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Life After Tramadol Part 1

Oct 04, 2009 - 29 comments

I am writing this at 29 days out with a determination that I am amazed by.  Just typing “29 days out” brings tears to my eyes.  I was at a point not long ago when I thought I would never be free of tramadol.  I thought I would die before I ever saw this day.

The determination I feel about sharing my story is very powerful.  Like so many people reading this, not long ago I was here, reading Emilypost’s journal, searching for glimmers of hope, words of help and a reason to think I could beat this demonic drug, amazed at the havoc it had wreaked my life and others’ lives.  I had exhausted myself trying to live with it, and I knew that my only hope was to get away from it.  I traveled the road from believing this medicine was my lifeline to knowing that it was, quite literally, killing me.

This is where I found my courage.

My story is long and convoluted.  The short version is this: I began taking the poison three years ago for a sprained wrist.  I found out quickly that tramadol “fixed” the depression I had been struggling with since I was a teenager, maybe even before that.  I will preface all of this by saying that I am not a typical addict, just like you are not a typical addict.  That’s because there is no such thing as a typical addict.  If you swallow this pill, you are fair game.  

The antidepressant qualities of tramadol were too much for me.  The first lie: the drug restored me to normal, or made me normal for the first time in my life.  There are a million ways to rationalize dependence.  And so the destruction began.  Before I could turn around, I was dependent on the medication and its deception, unable to get through a day without it.  

I started out at 300mg per day (prescribed dose), an increased my dose to 600mg per day pretty quickly.  I took 50-mg tablets.

This poisonous drug is an insidious captor.  It took me over quickly and easily.  I became, over the course of two years, a person I hardly recognized.  The shiny, beautiful beginning quickly turned into a nightmare of physical and emotional pain and fear.  I now understand that I was in a state of constant withdrawal as my body needed more of the poison than I could supply.  Running out of tramadol was more frightening to me than dying.  In the recesses of my mind I feared life without this drug, but not nearly as badly as I feared life WITH it.

After running out a couple of times, I knew that I couldn’t – COULDN’T – live through that again.  And that was a huge part of what made me so angry.  Nothing is worth that kind of suffering and anguish.  So, 29 days ago, I decided.  No more.

It was my decision to go off the poison cold turkey.  To me, that is a judgment call we all have to make.  I couldn’t taper and didn’t want to.  I was done with the perpetual withdrawal and the fear.  I was angry and scared, but most of all, I was done.

And here I am.  Sharing my experience may be the most important thing I ever do.

You are probably here because you want to be free; if you’re like I was, you are scared to death of what you know is coming after you make the break.  I have experienced withdrawal from hydrocodone and it was, for me, a walk in the park compared to tramadol WD.  Sure, it is going to be difficult, but you CAN make it through it.

If there is something in my experience that can help you, I hope it will.

You are going to need to give yourself extraordinary latitude in coming days and weeks.  Your body and your brain are going to revolt against the drug.  It is poison, and you are going to feel it.  Understand that you are healing.  Also understand that there is no single way to get through it.  It’s all so random.  You may not have the WD symptoms I had, but you may have some I didn’t have.  You will find on this journal many people whose experiences, while different, contain some truths that are uniquely yours.  Take comfort in this.  You are NOT alone no matter how bad it gets.

If you have someone you trust, tell them.  If you choose not to tell anyone, you may want to consider telling people around you that you have the flu.  You will need some time to be sick if that is at all possible.

Give yourself extraordinary latitude, and make yourself do the basic things you must do to survive.  There may be days when you have to force yourself to eat.  Do it…small quantities.  You may have to force yourself to breathe, to drink, to shower and go to the bathroom.  Do it.  You may have to force yourself to read these posts.  Do it.  You’ll find you are not alone.

Be ready to coach your body and your mind through the ravages of tramadol withdrawal.  YOU are in charge now, not the drug.

