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20391860 tn?1497230541

Jumping off methadone

First let me tell you a little bit about me. I'm 50 years old, male and have been on methadone for the last 10 years. I'm an alcoholic who quit drinking 29 years ago. I don't do any other recreational drugs whatsoever as opiates have scratched that itch quite well. A few months back after tapering down from 80 mg a day to 20 mg per day , I signed out of the clinic and walked away. I was determined that with the small stockpile I had at home I could continue to wean myself off. I called a good friend of mine who has also been on methadone for over 10 years , although not at any particular Clinic and told her I was done. She happened to be  horribly dope sick that day  and begged me for a few wafers. I personally have great empathy for other Junkies who are sick and trying to keep it together, hold a job, pay a mortgage Etc ...
To make a long story short I picked the wrong time and the wrong parking lot to meet my lifelong friend in and soon I was in jail. I didn't stay in jail long as I do have some savings and means to post bond. I hired the best attorneys that I could and continued to cut my dose down as my court date approached. Last Wednesday was my court date and my attorneys worked out a no felony deal that knocked the drug charge down to a misdemeanor and more importantly the gun charge down to a misdemeanor (I live in a state that allows registered guns in your car) I also got 12 months of drug tested probation and it's because of this that I decided to jump off and go clean from 10mg of methadone a day. I've been doing opiates for 17 years and I've went the same route that a lot of you guys have. A bad back injury led to a prescription of Lortabs then to Percocet to Roxy's, oxy's, lollipops, pain patches and smack if nothing else was around. My last dose was Wednesday morning(10mg)  a week ago. I was drug tested the day after I went to court , called in at random they said.. what they really wanted was a Baseline so that they could see if the numbers went down nanograms/ decaliter wise. Therefore I don't have the luxury of taking benzos to sleep or even the most innocuous of prescription meds if they're not prescribed to me, it would be a violation Of course and I'd end up further entwined with the justice system. Here is how it's went:
 I noticed nothing Thursday except for anxiety.
 Friday was a bit worse but still nothing I couldn't work through.
Saturday I could tell I was going into the beginnings of a somewhat serious withdrawal. I didn't sleep at all Saturday night and the joint pain centered itself in both ankles. Sunday I knew I was in trouble, the nausea started , digestive troubles bubbled away painfully in my gut and sleep escaped me no matter what I tried. I was sweating like a w**** in church and more anxious than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. It was a very rough day.
Monday it appeared, at first at least , was going to be a great day .  Somehow  Sunday night I had managed to sleep four and a half hours  and my mind had tricked itself  into thinking the worst was over .  I Knew by noon that it was certainly not over. The mystery sleep had simply been one of those strange  gifts  that happened from time to time and not anything more. I decided instead of being crestfallen about the situation I would instead be grateful that somehow, somewhere, someone had allowed me that rest. No matter how rough Monday was I resolved myself to be in a grateful State of Mind for the nearly five hours of blissful sleep that I'd received. It's currently Tuesday evening and I'm feeling pretty rough. my face is so flushed , my body stinks , my ankles feel like they've been run over by semi truck, I am utterly exhausted  but it's the small things that keep me moving. I want to be clean. I want to put this hellish chapter behind me. I no longer want to be a Slave to the Grind of this disease The constant Hustle and Flow of opiate addiction has left me exhausted emotionally, spiritually and financially. Wish me luck, say a prayer and hopefully you'll hear from me again
Regards , Dave
137 Responses
20391860 tn?1497230541
Also big thanks to http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/list/1673923?personal_page_id=2149769 it has helped even though our results appear different. I'm glad they took the time to document their experience and share it here.
Much love BamaIndian wherever you may roam...
Avatar universal
Dave, I'm not sure what you are looking for but I hope you get into recovery asap. Seems to be the one thing missing from your story. It will be the game changer, and you'll never have to go through this again if you do the work. Keep posting.
1 Comments
I was involved in the AA program for many years. I went through rehab for drinking in the early 90's and have never touched a drop since. Once I get over this detox I plan on going back. Today makes a week.Thanks for the comment. Dave
20391860 tn?1497230541
One week today. 2 hrs of sleep last night. I have the strange taste of wet cardboard in my mouth and am constantly nauseated  It's a repulsive taste. I still feel flushing in my face. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say this is a 5.5 except that the lack of sleep seems to be amplifying my overall sense of malaise. No desire for food.  
