Morning and congrats on 15 days!!! It took me awhile to really feel anything except tired and confused with some depression in there! But once that lifts you should start to feel better! As far as aftercare...what works fro many doesnt work for everyone! Bit it IS important to have some kind of aftercare! It could be church or therapy or AA/NA meetings! Have you been involved in NA in the past? Did you have a negative experience with it? I can only speak for myself but just recently I did my step 4 and 5 with my sponsor and it was so freeing...I felt like a great weight had been lifted off of me and found a new way to live! It was amazing and I never thought that meetings would be right for me either! I also went to outpatient group and individual counseling for a bit when I got clean but that didnt do nearly enough to help me feel better!!!
So do whatever you find that works for you but please try to do something! It is so important to have support!
Keep on posting and keep doing an awesome job!!!
Brane- I am one of the regulars the pushes aftercare. It wasn't always that way. I remember distinctly quitting, starting to feel a bit more human and thinking why don't I just start doing the fun and productive things I've wanted to do but didn't because I was obsessing about pills every day. And I tried. And kept trying. But, even if I didn't have a constant desire to use, I felt lost, depressed and scared. My day to day life wasn't changing. My thoughts then started going back to pills. And you can guess what happened next. There is a barfy saying: "You only have to change one thing: everything." But it's true. In all honesty, you're just scared. Scared of change. Getting out of our comfort zone is where the changes happen. Doing the same thing we've always done elicits the same results.
You are not going to meetings to learn what sober life is. You are going to meetings to live a sober life. It's about action. New actions, new life. And we as addicts love to isolate. The opposite of that is being w/ people. A computer is no substitute for face to face w/ other addicts. Not that Medhelp isn't great. It's a stepping stone, and to come back and help others hopefully.
Contrary action is hard, I know. But staying safe isn't how we recover.
And congrats on your 15 days.
ditto to what is said above aftercare is a must to stay clean what ever aftercare you choose NA meetings are great i too have a problem talking infront of people but i just have to do it we quit the drugs but we still have the behaviors and thats where AA/NA come it it helps us stop our destructive behaviors its so key in staying sober it shows you how to live and without some kind of aftercare you will relapse its inevitable believe me i have been there too many times best of luck to you and congrats on 15 days!!!
So, I made it a short time off drugs many times over about 2 1/2 years of trying to quit, but kept going back. I thought I was weak or a bad person, because I kept doing the things I didn't want to do and didn't do the things I wanted to. That is why I am a promoter of aftercare, understanding the ins and outs of why I do the things I do, what motivates me, discourages me, what I fear and resent, enjoy and respect, quitting opiate was the easy part. For example, why have you been afraid of crowds or interaction with others? That would be a useful thing to know. Being afraid to go is a good reason to go, just like I was afraid to drive on a major freeway the first time at 12, but that fear passed by doing it and I am glad I can brave the traffic with confidence now. Being able to drive a car is much easier than learning to drive my heart and mind, nit as scary either.
The 12 steps are something I do, AA/NA meetings are not something I do. I tried them for 120 days in a row, to besure if it was for me or not. I learned a lot, but my specific set of issues was agitated, not helped by my local meetings. I might would go, if I wasn't in a rural mountain community, that I cannot say. I have had a changing aftercare all along. I take what I can get from each, and move to something new, if it is no longer working. Physical therapy, Cognitive Behaorial Theraoy, addiction counseling classes at the local Jr. college, spoke with a social worker, hobbies, gym membership, and am currently forming a local Bipolar Think Tank. Oh yeah, medhelp is a piece of my aftercare puzzle also.
I am not one to tell you that you will relapse without aftercare, as I know people who stopes without any other support. I have seen people not use for over a year and still have the same problems they did on drugs. I even know folks in AA who don't work the steps and find themselves held over by meetings, "white buckling it," staying sober and miserable about it. Aftercare doesnt focus on not using drugs, it focuses on being a better person who is so satisfied they don't want to use drugs, even when cravings arise. Recovery changes the whole person, so I try to do one thing for my recovery a day, strengthen my mind, my body, my heart, and my spirit. I don't have a set way about doing that, but I do have accountability to make sure I am doing something. I am not a religious man, so being told I have to do this a certain way, cover the "fundamentals," I am automatically turned off. That is something my aftercare is working on.
