Monday, August 25, 2014

How many relapses until we have had enough?

A new relapse in May. The shame is unbearably overpowering to the point of taking months to vocalize it.

Kindness: A Free Gift

This post is a bit off topic in a manner, but I believe it to be an important observation in the world of addiction and recovery that I have made over the last 6 months or so. 

Addicts and people associated with, have shown me to be a very unique 'cyber culture'. 

I get very few comments on my blogs, but I know that I have readers, and repeat readers. Not only from the states, but all around the world. 

This alone says that the topic of opiates, the lifestyle associated with, and the details of detoxing are all of interest. 

What I am specifically compelled to share is the amount of personal correspondance that has come my way. Even of more interest to me is the diversity of people and their situations that reach out to comment on my blog.

The emails that touch me the most are the ones that come from parents of heroin users and other opiate addicts. The essence of the messages are that they are thankful for my openess because it helps them understand what their own children are going through. 

Some of the parent's words have nearly brought me to tears. Partly because of what they are going through watching their own children. Primarily because I can identify with the stories they tell me. I AM that child. Which brings me to the saddest realization for me. My father. My Mother. My family. My heart breaks when I think of the worry I have put them through. My father has stood by my side, and modeled for me what unconditional love for ones child is. So many times I have wished I could quit if ONLY for him. To shield him from pain. 

I snap back to reality and remember that I can't stay sober for him. I cannot do it for my children. I have to do it for me. Talk about a 'trap'. 

I have built a friendship with a girl across the globe who is struggling with her boyfriends heroin addiction. We were able to speak freely regarding our different perspectives on addiction. She was able to share with me what her perception of a drug addict was before she dated one, and how it changed after.  Her boyfriend did not fit the mold of what she thought an addict was supposed to be like. "He was a normal person." In other words, he did not fit the description believed by many people who do not have direct contact with persons addicted to drugs.  

In my opinion the only characteristic that addicts all share is a deep rooted pain, masked or comforted that with an addictive substance.  My gut tells me that a good majority of addicts are 'normal people', who never intended to walk into the world of hell that is addiction.  

As far as my lovely global friend, the ability to share with each other our  pain and our experiences helped open my heart up, and for that I am glad. 

As an addict, I myself often only think of my own pain and suffering. I am sad that I over look the billions of people who also suffer for simply loving and caring for an addict. My life is very lonely right now. The quantity of people that surround me does not seem  to diminish the loneliness. 

What does satiate the pain to some degree, is the feedback I receive by telling my story. It's the one sentence from a stranger that reminds me I have provided a ray of hope- if even only one. It's the friendly check up comment. The one that tells me somewhere in this world someone thought of me, prayed for me, wondered about me. 

What a strange thing to find comfort in right? 

Please continue your comments and feedback. If you feel words tug at your heart strings, and if you contemplate posting a comment, I encourage you to follow through.  I believe it is a powerful force of hope for suffering people. 

Please take a moment to read the post by my fellow blogger Thank you for the encouragement to speak out about the importance of feedback! You can check out Chelsie's post on this topic through this link.   


http://lifesexperiencesandinspiringmoments.blogspot.ca/2014/07/is-there-anybody-out-there.html

A little kindness can go a long long way. You never know whose day you brightened, and how that in turn may effect many others along the way. 

Peace-J




 





Monday, July 28, 2014

Does it really matter?

I find myself curious the longer I avoid posting on my blog, as to whether or not my readers know what's up. It is kind of a useless thought, with the exception that it reminds me that it's never too late to write another post. I mean.....pretty simple decision; right?

I came to my own conclusion that if I regularly followed a blog like mine, and the blogger went MIA, I would certainly want to hear from them again, Regardless of the reason of absence, all of my days published or not, are what make up my life. 

I would like to take this next paragraph to invite comments and opinions. My absence from updating Blogger has been due to both positive and negative actions. The Suboxone taper...wow.... I did write most of those days, and knowing I have to read them again in order to type them up does NOT sound fun. Fear keeps me at bay. Fear keeps me hidden. So many days of the last 2 months I have given up all hope.

YET....

Here I am. I know there is still a shred of hope that flickers deep inside somewhere.  It lays dormant in that same place where the fearless, ambitious, hopeful girl used to dwell.  I hardly remember her, but I think about her a lot ore lately. 

My friends, my readers, fellow suffering addicts, do I lay out the last two months and all the ups and downs? My recovery is not dead until I decide it is. I want to keep fighting. Option 2 is not to blog anymore. I will not write this story if I do not hold my writing to a standard of truth. Option 3 is start over a fresh new blog where no one knows whats been going on. 

I have purposefully isolated and pushed away from all those near and dear to me. I have mentioned before, I write under an alias, but the stories and entries are real. I actually have allowed a few people I know have access to this blog. That also makes it harder to write.

I do want to. I want to push past the fear.

Please any feedback and advice welcome.

~J'Elle




Friday, May 23, 2014

Detox, New Friends, & Hope

Hey there Opiate Trap friends! Please check out my other blog @ http://suboxonestopping.blogspot.com.


I have been working hard on my Suboxone stopping and hope it reaches someone who might be in the same spot as me.

Thanks for every one's support, emails, messages, comments and for subscribing! It means more than you know. Both the encouragement and those of you trying to reclaim your lives.

I read so much on addiction and recovery and off the top of my head I come across maybe 25% that actually properly depict what it means to be an addict. Knowledge from scientific facts are great, but behind all those facts and statistics are real life hurting humans. We all have a story and we all deserve a chance! I love seeing the bond forming online between addicts helping addicts, family of addicts, and professionals!

We can't save everyone, but we can help someone!  One life doesn't seem like much, except when it's our own.

Also, any advice on how to merge the 2 blogs would be great! I do not want to lose any of my content or any of my new friends when I merge.

Thanks!

J'Elle

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

U Can Run but Ya Can't Hide!

Somewhere in the vicinity of 3am Tuesday morning and I find myself unable to sleep. Again. This time my insomnia is not brought on by annoying withdrawal symptoms, but by a mind that won't stop thinking. Plagued by thoughts of remorse that come along with the very thing I created for myself as an outlet for the stress and screeching voices hollering at me from inside the addicts mind. My blogs. Somewhere I have dropped the ball on reporting my progress (or lack there of), to a cyber world of readers that may or may not exist. 

