Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
32.1k Members
Avatar universal

A month in..have some tough questions..

I have a month in and I should be happy. I'm clean, I'm free - and I'm a miserable ***** with no patience with my kids, no motivation (my place is a wreck most days) I have only fleeting feelings of being happy. Most of the time I feel miserable, sad and anxious.  I wonder if I'm chemically lacking..like I can't be normal or happy naturally. On opiates I felt happy (albeit artificially) and although I know I'm kidding myself because the pills turned on me and everything the pills gave me - energy, motivation, happiness all went in the end.

I just want to know if I'll ever be happy again. I hate it, I can't live with pills, but I'm miserable without opiates. I lose my temper with my kids and hollar at them and just feel like a horrible person. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Can you tell me-people who've been off opiates for a long time-will happiness ever come back? Are you truly happy?

Sorry for the long ramble. I feel so crappy and needed to vent a bit. I'm worried that my brain is defective and I cannot produce my own feel good chemicals. Because even before pills I was screwed up. The whole reason why I fell into pills was the first time I took an opiate I felt normal for the first time in my life. No antidepressant ever worked. I just need some hope!!!
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, I fel like I wrote this post, minus the kids. People with a lot of clean time keep saying it will get better and I have to believe them. Like you saud, the opiates turned on you and they will do that everytime. I know there is so much more we can do for ourselves to feel better, ie, exercise, yoga, meditation, great diet. I was on Prozac for awhile and it seemed to help but stopped working. I think as addicts we have to work harder at feeling better. If antidepressants didn't work for you than maybe it's not a chemical imbalnce but a soul imbalance.
I hope this helps. I can totally relate. We have to keep pushing on. Drugs will never be the answer and we weren't put on this earth to suffer all the time.
Big hugzzz.
Avatar universal
And, I do have fleeting moments of joy. Maybe we have to stop thinking that we must be joyous all the time. What brings you moments of joy?
Avatar universal
Me again, I also know  addicted to suffering. Sounds crazy but it's true.
1827057 tn?1397520277
Hi sad woman,If you have not read my threads here is a short summation.I am clean from alot of oxy everyday for almost a year.I am 42 days now.I also have depression from before being hooked on opiates.Before this last relapse I was clean for 2.5 years from any and all mind altering substances.As a result of this I know a few things.One is that it is going to take longer than 30 days to feel just ok with things.Another is that we are never going to feel great like when we took our first doses of opiates.Noone feels like that.It is like faling in love and hitting the state lottery at the same time and also at the same time feeling lighter than air with no bodily pain.Again,noone feels like that.It is NOT normal.Another thing is that antidepressants are just a tool along with a vast array of other tools like exercise,eating right,a routine,and some sort of spirituality(that one I am still lacking in).
But at one year or less you will not be so preoccupied with your mood every minute of the day and things will roll off of you alot easier.I promise you that.I think you have really done great and things will improve for you in the next 10 days or so.Just try not to let anything that anyone says make you feel bad about yourself.You are not a horrible person.Horrible people do not put themselves through the hell that you have put yourself through in order to become well.You will become well.Keep going
Avatar universal
You know Innerstrength, I think I do have a soul imbalance. And addicted to suffering-possible. It was a state I lived in many years having come from a VERY screwed up home and having a really bad childhood. I know I need to get my self some aftercare. I dislike meetings but maybe a one on one counsellor. I have to do something because I can't go on like this.

Ricart, I know at 30 days I shouldn't be expecting sunshine and rainbows and your right, no one is supposed to feel like we did on pills normally. It just feels like a hundred days because lately its been so rough. I have heard it takes time-but that TIME is so damn hard to get through at times. I think Monday I'll call and set up some aftercare. I can't do this alone anymore.

