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Tramadol Drugstore Cowgirl
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Tramadol Drugstore Cowgirl

9084171?1367700743
Hi, all!
I discovered this thread just last night (5/3/13) reading up on the Thomas Recipe and peoples reactions and WD's getting off of Tramadol.
You all seem like a very knowledge, caring bunch and I'd like to perhaps make some friends around here, if you'll have me. May I share a little about myself with you all? 37 year old SAHM, 2 little boys: one 3, one 5, hubby works full time managing a restaurant. That's now.

Rewind about 10 years ago when my mom, who has ALWAYS been a "pill popper" kindly gave me one of her Lortabs to cure a persistent headache. That's all it took - I was hooked. I started seeing her doctor who gave me endless amounts of the things for the generic "headache" excuse until I became so needy and strung out that he dropped me as a patient. Back then one could still order Lortabs off the internet so I did that until it, too, was outlawed. Out of desperation, I tried some Tramadol a new doc had given me because he didn't like giving out the heavy narcs. At first it made me puke but I still got the feel good high so I kept at it until the vomiting stopped. Started feeling TOO confident and piling on the dosage until I had my first seizure (yep, I said "first"). Luckily for me hubby was home at the time and I had been laying in bed so he sat next to me, stroked my hair and talked softly to me until I came to then fell asleep for 12 hours. Certainly he thought that would be the huge flashing red light to stop me from popping Trammies, right?! Nope. An addict cares not. I began ordering them off the internet and proceeded, over the years, to have about a half dozen more seizures.
Everything came to a head at the beginning of 2012 when my father (who I dearly loved) died. I went into a grieving panic and spun down into that bottomless pit of despair. Despite my adoring 4 year old son who really wanted his mommy back I moved out of our home and spent every free moment popping whatever pill and drinking whatever alcohol I could get my hands on. Adding Ambien to the mix, I mostly slept for 2 solid months. Also gave myself 2 black eyes that, to this day, I cannot explain.
I slowly started to come out of it and began to land my feet solidly back in reality. I reconciled with the hubs, moved back in, dropped the Ambien and alcohol completely to leave myself hooked only on the Trammies. Whereas before hubby and I always fought over my drug use, forcing me to hide every sacred pill, we put it all out in the open and hubby could see how happy and functioning I was on this one, solitary drug. He agreed to finance them for me figuring "everyone deserves at least SOMETHING to help them get through the day". You see, unlike many of you I never really had any pain to begin with. I've never had any surgeries, never been in a car accident, never broken a bone. I am the type of person many of you with legitimate reasons HATE. I am sorry for that and constantly ashamed because I know, because of me, it is harder for the average pain patient to get nearly ANYthing these days.
However, these pills help with tiny gifts of focus, calm, relaxation, patience, better temperament, I could go on. The main reason I am here with you all today, sharing my shame, writing my story for all the internet to critique, is because these little white pills are becoming FAR too expensive. A bottle of 90 (which gets me through 2 weeks) costs just over $100 so at $200 a month we are struggling financially. I know that, while I REALLY do not WANT to quit now, I will eventually have to.
Back in February I tried a 2 week self-taper and did quite well. I woke up 24 hours after my last pill and still felt ok. 36 hours crept up and the "flu" started to creep in. By hour 48 I freaked out so badly I got myself to an ER complaining of an excruciating migraine just to get my fix. I had failed. Since that attempt I gave up, recognizing and accepting my extremely pathetic lack of willpower.
This all brings us up to present day. Just last week I got in a fight with hubby when he told me he was finacially cutting me off and will no longer pay for my pills. I had a little bit in Craigslist sales stashed away so I managed to take care of the beginning of May for myself but 7 days from now the panic will start to seep into my brain and body and the freak out will soon commence, sure as the sun will rise.
My conundrum is this: I do not WANT to quit them. I like them. I rationalize to myself that everyone is hooked on SOMEthing - caffeine, nicotine, abusive relationships, etc. As long as I can somehow make 200 bucks a month, I should be fine, right? Nope. I can't make that kinda money every single month with no job and as a SAHM. Besides, I'd much rather spend all that cash on fun stuff like Angry Bird sheets for my son or sterling silver jewelry for myself...ANYTHING besides wasting all that money on little round pills.
I'm also hating my dependence on them. If I run out because my mail order shipment is delayed I head straight for the ER. They are now beginning to recognize me and deny me right out. Then I drive away hating THEM and feeling judged but also feeling like they have no right to look down at me just because I'm hooked on these damn things. Isn't it crazy all the things our brains do while we're on this substance?
I've read many stories on this board with many different approaches. One person gave his phone, wallet and car keys to his girlfriend so that he would know his options were nil. Another convinced himself that he has the flu - simple as that - to help psych himself into calming down.
The thing that always kills me is the SEVERE anxiety attacks. Can't stay still, body wants to sleep but mind won't let it, runny/stuffy nose, CONSTANT dizziness and those horrible electric shock feelings in the head that make you feel like you have a fever, on the toilet day and night, etc. When all that kicks in, I turn weak. I cannot make it through. I'm not tough like some of you are - I'm a big cream puff and I'm well aware of my shortcomings.
So there you have it - my present problem. I KNOW I will have to come off these things eventually but am entirely unprepared both mentally & physically as to HOW I would even begin to address this venture.
Another thing that really worries me is that I know myself: if it's not this, it will be something else. I will pick back up the bottle, I will start taking Ambien again to sleep through life and just not address ANY of my own problems. And before anyone asks, no I don't know anything about any groups, I'm too ashamed to even consider it right now - and I loathe and despise exercise (lol) so turning to jogging or whatever like many do - I know myself well enough to know that I won't do that. Since you know I have 2 small children spending 24/7 in a hot bath will NOT be an option and a mommy doesn't get "time off". No clocking out and no vacations - life will have to go on around me and I will be forced to participate...but HOW?!
Right now I take anywhere between 6-10 50mg Tramadols per day and, at my best, have worked my way down to 5 per day comfortably. That's all I do. No drinking, no smoking (weed or cigs), nothing recreational and I do not crush or snort the pills. I've been taking them for about 3 years now every single day. I wake up, pop 2 or 3, go about my day, maybe pop 1 more late afternoon then pop 2 or 3 an hour or so before bed to relax me enough to get some sleep.
I know that, because I don't have the desire to quit right now, maybe there is nothing any of you can or even want to say to me and that's ok. I just wanted to vent, to get my story out there, to see my own shortcomings in my own words. Like every story there is more than just what I've shared today like the DUI I earned right after my Dad killed himself and how I am working on my very last month of probation right now. But I'll save that for later, in case anyone is interested.
Thank you, everyone, for hearing me out. :)
57 Comments Post a Comment
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4522800_tn?1397789196
Hi & Welcome..So you have been lurking around..Hey do not be tough on your self most of us have walked in those shoes..I stated using off & on since I was 14..Booze drugs ect you name it and I am not shamed to say I am now 57..This just happens to the best of us in any color, race, shape or form..What got me is that I never new what a w/d was about until i got my hydo/oxys in 1993..I was only aloud to have 20 for the month for female issues..Well that just went up the latter to 12 years of the Methadone and 2 other Meds..Heck I used that for an excuse for ever..It was nothing that the midol or a aspirin would not take care of..When I had to have the surgery I knew I had no more excuses..But that did not stop me Oh no it just made me get another drug to snort with it so I could make the scrip last longer..Well I am clean today and it was not a easy ride because of the C/T thing..SO If you are trying to come off of these and read alot around here you know we do suggest a taper..And also to give them to someone to hold and give them to you when it is time.I do have a Bud on here that was on the Trams for 15 years at a very, very, High dose..She will be able to relate to you to the tee..She also had a few Sez while using..So you just hang tight and keep checking your post..It is the weekend and alot of people are gone..I know my Trams Bud is..OK.
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So I'm not judging and I just happened to come across your thread.  I hear alot of excuses and pretty much you don't want to. I'm here to tell you it can be done we all have done it!  If it wasn't for my husband and kids I couldn't have or wouldn't have. I'm almost 10 weeks clean from everything I took loratab 10mg/ up to 20 a day and 50mg trams up to 20 a day.  I ended up getting pregnant which I can say has saved my life. I completely quit tramadol first then was able to taper off the tabs. I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old plus I'm now 27 weeks pregnant and I work full time on third shift!  I don't get vacations or sick days from any of it but when I could I took baths my husband helped out as much as he could after 2 weeks most of the withdrawals are gone but now going this far I am thankful for the pain of withdrawals because the mind game that comes with it is excruciating.  I have lupus, RA and ankylosing spondylitis I'm constantly in pain but nothing is worse than putting myself through withdrawal again.  Somedays I think I could sleep or function if I had just one lil pill then I put myself and my mind on something else my KIDS!  I hope you will find what you need on this site it helps me just to read some posts sometimes.  As addicts we need constant reminders on why we chose a sober life.  I hope you chose right for you and your family.  Your husband sounds like he will do anything to help you! Use that to its full advantage I sure did.  If it wasn't for mine I think I would've died :( if I can do this so can you good luck and the first thing you need is the right mind set with the willpower if you don't change your way of thinking you have no chance.
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480448_tn?1397235344
Hello and welcome!  Glad you found your way here, and glad you looked around and read what other people have gone through.

