I go to the methadone clinic on Fridays. My usual routine is to get there about 5:30am and wait in line for about 30 minutes. I take the dose for that day at the window and receive 6 take home doses for the week. My rate of decrease has been 5mgs every 2 weeks. In the beginning, this was no problem because if you look at percentages, when on high doses, 5mgs is not all that much. On the other hand, when I am at 45mgs/day, 5mgs is a substantial amount. So, now every 2 weeks I get set for a few days of hell after my decrease. My last decrease was last Friday (1week ago). I am now leveling out, but this has been the worst week so far.
I have been asked many times what withdrawal from opiates is like. Most times, I just say that it is the flu X 10. What it’s truly like, if you’ve never experienced it, you’ll never fully understand. The physical is that my calves feel like they are in a vice grips. I hurt to the marrow of my bones. My stomach is constantly churning and diarrhea is a constant. My skin is sore and nothing feels good touching it. There is an overall feeling of the worst kind of uncomfortable you can imagine. Possibly the worst part is the mental- the evil my mind plays.
There is a demon always near. It is in my ear, telling me that I want no part of sobriety and that I am not strong enough to deal with the pain I have been numb to for so long. This is one mean son of a bitch too because he uses the weakest of my weak thoughts against me. It’s as though it has talons that slice through my scalp and crack open my scull. The evil is rifling through parts of my brain, looking for the pleasure thing. It seeks to inject it with more feelgood, making me feel no more. I’m sure this seems crazy to anyone that has never experienced withdrawal. You would be right, it is most definitely crazy. Things no normal person would think or feel. Good thing for me then because I am not normal. Such are the thoughts and feelings of an opiate addict. I am only putting my interpretation on what many before me have felt, I can assure you. It is a very dark and scary place at times. Fortunately for me, the pleasure thing in my brain has not yet been found. I am still on a path towards the light. Still not looking back.
I want to take a quick second and dedicate this blog to someone. He once was a very good friend of mine and I led him astray. The same way I was led astray by the one before me. Only difference is the one before me never made it out alive as he overdosed and died many years ago. This person knows who he is and has forgiven me, but I have yet to forgive myself. If and when I make it out of this nightmare, I hope I can help guide him through too. You know who you are and I want you to know that you are a gift to this planet. I feel that we’re going to be a team again, just in a good way this time. You are on my mind buddy, I want you to know that.