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Survival after w/d's.
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Survival after w/d's.

Can anyone share their experiences on how they feel mentally after getting clean and are no longer suffering physical withdrawals? I am very interested in how the human mind begins to cope with readjusting to the real world and how individuals manage this.  I am specifically interested in hearing from people who are no longer experiencing physical cravings for their drug, but are still in that mental limbo (no longer an addict but still an addict, or am I?)
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 7 weeks clean from a MAJOR painkiller addiction.  The dosages I was on was enough to sedate an elephant.  The first week was real rough and it got better every week after that.  The two things that have work for me as far as mental and physical recovery is exercise and water.  You have to do it every day.  Exercise and drinking an insane amount of water gets the entire process moving a lot faster.  I really worked for me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Cleanman--Like everything else, individual responses to coping with withdrawal varies a great deal.  So many factors are at work:  what kind of support a person has, the basic personality of a person, how happy that person is with their life separate from addiction, etc.  I know a lot of people experience a lot of depression when they stop using drugs.  After all, it is a big loss--a death, if you will.  A person might go through a period of actual morning for their lost "friend."  I think that there are many addicts who actually self-treat their depression with narcotics and so then when they stop their own self-medication, they find themselves depressed again.  Sometimes an antidepressant can help, but these are also addicting and not everyone wants to go down that road.  

Personally, I have been clean for 5 whole days!  My back is killing me, but the runs have stopped and I actually slept 4 hours in a row last night.  Today, the sun is shining and although I am tired, I feel pretty good about life and about myself.  I am trying hard to find something good to see in life every day of withdrawal and when I go to sleep at night, I say my "gratefuls."  I list all the things that I have that I am grateful for and this really helps me find peace and serenity.  I also agree with Avitar (sp?--can't remember name now) that exercise and water are very  beneficial.  I don't know if this is scientific, but I think water can be miraculous.  I had hep B one time and I drank at least a gallon of water every day.  The doc who treated me said I recovered faster than anyone he'd ever seen (that had hep B as bad as I did).  I think water was a big part of that recovery--flushing the system clean, if you will.  Also, exercise promotes the body's natural opiates--endorphins.  And the sooner you can get these babies cooking again, the better off you are.  Endorphins not only play a role in killing pain, but are key to mood also.

Life gives you back what you put in.  If you wake up with a good attitude and try to give something of yourself to the world--most times, the world will hand you something back.  Good luck and be good to yourself!
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't really know if this is appropriate to post this on the forum, but when I saw the following ad on http://www.craigslist.org (a great Bay Area resource that now actually has other host cities as well), I thought of some of the people who post here on the forum.  I think there are some talented writers (kip?) on the forum and I _know_ there are a lot of inspiration stories, so I thought I would cut and paste the following ad as it appears.  If I'm out of line here, sorry--but I just thought I should put this out there.

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Avatar_n_tn
I think it takes awhile before it is mentally out of your mind.  I just woke up from a dream where I found some leftover Percocets and devoured them.  In my dream....mind you.

I woke up LITERALLY wondering...did I really take them?  Now if that's not screwed up.  I don't know what is.
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Avatar_n_tn

First off, I was taking OC 80's 10 a day, and Klonopin 15mgs a day, and went basically cold at home. I was ****** up beyond belief for the first month, but it doesn't sound like that is what you want to hear about.

I called my old AA sponsor once in awhile. I called him after a month of detox. I asked him how he was doing. He said, "how the hell are YOU doing Jon. You aren't going to make it if you don't get out of bed". That was the first day I got out of bed and walked. It was the most frightening thing, going out into the world again. People I knew years ago wouldn't approach me as they thought I had a terminal illness. I couldn't speak clearly. I was still shaking, especially my eyeballs. I would sit in a NA meeting and just start sweating like my head got dumped in a sprinkler. It was petrifying being around people again. My tongue was white from toxicity, I smelled bad, my hair was wild.

Things got gradually better after that. For another month or so, my brain wouldn't work well at all. Couldn't speak clearly, couldn't stay with a conversation. By this time I had lost 40lbs, so began eating more, and working out with weights again. Finally, I started playing hoops and ultimate frisbee.

Listing all the peculiarities of thinking and strange sensations I have encountered in the last 3mos would take more time and patience than I or you people on this forum have. It's been a TRIP though.

I still get the obsession to use Oxycontin. Not as much now, but I still get it. I have had many using dreams. I have found a few OC 80's and just yesterday found a 10mg valium lying on the floor. I just flush them b4 I can think about it.

For me, my ability to cope with the post-trauma is directly related to my action taken to stay busy and engage in positive activities, even things I really don't want to do. I have been doing tree work to supplement my income. It's hard, brutal work, but everything helps. Things do keep getting better.