We'll be glad to help you, and support you, but you have to be ready.  If you're not ready and don't want this, you probably won't be successful.  You've seen many of the negative consequences of your addiction, yet you continue to use.  That's typical addiction.  You've already told us what you won't or can't do to get better.  Being narrow minded won't be of much help to you, as I'm sure you know, because you sound like a smart woman.  So, if we tell you that you need to go to meetings, and seek professional help....would you be willing to try?  You're still very much in the "excuses" phase, where you have a reason and an excuse as to why you can't do X, Y and Z.  You have to find reasons and ways you CAN do the things that will get your recovery started.

The consequences will only continue to get worse, your health could suffer, your relationships will suffer, you know the drill.  SHOULD you stop and get some help?  Absolutely.  But, until you get to the point where you're sick and tired of the merry go round, there isn't much we're going to be able to tell you that will help.

Have you ever considered an inpatient program?  That may be something that would help you to detox, and start with the important stuff, the therapy and meetings, etc.  You have to discover why you turn to substances in order to break the cycle.  

I commend you for being so candid with us and honest...I wish you the best and hope that you decide you WANT to start living again, and soon.  Blessings to you.
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Hello there and welcome. Wow, I just do not know where to start with you, but I can say that you remind me of myself about 2 years ago. Girl, you really need to think long and hard about what's going on in ur life, please I am not judging one bit, believe me I have lots of shame as well, but your behavior is scary. Remember this disease we call addiction is a DEADLY disease, you cannot continue going down this road it only leads to death!! You say you are not ready to quit and that you are scared of the withdrawal, I hate to say this but it's the truth, quiting is the easy part staying clean is the hardest! You deserve as well as your kids to be happy and to live a life unchained. Please reconsider and get the will to stop the madness..... This is a journey and a long one at that, and I hope that you find you way to hop on board and get your life together. How about seeing a therapist?  Good luck to you and I can only hope that you see that you are playing with fire....
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5420258_tn?1367777757
Thanks to all of you who have already commented - wow! I didn't expect so many responses especially on a weekend while everyone is out having lives, lol!
I find myself nodding my head at a lot of your words to me- all of you. The "excuses" part is definitely where I am right now. I did a LOT of damage while I was abusing Lortab but since I traded those in for the Trammies I find myself doing pretty much zero damage, except for the financial aspect.
Yes, I would be willing to pursue meetings. I am very social and open-minded, open-hearted so I love meeting other people and hearing what they have to say. Certainly, at the very least I can learn a thing or two from a stranger and that's ALWAYS a good thing in MY book! ;)

I can say with a lot of authority that the loss of my father is still impacting me in MANY ways and now the self-medication is an attempt to keep that emotional pain at bay. I am a highly functioning addict - still a great mom, friend and wife. For these reasons it makes it that much harder for me to look at these pills as the bane of my existence and set to a plan to get rid of them. They are like my security blanket, y'know? I want to have them to snuggle up to when times get rough and without them...well frankly I'm scared of what I would pick up to replace them.

Reading that there is another mom who had even MORE on her plate than I but who STILL kicked it is definitely encouraging! Thanks for sharing with me, Conjen! I already feel that maybe you and I are kindred spirits, lol!

I'm feeling very encouraging by you all already and that is a very warm, pleasant emotion. Knowing that I can turn to this board when I decide to take the leap is comforting because as much as my hubby SAYS I have his support I know he has no CLUE what I'll be physically and mentally going through.

