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Hydrocodone addiction/WD - my story and struggle
I've read, read and read but have never posted. Anyway, on with my story;
It started with 3 vics. I found them cleaning, they were about to expire and I knew they had a 'feel good' effect. I loved it. I really loved it. Fast forward a year or so, I obtained 12 vic 5/500's for almost chopping my thumb off in a stupid accident, took them as prescribed and the entire time felt great. Fast forward some months later, I find some in my girlfriends house and took a few and that's when it all started.
Some days/weeks later I (did not seek out, it just kind of fell into place) found a steady supplier. "Great!" I thought, now I can have a stash and take them on the rare occasion or gathering to kind of give myself that fun boost. That worked for months, then one day I decided to bring some to work because I was generally feeling low that day and didn't want that (I mean, who doesn't want to feel good?). Continued to use sparingly until that 'low' day happened again-- I knew how to fix that! More and more days started to feel 'low', so I was using more often. Same dosage as always (25-30mg).. then one day that didn't quite cut it, more were in order. That worked great, and before I knew it EVERY day was a 'low' day that I was taking them. It happened ever so slowly. I just woke up one day and realized this is not right, I'm.. not me.. I'm an.. addict? How could I have been so stupid and not seen this coming? I am an idiot.
So what happens next? Quit, of course. Ha! Went through my first day of withdrawal and caved. Fast forward some months later, dosage at this point is 100mg/day. Got low a few times and decided this is going to ruin me, I need to QUIT. Did a FAST (2 day 50% reduction taper) day 4 of being clean and through the worst of detox the inevitible trigger happened (I was doing this all at home, no support and noone to stop me from obtaining more.. but you can't take what you don't have, right?). Supplier stopped by unannounced with more. I wanted them. I bought them. I stared at the bag of pills for 30 minutes afterwards fighting a mental battle and took every ounce of willpower I had to stash them away. 2 days later, it has been a week! Yay, relatives are out, I love my family, I will go visit them. It wasn't 5 minutes from that thought that I had 40mg down the hatch. Damnit, ok so I slipped; I am through the worst of WDs, tomorrow wont be nearly as bad and I'll just NOT take more. Surprise! We're going out tomorrow, and naturally I want more. Ok, so 2 days can't hurt right? Fine. Day 3, was of course naturally a 'low' day (due to depleating my brain happy chemicals) and fought not to take. Well, with them readily accissble it wasn't but a couple minute blur that they were in my stomach. Down hill from there. Again.
Months go by. I am up to 200-350mg a day sometimes even more at this point. This was starting to adversely affect everything in my life. My money, mood, relationships, and for the first time since grade school stopped taking showers daily. This was the onset of major addiction for me. I mean, really, I don't even feel like taking a shower because all I want to do is be high? This is not me. Who and what am I now? I am a pill. This cannot continue! CT..make it for a few days..relapse..ct..make it a day or two, relapse.. I am an idiot.
Months go by, again. Supplier is taking a week vacation and I am nearly out. Now this is a really funny, odd feeling; happy and pissed at the same time at the same reason. Happy because I may now be able to beat this. Pissed because, well, withdrawals are a ?????. And so the ride goes...
Day 1: Take 75% of normal dose @ 200mg (morning and evening; was already beginning to feel withdrawal onset)
Day 2: Take 50% of normal dose @ 100mg (evening; pronounced withdrawal prior to)
Day 3: Take 50% of normal dose @ 100mg (midday; full force withdrawal prior to)
Day 4: Take 50% of normal dose @ 100mg (midday; full force withdrawal prior to)
Day 5: Take remaing dose @ 15mg (morning; less pronounced withdrawal)
On day 3 I aquired some xanax, benzos are something I have no prior experience with but taking 0.5mg every 3 hours (or as needed) helped with the withdrawals AMAZINGLY. I have no intention of using benzos beyond this detox and I *WILL* adhear to that. From day 3 onward I was (am) taking 1mg first thing in the morning and 0.5mg as needed. I am now on day 7 of the detox (only day 3 clean of hydro) and let me tell you, this method seems to have worked for me better than any of the other CT quits I'd attempted in the past. The only real withdrawal symptoms as of now are anxiety (xanax), insomnia (xanax) and lack of energy (I play an FPS video game (UT2004) for about an hour to get my body amped up in the morning now, it really helps with the energy)
The trick I've learned during the quick taper is, your withdrawals are going to suck bad, but remember, at the end of the day you will get a small fix. Hang in until the end of the day. *** THIS TAKES ABSOLUTE RAW 100% WILLPOWER ***. By the end of the 4 day fast taper I'd been through the worst of withdrawals while still not having to ride it start to finish without a small but infinitely helpful fix.
