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I origionally posted this in another thread, but since I have been posting on here and helping others I decided to make it a thread so it comes up when people view my profile.
I have been clean since December 2011. I am a 32 year old IT guy from Pennsylvania. I have an open ended script for tramadol because i have a lumbar that is in pieces and it is not operable without risk. It started off innocently enough, I used to take it sporatically here and there when i was in dire need. I would hurt myself and become laid up for days, but i would still only take one or two when i was having an episode and needed to move. Then, my mother passed away when i was 29. For some reason i turned to my tramadol, i started taking 4 50mg pills in the mornng and 4 at night. When the pills started wearing off i would start crying uncontrollably and had rapid mood swings, so in a classic demonstration of addict rationalization i decided simply to never come down. I had myself convinced that i was helping myself because i was now managing my pain very well and had very little back pain episodes. I found that i was starting to become very tired all the time so i did the smartest thing i did in a while and that was go down to six a day 3 in the morning and 3 at night. This was also coupled with a 10 year long daily marijuana habbit which i used as my "bottle of beer" at the end of the day. After I began taking tramadol daily my marijuana intake went from a way of winding down to a every waking moment habbit. This went on for about 3 years. I was a very functional addict, rarely missed work and had a healthy home life. I knew i was addicted, but honestly didnt care. Of course i could not go anywhere without my pill bottle because i was popping them like clockwork. I am gratefull that my usage didnt increase overtime like it did for some, but i could not miss a pill for anything. Then one day my car was broken into and 120 pills were taken. It was on a sat night and it took me about 24 hours to get them replaced. This was the worst 24 hours i can remember in a long time. That was the point where i decided it was time. I wanted to be normal and not tied to a bottle of pills. It took about two weeks to prepare myself, i researched and found that because of the Serotonin component of the tramadol it was dangerous to go cold turkey so i set a tapering schedule and stuck to it.
The first thing i did was to break up the dosages, instead of the peaks and valleys of taking three pills twice a day, i broke them up to 2 - 2 - 2. At this point i barely had any wdraw symptoms. After a week, i went to 2 - 1 - 2, again, i barely noticed this as long as i kept busy. During this time i went on a strict twice a day smoking schedule which did result in some discomfort, but this was also manageable. After about 2 weeks I stopped smoking altogether which I think caused me to have really really bad anxiety. Anyone who says that Pot is not addictive (or tramadol for that matter) is full of it. I was smoking the medicinal stuff tho which is alot stronger that street pot.
The trouble came when i eliminated my afternoon pill altogether and was on 2 - 0 - 2. My afternoons became unbearable and even after i would take my evening dosage the symptoms would only slightly let up. Panik attacks, stomach cramps, insomnia, moodiness all hit me. At that point i realized where inwent wrong. I stayed at 4 pills a day, but broke them up to 1-1-1-1 every six hours, then after a few days i took one every seven hours, then 8. Eliminating pills as i went. IMO it is not how many you take in a day, but your levels over a few days which make you feel discomfort. By eliminating the peaks and valleys your body gets a softer landing and you are more likely to be effective.
I found hot green tea, hot baths (dont worry about looking like a girly man, it helps) and deep breathing to be invaluable.
I cannot believe how much more clear headed i feel, and how happy i am to be living my life instead of coasting through it. I was an addict pf one form or another for 10 years , I have been married for 5, I feel like I am just now beginning to really know my wife, its not like we were strangers, but i am noticing all of the details that i used to just glaze right by. The clarity has been the most valuable an unexpected reward of clean living. When you are on drugs you dont feel like you are in a fog, until you come out of it, then it is like waking up from a dream. I hope my experience helps someone else.
I read these threads, but was always too ashamed to post myself until I was clean, now I want to post so I can help others the way i was helped. Thanks for reading.
Last edited by AlmostHome; 02-06-2012 at 01:55 PM.
Doesn't it feel good to let us know, to get it out. We thank you for telling us, I am crying here, I am a cryer..LOL WELL DONE. Please keep it up and us updated.