So can someone direct me to a taper list? Or even perhaps custom design one for me? I suppose I could make this present bottle I have in my nightstand my last bottle and no time like the present to start cutting back and prepping, right?
Nervously optimistic at the moment...
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5350624_tn?1368539383
You'll be fine. I have 3 kids, and I can tell you.....keeping this up just isn't worth it. Your kids will thank you for it. But you gotta be ready to do it. Good luck and keep us informed.
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No better time than now I'm still hearing excuses for you to keep doing these horrible lil pills.  I was definitely a functioning addict which is the hard part mentally to kick.  To just think all it takes is one lil pill to feel better somedays is a hard thing to get out of your mind.  I definitely functioned better but I'm healthier and happier knowing I'm doing the best I can for my family!  As for your husband gave him read some research on withdrawals so he can be prepared for what you are going to go through.  Good luck and maybe find some meetings I've never been but heard they work wonders
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1579159_tn?1388706849
I'm a stay at home mommy too, and I was the high functioning addict, BUT then my best friend, my crutch, my love, stopped and turned on me and before I knew it, I was no longer functional!!! I know what you mean as your "security blanket" and let me tell you I miss those dam pills, hell I crave the dam things everyday.   Ohh yes the excuses and i still find myself coming up with every possible reason to use. And it amazes me how quickly I forgot the hell of withdrawing and in an instant my sobriety could be lost. I think it's great that you are done with the loratabs BUT please do not think taking trammies is any better. Tramadol is one scary pill, and a b1tch to come off of. I am LOVING that you are even just toying with the idea of a taper, now that is progress, keep it up!  We are not allowed to share taper advice but what I can share is slow and steady. Drop small amounts over time and you will do great. Please do not just stop taking it CT as you already know the dangers with seizures.  Your moving in a positive direction and have an open mind that's half the battle.
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I have a question .   You said that you did not do well taking the lortab but now seem stable on the dose of tram.   It stands to reason that you are benefiting from the antidepressant component that is included in the tram.The lortab is different in that it does not have an antidepressant action but only a narcotic action.     Here is my question.  Have you ever just tried a regular rank and file ssri antidepressant.  It might be something to look into.
I also thought about this when you said you start to feel really bad at 48 hours because most of us start feeling bad in mere hours after discontinuing our opiates.   Forgive me if I have any info wrong here.   My brain is addled at the moment.  :)
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Rule # 1.  You have to really WANT to leave the pills in the dust..If you don't, you will spin your wheels and waste precious time, it's frustrating.

I'm going to suggest you do a little research concerning recovery...you need to work at it, learn it, live it, and ask for help and support. You probably need some therapy, what do you think?

Starting to taper down is definitely a beginning but, I mean it, you have to really want to quit.  Do some reading, make a plan, ask questions...We can help but you do the work!  And you CAN do it!!
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3060903_tn?1398568723
Right now you're stating that the $ consideration is the only consideration, you're not considering that your husband should not have do deal with this vice in his marriage, It sounds like he's at the end of his rope, and your bottoming out. This is your bottom. Unless you sell yourself, you have no where to go with this. You have to cut down, and quit. You need to be real with your kids, not over compensating because you're high. They need you to be real in your mothering and be thinking clearly. You can't think clearly when you're beholden to a magic pill to get through life, and that example will be mirrored by one of your children. Instead of showing them the importance of being clean and sober and responsible, you will be showing them that's it's okay to make your family a lessor priority than a drug you don't need, but want. What will you be teaching them, as they grow, if you don't quit? You deserve to be free. I've been free for 14 years, and my biggest regret is that I didn't do it earlier. If you can talk yourself into doing this drug, in time, you'll be able to rationalize just about anything. The purpose of AA, CA Alanon, ACOA, is to raise the bottom of addicts, so you have the support of others to not have to lose it all. If you continue doing what you're doing, you are , simply, at risk of losing it all. And losing the respect of your partner or your kids, is not worth the bit of buss you're getting. Trust me. Unfortunately I know how far down you can go. Quit while you're ahead, is my best advise. You're husband will celebrate your courage. Use the meetings, taper - today, and find it in your heart to say that quitting is your biggest priority right now. There's so much help for you. Please take it. I'm here for you if you want to talk, if you want some extra help. I've got kids, I'm married. I'll help you. BE FREE BE FREE
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5420258_tn?1367777757
Thanks again to you ALL for your wonderful comments of support. It is very refreshing to get an outside perspective into the window of my little world. To see what someone thinks who is not a friend or family member connected to me.

Two things I am really worried about that I have yet to address that I'd like to ask of you all:

1) Insomnia issue. I have been battling insomnia for 11 years now and for several years was successfully taking Ambien for sleep until I STUPIDLY began mixing it with alcohol for that extra kick. A few years after that decision is when I wound up in jail for 48 hours, sentenced by a judge s the minimum for DUI in my state. Once I completely stopped taking the Ambien things instantly began clearing up in my life. Hubby agreed that I was a new person and he was relieved to not have to live in constant fear over what new stunt I would get into day after day.
Now, it's clear to everyone here including myself that I have replaced Ambien with Trams to get that coveted sleep every night. So now we have a duel problem. Once I stop taking Trams my insomnia will flare up BIG TIME and I am accustomed to taking a pill every single night, at least SOME kind of pill, for over a decade now. That's a HUGE habit to break so let me ask those of you who are clean: what do YOU take for sleep? Benadryl has the opposite effect of making me hyper and I suppose those OTC melt-a-way thingies are ok but they give one SUCH a hangover and as a mom of 2 active little boys I really can't afford to be groggy til noon the next day. Yes, I've already tried all the "natural" options to no avail because as my favorite musician/comedian Tim Minchin states: "The reason they are OTC and "natural" is because they don't do $h!t" LOL

2) My mom's pill habit. I grew up with a mom who constantly took pills. She, too, had a huge issue with insomnia (perhaps where I learned to acquire one of my own) and took various other concoctions for depression, anxiety, things like that. Back in the 70's, when I was growing up, these drugs were MUCH stronger and more dangerous. Then Elvis died and suddenly all those drugs were banned. She switched to something that wasn't controlled for a few years but piled up a HUGE amount of weight. Then Ambien came out and it was like a godsend to her. She took that with zero issues for many years through my teen years. It wasn't until my 20's that she shared her secrets with me: Lortab in the daytime, Ambien at night, that I adopted those pills and developed my own habit.
Right before my dad died she went down the slippery slope with me and started using the Ambien in the daytime (when she was off work) to sleep and numb herself to the harsh realities we were facing. I wasn't working and had more or less abandoned my own family so I spent days on end at my folks' place sleeping. After my Dad died the abuse and depression tripled. We were ZERO consolation to each other because we were equally as lost. We dosed from sunup til sundown. Fortunately for her she stayed put in her house while I stupidly traveled back and forth across town to my place, narrowly missing the cops. That all ended when some kind citizen saw me swerving and followed me til she could get the cops to find us then safely pulled me over with no one getting hurt.

Now, my mom is only in her early 60's but she is handling my father's death HORRIBLY. We both see the same shrink so she has poured out her broken heart to him and he has put her on Lithium, (didn't work - she began to see people who weren't there) Adderall (adderrall), (sometimes works, sometimes makes her so jumpy that she talks nonsense), Xanax (just for every now and then as we BOTH hate them) then something for her high blood pressure. I've take ALL her pills away from her, except for the HBP pills, because she was dosing herself all over the place. She goes back and forth from sleeping for days to not being able to sit still. I'm beginning to fear a brain disorder and our shrink suspects Parkinson's.
My point with addressing all this is that - I WILL have access to more pills different from Tramadol and WOW - what a conundrum! I am all she has right now so I cannot cut myself off from her but at the same time I will be faced with bottles of NEW pills that I'm sure I will be tempted to give a try. I've never tried Adderall (adderrall) because it's speed and the LAST thing I need is to be MORE hyper than I already am, lol. What I crave is to hold anxiety at bay and to CALM DOWN both day and night. I'm pretty sure I won't be tempted to take any of those. But the Xanax, even though I hate the feeling they give me, are shorter acting than that OTC crap and I'm sure they will start to look tempting going through WD's.