There is no magic bullet, but here are some things that really helped me:

Food (specifically water and protein).  Your body will revolt and you may lose your appetite or have severe nausea.  Make yourself eat wholesome foods that are reasonably high in protein.  Also, make yourself drink water.  Your body knows how to survive, but its processes are so messed up from the poison that it may seem like you cannot carry on biologically once the supply stops.  Water and protein, and foods like bananas and baked potatoes that are high in potassium, helped me tremendously in retrospect.  There were days when the physical pain and fatigue were so bad I couldn’t lift myself from the sofa, and after I ate, I noticed an improvement, sometimes dramatic.  Things to try: Slim-fast bars or shakes with protein (you will most likely notice a decrease in appetite for a little while), water, Ensure or other nutritional supplements, and honey (a spoonful at a time) to combat the malaise.  Again, there is no magic bullet, but these things helped me considerably.

Hot showers. This may seem too simple to be true, but it worked wonders for my back and leg pain, which were excruciating. Some days I showered three or four times.  The warm water really helped.

Arm/leg wraps.  If the aches in your arms become unbearable, try wrapping them with an ace bandage or other binding.  Light pressure helps relieve the pain (and chills).

Advil liqui-gels.  It didn’t always help, but there were times when it did.  You will need all the help you can get when the body aches come around.  The good news: those aches are now temporary, not perpetual as they were when you were taking the poison.  As of today, you can look forward to a day in the near future when it will STOP!

Exercise.  Before the poison ravaged my life, I was a runner and was pretty fit.  The medicine created so much physical pain that I had to stop.  From day one off the poison I forced myself to walk.  It was tough.  Some days I couldn’t do it.  Some days I still find it very difficult.  I recall during days 7 and 8, trying to walk and being unable to carry myself more than a hundred FEET.  I had to wear a sweater and a jacket in 80-degree heat.  When that happened, I thanked God that I made it a hundred feet, and I tried again the next day.  And the next day.  And now here I am.  Yesterday I walked briskly more than a mile (even jogged a bit) and couldn’t have felt better if I had run a marathon.  I keep telling myself that my physical strength will return, and I will be able to rebuild myself in time.  

First things first.

Hot tea.  Like many of us, you may have persistent insomnia in coming days.  Hot tea and warm baths help.  At least I could lie in bed and feel somewhat relaxed if I wasn’t sleeping.  Eventually the insomnia will abate, and you will sleep better than you have in a long time.  Expect that the insomnia might happen, and that way, if it does, you won’t be so upset by it.  Grab some magazines or movies.  Sleep when you can.  If you are plagued too much, try Benadryl or even Ambien to help you through the initial WD period.  Your brain is healing.  Know that the insomnia is temporary and you will sleep soon!

Anger.  This one always gets mixed reviews. I don’t think indulging anger is a good thing in general.  For me, though, my anger at the drug, at myself for becoming dependent on it, was a major factor in my ability to break free.  It motivated me to push through the horrific pain and depression that came with going off the poison cold turkey.  It was the only way I could do it.  The anger was the momentum that got me through the first week, after which sheer determination took over.  I was prepared to stand against this monster even if it killed me.  Sometimes I thought it would.  But here I am, strong and clear-minded and determined to share my story.  Let that be encouraging to you, too.

This is the best analogy I can come up with.  You have two choices, only one of which is really a choice: you can keep trying to dance with this monster, or you can turn and walk away from it into the scary unknown of life without it.  I know all too well the fear in that decision.  It feels like running into a dark and scary forest alone at night.  If you “choose” to keep dancing you will be destroyed, both physically and emotionally.  The perpetual withdrawal will continue and you will feel more and more unwell.  If you choose to turn and walk away, you are choosing life and healing.

Your cognitive processes are distorted right now.  That frightening forest is only partly real.  Mostly it is an illusion created by the drug as a way to make you afraid to walk away.  

