Tag Archives: methadone detox

St. Jude, my path is now found

Call me nuts, but I have an admission to make. AA/NA is not for me! There, I said it. It’s in bold letters for everyone to see. If you find this hard to understand, I’ll say it again; AA/NA is not for me! When I first came to this conclusion I thought,  shit, now I have to go back and change some of my previous posts such as “Tools”. However, I now realize that I cannot and will not do that. This is a growing process for me. A process of trial and error, and in order for it to be accurate and honest, I must leave everything as is. That is, unless my grammar coach reads something, and says I need to go back and revise. But anyway, let’s get to the reason for my post.

I could go on and on about why I feel AA/NA is wrong for me, but that is not why I am writing this. I will simply say this, any message that tells me that I am powerless to do something on my own, is not a message for me. It is not something I can identify with. I know that I walked me into this mess, and I must walk me back out. Maybe the AA/NA message is for you-I don’t know. If it is, that’s not wrong either.  If there is something I wish to be gleaned from this, it would have to be that you (the addict) must find what way works best for you. Because “you” are all that matters. As for me though, I found my message while browsing the net last Wednesday.

All of the feelings I had been having were galvanized when I stumbled across a place called St. Jude. St. Jude has been in the addiction business for a very long time. They have done multiple studies, and in turn have helped many people. All it took was for me to read the first few sentences of their page, for me to know I was home. The people at St. Jude speak my language-they speak it loud, and they speak it clear.

It felt good to read about the studies they had done. Studies that led to their belief that addiction should not be viewed as a disease, but that of habitual and perpetual bad choices. Habits formed by us, the addicts making personal choices to keep doing drugs. Their focus seems to be that of awareness, personal accountability, and the most important-believing in ourselves. I can most certainly dig that shit. I like it-it gives me goose bumps. And when a message gives me goosebumps, that is a message I can live with. There are other things too.

One other thing is believing that we have the power to change, without having to sit in meeting after meeting, year after year. Don’t get me wrong, if you are a person that wants to eventually counsel using addicts, meetings are a good way of reaching them-initially. However, St. Jude believes that the continual admission that we are addicts can keep a person chained to their past. Not to mention the fact that I have kids to raise, a blog to write, video games to play and rain to smell. I cannot do these things sitting in a room somewhere rehashing my past over and over. It’s just not how I want to live. All these messages just fit me you understand? They don’t claim to be right for everyone, but you can’t argue their studies, and success records.

Their studies are complete, and their verifiable success records are second to none-literally. The studies they have done over many years of attending AA/NA meetings cannot be ignored. I believe St. Jude’s methods are tried and true and they will work for anyone that wants them to work. Which is in an of itself what I believe is the key. Do you want to change your life yet, or are you still comfortable in the misery in which you live? I think it’s as simple as that. Weird, considering all the time I’ve spent trying to dissect addiction, the disease. I have one other thing to touch on before I close and it’s off topic, but not really.

This writing thing ain’t easy. I’m not kidding you all, it really isn’t. It’s super easy to write a few good posts. However, doing it day in and day out is I think, what separates the good from the great writers. I don’t claim to be one (great writer) either. It’s obviously something I have done well enough to this point, but we will see if I can continue. I almost had a miserable fail last week though.

I actually had some down time at work on Fri and spent 4.5 hours on a new post. I posted it, rode home, logged back on, and took that gobbledy-gook down quickly. If you don’t know what gobbledy-gook is, picture about three pages of regurgitated shit. Thing is, I caught that one, but I may not catch them all. What I’m trying to say is that there will be good posts and bad-I know this. However, please know that my heart is in every one. If something matters to me, I will write about it. And while I am now doing this blog for me, I want it to eventually be a gift to you. You, are all those struggling with addiction to opiates or whatever else. Hope you enjoyed the post.


Narcotics Anonymous (NA), first time feelings

I haven’t yet gone into my feelings on my first Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. Before I do, I want to say that I obviously can’t give an opinion as to what its overall benefit will be in my life. I must wait until I have experience, and the only way to gain experience is by attending meetings-which I plan on continuing. Still, I am a thinker. I am often accused of thinking shit to death. I’d like everyone to keep that in mind as I give a few of my first thoughts about my first meeting. It will be interesting to come back later to see whether I think my first impressions were correct.

First, I feel there is no substitute for being around others that can relate to the being an addict. The love and support from others that have been in similar situations is hard to describe-it was awesome really. It was also very uplifting to hear the stories of those that have overcome, and are in recovery. The stories and storytellers are better than the best reality tv ever shown. I should know, I’m a reality tv junkie. What’s more is that there are thousands of these stories waiting to reach my ears-to lift me up. All I have to do is “be there”. My first impression is that the stories are where the true heart and soul of AA/NA resides. At the very least, it has to be a significant portion of what AA/NA is about.

