Actually getting back to enjoying life again makes the last couple of weeks worth it. Still need to deal with the aching back & legs & uninterrupted sleep (although a couple of paracetamol - nothing stronger - does the trick at night when I give in to insomnia in the small hours) but these are very minor issues compared with the problems taking the codeine was causing me.
At 2 weeks, I'm over the fear that I'll fall straight back onto the pills through habit or current addiction - the trick is now to make sure complacency does not set in & I don't let my guard down.
Partly why I'm banging the keyboard here is for a bit of self counselling, which in my case seems to involve putting some rational thought not so much into how I'm feeling but how I deal with how I'm feeling.
If I can get it down in print without sounding like a dribbling id**t on the re read then I'm reasonably happy that the thought process has been validated by some degree of objectivity which I could never achieve during the "buy pills binge pills" behaviour loop.
Once again, to anyone out there suffering through these sort of problems, the actual withdrawal, while uncomfortable is achieveable. The original underlying problems that caused the addiction may or may not be there - if they aren't then great, if they are then at least one is more alert, conscious & therefore able to deal with them positively & without acting the victim.
Regards All, enq.
I have so much respect for you. Sharing your experience with people is so important and helpful to others. Putting it on paper is great therapy, for everyone. It sounds like you are doing great ! Do you have a support group, either formal or informal? What else have you done to keep yourself from backsliding? Have you had to change your environment, i.e. friends, etc. That can be life-changing, although it can also be one of the hardest parts of staying clean. You hand in there. You sound like a really strong person. I know that you will be able to get to sleep naturally. Keep shooting for that goal too. Keep us updated on your progress so that you can continue to be a support for others....Good luck!
This is the same Guest as the one who last posted on 04/29/09 - 06:48
Everything is still going good. No opiates, haven't been craving too hard. I even was able to turn down some norcos this weekend!
The physical stuff is gone. The mental stuff is gone for the most part... though my anxiety level was higher then usual for over a week this time. I haven't been craving but this go around was very brief.
Thanks for sharing your experience enq. Keep it up!
Crikey, two weeks with no codeine – that didn’t seem likely or even possible 3 weeks ago. Had a solid, unbroken 5 hours sleep last night followed by a couple of hours napping & realised that, lack of sleep aside, I have felt more rested & refreshed this week than for a long time. I had forgotten what it felt like to want to get up as opposed to having to get up.
My support network is fairly limited (though no less effective for that) and is restricted mainly to my wife, who has been extremely understanding throughout this process. She has had to learn a lot, very quickly (as I suppose I have) about the pernicious nature of opiate addiction and the rather antisocial symptoms of withdrawal. I also let my parents know what was going on, partly because confession is good for the soul ( though please note: probably not in a legal context!) and partly because I wasn’t up to a pre arranged family gathering & felt I owed them an honest explanation.
Apart from that my social life outside of work is pretty simplistic and empty right now & the pill popping was always a solitary affair so there has been no need to make huge changes to my lifestyle in order to avoid circumstances that I would ordinarily blame for my inability to resist the temptations and pressures of a physical & psychological addiction.
That is not to say that my life has not changed – my increasing energy levels and return of mental functions will force through change by reason of necessity; Now that I’m more alert previous “activities” like staring at the TV, dozing on the settee or grimly battling my way through the latest version of GTA for the PC just does not hit the spot.
This, I guess, is where things start to get tricky – there are a lot of reasons why I or anyone else might revert to some sort of substance abuse (stress, depression, ill health, peer pressure) but one that I have always found easy to miss until it’s too late is boredom. At the moment my remedy is reading (which I always enjoyed but didn’t have the mental capacity to appreciate properly while popping pills) the only caveat being that I tried to read something upbeat or exciting during the early part of the withdrawal.
The next stage is to find something else to do in the evenings – now I’m into my early 40’s I’m not too interested in partying so it’s a matter of ranging around for another hobby. Who knows, maybe I’ll try knocking out that one novel that everyone has in them.
I’m racking my brains to think of a sign off that might impart a bit of wisdom & support to anyone else out there in a similar place to my own over the past year or so and I suppose “you are not alone in what you are going through” would sum it up.
If these posts help just one more person reclaim their life (or better still quit popping the pills before the problem burgeons into a show stopper) then I’m happy.
Guest, really glad to hear that you're doing well with your plan :) .
Regards to All and I do appreciate the previous posters kind comments.
Friday, so no work for me tomorrow :-D but can't see me getting up late as the insomnia, restless legs and back ache are still with me.
Main items on the agenda seem to be DIY related (I tend to follow suggestions and instructions rather than self motivate when it comes to home improvements) so its fingers crossed that I get through it quickly and without any more than the usual level of injury.
On the plus side, without being spaced on the pills I will be less clumsy than had been the case but on the downside will experience a higher level of pain if I do manage to drill into a finger / live electrical wire etc. Apart from that some planning for the future is now required, at least for this coming Summer.
