get rid of all toxic substances. I am proud to say that I am down to .75 mg of the Suboxone and will be weaning down to .50 mg in a few days. When I jump my dose down, I have a little bit of withdrawal symptoms. But they usually go a way in a few days. I am looking forward to being off the Suboxone completely. I do feel somewhat depressed on a daily basis, it is as though I am still grieving over the loss of the feeling of being “high” from opiates. It is taking a while for my normal feelings to come back and for my brain to heal itself. I actually have to “feel” now, I have never really liked getting in touch with my feelings in the past. Which is why I have always used a mind altering substance to relieve the pain. It will take some time for me to enjoy the things I used to do or the things that I have always wanted to do.
On another note, my marriage feels like it is crumbling and I do not feel like I am in love with my husband any more. While I was in the beginning stages of getting sober, I felt like he wasn’t supportive but then that changed as I continued with therapy. Now I am just unhappy with him. There is a reason why I took Percocet in the first place right? All of the puzzle pieces are starting to fit.
I have had numerous conversations with him about his negativity and unsupportiveness. We even had talks prior to our wedding about me refusing to live a miserable life. He gets it for maybe about a month or two, but then things go back to the same as before. We have probably had the same conversation at least 5 times. I told him on our 2nd wedding anniversary that I wanted a separation. I packed a bag, left for the weekend, but ended up coming home after a few days and thinking things would work out. Last week, I was outside working in the garden and he comes out and I snapped at him because he always follows me around and needs to know what I am doing. He then said “fuck you” and stormed off. I followed him inside and told him that if he ever said that again, I am leaving and not coming back. He apologized and said that he was sorry. It hurts, this has been building up for a long time. I want out but don’t know how to go about it. I am over our marriage and no longer in love with him. I am not even sure if I ever was. I don’t even remember our wedding night, I was so drunk. How sad is that? Don’t get me wrong, he is a great guy and has a lot of good qualities. I am starting to think that he is not the guy for me. I dread going home tonight. However, I get excited to see the dog and the cat, they always make me happy.
To Read More – Click on the “Poems” link on the right titled “My Husband”
What inspires you?
The meaning of Cold Turkey – In the state of drug withdrawal the addict’s blood is directed to the internal organs, leaving the skin white and with goose bumps. It has been suggested that this is what is alluded to by ‘cold turkey’.
Why can’t people just quit Cold Turkey?
Quitting cold turkey is more difficult than it sounds, especially when the person trying to quit drinking or using drugs doesn’t want to go to a rehab center. It’s understandable why rehab may seem unappealing: As Americans, we’re taught to be very independent. We can do everything by ourselves, all the time, always. However, this culturally-learned logic can be harmful when applied to quitting drugs or alcohol.
If you or someone you love is trying to stop drinking or using drugs, read these dangers associated with quitting cold turkey and going it alone.
The Dangers of Withdrawal
The biggest danger associated with quitting alcohol or drugs cold turkey is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can become very severe for long-time, heavy drinkers or for people who use opioids like heroin or some kinds of pain medications. While it’s admirable that your loved one may be trying to quit his or her addiction, doing so cold turkey could be life-threatening.
In cases of severe alcohol withdrawal, symptoms can include mild withdrawal reactions like anxiety, shakiness, vomiting, and insomnia. However, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become worse very quickly and lead to seizures and delirium tremens which can result in death. Delirium tremens are characterized by fever, rapid heartbeat, and confusion and anyone trying to stop drinking cold turkey who is displaying these symptoms should be taken to a hospital immediately.
Opioid withdrawal can also be highly dangerous for an opioid addict who is trying to quit cold turkey. Early signs of withdrawal may include anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, and sweating. However, these mild withdrawal symptoms may lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Complications from these latter symptoms include severe dehydration, and breathing stomach contents into the lungs.
To avoid the dangers associated withdrawal symptoms, your loved one should be enrolled in a detoxification program to ensure their safe entrance into sobriety.
The Dangers of Relapse
Relapse is a serious danger for alcoholics and drug addicts who have recently quit cold turkey. Without the help of a rehab center to motivate and support them, substance-addicted people tend to return to their old habits. This is because when many people decide to quit cold turkey, they think that they can avoid everyone and everything that has a negative influence on their behavior. However, this kind of avoidance is unrealistic, and these people often have difficulties reconciling their everyday routine with the new lack of alcohol and drugs in their lives.
Relapsing is especially dangerous because the risk of overdose is much higher for recently withdrawn or detoxed addicts. The person may try to use as much of the drug as he or she did in the past not realizing that his or her body can’t handle that amount anymore.
Seeking treatment at a rehab center is a crucial step in the addiction recovery process. Rehab allows the addicted person to recover from his or her addiction in an environment that is distanced from possible relapse temptations. When the person has completed rehab, many facilities also offer aftercare programs to ensure the client transitions from the rehab center to his or her home environment successfully.