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day 7 comma 1:05 p.m.
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day 7, 1:05 p.m.
Wish I knew how to edit on here but I don't ,so sorry for the mistakes in posting.
Had to go to Walmart because we're literally out of food. I stayed in the truck while my wife went in and did the shopping. A thunderstorm suddenly  roared  in and I watched the various people in the parking lot run around in disarray and chaos. I felt a kinship with them even though I was perfectly dry. The rain subsided and I watch the parking lot return to normality. I was a little sad. Somehow the group disarray Id witnessed had brought a weird Comfort to me. I stepped out of the truck just to let the sun hit my face and I smelled the purest air I think I've ever smelled. Every trace of pollen had been beaten down and there was an overall easiness in the air. The rain had cooled things down so quickly that it caused a cloudiness in the mountains it looked like great Billows of smoke drifting through the trees, the sunshine was on my back and I felt at ease. I've simply got to take note of the little joys and wonders of living. Dope can't run the show any longer.
Avatar universal
Great comments. Very visceral and poetic. Glad you are posting! And even more glad you are going back to the program. Fyi, I go to AA even though my drug of choice is norco (hydrocodone.) Turns out, it covers all substances, and it becomes not about that and living life as it is, totally unfettered. I'm glad for you. Others will chime in, too. It's just been SO slow around here.
1 Comments
Thank you for checking in on me from time to time period it's comforting to know that there's at least one person listening. Hopefully I can document this experience so that in the future some other person in need can find it, like I found  @BamaIndian on here a few weeks back. Thanks again friend
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day 8, 8:25am. Sick at a 5/10. Got tricked Yesterday by this Insidious withdrawal into thinking I could cut my dose of Imodium as I was feeling better and apparently almost done with this process. Lying *******. Sneaky lying *******. On a positive note I don't feel quite as emotionally vulnerable as I have been feeling. I'll choose to be happy about that.
the big problem still is sleep or lack thereof. Only 1.5 hrs of sleep last night. The lack of quality sleep is becoming debilitating. Also it's the way I'm being deprived that's particularly cruel. At 10pm last night I stretched out with my body giving every indication that sleep would be arriving shortly. Then for the next 7 hours I stayed in some sort of virtual holding pattern, so close to sleep but never being green lit to actually land. The Perpetual circling of my ultimate destination begin to drain me immensely. It reminded me of a flight I was on years ago where we got stuck in a holding pattern right above the airport because a fuel truck had sprung a leak and apparently littered a large portion of the tarmac with jet fuel before it was discovered. We circled the airport incessantly, Waiting, waiting.. waiting... Through the clouds I could see my destination,so close but so far beyond any scope of influence I possessed. I remember going through a whole series of emotions ranging from raw indignation to silent plaintive pleas. I also remember, towards the end, grumbling that if I  ever actually landed I would swear off flying forever. Last night I found myself saying the exact same thing again. Life is funny and hauntingly unpredictable but ******* it I'm choosing to live it to the fullest instead of circling it like some sort of helpless,sickly, stowaway. Mark my words, once this disastrous ride is finally grounded, I will never ever fly again.
20391860 tn?1497230541
The wife went to use the garage door opener to take the dogs out and it broke. The door was half up-half down. Not a good thing at all. I drug my exhausted being out into the steamy garage and after an hour of random fiddling. Had it working again. Then 20 minutes later she went to open it again and the same thing happened. As I stood sweltering on a steps tool I was fuming. I slammed a door, stormed around and overall laid down a pretty funky cloud of bad vibes. I guess today I'm just an A-hole.
A dirty, sweaty,sickly, unappealing and certainly ungrateful a-hole. I'll try to do better.
Some  Sleep would surely  help
2 Comments
I so understand where you are coming from. I had a kidney transplant 4 mo ago. I decided to get of 2 mg of Ativan and 10mgs of Methadone a month later.  I'm still not sleeping that great.. The Anxiety was crazy add the no sleep.. This will pass You just have to hang in there. I had and still have to force myself to do everything.. My hubby, damn I surprised he is still with me I have been such a .... at times. When you are clean and free of the wd and back to you original self all this will be worth it. Hang in there ok You are not alone.. lesa
Thank you so much for such a sweet and sincere comment. I'm just hanging on for dear life and to me every ounce of positivity is a great resource. We're going to make it because the alternative is simply too illogical to allow
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day 9
8:31 am