I feel much, MUCH better already but still have mild withdrawal symptoms, especially the sleep thing. I think I can do it this time. I am through the worst, I believe, so long as PAWS doesn't get the best of me. I finally think I can do it this time.
Anyway, I apologize for the novel. There are many more omitted details, failures, and storys which go along with this but I'll spare everyone.
I am not a doctor. I am nothing but an ordinary working adult with an addiction, and this is what is [thus far] working for me. This may not work for you. Withdrawals are inevitable, but from my daily habbit down such a quick taper with only xanax to help along the way a couple days into withdrawals was the easiest for me. CT wasn't working for me, this so far has. I am aproaching 72 hours clean at this point. This is raw will power, and while this was not as hard as a CT detox, it was still very hard.
Questions, comments, stories, opinions and [dis]agreements welcome. Sorry for grammatical and spelling mistakes.
tl;dr = I've fallen into addiction which progressed and progressed into an embarassing number daily and am now 72 hours clean utilizing nothing but fast taper and benzos.
Another small tidbit I've learned, and it's entirely perspective based.
As all opiate addicts will know, every hour of going through withdrawals is hell.
It feels like an ETERNITY since you've last had them and you feel you are, for lack of a better word, entitled to since it has been so long (say, a week or two later) -- that's what I discovered to be my 'addict logic'
Instead, it is much easier to realize that feeling of not dosing for such a long time SHOULD be looked at this way-- It has been [what feels like an] ETERNITY since I've had them. GOOD! That was my LONG AGO past. An eternity ago. This is me now, and this is the direction I am going learning from past mistakes made "so long ago".
(sorry if that sounds stupid-- it really does help me with my mental battles)
Welcome to the forum !!! we have a bunch of people going c/t right now and a few that are almost done with there taper...
keep us posted on how your doing and if we can help!
Your posts made me smile, especially your follow up. I did the c/t thing mid January 2010. During Days 2 and 3 I read and read and read here on the Forum. I think I was over the worst of it by Day 5 and made myself known here. I can vividly remember those first weeks of being clean after physically feeling better from the detox that my mind was racing. I didn't realize it at the time but I was experiencing clairty for the first time in a very long time. I didn't recognize it. I'd be in the shower, driving, any place that I was alone and my mind was spinning. I was pretty sure that I was discovering all the secrets of the universe and loving every minute of it! If I was in the car, I couldn't wait to get to a computer so that I could dump all of my new-found wisdom on the weary readers here who I am sure were ready to find me and gag me! Instead, I got encouragement and an infinite amount of patience allowing me the pleasure of clarity.
At least one piece of wisdom I gained from this experience is that the detox is the easy part. Healing our hearts and our minds is the difficult part. I smiled from your post because you have uncovered that secret for yourself and that's something that in my opinion is a must. One can't be told this secret and can't be taught this secret and I think that it may be just a little bit different for each of us. That's OK. It's whatever we do to get through each minute, each hour, and each day of being and staying clean. In the beginning, I promised myself (literally) that I would not use for fifteen minutes and after fifteen minutes I could reconsider. When those fifteen minutes were up, I'd make myself a brand new promise for just another fifteen minutes. As odd as it may sound, I knew I could go without using for fifteen minutes. It was as if I knew that if I made it that long it would be OK if I decided to use, at least I kept my promise. Before long those fifteen minutes became hours, then days, then weeks. I never let myself look too far ahead, it was too overwhelming. Over one year later my ritual remains intact except that I only have to make that promise to myself once a day...and I do! Every morning, right out of the shower, I enjoy my clear blue eyes and promise myself I will not use today. I will reconsider tomorrow.
