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Suboxone Taper: I need your support
  1. #1
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Default Suboxone Taper: I need your support

    Posting this thread has been something I have been looking forward to doing because I think it is necessary to help me get through this process. Thank you in advance.

    Let me give you some background. I had my first knee surgery when I was 19. That was 20 years ago. I found it amazing how it made the pain disappear and I felt awesome, as we all know. Over these past 20 years I had another four knee surgeries on the same knee due to sports. I would never have pictured myself to be an addict over the years. The cycle tightened up with time until life's perfect storm took place and I decided to give up. At that point I satisfied all of my drug curiosities and my life blew up.

    I lost my house and everything else that required a payment. Due to H, I didn't really care much as I was losing everything. I always financed my addiction and never really lived a drug lifestyle. Eventually I wasn't able to keep up with my responsibilities and the money wasn't coming in any more. I found out that if I had 5 bucks I would rather buy gas than food because I needed to be able to get places to get money to get my drug. Of course my life became a string of lies and there was thankfully a turning point.

    This day came as I was driving and I caught myself trying to solve my problem of not having drugs. My mind was trying to come up with a solution to the problem of not having that money. It is like I was weighing all of the potential options, one by one. I could rob this place or that place, or... and then I realized what I was thinking about. It was like I didn't hit rock bottom, but I saw it right below and it scared the hell out of me. I remember calling my friend and bawling on the phone telling her about my thoughts and how scared I was at that moment.

    By this time I knew I was in deep trouble. I had been doing all of the hard drugs for about a year and I was utterly lost without hope of any kind. The following morning was the turning point for me and it was pretty amazing but too long to write in my intro. Anyhow, everything changed that following morning, starting with my perspective and desire to get help.

    Two days later I was in detox. I spent the following 18 months in treatment. My plan was to stay as long as I needed to stay as long as I never had to do it again. It was a memorable and amazing time of change in my life. It was also when I began taking suboxone.

    I started on 8mgs and at one point was taking close to 16mgs. That was five years ago. I spent a few years feeling stuck at 8-12mgs and when asked I would tell others that it was impossible to get off of the subs. I truly believed that I was stuck for life regardless of the change in my life and my heart.

    Well, about eight months ago I began to quit saying that it was impossible. I started changing my vocabulary and claiming that it WAS possible to get off of suboxone. I felt like i was lying to myself when I first started saying it, but with time my mind began to change along with my words.

    So, today I am taking 1.5mgs Subotex pills and on a taper plan. I have spent many many hours reading the stories on here and reading others' taper plans and success stories and everything else. I don't have anyone in my life who I can talk freely about my tapering and everything else. I feel like a missing ingredient is having others like YOU to be able to talk to and be accountable to. I have given up control of the suboxone to my father. I have the subs in a medical safe at his house and I get them from him. Recently I had some scraps around the house which I used. I took about an extra 1mg each of the last three days for no good reason. That is why I am finally posting on here for your support.

    The most discomfort I have felt thus far has been going from 4mg to 2mg. I felt crawling skin and depression and anxiety for about 8 days. Lately I have just had obsessive thinking. And I don't mean JUST like it isn't a big deal. Time slows to a crawl and all I can think about is how slowly the day is going. Since I dropped to 1.5mg I have felt find physically, but my mind has started getting SLOW and I have started obsessing more.

    Now let me make clear that I have a very healthy mind set and desire for life. I don't miss drugs and I can hardly wait to be free. I have zero doubt about my need and desire to be done with Suboxone and no fear of going back to a drug lifestyle. I miss my zest for life, my drive, my humor, my mind/memory. I also feel like one of the side effects of being on suboxone has been something similar to being bipolar. My mood swings are up and down and I am so tired of it. I dream of a suboxone free life. I have a daily workout schedule and I drink a very healthy smoothie with spinach, protein, kale ...etc every morning. I take half my dose twice a day. I feel sluggish and bored with life and I believe it is related to lowering my dose and am just expecting to not feel great during this time...I don't know, but I look forward to finishing and know I need to be patient.

