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Advice accepted and moving forward

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Pain Meds' started by hopespringseternal, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. hopespringseternal

    hopespringseternal Well-Known Member

    On the wall of my Grandma's kitchen was a wood frame painted a gaudy metallic blue/silver with a poem by Henry Van Dyke. It wasn't stitched or done in fancy calligraphy; it was probably cut from an old calendar and stuck in the frame. I didn't understand it as a child.

    Time is...
    Too slow for those who wait,
    Too swift for those who fear,
    Too long for those who grieve,
    Too short for those who rejoice,
    But for those who love,
    Time is not.

    It's 21 days today, 3 weeks. I actually have to remind myself that it's only that. It seems an eternity.

    I've experienced the too long of grief more times than I'd like; right now I'm stuck on the too slow. But I have hope and faith it will continue to get better as long as I'm willing to wait for it. And I am willing.​
    Fox face likes this.
  2. Catamount

    Catamount Well-Known Member

    Hey Hope.....I pop on here every now and then to see if you post any updates to see how things are going with you. I hope this is a case of.....no news is good news. As for me.....for the past week my sciatic nerve has been really wreaking havoc on me. I get it every now and then, but it usually passes after a few days. Not the case yet....just hitting it with Ibuprofen for now.

    All my best....and still thinking of you,

  3. hopespringseternal

    hopespringseternal Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry about the sciatic pain, Cat. That is no fun.

    Thanks for asking about me. I am two months out now, nearly 10 weeks --67 days; and I had to look at the calendar. I'm doing ok, I guess, although I had hoped it might be better. I'm not even sure that all I'm experiencing is related to quitting opiates an how much is me.

    I don't miss the foggy thinking, anxiety, etc. the pills caused. But I do miss the physical well being they provided. By that I don't mean any kind of high, but the absence of the morning stiffness, low level but constant joint pain and the impaired mobility. It's not that I forgot what chronic pain was like. I guess I thought that six months of pt and maintaining regular exercise that would be behind me. I bought into the pep talks of the therapist I worked with (who just happens to be 35-40 years younger.) It hasn't worked out that way. But on the positive side, the days of really bad pain, the heat pad and ice pack days when I'd buy anything a door-to-door drug dealer was peddling (and no, we don't have those here either, lol, just saying...), have been few. It makes it easier, because I've not wavered in my decision to stay off opiates. I have to be willing to take the bad for the good..and I'm not fooling myself in thinking it was all about pain.

    The worst thing I went through was depression that was worse than I've never experienced (beyond quitting antidepressnts.) It's getting better but I still have a way to go. I think lot has to do with dealing with feelings that I have suppressed over the years, especially the mistakes made with our son and his drug use. Some of those mistakes involved taking advice from the "experts" we trusted. But it is still is hard to accept. I am hoping Ill find foregiveness in time. There is also a lot of evidence now that ADs have the same brain changing effects that opiates and other drugs have and may be even longer lasting; and I was on them for 15 years. It is hard to accept that something I started taking for a foolish reason may have had a major impact on me. However, from all I have learned about the brain's plasticity and it's remarkable ability to heal, I refuse to accept any damage is permanent. I guess I have a little Pollyanna left in me.

    It's funny. When I quit smoking decades ago little was known about addiction and smoking was considered a bad habit. There was no internet or instant access to any subject. Anything you wanted to learn about a subject meant reading a book, information that might be outdated even as you read it. With time and adopting a positive attitude I got beyond smoking and lost the desire to ever go back. I had hoped for the same thing with opiates but I'm not sure that will ever live long enough for that to happen.

    This time I've read just about every theory there is about addiction. I can appreciate the differing points of view and have come to my own unique opinion. None of that really matters. It is still hard, there's no getting around that. Maybe time is the key.

    I do know one thing. I turned 67 yesterday. Every challenge physical, mental or emotional, is whole lot easier to face and accomplish at 27 than 67. With a lifetime ahead instead of behind you, with more to look forward to than things to regret, motivation and happiness are a lot easier to find. But it is what I need to do and I'm going to keep trying.

    We spent a beautiful weekend visiting the kids, going to a college football game and just enjoying each other's company. They are young and full of dreams about the future and what they hope to accomplish. They don't realize, but will, that what they already have is what is most important -- family and friends. People mean more than all the things in the world.