You are clearly a quicker learner than I.
I did a quick taper years ago that made the whole process possible. CT is almost physically impossible for some people without help. Was even able to quit cigs with taper devices.
The main thing that Cat pointed out was that you "GOT IT!" Nobody can explain what it is only experience can teach it. I've been an addict off and on all my adult life with a ten year sober period in between. I kept kicking and switching from one poison to another for one reason or another. But once you "GET IT" then you know no amount of mental acrobats or rationalizations will ever make it possible to justify abusing. Once you know the truth a lie will not suffice again.
Always happy shadow to welcome another member to the club.
Last edited by grip; 04-29-2011 at 12:47 PM.
Thank you :] -- I plan on sticking around for a while after this. I know there are so many more people going through this and it's really tough. Support and advice is necessary. To by absolutely honest that's exactly why I've decided to sign up and post-- doing it without support wasn't working for me and I really truly do not want to relapse this time. The extra encouragement from someone who is not only supportive but also understands exactly how it feels and what its like is infinitely encouraging.
First, I just want to say I envy you. That is a very long time and I know that every day is a struggle. Making it so far is a real accomplishment, and if I can only stay clean for half that amount of time it'd be the most outstanding feat I've ever done. I am already feeling like a normal person again in this short amount of time, I can't wait to see how I feel in a month! I hope the clarity and thoughts I used to have come back soon. When my mind is constantly thinking about using and everything else gets pushed aside for so long, I forget/forgot what it was like to have a brain. To think with it and use it, not having to dwell constantly on an addiction.
I never did think about it in such small steps (like 15 minutes) but that has helped me a lot too now that you've taught me, I used to set my goals too high and then cave when I met them because I accomplished such a hard feat and 'was entitled to the reward I set for myself' (addict logic). It's easier, and even though I know it in the back of my mind that I will not use in 15 minutes, I know I can last at least that long.
Another thing that helps me, now that I am actually feeling physically better (not great, but definitely not bad), is to think and to myself: If I had used today, the physically normal feeling I feel now would be about the same-- so just pretend to myself that I did use today, the reward has came and gone, and now I need to wait longer until I can 'reward myself' again. It's probably not a mentally healthy way of looking at it for me (since it perpetuates the addict logic to some degree)..
That is exactly how it is for me. I could do it physically for a short while but mentally I'd fail (probably because I wouldn't reconsider my goals once they were met). Thank you for reinforcing my thoughts on this; the battle will not be easy, but it's a good start to a new life, as long as it is kept as a priority.
It is now over 135 hours since my last 'fix' dose, and I already feel like a new person. Aside from residual withdrawal effects (runny nose, eyes, anxiety and restlessness/insomnia) I haven't felt this well in a very long time. When I would CT quit I would get super depressed and that would also help justify more usage. I don't want to suggest that I am a tough guy (as you can see with my story, I am not) but I do not cry very often (maybe a couple times a year), but CT quit had me almost in tears constantly. The quick taper seems to be the final solution for me, the entire time I was uncomfortable but not in the negative state of mind as I was with CT. Perhaps it was because in the back of my mind I knew was doing good and still going to use more during the taper, just less of it less often starting immediately. Withdrawals were easier to cope with knowing this. It has only been this short period of time and I am already smiling again. Maybe it was the method. Maybe it was the state of mind. Maybe it's that I now know I'm finally 'free' (if I choose to be), or any combination thereof.
Friday I took my last 1mg of xanax in the morning and 0.5 mg in the evening for the restlessness/insomnia. As of writing this now, it has been over 24 hours completely RX free. I know I will not be able to sleep extremely well (5:00 AM post?), but for the first time in so, so long, I enjoyed a whole day without any RX.