As a matter of fact, while writing this I finally got a call back from a software company I am dying to work for. They are going to make me an offer tomorrow. Good things happen to addicts who don't use.
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Avatar_n_tn
Congratulations!  I'm so happy for you.  I hope that your post inspires a lot of people.
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Avatar_n_tn
How's it going my old china plate (COCKNEY SLANG)hope all is well.Have you decided about your implant dilema ? and did you see your Dr about getting some new anti-depressants ? .
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Avatar_n_tn
How's it going my old china plate (COCKNEY SLANG)hope all is well.Have you decided about your implant dilema ? and did you see your Dr about getting some new anti-depressants ? .
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks.

The job I'm getting is on 500 California Street. I can take the Marin Ferry in every day.

I'm a little schized by the idea of being so close to my old connects. I'm afraid that I might have a rough day and head up market and cop some OC's. Do you know any meetings around california and market?



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Avatar_n_tn
hello gymman here  been following this forum for awhile now thought it was time to comment now    for 12 years suffered terribly disks in neck 5and 6  disks in back L4 5 and s1  the pain put me in terrible depression doctors wouldnt do anything until after12 years i found a good pain doctor  i was put on effexor and perks and oxys after a couple of years my daily quota is about 300 mg  2 fourties every 8 hours  and 2 ir 10 every6 hours will not take anyway but the way prescriptions says  then when i found this site i got scared out of my mind  i have to take these meds for ever  there is nothing that can be done for me   i dont get even a buzz when i take them   i push myself alot i make myself workout 4 times a week very carefully so i dont get hurt it it better then just laying around taking pills i also take milk thistle   i am just wondering the way i take them will it hurt me i get blood work 3 times a year nothing elevated at all  just looking for a comment back thanks alot for listening to me
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I did actually take the vicodin responsibly.  I think I got my ass kicked so hard from heroin years ago and my life changed in positive ways so completely that I just would not want to ever risk losing all that I have worked so hard for.  I know I could continue on the vicodin and it would help my back, but it is not good for me.  My back hurts somewhat constantly and can be controlled by Motrin about 3/4 of the time.  There are some days when the pain is really unbearable, but I was taking vicodin toward the end every day, whether the pain was really bad or not.  I just hated the feeling of w/d so bad--it brought back such terrible memories.  Also, I really learned to love living clean.  I don't want to be dependent on drugs anymore.  If the pain is too unbearable, then I will perhaps make the decision to go back on a pain medication, but I want to give it an honest try without and that means at least a month clean.  That way, I can evaluate how bad the pain really is and how much it is exacerbated by withdrawal.  

Thanks for saying hi.  It's really great that someone who has been a part of the forum for so long continues to give support and encouragement.  It makes a big difference to the new people here.
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Avatar_n_tn
It's day 4.  Been sleeping throught most of it.  My doc gave me meds to snow me.  I am weaned down to what he wants me to be down to, and plans to wean me more.  I have  a tag-team between my husband (monitors the meds given) and the doctor.  The one thing that I think that has helped me is sleeping.  The withdrawals are still there but on vaguely.  I thought I was going to die the first day.  I got up today and said where did my mother go, to my husband.  He said she left yesterday morning. So that tells you how foggy my brain is. lol
He keeps my schedule down to a tee and it seems to be working. I get wicked pissed at hiim for saying no, if i feel i need one and he'll tell me another hour or so.  In the little retrospect that I have, I am grateful, but, can't wait til this is OVER! And I won't give up!
Take care everyone.  Especially the detoxers...I'll pray for you.

Koala
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Avatar_n_tn
Yea, I'm in product management. Quality Assurance too, and flash development, html, etc...

It is a ***** right now. I'm going to settle for much less than I used to make, as it is an "employers' market". It'll just be nice to be working steadily again and be able to get off my girlfriends' health plan. It'll also be nice to be able to contribute to my job with a clear head. The last few years I was chewing 3 80mg Oxycontins just to get up in the morning. Needless to say, my ability to add value to my position was compromised...

What I did was target specific companies I wanted to work for. Dice, Craigslist, all those free recruiting services only found possible positions in San Jose / Mountainview, which is an impossible commute for me.

Some companies I lobbied were Macromedia (SF), Adobe (Marin), and even Microsoft (Redmond). Microsoft has a great career center on their webpage. I was willing to re-locate to a few places, Washington State being one of them.

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Avatar_n_tn
My hub had a job offer that wanted him to relocate to India or England. Neither one of us is ready to move that far, so he's still looking. He had a great interview a few days ago that we are hoping will work out so keep your fingers crossed for us.