    Sleep is still more elusive than I expected. Maybe it's an age thing. I was up early as usual and watched the rain that started last night turn into snow at about six this morning and it's falling in huge, fluffy flakes. I remember the same thing happening last September. I was just beginning this journey back then and now I've come full circle. Back then, I always thought would be at the end of the process. I have come to realize I have only just started.
    Catamount likes this.
  4. Fox face

    Fox face Moderator

    Happy Birthday Hope!! I can't believe you have snow already! We've had a delay in getting our pool installed because of Hurricane Hermione or whatever it's name was... By the time it's finished winter will be here. I believe you hit the nail on the head. Time is the key! Thanks for the update!!
    Sorry about your sciatica Cat!
    Catamount and hopespringseternal like this.
  5. hopespringseternal

    hopespringseternal Well-Known Member

    When I quit smoking I had regular dreams about it in which I actually felt the experience of inhaling and could physically feel the nicotine buzz. Early on, I'd awake and feel despondent and frustrated that I couldn't smoke. Surprisingly, they persisted for quite a few years on a less and less frequent basis. Eventually I'd awake from such a dream and think, wow, I'm glad that was just a dream and I didn't actually smoke. Gradually I stopped having them regularly; but even for years, out of the blue, I would get an occasional dream.

    I've always thought it odd I didn't dream about using opiates. It didn't happen the whole time I tapered or after I was off. Until now.

    In my dream I was in serious pain, which is unusual; I've had those dreams when you have an experience in which you think something really should hurt but doesn't. But in this case my left arm was numb and painful; my neck was stiff and hurt to the point I couldn't turn my head to the side. A friend brought over a bottle of about a dozen norco pills that she "had left over" from something and thought I'd be able to use. I remember really, really wanting to take one because I was in so much pain and I knew it would help. But another part of me thought, do I really want to go down that road again? My head is so clear and I sure don't want to go through withdrawal again. I was feeling very conflicted even as I stiffly started to pour the pills down the drain...and woke up. I was in a very awkward position with my arm under me and neck twisted, and you guessed it, in a lot of pain. I need to use my right hand to support my left arm, which was numb, just to get up. Twenty minutes later, after a hot pack and some gentle stretches, I was greatly relieved both of pain and that I had not taken any pills.

    I think it's safe to say I'm not craving opiates.

    I'll do a full and probably final update soon. I have circled today's date on my calendar even though there are no events or appointments written in. I have finally realized I circled that back in July. It's been 90 days.
  6. Catamount

    Catamount Well-Known Member

    Hey Hope....looks like the place went dormant when you stopped posting. I hope you are still doing well and I wish you and your family all the best for the holiday season.

    All my best!

  7. hopespringseternal

    hopespringseternal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the well wishes! I check in occasionally and see there is not a lot of activity. I'm almost six months totally off any opiates and have been planning one last update soon, just haven't gotten it done yet; there's so much to say and I can't seem to find the motivation to write. That's funny, I know, for someone who wrote volumes for months. The kids are here today and will stay through Christmas. I'm so happy to have them here.

    I have had a lot of struggles lately for many, many reasons. I guess getting off any substance is hard, but learning to live life without the "help" they provide is harder, I am finding. There is so much I don't understand, and probably a lot has more to do with me than anything I ever "took." But in spite of how easy it would be for me to justify use, I am not wavering on my commitment to deal with life without a chemical fix. Lol, things just don't seem to fall into place as easily as I planned, it seems! No one said it would be easy! More on this later.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and know that I do appreciate your kind message. It was exactly what I needed to hear tonight. You have been one of those who's been there for me from the beginning and I hope your Christmas as well is blessed with the love of family and friends.
  8. Fox face

    Fox face Moderator

    Merry Christmas guys!! This brought a smile to my face:) Congrats Hope!
    hopespringseternal likes this.
  9. peacenik

    peacenik Administrator

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too Fox face, and Hope, and Cat! I'm hoping the board is going to be working again....
    Fox face and hopespringseternal like this.
  10. spring

    spring Administrator

    GREAT NEWS Hope! It was a long road for you but just look how far you have come!!
    Six months is huge. Congrats on your success!
  11. hopespringseternal

    hopespringseternal Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to post an update. I was one year off opiates on July 8.

