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Teacher’s Story
  1. #1
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Teacher’s Story

    I had a car accident years ago which left me with a herniated disc and eventual hard-to-pronounce neck and back condition that was painful only at times. I had a foot drop for a month....PT and weekly visits to the doc seemed to be all I needed. And terrible lower back spasms. I never really sought out strong medicine...I did go to a chiro which removed my sciatic pain over a month’s time. I had a neurologist who gave me neurontin...again, this was fine. I worked daily. No real issues.

    Cue the scary music. And then....when I moved to my parent’s town, mom took me to her doctor, a pain doctor...biggest mistake of my life. He prescribed me 120 Vicodin a month. Four per day. And I had no idea they were so addictive. He never said anything about it. I had only the most minor experience with real pain meds. Tooth extractions. And I knew that those real meds (whatever they were) made me happy and talkative. I didn’t know they were dangerous, though. That may sound naive, but it’s the honest truth. So...suddenly I was in hog heaven.

    Fast forward. It’s been three and a half years....and I eventually got up to 8-10 per day. Maybe 1-2 more...sometimes 1-2 less if the end of the month was coming...and I’d borrow from my parents. 3 years. Every day. A year ago is when I finally admitted in my heart that I had to end this. But, I kept saying “Next month”...or “Tomorrow I’ll start to cut back”. As we all know, tomorrow never comes. I had a bad experience about 8 months ago when I ran out and so did my parents. 3 days of sheer hell. That scared me so badly that I just thought...”I’ll never quit, that’s all.” I have to teach children. I don’t have that kind of time off. Well, except for summer. And I wasn’t taking so much that I couldn’t function. Also, as you know the tolerance goes up...and I didn’t go up too much on my dosage because I knew, practically, that it would just put me in a horrible spot again.

    Two weeks ago, I decided I was going to go Cold Turkey over Thanksgiving. 9 days off. Then I began to read these boards...and I read and read and read and read. I gathered all of the ingredients of the Thomas Recipe...still have them and use them....and two close friends convinced me that I would be better off doing a slow taper. I contacted a medical pharmaceutical researcher friend who has a PhD in research, and he also said a slow wean is better and far more realistic for my life. So, I agreed. He told me 10% reduction over months or every few weeks...but, I’m impatient. I immediately broke all of my Vicodin in half...and I only take halves. It’s been 7 days TODAY...a week ago today, I only took 3.5 pills total (that first day)...and last night, I am down to 3. The best part...almost zero symptoms of acute WD. The worst of it is just headache for a few days (4?)....less energy...slightly depressed....more anxious than usual...and I miss the warm and fuzzies. But...I let two of my closest friends in on my journey, have talked to them in length...and they are holding me accountable, as is my dad...and I feel like this is working. If I can successfully take 3 per day after being up to 8-10 a day...and feel pretty okay, I am sure I can do this. I read so much online about how tapers almost never work for opiate addiction....but I HATE for anyone to tell me I can’t do something. I miss the warm and fuzzies? GET OVER IT. I feel motivated, I feel relatively good, and I have energy, no real complaints...and it’s WORKING. It’s a miracle that I am down to, first, only taking halves at at time (THAT I could discipline myself to do this really shocked me)....and down to only 3 per day. That hasn’t happened in years. I know eventually, if I’m going to get off it altogether, that I’ll have to lower again...but I am not going to overdo it and risk going backwards. 3 a day is fine for now. That is below my dosage, I only take halves at a time...I put poker chips from one pocket to the other to keep track...and feel no “highs” from it...it just keeps me from having acute WD symptoms. So...over the Christmas holidays, I’m going to cut it by another half...or maybe a whole and be at 2 a day by January. I’m SICK of this drug, I’m SICK of knowing that I’m a part of the “Opioid Epidemic”, and I hate being controlled by anything. I don’t understand why my doctor, after 3.5 years, has never asked me about lowering the dosage. I’m not saying I am not to blame for my own actions, but I have read many stories where people like me became addicted to the pills because they didn’t have all the information going in. And maybe I would have taken it anyway, but I know there are likely MANY who would not have. Anyway, your stories here have inspired me...helped give me the courage to do this...and I feel it’s going well. Thanks for reading. Daily, I’m taking the following supplements:

    1000mg L-Tyrosine
    B6
    B12
    Fish Oil
    GABA
    Advil for any pain

  2. #2
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    I wanted to list some of the symptoms I felt in the first 6 days. This is day 7...and with having only taken 1/2 at 7am (can’t sleep beyond that anymore)....and 1/2 a few minutes ago 3 1/2 hours later. In the past 6 days, it began with the worst listed first...down the lasting ones that still happen today:

    1. BAD HEADACHE that nothing touched. Two days of constant headache. Then it tapered to a few times a day after 3rd day
    2. RLS - horrible, horrible, horrible. It felt like torture. I couldn’t sit for long. I had this horrible anxious feeling inside my middle body...hip area...and nothing stopped it. I took all the supplements suggested, but I just figured I’d have to live with it. I’m NOT asking my doc for something for that. (Day 7...no RLS)
    3. Heightened anxiety - Mostly this came from fear of not having my daily dosage of warm and fuzzies. I missed it badly. I know this isn’t a physical symptom (I don’t think), but it felt physical. I felt down...like a friend was taken away. I would get up and look forward to that warm and fuzzy. I’d take one whole as soon as I got up....less than two hours later, another whole. That’s half my dose for the day before 8am. (Teacher...get up at 545am).
    4. Waking Up. Yes, might sound like a whine...but, literally, when you wake up knowing, first, that you already feel bad, and, second, you aren’t getting your warm and fuzzy...it made me NOT look forward to getting up. However, and this has to be stressed for me...EVERY DAY OVER THE PAST YEAR was like this on arising each day. I felt HORRIBLE because my body was screaming for more Vicodin. I hated this. Today, day 7, is the first day on my new dosage where getting up was EASY. First time I’ve awoke in the morning without feeling terrible.
    5. Not feeling like doing anything. This ended yesterday. I’ve been doing regular activities for the past two days. Keep in mind, I’m on a new regimen of 3 per day, but only halves at a time, so I do not feel the warm and fuzzies...I feel like I’m on nothing, but feel fine. When it comes time for the next dosage, I feel slightly bad...but nothing like the cravings when I was up to 8-10 a day.

    Unless I can think of anything else...that’s it. Oh, and I am often COLD. Even when it’s warm out...I can get chilled very easily. But, I read that’s normal. I keep a heating pad in my recliner for when that happens.

    Over all, people, I am encouraged. I know I’m still taking 3 per day...but, down from up to 10 a day??? I feel good about myself.
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  3. #3
    Beefaroni7272 is offline Advanced Member
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    to the forum. Here you'll find a group of amazing people who want nothing more than to help you on your journey. Wanted to start off by saying congratulations on what you have accomplished thus far. You're doing something that a lot of similar people cannot do and that is tapering. When I was hooked on oxy's there was no way I would have been able to slowly taper down. Whatever I had it was a race to finish them. So kudos to you on that front.I'm glad to see that you got some supplements. I know they helped me get back to whatever sense of normal you can call it. You don't necessarily feel them right away but it was just like someone flipped a light switch one day and things were brighter, and people didn't seem like such a-holes all the time.

    Everything you're feeling is normal and all part of the process. I took magnesium and zinc for rls, sleep and heating pads and Epson salt baths definately help also. Imodium for stomach issues, liquid form is the best as directed.

    I'm a big fan of C/T. I see you're taking halfs now. When are you planning on taking the plunge? Was it thanksgiving or Christmas? You're pretty low so the w/day not be as bad as you think. The mental journey is quite formidable. Keeping a positive mindset is very important in this process. It sounds like you are where you need to be and have a good outlook. Keep that!!!

    You've definately done your research I'm pleased to see. You know what you're getting into. Keep posting as much as you need to. It really helps. I kept a journal of sorts on my thread for the first month or so when I jumped from subs. Just venting and getting it out is really therapeutic. We are all here to help and support you!! Keep your head up. It's so much better on this side of the fence!!!

    Let us know what your plans are going forward. Again welcome and congrats for taking your life back

    Keep doing the next right thing
    Beef

    The headaches come
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  4. #4
    Beefaroni7272 is offline Advanced Member
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    Not really sure what "the headaches come" means. I guess that's what I get for using my phone. Lol. Have a great night Thomas. Post whenever you can!!

    Beef
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  5. #5
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    I replied to this already, have no idea where my reply went. It’s now day 11 and I am still down to 3 a day after over 3 years of 8-10 a day. My body is accustomed to only 3 now...so I’m planning the next step down. I did have some very bad anxiety yesterday...got up and was shaky and had a headache...but instead of taking a pill, I took Advil and laid down for a few hours. Stuck to the taper. I’ve taken only halves at a time this entire 11 days....so I’m not feeling any highs...just no acute WD symptoms. Now I feel normal on 3 a day. I plan to step down soon. Half a pill lower, down to 2.5. I have a strong support system around me, my best friend, my dad, my son...and also told my doctor that I’m slowly tapering off. He said that was fine lol. I’m glad he approves :P

    What I am finding out is that I get the urge to take a pill when I feel anything that doesn’t feel “normal”...and I read that this is how addiction happens over time...you confuse being uncomfortable at ALL...with needing a pill. Stupid. I know I’m still taking 3 a day, but that I’ve been able to cut back to this low dosage so quickly really shows me that I can do this.

    As I progress, I will update. I like keeping this as a journal of the process. I never thought I’d be able to take less than 8 a day. It was hard to even imagine.

  6. #6
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Day 12. Feeling great. Spent Thanksgiving at my sister’s, the first big holiday since my mother died of cancer earlier this year, and I did not need pills like I would have in the past. I still wake up feeling more anxious than I have in the past, but I am not taking a pill in response like I used to. In the past, I thought that was what was causing the anxiety...in fact, any discomfort on any level was interpreted by my brain to be a need for a pill. It’s good to be changing this mindset.