    It is time to complete my taper and I need support.
    This is my plan:
    1.5mg x 8days (I'm on day 6, but I have taken extra that last three days)
    1.25 x 8
    1.00 x 8
    .75 x 8
    .5 x 8
    .25 x 8
    .125 x 8 and done.

    I am happy to fill any any gaps in my story and I am sorry if this got too long. I could write a book.

    Thank you so much for reading this and I look forward to talking to you. I so look forward to hearing from you!

  2. #2
    Melina123 is offline Senior Member
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    hello and welcome. Im glad u r here. It sounds like u have done alot of research and 18 months(is this correct?!) of rehab.
    Imo if this is all correct, all u r missing is a connection and support? Its all there for u, and after all that time in treatment, you must know about 12 step groups. IMO, thats what you are missing. There IS a difference in being abstinant and being in recovery. I need other people to recover. A large percentage of addicts do. like 90%, >> think. I didnt do research scientifically, this is based on in person experience. I did drugs for 30 years, so Ive known lots of addicts.
    At this point I dont know of anything else U can do. I hope u will consider it. I apologize if my reply seems rather straight to the point. I am about to go to bed and Im just trying to give u an answer. I could jave softened the delivery, but honestly....its all I know to tell u.
    I wish u all the best. There ate good peeps here who will offer support, but u have to actually do the work. Its so worth it!
    Peace,
    Mel
    Iluv2smile likes this.

  3. #3
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hey there BrainWash. My friend Mel talks straight to the point and that's a good thing I promise. I completely agree with her that all your plan seems to be missing is a good outside source for face to face support. Getting clean isn't the hard part of this, remaining clean takes the real work. I relapsed over and over and over. It wasn't until I gave in that I was powerless over my addiction that my life changed. I got involved in both AA and NA meetings myself and it has saved my life!

    As far as your sub plan goes it sounds great! You've been on them quite a long time so taking your time with each dose reduction is imperative for success. The plan we use here suggests reductions of 25% every 4 or so days, longer if someone has been on the subs for years. You're real close to that same plan. Your plan will work just fine!

    The only thing I would suggest is once you've spent those 8 days at .125mg you might consider using the day skipping process. After day 8 on .125mg you skip the following day. Dose again and skip 2 days. Dose again and skip 3 days. Dose one final time and you're done. The skipping does 2 things, it helps your body rid itself of the half life build up, and gets you acclimated to being without subs one day at a time. It also almost always leads to having the very least amount of symptoms at the end, if any at all.

    I switced from methadone to subs myself. I used the plan I described. I'm now off every addictive substance for going on 10 months and doing very, very well. Your life story is remarkably similar to mine. I had an accident that caused a knee surgery and I was off to the races for the next 17+ years. I lost everything too like you did so I understand where you're coming from. I beat the BEAST and you can too! Just have to want it real bad!!

    Take care and best wishes. Keep posting your progress. Use this thread as a journal. It really helps to post. I'll check back later to see how you're doing.

    -Randy
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  4. #4
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Good morning!

    Thank you Melina for the feedback. Yes I was in treatment for a long time. It was not a 12 step program per se, but it contained every one of the steps in it. I had gone to an AA meeting years ago while I started to see my problem getting bigger. My experience with the AA/NA meetings I went to was that they just felt dark and gloomy to me. I have moved since from MN to SC and I am open to giving it another try. I have individuals in my life, about three of them, who I meet with to talk and share.

    Randy, congratulations! I am so inspired by others who have made the journey off of subs. Man, you did it! I love hearing about how GREAT life is now, post-subs and that is what i look forward to. I will keep writing as I continue off the medication and give updates.

    Again, thanks for the posts and feedback, it means a lot!
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  5. #5
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Good day!

    I am on day two of 1.25mg. Yesterday was a great day in terms of my thoughts and not obsessing. The obsessing isn't terrible, but I am just usually aware of the time of day and thinking about the next dose. I am trying to do less of that. That is why yesterday was a great day. I moved down to 1.25 and felt great all day.

