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Quit methadone - daily progress thread

After a handful of random posts here, it was suggested I start a progress thread.  I don't want to steal anyone's thunder but maybe this can help others - including hopefully myself.  ;)

Long story short - kidney stones - vicodin - dumb decision to go to methadone clinic - 90mg for last 5 years or so.   48 year old male.   Oh, and I quit drinking at 21 after 3 three years of collegiate alcoholism...

The first week wasn't not that bad.   I did check myself into a detox, however didn't use the medication except valium a few nights.   I was with about 25 other high/higher dose methadone patients.   I am now 100% convinced there is a stigma of methadone w/d the festers in the minds of addicts.   Most of us have never stopped methadone.  It's a complete unknown other than 'rumors' and 'line talk'.   I was terrified of the unknown, so was everyone else I was with...  That PURE fear leads to what?!?  ** ANXIETY **  which then manifests itself in physical forms i.e. cravings, nausea, etc.   It is a vicious cycle.  There are true physical issues, however, I'd see a man at day 5-6 off 280mgs absolutely losing it - only to be perfectly fine for HOURS after simply chatting with others (staff, patients, etc.)   Could I have done that first 10 days without detox?  Looking back now absolutely, however at the time I personally needed that ONE FIRST STEP.   A commitment that, at least for that day, I'd be clean.  The last 5 weeks have not been easy - week two and three were a breeze - the last 2 have been challenging but I'm still clean.

Day 39   Stayed up an hour later hoping to sleep in - didn't work - bed at 12 and up at 5.   Tossed and turned as usual throughout the night.   Went to breakfast (something I NEVER used to do) and here I sit.  When I think about the energy crash I know is coming I get anxious.   It's hard to tell between anxiety and cravings.  I called the detox yesterday to ask about energy to which I was told, "yea, we took away your super powers"   Laughingly I agreed.  
65 Responses
Avatar universal
hi and welcome to the forum... we get a lot of methadone addicts here  and have several regular members that have recovered from this drug im sure they  will chime in when they read your post...  first things first  a big congrats on 39 days.....I often say it is not so much the severity of the withdrawal...but the long recovery time that makes it so difficult...as for me I kicked back in 2009 off 150mg for almost 7yrs  I was 47...I have developed a formula to give you a idea of what to expect  keep in mind know 2 detoxes are the same  but there are several factors that influence just how this goes for most people..my prayer to God was...''if you get me threw this I will devote my time hear on the forum''  I cant keep count of how many people I have helped off this drug but according to my profile  this will be my 9733 post on this forum with the lions share to methadone addicts I hope the insite that I have learned along the way can help you as well...first things first...so 95 mg is not crazy high but it is high enough to make this hard to do  the next factor and what I consider the most relevant is time used  ...anything beyond a year or two really influence your recovery time the last thing is your age  age is a huge thing...I was 47 at 150mg for almost 7 yrs so the cards  where stacked ageist  me...it took a lot of resolve perseverance and a positive attitude all are critical factors..now if your a 20 something recovery can comes as quick as 30 days..but the norm for this is usually 60 to 90 days...for me it took a good 90 days to really start to feel like there was hope...you try to be dope sick for 90 days....itt was the roughest detox that I ever went threw and after 10yrs on the pills I have had to detox more times then I like to admit to...for me the worst part was both the lack of sleep and the ''energy crash'' dont get me wrong the anxzity was off the charts at first  then came the restless legs and hands down it was the long recovery that made it seam hopeless at first...one of the best moves is journaling and remember to count every little thing that changes  like last night I only got 2 hours sleep  3 days later I got 4 hours and so on...alway list your symptoms we have a lot of home cures to help you...just know when it is all said and done it is SO SO WORTH IT TO BE FREE!!!!!no more ''liquid handcuffs''please feel free to message me with questions...and remember to try not to let fear into the equation...do your best to keep a positive attitude it makes the difference between being uncomfortable and suffering...suffering is a choice  like me when it finely runs it coerce you will consider it one of lifes greatest accomplishments...I prefer to work in the open forum  we can help more people that way  however if you prefire one on one we can use the messenger I look forward to helping you...by helping you I get back 10 fold in my own recovery....''you cant keep it if you dont give it away''  the best of luck to you and my prayers will be with you................Gnarly...................
