I have over 2800 posts, 127 friends, 663 days off methadone, many hours with a therapist, doctor, addiction classes, group meetings, 12 step meetings, and physical therapy. I was told that it would likely take me take 2 years to actually get back to myself again and quitting drugs was not enough. Well, this last month or two has been amazing. I finally feel satisfied, so here's a quick version of how I got here.
I started drugs at 11, pot was my first drug, it was the gateway drug to alcohol. My dad is a severe alcoholic so that drug scared me more than the others. LSD became my DOC by 14, I wanted drugs that really took me out of my life. My dad told me, "You can deal drugs and you can do drugs, but never do the drugs you deal." I would trip on LSD and sell methamphetamine all night by 15. I partied as a teen. AT 17 I took Datura in a Shamanistic journey. I realized in that experience that I didn't want to party with drugs anymore, but kept using them. I didn't want to do coke or methamphetamine anymore, so I guess that was a 4 year run as a youth. My shamanism lead to many hallucinogenic explorations, chronic pot smoking, binge drinking, and a quest for a better way to live and think. The sacred plants did open my mind and teach me many things, though I kept taking them after those doors of perception were already open. I suppose I was partying with a sacred frame of mind at that point. I had been on the fence about what was wrong with my mind and feelings, my cup never stayed full very long and seeing it half full was getting harder. My first kid was born when I was 30, that was when all the unfullfillment really kicked in. I started playing God.
I lived on faith, I've walked with no money and traveled around the world, yet the faith I had for myself was not so easy to apply to my kids. My scoliosis started getting worse and I was doing hard work as a landscape contractor. I needed to make money and provide everything for my family, my intentions were pure, but that was the thinking that lead to opiates. Hydro's, morphine, Oxy, I tried them all, but methadone didn't get me too high to work and lasted a long time. I was sold, for about 8 years I took methadone going from 20mgs a day at first to 250mgs a day at the end. I didn't realize what was happening to me. My childhood resentments, daily struggles, corruption I have witnessed all went away on methadone. I didn't know I was taking drugs for so many reasons, but it became the pill for every ill.
So, I finally realized I was in trouble and started trying to quit. It was about 1 1/2 years of trying it my way on my own, then another year of my wife trying to help, only to have me find the stash. I lied without thinking, then couldn't tell the truth, because I would be caught. We think we are so slick, everyone who matters to me knew exactly what was going on, way more than I did. My wife and family were giving up on me. I had a few respiratory arrests and scared my kids with some convulsions and my eyes rolling back in my head. I didn't blame them for giving up on me, I think I wanted them to in some ways. My wife told me after my second to last OD that she would never give me CPR again for drugs. I said good, let me die if I can't get it together. Then the night I will never forget as long as I live came.
My lungs stopped in my sleep, luckily I woke up. I could barely sit up and tried to be quiet to not wake anyone up. I got on the floor and was gasping for air, my wife asked if I was okay. I couldn't really answer, she knew I wasn't, but laid back down and ignored me. I can only imagine how hard it was to truly love me and let me die, which is what she thought she was doing. I was getting light headed and knew I may die soon. Then the kids sat up and looked at me, my heart was breaking. I drug myself over to a chair and leaned my chest against the back of it to manually pump my lungs. I couldn't inhale or exhale and was weak, not to mention obviously high. I think it was about 6 hrs I fought to keep myself conscious. Just as the dawn broke, I felt my lungs finally kick in and start to breath shallow on their own. Shortly after that, everyone woke up, surprised and happy I was breathing. That was my bottom you might say.
It is highly unlikely one could quit 250mgs of methadone CT, so I had to keep taking it after I knew I was gonna die soon if I kept using. Tried to taper, no luck, tried to get fast acting opiates to help detox, that didn't do it, I just kept trying different things, until I went to a sub doctor as a very last resort. I tapered down from 250 to 160 in about a month, then my doc gave me a bunch of hydros to take over 4 days, then went 48hrs with nothing and induced subs. While in full blown methadone detox, awaiting subs, I was jumped in the street and had my nose broken, lips busted up, and bruised ribs. Cops found me unconscious in the street covered in diarrhea, vomit, and blood. In that chaos, I just kept remembering my kids faces looking at me as we all thought I would be dead in the morning, it's a miracle I lived. Took subs 20 days, which is when I signed up for every single recovery option available around me and spent tons of time on this forum. I say subs saved my life, but in reality, it was the moment of clarity subs gave me to sign up for my aftercare that is what really saved my life.
So those who have been here awhile have seen me whimper, whine, go psychotic and depressed. I was mad at God, myself, government, culture, you name it, it made me mad. I would say that 10 months was when I felt like I could live with how I felt. Then at 14 months had a psychotic breakdown, I called it a nervous breakdown, but that is not an actual clinical term I found out. I was diagnosed bipolar 1 with psychotic mania tendencies. That was when I felt cursed, my childhood was rough, I've seen lots of violence and injustice, I'm an addict, but then there is this other thing I was born with. My resentments were dominating me, as my opiate receptors healed, my mania increased more and more. I kept saying, "I want to give up, I just can't figure out what that means."
I had no old sober me to return to, I am still sculpting myself out of the rock at the bottom. The dones suppressed my mania, and everything else. I had stopped self medicating by then, so I went to a doctor. I did as they said and took the meds they suggested, I still went psychotic, I'm not talking hypo mania, but full blown out of control of my thoughts and actions kind of maniac. People thought I may be an alcoholic, because I try to black out in that state, I don't even remember a lot of it, even if I haven't done a drug or booze. I used the meds to get balanced, really studied my CBT, then I changed my life to fit my mind, rather than change my mind to fit my life. So far so good. I work on recovery pretty constantly. My every thought and action is weighed by my recovery, it has to be. I am channeling my thoughts and have a plan for any future mania. I may not be able to do it drug free, but I am going to prove it without a doubt before I go back to any drug, though I am more open to the idea.
The last couple months totally drug free have been really amazing. I'm not happy or even satisfied all the time, but I seem to be able to hang onto the big picture better lately. It took 18-19 months to even believe I could heal all the way, my mind was a mess, my heart was broken, and I sold my spirit to the company store. I am so glad I kept focused on other people's belief I could heal, it's so obvious now why I couldn't do it alone. If will power could do it, I'd of been fine, I am very stubborn when I set my mind to something. 2 years sounded so long in my drug induced insanity, 2 years to heal is a small investment to get my future back.
"Since I can't make life easy, I have to make it worth it." Finally feel this one.