My recovery story started 4 days ago and will continue for many months and years to come but i am determined to get my life back on track where I can finally love myself again.
3 years ago this terrible disease entered my life and like most people it started with me having no idea what was to come. To be homest I don't even know what sparked it, all I know is that it started with every few days I would take a few Nurofen plus (200mg ibuprofen,12.8mg codeine) and life seemed perfect until one day I was all off a sudden relying on a minimum of 10 tablets a day which soon turned into a living nightmare where I was not only taking up to 30 tablets a day just to keep up with the tolerence I had to developed but soon realised that without that much codeine in my system I was no longer able to function to start my day, get throughout my day and then get a good sleep at night time.
I beleive there are three stages to codeine addiction (and also many other drugs). The first stage is having no idea what path you are headed down when you first start taking codeine long term. The second being you have an idea what you are doing isn't normal but you feel you are still in a safe place and continue the hunt so you can continue on with life. And now the third and I beleive the most dangerous is when you know you can't live without it but you also know you are really going to damage you body and your life if you continue down this road.
I had tried to quite several times over the last 12 months but 24 hours after my last dose I could feel the flu like symptons coming on with the restlessness and would go straight back into my hell taking 5-10 pills at a time to calm myself down. I hated myself for it but it just didn't feel like a had a choice.
Now through all of this my wife knew I was taking a lot of codeine products but we had never really talked about it, I would always just act like there was never a problem when she found a large stash of emptied nurofen plus packets around the house or in my car. I was always embarresed when this happened but I kept going because I thought it was just too hard to give it the flick.
And now to my final stand... I had been trying to ween myself off it for a while now but kept finding myself going back to the old habits, so I thought my only option was to go cold turkey and that started 4 days ago. My last large does was on Friday morning and although I would usually follw that with another dose later in the day I stayed away because I knew if I did, I would just be delaying the inevitable. I suppose I slept ok becuase I knew it would take 24 hours for the withdrawals so on saturday morning a took a 3 panadeine (paracetomol 500mg /8mg codeine) and managed to get through the day although in that time I could feel the flu like sysmptoms of the withdrawal coming along but were not that strong so I managed to get through my day and although it wasn't my greatest night sleep I still felt ok. On the following Sunday morning I took another 3 Panadeine but that is where it hit me... My body was so used to consuming anywhere from 100mg to 300mg of codeine a day the 34mg of codeine I had taken did absolutely nothing so I knew anything to follow was going to be painful... And it was.... By sunday lunch my whole body ached, I couldn't walk more than a few meters without feeling exhausted but when I sat down I was so restless all I wanted to do was get up and walk again to keep my legs moving to try and aleviate the restless pain I was experiencing,but nothing helped, I was well and truly in my withdrawal phase. The sweats started followed by the chills followed by a bad case of the runs so I knew this pain was the beginning of my recovery. But at the same time had to make the decision to either take more codeine or just walk away from it and just deal with it. I am happy to say that I did not take any more codeine. I managed to get through the day but only had about 3 hours sleep that night. I got up around 5:00am on Monday (called in sick to work for a few days) and just tried to relax on the couch watching the tv but dealing with this restlessness, the throbbing pain in my legs and a headache was just to much, but then something happened. I completely broke down into tears. I felt like it was a combination of the hate I had for myself mixed with feeling that I might actually get through this all. That was well and truly my lowest point. My dog was right there with me and he knew I was in pain so he just sat next to be and put his paw on my shoulder and just stayed with whilst I cried. I looked at hime and made him a promise he would never see me under the influence of opioeds again. Throughout all of this my wife was asleep in bed so I didn't want to disturb her so I dried my eyes and went and had a hot shower.
After my shower I went out for a bit and then came home feeling like a little worm on a big f***ing hook (line from 'The Crow').
I then went to lay down on my bed and before I knew what was happening I broke down in tears again and knew this was now the time my wife needs to hear my story. I told her everything and although she said she knew what I was doing, it was the first time I didn't feel alone in all of this. I just only wish I told her sooner, she was so great she just sat on the bed rubbing my back offering comfort. Althought I felt the terrible withdrawal symptoms hitting me hard I felt at ease with my wife right there by my side. So yesterday I threw out all codeine meds and my wife helped me clean out my car of all the empty packets of codeine containing meds. That afternoon we went for a walk around the bay and even though I still felt terrible I could start to feel some clarity too.