Do any of you have thoughts? Suggestions? I'm very interested to know if any of you clean folk out there are taking ANYTHING these days or are all of you living a completely pill-free life?
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Okay, I'm not that experienced in drug abuse and have no experience with tramadol, but I have become addicted to hydrocodone.  And I have had personal tragedy and boy I used that excuse to take pills, pills and more pills.  Now I'm back at square one, no more norco and trying hard to cut out the ambien and Xanax for sleep.  Now I have to still deal with the emotional pain, the pills will not make it go away unless they kill you.
I have read your posts, I'm the mother of 4 year old twins and a 12 year old.  You have to just stop the insanity.  Now you are going to start taking adderall (adderrall) and Xanax?  I am not trying to be harsh, you sound like the voices I hear in my own head, maybe this drug will make it all better, maybe this one will...
This is my advice regarding the tramadol and sleep.  Don't go back to ambien, knowing your history.  Taper the tramadol and only take them at night for sleep.
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1827057_tn?1397523877
It really sounds to me like you have no capacity right now to be taking care of your mom or anyone else.All of the solutions you have listed are narcotic.
  There are many natural ways to get better sleep.I use exercise and eating correctly. We cannot be clean and still be taking pills.
    Is there any way you could just check yourself in and get completely clean?That would be the best thing you could do. All of these other pills are going to turn this whole thing into a fight that the referee probably will not be able to step in and stop.    We all do this .....we get hooked on these painkillers and the next thing we do is develop an obsession with sleep.It is only when we get clean that we can accurately gauge or address any of our physical or emotional problems because we as active addicts tend to use each and every event that takes place in our lives as a reason to take more and different medications.   We all want to see you succeed and in my opinion inpatient detox would be the best thing you could do right now.
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1579159_tn?1388706849
oh girl, you are all over the place.  YES, the clean folks do not take pills, those are the habits that need to be broken.  Sleep will come with time and it does take allot of time, you say the OTC doesn't work and you do not want to be hung over the next morning until 12 with your kids but yet you are willing to take xanax, ambien and any other pill you can get your hands on.  Come on now, you are not thinking clearly.  Really, go back and read all your posts and see if it makes any logical sense. Like Ricart said, in treatment is the BEST for you, and please do not say your kids need you, they do need you, but they need you to be well and you are sick, so please go get the help you need.  I also have 2 kids and i left them for 30days to get my $h!t together and it truly saved my life.  You have a long history of abuse with all sorts of pills and alcohol and not to mention the DEADLY combination of it all.  PLEASE get yourself the help you so deserve.  
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4522800_tn?1397789196
Wow I just read this thread all the way down since I first when in..Every one just took a Piece of my Heart..I re-lived it all over even in a good way..ALL of us used the pills for this or that reason only to get into deeper dodo! Like today I had to take my Mom to the ER the stress a sadness took over and all I thought about was OH I think I need something to deal with this or that!! I am walking in 8 months so I am still a babe in the woods..Yes I picked up the phone and called a clean friend & heading to the meeting..I noticed you made a remark about the BP Med..Are you thinking about the Clonidine??That is used alot for opiate w/ds and I know a DR that takes it for Sleep as well..I took it after 30 days at night only because I had not sleep! Only for 2 weeks and then I went Natural. Have you tried taking the Ds, Cal, Magnz, and Melatonin at night? And oh yes the Adderral..OMG I used it with my Dones to get a Big Buzz..Not Good! Can you talk to your DR about a Taper Plan?? I also like what Nighthawk said about the kids following in your foot steps..It is very, very serious there..I wish you the best..I know you can do it if you really, really want it but it will take some work..
Bless You & Family
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5420258_tn?1367777757
Whoa, whoa, WHOA!
I NEVER said I take Xanax or Adderall (adderrall) - I've never even tried Adderall (adderrall) cause I know it's speed and I HATE speed. As for Xanax I said I've taken it before but HATE the hangover so I do not like it either. Don't go misunderstanding my posts - just the facts. The fact is that Tramadol is ALL I take. All I'm saying is that other drugs will become attractive going thru WD's from this ONE drug.

The BP med is Propanalol and my mom has taken it for years. I don't think it has any side effects like help with sleep or anything like that - it's just for blood pressure management.
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Wow! You must have AWESOME insurance! How in the *world* did you afford 30 days worth of treatment at a facility!!??
We have no insurance and zero extra funds for something like that. You are VERY lucky to be able to afford something like that.
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Let me put this as bluntly as possible: if I were to disappear for 30 days my mom might die. Yes, it is THAT bad. She is down to a matter of life and death and hubby along with me is freaking OUT over our options as to what we need to do about her.
First thing I need to do is get her to a doctor but with no insurance that's tricky so I'm planning on taking her to a clinic next week just to get her *seen*. I want a CAT scan because I'm afraid something is wrong with her brain and if the doc also wants that - well we're talking hundreds of dollars to come out of thin air.
I am the ONLY person in the world who is checking on her to make sure she is ok, the ONLY one buying her groceries and WE are paying her bills since she just 2 weeks ago lost her job. The idea of my hubby having to take an entire month off from his job to watch our kids would mean zero money for that month which would, naturally, lead to no rent, no food, no utilities.
As much as I *like* the idea of inpatient treatment - it's just not a realistic approach. No, I'm afraid I will have to do this on my own and that's that.
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Hello....I can relate to the tramadol thing big time.  I had a 'love affair' with this med that lasted 15 years.  I started on it for back pain; took it as prescribed for at first but grew a tolerance to it very, very fast.  I found it to be actually not that great of a pain reliever per se, but it made me feel good otherwise; like I could do anything....kind of like what you describe it does for you.  I have had a lot of medical issues with my back and neck over the years and have taken about every opiate out there at one time or another (always in ADDITION to the tram; NEVER went without that).  I also experienced seizures due to overdoses several years ago.  I lost a lot of thing to these pills - friends, interest in many of the things I loved, a 25 year career, thousands of dollars and MOST importantly 15 years of time (being high, stoned, numbed, in a fog; all of the above), that I will never get back.  My daughters went from teenagers to young adults and I barely remember any of it.  When I quit the tramadol c/t on Dec. 1st of last year I was taking up to 50 pills a DAY.  It has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life AND it has been the BEST thing I have ever done in my life.  It has been 5 months and I am still in disbelief myself that I did it.  Things are far from perfect still and I know it will be a battle to stay clean for the rest of my life.  I really feel for you - having access to all the different pills, etc.  I know for me, I had to finally accept the fact that the Tramadol was killing me and taking everything I worked my life to get; and unless I stopped the madness I would be dead; whether it be from an overdose, taking the pills I ordered online that came from really who knows where (there is NO way to truly know WHAT is in those pills); or some other kind of accident caused my 24/7 compromised state of mind.  There has been a lot of really great advice and support offered here....please consider the inpatient option.  I wish you the very best of luck.  You CAN do this.  If I did, you CAN....trust me :))
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I was just referring to your comment that you might be "tempted" should these pills become available.  
You've got a full plate, I get it.  It sounds overwhelming.  
Just try to cut back at least and don't add any more to the mix.
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Ok, I understand. Just didn't want anyone to misinterpret my point: I have NO intention on dipping into my mom's meds but I KNOW how desperate I get when I run out and I know I will be tempted.

