But you got off it, yeah? Congrats. All of 'em are rough, to say the least, but all are doable.
And yes, going through methadone withdrawals was the hardest thing i've ever done. BUT, it worked. For me, I had to be in a detox facility. I wouldn't have had a chance otherwise. I guess part of it was I had an overwhelming desire to GET OFF of it. I wanted to be sober more than anything in life. I wanted to feel again, to be alive. So, as hard as it was, it was worth every second of suffering to get my soul back.
I had been on the meth program for three years of misery before I heard about detoxes and AA. I didn't know there was a way out - just my unsuccessful solo attempts. I figured suicide was my only option. And then I overheard a woman on line at the meth clinic say, 'When I got off of methadone...' I asked her, 'How??' A week later I was in a hospital, crapping myself, freaking out, on fire... but I walked out sober. As crappy as I felt, I couldn't believe I had gotten off of methadone (and heroin/valium/alcohol). Freedom! Problem was, I had no idea how to cope with how vulnerable and shaky I felt. My body was screaming for relief and I quickly went back to heroin for one week.
Got back into detox and the withdrawals were just as bad! This went on for 8 months, in and out of detoxes and rehabs. Finally, my ass was so thoroughly kicked, my whole being so utterly perplexed and defeated, that I completely gave up any notion that I had about ANYTHING. I had been going to AA, but I went back with this new perspective of not knowing a damned thing. I had learned how to GET clean, but not how to STAY clean.
Luckily, there were some kick-ass people there.. people who'd been through what I'd been through, or worse. Full-on ex-junkies who were clean, comfortable in their own skin, funny, cool, smart, functioning and free. They had what I wanted, so I just did what they did. It took a long time for my body to balance out, but every day got better, and it was sort of a magical transformation. My humor came back, which helped. People around me loved the hell out of me with non-stop encouragement, validation and tools for getting through. And, unbelievably, the desire to use, the urges, disappeared completely. The good feelings coming up in me felt better than anything a drug could supply. I LOVED drugs, but we all eventually pass that point where the misery outweighs the pleasure. Those three years on methadone were in no way pleasurable. I'd shoot heroin/coke, drink, take any other drugs on top of the meth, but the only effect I was achieving was a dark oblivion.
Once upon a time, opiates (and other drugs) were great. Perhaps they served a purpose. I'm glad I had those experiences. But they'll never work again. When I relapsed after 19 years, there was some fun for about two weeks, mostly with drinking. Those two weeks were followed by months and months of despair, depression, darkness. While on suboxone, I ended up in a psych ward. I couldn't function. It was terrifying. I had been a high functioning, healthy guy... add opiates to the mix and I was gone, addiction running the show, destroying all that was good in me and around me. It was traumatic, actually.
Getting off of suboxone (alone) was a motherfu*ker. One year and four months free of all of it, I'm still dealing with the effects (health, finances, etc.) but my spirit is intact and I'm free again. It really did a number on me, but I'm grateful as hell to have made it back into sobriety. Anything other than that void, man.
I know, I know... long-ass rant. I start typing sometimes and the words won't stop! I don't know if this helps anyone else - it's meant to be a message of hope - but perhaps it's helping me to just lay it all out.
And it certainly helps reading of all of your experiences. It's dangerous stuff, addiction... robs people of dignity, love, dreams, family, money, health, life... and a connection with one's own heart. I wish only the best for all fellow sufferers. I've seen hundreds of people recover, including myself. There is a way out!
Last edited by styley
on Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Suboxone free since June 2010.