    It's been a long road. I've dealt with serious depression, some of which is related to delayed grief (due to opiates, of course.). There was some kind of weird stuff which has to do with long term antidepressants that's resolved and I won't get into that. I have a lot of fatigue which I really don't know if it's inflammatory from arthritis or psychological. But mostly it gets better daily. The summer, though fleeting, was good. It's supposed to snow today. Pain is always an issue. I get satisfaction with volunteer activities and family.

    I dealt with a serious episode of back pain last December that had me flat on my back on the floor with ice packs for 10 days. I got up only to walk about gingerly every hour. Just when I was about to give in and go begging to the doctor it got better. In the end I was proud that I was able to get through it and it helped to know I could get through it again. I have had lesser episodes but with a plan I get by. I have continued with a daily walking, stretches and strength training since the beginning.

    I had planned to post this in July but I started having knee pain that I hoped I would be beyond by now but am not. It keeps me awake at night and is hard to deal with. Ive thought of seeing my doctor for more PT, but I fear I'll find out I need a joint replacement. I know I could take a short course of pain meds and quit them again. The thing is I don't want to. I just don't want to have to go through it all again. So I do nothing except hope it gets better.

    It's funny how I've realized how much I've aged in 15 years. It creeped up on me after all those years that opiates made me feel invincible. I can't garden all day. I don't keep my house spotless. I've had to decide priorities and get realistic about what I can and can't accomplish. Yeah, I probably went overboard on the lazy side for awhile, but I'll find my balance eventually. It goes beyond pain. I miss just the feeling good part of pills. (Don't worry, I also remember the not so good parts even more.)

    I just read what I wrote and I think it doesn't sound too optimistic and I don't mean for it to be. If anyone currently using is reading this I don't want to sound like I have any regrets about deciding to give up opiates, because I don't. I don't know what "kind" of addict I am but I know I was addicted to the pills and won't go back to it.

    It really hard to explain all I'm feeling. I spent 15 years of my life taking pills that made me feel good and now I have to deal with pain -- and bad moods, bad memories -- life, really, without. I don't always know how to do it. I wouldn't have acknowledged it back in the beginning, but I believe I had this fantasy that life was going to be perfect when I accomplished this thing I set out to do-- get off the pills and reset life. A personal exercise plan would be enough to cope with pain. Creativity and accomplishment would provide all the euphoria it did in my younger years. In the beginning, healing to this point would have been a big disappointment to me. I have had to modify my goals as I go and adapt to reality rather than fantasy. Let's face it: sometimes you have to cut yourself a break and just chalk the day up to survival.

    It's hard for me to separate what are the effects of long term antidepressant use from opiates but it no longer matters. It all messes up your brain. I just know that I have no longer any desire to find answers to life's problems in any pill. I am learning to appreciate the "good" days for what they are: a good day, separate from the rest. I don't require a guarantee that the next day and all the rest of the days of my life will be the same.

    Everything everyone said is true. Getting off the pills is the easy part. It's going forward without them that is hard. I don't know why I can't go back to dealing with life the way I could when I was younger. I don't have all the answers but I know that eventually I'll find them within me. I most assuredly have no regrets.
  12. peacenik

    peacenik Administrator

    Great to hear from you Hope. And you are right, we can't go back to the way things were, can we? You know one of the most cathartic and important things I've learned happened when I went through a really painful time after over 10 years in recovery. I started to remember what it was really like when I was young.
    That's part of my story but I think you will find the answers within that you are looking for as well if you stay drug free. Best of luck Hope
  13. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    Wow, hello Hope!

    It almost sounds like you're growing up a little, or something. ^_^

    If you're feeling malaise, you could always you know, get a sponsor and work some steps, go to meetings, work with other addicts, and carry the message. You probably won't do that, and that's ok, but really what do you have to lose? Your soul, your individuality? Don't worry, we don't ask for very much of your mind, just a small part ;).

    Anyways, it's good to hear from you, and your perspective is appreciated, warts and all. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on making it this far.
  14. hopespringseternal

    hopespringseternal Well-Known Member

    LOL, your well wishes sometimes come across as a bit --condescending? -- sometimes! However, I still appreciate them.

    There are lots of reasons I won't go to "meetings" -- they're aren't any here is a start -- but it goes beyond that. Let's say philosphically it wouldn't be a good fit. I don't have all the answers, but I'm not giving up on finding them my way. More to come.
  15. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    Yeah I know. I don't mean it that way, it just comes out that way sometimes. What I do mean is that it is good to hear from you, and I hope you keep posting!
    hopespringseternal likes this.

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