I will write now about what I feel was a problem (at least with me). If there is anything I know for sure about recovery from addiction, after reading ever piece of info I can find on the net, no one true way is better than any other. While at the meeting, I was speaking with a guy, and told him that I was in the process of a methadone detox. This is how the conversation went-

Guy: “so how much (methadone) are you on now?” Me: “35mgs” Guy: “per day? ouch! dude, let me tell you, you need to just go ahead and cold turkey the rest.” Me: “well, for me that just isn’t an option, I…” Guy: cutting me off in mid sentence “Dude, just do it. It will be painful, but you will always remember those symptoms, and you will never want to be there again.” Me: “yeah, maybe your right” At that point, I just wanted to get out of the conversation.

If he had let me finish, I would have been able to tell him that I have a family to support-mortgage and car payment to make-full time job to work. Laying in bed for weeks recuperating from a massive rapid detox just isn’t an option for me. Furthermore, I would have explained that it’s everything I can do to come to work some days decreasing the way I am, much less if I were to quit “cold turkey”. I also wasn’t able to tell him that I honestly believe, in my heart, the biggest mistake I could make is to throw myself into rapid detox with no way of easing the physical symptoms.

I would have nowhere to turn when the pain became unbearable. I have been to doctors with withdrawal symptoms before, and believe me when I say, there is very little sympathy on their part for a junkie in detox. As much as I loathe that clinic and the way they run it, I can at least lower myself slowly. What it came down to is that I felt the NA members should tell their story-it is their power to pass on. However, listening to what others say is of equal importance. I felt at that time, at that meeting, it was lacking.

There was one other thing that struck me. I will say up front that it is trivial, but I did already mention that I think things into the dirt, so. The first step in the “12 steps to sobriety” reads as follows: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable

What if I want to believe I am not powerless over my addiction? What if I, by nature, have a mind of my own, and believe that my addiction is actually what is powerless under me? Is it wrong for me to feel that we, as humans, have the power to do whatever we “believe” we can accomplish? Am I dooming myself right here at the start? Because in my mind, I need to feel that I am chewing the bones of my addiction- that I am whipping its ass. I fear believing anything else because it runs directly against the grain of my being. Don’t misunderstand and think I am discounting what addiction is, and more importantly what it has done to me. I don’t-at least I think I don’t. And I respect addiction in that way. To say that though, just feels too much like I am bending my knee, and giving a leg up to this mother fucker before the war has begun.

My wife, bless her heart, tells me that sometimes when I try to explain my point, I come across as a dick. She says that the message, no matter how good the point, is many times lost due to this. Knowing this, I really wish to impress upon anyone that reads this that these questions I have about NA/AA are not my attempt at being witty, and I most definitely am not trying to be a dick. I am simply being honest about my feelings. I, like most recovering from addiction, am only trying to find my path to freedom.


Methadone addiction-a synthetic prison

It’s a bunch of bullshit! That’s my quick, gut reaction to what I feel methadone addiction is. I know that’s not going to explain it though, so I will try explaining in another way. I will quickly say that I am not a medical doctor. All the info I will post is from the research I have done on the net, and info I have gathered via personal experience. I think I probably should have done this nearer the beginning (of the blog), but better late then not at. Here’s what I came up with:

The way I feel when taking methadone is quite different from the way I feel with other opiates. Taking Oxycontin could best be described as orgasmic. I remember it being an intense rush of euphoria that was very potent- an in your face type of high. Oxycontin just busts down the door and wraps you in a tight, electrifying hug, but then lets go relatively quickly. Methadone is much more subtle. Instead of busting down the door, it seeps under, over and through the cracks. It slithers in and around, and gradually wraps me in a warm velvety blanket. The high begins as a distant vibration that slowly envelops until there is a constant thrum reverberating throughout my body. It is long, and lasts for hours and hours. That is the best way I can describe the difference in the two highs. There is also a chemical difference in the two.

People often use the term opiates in a general way to describe all the opiate drugs. There are actually different types of opiates. Oxycontin and heroin are semi-synthetic opiates. Very basically, this means that each have natural properties as well as some man made properties. Methadone on the other hand is completely man made, and is a synthetic opiate. The difference is staggering. The strength of both types is generally measured in half-life. Half-life is the amount of time it takes half the drug to be eliminated (broken down) by your blood. Oxycontin has a half-life of roughly 3 to 4 hours. Methadone, has an average half-life of 22 hours! This is why the methadone clinics can treat patients on a daily, rather than an hourly basis. This is also why overdose is a real threat when using methadone. The euphoric effects have long since worn off while there are still high levels of the drug in the bloodstream. When a person ingests more of the drug to again feel the “high”, the levels become toxic, and overdose can occur.

The way opiates work in the brain is that they mimic a chemical (endorphins) that the body produces naturally in times of great stress or pain. The drug binds to specific opiate receptors in the brain, and causes them to fire off at a much higher rate than normal. The opiates end up taking the place of the endorphins and eventually the brain shuts down that function. Why should the body create something that it no longer needs? The adverse effect of this is highlighted when a person, such as myself, attempts to detox. All the body’s normal defenses against pain are no longer working, so the physical pain associated with detox are made that much more painful. Problems also arise when the body, so starved for essential vitamins and minerals because of a horrible diet,  no longer has a “feel good” hiding these deficiencies. After researching, and without advice from the methadone clinic, I have found that it is very advisable to take  a good multivitamin while detoxing. Thanks for nothing I say to them.

