THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL AND AT JUST 20 DAYS CLEAN, I AM FINALLY IN THE LIGHT!! THis is long, but if you are quitting or thinking of quitting, reading this all the way through may really help you in a new way, not because of me, but because of some things that I feel called to tell you.
I am starting a new post in light of my recent recovery from Subutex (Suboxone minus the Naloxone), although I was also on Suboxone. I am writing this so that you may ask me any questions you may have and so that I can try and help. I have been reading among hundreds of posts online and I have found little in the area of positive recovery stories. This made me so afraid of what my own process would be like, but in reality, it was not a three month journey by any means!
A little about me. I am a female in my upper twenties and I used Suboxone for 1 year and was then put directly onto Subutex for another 2 years after becoming pregnant. So a total of three years. I was started at 16 mg a day and immediately lowered myself to 8 mg the second day on. The last three years have been a rollar-coaster of upping my dose back to 12 mg and then slowly weaning down to 2 mg, and finally to 1 mg or less when I jumped off. I was put on Suboxone originally from a Percocet physical dependancy turned into an addiction.
The following is the truth of my journey with advice and things I tried written into the day by day log that I have tried to consolidate and then I have a recap in the end SOME BENEFITS TO QUITTING YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF YET. Now that I not only see the light at the end but I am also IN THE LIGHT, I have learned some things that I will pass along, some things that may help you and some things that may hurt you as found in your own journey (my opinion, sometimes paired with my Dr's opinion FOR ME, not to override your own physician's advice).
Day 1: On Friday, May 27, I took my last tiny bread crumb piece at 10:00 am. I was into full WD by that night b/c I had been weening a lot the prior two weeks, so my body was already upset with me. That night, I took one clonidine as prescribed by my Dr.
Day 2: The following day, the 28th was the worst. One of those days that you just hope you can make it through at any cost. I took so many hot bathes, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, cold sweats, body aches, slight headache. Not much sleep that night
Day 3: May 29th was a TINY bit better, but not much. I pushed myself to go to church to seek prayer(had to be driven though), and I am really grateful I did because I saw more rapid improvement thereafter as I continued to lean fully on Jesus. Monday the 30th, a bit better from the day before. I was able to watch television without crying at every single happy or sad message and change a diaper to help my fiance' out.
Day 4: By Tuesday, the 31st, I was able to walk around outside for spurts. Each night through this night I only slept on and off for maybe three hours max. I also went to the Dr. on this day and he let me know that he did not reccomend taking immodium while in opiate WD b/c it acts as an opiate to some degree and may not help with the detox. Also, he told me not to take Ultram (which I had at home), or Xanax during WD (not to take place of your Dr's medical advice). The Xanax, however, he told me I could take only at night and only on the rare occasion when I HAD to. I can say that it didn't do a thing to help me sleep, but I only took one pill.
Day 5 & 6: By Wednesday and Thursday (June 1 & 2) the symptoms became managable. My appetite was returning well. The more active I tried to be, the better I felt (but don't push it too early, you'll know when it becomes possible-not easy, but possible). I still felt crappy for sure, but that prickly-jump out of your skin creepy feeling was going away, only returning at night when I was trying to sleep-blah. I tried to take trazodone to sleep, and it did help the one night, but I felt groggy in the morning. I recommend letting your body return to normal on its own. As you will see, your sleep cycle will return to normal, and it won't be so far away that you are lifeless and minus a million or more brain cells.
Day 7 & 8: By Friday and Saturday, (June 3 & 4) I was able to walk fairly far distances, it took effort, but I was able. I was also able to sit for extended periods without only thinking about my bodily symptoms. I still had trouble sleeping, but massage began to feel good again and finding a place where you can keep your mind occupied but don't have to overly exert yourself works wonders. I cannot tell you how much this helps. Try playing cards with friends. Your mind if consumed, you are forced to communicate (relatively effectively) and pay attention. Movies didn't cut it for me just yet, nit enough stimulation to override the neurotransmitters doing their best to force my focus on sickness.
Day 9 & 10: By Sunday, (June 5) I was able to drive well. I drove to Church with my family and was able to eat like a crazy person. I was able to eat so well in fact, that I wondered if Subutex didn't curb my appetite. Don't fear though, I think it was my body's way of making up for the weight I lost in my first week as opposed to packing on the lbs, it leveled out.
Day 11: By monday, (June 6) I started to think that I was learning what normal felt like again, just 11 days in. I was laughing again and able to go out. I was still very lethargic though and motivation was given by divine intervention when God knew I needed it (I can't even explain how amazing it is that when God says He will never give you more than you can handle, it is true!)
Day 12-Day 15: Tuesday-Friday, June 7-June 10: The next several days I saw constant but slow improvement. That is not to say that this was a bad thing b/c I was feeling quite good in fact. I was still having trouble sleeping, but by Friday night, I was sleeping nearly 6 hours, waking only to use the bathroom and then able to fall back asleep. I would compare these days with being just at the tail end of a cold, where you are ready to be totally better, but you can see that from where you came from, you can totally deal with some tiny minor symptoms, bring it on!
Day 16, Saturday, June 11th: On this night, I feel asleep within 15 minutes after I laid down. No meds, no help, just reworking of the good ol' fashioned sleep cycle! GOOD NEWS, ONCE YOUR SLEEP CYCLE BEGINS TO COME BACK, IT SEEMS TO STAY THAT WAY! I pray at night when I go to bed and I find that I have been falling asleep mid prayer every night lately. It is truly amazing. I started praying for God to lul me to sleep with his hands and maybe at the word, "hands", Lights out.