Personal observations.  I had forgotten what it felt like to feel myself.  I didn’t realize how much I had forgotten.  I had forgotten what it feels like to be interested in living – in the sights and smells and tactile experiences and emotions of life.  One lovely effect of this drug is that it numbs you to pretty much any and all pain (initially, at least), but it also cuts you off from most everything good, too.  Once you begin to feel yourself again, you will be shocked how much of you is still there.  You will be surprised how strong you can be.  You are an expert in living in withdrawal, you just don’t realize it.  You already have an idea what to expect.  WD is going to be terrible.  So is life if you keep taking the poison.  It has turned on you, too, and that is why you are here.  You feel weak and afraid and defeated.  But YOU are stronger than you believe you are.  

Have you ever survived something you thought you couldn’t survive?  A horrible illness?  The death of someone you love?  Traumas, accidents, tragedies?  Do you think of those events now and feel SURE you couldn’t get through them without the poison?  Well, you DID get through them.  You have proven you are a survivor.  You can get through this, too.

Here is part what I experienced, and you might, too:

Pain.  You know this already.  It is going to be tough.  It will be physically and emotionally excruciating.  You may experience terrible arm, leg and/or back pain, as well as horrible headaches and abdominal pain.  It is your body revolting against the poison and breaking free.  This is the forest.  Have you ever broken a bone? Ever had a serious illness?  Then you know what to expect.  Push on!  You can and will get through it.  It’s temporary!

Depression/suicidal thoughts. This is probably the hardest to deal with.  Tramadol really alters the chemical environment in your brain in profound ways (ways I don’t pretend to understand) – thus the antidepressant effects most of us have come to love, then hate.  When the drug turns on you, there is no way out except to get away from it.  I remember day three, lying in the bathroom floor in a fetal position, crying and praying I would die.  The forest.  It’s normal!  You are healing, even then.  When the drug screams at you that nobody can help you, that nobody will understand, that you would be better off dead – remember these words.  I was there, too.  And so were many others.  The drug is screaming lies at you in the effort to get you to take just one pill.  Be smart.  Bookmark the posts here that speak to you, and come back to them when the lies are resonating in your head.  As of today, this, too, will pass!

High blood pressure.  This is a real danger for some of us.  The last time I went to the doctor to get a refill of poison, my blood pressure was very high (baseline for me is normal to low).  I had run out the day before.  Just keep check on it, particularly if you have high BP to start with.

Since I turned away from this poison, I have experienced myself, my life, in small ways and for the first time in years.  I am amazed at how much of me remained under the veil of tramadol, hidden away under layers of fear and anxiety.  I have learned so much about myself.  I still love playing my guitar, reading, being outdoors, talking to people. I want to exercise and eat healthy foods and sleep at night and get up in the morning.  I want to walk and breathe fresh air and feel the sun and the cold and everything else.  The haze is gone.  What remains is strikingly beautiful, although not perfect.  It is good.

Last night my three-year old niece crawled up into my lap and asked me to tell her a story.  We sat in the swing on the porch under a quilt in the cold fall air, and this crystallized in my mind: I am not chilling or shaking.  I am sitting under a blanket in regular clothes, my legs aren’t aching, and my back isn’t hurting.  A 36-lb child in my lap doesn’t hurt.  She laid her head on my chest and I could smell the cool air in her hair.  It had been years since I was that alive, that present in my life.  Tears welled.  How much of my life would I have lost?  Who can say.  I was not one of the lucky ones.  I had to make my own luck.

And I am only at day 29.  It gets even better than this?  That is humbling.  I will take whatever it is.

I have had MANY hard days and will have many more.  That is a deal I gladly accept.  I have also had some really good days, and those days give me hope.  They are the reason I know I will, in time, get through all of this.  For me, days one through twelve were very tough.  Days 13 through 20 were up and down, but things got better overall, gradually but steadily.  Days 21 and 22 I was actually free of leg pain for two consecutive days.  That was a miracle!  The fatigue is still very hard, but some days are better and I hold on to that.  Each good moment is a miracle, and I will treasure those good moments until they become good days, good weeks.  Until I measure them in seasons or years.

Today I can say that I have had three consecutive Very Good Days, meaning no major leg or back pain, no crying jags, no depression and I have slept.  That is so incredible.

This is really a long introduction, isn’t it?  