My writing and enthusiasm developed into a rather consistent and productive outlet over the first month. The enthusiasm has not died, but my insides feel nauseated over the fact that I think I am not making enough progress. Am I a let down? As a day passed by and I ignored my online therapy I  allowed an onset of shame to plant seed in my soul. Each day that I did not write acted as the fertilizer that turned that shame seed into a weed infested guilt garden! My mind tells me that if I  mess up I mine as well give up.

If you struggle with addiction in way shape or form this concept will seem quite familiar. As I fight my insomnia I realize that 8 or 9 days does not a failure make!!! I mean, duh...right? The more I allowed my thoughts to unravel over the hours the more I realize that this is all still a part of who I am. A living breathing pattern of my addictive behaviors, and a very real part of my recovery. My goal is to not give up!

No matter how long I stay off the computer, or how many hours I sleep and want to ignore even the smallest set backs, my problems will not go away. 

SO, this is my attempt to grab hold of a new concept I will call- not running away from something so long that I make it irreparable by my own actions. Here on the early hours of day 50 of my road to recovery, I will not give up. I am still on the pills. A very low dose. A bit stagnant on the process. This last week has been different in my actions and in my thoughts. I have been journaling everyday, only on paper so that I could feed my silly fear of failure by logging onto google.

I am hoping this entry will help me to sleep a few hours. I plan to take my laptop to Starbucks and spend an hour or two going through emails, comments, etc and typing up my last week of journals. 


Until then... J'Elle

Monday, May 12, 2014

43 Days Out of a Lifetime

Yes this is another double post from http://suboxonestopping.blogspot.com.
I haven't figured out the best way to merge my two blogs yet, and wanted to make sure my post got out for everyone who has reached out to me over the weekend. :-)

After not wanting to turn on my computer for almost 3 days, I booted up. To my surprise I had lots of emails. Comments from an addicts mother, other junkies, and other people I didn't know...people with no obligation to my recovery.

The sight of those things brought the first tears  my eyes have been able to produce in weeks.  I cried uncontrollably as I read the words typed into cyberspace by strangers who offered their genuine support. Even when I hate myself and think I am doomed-someone is thinking of me. Someone has cried these same tears, bled these same wounds, and felt hopeless in front of me. I am not the first girl lying desperate at the mercy of the devil disguised as heroin. My father is not the 1st who holds onto hope while he watches his pride and joy agonize over something too foreign for him to understand.

 43 days seems like forever sometimes. 43 days also seems like nothing. There are so many ways to put recovery and the act of becoming sober into perspective. 

The lack of sleep from the past week or so must have caught up to me, because I slept most from Saturday/early Sunday until about 1pm today. I woke up a few hours here and there...

Saturday I was so upset with this whole subject I flushed the Suboxone I had left and took the choice of that relief away from myself. Unfortunately I still have some at the pharmacy. 

Somehow I was able to get thru about 48 hours without a pill. When I woke up today I started screaming like a child. I slammed my pillow at the wall and my father- who graciously has been staying at my house to support me thru this asked if I was ok. I screamed that I hated being awake! Why can't I just stay asleep!!

The only thing worse to me than feeling that way, is seeing the pain in my father's eyes. This man has taught me what unconditional love is. He has never blamed me, judged me, guilted me, or put me down. He IS the reason I ever made it off of the street and even tried getting sober.

Somedays it seems like other addicts have it easier, or don't go thru the same things as me. I know this is a bratty thing to say, but I didn't open this blog to sugarcoat my thoughts. I am pretty sure I am not the only one that thinks they are not meant to have a good sober life. 

We refilled 3 more Suboxone and after about 51 hours without one I took appx 1.5mg. I do not feel great about it, but it is what it is. I made up my mind that I was going to find a way to score some dope, so I negotiated myself into taking meds instead. 

I asked my father to not give me another piece for at least 24 more hours. I am praying I will turn that 24 hours into 48hr. Maybe that 48hrs will become a week...and maybe I will smile again someday soon.

Sincerely thanking those who have reached out to me..~J

Friday, May 9, 2014

Heroin Won't Give Up- So We Can't Either

Coming off of opiates for what seems like the ump-teenth million time is still MENTALLY as hard as the 1st attempt.  It's a tricky thing how it rapes you of any mental stability including good decision making. My thought is that the mental addiction starts with how intense the feelings of pleasure are during the high, and the ability it gives us to block out anything we don't wanna deal with.

The deeper our pain- the better the high - the worse our addiction.

 After my children were taken from me, I remember thinking why get up in the morning? What is the point of grocery shopping, cleaning, working, smiling, living? You get the point.It became easy to use cocaine again. I swore off trying heroin for 33 years of my life because I knew what vicodin, oxys, and other opiates did for me. My fear of crossing that line was because I knew that I was barely ok on the pills. Heroin did everything I imagined multiplied a thousand times!   My addiction quickly gave me the gift of 'eff it'. I was able to think about nothing else. (I wrote about my first time in Shot in the Dark Right at My Throat post)

That was exactly what I wanted. I did not know how to even begin to face coping with the pain of my children being gone. So I bailed on life. The russian roulette doesn't last long before you are an entirely different human being or dead. Heroin will always win as long as we join in the game. Hell it wins with some of us who try to surrender! 

After some pretty crappy days strung together  amounting to a long list of doubts about myself and reasons I won't make it on the sober track, I finally get it. It's still part of the trap! All my negative thoughts and fear of failure. My inability to cope rationally with small things. Drugs are still trying to tighten the nuice around my neck. I can't let it. 

Hearing support and hope from addicts like me helps. They prove to me it's possible to do what feels impossible.

I am not sure that my day is any easier, but my brain knows these other addicts are proof that a good life is possible, and that helps me to hold on another day. 

I read an article about ex-junkies and what they had to say about Phillip Seymour Hoffman dying of an overdose after 23 years clean from heroin. It comes from this link if you wanna read it: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/37-quotes-heroin-users-addiction-and-struggle-stay-sober

I chose a few to share...