“As long as you’re comparing yourself with others, you will never feel good about yourself. Run your own race. God has given you exactly what you need for the race that’s been designed for you.”
The past 2 weeks have been a bumpy ride for me, which is an understatement. But I am feeling so much better today. I finally found a doctor to treat me and put me on the suboxone medication that I needed so that I didn’t suffer from withdrawals. I saw her 1 week ago to this day and I have not taken any percocet for 8 days and I have not had an alcoholic beverage in 3 weeks. I am extremely proud of myself and I am starting to look at life from a whole new perspective. My brain is still a bit foggy and I am trying to remember all of the events from the past 2 weeks.
Here it goes, I found myself continuing to spiral out of control, since there wasn’t a doctor readily willing to treat me for my addiction. I called several doctors and they either had a months wait to get in or they were not accepting new patients. One doctor wanted $750 cash up front for 2 months of visits. After doing my diligent research, I found a doctor who could see me in 6 days. That meant, another 6 days taking percocet, which were making me more ill by the minute. I had to be in withdrawal for at least 12 hours. So that meant I had to go for 12 hours without taking any percocet. I took my last pill on a Friday night at 10:30 and had my appointment the following day at 1 pm. When I arrived at the doctor, I was in moderate to severe withdrawal. If you have never taken one of these evil pain pills, I would suggest that you never do, especially if you have an addictive personality. If you are addicted to them, you can also find help. You can learn to just live with the pain, which is what I wish I would have done.
My withdrawal symptoms included exhaustion, nausea, overall body aches, stomach cramps, chills, sweating, shaky and dilated pupils. You could barely see any of the color in my eye (iris), my pupils were so large and black! Also, my blood pressure and pulse rate were pretty high. It was the most unpleasant experience in my life. Once I took the suboxone I felt a lot better. Although, I came to find out that the dose I was given was way too high. I was instructed to take 8 mg in the morning and 8 mg at night. When I took my second dose that night, I became very dizzy and tired. I still had no appetite and my breathing became shallow along with involuntary jerks when I went to bed. The next day (Sunday) I only took 8 mg for the entire day, and on Monday I called the doctor to inform her of the side effects. She told me to decrease my daily dose to 6 mg and that she would see me on Friday. I did not go to work Monday and Tuesday because of the dizziness and exhaustion. By Wednesday I was starting to feel somewhat normal. I saw my doctor last night who told me to reduce the dosage again to 4 mg daily. This is great news! I am actually somewhat glad that my body rejected the medicine which means I may not have to be on the suboxone long term. I am no longer suffering from withdrawal or side effects from the suboxone and I see the physician for a follow-up again in 2 weeks!
I began outpatient therapy this week which started Tuesday. I will be in therapy 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Plus I am also required to attend AA (alcoholics anonymous) meetings weekly. Thursday night is an all womans group where we are all free to talk about anything. I am learning that most people in therapy are either in denial or there because they are forced to be there. Some people have DUI’s and it is required by the court, some people are fighting to get custody of their children and some people failed a drug test for their job. These individuals are in denial and refuse to come to grips that they actually have a problem with drugs or alcohol. I am in therapy because I want to get help and know that I cannot quit my addiction alone. Right now, I am focusing on my sobriety and no one else and taking it one day at a time.
I will write more about the things I am doing to occupy my time and thoughts so that I can avoid the cravings. I will write more about how I came to be an addict and my progress on my treatment. I will take accountability for my thoughts and actions.
Can you relate? What inspires you?
I just read this quote and thought I would share because I believe the message is for me. It could be for you too.
“No matter what life throws your way, stand your ground. Look that challenge in the eye and declare, “You will not defeat me. I’m a child of the Most High God.”
It’s a new day and I am feeling pretty crappy and not just because it’s Monday. I took the last of the Percocet that I had last night because I read online that you cannot start the medication for withdrawal for 24 hours. I go through withdrawal every few hours when I don’t take a Percocet. Right now I am feeling exhausted, you definitely do not get any sleep while going through withdrawal. Insomnia is a huge side effect of the withdrawal process and I feel like I will never get sleep again. I am feeling nauseous and my whole body hurts. I just want the pain to be over. I am hoping to get a phone call from the doctor today so that I can get an appointment this week and get on the suboxone treatment and start therapy.
Last night I watched two episodes of intervention where two women were alcoholics. I don’t know why I did that to myself. I cried for those women, I cried for myself, I can relate. It gave me a sour feeling in the pit of my stomach to know that I am like them. It gave me anxiety. Maybe I need to turn the tv off for a while and start reading. How did the addiction get to be this bad? I am scared for so many reasons. I am scared that I will never become better. I have come to the realization that addiction is an illness that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I am scared because I do not know what to expect once I start treatment. I am scared that my husband won’t support me because he doesn’t understand. My husband saw me crying last night and asked me what was wrong, I walked away, it was the tone of how he asked. I didn’t open up and just said you don’t understand. I felt like he wasn’t being emotional with me. This morning I woke up and snapped at him for being loud (even though I had to get up any way). Anger and frustration are other withdrawal symptoms. I then apologized for snapping and he said “It’s ok I still love you.” That is all I needed to hear.