    I ended up adding three days to the 1.5mg because I had taken extra for three days in a row, so I wanted to stabilize again before moving down.

    Anyhow, not much to talk about yet and I am getting used to taking very small doses (less than .5mg) at a time.

    Also keeping myself busy with workouts, golf practice and meeting with friends a few times a day. I have a group I go to once a week also which has been great.

    That's all for now!

  6. #6
    Melina123 is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Brainwash! INteresting you are in SC, so am I. Anywhere near the Holy City?
    I live here, but am not the standard issue bible belt peep. I consider myself much more on the spiritual side.
    I am glad that you are still here on the forums.
    We have groups here that are far from dark and gloomy. I suspect you might have gone to the liquid fellowship, I saw a few of those meetings and ran like crazy. Not to say they all are, I just found them it seemed.
    Keep up the good work, and keep posting!!!!
    Mel

  7. #7
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrainWash View Post
    Good day!

    I am on day two of 1.25mg. Yesterday was a great day in terms of my thoughts and not obsessing. The obsessing isn't terrible, but I am just usually aware of the time of day and thinking about the next dose. I am trying to do less of that. That is why yesterday was a great day. I moved down to 1.25 and felt great all day.

    I ended up adding three days to the 1.5mg because I had taken extra for three days in a row, so I wanted to stabilize again before moving down.

    Anyhow, not much to talk about yet and I am getting used to taking very small doses (less than .5mg) at a time.

    Also keeping myself busy with workouts, golf practice and meeting with friends a few times a day. I have a group I go to once a week also which has been great.

    That's all for now!


    Doing great BW. I'm just suggesting you be very careful about taking too much "extra" because that can become a habit rather easily. Good move staying at 1.5mg a few extra days to stabilize. This is never a race and all that's required is to finish. Keep reducing only when ready and stable and you'll do fine.

    Randy

  8. #8
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melina123 View Post
    Hey Brainwash! INteresting you are in SC, so am I. Anywhere near the Holy City?
    I live here, but am not the standard issue bible belt peep. I consider myself much more on the spiritual side.
    I am glad that you are still here on the forums.
    We have groups here that are far from dark and gloomy. I suspect you might have gone to the liquid fellowship, I saw a few of those meetings and ran like crazy. Not to say they all are, I just found them it seemed.
    Keep up the good work, and keep posting!!!!
    Mel
    Hey Mel,

    I'm here in Bluffton, next to Hilton Head. I too am on the spiritual side. By spiritual side I mean Jesus is my God and I have a relationship with Him. I haven't actually tried any recovery specific groups as of yet. I do make it a point to meet with individuals and am accountable to several people. The single most important thing in my life, after God himself, are the people I have in my life. That was the same reason I become an addict in my early lifeā€”the people in my life.

    Thank you Mel for posting and giving me some encouragement!

  9. #9
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Doing great BW. I'm just suggesting you be very careful about taking too much "extra" because that can become a habit rather easily. Good move staying at 1.5mg a few extra days to stabilize. This is never a race and all that's required is to finish. Keep reducing only when ready and stable and you'll do fine.

    Randy

    Hey Randy! I hear ya! Not feeling rushed has been crucial for me. I do have those days where I begin to think about getting used to the small doses and unsure of how I will feel...anxiety builds...etc. I just try my best not to worry period. I still seem to have those bad days where I have taken too much. For the most part it has been smooth. Those bad days seem to come as a wave and then leave. I don't understand it. I see the danger of making a habit of comforting myself with an extra dose and don't want that. I also have seen times where that anxiety has come, I made it through it, and then it is gone and i am fine. I try just thinking about all of the benefits of being free of Suboxone and that helps.

    On day 3 of 1.25mg and feeling good.
    Randy35 likes this.

  10. #10
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi there..
    Welcome...
    It sounds like you have a great idea on how much of this is mental!

    You will do great...

    I have had some dreary experience with AA/NA meetings too..