"When I first gave up heroin, I could never tell myself it was forever..."

"I live in real fear that I'll relapse..."

"No one sets out to be a heroin addict. It's not a lifestyle choice..."

"If you are an addict you are either using, clean or dead. There is nothing in between..."

"Every single time I relapse, my life spins out of control..."

"I wish people would understand that addiction is a symptom..."

"The 'War On Drugs' has been a dismal failure..."

"Once addicted, your life then becomes a dedication to your addiction..."

"The feeling is almost impossible to explain to someone who has never done an opiate..."

"Heroin encases you in a little cotton-wool house and nothing hurts anymore..."

"Sometimes I think I would like to shoot up water just to experience the whole ceremony surrounding the event..."

"Whenever I hear of a celebrity drug death, especially when it relates to smack (heroin), often the first thing that comes to mind is the hypocrisy which surrounds drugs and junkies..."


Each and every one of those statements stirred up things inside me. I understand all too well what they are thinking. The difference is that next to their names were lengths of sober time. It initially made me sad that after years of being clean the monster can poke...and then I realized what great insight that is. Tangible hope for us who are in early recovery, and those who want to recover. By speaking out they give purpose to their past... I think that is awesome!

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT


I so happened to stumble on to that scripture today. Think about it, our stories may be unique- but I highly doubt my Higher Power is scratching his head wondering how he's gonna help me outta this one! My job is to not give up!

To quote a fellow addict's advice to me earlier todayInstead of giving the race up you need to just keep on putting one foot in front of the other. The rest will get sorted out.

Peace. J




Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Missing Piece: Part 2

Continued from Part 1

The things I am going to write about are used in places like church at alter calls, and in government agencies such as the FBI. Merely tapping into strong emotions so to speak.

Now I am not saying my theory is the only way that people can permanently change. Everyone has a different background, a unique story. What I can vouch for is that after counseling with more than 12 therapists, more than 15 different doctors treating me for addiction, depression, anxiety, or symptoms related to, that this is the only rapid noticeable change I've experienced.

It's actually a pretty simple concept, and I will explain it the best I know how. Again, this is a theory I was taught-not medical advice!

Here is the simple version.

We will use me wanting to quit drugs as an example as the primary decision I'd like to change.

Step 1- I need to decide on a willpower level that I want to quit opiates and stay sober forever. Our willpower is essentially our motivation and decision to change something on a conscious level. 

Ex- I tell my doctor that I decided I want to be sober, and I will do whatever I can to accomplish and maintain that decision.

Sounds easy right?

Step 2: revise our willpower decision for loopholes. 

For instance, instead of 'I want' needs to be 'I will'. Another example is to eliminate the word 'try'.

Ex-I will work hard at real estate and earn 100k this year.

This guy ended up in prison 5 years. 

Loophole= I will work hard at Real Estate and LEGALLY earn 100k this year. (true example of a patient of Dr. D)


Step 3: We begin to practice driving our new decision into our unconscious. 

This can only be done in a state of high emotion! Anger, rage, sadness, etc. 

Ex: Any time I am in therapy and start to get choked up and upset talking about my traumatized and dysfunctional past, Dr. D will stop me. 

The 1st time I tried this was when I talked about my children and how what I've done has effected them, and how upset I was. I told him I wished I could tell them how sorry I was and that I wouldn't let them hurt anymore. He asked me how it would sound if I made that decision. 

It was very difficult for me to get that part out. I have conditioned myself to suppress tears and sadness. However, by the time I answered and he helped me revise this is what my decision looked like.

I have made the decision that no matter how I feel, no matter how much I want to be numb, I will remember how badly it will hurt you.I'll do anything and everything I can to be ok, but I will not use as long as I have you two. 

The doc asked me several times to repeat this. I was crying a bit and let me tell you, it was more difficult then it sounds.. for me at least. I have issues when it comes to facing hurtful things. Opiates and drugs are what I used to cope with some very tumultuous issues.  I am programmed on auto response to totally shut down emotionally when tears begin to brew. 

So far in my therapy the decision is the one I have done successfully. I am working on others and am able to make decisions on a willpower level but have not yet come into the high emotional state stage. I write down the things that I want to change in a small notebook that I carry with me. 

My decision' notebook (see link for details on how to start and use a decision notebook)

Step 4 is to begin identifying secondary decisions. These are things that backed up a life changing primary decision we make.

Let me recap for you:


Conception: we have good/positive thoughts in us

Birth: As we undergo the process of birth and throughout our lives, those thoughts change depending on our circumstances and experiences. What we decide about ourselves starts to change the course of our lives.

***As I stood in the mirror at 14, I started that new decision in a very high state of emotion! I audibly told my reflection that I'd show my Mom what worthless really was!

Willpower decision: Deciding you want something to change and saying it on a willpower level.

Writing down the willpower decision.

Find and change loopholes in our decision

Reciting the decision in a state of high emotion. Re-affirming as much as possible so as to drive the new decision into our unconscious.

Identify secondary decisions

I encourage you to give this a shot. It doesn't hurt anything. From where I am standing, I have changed more in the last few months than on 20 years combined. I have began to really forgive myself, I am making good decisions I never could arrive at before as opposed to the destructive ones. Something is different and I believe a large part of the reason for doing so is my practicing this.

This is not the only step to take to commit to sobriety. There are so many things for an addict to work on in order to maintain a stable and sober life. However, my doc started out 40 years ago surveying people on different things and using these ideas to arrive at this conclusion.  He refers it to destiny changing. and he himself is recovered and practices this still in all aspects of life.

I don't have any other advantage of sharing this aside from me wanting others to hopefully begin to find the missing piece that begins healing in your lives.

Feel free to comment or ask questions on the ideas. :)


Part 1 link: http://preventingrelapse.blogspot.com

The Missing Piece: Preventing Relapse Part 1

I have been on and off of drugs for over 1/3 of my life. My addictive behaviors started at 14 years old when I picked up my first cigarette. (at least to the best of my memory)

I am ashamed 21 years later to say that I stole 2 Marlboro lights out of a girl's purse in my 5th period choir class. I can still smell the tobacco stained cloth inside the little zipper that held my little vice in secrecy until I could get home.