I hope you love your new job and that life keeps getting better and better for you.

love,
WW
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi--I thought I would introduce myself since I live in the Bay Area (SF) about 3/4 of the time.  The other 1/4, I live in the Boston area, but SF is home for me.  I am coming off vicodin after 14 months of use--I severely injured my back and stupidly took opiates--even though I had been clean from heroin/cocaine for ten + years.  This is my 6th day without _any_ drugs and my back is killing me, I am overly sensitive and generally have been throwing a good old pity party for myself.  However, I am grateful that I am not coming off heroin and that I never let the vicodin use get completely out of hand (I never took more than was prescribed and, in fact, tapered successfully for the last month.  I just wanted to say hi--I've read a lot of your posts and like your handle--WW.
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Avatar_n_tn
Nice to meet you too Alexandra!
I've been posting on this forum on and off for a year and a half and it was almost exactly a year ago that with this forum as my lifeline I detoxed cold turkey.  Most of the names have changed, but the spirit of the forum has stayed the same.

I too have a back problem. It was the back problem that first gave me a taste for vicodin. I was even happy when I heard I needed surgery, 'cause I knew that meant 'permission' to have as many painkillers as I wanted.  Little did I know that those fun little white pills would gain such control over me.  

I have chronic pain, and sometimes it hurts more than others. It SUCKS to have chronic pain and not be able to be responsible with opiates. I wish I was a normal person, whatever normal is! lol

But, I'd rather live with some degree of physical pain than the degree of havoc opiate abuse wreaked on my life.  

From what you wrote it sounds like you took the vicodin appropriately for pain, not abusing it. Am I mistaken?  'Cause as I'm sure you know, there is a big difference between physical dependence on a med that you need for pain, and dependence due to abuse and psychological addiction.

Anyway, thanks for saying hi and MAJOR congratulations on 6 days completely drug free!! How are you feeling? I remember the lethargy that kicked in for me at that point, that lasted a couple of weeks.
love,
WW
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Avatar_n_tn
hello its gymman again i was just wondering if anybody can answer should i be taken some time of from oxys i take 300mg a day before i started them i was in a major depression from pain do not want all that pain back if i do take some time off how hard is it to do i take two 40 every 8 hours and 2 ir 10 every6 hours  ive been doing same amount for 1.5 years thanks for your time
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Avatar_n_tn
It depends on the reason you are using them.
If you are on the oxy for legit medical reasons, and they are increasing the quality of your life, then there is no problem.

If you are abusing them, using them to get high and avoid other things in your life, or if your use of them is causing you problems, then it's a good idea to stop.

Cold turkey is hard to get through, but in 3 to 5 days you start to feel better.
Tapering if better if you have the willpower.

So..I don't really have an answer 'cause I'm not sure what the reason you are taking them is. I'm sure everyone here will help clarify if you tell us more.

WW
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Avatar_n_tn
hello its gymman i take the oxys fornumber5and6 discs in my neck also L4 L5 and andL5s1  discs in my back i was in a major depression because of the pain i was in pain for 12 plus years before i met a pain doc  i am also on effexor for depression  i was just wondering aboutcoming off for awhile because my body is starting to get immune to the 300mg i take a day  and am i going to have to increase the dose ive been taken two 40 every 8 hours and two ir 10 every 6 hours and almost 95  percent of the time i stick to that unless a real bad day  thanks for your time
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Avatar_n_tn
Hiya hellbent,
That was one hell of an inspiring post!
I too still have occasional using dreams, and my detox was almost a year ago.  

Congratulations on the job offer!  We must live in the same place. I live in the Bay Area, east bay.
My husband is actually looking for work in the software/computer/project manager industry, so if you have any leads...email me! ***@****
He just got laid off from a good job in a company who's stock just kept plummeting, and they had to lay off 50% of their employees. That's been part  of why I've been so depressed lately. Money fears are very intense.

keep on keeping on,
love,
WW
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi cleanman and welcome. I've been clean myself for a little over four months. For the first several weeks, I was mentally in the dark. I literally felt like I'd gone into some really dark place and couldn't get out. I cried all the time. But at least I was feeling SOMETHING, instead of numb from the pills. That led to feeling happiness, and laughing, and feeling real again. For the most part, that's how things have stayed and I've been a really happy person. Sure, I get down, get mad, get sad. But at least it's all normal and I'm living.

There are some weeks, though, when I again get preoccupied with pills and think about them all the time. It passes, but it's hell. I guess it's just very intense cravings. I don't know if it will ever go away entirely. What I do during these times (I'm coming out of one now) is to increase my vitamins and supplements, especially the L-Tyrosone, as it helps me tremendously. I'm fine with cravings if I know there are no pills around. But if I know someone has them, it's all I can think of. It takes me back to the days before I used daily, when I used to just enjoy a bottle whenever I could get one, but didn't worry if I didn't have one. But I crossed that line when I used daily for almost two years, and can never go back (not that I want to, but the idea flits around my mind).

My point it that for me at least, not every day is a struggle. I love living and thinking clearly. I don't think constantly about addiction. But I do still have to deal with this, as I discover whenever I get uppity with myself and think I've beaten it completely. Again, it's what you do that counts; you can't control the cravings, but you can control acting on them. Hang in there and seriously, try the recipe - it totally changed my mindset in the early weeks.
tracy
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