Well, I eventually did catch a wink for a bit and even had dreams. All the sudden I have a handful and they're making their way to my mouth, it couldn't be stopped. I remember the bitter taste of them dissolving in my mouth as I stood there upset and racing with thoughts. Of the thoughts, I distinctly remember 'Swallow, they're already in your mouth and you can't salvage it at this point. Don't do it again.' Swallowing, then feeling such a deep felt disappointment in myself that I woke up. When I woke up I was still upset (believing that it had really happened) and that just woke me up more. I was relieved to learn it was all just a dream, but it's scary-- that scenario happening is only moments away at any given moment in real life. At least I got a small taste of how I'd feel at myself if it did happen, and I didn't like it. I will remember that.
Despite lack of sleep (and thus energy), I already have motivation and drive to do things now. I haven't had this in a while. Today I am going to do something that I've avoided since my wife and I started dating-- work on the blown head gasket in my TransAm. Hard to believe I've parked that otherwise beautiful car for years because I didn't want to spend a few days wrenching on it. I may even enjoy a beer too, but I'll probably rationalize myself out of that with the same tools I now use for my addiction (my last drink was at a company dinner before Christmas, and even then a glass or two of wine). Alcohol has never been a problem for me, but easily could be if I let it. Perhaps this is a new step to learning moderation? Or is that just the addict logic again? Maybe I'll put it off for 'just 15 more minutes' when I grab the ratchet..
Most dreams can be odd but the disturbing ones will happen less often over time. Your brain is healing and normal sleep patterns take awhile.
I think doing simple things you enjoy like fixing a car is good therapy. Finding enjoyable and productive activity is part of the recovery process. Personally I don't recommend jumping into recreational substances so quick. As harmless as a few beers might seem they could also lead to another crutch.
Hang in there you're still coming out of the fog.
not a reply I need help
Started 25 years ago when my back went out. Fast forward I started experiencing chronic pain. I had a choice to make become an addict or live with pain that gave me no quality of life. I run out of meds 9 days after a refill I take 10/325 percs count 190.. I am sooo frickkin sick when I am out and all I can do is stay in bed and shake. I then remember I have pieces of valuums etc and take something to knock me out. I am scared to deathto try day 2 so one way or the other I find norco. I gotta take 8 at once to get sort of well. So now my life is going thru a drastic change in my life and I have to get clean. In a few months I willl be raising a disabled 1 year old and an active 4 year old. I have maybe 20 pills left. I have a few clozipan and a couple pieces of valuum. I am starting today dropping down. It is almost 2 pm and by now I have ingested 10 to 12 however this morning I took 3 and an hour ago I took 1 and a tramadol. Unfortunately this week I have a full week of court and kids etc so I can not go to bed for a few days. Now that finally my pain level is down I need to get rid of the addiction. I am accepting all suggestions, Thanks Kat
Kat there is no magic to get rid of such a long term dependency though you might want to consider taking Suboxone eventually. I would wait till after this week of court dates and kids before you tackle this problem. You'll be in no shape to handle all this stuff coming off such a serious addiction. A taper plan can help with the intensity of the initial withdrawal but it's no cure all. Anyway just my opinion.
This may be completely useless and irrelevant to any and everybody, but the last time I attempted a CT detox I kept a 2 day log before inevidedibly relapsing. Someone might find it interesting or use this timeline as a comparison to their own. It's mostly just thoughts and how I was feeling every so often. It was mostly just for me to review and remind myself how I felt without any intention of showing it to anyone, much less posting it publicly.. but now in retrospect I feel if someone learns something from it, then it is worth posting. Here it is:
... 18 hours: Effects more pronounced than when I got up at 15 hours. Drank 45mL of Odwalla (expensive, but good!), since I find it really helps with previous WD symtoms. Currently not feeling too bad. Definitely not good, but not unbearibly bad. Hot flashes have started, and runny nose is beginning to occur. No RLS or RAS yet, even though I never have RLS. RAS, the 'skin crawling' and anxiety are by FAR the most unbearable symptoms. I can take the rest, bad as it is, but nothing will drive me insane more than a bad case of 'ants-under-my-skin RAS' coupled with 'heat flash anxiety'. I am NOT looking forward to that. Going to get as much 'good stuff' into my body as possible to try to mitigate those feelings as much as possible for today, tomorrow and probably the next.