At this moment it doesn’t really matter why you started taking the poison.  What matters is choosing right now to walk away.  To bury it and leave it there.  This fight is one of the most important you will ever undertake.  Let go of the blame and the shame and let the fight in you take over.  You want to be free or you wouldn’t be here.
Your fear at day one is a healthy reminder that you are up against a vicious enemy, one that will destroy you if you allow it to.  Understand that we are ALL terrified at day one.  We all fear that we won’t get through it.  

Here, I am reaching out my hand to you, from my day 29, asking you to join all of us who are beating this poison a day at a time.  

I am asking you to let those of us here help you get through day 1 and all the days that follow.  It’s going to be hard, but not nearly as hard as choosing to let it keep destroying you.

The forest turns out to be way more beautiful than you can imagine.  When the scales are removed from your eyes, the world becomes beautiful again.  There is life beyond the fear you feel right now.  Believe that and muster up your courage.  It gets so much better than what you are experiencing right now.

I hope you will take my hand and take that first step.

Comments
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OMG!  Thank you so much for your very real and personal and touching experience.  I enjoyed ALL of it!  Thank you , Thank you, Thank you!  I feel SO much stronger since having read this.  You are another one of my REAL heroes like so many here at this site. I'm so happy for you and for God using you to help so many others and myself!  Thank you for opeining yourself up to be a vessel that He can use to give others hope. I have so much hope! I needed EVERY SINGLE word that you wrote and it was RIGHT ON TIME!  Much luv, peace and blessings to you and yours.

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by louisebliss, Oct 04, 2009
Thank you so much for sharing your private yet not alone journey. I am currentley withdrawing from Tramadol and am on 100mg a day from 800mg and can relate to your every word. Thank you for words of encouragment and please god will come out the other side just as you have done. PMA is a must, but as you clearly explain sheer determination of kicking this nasty habbit is essential. I will take great comfort from your journel and try some of your valuable tips.
Thank you so much

Sickandtiredofbeingsickandtierd you are not alone, I too am holding on and feeling rather ill. Looks like that light at the end of the tunnel really does exisit.
x

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by forget_me_not, Oct 04, 2009
Sickandtired: It's great to meet you!  You are a hero, too.  I hope you will come here and post when things are tough, and let everyone's experiences help you as they have helped me.  Hang on to that hope regardless how the drug screams lies at you.  It gets better!

Louise, thank you for taking the time to read this long, rambly reflection.  I wasn't sure if anyone would, but I really want my experience to reach other people who are struggling.  When I was at rock bottom, this site is where I found reason to believe there was hope...and there is!  Today was another really good day for me.  It gets better.  Where you are now is torture, but believe those of us here who promise you better days are coming.  They are coming.

Be strong...message me if I can help in any way at all.

Blessings...
~fmn

Hello, I just wanted you to know that I have been here re- reading your journal to get more of your hope and encouragement.  I love reading this!  Thanks again. Stay happy and strong !  Peace and Blessings to you.

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by madtram, Oct 18, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to set out your experiences in such a helpful & hope promoting format.  It's very accessible for those in the early days of heavy trama-fog, (aka distorted cognitive processes).

Blessings,

Michelle

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by doodie54, Dec 15, 2009
I am at 50 mg,40 times a day. I am almost ready to quit but I have a few questions ?  Can I still work or will I need some limited time off ? Any comment would sure be appreciated !

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by Oz11, Feb 27, 2013
Thank you for sharing. I am almost done day 4 what a ride it has been and no one talked like this about the journey. As painful  it was to write, thank you. It gives me hope.i have been on drug from a dr. For over 15 years. Talk about being numb.

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by aspengeri, May 17, 2014
FMN - I'm overwhelmed and humbled by your journal. Found your  story on day 12 of my own CT divorce from 9 years with tramadol. Today is 13. I can identify with your words as verily as though I'd penned them. THANK YOU for being real and vulnerable and voicing hope. I've read, wept, read, wept...  Even in 2014 you are blessing others with hope and courage.