Thank you for replying, it means a lot to me. Hopefully things start looking up soon and I can get more of those fleeting moments of happiness. My kids bring me the most joy and ironically the most stress lol. I know they're just little kids but trying to put on a happy face when I feel empty and sad is hard and draining.
1827057 tn?1397520277
I know it seems like everything we do is fake right now.I have to fake being happy and stuff still and don't get me wrong,our emotions are so powerful that they can take a moment and turn it into the feeling of perpetual misery.That is great that you are going to set up aftercare.When I was clean last time I got into this habit of looking up foods and other methods for beating depression online.I would search for hours and hours and write down and try all sorts of the things I could afford to.When looking back on this I think that the hope of finding things that worked was just as important as anything that I actually found.I also run 3 miles every day.That is essential to my mental state.It is like the air that I breathe for my mental battles.I also take cold showers everyday.Believe me those will change your attitude.This is just very hard I know.
Avatar universal
I'm glad your going to look into aftercare. I too grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My parents divorced when I was 9, my mother went back to school to become a psychologist and became a raving lunatic. I won't go on and on because a lot of us have these stories. I found drugs at age 12. Breaks my heart when I think about how young I was trying to escape reality. Anyway, my point is this. I have been an addict all my life. Of course I'm going to feel disconnected to myself and feel depressed. There is a disconnect.
But we are finding the connection. Even though we are strangers here, we deeply understand eachother, and we are helping eachother. What a gift huh?
495284 tn?1333894042
You will all feel happy again, it all takes time.  There will be highs and lows for awhile and this will leave you all wondering.  What you are experiencing right now is normal.  Start digging into what drove you to the pills in the first place.  We got so used to numbing all the pain we felt and now we are going solo with nothing.  I wondered many times about this and thought the ones who were telling me this was a time thing were just blowing sunshine up my a$$, they spoke the truth.  I know this is frustrating but you all are doing something really good for yourselves and your families.  Stay focused, dont worry about the destination, pay attention to the journey~~~sara
Avatar universal
I agree with Sara it takes time for us chronic users it can take a couple of moths for our brains to produce endorphins again your prego so NO ANTIDEPRESSANT there is laysuits all over tv about this so dont go there
it took me a good 90 days to start to feel like myself again thats one reason N/A says 90 meeting in 90 days thats aprox how long it takes for the brain to come around this is a time thing both time and God will heal you as addicts we want it and we want it now but thats not how recovery works it a slow genital process very suttle changes but you are getting better by the day even if your not seeing it.....I remember having this very conversation with my conslor Paul I told him....''''I should be a lot father along then I am'''....his reply was...''you feel better then you did on the first day dont you''....then he explained to me what I explained to you it slow it gradual its suttle hang in there keep posting for support your brain is not broken it just needs more time you are getting better just not as fast as you would like your going to be fine good luck and God bless    Gnarly  
Avatar universal
"""it can take a couple of months for our brains to produce endorphins again"""   That pretty much sums it up.    Whether its benzos,  opiates or whatever,  these artificial chemicals disrupt the brain's chemistry,  disrupt bodily functions and also play havoc with our emotions.         When we wean off gradually,  our emotions held in check while on the drugs, begin to jump all over the place during the transition back to full natural chemicals from the brain... is there any good  reason to ingest artificial chemicals in the first place? no!
Avatar universal
Sara, Mark thank you for replying. I guess I just have to be patient and start working on recovery instead of white knuckling it as I have been. I can't afford to mess this up. I have two kids and an unborn baby counting on me.

Yeah when I hear the time thing I think yeah right that applies to everyone else, not a mess like me! But I guess when I put it in perspective I've been using drugs since 14. It was just pot for years and years until I discovered opiates a few years ago. That's when the **** really hit the fan but the habit of altering my state of mind began when I was a kid really. No wonder being sober is so tough right now.

I'll plug along and keep faith that it WILL get better and that I'm not a hopeless case. I think between a counsellor and I've been thinking of going to church, maybe those things will help get my head right. Or at least going in the right direction.
1855076 tn?1337115303
I'm so sorry you're feeling this way.  All the responses to your post have great information; so I won't repeat it.  I hope I'm remembering this correctly, but you are pregnant, am I right?  (And I apologize if I'm mixing you up with someone else.) Hormones could also be coming into play here.  Setting up aftercare with a counselor is a great idea and hopefully it will help.

Though I'm dependent rather than addicted, I went in and out of withdrawals for months, basically from April through late summer.  Going CT wasn't an option for me due to other health issues.  I felt I was on way too many narcotics at doses that were way too high.  I found a lot of support here but it was really hard.  (Due to computer issues, my old screen name, Mellie4, I was locked out of my account and I had to start over with a new profile.)  I had a lot of depression through my taper as well.

I'm not sure how old your kids are.  I had no patience at all during my taper.  My kids are 19, 15, 13 and 12.  I felt awful that I just couldn't tolerate normal kid stuff.  I found it helpful to be honest with them.  I told them as much as they could understand.  I explained that tapering off my medications was extremely difficult physically and mentally/emotionally.  I'd be sort of okay one minute and the next I'd be sobbing my eyes out.

I think it was helpful for them to know what was going on.  And it was also an opportunity to talk to them about prescription drugs and how it affects us.  Maybe if you're kids are old enough, talking to them will help you feel better and they'll understand a little about what you're going through.

It can take a long time for our brains to heal from all the medications.  I don't have the craving part of addiction, but I still have to deal with all the other things that go on after withdrawing from a narcotic.  You'll get there eventually.  Just keep taking it one day at a time.  And if you can, try to get some exercise as it will help tremendously.  It can be hard to make yourself exercise when you're depressed (and at times pregnancy can make it difficult as well.)
1416133 tn?1351123217
marycarmel gave some great advice sad_woman - really great advice.