I have already described in an earlier post (named Methadone) what the physical symptoms are like. What I want to make very clear is that the synthetic opiate known as methadone, produces the absolute worst withdrawal symptoms of all the known opiates. It is a very dangerous drug that is used as a not-so-quick fix without addressing the problem that led to us going to the clinic in the first place. I will tell anyone who will listen…these clinics want you comfortably numb. While you are, with no real push to ever get you clean, they can continue to rape you (figuratively)- just as the person that once sold you the Oxycontin did. Never, ever fool yourself into believing they have your best interest in mind. If they did, I would not have been in the same place five years later on a higher dose.

I want to say one last thing. Last Friday, after having such a good week, I decided to decrease for the second week in a row. I am now at 30mgs of methadone/day. As a result of this I have been feeling very bad the past few days. I refuse to say that I shouldn’t have decreased, but the fact still remains…I am in much pain at the moment. I really wish, for the sake of anyone else that does this, and for my sake as well, that I could tell you it’s not painful. It is-you know it is, but I want to show that it can be done. Not only that, I want to show everyone that it can be done without the jackasses at these clinics. I’m now going to go extinguish (rest) myself. Peace, love and all the rest.


Warning: Danger Ahead

I made a commitment to a friend recently that I would give some early warning signs that a child may be heading in a direction conducive to drug use. Over the next few days I began to think back about what signs my parents could have picked up on had they been looking. When I say “had they been looking”, it is not without reason. At the time, my brother had a raging crack addiction that kept him in and out of prisons and rehabs. There was very little time for anyone to notice anything other than his all-consuming life. It was a life that eventually led to his becoming homeless, living in a homeless shelter, and then living on the streets. It finally occurred to me that I actually have two reservoirs with which to draw early warning signs- mine and my brother’s.

With me, the first signs were visible in my loss of life direction. I lost my full time job because I could no longer seem to get to work on time, and very soon after, quit going to school. School just didn’t matter anymore. Any discussion prompted by those that cared for me, was met with vague answers about what I was doing, and where my life was headed. I had always been a night person, but my night dwelling increased substantially. Alongside that were my new night dwelling friends. I was no longer interesting in hanging out with people whose lives had direction- I couldn’t relate. Instead, I began hanging around people that could get me what I needed- more drugs. I began viewing life as a constant party to the point that my father had to eventually kick me out. Another thing that is very hard for me to admit now is that I was selling drugs to support my habit. Thank goodness I was never caught and arrested, but lack of money/borrowing wasn’t an issue for me- in the beginning anyway.

My brother didn’t have the same entrepreneurial spirit as I, and his lack of cash and the lies he told to acquire money were much more obvious. I remember a time in his late teens when he had a checkbook that he took pride in keeping balanced. He had always been good with money, and always seemed to have it. Some years later, when drug finally rendered him homeless, my dad and I were dispatched to clean out an apartment he’d been evicted from. I remember finding his old checkbook (which I now wish I’d saved) and noting how it was a literal road map of his decent into addiction. The book began balanced and showed a fair amount of money in his account. As time (and addiction) pressed on, it was obvious the money was dwindling as well as his ability to keep the book in order. Even his handwriting became almost unreadable. Towards the end of the book, it was clear that checks were still being written to an account that could no longer cash them. Damn I could kick myself now for not saving that book, but I digress.

I will try to sum it up in a paragraph. First, there was a marked change in both our lives when drugs were taking over. As I said, it was much easier for me living under the veil of chaos created by my brother, but both our dispositions were off kilter. Gradually at first, and then more rapidly we pulled away from family. Second, money matters to a drug addict. We cannot do what we do without it. Third, our friends told the tale. It is cliché’, but it is true; we were who we were hanging with. Many times I hear parents say, “How did I miss it when it was so obvious?” or “I felt something was off, I just didn’t know what”. I think parents many times are so in denial that it takes something major, like an arrest, to finally wake them to the nightmare. And there is no doubt, if you are a loving parent and your child gets hooked on drugs, you will live a nightmare. Believe it, fear it and recognize it! I have thought many times whether or not my parents could have done anything had they known early on, and I honestly don’t know. I do know that I certainly would have liked for them to have had the chance to try.

Looking back now, at my life before drugs, I will draw a parallel maybe young ones can find easier to understand. Think of my life as a game- a football game to be more precise. The game had a coach (my drive), a team (me, family and good friends), and a game plan (life dreams). I started the game (my life) and I was winning. I was in the prime of my life, moving with speed, determination and zeal. Then on one play there was a game changer…I was hit hard (opiates). It was a jarring hit that shook my life to its core. In an instant I was standing on the sidelines, watching as the game began to fall apart (addiction). There were many times as I watched the game that I needed, had to even, get back in. Every time I tried though, I was disoriented, confused, and utterly uncoachable. I was pulled again and again, and finally sidelined. I was forced to sit and watch as my youth, my dreams, my very soul was stripped from me.