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by forget_me_not, May 19, 2014
aspen, welcome!  I am so glad you are here, that you found my journal, and that you identify with it.  As much as I hate that you are going through it, please, please take heart and know that, if I did it, so can you!  A time will come, very soon in the big scheme of things, when the poisonous white pills will no longer exist to you except as a reminder of what once was - something you had to endure, something you DID endure, and something you learned from.  You will be stronger than you ever imagined possible.  Time, my dear.  Just straight time.

I'm here for you.  I can't believe it will soon be 5 years for me.  But I am not so far from the experience that I have forgotten ANY of it.  I'm here for you.  Be strong, ask for help, and know we all believe in you.

Big hugs,
~fmn

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by aspengeri, May 26, 2014
FMN- Thank you, thank you - words are inadequate!! On day 21 now. Yesterday had about 5 hours of being ok. Not "good", but ok. Planted some flowers. And WANTED to. Wow. Hoping for the day to pick the guitar up again, or get the easel and oils out. You have been the encouragement that sustains. My family quotes your words to me when I'm unable to remember. I long to sleep and not have severe pain and not have meltdowns. Yes someday this will be over. May the blessings you give be returned a hundredfold!  aspengeri

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by sistertoone, May 27, 2014
FMN, for my sister's sake and mine thank you for sharing your experience for others to see. You have saved my precious sister.  

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by forget_me_not, May 27, 2014
sister, I am so tremendously humbled and thankful that my experience with this terrible drug is helping someone else find the strength and faith to walk bravely into Life After.  My heart is full, my cup runneth over!  Love to you and your precious sister, and to all who may come across these words.  I'm still right here, still free, still reaching out my hand to all who want to live free from the deadly grip of this monster, still willing to walk with you through whatever comes.  Believe me, I promise you -- it gets so much better!

Love to you, aspen!  I'm very, VERY proud of you!  <3 <3 <3  Stay strong, sweetie.

~fmn

Avatar universal
by aspengeri, Jun 03, 2014
Dearest fmn - day 29! With tears of gratitude that I have a day 29 because of you sharing your journey. Looking forward to my own "part 2 and 3".Had two good days of almost no pain and played my guitar and sang with the kids at church for the first time in weeks. Then went hiking in the mountains for several hours. Sleeping more. Yesterday was rough but the better days are outnumbering the bad ones now. Today is first day with no leg or back pain. People are noticing I'm no longer living in a goosedown coat. Am still re-reading all you posts - knowing others have been and still are being given hope through your words. May the Lord bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you always! blessings-ag

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by Wilsmileagain27, Dec 02, 2014
Thank u so much for your story it touched my heart ❤️ I went to a sub program wen I found out I was having a baby and at the time was on tram a... I  stayed at 2 mg a day refued to go up for a year living in depression the whole time so I said enough  but wen i Went to 1 mg I freak from all the horror story's that it be worse then herion withdrawl well I only been through tramdol and Ssri and opiate withdrawl and then both but needless to say I got back on the same thing that put me on sub in the first place tramdol it was there and I had been so depressed for so long I just down like 4  bad move I was gone from then one oh yeah you can still get high on a lil bit of sub I wish I just went off everything wen I got Prego sub isn't always the way to go for everyone but it did help me to know I can stop picking up pills and wen it comes to tramdol please only take if really needed there are people who need it for the right reason as you know from his story but don't listen to anyone!!!  its higly addictive and if ur like me go hard wen you like something you will loss ur self in them fast ...till u see they are the problem I lived a year without I can't stand picking up this pill any longer I cry just knowing I'm taking it even if I'm tapering  i have tapered down now I went from 10 pill a day to 5 dropping 50 mg a day it's hard you still feel some withdrawl but I have three beautiful kids one who is 1 year old and two 8 and 9 with a good hubby and mom and dad whole r in there 60ies  I always try to make sure they are safe I'm so blessed already... It's hard to pray to God knowing he blessed me and I ****** up but I still look to him  and I use to think taken tramdol  would help me to talk care  of family better but now I need them ? funny how thing can change !! Everyone here helping me through this!! I could never put them through this again I'm never going back I did it for a year I want a drug free head and feel life once again I want that glow for Xmas this year that feeling we use to get I remember don't you'll ? I been through it over 4 years now .. I felt like wen dose this end ... Now for me and you will know too !!  I have a lot of remdeies that can help other with withdrawl I just want everyone to know ur not alone and u can do it thanks for reading hope this helps someone maybe I'll post again this is my first