1 Comments
Thanks for the post Gnar...  This length has really been the "x factor" with me as I truly thought about 30 days I'd be rockin' on...  Even the Docs at detox mentioned that as such!   I understand statistically my chances are 10% however today I don't see myself going back -- today -- I never really understood that.   I *do* have anxiety over the future (and hope) but I deal with that as it comes.   The one question I'm struggling with is my job.  I enjoyed it on methadone as I was superman... now I'm a shell of an employee.  Not sure if I should quit as it really takes it's toll on me physically.
Avatar universal
Day 40   Yesterday was a real challenge for some reason.  Work is super tough even in short (you'd laugh) shifts!   Did a 3.5 hour on my legs and felt like I was going to die.   It's tech work and I feel I'm failing on my company.  Got home at 6:30pm and straight to the couch.   Sat up (didn't sleep) at around 10 and drove to Taco Bell for a bean burrito as most things I used to eat don't sound good.  Anyway, I had about 10 min. of what I can only call completely normal as I felt years ago.  I damn near choked up when I realized what was going on.   I have a LOT of anger inside toward the clinic.  I understand it was me who did this, however, as we all know they make it soooooo easy eh?   I daydream of walking in there and just losing it...  One more thing, I did walk in there about two weeks ago to see if they'd give me my $ back on un-used days.  Before I even mentioned it they were treating me as if I was a leper.   None of the "smiles" and "Hey Kev" -- just glares and stares.   Needless to say I didn't get my $30.   I really just wanted to show them that, yea, I'm clean m-fer's
;)  Stay strong all
1 Comments
Oh yea (still a little mentally off)  ;)
Sleep still tough - about 4.5 hours consistently although last night I did get back to sleep for 1.5 hours.
Avatar universal
Day 41  Yesterday went decent, sleep continues to be a huge struggle..  Just found out my T levels are very low   (99  should be 250-1100) and free was 13 (normal range 35-155)    From everything I've researched this can have a huge impact on energy and all other health stuff.  They wanted me to come in next week.  For the first time in my life I politely but sternly asked for an earlier appt. as this recovery is so important to me.  Going in tomorrow at 9am
I was never a needle user so no triggers there..  Guess it's a shot.  Hopefully it'll jump start my own body...  might do a 41.5 post later.   Staying strong.
Avatar universal
Day 42  Am I allowed to say THIS SUCKS?!?  Gosh 6 weeks in - watery eyes, sneezing 30 times a day but over all I'm angry.   Anger towards everything it seems.   Got my first CC of testosterone this morning, thought my family doc would be more supportive.  He's cool and all but I guess I wanted more, "HEY GREAT JOB!!!"  I've been taking valerian root and kava per suggestion but now just read it causes drowsiness.  Hmmm...  don't know anymore.   Lower back and thighs super sore too which never used to happen.  Oh well.  No option at this point, onward bound.  
1 Comments
I agree Methadone wd sucks!!!! I too went thru a faze where I was just over the top angry anxious tired.. Oh my was I not pleasant to be around for a couple of weeks! Thank Goodness that went by the wayside. You are doing Great Ftmill! I mean really Jumping from 90mgs It must have taken the wd to really start in earnest awhile. What you are feeling now is the parting of a 90mg habit that you had for a few years so yeah it will hurt. warm baths in Epsons salt our showers will help with the muscle pain as will a heating pad a hot water bottle Anything warm.. I do not recommend taking anything except aspirin our whatever your preference as Valerian root is like a Valium mix that with how you are feeling you end up feeling worse. this wd is so freaking long anything that makes you feel worse is not worth putting in your body.. walking is the only thing I know that helps with everything movement forced but movement.. I'm glad to read you are strong as this will take you thru. You got this Ftmill you are tougher then this drug any day!! lesa
Avatar universal
Day 43   Even though I've been awake since 3:15am I feel pretty good.   I don't really want to work today but here I am.  I hate it - NEVER used to clock watch now it's every 5 min.  Should I quit?  I don't know.  Part of me just wants to completely devote myself to this recovery (rest, exercise, veg, whatever)  No anxiety, just a little headache and blahhh  Still clean, rockin' on...