    I’ve been reading a lot of stories online about others who have been here...most I’ve read are much worse, and that makes me so grateful that I didn’t get there. Because I was headed there. Fast. 8-10 Vicodin daily was hard to maintain...and even that didn’t feel like enough. I would dream of being able to stock up with bottles and bottles of it so I’d never have to worry. Now I do not need to do that. After 3 + years of daily usage of 80-100+ mgs per day, it does change your thinking, and that will have to just change over time. I didn’t get here overnight, it won’t go away overnight. Anyway, I’m feeling great...I know I haven’t taken the leap yet, but I’m certainly within distance, know that I can and will do it...but not setting myself up to fail by rushing anything.

    So thankful to read all of your stories.

  7. #7
    Beefaroni7272 is offline Advanced Member
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    Hey Thomas. Glad you're doing well in good spirits. One thread I'd encourage you to look at is forceout in Need To Talk if you haven't already. He also tapered, Norco I think and he made his jump about two weeks ago I think. He is amazing and it's a real good read. Keep doing what you're doing sir. It only gets better!!! Have a great weekend and enjoy the time away from the kiddies!! Lol. Both my parents were teachers so I know you guys need your time away lol.

    Keep doing the next right thing!
    Beef
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  8. #8
    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hey there Thomas!!! Im Forceout.

    You are doing AWSOME! And congrats, my friend.

    Welcome to the best pace there is to help you with this. This place gave me the strength to finally get over the hump and jump after 5 yrs on Norco.

    The details are extremely similar. Horrible injury, multiple surgeries, hydrocodone, and doctors

    Keep up whatever you have done up until now and just move forward.

    You can read the first parts of my thread. You will find we were feeling very similar. Check it out when you have time.

    When I was down to 25 mg a day, I reduced my daily dose by 5 mg each week so that the first two days of a drop fell on Sat and Sun. The first two days after a drop in daily dosage are a little bothersome then you level out toward the end of the week in time to drop again. When I got to 10 mg for a week I jumped. My first clean day in five years was 11/11/17. About two weeks ago. Except for a tiny bit of energy probs and some off and on MiNoR mental stuff. I am great!!

    So you can do this!!' You are well on your way!

    I am pulling for you bigtime. Also, I am a little fresh from the fight but you have some great people here to help you get this done. Hang in there!! I'll be watching and around to answer any questions that I can.

    Forceout

    My thread is in Need to Talk

  9. #9
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Forceout,

    Thank you so much, I am terribly encouraged by your comment. For about a day, I was feeling bad about myself because I didn’t just jump from my current 3 per day (halves at a time)....since I’m not feeling any WD at all. For me, it’s the fear of going backwards. I think it might be a foundless fear since I did go straight from 8-10 pills per day to 3 with only small WD symptoms, the worst of which was headache and RLS (which you FEEL with NEVER go away...minutes seem like hours. I swear, I checked my phone and it was 8:30pm for 2 hours!)...but the fear is still there. Since I teach, I have to be on top of my game. I’ve now had 13 days on 3...no WDs (except minor headaches, but I got those anyway, even on the pills) and all I really need to do now is take your advice. I plan to set a date to cut back on that next half pill (or whole, if I can). My dad, my son, and my best friend are all wonderful...they don’t judge, they don’t berate or bug me...they just check in a few times a day (how are you feeling? Okay? Still at 3?) and it’s been what’s made most of the difference.

    I read many cases of people who did taper too quickly only to go backwards since it was too painful, they went too fast, and it’s so easy just to take another pill (I have plenty). So...I’m NOT rushing myself at all. No. No way. I never dreamed I could take less than 5-10 a day....much less down to only 3...and only halves?? I have NEVER done that. So, I’m only going to be my own biggest cheerleader...stick to my plan...rely on this forum to read, read, read and be encouraged...and do this. Now I know I can.

    I am going to read yours. I want to read everything you went through. It’s interesting how just cutting back to 3 per day has leveled out my emotions. As I said earlier, my mother died of cancer earlier this year...and I found myself having sudden bouts of crying and severe depression just out of the blue...and I know that’s normal for anyone who loses a loved one...I know it was made worse by the pills since now that it’s been 13 days only on 3...my emotions have been leveled out. I don’t feel differently at different parts of the day. I LOVE that. I feel sane for the first time in over 3 years.

    Anyway, thank you guys so much, I am so encouraged. And I so so appreciate the responses I read here. Bright Blessings

  10. #10
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Hey, what is your thread called? I looked over in Need To Talk, but couldn’t find one started by your name. I’ll look again...