It was beginning to look like I mentioned the names "Xanax" and "Adderall (adderrall)" then everyone jumped the gun, assuming I'm now taking them.

However, doesn't the Thomas Recipe suggest a small amount of Xanax or Valium? I have my mom's bottle of about 20 and now that she's stopped taking them she would not even notice if I used a few for my WD plan on the Thomas Recipe.
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First, I apologize that this will be short. I have 3 kids who will soon come looking for mom, but I just wanted to chime in. You have had some great comments to your post, think about what you have read here. I was a great mom, wife, friend, on large amounts of norco, UNTIL I WASN'T. You may only be concerned with the 200 dollars you are spending now, and everything is fine, but eventually your tolerance will increase, it will cost more money, where will you get it, pawning things, lying, etc. You may think you are in control, but you are not. I almost destroyed my family, my marriage over these stupid pills. I was always, counting, lying, hiding, stealing money from my hub (after I was cut off the bank account), all to keep using. I stopped making plans with friends, because I didn't know how many pills I would have that day, would I feel ok? At the end of my active addiction, I started drinking (which you have admitted is a problem for you) to keep the withdrawals away. I went to inpatient, which may not be an option for you, but I would check into it. There may be a state treatment facility available. I made every excuse in the book, believe me, I do have chronic pain and I used that one for a long time to justify my use, couldn't leave my kids, etc. I also have had insomnia most of my life, and once I got clean, weird, I go straight to sleep. My pain is manageable with Advil too. I will comment more later, but you are not alone. I used to be you. You may be ok now, but it ONLY GETS WORSE, never better. I hope you decide to free yourself, you will never regret it:)
Allison
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I guess it wasn't that short, only 3 child related interruptions! Lol
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I was not lucky to go away for 30 days I am lucky to be alive! I'm not saying this to be mean or ugly but look at ALL the money you spend/spent on trams!! There are allot of treatment facilities that are willing to help but you need to do your research. It's ok if your not ready, believe me I understand. I remember when someone mentioned to me rehab, I FREAKED out!! I mean ME, a drug addict, not me, it's all legal, I don't do drugs and never did, it's all prescribed, I have control, I can stop if I want too, etc... Well more time went by and with more time came more pills and more pills lead to more near death experiences, and then I opened up and realized I need HELP. And that was a process for me, so I am not coming down on you but this is part of the process and that's realizing that you do need the help.  Remember we relapse mentally before we actually do, and you mentioned that you will be tempted during WD to get moms pills, and that is a HUGE flag, we all think that we don't like that drug or alcohol has never been a problem, but when The one that that is gone we tend to look for another crutch, maybe it's Xanax or addrell who knows but or addicts minds just want a fix.. I am so happy you are here posting and just know we all know what you are going through as at one point we have been where you are. Just please take all this in and read and re read all the comments and before you know it some things might just start clicking for you.
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nighthawk,
your post really spoke to me.  I'm just possibly one step ahead of the thread starter.  I've been abusing tramadol for almost 5 years, using it every 2-4 hrs every day just to get through daily life.  I'm down to 1/8 of one 50 mg pill once a day.   I still struggle with the same thoughts as the thread starter...  i doubt i am going to get through life without these pills.. but I'm a functioning adult on these pills right? everybody needs something right? WRONG WRONG WRONG.
u were saying that we need to be aware what we are showing our children.   would I want my son to grow up to rely on a pill bottle,  making sure he had it everywhere he went, driving home from work just to get it if he left
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it at home?  not caring if he was destroying his liver or kidneys?  desperate when down to the last few pills of a prescription?   sneaking to the bathroom to tale pills?  WELL HECK NO, id NEVER want that for him.  EVER.  and id be on his back in a minute if I even thought he may be abusing any substance.  
something else u said...something like if I can reason with myself that continuing my addiction is besy, there's no limit to what actions I can reason away is there?  
the fact is, there are 2 roads for us...keep abusing and die, orstop.  those are it.  I've never had a seizure,  but the longer I use, the more likely it is.  and I drive my 11 yr old son around with that risk!  
its very hard to not pick up my bottle of full pills and go back up to my previous dose.  but I've acceppted that my reality with them was fantasy.   there are consequence.  I'm so thankful to have found th site
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I couldn't agree more with all of the above posts.  I hope you read them, and read them again, because there are some very important things mentioned.

I'm sorry your Mom is in a bad way, but hon, YOU are in no condition to be in control of her meds.  I commend you for being honest about that.  You have a history of abusing multiple substances.  You BOTH need some intensive help...both for your depression/grief issues and for your addictions.  One addict cannot help another get clean.  If anything, they just trigger one another.  

Like others have said, you have to really be ready to give 100% to your recovery, and it's clear you're not there yet...from the way your thinking processes are still very much entangled in active addiction...to romancing your DOC.  Even just the use of the word "trammies" proves that.  It's like a term of endearment.  Most people would say "trams", because it's shorter to type, and a common abbreviation.  Just THAT word in your posts over and over gives a good indication that you're still very much romancing the tramadol.  Even the title of your thread is an expression that could be taken almost as bragging.  I'm not saying that's what you're doing, I'm just trying to make you understand, from a 3rd party perspective, the picture you're painting.  The thing that stands out the most is that you're not ready...which you've said as well, and that's fine...but you're also aware that this isn't a road that will lead you anywhere good.

Just start thinking about what you could do, what you could look into as far as treatment goes.  Most people are very resistant to the idea of inpatient, but if one can pull it off, it's really a great thing, especially with your polyabuse.  Like Dane said, you could do some looking, actually most people who go into an inpatient treatment center aren't bogged down with pockets full of cash.  Point is, there ARE options, and you really do need the help.  You cannot help your mom, or anyone else until you can learn to help yourself.  You may THINK you're highly functional (most addicts do), but you really aren't...not if you need the "trammies" to get you through the day.  

Very best to you.....I know things here aren't easy to hear, but you asked for honest input, and you're getting it, from people who KNOW what you're going through.  Try not to get defensive or upset, and take the advice as it's intended, to be helpful because everyone here cares.

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Wow you make it sound like none of have been in a situation or two just like you.  You don't want to quit which is the reality of the situation.  Could you honestly tell me if someone handed you $200 dollars right now you wouldn't purchase them.  I'm sorry to be blunt but how are you going to take care of your mom or kids or husband if your not here on earth permanently.  I hope you make the right decision for yourself and your family good luck to you but you have to man up and face reality.
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Umm...ok...not sure what I said to make you think that I'm "superior" to anyone on this board. Mainly because I don't feel that way at all.
Yes, I see the realization that I'm not mentally in the place where I need to be to quit altogether and I appreciate the input from everyone who has helped me get at least that far.

