Hi there and welcome!!! Congrats on your clean time!! What you are going through is part of the wd's,the mental aspect anyways. It will go away,over time,I promise you that. Everyone is different. I've been clean for awhile and still get fleeting cravings. Your brain is trying to restore and get back to normal endorphine levels after using for so long. It does take time,unfortunatley. I recommend a couple things. Journaling on how you're feeling really helps out a lot,as does adding the Addiction Tracker to your profile. This tool allows you to see your recovery and symptoms visually and helps to track them.Have you tried any vitamins or supplements to help boost your mood some?For me in the beginning what saved me from my worst cravings was posting on this site,or reading others posts.
So,a short answer is eventually this will pass-there is light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately the mental aspect is the hardest to deal with and is a daily struggle. We must choose each day whether or not we are going to use. Take it hour by hour if necessary. You'll get through this,I promise. Here if you ever need to talk,just message me. Stay strong my friend!!
Hon, those pills did the work for your brain. It is gonna take time for your brain to start working again. I had similar concerns and this was posted to me that really helped. I hope it helps you.
You have to remember how opiates work, and why you feel depressed etc. when you quit taking them and after you are over the withdrawals and often why we keep craving long after the physical withdrawals are over.
Opiates bound to the opioid receptors in your brain and body. They release their artificial endorphins to them, and block the bodies natural endorphins. After a while the neurons that produce the body's natural endorphins disappear. There is no need for them so they just don't rejuvenate like they would normally.
When you stop taking the opiates, they leave your opioid receptors bare, and they are calling out for your body's natural endorphins, but there isn't any there at first. You body has to repopulate the neurons that make them, and this takes time.
Endorphins like dopamine control your moods, anxiety, sadness, anger, happiness, pain etc.
You will slowly get your "old self" back as these neurons repopulate and begin increasing their endorphins production. After being off the opiates for a month, they should be about 45-50% of normal, and be back to normal within a year.
So hang in there, you will feel better and better as the months roll by.
Try keep busy and keep your mind focused on positive things instead of dwelling on the depression, anxiety, etc. that are only temporary and will disappear as your endorphins return to normal.
You were on the pills a long time. I wish I could say it get better sooner than later, but I promise it will get better.
Man I am so with you, I too was a at night only pill taker. Usually 20-30mgs with a couple beers while the family de-stressed, etc. It became a 20 day a month routine for me when I was not at work, where I never took any. Regardless, I so get the cravings and how difficult it is to change your routine at night, "your time"' etc. littlebit is right on the money, we just have to exercise, eat right and grind out until our brain repairs itself. Protect your clean time! You can do it!
P.S. I am 41 too!
I reallly don't have any advice as the ones who have already gave it r 100% right!! Just want to give u Congrats to this long & hard process! U can do this!! Keep up the great work!!!
Hi Littlebit667. Thank you for your post/share. It was very helpful. What a disaster I got myself into. Luckily this only happens at night from about 8pm to 11pm. I used to take the pills at 11pm on the nose. But the endorphines thing makes a lot of sense. I have a question. I take Wellbutrin and the doc said that it is a dopamine lifter. Will I have the same issue trying to get off that?!
Thank you again.
Hey Bryan. Thank you for your post. Yeah, this is why I am not sure 100% if I am an addict. If you put a thousand vicodins in front of me when I just get out of bed I wouldn't take 1. It's just those boring hours after work and after dinner that I like to reward myself. I understand admitting you have a problem is the first step and I do. I just dont know if I am a full blown addict. In 8 years of doing this I only upgraded to 8 pills. I would never do percs or oxys and def not heroine. Again thank you for your post and it's nice meeting you.