  11. #11
    Lvg nghtmare is offline Platinum Member
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    Hello Thomas if you click on the user's name and latest started thread you will find him..be well..
    ***Stay Strong for Today***

  12. #12
    Beefaroni7272 is offline Advanced Member
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    It was actually starts by a member named Catrina. I think the name is "Forceout needs community to get through." I just posted to it so it should be around the top of the list. Happy reading!

    Beef
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  13. #13
    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hello Thomas!!

    I'm so excited for you! I can tell already you have the right mindset to get off the pills for good.!!

    I can relate to your situation. I am an engineer and responsible for many things going well everyday. It's pretty tough at times but like I said the first 2 days of reduction in dose was always Sat and Sun. That was very very important for me when I got down to 20 and 15 mg per day.

    But like I already said, you sound great and already you have seen a glimpse of how good you can feel with no pills at all.!!! It gets better and better!

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. The pills make you way more susceptible to emotional stuff and it's good you are heading the right way.

    I just returned from a 2 mile walk and man that feels so good. Don't forget exercise of some amount no matter how hard it may seem when you get further toward jumping off completely.

    I assume you found my thread with a little help from Beef. As you will see, I have met some awesome people here. There is no better help available than others dealing with the same exact thing.

    I can so relate to the feeling of sanity returning.....omg. The pills lie my friend. Keep up the good attitude!!! It's almost 100% mental from here in out!!!

    Forceout

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    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    You’re like walking therapy for me! I read your comments and I am ENERGIZED. I know I keep repeating it, but the stress I had for over a year and a half, always wondering what the HELL I was going to do to get out of this mess...I thought I had to go to rehab, I thought I’d lose my teaching credential...I didn’t think it was possible to go from 8-10 a day to zero through tapering, not from all I had read. That’s why I waited so long to even think about REALLY trying. My mind worked against me so badly. It made me anxious, depressed, afraid...and I’d see people on TV and wish so bad I could wave a magic wand and the problem would be gone. It is literally, the MOST I’ve thought about every day for over a year. Daily. I would get up...take 1 pill immediately because I felt awful. Then...when that kicked in a little...about 20-30 minutes later...I’d take another. This was by 730am...because as as teacher, I am up by 545am daily. Once those two pills were in...I’d be fine until around 10am...then another pill. Thinking back...I didn’t need it, but it was COMFORT. And then another right before lunch. Then another before 2-3pm...then another at 6pm...then another around 8pm. And I’m sure I squeezed in another’s or two in there somewhere. I know, because I’d run out so early in the month and then I’d start borrowing my parent’s pills. Oh, and times came when I would be in a “mood” and I’d take two at a time...I needed that boost...just because. It was ridiculous.

    And the one time I ran out and had none for 3 days before the doc appt was sheer hell. I didn’t know how bad it would get...and thought...I can’t go through that. I’m a teacher! How will I work?? My kids love me...and I thought the pills gave me my life. Even though I’d been teaching years and years before. I just couldn’t imagine life without them.

    So, when I did get to the point that I said, “I’m doing this damn it.” I was ready for at least some pain. I immediately cut them all in half and then started my day on Monday, 13 days ago, only taking halves. It was NOT bad! Yes, it was uncomfortable, but I’d already gotten all the stuff for the Thomas Recipe...and went in determined. No matter what, I was NOT taking more than 1/2 at a time...and I’d hold out as long as possible. I was shocked that I could take only 3 total pills that first day. Next day, I felt the same all day: headache, body aches, slight sluggishness, but nothing bad. No stomach issues. Mostly it was psychological. It was after about day 3 that I realized: I wasn’t as bad off as I thought. This is DO-ABLE. And I’d already told everyone surrounding me what I was doing. So, I felt accountable, motivated...and the sheer motivation that came from how little pain I felt. I did feel sadness at the loss of “my friend”, the little white oblong pill of comfort. That was probably the worst. But even that has diminished. I think I really over-stated, in my own mind, how bad it would be. By day 5 or 6...I was having almost no WD symptoms, except heightened anxiety and I could no longer sleep in on the weekend. I was up BAM at 7am, and have been ever since.

    I can emphasize enough how HAPPY I am that the problem wasn’t as big as I thought. I tortured myself by watching some Youtube videos of people going through opiate withdrawals...and I was terrified. So was so pleasantly surprised that going from 8-10 a day down to 3 wasn’t nearly as bad as it would have been had I went CT. I know that’s the answer for some...but for me, because of my life, I just couldn’t. And it worried my family. I’m happy, motivated, feeling great, getting out every day...and am amped up to take that next step...another half OR whole (can’t decide)...and it will be on Friday evening so that I’m pretty accustomed by Monday morning. I know it can be done now. My doctor and others said...there is NO need to rush...I read where going too fast when you’re not ready is a huge way to go backwards because you can’t handle the discomfort. And I am a big baby when it comes to pain and discomfort. But, I’ve had much worse pain just from the flu.

    I can’t wait to announce my next milestone. I’m chugging along great...but I won’t be truly satisfied until I’m TOTALLY OFF altogether. I’ve envisioned it, pictured it, I see myself totally off...I’m already below my prescribed dosage...and they say if you picture your reality...you just have to fulfill it.