I slept nearly 5 hours last night. Upon arising I could immediately tell that the rest had restored some clarity to my thinking. I thought back on Sunday nights unexpected sleep Bonanza and quickly saw a pattern. Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night all had the same thing in common, very little sleep. Then Sunday comes and I sleep four and a half hours. This time it's Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night in which I struggled to sleep 2 hours per night... and finally Thursday night, in which I sleep 5 hours. It looks like the body is simply exhausted after 6 hours of sleep in 3 nights and goes into a mandatory shutdown. But at any rate I'll be grateful. Sleep is an escape and it feels so wonderful to just Drift Away. My two grandsons are coming over today for the weekend so we'll see how that goes. Still feel like crap but my mental foggyness appears to be lifting. Also it appears that The troughs in between the cresting waves of discomfort are becoming longer? So the waves of discomfort, when they come, are still intense but the pauses in between appear to have lengthened slightly.
I also notice yesterday during my forced activity with the garage door that afterwards there appeared to be a push back the overall crappiness I was feeling. The activity, even though exhausting, seemed to trigger a long and unexpected period of Clarity both mentally and physically. I would say today would rate a 4.5 out of 10 on my personal withdrawal scale.
A BIG thanks to everyone who's taken the time to comment on this thread. Believe it or not every comment has meant something to me and has helped me in some way, form or fashion
20391860 tn?1497230541




Definitely feeling better today but still it's hard to trust the sensation. I've been tricked before thinking that it was better only to find out that it really wasn't. So I won't believe it or disbelieve it for now, I'll just be glad that I'm feeling better and won't attempt to gaze too deeply into the phenomena
20391860 tn?1497230541
Im drinking loads of water and Gatorade and eating the best that I can. Just praying for some decent sleep on the 2nd Friday night since I've been clean...
1 Comments
I would also force myself to exercise walking is the best but any movement will help.. As you noticed in the Garage it gave you some clarity and made you feel a lil better. Making the feel good endorphins your brain is craving requires moving. The opiate supplied this before. You are doing well being able to sleep every 3rd day! Any sleep at all helps.. You are doing Great you really are. Keep a Positive attitude as much as possible.. Really happy you are doing this for yourself.. lesa
20391860 tn?1497230541