As I stood in my bedroom hours later, staring into the white framed mirror above my dresser, I spoke words to myself through angry lips; hot and sticky from the crocodile tears that slowly dripped out of my eyes.

"You think I am worthless?! I'll SHOW you worthless!"

Choking & coughing up the very breath as it rejected the smoke filling my heavy lungs, I swiftly dipped the tip of my stolen cig into a half cup of water and watched the brightness turn ashy gray.  I re lit it in the steamy room where I ran a shower to mask the stench 2 hours later.

It took me 21 years to find a doctor that taught me that was one of the days where I changed my destiny. 

Quickly following that first smoke came my bulimia, high school lunches made of alcohol, pot smoking behind the tree between classes, and the beginning of my long journey through rehabs and shrinks. Good, memorable, and traumatizing experiences shaped me through the years as I battled pain, addiction, rejection, SELF rejection, shame, guilt, and a world swallowing me up in a sea of depression so deep that I knew by 25 years old I was implementing a slow painful suicide upon myself.

----BUT NOTHING HELPED----

In rehab you learn that in relapse not only do you pick up where you left off, you inevitably end up worse, and i was no exception to this rule. I in fact think I resemble quite the model poster child for a corrosive pattern of behavior.

What sucked me in deeper each time was the guilt. The incredible guilt induced the destruction and malevolence inflicted upon my mind. Daily. For what felt like forever. The shame of telling others I wanted to change and that I would be different after so many times of failure.


I did my time with counseling and different meds as well. Year after year eagerly approaching my issues and weaknesses with intensity, devotion, and optimism. Hearing time and time again how I must not have wanted to be sober enough!

I yearned for that missing piece. WHY do I always mess up? How do I allow myself to numb repeatedly in ways that harm myself extensively when I know better?

Knowledge.. I have it! Willingness, check! Medicine- yes. Support system...yes. Good Professionals, a few! Vulnerability and desire never lacked. Any normal person could pull their life together with these tools used conjointly.  Couldn't they?

Not me. Soon the vulnerability shut down, and the desire became shame.  Each relapse my addiction got worse. Hopelessness and loneliness lined the horizon of my miserable future.  I sunk into a hole so deep, I can still only deal with a small fraction of it.

The missing piece never showed up because I couldn't make it. I failed, and would always be a failure.

At the age of 35, I have learned this is not the truth. I have a doctor who has taught me about how we can put that final piece into a successful recovery.

See, when we are conceived we have thoughts ingrained into our consciousness. Thoughts such as I will be happy, I will love myself.

As we come into this world, those thoughts are often changed or transformed during times in which we are in high states of emotion. Fear, sadness, rage, anger, physical pain name a few.

Let me give you an example. I was conceived as a happy little being. My mother and father got a divorce when I was young. My mother expressed her pain in ways that effected me. She said things to me that eluded I'd be a worthless failure.  She told me regularly I was a 'f up', a worthless whore, and I'd never make anything of myself. I was an amazing kiddo at that time, but that soon changed.

The 1st chance that came available for me to rebel and prove to her how worthless I'd be was when I stole the two Marlboro Lights.

I spent 20+ years ingraining that thought and others into my brain so that I'd never be happy, and if I'd get close to happiness, I'd sabotage EVERYTHING and end up a failure. Please click on link to read part 2.

http://preventingrelapse2.blogspot.com

Monday, May 5, 2014

Vent Don't Use: Addicts Helping Addicts

I posted this on http://suboxonestopping.blogspot.com as well. It is important to me that one person who is hopeless and alone might benefit from seeing that they can reach out. It is worth the post if even one  person reaches out for help. I am only one person, and I lived through many nights where I was lucky to see the next morning. Seeing hope may have made a difference..? 


One of the things I dislike about myself is that when the going gets tough, I lose all motivation & stop doing the things I love. 
This was a hard weekend. I could barely bring myself to move let alone write... Boo Hoo right? 
 I will be the first to say I'll never change unless I CHANGE!

I mustered up the effort to post my feelings on an incredible recovery forum I've been a part of. My post for day 33 will simply be the content from that thread. 

Hope you enjoy!

ME: I am at the tail end of my Suboxone detox. Prolly only have a few days left.
I find on this Saturday night instead of leg cramps, depression and nausea, I'd prefer a needle or a pipe. No discrimination..I'll take whatever I can find. 

This is my attempt to start changing my dirty habits. 

I find that when I relapse it usually happens like this:

-have the thought of getting high
-obsess on it
-glorify it until I convince myself
-refuse to think of anything else except how to score until I do it

So, I know that in posting here I am forced to type it out which requires thinking about the millions of bad things instead of the one good thing. (the glorified 5 second good thing.)

For me, H has been the most difficult to put behind me. Thanks for letting mw vent. I think deep down I don't really want to.

Comment 1: No, DEEP down, You DON'T want to - it's just that crazy old mind song playing in the head again. But it's NOT you - can you see it play ? There's you watching it , hearing it, there's You and the old song playing- they're separate. Stay with the REAL you - find the quiet within, even for for a few seconds here and a few seconds there. Step out of the mind and find that quiet "space "within- rest there . Be at ease, breath.... It'll pass. Trust.

Comment 2: Type more than a couple paragraphs. Type out the whole story of your past using days. Do it in OneNote or somewhere if you don't want it online. You've got to remember how bad it really was instead of falling into the circular seeking behavior.

Comment 3:
Deep down you don't really want to


That's not you talking ........


Comment 4: I am glad you posted this. My thought process was pretty much the exact same, but I never actually wrote it out. It is great that you have identified it so you can do something about it. How do you plan to battle the cravings and to stop it before it gets to number 4 on your list?

Comment 5: How about interrupt it at #1 ? It is the thought of using which is the signal to intervene. What are you feeling just before those thoughts come ? Are you feeling overwhelmed by something in your current situation ? Are you feeling trapped in some way ? Or helpless? I read that addiction is only a symptom of an unlying feeling of powerlessness/trapped helplessness and for long-term soberity to stick, you need to identify the real issues driving the need to escape. Do you feel any of these emotions,friend ? If so, what can you change to lessen those feelings? What empowering action(s) can you take?