Still a lot of new things to do or try that I've been meaning to get round to - lying in bed at 2am this morning I realised I had never flown an open cockpit biplane so that's one for the list and of course there is the ever popular getting fit past time, not something that I had really thought about previously but it might actually make me feel better and / or more tired.
There are also a whole host of things out there that it might be engaging to learn about either informally or by taking up a qualification of some sort which would certainly fill up the hours outside work when I tend to be prone to boredom.
Anyway, I hope to write a further update in a few days as I feel I've reached the point at which a daily update is no longer of benefit to me or anyone who reads it.
Please just remember that if I can quit the codeine pills and start enjoying a normal life within such a short space of time then it's achievable.
Everyone has their own reasons and underlying issues for taking the meds in the first place so everyone's method of coming off them should be tailored to suit their personal situation - as long as you want to stop, have a plan and arrange some support then there is no physical reason why you can't regain control of your life.
If the pills are messing up your life then they're not working for you & you deserve better than that.
Best wishes All, enq.
I understand feeling terrified of coming off the cocodamols but similiarly staying on them can be equally daunting. Ultimately you've got to want to stop but once you're convinced of this & are prepared to go through a little discomfort for between a few days and a few weeks if you try the CT route then you're a lot of the way there.
I'm now into my third week without codeine and things are still getting easier every day - sleeping 6 hours is achieveable & I'm more used to the fact that I will feel down at times as part of this process but that the worst thing I can do is try & medicate that feeling away.
There also appear to be other methods of coming off codeine such as tapering or substitution which I guess you would want to see a doctor or specialist support group for. Please remember that this is an anonymous internet forum and any advice you get here should at the very least be checked out independently.
I would guess there may be NA meetings or similiar groups in your area if you need some human support during withdrawal but as you already use the internet you should be able to do the local research fairly easily.
Recognising you are "addicted" as opposed to believing that we can EASILY stop taking them every day whenever we choose is a major step - addicted doesn't mean you can't give them up, just that it's going to require a bit of will power and determination to get there.
Please don't be terrified of giving them up though - if anything you may want to be terrified of continuing to take them unnecessarily - any reaction that helps your self preservation instincts kick in is useful in this situation.
I'm still waiting for the point at which I feel the withdrawal symptoms are finally behind me but compared to my quality of life when I was taking the pills there is no question in my mind that I've finally taken the right course of action.
I genuinely hope you get the strength & help to deal with your problem soon & can post back on here to say "yes it was tough, yes I did it, yes I have my life back & the terrors have gone".
Best of luck to you & anyone in the same situation. Regards, enq.
Nearly three weeks without taking a pill or potion other than paracetamol. Every day seems to deliver an improvement on the previous one & now the fear that "I'm never going to feel right" is receding.
My only real gripe at the moment is that physical energy levels seem to be low, or at least that I seem to tire easily - this may be physical (I spend a large part of my life sitting or lying down & could do with losing a few pounds, well about 25 to be accurate), psychological (depression as a symptom of withdrawal can easily ally itself with lethargy) or just plain old laziness.
Anyway, I suppose I had better do something to combat this so it's off to the gym this afternoon (I have not set foot inside a gym since I left school, more moon cycles ago than a celestial tour de France).
This should be an interesting exercise though I intend to check on the availability of a defibrillator and suitably qualified first aiders before doing anything rash.
Once again, I genuinely hope that anyone out there reading this and thinking about escaping from a pill habit feels helped into taking that final decision to stop - its a few weeks of pain at worst but the upside is huge.
Regards all & best wishes, enq.
What's happening with you now? You were keeping us up-to-date on your progress. Your posts were great! Are you still doing ok? Did all of the withdrawal symptoms finally go away? We have got to hear the rest of your wonderful story/journey. Please get back with us asap so that we will know that you are doing ok. I have so much respect for you because of your strength and courage. I will be waiting to hear from you.
Six years on, i now cannot go 4 hours without taking two 30/500 capsules. They have nearly destroyed my health, marriage and career. This is why two days ago i said enough was enough !!!
Since then i have been tired, sick, suffering from a pounding headache and unable to sleep. due to tingling in my legs. Quite frankly, i dont care. I will never take these tablets again even if it takes me 6 months of this hell to get over them.
I have tried to get off them before and failed. This time it is different. I recognise now that the only person who can beat this is me !!!!!
To anyone suffering the same pain, my message is simple. Dont give in !!!!
I had to talk to my wife and 2 children 2 days ago about my problems which was the hardest thing to do. I tried all sorts of ways to come off the tablets from steadily reducing from 8 to 6 to 4 to 2 each week. Every time i tried to stop completely my body rebelled and i gave in.
Now things are different. I recognise that the most important thing in my life is my family and this addiction has affected them badly. It has now been 2 days since i took any tablets and i cannot deny that it has been hard. Symptoms include headache, sickness, tingling in legs (at night) and diorreah.
However, i know all these symptoms will go if i keep carrying on. I have a fire in my belly now and am 100% determined to not take any more.
You do the same !!!