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Day 44   Worst mistake since clean... went to bed at 7:00pm last night soooo exhausted.  Of course, up at midnight then up all night.   The insomnia has turned into the worst part of this.   There are times where I'll lie there for hours.  Literally.   Thighs are really aching too.
Not losing hope just extremely frustrating.  I keep thinking of what I read here, "there is a difference between discomfort and suffering"
Onward bound...
Avatar universal
Day 45   Anxiety back in full force...  I think I've FINALLY accepted (not happy about it) that this is going to be a  l o n g  road.   Symptoms persist.   What does one do at 3 in the morning??   Life has settled into a truly boring state.   I don't have any visions of backsliding -- my visions continue to be of anger towards my using.   I'm frustrated my super powers are gone yet I hate that which gave them to me...  it's all just weird.  
2 Comments
keep it up man, this will all end . Get yourself some good movies and music for those sleepless nights. I got lucky , i guess and never suffered the insomnia , but i would wake up 3 to 4 times a night.  I just would roll over and clear my mind , worse thing you can do is think. Cause at that moment your not goin back to sleep. Ive started my 2nd journey , ive decided to give up smoking. I swear this is harder then the methadone wd. You got this mate.
Did you taper off the 90mg?
20391860 tn?1497230541
Keep on posting Kev. Post like someone's life in the future depends on it because it probably does. Dig deep and be honest. The thing that paralyzed me the most about methadone W/D was fear of the unknown. Let your honest and truthful journey be a light to those searching for the truth. Knowledge IS power.

KEEP POSTING.
       Peace,
            Dave
Avatar universal
Day "finally losing track". ;).    Thanks everyone... No I didn't taper (unless you call 2mg per day for 2 days a taper Laugh out loud!).  So I jumped.   Methadone w/d for ME has been so weird.   Like right now I'm sitting in a hotel in Louisville, KY feeling like an absolute rock star...  the physical was never that acute - uncomfortable at times and sucky -- but doable most certainly.  Sleep is tough very tough...   I called the m clinic yesterday before I left asking for my labs/medical records which they would NOT release to me.   They said substance abuse  doesn't fall under the HIPPA laws -- whatever – I went ahead and burned the bridge with a few choice words.    I don't know if it was the healthiest thing in the world but it sure felt good at the time.    I wanted to pull that last piece of metaphorical splinter.    Going to do more physical exercise today then I've done in years...  wish me luck!!    My son told me yesterday that you don't have to push yourself....  I'm pushing on harder than ever..  ;).  
1 Comments
Sleep was really difficult for me also. Glad you got that off your chest Ftmill It does wonders for the phyci lol Pushing yourself physically is actually a good thing in md wd as it is the only thing that has tangible benefits in helping with everything! You are a Beast Ftmill you really are! Proud and Happy for you! Freeeedom!!! lesa
Avatar universal
Day 49 -  i've been awake since 3 AM – this is getting really really old.   You can only listen to so much music and watch so much TV.    I passed a small kidney stone ia few hours ago which is how this whole thing started in the first place .    Extremely nervous as that usually leads to an attack of larger stones.   Narcotics were always the only relief whether at home or in the emergency room.   Scared as hell.    Took the family to an amusement park and I'm wondering if the rollercoasters jarred them loose yesterday...  