My Response: - I am really scared of screwing up again is at the root of it. Been 12 or more years without going a week clean.. I always get sober and relapse. Some minutes I feel great like I can do it this time, next minute I am like wtf why am I trying. 

I rented pay per per view and watched Netflix all night.. since I am sleeping little to none right now.. Stayed clean.


Comment 6: That's SO awesome - you rode it out and it passed !!! You should pat yourself on the bat - or at least do it for me ! Just take it one day at a time - that's enough. Don't worry about tomorrow - you never have to handle more than today. Forget the rest and when the mind story gets going , catch it and stop it. Keep reminding your mind that today is enough and try to see if you can find some ease in just staying present . It's a real challenge, I know, but it's a challenge that will help you on so many levels. And the more clean days you stack, the easier it'll be to do this and other other positive things. Just keep it simple - today is all you need to take care of. Keep moving forward,, Lady - you passed yesterday's test - you can pass today's!


To be honest, I have been lonely as hell during the last 2 years of using, and the longer I try to get sober the lonelier I get. I can imagine hell should be so isolating. I could count on one hand the people interested in what's up with me- and there was a day I had more friends than I knew what to do with. That's another topic though...hard for people to wanna be friends with a junkie loser.

Last night- those complete junkie and ex-junkie STRANGERS gave a crap enough to give me those no BS replies. I did not expect a response at all. I figured people would glance and roll through. 

Amazing that in the world we live in where junkies are trash and the sober people are 'good', that an addict cares enough to rise up and help a total stranger day after day! It's amazing. It was amazing not to feel alone when I logged on and saw that people cared if I never logged on again...

Friday, April 25, 2014

Locked Inside Pain

Some days sobriety seems so far away, so unachievable, that anything else looks more favorable.

The long dark nights in the hood. Alone. Cold. Dope sick. Broke. There is no accountability anymore. You have already deserted your life, so dying isn't a scary feeling. No eyes to look into of loved ones who hold out their most desperate prayer that you will magically change. 

Jail is one of the single worst places I have lived. Weeks of my life in a room with other hopeless women. Everyone I met in jail felt hopeless, even on their best day. Not even the biggest smile could mask the pain in the sad eyes around me. The toughest fighter bled shame through her scowl. Yet somehow jail feels like an answer. I think it only means I won't have to make the choice. Relapse will not be an option while those walls stand high around me. 

I read this earlier today from an anonymous poster on a blog:


being a heroin addict is UNFORGIVABLE, how stupid can these people be. This is something you never never try if you have any brains, and is therefor not a forgivable addiction. It just indicates you are a weak non thinking ass.

I can't help but feel pain when I read that statement. I think that the majority of people feel that way. Even the people who don't admit it, and who don't want to. I wish I could put into words this evening the pain I feel knowing that I am an addict. Knowing it's my own fault that I have been stuck in the opiate trap.  
James 1 tells me to persevere and find joy in my trials. Quite honestly that has been my MO. Knowing that it is ALWAYS darkest before the dawn. 

I will let that be my hope again this evening. Tomorrow I will deal with these feelings again. With a new day, and hopefully a new perspective.
 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Craving Change

There comes a point for all of us when we crave change. By crave, I mean a desire so potent that it comes from a place deep inside of us, a desire we can't extinguish no matter how much we sleep.

I find that when I am at this point I have two choices. I give up, or I insert actions powerful enough to move me away from the sameness that haunts my days.

This craving is what lit the spark in me to get completely away from opiates. I found a doctor and counselor qualified and determined to teach me how I could make the permanent changes necessary to stay sober over a lifetime. I opened this blog as an outlet for my feelings, and as a source of inspiration for others who want to be free of opiates.

Three weeks into my new fight I find myself craving even more than this. I have lost my focus over the last week. My joy is being overpowered by negative thoughts and days filled living on the edge of dope sickness and depression.

I see my doctor in a few more hours. I plan to ask him if at this point of taking less than 1 pill a day, should I go ahead and go cold turkey for the rest? Throw all of the withdrawal into a few days, and get on with my life. I honestly do not know what his answer will be. I wish I had access to ex-junkies for some guidance.

Nevertheless, my first step today was to pray. Next to write, and then I'll force myself on a walk and to do some yoga. Maybe I can jump start my endorphins that way.  know that if I want my circumstances to change I have to change what I do during my day. This will be the part of the fight where I literally have to drag myself through the motions and pray for results. I know that I won't change if I lay around sad all day, so nothing I do can be worse than how I have felt all week.

The goal is to stay sober and away from a street drug relapse. Thanks to the few of you who are reading and sending me comments. Believe it or not, those few words send me more hope than you can imagine. I am posting this entry on both of my blogs this morning. http://suboxonestopping@blogspot.com & http://opiatetrap@blogspot.com I'll update later on how the day went.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Escaping the Trap?

If you are on Suboxone or have ever gotten free from it, I'd love your advice, rants, comments, critique. Here is my day 22 journal entry from Suboxone stopping:

http://suboxonestopping.blogspot.com/2014/04/day-22.html

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Junkie Say:Junkie Who? Middle Aged Women Using Dangerous street Drugs.

If someone tells you that women in their 20's, 30's & 40's including middle class married mothers, are at the top of the list for black tar heroin users, would you believe it?

Personally, that doesn't make much sense at first. So why give that statement much thought? Well, I can tell you firsthand that I am a mother in her 30's. I had never done BTH in my 20's or teens. Honestly, I do not have much experience even being around it. I know people who did and that was the extent of my relationship to the subject.

So why would I be surprised that my relapse after years of sobriety took place when I was doing some contract work at a clients house. A woman; an ex-model, married to an NFL player, in her 40's or 50's with children, a nice home, money, cars, and lots of friends. From the outside looking in she lived every woman's dream. A great life and didn't have to work if she chose not to. Of all of the places in all of the world I told myself to stay away from, this was nowhere near on the list.

I simply ran a small business so I could spend more time with my own children. Thrilled to work for a new client, I didn't put any red flags up at the situation. No need for my anti-drug radar to signal. Relapse was the furthest thing from my mind.