    But I don't ever want to go through that taper again..
    I jumper a couple of months ago..
    I want this to be my life now and forever..

    I tried different meetings..
    I like AA better..
    My sponsor is in AA..
    I went with an open mind and looked for the similarities instead of the differences...

    You don't have to love everyone or every meeting ..

    But face to face support is priceless..
    It really does work..

    If you find just 1 meeting you can relate too..
    It will help so much and more importantly you will help others too..
    You have accomplished something some people never experience ..
    You are on your way to a clean and wonderful life..
    Don't be stingy with this gift!

    Giving it to others will ensure that you keep it..
    Just pray for an open mind and new experince in meetings!

    That is what I did !
    It lierLly saved my life ..
    I will check back later
    Bette

  11. #11
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Hi Bette! Thank you so much for the message. That is truly amazing that you quit the subs. Awesome! Congrats! It is the people who have done it before me who are so inspiring to me. I know I can do it and am so inspired by others who have also gone through the taper.

    I am definitely taking the advice of personal support. I know that the people in my life who are holding me accountable are essential. If I find a group that is recovery specific, then that's all good. Thank you Bette for all of your encouragement and advice! It means a lot to me!

    I am on day 6 of 1.25mgs.

    I have noticed a few changes. First, I have begun dreaming every single night. I haven't dreamt like this in a very long time. Just last week I began dreaming and now I remember my dreams every night... it's amazing! It is a feeling of my brain returning to me. So far the taper hasn't been bad at all. It has been going great. Initially I would obsess a lot and it felt difficult, but that isn't the case anymore. I feel very calm about the taper and my mind is just in a good place in general.

    I am really looking forward to getting to .5mg. At that point I know that I can chose to jump and just knowing that is almost surreal to me. I think I will continue the taper until I KNOW it's time to stop. If I need to keep going down to .0625mg, then so be it.

    There have been a couple of negative effects lately. The one that bothers me most is that I feel like I run out of energy. I feel sluggish at times even though I am working out several times weekly. I wonder if that is normal for the taper?

    The other thing I notice is that every morning when I wake up I have a lot of negative thoughts. As soon as I get up and out of bed it goes away and I feel better. I then usually take my half dose at about 8-9AM. I take the second half of the dose between 5-7.

    When I first started the taper I would be thinking about my suboxone dose all day and I would anticipate it, but that has gotten a whole lot better. Sometimes I will push off the dose just to get used to not taking it right away and being ok without having to take it at the same time every day.

    My best thoughts are when I focus on life without any subs. That thought is best and keeps me very focused and motivated. I look forward to my life free of subs!

    Anyhow, just a bit of an update.
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  12. #12
    BrainWash is offline New Member
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    Hey guys,

    It's been a couple of months since I last posted on here.

    I am so very discouraged! I broke the rules a couple of times and took a bit more than I had scheduled and that bad idea just grew. I am writing today because I am so discouraged and need advice.

    Today I am sitting at between 1 and 1.5 mgs. There have been some days where I take up to 2mgs. I don't know why I do it. I was feeling so strong and convinced that I would be quitting within the next couple months.

    I keep wanting to solve this problem and find a way to make it through to quitting suboxone. I NEED to get off of suboxone. I need advice on how to pick up and move forward from here. I feel like I have a mental block and am afraid of feeling terrible for a few weeks. I need a mindset that allows me to do this.

    I work for myself at home and I worry that if I do just quit that I won't be able to function. I have thought of maybe taking some kind of anti anxiety for a week or two to help get me through. The anxiety and depression is the worst part of wds for me.

    Again, I've been on suboxone for about seven years total now. I am low at only about 1.5mgs. I imagine my fears are out of proportion. I have no worry of using drugs or anything like that, i just don't know how to get to the point of quitting. I feel obsession about being on suboxone and don't know how to change that.

    I'd love to hear from Robert_325 if you are available.

    I am trying to regroup and staying on suboxone isn't an option. I appreciate the help and input.

    Where do I go from here and how do I do it?

    Thanks!

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