I could cry right now if I were to think hard enough about what I was, and the future I lost. What I could have been. If there is one message I wish young people would take from my words, it is this: Drugs are a game changer. Everything you think you know will be taken from you because drugs don’t care about dreams and aspirations. Moral boundaries and inhibition will no longer exist. You will find yourself doing things that you never thought possible. There are many young ones, that will disregard my words of warning. For one reason or another, many young people are convinced that it would never happen to them. Trust me young ones, some of you will wake one day, if you wake, and find that young adult life and everything in it gone. Don’t be that person- don’t be me.

Speaking of me, it is no longer me. We (me and my family) are now in overtime in the game that is my life. Somehow, late in the fourth quarter we were able to put together a new team- create a new game plan. We have the ball and we’re in the red zone. The red zone is the dangerous 20 yards in between us and the goal (recovery). It’s a place where many times the game is won or lost. The game may go either way and if you could call Vegas, they would probably say I’m not favored. What do I think? I’m betting my life on my team FTW (For The Win).

This one’s for you and yours good friend. May your children grow to live fruitful, productive lives and may they always be able to walk outside and smell the rain. Thanks for all your help and advice. You’s a good man!

Symptoms of methadone detox

I want to start a brief day to day account of my mental and physical symptoms as my methadone detox goes from 40mg/day to 0mgs. There will be no attention paid to grammar, but only that of relaying how I feel mentally and physically. At the end of each day, I will give a numerical rating as to my overall feeling through the day- 5 being best and 1 being worst. It will always be in the “Daily symptoms log” category and I will just edit and add to as I go. I think it could be helpful for others that have the desire to get clean of methadone, to generally know what to expect. I want everyone that reads this to know that I am no doctor, and have no medical experience whatsoever. I am sure that every case of detox is unique to the person experiencing the symptoms. These are mine:

4/6/2012- Decreased from 40mgs to 35mgs today @ 5am. Felt fine throughout the day, but started to get a little anxious as the day turned to night. Evening brought pain in legs/stomach and headache later. First bout of nausea since beginning detox @ 6pm today. Ate good and drank plenty of fluids. Had constipation.  Was able to fall asleep okay. Overall feeling  3

4/7/2012- Tossed a little in the night. Woke several times with chills, headache, stomach pains, pain in legs and back. Once I dosed in a.m, symptoms subsided and felt good. Felt much better than I was expecting. By 10pm was feeling very sluggish with stomach and leg pains. Nausea and constipation. Was able to fall asleep well. Overall 3

4/8/2012- Tossed and turned all night. Woke up all night with chills. Had stomach, back and leg pains. When dosed@ 6am symptoms eased but not totally subsided. Very sluggish from 12pm on with headache, stomach and leg pains. Had to drink prune juice to have bowel movement. Was not easy going to sleep. Overall 2

4/9/2012- Tossed and turned 2nd night in row. Symptoms subsided when dosed @ 5am.  Felt very good today once I got moving. Had fairly physical day at work which I think did me good. Sweat a lot. Drank lots of fluids. @ 5pm was utterly taxed. Had stomach and leg pains till bed at 10:30pm. Went to sleep fine! Overall 4

4/10/2012- Tossing and turning was minimal. Woke with very bad headache and chills. Dosing @ 5 took the chills, Advil took headache. Worked another physical day and am feeling much better. Drank plenty and ate good. Stomach feeling better than it has in months. Feel sluggish and weak when I sit down and notice it. Bed @9:30pm with no problem falling asleep.  Overall 4

4/11/2012-Slept great! Woke only once to use bathroom and only mild stomach pain noticed. Woke @5am and dosed. Felt great all day with only minor stomach cramps. Ate and drank good. 9:30pm bed, but was a bit hard to fall asleep because of heartburn and stomach ache. Overall 4

*I am noticing that I have been feeling especially good this week. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the extra physical week I have been having at work. I have also noticed a direct correlation between eating good and feeling good. ie: the better I eat, the better I feel.

4/12/2012-Slept very good after feeling a bit crappy as I went to bed. Don’t think I woke up at all. Woke @4:30 and dosed, but no symptoms to quell. Strange because usually the mornings, before I dose, is the worst time of day for me. Felt very good all day. Mild stomach cramping. Ate and drank well. Bed @ 9:00pm went to sleep okay but not great. Overall 4

4/13/2012-Slept good/woke once. Woke @ 4am for clinic. Had no symptoms other than mild stomach cramps. Dosed 30mgs @ 5:30am. Felt reasonably good throughout the day. Ate/drank okay, but not great. Evening was different story as I experienced the full gamut: Chills, leg pains, stomach pains/diarrhea, heart palpitations, headache, sharp pin prick feelings in various places, lots of sneezing and runny nose. Advil and bed @ 11:30pm and actually fell asleep okay/quickly. Overall 3

*I need to mention here that I was feeling so good the past few days, I could not justify putting off another 5mg decrease for one more week. So I decreased to 30mgs one week early this morning. And now, fuck I feel bad. Still, I don’t regret doing it.