Just as the sweet, kind and wise nursegirl has worded I am taking the good, dispelling the bad (or even slightly irrelevant) and going with what applies to me and helps me with my decisions from here on out.

Like I said earlier, I find myself nodding my head to a lot of things you all have posted - being inside the bubble makes it quite difficult to see what life is like outside of the bubble itself. Also, what becomes "the norm" to someone quite often looks dysfunctional and crazy to someone else. It's refreshing to get some honest advice and many shared success stories - it's also very encouraging.

I don't think of myself as a very strong person. I feel I have a weak willpower not only in this type of situation but just in general. I have a hard time being a "hard ***" and if there is something I don't want to do, it is damn near impossible for me to get it done, lol. Call it a personality flaw but it's just a part of who I am. I'm trying to get everything about me and my life out on the board, no holds barred, without any secrets being kept from any of you. If your impression is that I seem to think "none of you have been in a situation or two just like me" then I have presented myself inaccurately.
However, I *DO* realize that each and every person & case is different in a million ways so don't get upset when I don't end up accepting what someone is telling me to do and adopt their approach to a T. I am taking bits and pieces then molding them into my own little Play Doh ball to hold close to me while I go through the hell of WD's. In small ways every single one of you have contributed - even the ones who've said they're "never even tried Tramadol" or have never been in a similar situation as the one I'm in right now.
With your help - ALL of you - I just might be able to kick this thing.
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I have to be completely honest and say that your post to me made the biggest impression on me, nursegirl. :) I had NEVER thought about the perspective of calling the pills "Trammies" as a romanticized action. In fact, when I read that paragraph out loud to my hubby (he has been following you all just as I have) he too was blown away and admitted that he had never thought about it that way.

Truth is, the place where that nickname came from was chatting with a good friend of mine who who used to be hooked on heroin but kicked the habit. She comforted me by reminding me that I had been through a LOT this past year and if this was the ONLY thing I was doing - to take it a bit easy on myself and give myself a break. She shared with me that I could always kick the pills after I addressed many of the more pressing issues going on around me that required immediate attention ie. my mom's utilities being cut off, etc. We would call them Trammies back and forth to each other in a self-deprecating ironic manner more than anything else. She has been through MUCH more hell than I have and is, I believe, MUCH stronger than I am. I don't think I would have made it through some of the things she's conquered.

Yes, I *am* aware that this isn't a road that will lead me anywhere good. Sometimes I get defensive when I see a lot of ALL CAPS coming from you all, lol, and sometimes I get the impression that a single person gets the idea that "this worked for me so it WILL work for you too" and that's intimidating to me. So I'm constructing my Play Doh ball bit by bit tonight, this evening of May 5th, 2013, sitting at my Acer Aspire One laptop & listening to old John Mayer songs in the background.

Please, everyone, keep the info flowing! In some shape or form, it is all helping!!! <3
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Oh also, the title of my thread was a reference to a 311 song called "Beautiful Disaster". There's a line in the song, "I know a drugstore cowgirl so afraid of getting bored. She's always running from something so many things ignored." I've always felt that line very effectively describes me.

I'd recommend you give it a listen some time - really great tune! :)
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I am not trying to say that what I did will work for you or that the only way to get clean for you is in patient treatment .I have been an addict of almost all of the opiates including IV heroin and I know how these things have a way of making one feel secure and "functioning"  
    I am just mainly worried about YOUR immediate health with your history of multiple seizures and the plain fact is you are alot closer to disaster than you think.You could be driving,have a seizure and that's all she wrote.You could have the kids in the car. I am not trying to scare you but just let you know where my line of thinking is coming from.
  Alot of us are just worried for your safety while doing this.
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Just an FYI...the ALL CAPS I used to empasize certain words is just that, an emphasis because it is the written word..obviously, it would be something I am trying to make stand out as I would if I were speaking...and I do that on all of my posts, it's part of my posting style.

Just wanted to clarify that so you didn't feel as if I was being extra hard on you or anything.  Just the way I type my posts.

:0)
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Oh ok, if that's what you're frightened of then let me give you a bit more background/info.
I have not had a seizure since last spring, right after my Dad died and I did not care what I consumed into my body, or how much of it, as long as it made me numb. That was the last time. 95% of the reason behind my HORRIBLE decisions was fueled by the Ambien and then mixed with alcohol made me not even remember what I had taken for days on end.

I have completely, totally stopped drinking, stopped the Ambien and take so few Tramadol per day that I am certain NOT to have a seizure. Unlike last year, I actually care about that happening to me and do NOT want to ever have another one ever again. I am down to my lowest dosage of Trams EVER since I even started so I'm a tiny bit proud of myself for working my addiction down to a manageable level as well as completely eradicating not just one but TWO of the most horrible, damaging substances I had ever ingested.

The kids are never in the car with me, nor am I ever driving, because I am still on probation and not allowed to drive. My probation ends this month so we will see what will result from that and how much money they demand in order to have the privilege of driving again. It has been a year and a half since I've been legal to drive a car and I'm not pushin' my luck - I intend this first run-in with the cops/legal system to be my LAST. ;)
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You said your husband is reading this (which is great, btw)....what does he say?  This thread is VERY telling...you're very open and honest with the details of your addiction, you have no problem admitting you are an addict (which is all good)...but is his ONLY concern really the money?  Is he not worried about the long term health risks to you?  What kind of effect this could have on your children?  

I mean, the bottom line to me I think would be is that you have an addiction you are not addressing.  You're still even trying to find ways to rationalize that you've cut down....maybe making it okay to continue?  Also, you're not addressing the depression issue either, which isn't healthy for anyone.  It's not like he was agreeing to let you have expensive nail treatments or something.  He agreed to fund and be okay with you abusing a medication, for all of the wrong reasons....just because it makes you feel better.  I'm sure he has to see how much is wrong with that, doesn't he?  

I'm just really curious as to what your husband thinks, what he SAYS to you about this.  I know if I were a spouse, reading this thread would probably scare me and infuriate me at the same time.  Ya know?  I kind of hope maybe this has opened HIS eyes a little...your readiness isn't quite there, but if HE starts realizing the extent of how much is wrong with this...maybe it will add some accountability for you.  Right now, you're not being made to be accountable to anyone...and up until recently, you've been openly permitted to be an addict...that's kind of a new one for me.

I'm glad you're here, and you're reading and taking this all in.  Maybe someone will come up with the right words to really give you that extra push you need to ditch the excuses and rationalization...and admit the full extent of what's going on...and that you really need to start addressing this...you need help sweetie...no way around it.  You cannot continue down this road forever...addiction always has an end point...either jail, death, or recovery.  You've come close to the first two already (closer than you probably realize)....the longer you do this, the better chance of a negative outcome.  