    I can’t thank you enough for the motivation you’ve given me, both of you. I love talking about it here. Have a great Sunday!

    Bright Blessings

  15. #15
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    I have Netflix...and I watched a few documentaries on the Opioid Epidemic...maybe two months ago...and one just recently. That’s, in part, a large part of what finally motivated me to do something. I do NOT want to be a part of that. And....I do NOT want to eventually take that horrifying step to >>>>>>, which is what they say happens all the time to those who begin with pain meds. I DID NOT WANT TO BE A PART of the Opioid Epidemic any longer....and that’s how I saw myself: part of that. I would see people on TV and wonder how I could get from where I was...to where they were: enjoying life without needing Vicodin to do it. I hated that I got myself into this mess. And I didn’t know what to do about it.

    I saw those poor people on the street who just get up every day to work hard to get that next high...any way they could. This one guy would wake up...and start his scamming...dope sick by noon, and off stealing or selling stolen things....just for a little >>>>>>...and then once that was done...he’d start all over towards the next high. I thought...I’d rather be dead!!!!

    I want to be one of those people who gets up each day, like most everyone I know...and they are happy because they are on nothing but AIR. LOL. And I can be. I will be. In my mind, I already AM...it’s just a reality that I will fulfill.

    But, I do suggest for anyone who needs motivation...go watch some of those videos on Youtube or a documentary about the epidemic...and see where you can wind up. Wow. Frightening. FRIGHTENING. I will NOT be a part of that. I’m DONE.
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    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hey there,

    You're doing great!

    I sooo glad you found this place!! It was a miracle come true for me for sure!!

    It got late on me so I don't have long this evening but I am so pumped up for you!!' What an incredible accomplishment to get to this point, right? Awesome!!

    You Can do this! I mean what is the alternative? Take pills the rest of our lives ....no freaking way, right? You just hang in there and keep up the good work.

    Talk to ya' soon.

    Forceout

    PS - Glad you are here!
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  17. #17
    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hey Teach,

    Just stopping by to say hello!! Hope you are getting back to work with a big smile and exited about your future!! Hang in there! Thinking about you and proud of you for what you are doing.

    Forceout
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  18. #18
    Beefaroni7272 is offline Advanced Member
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    What's up Tommy? Just wanted to pop in and see how the first day back with the kiddies treated you. Give us a shout whenever you can!

    Beef

  19. #19
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Hey, guys! Still doing great, sorry I haven’t been on, work and the holidays...bad combo! I’m still doing great...still at 2.5 on most days, but I do take another half on some days...but never over a total of 3. Always only halves at a time...that hasn’t changed. Still hard to believe lol. I plan to step down to 2.5 for good...or 2 during the Christmas break. I do have to admit that I haven’t been feeling so great over all. After the first and second week of being on “cloud 9” because of finding that cutting back was far easier than I expected....a bit of depression set in...and I began to miss the warm and fuzzies more than ever. I never, however, went backwards...never even had a terribly strong urge to. I’m so motivated by this that no amount of negative feelings will make me turn back. I didn’t even think it was possible...I’m not trading it.

    Most days I feel good...getting up is FAR EASIER than it used to be taking so many per day (getting it in the system was so important!)...but I am definitely feeling the plateau feeling...that my good moods and happiness have to come from something other than these damned pills. 2.5 - 3.0 give no “high” at all...they just keep the WDs at bay. Dad says that jumping from 2 or just 1 should be relatively easy...and I hope that’s true, and even think it probably will be. I was quite uncomfortable going down to only 3 per day instantly from 8-10. But, it was minimalized by the tapering. As I’ve read from so many others, I doubt I could’ve made it more than four days with acute WD. I do find that I’m not as emotional as I used to be. I stay relatively in the same mood.

    Because I lost my mother in February to cancer, I am feeling down a lot still. The hydro masked this...and I know I used it as an escape. Not really running from it, but if I felt down, a pill made me feel better. An escape, but not like being drunk. So, I often feel down over longer periods. I don’t feel like doing anything. I think that once I’m totally off ALL of them, that will eventually change. I haven’t had an impulse to take more, though. But, life has a duller affect than it used to for me. And that’s hard to get used to. Over all, I am doing fine...I am just accepting that the taper is a slow process and it’s a trade-off from the faster (but more acutely painful) quick cold turkey. Hope you are doing well! Maybe you could give me some ideas of your process, how you felt or managed feelings and emotions...I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Bright Blessings!!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-09-2017 at 04:34 PM.
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  20. #20
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    You know what the hardest thing is? Getting accustomed to feeling your normal emotions and daily feelings. I now know (and did for awhile) that most of my happy moods were manufactured. Now...I’m in no major pain and no WD symptoms, but I’m just flatter now. My kids don’t see it...teaching is 80-90% acting...and I love my work...so being happy with the kids isn’t hard...but I don’t look forward to things as much as I used to. And I’m pretty sure this is just the process. I’m feeling my *real* emotions now. This is me. And I’m so used to taking a pill if I felt even the slightest bit down or off. I want to look forward to things again. I think I will. In time.

