QUALIFIER: this post is meant ONLY for those that are SERIOUS AND READY to achieve and maintain abstinence from addictive substances and END THE MISERY OF ADDICTION.....PLEASE READ ON
This is a very long post - but it takes much discussion to help those with this complex disease.
I have read many, many of your posts with interest and concern. I would like to throw a few thoughts out - please do not take offense - I have much compassion for your dilemmas and only wish to share what I know to be true.
1. Bypass all these "docs" and establish a good working relationship with someone CERTIFIED in addiction medicine (you can go to the website ASAM.org or get a referral from a reputable addiction treatment org in your community)
2. all the endless talking and whining about depression and anxiety - - you are not unique, not any of you - these are typical addiction issues. Addicts always think they are "different" - nope, you've all just burned up the pleasure centers in your brain, like the millions of addicts who came before you. GOOD NEWS: It is repairable most of the time but that takes time (refer back to #1) - also, do not underestimate the benefit of physical activity, walking, sports, yoga, tennis, anything that gets your body moving and breaking a little sweat. Take some ibuprofen if you are achey. Get off the couch. Make walking/sports/etc.dates with others in recovery.
3. you can't expect to give up drugs - they're your best friend, the love of your life, your mistress, your lover....and not to replace it with something - that's why going to 12 step meetings, really immersing yourself in it can save your life. It's a time to grieve a huge loss. The only person that can understand what you're going through is another recovering person.
4. Stay out of relationships for now - this is a big pitfall for many addicts trying to get into a lasting recovery. I can't even count the number of addicts that have looked back and realized that a relationship was what took them back out.The reason addicts detox and try to get into recovery and "fall in love/lust" is because they addict is still looking for a "fix". Just wait!
5. For those of you discussing chronic pain - if you work closely with a bonafide pain specialist (most often an MD who is an anestesiologist with special pain treatment training and certification), you can overcome this. If your "pain specialist" is treating you with boatloads of opiates, benzos, and other sedatives, run! A true pain doc would never do this - they know that people with chronic pain are actually made WORSE WITH INCREASED PAIN with long term narcotic use. Narcotics actually cause pain! Read any current work in the field and see for yourself
6. In the end, it's about getting your own "treatment team" together and taking suggestions from truly qualified people. You need comprehensive treatment to manage addiction, not just pharmaceuticals. That's why investing in a real treatment program is so valuable - they have all the experts under one roof, so to speak. Warning: there's lots of opportunity for exploiting desperate addicts and their families - so get reputable referrals!
7. Just to clarify: I support the use of antidepressants, suboxone, anything (except addiction-prone meds, like benzos, 99% sleeping pills, 99% anti-anxiety meds) if used as an adjunct to a treatment plan and are frequently monitored for effectiveness - if your doc gives you more than one month supply at a time, even less for many meds early in the treatment, watch out for the practitioner!
8. Ultimately, getting clean is a matter of personal responsibility - don't look to docs, parents, spouses, friends, meds, etc to "fix" you - you have to take initiative. If you put even half the time and energy you did into the getting and using of chemicals, you will be successful. Not to mention the $$$
9. The biggest obstacle to getting clean is........YOU! Get yourself and your addict ideas and poor addict judgement out of the way and you will succees. As they say, 'YOUR BEST THINKING GOT YOU HERE" - time to let someone else take the helm. A good gauge = if a treatment expert recommends something to you and you are defensive, argumentative, justifying, rationalizing, or just don't wanna do it, it means only one thing = that it is probably in your best interest to do it! See how this addict thinking works? The addict in you wants to stay sick! That's the disease.
10. If you are serious about this, remove every single mind- and mood-altering substance (including alcohol) from your home - stop kidding yourself that "your husband needs his pills but you would never touch them" or "I have been off everything for a month and it doesn't bother me that they are in the house". This is nonsense! Addicts thrive on having drugs accessible. This is what keeps them in their disease. This is what keeps the door to addiction open and easier to pass through. Why put yourself in a risky situation! Wasn't the detox painful enough? Want to do it over and over, while the rest of your world gets worse and worse? Lower your relapse risk to ZERO.Supportive family members would have no problem keeping your house a "100% safe zone" so you can get well and healthy. If they take meds, they can stash them outside of our house - that's a small inconvenience to pay to have you clean and happy - remember, what their doc prescribes them is none of your business!
11. The disease of addiction is known as the "disease that tells you that you do not have a disease". Anyone can pop into a 3-4-5 day detox and get clean - face it, you're locked up! Staying clean over time without relapsing and having a quality of life that makes you happy is a whole other animal! This disease is PURE POWER! You probably know that by now. There are no shortcuts. But thousands of people are able to attain quality recovery and maintain it for years! There's lots of hope.
12. Talk to people that are having success in their recovery and ask how they do it day-to-day. Take direction from the others that are maintaining a quality sobriety/abstinence/recovery
13. TO ALL ADDICTS - do something for another human being. Help someone. Give your time. CHARITY! This helps you to get out of yourself, which is the underlying problem for addicts - they think the world revolves around them.
14. TO ALL FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, SPOUSES, CODEPENDENTS, AND ENABLERS: Stop making the addict's recovery your life's work! Their recovery is nonew of your business. What IS your business is the boundaries you set for yourself. Don't be a doormat and then be resentful. Just as the addict needs treatment, so do you! Go to Alanon or the equivalent - check it out. You have your own part of the disease process as well. The addict is not the only person that needs to be "fixed". Learning how to stop enabling is the one true loving action you can take for the health of the addict
15. I know this has been an endless post - please forgive me. I just wanted to pass on all that I have learned - I know there is muc pain out there around this disease - maybe it will help someone out there. Good luck to all!!! - stick with the winners - get support - EVERY ONE OF YOU can get off this merry-go-round if you stop "doing it your way" and surrender....a common mantra is "your best thinking got you here" so maybe it's time to consider the suggestions of those who have come before you and have been able to do it!
Interesting and very informative...thanks for sharing...somewhat different opinion on number 7 as I think getting sleep and relief of anxiety during the detox period is important for some to be able to suceed...someone who has not slept in a week and is trying to work is very likely to relapse. I do agree with using addictive drugs for sleep should be very limited and used with caution...suboxone is also addictive for many tho and you state that is ok? I think suboxone is a great drug for those who need it...so much better than the old choice of methadone...enjoyed the post
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