It is now 8:00am Tuesday and although I still only had about 4 hours sleep I can feel my aches and pains starting to slowly leave my body and I truly beleive the worst is now behind me even thought I still have a few more days of feeling umcomfortable and possibly a few more weeks before my sleeping patterns return to their natural state, but I am determined to get there.
For those of you who can relate to my story and to those trying to come clean please leave your feedback as the more positive reiforcement I receive, the higher my chance of success will be.
I will leave another post in a few days to let you all know how I am going so for now I say thank you in advance for your encouragement and those trying to be clean.. If I can do it, you can to.
You sound Like a really genuine guy and I was touched whilst reading your story, I would just like to say that as an addict in recovery myself, reading stories such as yours gives me and others great comfort in knowing that we are not the only people in the world dealing with this terrible thing. just wanted to wish you every success in the future and keep positive, there can be no gain without the pain! stay strong mentally, we are worth more than this.
thanks for your story.......i took my last dose of codeine friday night and now its tuesday afternoon.....i feel like c**p....will this get better?
Wow! I felt like you had written this for me! My name is Bec and I just came across your story, I was in the exact position almost 45 weeks ago. Nurofen plus destroyed my life and almost my body. I was on my way to killing myself if I didn't give it up. Taking 256-who knows mg a day. With morphine patches as well. Every withdrawal was the same. And the runs felt like it went door about 3-4 weeks. Laughing out loud reading your story when you said about your dog, my dog was the same. She would sit with me as I cried and she could tell something was changing in me. just amazing. And I couldn't of done it without her with me. And my music. This stuff needs to be banned from over the counter, even with regulations my days were spent chemist shopping and I always managed to get a box or 2 a day. Hope your still in recovery email me
I'm now studying alcohol and drug addiction at Tafe to work in this industry.
Hi its so good (but sad) to hear that there are other people going through this. My name is Kate and i have been taking Panadiene Forte for the last 4 yrs. I take anywhere from 420-500mg of codiene a day, roughly 7-8 tablets at once a couple times a day.
I am a mother of 5 and have come to the decision that i need to stop because i can feel it destroying my body. There has been several times i have taken way too much and thought i was just going to die in my sleep. I have tried several times to stop cold turkey, as well as tried to cut back but was unsuccessful. My brain and body cannot function without the high doses of codiene in my system.
As ashamed as i was i made the brave decision to tell my partner about my addiction, and that i need help. I cried in his arms and he vowed he is going to do whatever it takes, will be with me every step of the way and we will get through it together. He told me not to feel ashamed and that he loves me more than ever. I dont feel so alone now and even though i know the road ahead is going to be rough with the withdrawls and stuff, i feel better now knowing i have his support.
We have come to an agreement to wean me off them to try and minimise the withdrawl symptoms, so starting tomorrow it begins. I cannot wait for the day that i am completely free of them!
Hi Clint, I just bumped into your post researching good ways to ease the pain of codeine withdrawal, and reading it made me feel better because it's always good to know that there are other people trying to get out of this hell. I take 300-360mg every day and even though my doctor prescribes it to me I feel I am damaging myself so much, plus I have no idea if I actually still need the medication for my pain... I will follow your updates and wish you all the best! Your post made me even more determined to put an end to this addiction.
hi thank you for your post it has helped me think that maybe i can do it too , i have been taking panadeine for about 5 years and i am now trying to stop , i was taking 8 a day and just the last month that wasn't enough i am so worried as the last two days i have only taken 1 a day but like you said my body is so aching and i have flue like systems , i am rubbing a pain stick on my head heaps a times a day am i doing ok , i just want to cry too , thanks for sharing your story Diane
Reading your story is like reading about my own life except at this point Im stil addicted to codeine. I'll quit then I'll start again. Most evenings ill have 6x30mg codeines and 3xpanedeines while drinking around 6 standard drinks. Im terrified by this and its just an endless cycle. Ive told my partner and shes really supportive so then I stop for a few days and next thing Im down to my doctor complaining of this pain and that pain just so I can get a new subscription of painkillers, and Im taking them behind her back. Im scared as hell but I know Im going to have to go cold turkey and its going to suck massively
but hearing your story is not only inspiring but its so comforting to know there are other people out there that understand what Im going through.