Day 10
10 a.m.
I only slept 2 hours and when I did wake I was sick. Typical dope sick symptoms. Flushed face, shotgun sneezing , watering eyes, Zero Energy and an overall sense of great malaise. From my perspective this feels like a devastating blow especially after yesterday's fantastic results. The haphazard and randomized way in which the withdrawal is presenting itself makes it difficult for me to draw a bead on what any particular plan of action should be. It just keeps morphing around my best laid plans.
At any rate I'll find something positive to focus on today. Perhaps I'll focus on the people who have responded to this post so positively. That's been a big plus for me and I'm grateful. Yeah that'll be my thing today.
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
I think you are doing great!  I remember those awful wd's and at the same time i just rode them out as i knew i had to rid myself of all the toxins to get to the other side.  It has been over 9 yrs now for me and i am still amazed at all the wonders of the world that i took for granted for so many years.  I work my recovery the minute my feet hit the ground in the morning.  Look around at all you have to be grateful for~
1 Comments
@dominosarah
Thank you for the supportive words. The people on here,my fellow addicts,have been unbelievably supportive. I know it seems like such an uneventful thing, to read a comment from an unknown poster, living in an unknown place, with an unknown past... but in my personal reality it helps to know there's some connection to someone,  somewhere, who can understand what's going on in my world right now.
So anyway, just letting you know that I appreciate it and I'm grateful that you and everyone else has taken time out of your life to shoot a little message to me. Big thanks
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
Just knowing that someone does understand what you are going thru is a huge thing.  I lived on this board in the early days.  We have really great people on here who are very caring.  This is a "we" thing, not an "i" thing.
20391860 tn?1497230541
Sat 7:37pm.
Today has been by far the worst day. I would rate it a six out of ten. Every single aspect of it's been bad from the way I physically felt to my emotional well-being. I woke up at 7 a.m. and didn't put the first bite of food in my mouth until 3 p.m. I did go out at 11 a.m. and look at a small job which I had already scheduled Tuesday when I was fairly certain that by Saturday I would surely feel better. I also drove 50 minutes each way to pick up our two grandsons because again I'd given my word that I would, so I did but boy was that tough. At the present moment my wife is trying to keep the boys occupied because she knows that I feel so sick and I'm holed up in the bedroom with the light off, hiding out for all I'm worth. Doesn't make me feel very useful at all. I'm going to drag myself up and go make myself interact.
All in all today was not a good day but I'm still here and I'll survive these middle rounds where my opponent has had his second wind. I'll take the blows, however hard. I'll rest when I can, brawl when I must and wait my turn patiently. Eventually even the strongest of bullies run out of gas  and then it can be my turn. I'm ready for  this battle. I've been ready for a long time. I weaned myself down from 80 mg of day, alone and  in private.., preparing myself for a time when I would be strong enough to finally Break Free. That time is now and I remain stubbornly unafraid
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day 10
11:55 pm.
The worst is past. Not sure what this episode was all about today but it was rough. For the most part I feel better as of about 10 p.m. tonight. The only remaining traces are that I am weakened a bit,have a very slight tremor in my left hand and an overall queasiness. The leg and ankle pain are almost completely gone. The sneezing has subsided entirely. And the overall Malaise Has Lifted.
In the five years that I  abused and used opiates before I went to the methadone clinic in 2007, I was on and at some point withdrew from almost every pharmaceutical opiate drug out there and in my experience nothing shares this withdrawal profile.
Anyways just happy to be back. :-)
Avatar universal
Dave, you are a very intelligent guy; it's evident in your prose. Intelligence can keep us stubborn as hell, though. I'm  glad you've had a wd breakthrough, NOW is the time to get to a meeting.
1 Comments
I'm planning on catching a meeting very soon..
And As far as intelligence goes, I'm overrated but thank you.
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day 11
10:30 A.m.
I woke up at 6 a.m. after sleeping a shockingly long 5 hours. I feel fatigued and nauseated. I'm beginning to get a hollow , haunting feeling that I've underestimated this process. I also believe that having a 3 and 4 year old over at the same time may have been a mistake. Answering endless questions about Paw Patrol, Mutant Turtles and whether Pirate's are real has further drained any energy stockpiles I may have had. But hey, I'm alive and I'm clean and for that I'm grateful
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
Children are draining even when we arent in wd's but to see the world thru their eyes is such a blessing.  My 6 yr old grandaughter will pick a dandelion and give it to me.  She doesnt see it as a weed, she sees the brilliant color.

Are you eating?  Bland food will help ease the nausea.  I have always said it is too bad we cant see inside our body.  Our internal organs are working so hard to try and get back to working properly.  The drugs have affected them too so this is a time thing.  I know you feel like hell but now is the time to hit up those meetings.  You are doing great so keep it going!
1 Comments
Thank you for the perspective. For sure my internals need a break. I have lost my appetite.  Yesterday and today have roughed me up a bit.
On a random note: I still consider dandelions flowers. Maybe it's just the kid in me...
20391860 tn?1497230541

Day 11
6:27p.m.
I am fairly convinced that I have entered into the deeper waters of this withdrawal. I will be lucky if I don't lose my lunch soon even though I didn't have any. A full 7/10 on my silly little scale.