One thing I realized in aftercare is how much I was motivated by fear and my I spies took had been muted because of it. Stopping drugs didn't help me realize that, aftercare did. I
Just to add, in case you are a scientist. Why do we need help as addicts?
When in withdrawal, the brain goes I to a fight or flight mode, we can watch this with scans now. The frontal lobe, having to do with consequences, morals, and the future is cut off. The cerebral cortex takes over and one is in a state of survival mode. In that state, reason is gone, morals are set aside, the brain is in a panic to get what it believes it needs to survive, drugs.
I always use this example. You are dreaming of what you plan to do on vacation next month, as you stroll down the street. When you head across an intersection, you see a bus out of control coming right at you. Your frontal lobe is cut off, the only thought is, "move or die!" You may return to thinking clearly after you are out of harms way, but your vacation is totally forgotten in those desperate moments. Drugs do the same thing, as soon as we take more, we may immediately start to think about quitting again, but that logic is not possible in the fight or flight experience. So, imagine trying to stay calm when your brain believes a speeding bus is coming at you, without anyone to remind you that there is no bus, that is your brain. When our brain feels threatened, it is impossible to use that very brain to do what is right. That is the science of why aftercare is needed, without another brain to remind us of what we know is right, we forget or feel so desperate we stop caring and just use. That was me anyway, I never found an easy way out. With my support team though, I finally got 1000 days the other day. That is the other cool thing, I am proud of US for me bing sober, I would be dead had I kept at it alone. No exaggeration, I was so stubborn about getting help, respiratory arrest was what it took to convince me I coukdnt do it alone. Now I have science to explain it, I am not weak nor a bad person, I am an addict, which robbed me of my very self. Without a self, I definitely coukdnt do it alone, as I didn't even know me at all.
Hi....well this topic come up a lot and for good reasons aftercare is a critical part of recovery....addiction is a disease for witch there is no known cure however it can be arrested and the recovery is possible... like many of you I tryed to go it alone with just strong will and inevitable I would relapse it seamed impossible to get past 90 days no mater how hard I tryed....I have tryed most of the aftercare options first the pastor of my church then a substance abuse counselor even a shrink....although I managed to put 6mo together I was still driven by the obsessions the compulsions and cravings.... it seamed like I was never going to get over this and now that I was clean I thought this was going to be this way the rest of my life....I had tryed a few meeting first A/A then N/A after a wile I noticed that there where people there that not only where clean but also seamed happy and dident seam to struggle any more ...so I made a commitment to give the program a honest try....it was one of the best decisions of my life...N/A is a simple progam the meeting are only a hour long you dont even have to speak unless you want to....they will give you a safe place to share what is going on in your head with others that will understand....even if you just go and listen you will realize your not alone in the way you think people are very genuine you will be greeted with a hug they dont care about your past how much you have or dont have your connections but only about your problem and how we can help as you go along you can pick up a sponcer and work the 12 steps these 12 steps helped me get my life back in order from the train wreck it had become from using...it will give you structure in you lfe something most addicts dont have...today I live in recovery all the damage I did to myself and family are healed today I will always be a work in progress not perfection this program has not only keeps me clean but I have a amazing life the progam has tought me how to deal with the addict that is still alive and well in my head...I no loner act out if im in a bad spot I have a whole list of people to call I have made some really close friends that do care about me...if I miss one of my regular meetings someone always calls to see what is going on the progam also has activity's we have dances every friday night we have camp outs tubing on the river even hiking just to name a few you wont get board and will be around people who no longer are a slave to the drugs...today im one of the happy people that I seen when I first came into the rooms of N/A the most amazing thing...I have lost the desire to use...something I would have told you was impossible b/4 the progam it is the only progam that I have found that can do that...today I go to 4 meetings a week I speak at a rehab every thusday night I give back what was so freely given to me...this progam is a life line to addicts if it will work for a old dope fiend like me it will work for anyone that is honest with themselves google N/A meeting in your area...........Gnarly