Day 17: Sunday, June 12th. Went to church, felt good. Went to a museum, felt a tiny bit tired, but was happy! TAKING A SHOWER RIGHT WHEN YOU WAKE UP IS SO GREAT. YOU GO FROM FEELING LETHARGIC TO READY TO GO IN 10 MINS! I highly recommend pushing yourself to do this first thing, even when you don't feel like it right away.
Day 18: Monday, June 13th. Wow, I felt great this day. I will never forget getting up and cleaning the house, driving to do errands, carrying my baby around again with ease. I realized at about noon, AM I BACK? IS THIS IT, HAVE I REALLY MADE IT? I think that being on Subutex/Suboxone so long, we forget what normal was exactly like until we feel it again without drugs, and then it hits us, this is GOOD, this is it. Normalcy for me didn't last every minute of everyday, but I can say that by Monday, day 18, I was remembering what I was like before drugs because I was getting back to ME.
Day 19 and 20: June 14th and 15th, Tuesday and Wednesday. I have never done so much in one day the entire time I was on Subutex and Suboxone as I did on these two days. IT WAS LIKE MY MOTIVATION WAS BACK, AND MAN, IT IS SO MUCH STRONGER AND BETTER THAN WHEN ON SUBOXONE, EVEN AT DAY 19 & 20 OFF. I CAN'T WAIT FOR WHAT IS TO COME. I CAN'T SPEAK FOR EVERYONE, BUT THERE ARE MORE BENEFITS TO GETTING OFF OF SUBOXONE, SUBUTEX THAN JUST NOT TAKING A PILL! I AM A COLLEGE STUDENT AND I FELT LIKE A CLOUD WAS LIFTING OFF OF MY BRAIN. I CAN REMEMBER THINGS SO EASILY. MY INSTANTANEOUS PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY IS BACK! I AM ACTIVE AND WANT TO GET OUT AND DO THINGS ALL THE TIME. I WANT TO HELP OTHERS. I FEEL LIKE I CAN BE USED (FOR GOD'S WORK) NOW, AND THAT I AM REALLY READY AND CAPABLE. I FORGAVE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT HURT ME THAT I HELD ONTO FOR SO LONG ON THE SUB. MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY FAMILY HAS GONE FROM OKAY TO HORRAY!!. I AM NOT WALKING AROUND IN A CLUMSY, DEPRESSIVE STATE ANOY LONGER! MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS STRONG AND I AM LEARNING TO TRUST GOD COMPLETELY IN THE GOOD AND WORST TIMES. I THANK JESUS FOR THE PAIN I FELT. HE ASKS FOR ME TO TRUST THAT HE MAKES ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD. WOW, IT DID WORK FOR GOOD. I ENCOURAGE YOU, IF YOU FEEL CALLED, TO ASK FOR GOD TO SHOW YOU WHO HE IS, TO GIVE HIM THE CHANCE TO LIVE IN YOU. MY LIFE IS NOTHING WITHOUT HIM, AND I THINK ABOUT HOW I COULD HAVE GONE MY WHOLE LIFE WITHOUT GIVING HIM THE CHANCE TO SHOW ME HOW REAL & MIRACULOUS & LOVING HE IS. WOULD HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I COULD HAVE MADE. I CAN'T BLAME GOD FOR THE BAD CHOICES I MADE AS AN ADICT, BUT I NOW KNOW THAT HE WAS WAITING FOR ME AND SAVING ME THIS WHOLE TIME. LOOK AT US, WE'RE ARE ALIVE, WHAT ARE YOU GONNA WO WITH THIS ONE LIFE?
I am now on day 21. I feel really good. I feel no bodily symptoms and far less anxiety than when I was on Subutex/Suboxone and before I began taking it. I feel like I was made new again. All this, and even though I feel really good, I am still feeling better every day! Don't rely on other's stories of horror. I feel absolutely terrible for these individuals that suffered long and hard. I know how powerful these meds are and how our brains are even more powerful. I also now know that if I want to sit an think about how sick I am and how this will never get any better, than that is how I feel. When I made it at least a week, I began telling myself a new story, I can do it with God's grace, I am almost there, I am not going to be a statistic with a horror story. I have a purpose and a reason to be here. I am getting better, not just every day, but every minute. It's like getting paid in normalcy and joy 24 hours a day, by the minute. No desire to take a pill. Big desire to take a step into a new life for me, my family and God's will for my life.
PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH QUESTIONS AND/OR PRAYER REQUESTS. I WOULD LOVE TO PRAY FOR YOU IN YOUR RECOVERY. I WOULD BE HONORED & HUMBLED TO DO SO, AND I KNOW IT WILL HELP. EVEN IF YOU AREN'T SURE OF THE POWER OR GOD.... I AM, AND GOD PROMISES TO LISTEN. THANK YOU FOR READING. GOD BLESS YOU. "AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS"
“I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 12:9a
“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (NIV)
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV)
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (KJV)
“Let us not give up meeting together, …but let us encourage one another.” (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“So encourage each other and give each other strength, just as you are doing now.” (NCV)
“When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.” (NLT)
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (KJV)