4/14/2012-Not so good night, waking several times with all the symptoms above. Hella lot of sneezing in am. Dose about 45 min ago @ 5am helped minimally. Felt okay during the day w/ just some mild stomach cramping and leg aches, but night a diff story. Ate terrible and drank coke today (not good). Was the worst night so far w/ terrible stomach pains (stomach churning unmercifully), leg and back pains, headache, nausea, chills. Advil and Tums then bed @ 9:00pm. Not hard at all falling asleep. Overall 2

*I think it’s interesting to note that on the day above, I ate and drank terribly. I also got no exercise. Then, that evening was the worst of my detox so far.

4/15/2012-Sleep was actually okay and woke only twice with chills. Woke and dosed @ 5am , with all the symptoms minus the headache. Stomach ache (though no longer churning), chills, legs and back hurt much. Lots of sneezing in am. Dose took most symptoms. Pushed myself physically all day; yard-work, bike riding. Felt very bad in evening with all the normal symptoms + constipation. Was feeling especially anxious. Bed @ 8:30pm, fairly easy to get to sleep. Overall 2.5

4/16/2012- Sleep was good I think because I was exhausted from days activities. Was awakened several times after 1am with symptoms. Woke for good @ 4:30am with bad stomach pains, leg and back aches, runny nose/sneezing (wtf?), chills. Dose took all symptoms. Had a very poor day physically and mentally. All symptoms returned + nausea about 1pm and was hard getting through day. Also had very tuff day mentally, and was very down and depressed. Ate and drank good and began taking Centrum multivitamin. Bed @ 9pm and went to sleep easily. Overall 2

*This decrease has by far been the worst yet. Anxiety, doubt, depression has been hurting me mentally, but hasn’t/won’t break me. There is no doubt a correlation between eating/drinking good, exercising, good sleep and the way I feel. It is absolutely a must for me to kick myself in the ass to get outside and keep busy during day. Would love to speak with doctor on what vitamins and minerals I should be taking. It is literally nuts to think a “clinic” would have me doing this without the advice of their doctor. Oh well, fuck em!

4/17/2012- Slept okay but tossed and turned. Woke up @ 5am feeling bad with stomach ache, chills, leg and back ache, more sneezing/runny nose (sneezing seems to be just in morning). Dosed and symptoms subsided. Pushed myself physically at work today and felt much much better. Amazing the difference a day makes. My head was much clearer and anxiety was low. Symptoms of chills, leg cramps, back pain, and mild headache after work. 800mgs of Advil took headache and hot shower did wonders. Ate and drank good and took Centrum. Went to sleep fine @ 9:30pm. Overall 3

4/18/2012- Slept good. Woke up @ 5 am with bad stomach ache, but subsided quickly. Feeling really good this morning- symptoms were so muted, I actually forgot to dose for 1/2 hr. That’s not much, but it is considering the way I’ve been the past few days. Felt very good all day. No symptoms other than stomach ache. Had a headache as I was going to bed. Took Advil. Ate and drank okay and took Centrum. Bed at 9:30pm and fell asleep fine. Overall 3.5

4/19/2012- Slept fine. Woke up @ 5am with stomach ache, leg cramps and runny nose. Dose took all symptoms. No sneezing thank goodness. Had a good active day at work with minimal symptoms. Early evening had minor headache and took Advil. Ate and drank good-took Centrum. Bed @8:30pm and went to sleep good. Overall 4

4/20/2012-Did not sleep good at all. Woke up @1:30am and never went back to sleep. Had to drive to 1hr to clinic and was really feeling icky till I dosed. Leg and back pain, stomach cramps. Had an okay day although tired. Ate and drank good-took Centrum. Only symptom in eve was small headache. Took Advil and sleep came very easy @ 9:30pm. Overall 4

4/21/2012- Slept fine-woke up @ 4:30am and dose took only symptom of mild stomach ache. Planning on active day working in yard…will see if rain allows it. Felt great all day. Mild stomach pain, but that’s all for symptoms. Ate/drank just okay. Centrum. Bed @ 10:30pm-went to sleep fine. Overall 4

4/22/2012- Slept okay, but a little tossing and turning. Woke @ 3am* and dosed about 4am. No symptoms this morning but mild runny nose and sneezing. Had a very good day. Ate and drank good-took Centrum. Bed @9:30pm, fell asleep fine. Overall 4.5

*Woke up at 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep because I was excited to download last night’s fight (UFC 145).

4/23/2012-Slept very good. No symptoms when I woke up but very mild stomach ache. Woke @ 5:00am and dosed, felt fine. Semi active day at work and had absolutely no symptoms all day. Legs started hurting in evening, so took Advil. Did not eat the greatest today, but drank plenty of fluids. Centrum. Bed @ 9:30pm-went to sleep fine. Overall 4.5*

*I really have felt great the past 2 days. Honestly, they could have been 5’s overall, but I still am technically in detox. That being the case, I will reserve a perfect score for the time this shit is out of my body.