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by feel_life_again, Jan 01, 2015
I will bookmark this page and reread it daily. I never thought this would be me.. Here I am going to withdrawl from pills.. That in it self makes me feel like i have let myself down.  I only took these for 6 months for back pain.the first day i took them and felt like i could conquer the world.  I thought i was a better mom..better wife ..just felt happy.  This went on to 2 50mg pills a day to 5 50 mg pills a day in 6months...i knew it had to stop now.  So i stopped and bam i was hit with the withdrawls from hell!! I googled everything i could and realized it was the tramadol ..i was so scared i immediately took one to feel better... So now this evil drug is going to make me take it to keep me from getting sick.. Very clever drug! I obsessed with getting off this medicine.. But in the back of my mind I was thinking will I be happy without it... Will I have energy??  These answers still I don't know because after stopping CT about 4 different times each time the pill one I couldn't take the sickness.   So i stopped being bull headed and started the tapering which I am down to 2 pills a day. And in three weeks I will be off of it for good hopefully with no withdrawal!!! This pill makes you think you are incredible.. You run around doing everything never feel like you need to sleep.. Til you crash from a whole day done that plenty of times!   But it makes you so numb.. Like it cuts your emotions out you are a wall of nothing... You need to feel life and once you feel that again for the first time it will be better then the pill.. I can't wait for it,!!!  God bless everyone  and thanks for the journal forget_me_not I loved it

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by forget_me_not, Jan 02, 2015
Welcome, feel_life_again, and please do come back often if these words speak to you.  I understand how you feel - I was there!  And I lived to tell about it, and I can promise you that you will be better if you stay off the poison.  Work your plan, get off the pills, and life will improve for you.  

WD is going to be hard; you know that already.  You've been through it already, a few times from the sound of your journal.  You know it's going to suck.  But if you keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, you can absolutely KNOW that your life will be better without the drug.  It is keeping you in bondage, making you sick, making you hurt, and taking away your ability to function.  I was there, too.  But if you stay here and work hard, you can do it just like so many others of us have.

Feel free to PM me anytime, post here, share what you are going through, and know you have a place to be totally honest.  No judgment zone here... we've all been there, and we understand!!

Peace and healing,
~fmn

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by forget_me_not, Jan 02, 2015
Aspen, how are you doing?  I think of you often.

Sister, I am still thinking and praying for you, too!

Oz and Doodie, I am thinking of you!   I hope you are well as we begin the new year.

Feel_life, my dear, be strong.  It is going to get better.  There will be a day in your life, all of you, when the tramadol weeks/months/years are just a distant memory.  You will be made new again, and stronger for the struggle.

xoxo,
fmn

Avatar universal
by ema81, Apr 06, 2015
Wow.. Very touching.  Obviously I found this for a reason. I'm on 300mg a day(on tram 5yrs.... I've been on that for about 8 months before it was 600mg a day. But since the poison is hard to get now. I cut back. That was very hard. Everyday I want my life before tramadol back. My husband knows but doesn't say anything anymore. I feel happy to get up everyday for those 6 pills. I should be feeling happy waking up to my kids  don't get me wrong I am good to my kids but I know I can be better. I also know im hell to live with. I have about 30 tramadol. But I want out. I'm so scared. Today I was 5 hours late of taking my first dose and I was feeling my body shut down. After I took it I felt jittery then fine. I hate my life on these. I'm a stay at home mom with 3 boys and 2 older boys who live with their dad.  My 7 yr old son is autistic and is very needy. Which I cater to his needs but I feel like I can't help him the way he needs until I fix myself.  He was diagnosed 3 months ago but I've been dealing with the issues very long time. ( I just thought I spoiled him)  so I been feeling a lot of guilt. Could it been the poison that was blinding me..??   Well enough of my story.. Hopefully your doing well.  Gonna try taper off . then cold turkey this wkd so my husband will be home. He works 3pm-4am mon-fri.  God be with me

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by ema81, Apr 06, 2015
I cried reading these stories.. I always feel alone. Nobody knows my struggle. My husband thinks I can just stop . I can't. I've tried.  But I am. I need this. I'm falling apart emotionally, physically and mentally.