  21. #21
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Good Morning Thomas,

    Good to hear that you are still hanging in there and doing well. Tapers are never easy and here you are still determined. So good! This flatness that you are feeling is oh so typical. No one escapes this part. No one. You will bounce back and begin to feel joy and will begin to look forward to all the things that you always have. This, too takes time and won't really be on the rebound until you are completely done with your taper. There are things that will help. Exercise, the harder the better but any at all will help, chocolate, and one of the absolutely best things for me was pure laughter. Your brain hasn't had to manufacture any of those natural feel good chemicals because the hydro was doing that for it. Once the hydro is removed, you find yourself where you are now--flat. Not enough hydro to provide the fake happiness but enough hydro to keep you from manufacturing all the good stuff. Once your brain receptors are completely clear of the hydro, it will take a little bit for things to get started but they will and you will begin to feel all the good stuff again. Time.

    Your Dad is right, as usual. Once you're down to one pill a day and are comfortable, by continuing to take that one bill you'll only be keeping yourself in that last stage and not truly beginning to heal. You've already found out that even 3 a day really does nothing for you except to keep you out of hard withdrawal. Use this as motivation to find the courage to do another drop even if it's 1/2 pill a day and keep it going. You're not really doing yourself any favors by stalling now. I'm not criticizing, just suggesting that you'd be far better off to get this done. Once you have taken that last pill or piece and if you are down to only 1 pill, you shouldn't suffer much, if at all physically but you'll probably have a few days of increased lethargy mixed with nervous energy. It's not a fun combo but it's something that we just have to get through. After that, you'll have a few weeks that your moods and level of energy will be all over the place. You'll have a really good day followed by one that will make you feel like you've lost ground but the next day may be a good one again. The process is gradual and soon there will be more good days than bad--just like real life.

    You're doing great so keep it up. Sounds like your Dad has your back and you're very lucky to have him and his support. Keep posting.

    Peace,

    Cat
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  22. #22
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Catrina,

    Wow, you are so spot on that it’s a little spooky ha! The interesting part is that there is literally zero difference between 2.5 by bedtime than 3. Why did I take that last half by bed? Was I feeling any WD? No. Any neck or back pain? Zero. Advil is taking that away. It’s just...fear and habit. I dropped initially from 8-10 per day instantly to only 3 and then only in halves. And that was really not too, too bad. So, it stands to reason that I’m not really in for terrible pain dropping even a whole. During the day when I get to my next half...I’m not feeling any pain or discomfort...and the half isn’t really making anything better. So, why? Again, fear and habit. I just need to do it.

    I actually do eat a lot of chocolate in the evening...almond M&Ms...and I read Where laughter and things that make you happy helps...so I’ve been watching funny videos and films. I’ve also made myself very accountable to my son, my dad, and a teacher friend, probably my best friend...she’s wonderful. And dad keeps saying, “You should be fine with two.” He’s right, as you said. But he doesn’t bug me about it haha. I still carry the red poker chips in my right pocket and transfer one to the left for each half. I’m sure that ALL that’s holding me back now is...again...fear and habit.

    I love your honesty, thank you. Until it’s all gone, I’ll remain in this flat stage...it’s a far better place than I was just a bit over a month ago...but I want to make another big step. I want to get this flat affect off of me. I want to look forward to things again. And I really do, just not like I used to. But, I sort of like having the negative feeling because it REMINDS ME WHY I AM DOING THIS.

    Coming to this forum was a LIFE SAVER. I’m so grateful it was here. I first read posts on here over a year ago...and was terrified. Now I am talking and it’s changed my life. Funny, but all of the supplements I bought, I’ve found I didn’t need...beyond those first 4-5 day’s dropping instantly from 8-10 down to 3. And even then, I can’t even tell what it helped. Perhaps it was the placebo effect...and that’s fine, if so.

    As you said, this is where I am until I jump...and I sort of knew that, but hearing it from another person helps a lot. I only took 2.5 yesterday, and even that last 1/2 did nothing for me that I can detect.

    One last thing...I’m up daily now, weekday or weekend, doesn’t matter, by 6-7am. I used to sleep in on weekends until at least 9-11. Now...I wake up. And I have to get up. At first it was horrible because I didn’t want to face a loooooong day. Now I’m developing a new routine, so I like it. Thanks for the post!

    Bright Blessings,
    Thomas
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-10-2017 at 09:01 AM.
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  23. #23
    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hello Thomas and welcome back...

    I love reading your posts, too. I am so excited for you in so many ways. Since we have practically the same stories, I can understand and feel each and every word and feeling. Omg, it's amazing!

    Also, Cat amazes me still! How she knows and stays connected to those exact feelings and chain of events related to the taper after so long clean. She is a gift to us all!

