First of all, and most important in my mind, any thought that you may fall off the wagon completely negates the purpose of what you are going through.  Telling yourself “I may or may not” succeed, simply makes this hellish time pointless, because it may all be in vain.  Tell yourself this is it, you are going THROUGH this process to come out on the other side.

Two, take time off.  I know what you’re thinking but YES you can!  Your life will still be there seven days from now and you’ll be ready to meet it with the best energy you've had for a long time. The excuse that you can’t get clean now because you can’t afford the time is just that… an excuse! You’re putting it off because you’re scared of what is too come, not because work can’t manage without you for a week.   I myself am a University student. I have deadlines coming up, I have assignments due, but THIS is more important and I can get back to all that when my mind, body and spirit are healed.

Three, make a list of WHY you’re doing this. Make it a good long one.  Put down EVERY little thing you’re looking forward too. From the big important ones like “your health, the money etc.”  To the small stupid ones like “never having to stand in front of that lass in the chemist again.  She knows, you know she knows, your SO embarrassed but you HAVE to deal with her”  Put the list up somewhere you can see and look at it when you’re getting down.

Okay, so you’re all set. You’ve got the will power, you’ve marked off your “sick week” on the calendar, you can’t help picturing that scene in Trainspotting when Ewan McGregor locks himself in the room with the two buckets. You feel like a F*$%ing  id**t for letting yourself get to this point. You were supposed to be smarter than this.  Well snap out of it, you’ve got yourself in a dumb place but you’re getting out of it TODAY!

So we’ll move on to the physical aspect of it.  First, be ready for a horrible week. You WILL feel worse than you have in forever. You’re going to be laid out on the couch for days, feeling all kinds of awful. But just as you know this is coming, you know it WILL pass.  Lesser people than you have got through this. You can do it. Its only being ill, that’s not going to beat you.  And remember your moving THROUGH this to come out the other side.

Joint and muscle pains

We girls are used to this.  Guys may find it a little harder to cope with.  Lulz!  So deal with them the exact same way you deal with your period pains.  Hot water bottle on your poorly parts. Warm bath, and move move move!  Honestly, the best thing for almost every symptom is light exercise.  You’ll feel even worse for the first five minutes and you’ll start to sweat like god knows what.  But then you’ll start to feel better.  Move your butt!

Flu like symptoms

This is the most prominent affect your going to get. You’ll feel like you’ve got the worst flu ever. So work with it. Tell yourself “I’ve just got the flu, I need to ride it out” Don’t fight against it, you’re going to feel awful. But you’ve had flu before, you know it wears off.  This is JUST the same as that.  Ride it out.

Insomnia

This sucks. You’ve spent all day feeling crappy, and all you’ve thought about is getting to bed and sleeping it off. You finally get to bed and you can’t frickin sleep!  You toss, you turn, your exhausted but you’re not sleeping.  The only thing that worked for me (and this is purely personal) was to get out of bed, hold up on the couch and turn on the TV.  The distraction seemed to help me.  Just some noise in the background, something to take your mind off the fact that you can’t sleep.  It helped me drift off and I managed a night’s sleep in about three hour bursts.  Give it a try, you’ve nothing to lose.

Restless Legs

So just when you’ve got yourself settled, your warm, your cosy, you’re ready to drift off.  Then your legs start flailing like an Irish dancer and you can’t stop them! Okay… so laying there feeling sorry for yourself isn’t helping.  Get up! Move move move! Walk up and down the stairs a few times.  Stretch your legs out like you’ve just been running.  You know the ones; kick one leg in front, hands on your knee, bend forwards.  Stretch your muscles out and work off the twitching then try again.

Headaches and Migraines

Well, what can I say? Paracetamol works wonders. And it’ll work much better when you’re not doped up to hell on codeine. I know that you feel scared about putting more drugs in your body but go with it. Don’t forget, you’ve just got flu. That’s all it is.

Diarrhoea

Okay so here’s the thing…. You need to nappy rash cream your bum hole. Yeah yeah, I know, it sucks.  But what is worse is basically passing acid through the eye of a needle with no barrier.  If you’ve no nappy rash cream then Vaseline will do.  After you’ve sat on the toilet doing your anal impression of Donald duck, clean yourself off and work the cream all around your poor puckered hole.  Do remember to only use one scoop, you don’t want to be dipping bum hole fingers back into the jar.

Runny Nose

Again, balm helps.  Constant wiping and blowing dry’s your shnoz out no end. So moisturise and protect.  You could try them Kleenex balm tissues too. I’ve never used them but they sure look good!

Panic and anxiety

So yeah, you’re going to moments when you just want to give in. You tell yourself “hey, it wasn’t so bad being addicted to a drug” “No one needs to know, I can just carry on” “I’ve managed this long” This is when your list of reasons comes in handy. Remind yourself why you started this. Read that looooooong list (remember I told you to make it long) and think of what you’re working towards. 

Many folks have been on this stuff so long now that they can’t remember what it’s like to just feel “normal”.  Isn’t that a strange concept? Normal.  Not feeling high, or rotten.  Not going up or coming down just… being.

Look at your calendar.  How many hours / days in are you?  You’ve started you’re getting there. You’re stronger than this.  Just hold on and remember the wise words of the great Albus Dumbledore “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. “  Okay so it’s slightly off topic but it’s still relevant!

Profuse sweating

MAN do I stink!! I haven’t smelt this bad since… well ever. I can feel it running down my back, my shirts are drenched. I find in these times the best thing to do is take your nearest and preferably smallest relative or support source and rub their faces in it. Trust me, you’ll soon see the funny side when you’re chasing your child around the house brandishing a sweaty pit!

So there you have it! My top tips for getting through this crappy time.  Trust me it DOES get better and it IS worth it.  The moment you finally start to feel better again can only be described as “waking up”.  As though you’ve had this barrier between yourself and the world for the longest time and suddenly it’s gone.  Do little things to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Take a shower and realise how different water feels on your body when you’re not doped up on drugs.  It’s worth this week of feeling dreadful to finally get back to yourself again.

Good luck!