4/24/2012-Slept very good again. I did have a nasty stomach ache when I woke @ 4:30am, but I think that was due to poor diet yesterday. Dosed @ 5am, and that knocked stomach ache right out of the park. Really pushed myself at work today, and feel very good. Evening brought more leg cramps. Legs have really been aching last 2 days. Took Advil for cramps and all okay after 30min. Ate/drank good today. Centrum and bed @10:oopm. Fell asleep fine. Overall 4

4/25/2012- Was very sore when got up @5am from very physical day @ work yesterday. Mild stomach cramps, but dosed @ 5:30am and all symptoms gone. Had a very physical day at work in the sunshine-felt great. Ate good and drank plenty of fluids. I actually forgot to take a Centrum with food and took it on an empty stomach at bed. Now I know why they say take it with food. Ugggh. Fell asleep okay @10pm. Overall 4.5

4/26/2012- Slept good and woke up @ 5:30am with very little symptoms. Dosed @ 6am. Went to work and had a very active day again. Sun was burning bright, and felt great on my face. Ate and drank plenty and good. Took centrum with dinner tonight. Set to decrease to 25mgs/day tomorrow-yippeee! 9pm fell asleep fine. Overall 4.5

4/27/2012-Slept very good and was not happy at all when alarm went off @ 4am to make the 60 mile trip to the clinic. Had relatively no symptoms at all and dosed 25mgs @ 5:30am. Felt really good all day, but took it easy (bracing for the symptoms), and stayed on comp most of day. As night came I had mild stomach cramps and even tummy rumbling (weird) and leg cramps, but that’s about it. Fell asleep easy @ 11:30pm-stayed up late playing vid game (MW3). Overall 3.5

4/28/2012-Slept fairly good, did wake up several times, but didn’t feel bad when I did. Woke up and dosed @ 5:30am with very little in the way of symptoms*. Took Centrum. Mild stomach ache and sneezing was about all. As the day wore on, my symptoms picked up. By evening I had headache, mild chills, stomach ache and legs hurt. Took Advil. However, at bed I was completely exhausted and was able to  fall asleep quickly @ 10pm. Overall 3.5

*I just want to say a little more here. Why am I not really feeling symptoms? I have to ask myself this, because from everything I have read, this is supposed to be a very tough time. I am cutting out almost 1/4 of my dose. There are only two things I must point to-1)I think the exercise I get at work may be helping me tremendously. 2)I’m going to say that this may be my biggest surprise yet-Centrum (multivitamin). I read somewhere that because our diet has been so bad while on drugs, our body is starved for nutrients. This can actually be painful physically, but remember, we have been “pain killing” for years. It’s not surprising we never knew it. I’m laughing right now thinking what my body’s reply would be, “Yeah dummy, what did you think, the BluBell cookies and cream with golden grahams and choco syrup on top was good for you?” Anyway, I really feel a whole lot better since I have begun taking the muti’s. I just wanted to add this so some don’t think (as I probably would be) that I’m fudging.

4/29/2012-Slept very good all night and had vivid dreams. Woke and dosed @6:30am. Dose took symptoms of mild stomach ache, leg cramps, and sneezing. Felt really good all day long. Not much in way of symptoms till evening and then had headache, minor chills, leg and stomach pains. Took Advil and centrum. Bed @ 10:30pm and sleep came fairly easy. Overall 3

4/30/2012-Slept pretty good. A little tossing. Woke @ 4:30amand dose took symptoms of stomach ache, leg cramps, chills, sneezing, and pin prick feelings. Had fairly physical day and sun was extra hot (summer’s here). Took Centrum. Had a terrible day emotionally. Latter part of day, symptoms came back from a.m. + a horrible headache. Took Advil and was okay, but still felt crappy. Sleep was very hard in coming. Went to bed at 10:00pm, but didn’t go to sleep till 11:30. Overall 2

5/1/2012-Slept terrible. Tossed and turned all night. Finally gave up and got up @ 4:30am with stomach ache, neck, back and leg pain and sneezing. Dosed and symptoms for most part relieved. Had a fairly physical day, and symptoms returned late in afternoon. Ate good, but didn’t drink like I should have. Also forgot to take centrum. At bed time took advil for  stomach cramps, leg and back aches and mild headache. Went to sleep okay @ 10:00pm Overall 2.5

5/2/2012- Slept okay, but tossed and turned some. Woke up for good at 5am and dosed. Dose took sneezing, and stomach pains. Pushed myself at work today and was feeling pretty bad by end of day. Didn’t eat the greatest and dont think I drank like I should have either. Also forgot centrum. Gotta get back on track cause I can definitely feel a difference. I am feeling really bad tonight with bad stomach pains, headache, leg cramps, and back is hurting. Took advil, but it’s not done much good. Sleep @ 9:30 fairly easily. Overall 2.5

5/3/2012- Slept pretty good. Woke up @5am and dosed. Sneezing and stomach cramps were symptoms and gone after dose. Took centrum. Had a very physical day and felt really good. By evening all I had was headache, mild stomach cramps and leg cramping. Took Tylenol and felt a head rush (won’t be taking that again). Very strange. Ate and drank good all day and felt much better than previous two days.  Bed @ 9:30pm and went to sleep with only little trouble. Overall 3.5