    I will tell you that I tapered one week each downward by .5 when I was where you are. 25 20 15 10. Jump after a week of .5 early and late. That's just what I did. Looking back, the last 2 weeks were a mental bummer. But the taper took care of most physical. I wouldn't even recommend what I did except you have don't SO greAt and have the perfect mindset. And the support you have, oh what a blessing Thomas!!

    What ever you do, just decide and get it done.

    Cat was so exact dead on about the way the last goes with the good getting closer and closer together after its allllll gone, I wouldn't add anything.

    Again, so excited for you. I really, really am.

    One more thing. This is a special day for me. A tear in my eye now which is only the second one in weeks, today is 30 days for me. I cannot possibly explain how good that feels to me. Thank you to God and to everyone here in this magic place. I had a dang good day. Totally busy. Excited about so much stuff. Honest as I know how to be with y'all, AND myself. I'm happy. Miracles happen. Don't forget this. You have some junk to get through still. But remember my post this one every minute until you are here. The payoff is your LIFE back. HUGE.

    You, my friend, you got this!!!

    Feeling so grateful.

    Your post was great btw to the one that hasn't got there yet!!!! So awesome, Teach
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  24. #24
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Wow, you have NO IDEA how much you just inspired me. What a blessing this place is. Never in a million years would I have thought, first, that I could get here (a year ago, it seemed only one way out: death)...and, second, that this place would not only teach me what to do (and inspire me), but also be such an inspiration blessing daily when I read. I have read through so many stories on here...and you can actually *feel* what others are experiencing...because you’ve BEEN there...and you just want to reach through the screen and give encouragement. Well, the type-written words does it just as good (at least for me) because your last post really gave me such a boost tonight. I just got back from doing lesson plans for the coming week (last full week before Christmas break...I have almost 3 weeks off: THE JUMP WEEKS!!!!) and I came home with a tiny headache in my temple and feeling bluesy because it’s the first Christmas since my momma died so very young from awful cancer...and the sundown is always the worst time. Also, I learned that her headstone is finally there...she passed in February...it’s taken this long...and I haven’t been back since. I know I need to...to tell her I finally did this. You and Cat today have been the biggest inspirations and BOOSTS that I’ve needed. People may think that online relationships aren’t valuable...bull hockey. This was INVALUABLE for me today. I am so excited to be FREE. The end is so close. And while I may feel a little more discomfort, it doesn’t even close to measure the blessing of it. I wouldn’t go back, one day at a time, of course, no matter what. I won’t say I’ll never do it again...(never say never and all of that) but if I keep my mind where it’s supposed to be...keep my eye on one day at a time...I will stay on a healthy path. I’m so so grateful for this place. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. They have touched more than you might know. Although, given the tone of your post...I think you just might know after all. Brightest of Blessings, my friend.

    Now...to bed...my 5th graders await...and their English/Reading/Writing education. I love my place in the world.
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  25. #25
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    [deleted - swearing]
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-11-2017 at 09:30 PM.
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  26. #26
    Droppinthepoppy is offline Junior Member
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    Thomas, I taught for 2.5 years (business school) and I recently went through withdrawal (32 days today). I just want to warn you that although acute withdrawal only lasted about 10 days for me, the next week was the hardest in terms of my mood. I wanted to take everyone's head off. So if possible I would really try to jump during your first week off. Having two weeks to get your head straight before going back to the classroom would be vastly preferable to one (IMHO). In any case, the good news is that short-acting opiates have a faster timeline and I strongly expect that you will power through it! Also, I found clonidine (blood pressure medication) made the transition much easier for me. It took away the anxiety almost completely, but it makes you pretty tired, so I only took it for about 10 days. I got it from my psychiatrist. I only took two to three 0.1 mg (not 1.0 mg!) a day for about 10 days. You may not need it but if you feel your blood boiling over at every driver or person you come across (as I did) it solved the problem immediately. It is non-narcotic and acts very quickly. Good luck and I look forward to watching you earn your freedom!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-11-2017 at 09:30 PM.

  27. #27
    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hello again Thomas,

    Just a quick hello!!! Glad you are excited because I am for you! You rock, my friend. Well said about the online help. It saved me I guarantee you that. I will never forget this place or the selfless, caring, people who reached out to help me when it was dark in my world.

    Well, it's bright sunshine now! I promise it is. Just finished a 12 plus hour work day including after hours work on a patent I'm doing. Engineer, you might remember. Anyway, I was excited and energetic all day long. After only 31 days clean!!! So there!

    Keep up kicking butt!!!! I'm your biggest fan right now.....well besides your dad!!! So awesome!!!