I received an invite from this client for  cocktails at one of her girlfriends houses on a nice patio by a pool. This Friday night sounded perfect for the single Mom who needed a little something new to spice her dad to day up a little. The friend whose house we gathered at shared most of the characteristics in her life as my client.

A third woman, a 49 year old also joined us. She married a lawyer and had a great teenage son. From the outside she had it all!

I was enjoying myself and not expecting what came up within the first 10 minutes. Two of the women started doing lines of coke, and the 3rd went to the bathroom for what seemed like the whole night. Later I find out she is shooting up tar. This was the night of my relapse. I hadn't planned it, didn't see it coming, and did not say no. 

The 4 of us look like the women you see at Whole Foods, the Country Club, any number of 'normal' everyday activities that 'happy' women are found. 

It was the next day I started questioning how many happy people were doing serious narcotics on a daily basis. the answer to my question was clear as the next few weeks passed. ALOT, and most were women, although I saw many men in suits and ties with a needle. 

This clearly contradicts with the things we hear about people who do cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. We hear junkie, and think of the poor person scrambling through garbage cans. Teenagers and party animals in their 20's. 

Maybe this is the first thing wrong with stomping out the drug problem? One of my doctors has told me that the rise of women in their 30's and 40's that IV heroin are taking over like a tidal wave. I don't hear much about this through media, but I see it in waiting room, meetings, rehabs, and most importantly on the streets where junkies buy. 

Why is this? How can we explain the lack of info on this specific type of drug user? My first reaction is that women of this age are compiled with a ton of stress, conditioned to handle it without complaint, and scared to admit it for fear of judgement. 

Any thoughts or knowledge on this topic?

When You Lose the Things You Love





I did not initially lose my children to CPS because of drugs. They were taken on allegations that were not true. A never ending war my ex waged year after year to ruin my life. I had won each time this happened in the past, because I gave them no reason to keep my kids. This time was different. This time they got a warrant to take them before I had a court date, and I died inside. 

Had I kept myself together, I would have won the case and they may have come home. Instead I went back to drugs to cope with not having them home. I did not cooperate with CPS, and they still have them. I say I lose them, bit it feels like I gave them away. 

Now granted, they cheated and lied in order to win their case, but that is neither here nor there. In my right mind I would have had the focus and motivation to tear them up on my court date. All those days of self loathing and sadness led to more sadness. 

Today is Easter, and I find myself laying in bed mid-afternoon. It' days like this I miss them most. We always had an Easter cookout at our house after church. If I even think about these memories I breakdown. I know that the first step to getting them back is getting clean from Suboxone so that I am able to use my inner strength and not the fake strength the medicine provides.  Saying it is so much easier than doing it. 

I have spent so many days waking up only to wish the day was over so that I can go back to sleep. Will the opiate trap ever set me free? 

As much as I am hurting, I know my children probably hurt that much more. 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Heroin in Happy Meals?

Now this is some crazy stuff to me! Ordering a Happy Meal with code words will get you some smack. It doesn't surprise me that heroin is the rising drug.  Check out the article... it's not too long.

http://www.drugaddictiontreatment.com/types-of-addiction/heroin-types-of-addiction/the-frightening-heroin-resurgence/

The Opiate Trap in Full Effect!

Today the reality of what the opiate trap is all about weighed hard on my willpower. The hatred for the rope that tightens firmly around my neck. Longing for the relief it provides. The death of  physical and emotional pain. 

I force myself to remember the times I was stuck on the street. Desperate to score hour after hour. the sad lonely ache that never left me. I am truly feeling for the addicts out there tonight. I am thinking about them, and hoping for their safety, peace, and that they might find way out of the trap. 

A reminder to share this blog with a loved one or through social media to help reach the addicts who need a first step!




I Can Get My Drug of Choice At the Drugstore.

I know my journey into the Opiate Trap started out the same way as many others.  With a legitimate injury and trip to the doctors office. I can't put my finger on the exact moment when taking my Vicodin went from every 2-4 hours, to 24 hours a day. I believe I was in my mid 20's. Little did I know that in another 10 years I'd graduate the trap with a Masters in heroin. 

Yes, my compulsive and addictive behavior had made it's debut years before, but it showed it's face as a wild girl who smoked pot and hung around with bad boys for the most part. The control I desperately longed for was maintained through my bulimia. Narcotics were yet to enter my world.  Looking back, all red flags that signaled a troubled young lady had taken root. 

When a broken ankle followed a broken tooth, and a car wreck came shortly after those two, was it inevitable that I'd succumb to a painkiller addiction? Sometimes I laugh at the double meaning of painkiller. I know all too well that the pain I wanted to kill was in my heart. Vicodin killed the painful  memories that flooded my sober mind. I went from a depressed, struggling, single Mommy to an energetic, patient, accomplished super Mom. 


The family was so proud of me. I saw no reason to think I was an addict. Then something happened. I ran out of pain killers. Boy did the pain come back. It didn't come alone though, it brought leg cramps and dope sickness with it. 


Just that fast. I am trapped. I do not posses the ability to be rational during the withdrawal stage, so I do what it takes to get high. Whatever it takes. Once I have scored and get that rush again, it hits me the desperation of my actions and I feel guilty. I say to myself, I will not let this control me! I can handle it! Those words are easy to say when the pain is dead again. What happens now? I run out again. Desperation. 


Does any of this sound familiar? Am I the only one who got stuck in the opiate trap this way?



Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Suboxone Story

I felt this is worthy to share.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8452076560635353634&postID=3400007765428425276&page=1&token=1397883093185

It's Not That Simple

Drug addiction is not a simple problem. We are a world that stereotypes. It's easy to group certain types of people into a box. We can toss drug addicts together in a population of bad people who only care about themselves. How could a we shoot heroin, smoke crack, drop acid, if we loved our family? If we cared about our friends why would we do that to them. Do we not care enough about our own children enough to stay clean?

These are all questions I have been asked. I have been publicly accused of caring about nothing but myself and my next fix. Sometimes the rage that cranks through my body when I hear words such as those targeted at me enrage me to the point where I must choose to say nothing in defense of myself. For if I respond in any other way I might lose full control of myself. Consequently, that brands me even more selfish. Now I flat out don't give a damn enough to even justify an answer.

