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...