1 Comments
A man passing a moderate kidney stone is the "Feels like" equivalent of  giving birth to a beach ball. I've been there  (passing the K.stone that is..)
Azo standard saved me.
Stay strong and keep trucking. Life on life's terms, even when it sucks.
Peace,
     Dave
Avatar universal
Thanks Dave -- some days you just gotta get to bedtime.   I was just bragging to someone how my anxiety/cravings are gone and then this afternoon came.  Wow.  Minute by minute right now.  I'll live.
1 Comments
Yeah, I've declared myself "over" this withdrawal a few times already only to get reality checked soon  afterwards.
Keep on trucking. No going back now..
Avatar universal
Day 50 -  I made it through yesterday.   I wish I felt better about my successes,  it seems I'm focusing on what I can't do  rather than what I can.    Sometimes I hope that when I have a bad day/moment it is the withdrawals "last stand".    It's fun to daydream :-)

As countless posts concur, energy/motivation has been my largest challenge.    I believe my anxiety issues yesterday were because I forgot my blood pressure pill as once I took it I was fine a half hour later.   That's a plus.  Hang in there everyone...
1 Comments
We all suffer from L.S.S. in our early recovery from methadone (lead suit syndrome). But it gets better and recovery starts picking up some steam. I too have fantasized that surely my latest bout of W/D was the beasts "Last stand"
But the beast is both durable and clever and we are fighting it in our very weakened state.

I started having some  anxiety about the low points coming back again and again. It's The same type of anxiety you feel the first 20 ft inside of a haunted house when you're sure something's about to happen but it hasn't happened yet. I got to where sometimes I didn't want to take another step forward. But finally I said, it is what it is and whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I refuse to be intimidated by a fear of the unknown. I'm choosing to remain unafraid.
Bring on the Boogie-man.
Let's Dance..
Avatar universal
Day 51 -  Thanks so much for the support and strength Junk...  I needed it today as anxiety in full blazing force.  It's been starting after lunch and lasts 3-4 hours.   Never been THIS bad.   Literally physically hurts in my chest.    I can't tell a lie, thoughts have crossed my mind of giving up.  They are fleeting and quick but there nonetheless.    I'm just tired of not being honest so there you have it.   Starting to isolate too which I know isn't good.   I've put my wife through so much I just don't want her hearing/seeing me.   To all this may depress, I'm clean this second - only 27,180 more to day 52
1 Comments
The anxiety it is so damn difficult. I think that was the second hardest thing for me I do know of the chest hurting and shaking on the insides while the outside was shaking at a different pace. While it is happening it is just frightening and exhausting, anything can bring it on! I use to walk in my backyard to calm it just walk in circles. This passes it is a phase of wd is all Just keep telling yourself that it is the drugs leaving your brain it will pass it is only temporary I think the lack of sleep adds to it. It is easy to become discouraged as Methadone wd is so long it really is Brutal and you are coming off so much but you are 51 days into almost 2 months 2/3 the way thru!! it may take 6 months but once you hit that 3mo you know you hit a Big milestone at least you will start to notice a difference! You stay connected here and to your wife and children Ftmill. If you are going to meetings hit one up twice in a day if you are feeling down.. Outside does wonders for me I forced a walk everyday well almost everyday with my dogs It helped tremendously! You are a Beast a Warrior You got this!!
Avatar universal
Can't express the gratitude I  have for everyone's support!    These last days have been the most difficult, I have to be honest.   I only slept maybe an hour last night and I don't know if you could call it sleep.    I never understood what anxiety was until now - 50 some days in...    I can only trust it is a part of my journey and not a permanent ailment  Hidden by years of opioid use.    It's hard to look at the cup half full.     There still is anxiety lurking inside but it's not quite as bad as 12 hours ago.   I long for the day when I'll feel peace...  