My mind still remains oddly clear however, Jumping here and there with hopes of the future and regrets of the past. I'll be honest and tell you that this level of withdrawal, at this extended of a period, has caught me completely off guard. People told me it was an Insidious kick and I tried to appreciate their wisdom but perspective matters and I suppose I'm earning mine now...
2 Comments
Hi Dave. Methadone is nothing like coming off opiates that the physical last a week our 2. I'm at 5 weeks and just starting to sleep sometimes 3hrs a night Once in awhile I will get 5 our 6. I'm still sneezing 7 times in a row I still feel like a lead weight although I'm not as emotional our as reflective. The anxiety has calmed down although still there. I have more control of my thoughts. My memory is still off but not as bad.. I find the wd comes in waves You think, I'm thru it then bam. It does end I can feel the end is near. I know this is probably not what you want to read but it is what it is. It is a small price to pay for all the years we gave away.. Methadone settles in fat and bone marrow.. Thus the lengthy wd.. You already are that much closer to getting this out of your system Hang in there you can do it.. You are doing Great! Stay Grateful.
I can handle the truth. I've read your blogs (thank you ) and I've related to alot of your story. But you've been holding your own on multiple fronts. I can't help but be impressed and inspired. I suspect you've got a lot of warrior in you. Thanks for the support...
20391860 tn?1497230541
Day12
6:03 am.
Still very sick. My sense of smell has went haywire and is nearly at superhuman levels. I can smell all the laundry room sundries, along with the kitchens carefully canistered coffee. I cannot pull my blanket to close to my face because of the overwhelming scent of cotton and other fibers. Sad truth is, I'm fully familiar with this odd happening, I've  experienced it many times during many withdrawals from other opiates but it was  always during their peak withdrawal phases, Approx. days 3-6, Not on day 12.
It doesn't really matter to me at this point how rough it gets or how long it lasts. I never assumed it would be easy. I always knew it'd be tough. I did hope that I might be one of the fortunate few who Detox relatively effortlessly. But deep inside, I knew..
When I told my counselor that I was quitting the clinic and detoxing at home and I watched fearful sorrow slowly trace her face, I knew..
The gist of my mindset is  that I'm  tired of being intimidated by fears of withdrawal. I'm tired of surrendering my emotional lunch money to this disease . I'm fed up and I'm done. I'm  furious  about all I've surrendered in order to keep the peace. I should have done this long ago but I got lost on the wide,  well trodden path of opiate  induced complacency and the fuzzy logic it produces. But today I am not lost..
I feel plenty sick but not lost even in the slightest. I'll be grateful for that today..
  
2 Comments
Speaking of your sense of smell I went thru that also. 2 weeks into my wd both my dogs and back door were hit by a skunk. I do not think I can smell anything normal again :)) Being Grateful for be sick and tired of giving away your life to the spirit sucking opiates Is a Wonderful thing to be Grateful for!! I'm Grateful for your writing it just reaffirms my war. Thank you and keep it going with as Jimi lil wing would say A Spirit that fears Nothing.. Happy and Proud for you!
I feel like we can all be inspiring to one another.
I draw comfort from other methadone addicts who are further along the path than I. It helps immensely  to hear how they struggled  and how they persevered and overcame .  It gives me hope and recharges my resolve . But I also draw another type of comfort by trying to help those who will surely come afterwards. Methadone and Suboxone clinics are huge where I live and due to the Nationwide opioid epidemic, I think they'll only get bigger. I'm Trying hard to leave a clear and honest representation of my journey,  little verbal breadcrumbs if you will, that just may help some other soul with their journey in times to come. Sometimes it's tough to be coherent in written form but I think it's important to keep it honest, warts and all.
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
"Go with a spirit that fears nothing"  Jimi's words took me thru alot of trials~
20391860 tn?1497230541

Day 12
7:50pm.
Still quite sick. Small slight headache centered behind right eye is annoying and bothersome. Sinus headache I'd guess. I drifted off this afternoon for nearly two hours. No doubt I'm worn. The nausea is non stop and I'm drinking pepto from the largest bottle they had. It's ridiculously oversized and obviously not meant for travel. It's meant for those who are convalescing. It's taller than a water bottle and almost twice the girth. Part of me feels depressed that Ive put myself in such a vulnerable and sickly position but another part of me snickers when I see the size of that Dam bottle. Must of been designed for a serious multi-use situation. Its sad that I alone have almost polished it off.
But I still feel firmly dug in and my resolve is the intact.
Ive Been sick before, been depressed before, been all this before. Feels like I'm being forced to watch a really bad movie that I've already suffered through a dozen times before, albeit this showing is in some strange slow motion edit..,virtually identical just much more drawn out.
I pray I'm better tomorrow because I want a meeting in my system. If I'm able, only if I'm able
Avatar universal
Dave, did you go to a meeting yet? (Yup, I'm asking.)
1 Comments
No, but I'm gonna need to go soon. I plan on keeping my mouth closed and just absorbing the positivity.
I need that infusion.
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495284 tn?1333894042
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