... I wonder how long it's going to be before WD's peak. I wonder how long it's going to be before my body realizes it's not getting anymore good stuff and lashs out at me.. Think positive. It will be over soon. A few days is nothing, right? Even though every waking hour of full WD's feels like an eternity, it's not. It'll be better. I've done it before, and I can do it again. This time, I will NOT fall back into a habbit that forces me to redo this.... hahaha, sure I wont. maybe for a week or two, hell I've done it at safe intervals for months back before I feel into daily use. Will power. Moderation. Stength. I can control myself in the future once I come clean. But then will I still be clean? CleanER.. less than a day in and am already trying to plan, rationalize and justify more usage in the future. Pitiful. It must have been real slow, because I didn't notice it as it happened, but my logic was replaced with the logic of an addict. Slowly but surely more and more signs of addiction become apparent. Nearly all of my savings of 3 years are gone now. What the hell happened. I thought I was smarter than this. Actually, I am smarter than this. I am realizing and putting a stop to it before it ruins me and everything I've worked for. This cannot continue. It will not.
... 19 hours. Tremendous sense of loss is setting in. I loved the feelings I get from opis. Will I ever have fun again? Anxiety becoming a little more pronounced. Runny nose. Watery eyes. Not too bad yet, simply imagining that there are more at my disposal but I am choosing not to take them makes the feelings more bearable. I have them and can get them at any time I want, I just am choosing not to-- I am choosing not to for a reason higher than my immediate feelings. I can do this.
... in 5 hours I am going to be at home dwelling on this. It is the perfect time for me to ride it out as long as possible until I cannot take it anymore, have a bowl of some of the stuff I've saved and let that take the edge off. That's todays goal and reward. More drugs. Lol. (Hey, it's legitimate.) Really wishing I had some xanax right about now, it'd make this much easier.
... 20 hours. Stomach ache, probably need some solids in there. Evacuated bowls without constipation or excess fluid (diarreah). Pills on the brain. Other thoughts are mostly a cloudy fog surrounded by thoughts of getting, using, past experiences or future potential usage. Feeling kind of down right about now, I want to feel happy and good. I feel a void that I fear will take much time and effort to fill.
... 21 hours. Not bad. Definitely not good, but not too bad. Seems like the odwalla is doing a good job. Going to get another 30mL of it. I should be in full blown WD's by now, but it's not.. Pills still on the brain. I feel like the thoughts, wants and and overall psychological aspect is going to be a real challenge in the long run.
... 21:30 - Anxiety setting in. I can feel it. Here we go. 30mL of Odwalla down the hatch (C Monster and Superfood) -- $20 spent on these products today. I wish I could take time off and just pass out completely for a couple days and wake up clean. Even with the edge off it's still a bad, bad feeling. Really looking forward to my 'reward' later. Why did I let myself get to this point? Why did I do this?
... 23 hours - Anxiety is here. Strong desire to use. Rapidly losing motivation and energy. Feelings of depleation and depression are setting in. Dull headache. Hot flashs occuring frequently. Overall feeling summerization: Blah. At this point I'm starting to think I should have used my better judgement and did a medium length taper; but I probably wouldn't have success in quitting with a taper method because of self control. Damn addictive personality.
... 24 hours - I dont want to move really, just overall feel bad.
... 25 hours - shift ended an hour ago, but still haven't left work yet, not looking forward to driving home.. gonna solder up and do this
... 26 hours - home. anxiety more pronounced than before. Strong desire to use. I really don't want to do anything, but I really need a shower. I will have some of my 'reward' and hope that helps.
... 26:30 - I feel great right now. Had a nice bowl and took a shower, it felt amazing.
... 28 hours - Watched a movie with my wife, it was almost as if there weren't and WD's at all.
... 29 hours - anxiety and previously mentioned WD symptoms emerging again, buzz is wearing off.. Going to try to sleep before it completely wears off and am in full blown withdrawal
... 34 hours - bad stomach cramps and diarrea, have had to go to the restroom a bunch. Slight cold chills. Stomach gurgles.