And I just want to offer that I totally understand when you say how you think you're "different" than anyone else and that time won't make a difference.  I thought that way for a long time - how come others sounded so great and I was still so miserable when I was at the same amount of clean time as they were?  I'd ask my husband ALL the time "what's wrong with me why can't I BEAT this? - is it ME???" - whew just exhausting thinking back on that now.  But you know what?  It was SUCH a lie my drug addicted brain was telling me - and so I continued to ignore those thoughts and figured I'd run on blind faith for a while.  And I can not tell you how GRATEFUL I am today that I chose to ignore those thoughts and keep moving forward on that "blind faith".  Because we DO get better with time and that will be true for YOU too I promise you that.  :)
Avatar universal
Awesome advice from everyone. We just need to go with blind faith for now and work harder at feeling better. I'm sure my overindulgence of sweets last night didn't help...lol
Embrace the moments of joy.
Avatar universal
   You know I to felt just like you. I used to think I would never be normal again. I thought i was funnier on pills, happier on pills, more energetic on pills, a better mom on pills, a better wife on pills but I found out all this was not true. It truly is time that will make you see it, each day it gets a tiny bit better and slowly you will have bursts of your old self before pills. It really took awhile for me and yes I became impatient but when I have the good days wow it is so much better than any day on pills. Trust in what everyone says it is a slow process but it does come back.

52704 tn?1387020797
i used to worry that i had ruined myself . . . that my drug use had destroyed my ability to feel good and that whether i quit or not i was doomed to a miserable existance

it wasn't true . . . i have felt better in recovery than i have at any time in the past.  i didn't just get back to "like it was before," i got to better than ever.

to me, one of the big keys to addiction and recovery is brain chemistry.  i think it was effed up brain chemistry that made using so attractive to me in the first place, and years of using left my brain chemistry in even worse shape.

regardless of what else we do, if we don't get our brain chemistry straightened out, recovery won't be a comfortable place to be.  for me, an uncomfortable recovery always lead to one thing . . . using again.  no doubt that was short sighted, but it's hard to see the big picture when you're miserable and you know that just a little bit will at least make you feel ok . . . for me it was like needed a break or a rest . . . let me just catch my breath for a minute and then i'll keep trying this recovery stuff.

of course it was never a matter of catching my breath or taking a rest.  i always intended to use just a little and for just a bit, but once i used i reactivated my addiction and off i went again, to find myself wondering (weeks or months later) "how did this get so out of control again?"

we can't treat or fubar'd brain chemistry with our drug of choice - it doesn't work.  but what does?  there are some good books on this and they are worth your time:

End Your Addiction Now, by Charles Gant (goto Ch 5)
The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross
Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Larson

there are others, but these are a good start.

some books on addiction and recovery are in order too.  i had a trusted addiction professional tell me that if he "could only have one book on addiction and recovery it would be Staying Clean and Sober," by Miller and Miller.  it's a good book and there are many others.

here are some things that were suggested to me, which worked for me:

Start getting regular physical exercise as soon as possible.
Eat a good, well-rounded diet -- cut out junk and cut out or limit caffeine
Drink lots of water
Don't change your Clean Date - no matter what
Go to an AA or NA meeting every day for 90 days
Ask for help with your recovery in the morning and say "thank you" at night
Get in bed and out of bed on time
Don't keep secrets -- tell on your disease
Be Honest, Open and Willing (that's HOW we get clean and sober)
Forgive yourself (this was hard and took a long time)
Learn to get in the Now, then learn to live there

there's a great passage in AA's Big Book called The Promise, which tell what life will be like if we work for and move into recovery.   i used to think it was pure bull . . . not possible for anyone.  then i saw that it was the case for some others, but i KNEW it could never be true for me.  then i saw that despite my doubts The Promises had all come true for me too.  and if they can come true for me, they can come true for anyone, they can come true for you . . . because i was a hopless mess.


If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Big Book p 83-84


1831920 tn?1320857757
I too feel like I will never get better and suffer from severe depression.  I take an anti-depressant called Celexa 40mg and it doesn't help.  Are you getting enough sleep?  Poor sleep can contribute to depression.
Avatar universal
I understand too well what you are talking about. I do currently feel like I am waiting in a line - forever. Hoping that my recovery will get better as I increase my clean time. I know my life was much worse on the pills and I will not use but things sure suck here - just killing time and shoving another clean day into the past.... Clean date Sept. 23rd...
1831920 tn?1320857757
Where are you?  I hope you are ok.  There is an article under health pages bottom left of this page that might help you.  The title is 10 foods that help to increase dopamine and norepinephrine naturally.  Please check it out.
1827057 tn?1397520277
Yes I hope you are ok too.Get back on here and let us know how you are.And Ann,I have been eating alot of those things.Alot of them were already a part of my diet as I am mostly veggy.I have been eating potatoes for breakfast lol.And cans of beets
Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333894042
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.