5/4/2012- Slept very good and woke @ 4:00am to make trip to clinic. 😦 Symptoms were very minimal when I dosed @ 5:30am. Took centrum, and had a very good day at work. No physical to speak of, and used the day to rest. *Had some crazy medical stuff go on, and ended up going to the Urgent Care facility because of something getting stuck in my eye at work. Ate and drank good, and no real symptoms to speak of in eve. Sleep came fine @ 11pm. Overall 4

*About Urgent Care: I tried and tried to get this shit out of my eye, and in the process made things much worse. It all ended with half my face being swollen, and water behind my cornea. I know right, wtf? Who gets water behind their cornea? Anyway, it wasn’t really painful, but something good did come of it and I may ultimately make it’s own post. I used the opportunity (because my fam uses this facility often) to let them know what I was doing at the methadone clinic. I also wanted them to make sure to add to my chart that I was not to be given narcotics unless as a “last resort”. I actually told them to put that in bold letters. I left there feeling really good about my honesty. However, back to my eye. She checked and there were no scratches or tears so she gave me some eye drops. It’s now the next morning and it’s sore but feels much better so I’m thinking I get to keep my eye.

5/5/2012-Woke up @ 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep. Had mild stomach cramping and leg pains, but nothing much more. *Dosed and everything gone. Eye feels much better. Took centrum. By end of day, had fairly bad stomach ache, leg cramps, back aches. Took advil. Ate and drank good. Bed at 10pm, but getting to sleep was a bit hard. Overall 3

*I wanted to say a little about this little change Ive made in my detox. Up until this point my MO has been to decrease 5mgs every two weeks. Well, as Dr. Burson said, the lower I go, the more that 5mgs is a bigger percentage of the whole. Knowing this, I got a baby syringe  on Sat. and took 2.5mgs or so I thought, and threw it in the toilet. I misread the syringe and actually took out 5mgs, and realized this later in the day when my symptoms were a little ruff. Anyway, my plan now will actually be to go down 2.5mgs every week so that I’m not hit so hard every 2 week when I decrease. So, I will be decreasing at the same rate, but splitting it up.

5/6/2012-Woke up @ 4:30am after tossing and turning all night. Dose took mild chills, runny nose, sneezing, stomach ache. Had very good day at beach. Got pretty burnt, but that’s okay. No real symptoms during the day, and only mild stomach cramps in eve. Took Alieve, but forgot my centrum. Realized later in eve that I am really really burnt. That’s okay though, because I feel great. Ate and drank good for most of day* Bed @ 10pm and went to sleep fine. Overall 4

*I probably should have been mentioning this all along the way, but my undying sweet cravings are completely gone. Therefor it is much better to keep a good diet. I would have to say that it was probably around 40mgs/day when I noticed cravings for sweets were no longer tempting me. To this point I ave lost roughly 25 of the 50 extra pounds I had put on while on the higher doses of methadone. Very, very happy about this. (and so is my wife 🙂

5/7/2012-Woke up @5:30am feeling pretty burnt (from sun), but otherwise great. Nothing really but a bit of sneezing, but that stopped after dosing @6am. took centrum. a fairly physical day until lunch* and then rain. Felt very good all day, and into evening. Ate very good and drank lots. No symptoms in evening to speak of. Bed @ 10:30 and sleep came easy. Overall 4

*One thing that I will be writing about soon is the fact that I got a job transfer I put in for at work. It was a very stressful process, but all worked out great. One pro is that I will no longer be traveling between 3 campus’. As a result, I am stationed at the campus with the college gym. I started working out for the first time in years today on my lunch break. Know I will be sore tomorrow, but ain’t givin a shit.

5/8/2012-Had good night’s sleep. Woke up 5:00am w/ slight headache and the damn sneezing. Dose took it @5:30am. Took centrum. Had a great physical day at work and worked out again @ lunch. Ate and drank very good. No symptoms really this eve, but a bit sore from working out. That’s a good thing. Went to sleep @ 9:30pm  good. Overall 4

5/9/2012-Good night’s sleep. Woke @ 5:30am, and had absolutely no symptoms. I actually forgot to dose for 2hrs after I woke! Took centrum. Had very good, physical day at work. Sunshine felt wonderful. By evening, I was feeling a few symptoms (possibly from 2.5mg decrease). Leg aching and stomach ache. Took Alieve. Ate and drank good all day. Sleep @ 10:00pm good. Overall 3.5

5/10/2012-Slept good, and woke @ 5am w/ leg cramps and stomach ache. Dose took symptoms. Took centrum. Had a fairly lazy day, and by eve legs were hurting again. No other symptoms to speak of. Ate and drank well. Sleep @ 8pm (clinic morning tomorrow). Sleep came easy. Overall 3.5

5/11/2012-Slept good and woke @4am to go to clinic. No symptoms to speak of. Dosed @ clinic about 6:00am and was not happy. Took centrum later in morn. By early afternoon, I was feeling pretty bad. I always wonder just how much of it is “in my head”, but I really did feel bad. Guess I must have left a little more in the bottom of that bottle than I thought. As I was feeling so bad yesterday, I really had to struggle to contain my anger for that clinic. Yes, I was blaming them! Anyway, symptoms later in ever were all the usual:upset stomach, leg and back aching, chills, and just really uncomfortable. Ate and drank okay, but not the greatest. Bed @10:30pm and went to sleep easy. Overall 2.5