Your post above this one is a textbook addict post, not sure if you can see it or not...a whole lot of minimizing, and rationalization.  Hang in there !
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Well put nursegirl! And amen ricart! We all know that everyone's situation is different and has special circumstances.  We all did things are own way in this recovery process and are still handling those demons as we go through it now its never ending but it gets easier by the day!  My husband saw the problem and truely stood by my side through this recovery. Sounds to me that someone needs to give you a swift kick in the butt.  I'm thankful for this child growing inside me or I don't know how well I would've done.  What if your wrong about the seizures what if ricart is right and you have one while driving your young children "TRAMMIES" as you call them cause seizures please for the love of god drop the excuses and WAKE UP for your sake and your families
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Conjen,
I really do not like or appreciate the tone you take with me and would appreciate it if you would please leave my thread and stop addressing me. Your words are no longer helping and only making you look more and more foolish to me, as you refuse to actually read and absorb my words before attacking and judging me.

Everyone else, is there any way I can put someone on "ignore"?
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You have been given very good advice from everyone.  We have had many members here who have had seizures so this is a concern.  They can happen at anytime with this drug.  We all want you to be safe and to get better.  
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i want to start by saying a few things to you, first off i admire your honesty, and courage to let it all out sort of speak.  Keeping your hubby in the loop and hey lets face it, you kicked the booze and ambien, now that's what i call hoops and bounds, so keep it up and move forward.  You have come so far already and be proud of yourself.  I do not want to speak for all addicts but i can honestly say i romanced about the pills and i had all the nicknames for my pills, $h!t i had a love affair with the pills!!!!  Now with that said, its time to look at tapering off the trams, and get to an even lower dose.  Babysteps, is how i work and as long as you are going in the positive direction and keep on trucking, you will do great.  
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Stay,
I just wanted to comment on a couple of things.  I do see (and completely understand)  your resistance to stop.  Its a real part of addiction that all of us here have encountered.   But what I see is that you are here.  Regardless of the reasons u got on the laptop and began posting,  it still got u here.  I bet you've never reached iut like this before ...or maybe u have.  I know I hadn't before.   I see that as a first step.   And imo, any step forward should be a reassurance to you that you are stronger than u realize and do have conviction.   You've also tapered down your dose...again regardless of the reasonswhy, that is still a step in the right direction!  
About the seizure thing...daily doses above a certain amount put u at higher risk of seizure,  but ANY amount lowers your seizure threshold.  Its a risk when taking any amount, and that is a fact.  
And in terms of your self assessment ...saying that u are not a hard a** and typically don't accomplish things u really don't feel like doing (I know not word for word what u said, bit I think that was the jist of it)   how long in your adult life have you been YOU?  Sober, natural you?  I've been asking myself the same thing.  I've taken tram for 5 yrs...I can't be sure who I really am on the inside and what traits I have or behaviors that were influenced by or created by the drug's affect on my mind.  I say that because looking at myself the past few years, I've been the same way..."charged" after dosing,  but never pushing myself to do things I just simply did not feel like doing.
Since tapering I've FORCED myself to exercise every day.  I wany to be successful in my taper and do everything I xan to make it more manageable bc the other options arecild turkey, or taking it the rest of my life.  So maybe your perception of who u areis based on who you've been on drugs.  Its so hard to know, and u really owe yourself the chance to find out.  U may really surprise yourself in terms of motivation and willpower andthe result is a sense of pride that's truly deserved
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And not preaching,  I promise (my posts are also my way of speaking to myself .. I'm still taking the stuff too, on a taper), driving and seizuris not the only risk.  U could have a seizure in the tub and drown, in the shower and sustain a head injury, in front of your children who would be terrified ...the list goes on.  
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Just wanted to post a general comment to everyone who's still reading and following  and hopefully not judging or projecting. To those of you who truly are paying attention to what I'm writing and not jumping to conclusions, I sincerely thank and appreciate you all. And here's a tidbit of good news!

As I said yesterday my mom lost her job due to her physical condition which has yet to be diagnosed. Well she called her old boss this morning for a talk because she has been working there for 11 years and was hoping he would have a heart and help her out with SOME kind of work. Well wonder of wonders - he obliged! Starting later this week she will go back to work in the back of the warehouse instead of in the front office. While I was a bit nervous to hear her reaction to this demotion I was surprised to find that she's quite jazzed! She will now be working right alongside one of her dearest co-worker friends and will be getting out of the house every day, one of her major goals. I knew that sitting inside her home 24/7 was just killing her on the inside and now she has something to look forward to so that she can get back to "life"!

This is a HUGE sigh of relief for me as it appears I may not have to worry quite so much about my mother ending up in the hospital any time soon. She is elated, clear-headed, sounding more "normal" than she has in months.
Also, as she has decided once and for all that the concoction her psychiatrist was giving her was NOT working for her then we have agreed to throw out all her remaining pills. She will be in possession of nothing that will tempt me!

Now, as far as me and my own mind with its strange inner workings - I still have some work to get to the true final straw in order to taper or quit CT. But this little bit of news is VERY good and I wanted to share it with many of you who have expressed your concern over my immediate health. I'm NOT just making excuses or blowing smoke up your arses when I say that I AM functioning quite well right now. After a long talk with hubby last night - he agrees. He's very proud of how far I've come in the past year and so am I.
Do I still think I should take trams forever? No. Do I still know they lead down a road to nowhere? Yes. But I'm taking it a little easy on myself after making it VERY hard on myself for so, so very long. One step at a time, one moment, one problem at a time...
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Baby steps~
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Great news about your mom!  That's great!  Hopefully that will take a little worry away for you.

I too agree with sarah's comment...baby steps.

We'll be here when you need us!
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You have gotten tons of great advice, I wanted to just add a couple of things.

1.  In many ways Tramadol is far more dangerous then Loratab (hydrocodone)

2.  This stuff will wreck your life.  We are all functional addicts up until the moment we aren't anymore.

I used to rationalize all of the things I was doing well at.  Work, home, exercise, you name it.  It was all a lie I used to keep taking narcotics.

You come first, not your Mom.  It is not wrong to put yourself first, if it saves your life.  Being gone wouldn't help you Mom either.

I am glad your here and being so honest.  It is a great first step.

Bryan
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Stay,
Many (if not all) psych meds can do a good deal of damage and setbacks of stopped cold Turkey.  I hope your mom tapers down any meds she was actively taking instead of just tossing them
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>>1.  In many ways Tramadol is far more dangerous then Loratab (hydrocodone)
Yes, I realize this because it clearly takes longer to WD and the process is much more hellish. Goody - can't wait for that part. :/

>>2.  This stuff will wreck your life.  We are all functional addicts up until the moment we aren't anymore.
I know this. I experienced it with Lortab years ago and with Ambien up until last year.