Avatar universal
Day 53 -   Wifes alarm woke me from a DEAD SLEEP at 5:45am (laid down at 11:45) boy I was pissed.  What could have been!   Argh.  Felt great last evening being free from anxiety but she's back this afternoon full force.  Unless anyone knows different, research tells me any med that'd give me immediate relief probably is addictive.   Hence I have not called the dr.  Still dead of energy.  Wish I had a bunch of positive stuff here but don't -- other than I still haven't used.
2 Comments
Hey Ftmill You need to get some Positives going in this WD. Addiction is Cunning it will convince you that you need help that you are weaker then your addiction it will try to bring you to your knees. Stand and Fight FtMill! Get yourself a Fierce Attitude and go to War on your addiction! You throw Everything at it in your arsenal! That is being Grateful for being Alive Being Grateful you have hearing to hear that alarm Be Grateful you have legs to carry you when you need to move! This is getting your life back from the Monster that consumed you for so long! Do not let it win anymore battles in your head!! Fight this  B#tch with a Fierce asss kicking attitude! You are a Warrior in your war on Addiction Give No Ground!! You got this! lesa
The last four words of your post were incredibly positive. Stay Strong. This is doable.  
Avatar universal
Day 54  -  I've been in sort of a bad place... thank you both for the support as it's well needed.  Today seems much better.  Being a man it's hard to admit I've been super emotional... thinking of the past relentlessly (mostly the good stuff) Having strange dreams of past girlfriends, etc.   Super weird.   Being married for 19 years I'd occasional see an ex about town and wouldn't give it a second thought... now it's spinning about my mind!   I'm not used to this.  It's foreign to me.  My mind races from one thing to the next...  no using thoughts or regret...  just how life was years ago.  AA/NA says, "we don't regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it" ---  I'm not "in" the program but I'm trying to figure that one out.
Avatar universal
Day 55 -  I handled a situation today that before I would have been a mess.    There was an inner confidence and calm I haven't had probably ever.    It's almost as though having  having this challenge has made other "challenges" minuscule.    Basically a guy chewed me out big time and I just stood there thinking, "if you only knew"     Symptoms are the same just for the record.  Still rockin on...
Avatar universal
Day 56. -   Despite yesterday,  today I've been questioning everything.   Up at 3:00am leaves my mind to wander all sorts of dark places...  Am I ready for clean life?   If I REALLY want this then why do I look back?   Do I deserve this?   Is is an accomplishment to get back to "normal"   Energy being low at least had motivation which now seems to be waning.   I know I've not been positive as of late in many areas.   Given my pure hatred (and I mean hatred) for everything methadone - the drug, clinic, owners, etc.  I don't see failure in that direction.  I am, however, concerned my "give a damn" could finally bust and lead me to other things.  I know me.  
2 Comments
Hey Ftmill I do not know how long it has been that you have experienced a wd but I have never had one where my mind did not go back and beat me up for my past my present for everything lesa. Our brains were happy in its opiate haze is was soft and cuddly it did not have to work to hard our anything just drifting on a cloud of drugs. Now it is like hey I want that back and is attacking to get more of the opiate. This passes it is a phase Try to remember that it is just another phase of the wd. Addiction is Cunning it does not care what drug our drink as long as it has you.. Congrats on 56 days!!
Happy 8th week anniversary. Very few make it this far. Only 1% of people on methadone for 10+ years successfully quit all opiates. You're already breathing rare air brother. Gotta keep pushing onward. Ask yourself this honest question,
If not now - When?
Will you ever even have 8 weeks worth of momentum again?
Nows the time to double down, ball up your fists, and really start to put a beating on this beast.
I'm proud of your progress and you should be too.
     -Dave.
Avatar universal
Day 57  -   Thank you both for the kind words and support...  I've been pushing through all the bowel issues, energy, motivation, lack of sleep, loneliness, etc.

It's this anxiety which has really caught me off guard.   Even my wife said something hugely depressing (unlike her). She told me I'm not living.   Believe me please, it's not for lack of desire that I'm not positive.   It's the first time in my life I'm acting purely on faith as NOW I absolutely can't see it....  