Can you relate? What inspires you today?
Welcome to my blog! As I was having breakfast with my husband this morning I said “I’m going to start a blog.” He asked me why and I thought wow that’s a good question. The main reason is so that I can journal my thoughts and make myself accountable for my daily actions. I am also hoping to help others who lost their way through addiction and just want their life back. Plus I have so many thoughts swirling around in my mind and I really do enjoy writing.
Today was a pretty good day but this week has been rough. I am an addict and have been since I took the first sip of alcohol at the ripe old age of 14. I’m currently battling addiction to pain killers, mainly Percocet. I am also addicted to other things including cigarettes, alcohol, Xanax, shopping and gambling. I will occasionally smoke pot with certain friends. I am sure that I have other addictions that I am not even aware of.
I want to become sober and have decided to get treatment for myself. I want to be free from my addictions. One thing I realized is that I cannot do it alone. I’ve kept my addiction to pills a secret from everyone, including my husband. I just want my life back. If you’ve ever been addicted to anything then you know that withdrawal is the hardest part of the healing process along with the guilt, anxiety and depression. I’m losing my best friend. I have relied on pills to get me through my day. How am I going to function now? I will learn all of this through therapy and through the direction of prayer. I’m having anxiety just thinking about it! I’m not completely drug free yet but have been weaning myself off of the pills slowly. I have tried to quit about 2-3 times before and that was a nightmare. I couldn’t handle the withdrawal symptoms and began to use again. Right now I’m down to half of what I was taking and I will begin treatment with medication and therapy this week. Currently, I’m taking the pills to survive and avoid withdrawal not to get high. When you wean yourself off, you still go through withdrawal which is why the past week has been an emotional roller coaster.
About 6 days ago, I finally came clean to my husband and my mother, the two most important people in my life. I told them that I was addicted to pain pills and want help. Thank goodness they were supportive because my insides were rotting away with guilt and shame. I met with the director of a treatment center who asked tons of uncomfortable questions and then told me I couldn’t start therapy until I get on the medication suboxone. What!? Are you kidding me? I have to wait to get treatment? You mean you can’t help me now? NOW!? There are only a handful of doctors who prescribe the medication and the only doctor that accepts my health insurance was on vacation for the week. As soon as I get the proper medication I need, then I will start an intensive outpatient therapy program which lasts about 12 weeks. I will be attending group sessions three times a week for three hours at a time and will be meeting with a counselor and psychiatrist.
I’m not going to harp on how bad this past week has been, I am going to live in the current moment and take one day at a time. But let me tell you AGAIN, it’s been pretty rough. Especially when insomnia and body pain are the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. Today I am starting to finally feel somewhat normal praise God.
Today, I woke up at 8 am out of a really good deep sleep. I did NOT want to get up. My husband got up and showered while my dog cried for me to take her out so she could use the bathroom. So I got up made a cup of coffee, let the dog out then plopped myself back into bed. After my husband got out of the shower and got ready he ushered me to get ready so that we could go out for breakfast. Why do we need to go so early, I asked. He said so that we could beat the church crowd. I told him that it would be nice for us to start going to church and that we both need God in our lives, especially right now. He went downstairs and yelled up “put channel 140 on.” It was a pastor by the name if David Jeremiah speaking about the power of prayer. Yes I do believe in God and consider myself a Christian. Followed by Pastor Jeremiah was Joel Osteen who talked about how people come into our lives for a reason. But some are not good for us, such as negative people. If you hang out with negativity then you become negative. He said and I quote “If you hang out with chickens then you will never be able to soar as an eagle.” This is so true. I cannot wait to start going back to church.
It is a huge accomplishment for me to get out of bed on a Sunday at 8 am, let alone showered and ready for breakfast by 10:30 am. I’m either hungover or just too tired to get out of freaking bed. We went to a small local cafe that serves local organic food. There was about a 20 minute wait but I didn’t mind. I was just happy to be up and out of bed on a Sunday morning. After breakfast, we took the dog (our 1 year old crazy Boxer) to the dog park. It was wet and cold so that didn’t last long, but at least I was able to go for a short walk and get some fresh air. That is always good for the body.
Now I’m home, writing this blog. My dog will be one year old tomorrow and my 39th birthday is in 3 days. This will be my last year in my 30’s and I will be spending it getting healthy, clean and sober! How am I going to have fun without being drunk or high? I don’t know but I can’t wait to find out and I can’t wait to get my life back and start living again.
Are you dealing with addiction or know someone who is? Feel free to leave a comment. What inspires you? I will write more tomorrow about my journey to getting healthy!