... 38 hours - alarm clock goes off for work. The energy simply isn't there. Sent in notification that I wouldn't be in today due to sickness.
... 41 hours - Get out of bed, start moving around.. mouth is dry but no urge to drink.. Dry heave.
... 42 hours - ate a bowl of fruity pebbles. Didn't feel like it but I know I need food
... 43 hours - WD symptoms escalating.. generally bad feeling.. it has been less than 2 days? ???? me. it feels like forever.
... 44 hours - Hitting the bowl again, hopefully this works its magic as before
... 44:30 - yep, it worked. if only I could feel this way for the next several days I'd be set!
... 47 hours - buzz wearing off. went outside to help rake leaves, I heard exercise helps and since I wouldn't want to do it later, I did it while buzzed. Raked some leaves around, burned a leaf fire.. headache is worse but that may be due to the smoke from the fire.
... 49 hours - ate 2 small chicken strips and a glass of water. Diarreah and dark urin, I should be drinking more water but can't stomach too much.. going to try to do that.
... 52 hours - I don't know how much longer I can take of this, WD symptoms still escalating. Suicidal thoughts. Deep depression. Can't think. Everything is a big clouded jumble of discomfort and pain.
Sitting at 75 hours. I'm an idiot.. and no other RX to help this time around.
I figured 3 days in would be a good time to repost.
I thought I had it all figured out and was doing great. Using my tools and forward-thinking was enough for a couple weeks. Then just once, down hill again -_-.
Willpower is very strong.. if you want it to be. It irritates me to no end that in a blurry flash that all the progress goes *POOF* and you're back where you started. I think the problem is that it is always, ALWAYS in the back of my mind, no matter how hard I fight/fought.
What do/did you do to keep your mind as far away from using as possible? I try to keep occupied, I try to use repetition, and even distance myself from enablers.. it's just always there in my mind, no matter what. Not 10 minutes passes that it doesn't. I know if I can keep it out of mind, I can keep it out of body. But how?
Personally, in the two weeks I've been clean, today is the only day I've struggled. And that was because I'm sitting here in terrible pain that visits me once a month. Fibroids will do that to a women. lol
If you like reading books, that should do the trick. When i start a book, I get lost in it.
I just stopped in for a visit and see you relapsed? Can you please go into some detail? Don't ditch on everyone ok? It happened to all of us, and I do mean ALL of us...
I noticed on one of my many attempts to quit, that stepping down onto codeine for several weeks and then doing a slow taper from it too; the withdrawal from it wasn't nearly as bad as the other opiates. I think it might be the missing link and I wish the MD's would pursue this possibility.
I am so appreciative of all the entires here!
Shadowform..... Please do post again, I, among others have followed you, and speaking for myself, Your posts have given me the strength I desperately need to BEGIN my journey, back to the Real World, to my Life, to ME> I am just about to hit hour ONE, or my first 15 minutes, to taper off what has become My Addiction! I am scared to death, unsure, yet motivated. This I got from so many here, and all of your posts, so please let me/us know how you are doing... Gigi
Shadow, -------- I have read many of your posts, and you are always in my prayers, I'm going thru my VERY early Taper from Vics, I know nothing like what I'm reading that you are going thru, but addiction is addiction, and just keep staying your course. keep your mind busy with anything you use to, ( and will again) enjoy... keep moving,....walking helps me, Just a nice outdoor walk, or if you can't do that, watch some old movies, I'm not really any one to give advice, but you sure do have my support. I keep looking for your posts wondering how you are doing, like so many here are. Don't go any where, all are here, and care.... Keep coming back. Dumping here is actually my best therapy. I will just type my thoughts, fears, plans, whatever I can think of , and just doing that helps me. I stay accountable that way, and busy with my hands. LOL.... Again, keep going forward, you can do this!!! you want it --- I know that.... )
ps shadow... just realized, I am coming off of hydrocodone as well............ I feel your pain, and journey with you.... all my good wishes go with you.... post again soon!