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by forget_me_not, Apr 07, 2015
ema81, I understand, and I am here if you need help.  You don't have to go through anything alone.  Let the experiences of others help you.

Wilsmile and Aspen, are you all still hanging in there?

It has been 5 and a half years for me now.  Unreal, but so very real.  I am living well and you will too.  Be brave, and stay the course.

love & peace,
~fmn

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by sickdrug, Sep 19, 2016
Hello anybody I need encouragment to get through this depression off this evil drug please help!!

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by Aaaaagghhhh, Dec 24, 2016
Hi I'm wondering why this drug is even legal. Im down to my last half tab of moral (12 hour tramadol) and after all this suffering whichever route we take. It seems it is just a life waste of time and health. Far from the doctors oath of first do no harm.
Congratulations for all who persever and get free. How many more are out there arnt so strong and are unsupported by doctors who dont get how bad this is...

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by Alexis2524, Jan 05, 2017
it gives me so much relief to here these stories, I'm on day 3 of stopping tramadol cold turkey 200 mg a day for about 10 months. it gave me this overwhelming happiness feeling I've never experienced before. I feel like I cant do anything without it, the mall with my 2 year old daughter, grocery store, I can barely take her to daycare. this devil drug has made me so depressed I was put on Wellbutrin xl 150 once a day to help with the depression. Sometimes I feel will I ever be happy again and get any sense of pleasure doing anything I could do with tramadol, it has taken a hold of me for far to long, even on day 3 I'm sitting here wanting to cry! please tell me I will be able to do things that make me happy again. I'm a walking zombie in a fog that hates life. I will give anything to just feel happy again. I don't wish this feeling on anyone. I guess for now I will take it day by day and keep praying that my higher power believes in me I guess that's all I have left is hope. thank you for posting it makes me happy knowing I am not alone!!

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by frosty01, Feb 28, 2017
Feb.28,2017

     I am quitting Tramadol after 15years! I was taking 400mg a day. I am scared to death. Like many of you I started taking it because of pain and then realized that it helped my anxiety and depression. I was able to work raise my children and take care of my home. I hid it from my husband for years. I finally told him when I tried to quit cold turkey once. It was more than I could handle. I did not sleep for five nights, I wanted to die. Doctor put me back on it. I thought because they were advertising it as a non-narcotic at the time it was like taking tylenol only a little better. Boy did they get it wrong! So here I am again almost 60 years old trying to get my life back. Your posts are encouraging. The sadness and fatigue are what scare me the most. I don"t think I can survive a life of perpetual sadness. I am so used to being what I thought was normal and active. I don't want to disappoint my family. I am the mom/grand-ma that cooks Sunday dinner, has all the holidays etc... I hope I can still find the joy in those things and the energy to continue doing them. Right now I just feel empty :(  I am at work today,hope I can make it thru today, then tomorrow, then the next day. Fake it till I make it! It helps to know we are not alone.



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by Blynnson08, Aug 23, 2017
Wow I am so happy to of found this story. I am currently on 200-400 mg tabs that Iv been taking for 4 years now. Scared to death to stop but know I have to. It's taking over my life , I have 5 days starting today of no kids no work praying it gives me the time I need to start a new beginning.  I'm so scared what if I need to go to the hospital Iv expienced this once before unsecwssfully I gave in on day three it was so bad. Brain zaps , wierd moods, crying, dizzy , hallucinations , all of it. I took but one and it all went away. So there I was back on it the last three years. Afraid to try again. I hope to post in 5 days to let you know how it's went.  Starting from 2-4 100 mlg day to just  1 pill today and each day until I can cut that in half and to non. It's going to be so hard. But like you I'm so determined by anger I have to do it. Thank you for you hope your story and our determination

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by forget_me_not, Aug 24, 2017
Blynnson, be strong! You will get through it. It's hard, it's ugly, it's awful, but best of all, as of that moment, it's TEMPORARY! Big love to you. Keep me posted if you don't mind. I'm still right here.