    Forceout

  28. #28
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Droppinthepoppy View Post
    Thomas, I taught for 2.5 years (business school) and I recently went through withdrawal (32 days today). I just want to warn you that although acute withdrawal only lasted about 10 days for me, the next week was the hardest in terms of my mood. I wanted to take everyone's head off. So if possible I would really try to jump during your first week off. Having two weeks to get your head straight before going back to the classroom would be vastly preferable to one (IMHO). In any case, the good news is that short-acting opiates have a faster timeline and I strongly expect that you will power through it! Also, I found clonidine (blood pressure medication) made the transition much easier for me. It took away the anxiety almost completely, but it makes you pretty tired, so I only took it for about 10 days. I got it from my psychiatrist. I only took two to three 0.1 mg (not 1.0 mg!) a day for about 10 days. You may not need it but if you feel your blood boiling over at every driver or person you come across (as I did) it solved the problem immediately. It is non-narcotic and acts very quickly. Good luck and I look forward to watching you earn your freedom!
    I will take your advice about the time off, thanks. I’m already down to only 2 per day, half pills only (5mg each) with zero serious WDs. I can only tell because I look for them...and I think the psychological effect is probably the biggest hurdle I’m actually experiencing. I’m a huge sissy when it comes to any pain...so I have to press onward. The interesting part, for me, at least, is that my back brace and advice remove all back pain. 100%. I have back pain every day starting about noon, and I bug everyone in the 5th grade department (“Mr. Pearson...don’t you own a back brace? PUT IT ON!” Lol)...gee, why didn’t I think of that. After heading into two months, I’m not even looking for pain relief from the 2 pills per day. It’s just the habit of it. But, I find myself thinking of them less and less now than I used to. Before, it’s all I thought of all day...planning when the next pill would be. By 7am, I’d already taken two 10mg pills...another by 9:30...another right before lunch...etc, etc. Taking one half a pill when I get in the car at 6am....and not another until nearly 10:30...is a miracle for me. And I don’t even know why I take that next one. It’s time, I think. Just a few more days and we will be out for Christmas break.

    Almost there!

  29. #29
    Thomas543 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forceout View Post
    Hello again Thomas,

    Just a quick hello!!! Glad you are excited because I am for you! You rock, my friend. Well said about the online help. It saved me I guarantee you that. I will never forget this place or the selfless, caring, people who reached out to help me when it was dark in my world.

    Well, it's bright sunshine now! I promise it is. Just finished a 12 plus hour work day including after hours work on a patent I'm doing. Engineer, you might remember. Anyway, I was excited and energetic all day long. After only 31 days clean!!! So there!

    Keep up kicking butt!!!! I'm your biggest fan right now.....well besides your dad!!! So awesome!!!

    Forceout
    Nice! And thank you. These posts truly keep me pumped and motivated. I’m pretty sure my only hurdle now is psychological...as I was telling another member, I really only take the halves I am now (2 full pills daily) out of habit. My back pain has returned full strength, but, as I knew it would, Advil and my back brace fully take care of that. The pain itself shows me that the pills aren’t even providing me anything. It’s so stupid at this point. I’m ready to jump. I just don’t want to do it while I still have a few days of teaching left before the Christmas break.

    I posted a few days ago (it was deleted for swearing...but, I honestly don’t remember that I did?) I posted that my worst complaint was this feeling of everything seeming to be wrong...a weird feeling of unreality...things just seemed...off. That has also passed now. I feel normal. I know that jumping will bring some mild WDs...but I know that it’s very doable. I’m not even afraid. Just anxious to do it. And I’ll have almost 3 weeks to fully get back on the hobby horse. I’ll begin the New Year FREE. Hard to believe, actually. A year ago, this seemed like an IMPOSSIBILITY. I couldn’t even really imagine it without thinking it would take a rehab or serious, serious agony that I didn’t think I could handle. I seriously overstated the experience in my own mind. But, glad I did. I’d rather expect the worst and...well, you know the rest.

    I still walk around sometimes having to remind myself that I’ve come this far. It’s like a dream. I’m so blessed. And it would NOT have happened had I not had this place to come to...in order to first learn, read, and gather the courage. I can’t wait for the DAY COUNT to begin.

    Bright Blessings,
    Thomas
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  30. #30
    Forceout is offline Member
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    Hey Thomas,

    I know I've said this a bunch but wow, I am so excited for you!! Your story is starting to read so much like mine it is incredible!!!

    My thread in Need To Talk is long but the first several days of it starts when I was at the end of my taper. If you haven't read it you might take a look....allllll the same stuff !!! Called "Forceout needs......". Started by Catrina.

    Also, I was gonna comment about the pain.....you may remember I've been through the ringer with injuries etc. I thought the pain would be so bad I could not stand it without meds. So wrong that was!! A brace, exercise, and some heat was all I ended up needing. Maybe some Advil occasionally. Incredible!!!!!!!

    One more thing, your body might take a little time to start helping with the endorphin production and other things that help you naturally deal with discomfort. This is a very normal thing. You probably know already but the body and brain run a little behind when the opiates leave so be patient near the end of the taper and immediately following. Your pain issues will get much better before long. Mine did bigtime.

    Going to sleep but had to check in and say way to go!! You are a warrior my friend. So proud of you for taking your life back ....keep it up!

    Forceout

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