>>You come first, not your Mom.
I fundamentally disagree. Absolutely, positively WRONG. Did you miss the part where I shared that my father DIED only last year? Losing 2 parents in one year would backtrack ANY improvement I could POSSIBLY make in the WD process.

>>It is not wrong to put yourself first, if it saves your life.  Being gone wouldn't help you Mom either.
My life is not in immediate danger - my mother's HAS been. My mother being gone from my life could quite possibly send me over the edge of insanity. Please do NOT try and talk me into this line of logic as I am steadfast that family is THE single most important thing in the world. I will NOT allow my mother to DIE simply because of my selfish decision to detox at the very moment when she needs me most.
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It's wonderful that you hold your family in such high regard and are loyal and devoted.  I'm sure you understand that no one is telling you to abandon your family.  What people are saying is that you have to be okay with YOU, in order to help others.  That's not any kind of judgement or criticism, it's just the way it works.  I also don't think it has to be all or nothing.  Why couldn't you do both?

If you think your mother is in the kind of danger that you describe, she needs more help than just YOU can provide anyway.  Perhaps go to her appts with her and express your concerns?

Also, a decision to detox would never be selfish...not in a negative way anyway.  

You're very defensive, and angry and bitter sounding.  NO one here knows you...no one is trying to hurt your feelings.  You asked for honest opinions and input, that's what you're getting.  You keep reassuring us that you're not in any immediate danger, yet many of us would disagree with that assessment.  Just the fact that you've had several seizures puts you i greater danger to have another, even on a lower dose.  While obviously the risk is higher the more you take, you're minimizing the risk here hon.

Take a DEEP breath, and TRY to take the personal feeling out of the replies.  I know it's easier said than done to not take the advice personally...but it really isn't meant to be personal.  

Your family can be the single most important thing in the world, but if you're not taking care of YOU....you run the risk of not being in the best place TO help your family and be there for them.  That's the crux of the matter.  You can disagree, that's fine...we're all entitled to our opinions.  We're worried about you.
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And I mean any drugs that affect neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, others (antidepressants, add meds, etc), and benziodiazepines (anxiety and some sleep aids).  I just don't want your mom to end up in a worse situation from CT'ing any meds,
I would urge you to really research tramadol, on another nore.  Its affecting way more than ambien or opates do.  I think to date, they know of 9 neurotransmitters affected by tram, and of cours its an opiod (attaches to opoid receptors).  I know I neglected to do any research or learn about tram for many years bc I just wanted to keep using and not worry about it.  I'm sorry if I'm projecting.   I truly just want u to be aware of what exactly you're dealing with, so that u can go forward with that knowledge.
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AMEN nursegirl,  please listen to what she is saying.  When i was YOU 2 years or so ago i was just like you.  Hence i feel a connection.  Our emotions are running all over the board and we tend to get super sensitive and harbor on every little thing or saying that someone says. I would read what others would post to me and just cry, hearing the harsh realities was so difficult, and i think it was Sara that said a long time ago to me was that if she pissed me off thats a god thing as she hit a nerve.   i have to tell you it was not that long ago that i went back and read what i wrote years ago and i cant believe the great people here on medhelp stood by me and just continued to pound the $h!t out of me so i would wake up and realize i was in over my head.  Please know that most people on here i hate to say most but we do get a few jerks along the way, are all here to help.  As for your family i understand your passion but the only analogy i can come up with is this and i know its sounds stupid but i am trying to prove a point....When you are on a plane with your small child the flight attendant comes over and says "In case of emergency and if the oxygen masks comes down make sure you put your's on first then the childs"!!!!  My point here is that you have to save yourself before you can save others.  Do i make any sense here?
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AlSo, (soapbox, sorry) at the very least research meds u shouldn't take with tramadol.  There are many (especially any otjer meds that lower your seizure threshold), and some are otc meds.  Some meds affect how tram ismetabolized and can lead to toxicity,  etc.  
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I guess, at this point, I feel like I'm listening to a broken record. I've made my decision to wait a little bit more before I begin my taper and my goal is during the month of June - next month. However, I'm still reading the "YOU'RE GONNA DIIIIIIE!!" comments and it's becoming a bit of a turn off, if you get what I mean at all.

Ok, I get it. I've read everything that everyone has said and have absorbed every word. I think that now I would like to just step back, take care of my family, get to a comfortable place where I know things will be ok around me, and THEN begin my taper.

But in the meantime, and I'm not sure how things work around here, I'm going to take a break from this thread - think about all the ideas I have - and then return when I'm ready to take the plunge next month. My mother should be financially stable by then and my husband will be prepared to help me in whatever way possible. Maybe he can even schedule a few days off work to be there during my worst time.

So thanks for the opinions and the stories but, in short, I've heard enough. I've had my fill. Now it's time to make some decisions. :)
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I wish you and your family the best
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Okey dokey dear!

Sounds like a plan...take care.
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May the Lord be with You & Your Whole Family..I know about the Mom thing mine lives on my property with me!!! The Best of Luck to All...
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Glad your mom's showing progress. You're already on a taper plan, and you are staying where you're at until able to get off it completely. You've done alot of work, so far and of course you and your husband have every reason to be proud of how far you've come. One thing that hasn't been talked about at all, is after care. After care should start and continue throughout any taper and quit. Aftercare in your case would be AA or NA. There you will find many that have gone through Inpatient, Outpatient, Adult Children of Alcoholics or Dysfunctional Family's; Alanon etc.and be able to impart to you what they learned there. You do not have to go to impatient treatment to acquire the knowledge that you would find there.  It is suggested that you find a sponsor that will help you to stay where you are and not lose any ground. This is something that most addicts I know begin for their family. Whether they love themselves enough or not, to get the help for themselves, they commit to certain steps taken by those that have gained freedom from drugs & alcohol, mainly for their children.  When you feel able to make a commitment to aftercare, you can initiate a relationship with a sponsor now, who will be known to you, and be able to help you with a further taper, and eventually quit or you DOC's. You see, you can be doing something now, without further taper, without it costing you money, to further your cause to becoming the best parent and spouse you can be. Baby steps mean it is not all or nothing. Your position has gotten complicated on this thread, but it shouldn't be. You've tapered down and you're afraid of using if you go through withdrawals. This is the type of thing that a sponsor can help you with. The program is really quite simple ~ it doesn't , and it shouldn't, be so complicated. Thus, Keep It Simple. You are at the point of reaching out to others for help, but I think the natural progression of the help that you need, that you want (may sub consciously) is that of a few women who have gone all the way, and can help you to get there too. I quit for my son. I talked to other mother's in the program (closed women's meetings) who had quit and maintained sobriety, primarily for their kids ~ and because they didn't want their kid's to grow up and automatically become an addict (as you did with your mother, and as many of us have). Keep it simple and take baby steps in the right direction. That proven direction (from most of us who have maintained being clean and sober for over a decade) is AA or NA. There are online groups as well, but I enjoyed meeting up with other mother's in the same position as myself. God Bless. You're doing a great job and you're on your way. Take it easy.
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