Frosty, Alexis, Aaagh... how are you doing? For some reason, I wasn't receiving notifications on this post. I've changed that.

When all else is lost, remember to just breathe.
~fmn

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by paul123ukbolton, Aug 28, 2017
thank you for taking the time to write your experinces , on day three of stopping dead iwas doubting my thoughts as tramadol didnt seem to be capable of making me feel this bad, as is easily prescribed so i dindnt think it would be so bad to stop . your story as helped alot. thank you from Paul bolton uk .

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by NatFan1, Oct 15, 2017
I was taking up to 1000mg a day, a friend gave me a pack to try when all the other over the counter painkillers I was taking for back pain weren’t working. Initially they were 100mg (his doc prescribed them for him and he didn’t really use them) so I had an endless supply. I started out taking 1
X 100mg and it lasted me all day. I found I had an endless amount of energy and a real buzz for doing things I might otherwise have not enjoyed doing. Then I increased it to 2 x 100mg a day and on the story goes. I was then taking 5 x 200mg, I had by this time convinced my doctor to give me them monthly (he prescribed 2 x 100mg), I had my friends supply PLUS I ordered online from USA (I live in Ireland) so I had an endless supply, I couldn’t bare the idea of running out so I made sure I always had a drawer full. In June 2015 after taking them for about a year I started a new job and decided that would be the time I stop, a fresh start. I managed 2 days and couldn’t heck it anymore, I was shivering cold then sweating, so depressed and no energy. It was a long time before I tried to stop again because the idea of going through that was way too scary. In Sep 2017 I was driving back from the airport, with my family in the car and had a seizure, thank God my dad was in the passenger seat and able to control the car otherwise it could have been fatal. I came too in the ambulance in excruciating pain, I had a fractured vertebrae. Turns out the surgeon thinks it was an old fracture but I’m under no illusion it was the tramadol that caused the seizure. All the brain scans came back clear, I had spinal surgery and was in hospital for 11 days. All the while I had tramadol in my bag beside my in the hospital but I didn’t touch it. I realised this was my opportunity to get off it. I lay in that hospital thinking how my addiction to tramadol could have killed us all (my eldest daughter, mother, father & sister). I knew that was it, that had to be the end of it. I was given morphine (10mg & 5mg) in hosptial and on discharge, I was in so much pain in the hosptial I don’t think I was aware of the withdrawal but when I came home I would wake up for the first week absolutely soaking in sweat, and I knew why. I still have a drawer full of the “poison” which I haven’t gotten round to throwing away yet, but never for as long as I live will I ever take it again.

When I was taking it I was so so tired every morning until the first couple of tabs kicked in, then I had energy for days. Other people I have spoken to say when they took their recommended dose they just want to sleep - not me, I could have set up all night watching anything on tv and enjoying it, I could have went anywhere and really done anything.  But there was always a voice in the back of my mind telling me that my energy or happiness was fake and that never left me alone

I’m now off it almost 5 weeks, I’m still recovering from surgery but I feel I’m over the worst of it.  I do worry about how much I’m going to enjoy things like holidays in the future, will I have the same energy or drive to do things? I’m in bed a lot earlier these days, but I’m also up a lot earlier, before it took every ounce of energy for me to get going in the mornings. And also the mornings were always so depressing for me, until that medication kicked in.

Good luck to everyone on here trying to kick it, I don’t know about the States but here in Ireland I was able to get a hold of it quite easily, and I wasn’t forewarned by the doctor about the side effects.

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by Kenny1690, Nov 10, 2017
I'm on day 22 of no tramadol, I'm on 150mg of sertreline still feel depressed a bit and very nervous all the time. Hope it gets better soon.

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