1 Comments
Anxiety is so difficult. That faith is based in others that have gone before you and made it out the other side. Trust this Ftmill It does end. I'm also very Proud of your progress!! You are not giving yourself much credit for what you have accomplished! You walked off af 90mgs! Only someone with Strength and Determination would even contemplate this! You have 2 months in this is Major!! Many have folded for much less. I have a Great respect that you that you are doing this. You may be paving the way for someone else.. Mad Respect to you. Do not loose that faith for sometimes in the dark that is the only thing keeping us going. You got this Ftmill You are over half way there!! The Anxiety will fade it really does.. hugs, lesa
Avatar universal
Evening post here anxiety lasted only an hour today - spent time with an old friend which was nice.  I have a tiny bit now but not crushing.  Thanks Lesa I trust you all that it's part of it and "this too shall pass"
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Day 58  -  went to the dentist  A few days ago as my front lower teeth ache ..   of all things they pulled out a popcorn kernel.    The pain hasn't gone away it's just constantly nagging at me.    Was I medicated so long that even the slightest irritation dries me crazy? It's not killing me but constantly in my mind it's there.  
1 Comments
Our bodies are super sensitive to pain when we take away the numbing medicine. It is like stopping a blood pressure pill Your BP will shoot up then regulate same with pain It hurts more now but soon you will notice a easing. This too shall pass. Congrats on day 59 Ftmill!!
Avatar universal
Day - 59    "This too shall pass" seems to be my calling card as of late...  ;).    There are times where my mind is super clear.    That's positive.  I didn't let my daughter mess my head up today and that's also positive.    I just realised in this moment that I haven't thought about methadone all day.    Despite nagging symptoms I consider that a plus.    My tooth doesn't hurt.    I ate well today.    Took a nap.    I listened to some old R.E.M.   I hugged my wife.    My children have friends and they're playing in the yard.   Still have faith...
1 Comments
Sounds like life was good today for you and yours.
Congrats
Avatar universal
Day 60 Ftmill!! Congratulations!! warmly lesa
1 Comments
YES!!!
The big 6-0.
We may still feel rough but those liquid handcuffs aren't nearly as tight..
CONGRATS,
       -DAVE
Avatar universal
I posted a Day 60 from work but must not have "sent" and I'm I'm sure left the screen up.  Lord knows who has seen this entire thread..    might be out of a job this evening – I can be so stupid.    I was planning on quitting but I wanted to give it a few more months as I recover .     Yet another challenge..   kids first day of school so I'm a little lonely need to find something to do.   Starting to get brief glimpses of life on the other side -- I can't wait.  
2 Comments
You are far from stupid it is the wd memory lapse.. I spoke of myself going thru this. If anybody did our is reading this They will get how hard it is to get off this crap and how strong you are how determined How there is a whole industry that preys on people when they are at their weakest Instead of helping with a gradual reduction counseling pain techniques to ease it Clinics just keep increasing doses till the brain is numb to its situation to its hostage. It takes a Drive a Deep Commitment of self of ones spirit to walk away.. They should be as Proud of you as we are.. This to shall pass. Sometimes the worst things can lead to the best.. lesa
I don't remember learning *new* skills while medicated but I was a machine with skills acquired.  Just going to have to push yet understand my limitations.
Avatar universal
Day - 61  More of the same...  just really weak.   I have noticed that I don't get NEARLY as winded climbing stairs which is great!  I have a huge problem standing for any length of time which makes things difficult esp. at work.
Work this evening hasn't gone as well as of late.  Not performing bothers me.  Shrink asks me, "does anyone complain?" and the answer I give is, "No"  However, I can tell I'm not doing as well as expected.   I know it's up and down with me. Slept quite a bit last night/this morning/this afternoon  ;)   I wake every hour but nonetheless I'm sleeping.  
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