Here is my question. How on earth is that fact that these drug addicts are actual. real people escaping the minds of the perfect? When asked in Elementary School what I wanted to be when I grew up, I did not say, "A Junkie!"

I had no idea I was headed down that road. My very first 'addictive' behavior was a simple act of defiance against my mother. She herself was in so much pain that she drank into a stupor night after night. Telling me I was worthless. I'd never amount to anything. I looked like a whore. (at 11 years old) I hurt so badly, all day every day, that I could barely breathe sometimes. 

So lighting up a cigarette at 14 while she was passed out downstairs seemed like a way to channel the hurt. All I wanted was to feel. To feel loved. To NOT feel lonely. To make my mother happy. Which as a child I had no idea that was impossible. She didn't not lash out at me because I did anything wrong. If only I had known that then. Would I be different?

Would I have gone down the same roads year after year? Hurting then numbing then guilt then hurt myself more to extinguish the guilt? Rinse and repeat. Worse every time. 

I am not the only person like this. Every. Single. Addict. Has. A. Story. A story filled with pain and suffering. I'd bet my life that most of us wanted better for ourselves. By the time we were old enough to understand what was happening, our destructive paths were already well on there ways.

Are you this person? Is someone you love this person? Do you need to understand someone like this? Please follow my blog on the right. Subscribe. Follow me on Google. Shoot me an email and comment. I want something good to come from my past, pain, and stories. I want something GREAT to come out of my recovery. 

The Monster.

The one inside my brain that tells me to 'eff' it all. That no matter how hard I try, I'll never be sober. Never stay sober. That it is only a matter of time until I choose to blow my mind up with narcotics. 
That first hit on the crack pipe. The first shot. The one that tells you you want more. It's a liar. It's a monster. The beginning of the destruction of the dreams in your heart. The demise of the willpower to accomplish anything beyond getting high. 
The monster talks to me still. I am trying to kill it, trying to wipe it's influence from my existence. My greatest fear is that the monster, at best, will only stay sleeping. That as many days or years that I might win sobriety, I will always be one step away from using again. 

Somehow for today, I know that I need to ignore it. I will turn from the desire, and use the things I am learning to get me until tomorrow. I know this will quiet it to a degree. As it sits quietly in my thoughts, I can still feel it stir, wanting to find new ways to win me over again. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Okay Not To Suffer?

I kinda want to title this one, "IS It Okay Not To Suffer?"  I mean, I AM a junkie, right? Getting clean is not supposed to be a walk in the park. We reap what we sow, and junkie life sows nothing but turmoil and garbage. 

Why would I reap anything besides turmoil and garbage if that's who I am?

SCREECH to a HALT!!!

Could this way of thinking be part of what keeps us in the opiate trap for years...decades even?  The thinking that has changed nothing. If the 1st rule of becoming different is to actually CHANGE, then we better start treating ourselves better than garbage. 

I know...I know... it doesn't feel normal. I know we can tell our brains to at least speak those words.  We can drudge through the motions and fake it. (which as junkies we know we can do) Our hearts could eventually catch up. 

Such  cliche, yes, but that does not make it untrue. 

WE all could have a PhD in faking and masking feelings, so faking the good kind is simply a minor alteration. The worst thing that can happen is we do not change at all. 
The payoff is we will begin to enjoy living again. For our own sakes. 

We are NOT garbage. We ARE worthwhile. We deserve happiness! We will cut ourselves a break! 

Junkies: say that out loud... even a whisper, I don't care, just get the words out of your mouth. If I can do it, You can. 
Alright. Now the first part is done. It came out of our mouths. So what's next? How do we begin to treat ourselves better than garbage?

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Suboxone: Friend or Foe? Part One

For those of you who are not familiar with Suboxone, it is part of the opioid family. Partly synthetic, it's used for opioid addiction treatment, and sometimes for pain management. Here is a link to Wikipedia if you would like to know more. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buprenorphine

I believe that Suboxone played a crucial part in helping to save my life from continuing on the destructive and suicidal path I was on. If you have read my 'Shot in the Dark, Right at My Throat' post, you heard the mind trap I needed to battle my way out of. 

Here are snippets of 3 essential components I believe we need to begin our battle to freedom. 

1. A loved one who will commit to unconditionally love and support you through this process unconditionally. 

2. A doctor and/or counselor that will monitor your medicine and your mental state very closely. 

3. Suboxone

Let me stress the words 'to begin the battle'. as these 3 things alone will not carry us to the point of maintaining a healthy, happy lifestyle. I will take each component and break it down in a post of it's own. Nothing is short or simple about recovery.



Advantages of Suboxone:

~Hinders the physical withdrawal symptoms
      The horrendous withdrawal off of heroin, Vicodin, and other opiates often paralyzes us in fear. We may want to stop using and continue to use only to satiate the physical need for the drug. 

~Blocks the 'high' feeling that other opiates produce. I can tell you firsthand that I tested this theory. Even with the absence of physical pain, my brain continued to tell me it wanted to use. Not only does using opiates while on Suboxone not get you high, but we are further frustrated when we have spent the money, the time, and suffered a relapse for an empty drug. 

Disadvantages of Suboxone

~It is still a form of opiate, and you will have withdrawals if you stop taking it abruptly
     We might say that moving from opiates to Suboxone is a lateral move if we look at it from the perspective that we will still be physically addicted to opiates. 


~If used as a solution to opiate dependents I believe it will fail. Many doctors, including one of my own,  treat heroin addicts with suboxone by once a month office visits, writing a new script, and never outlining any further treatment plan. Although we may not get high off of Suboxone, we are still a slave in the opiate trap. What fun is it to be in the opiate trap without the opiate high? 

We only touched on the bare basics of the advantages and disadvantages of Suboxone. As we addicts know, nothing about addiction is this simple. We did not become emotion numbing, hurting drug users overnight. I am certain each of our stories once broken down hold many complex and unique situations dabbled over years...decades....a lifetime....

Sincere gratitude to my readers. 



When CPS takes your family

All I can think about are my children. When CPS took them from me, I lost my will to get up. It's bad enough to have CPS knocking at your door for bogus charges from a jealous ex, but how long can you blame someone else?

When I say lost my will to get up- I mean I physically had trouble moving my body parts. They were my life. My smiles. My family.

They cried when CPS took them. A CPS worker got a judge to sign a warrant for their removal after he came to my house and saw an air-conditioning valve that he claimed was a drug pipe.

Of course this got straightened out in court, but by then it was too late. I had ruined us. I had that first hit and it kept me from the pain of losing my kids. So when that spiraled outta control they were able to keep them from me forever.

My one and only hope in this world is that freedom from opiates will get me my kids back. Even against impossible odds. CPS said that heroin users are hopeless- unable to be recovered.

And they won.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Moe

Eenie meenie minie moe
Pick a vice to kill your soul
any vice will kill u slow!

Eenie-meenie-minie-moe

I never like to think of myself as a 'bad person'. Unfortunately drug users get that wrap. Even if a person won't say it to you- 9 times out of 10 I am willing to bet they are discouraged I am on drugs and unable to free myself from addiction. 


I am firm in the belief that drug addition rarely stands alone. It always runs hand in hand with something else. Eating disorders, depression, sex issues, anxiety, low self esteem, breaking the law, bad relationships, childhood trauma, rape. 

The list could go on. The frustration sometimes eats me up inside that some don't understand how much is involved in becoming an addict. Resulting in the difficult path necessary to quit. Some people just don't understand. I have to accept that. 

The Obsession with Obessioning

I remember over a decade ago when my first thought as I woke was a pain pill. Followed by thoughts of how to take less that day. More thoughts of how to prolong that first pill. Obsessing over every aspect of using, and not using. 

It was less than a week into my first shot of Heroin in which my first awakening thought questioned how I would get high. Where would the money come from today? How about the gas? All the plotting and planning to stay even. Only to go rock that score and start the planning over again. 

Mindless and endless hours of obsession. 

This is what I refer to as the opiate trap.

Today I find myself waking up to question how many suboxone do I have left? I am running low. How can I make that one last? Should I order more from the pharmacy? Maybe today is my last day? Thoughts dive straight into fear. Will I get dope sick?! 

And slowly my mind tells my brain to shut down so I can focus on my actual day. 

When there are no more drugs to take, no more pills for withdrawal, no more schedules or tapers, what will my mind obsess on my first waking thought of the daylight?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stopping Suboxone Day 2

Please click the link below to be routed to my Suboxone Stopping Blog!

http://suboxonestopping.blogspot.com/2014/04/day-2-its-start.html

Suboxone Taper

I have decided to post my daily suboxone taper journal. If you look on the right hand side of my page and click 'Suboxone Updates'.
I'd love any advice or feedback if you have been through the process. 

For those of you inquiring about how it feels to get off Subs- I will be as forthright as possible!

Thanks

Brain Chemical Breakdown

To understand why people continue to use drugs despite all horror stories and facts, it helps to understand what drugs do to our brain, as well as what happens to our brain when we stop using. 

Serotonin-Regulates sleep and appetite

Dopamine- The feel good chemical- Plays an important role in mood, energy, attitude, and motivation.

GABA- Acts as your calming neurotransmitter, helping you relax.

Acetylcholine- Handles processing information and memory. 

Drugs, narcotics, and especially opiates effect the distribution and regulation of each of these chemicals. 
Opiates trigger and enhance pleasure, increasing endorphin levels in the brain. The amount of endorphin's that flood in when an opiate is taken alerts our body. Imagine pumping gas into an already full tank. The gas will begin to overflow, and then cut off because it has been signaled to stop pumping. Much like our brains are signaled to produce less endorphin's because of the opiates power to flood our brain. Eventually our bodies will no longer make endorphin's because they are being provided through the narcotic source. 
If a person whose body has ceased endorphin production quits taking an opiate, the brain will essentially be depleted of 'happy chemicals'. 

The best way I can describe what this does emotionally to a person is to say that I felt not only numb, but void of any feeling. An empty soul unable to smile, and unable to understand why. 


Shot in the Dark & Right at My Throat

OMG. I'm F*@ked.

The first words out of my mouth. I will never forget those moments. The hours, days, weeks before are all a blur, as were the following. However, nothing will ever erase those few moments.

I can vividly recall the smell. The temperature of my body. The bodies around me. No faces, only bodies. The sharpness of the point. The fear. The pressure in my eyelids as I scrunched them closed in anticipation. That feeling. Oh that feeling. I told them I should never do it. I told them. They said I'd be okay. I knew better. I told them I KNEW if I did it I'd love it. I. HAD. NO. IDEA. My expectations of the euphoria truly underestimated the level of ecstasy that traveled slowly through the vessels inside of me. At each turn feeling the devil penetrate a new level of pleasure I had never known. Not even in my wildest dreams.

See, I can only illustrate the story from my own point of view. When you spend the majority of your life in pain, physical euphoria can be a tricky vice to shake. The physical nature is so powerful, that it extends far beyond. It grabs your mind in it's claws. Clenches with a grip so tight, that the only thing you can see clearly is that you might not pry through the fingers of the iron fist alive. All of this recognized in less than 2 minutes of the experience.

Many labels are attributed to 'these kind of people'. Not one of these labels are positive. I would venture to guess that most are...or were... good people before that first hit. This next statement may only make sense to 'them'. While the first hit pierces the body, you are fully aware of the stigmata. You become fully aware of the power of something truly evil. As a small being bouncing around the inside of the iron fist, you try to jump out. You want to, but the euphoria sucks you back in like a vacuum. In attempt to combat the judgement passed on you, it's easier to actively seek out a life that reflects that judgement.

Here lies the problem. Euphoria. Judgement. Addiction. Suffocation. Morality. Choice. Betrayal. Dishonesty. Entrapment. Good. Evil. Darkness overcoming the light with it's giant shadow. 

I don't want to talk about this. I don't want to share it. I am terrified. It eats away at me month after month.  I need to allow these thoughts to live as something other than a nightmare held captive in my brain. Maybe in attempt to relate to someone else in pain? Not that anyone will ever see it... but maybe they will. Maybe you saw it. I figure I have already lost everything. They already have their opinion of who I am and what I have done. So what do I have to lose?