5/12/2012-Slept okay, but woke @4am and couldn’t go back to sleep. Withdrew 5mgs from my dose and dose calmed chills, leg cramps and stomach ache. Took centrum. Had a very relaxing day, and did nothing but a few loads of laundry (mother’s day weekend). Not really, I do lots of laundry. Anyway, had an okay day with symptoms. Late in eve had nasty stomach ache and leg cramping. Took Alieve. Ate and drank ok (not great). Had some cake that almost made me vomit. Ohhhh thank goodness those sweet cravings are gone. Sleep came about 9:30pm with no probs. Overall 3

5/13/2012- Slept great and woke @ 4am. Took out 5mgs and dosed. Leg cramps and stomach ache left. Centrum. Had a good mothers day but started feeling a bit bad as day went on. Into eve was having stomach pain, leg cramping and back aches. Took advil. Ate and drank good. Bed @ 10:30-went to sleep fine. Overall 3

5/14/2012- Slept good and woke up @5:00am. Took 5mgs out of dose. Woke up with stomach pains, leg and back aches and headache. Dose took most symptoms. Took centrum. Had and okay day but symptoms from morning came back in eve. Took Alieve. Ate good. Actually, didn’t drink good today at all. Bed @9:30pm and fell asleep easy. Overall 3

3/15/2012-Woke @4am to go to clinic. Symptoms weren’t too bad, but did have stomach ache. Dosed when I got to clinic-they had my change order so I am now officially at 20mgs/day. Had fairly physical day at work. Ate good, but another day of not drinking well. Stomach ache, back ache returned in eve. Bed @ 9pm and fell asleep easy. Btw, I need to mention in here that for the past few days, my head has really thrown me for a loop. My mood swings have been awful, and I can feel the poison still trying to hold on now more than ever. It’s just such a great thing that has come with this blog because posting every day has helped to keep me honest, and on track in many ways. For that, I prolly need to thank whomever reads this Overall 3

Here’s the pic of my new 20mg bottles. Like how I situated it in all that healthy fruit? Lol

3/16/2012-Woke @ 4am with stomach cramps only. Took Centrum. By end of daywas feeling horrible. Absolutely my worst day yet. Don’t know if it was all to do with methadone, but I was also taking Keflex (antibiotic) and I have never been good with antibiotics. By evening I had headache, stomach ache, chills, nausea, diarreah (srry but true), bone aching. Overall 1.5

Man, I have to be honest- this is the biggest pain in my ass of anything on this blog. I think it’s just about as bad (to me) as if I were to sit in meetings my whole life saying, “My name is A and I’m a drug addict”. It just ain’t doing it for me so I’ll still leave it, but I’m only going to post on the days I decrease with the pic of the new bottle.

I can’t even begin to say how much of a relief it already is! Lol Sorry, but I don’t think many looked at this part anyway. But…if there are some that were getting something out of it, post it here, and if I get a few, I’ll consider starting the daily thing again. No promises.

So I thought long and hard about this and figured, you know what, if one person reads it, then I’ll keep up with it. Besides, I’m halfway there (from when I started blog) so why stop now. I’m going to be brief with next few days because I wasn’t keeping it written.

3/17/2012 Woke up feeling pretty bad with all symptoms from night before. Took Centrum. I immediately quit the antibiotics, but I had been on them for 9 days so knew it would take a few days to expell the meds. Had pretty nasty day with my stomach. Very bad diarreah, nausea and at night had chills, bone aching, and I was very very drained feeling-almost like I could sleep standing up. Was hard getting to sleep. Overall 2

3/18/2012 Slept just ok. Woke up with bad stomach aching, tired, bone aches, beaten down, but still going. Day was much better overall than previous two. Got out in the sunshine, and did some physical stuff at work. By end of day I was very very tired. Stomach was still hurting pretty bad (which I’m attributing more and more to antibiotics) and still had bad diarreah and nausea. Bones were aching also. Went to sleep just okay again. Overall 2.5

3/19/2012 Slept fairly well, and woke @4:00am with stomach ache and diarreah, but felt much better. Took centrum. Rested and wrote most of day and didn’t go far from home at all. Had very good day with kids and wife. still, stomach continued to give me fits, but better all the same. By eve had stomach ache, diarreah ( not as bad), chills, and bone aching. Went to sleep fine. overall 3

3/20/2012 Slept good and woke @ 4:30am. Stomach was hurting and still have diarreah, but feeling better. Went to beach all day, and I swam in the water like I haven’t done since I was a kid.* By eve I was feeling a bit ruff and had some fairly bad diarreah with a pretty bad stomach ache. I’m sure my eating 4 peaches didn’t help. Had pretty bad chills too, but that prob had more to do with me being so burnt. went to sleep ok @ 10:00pm

*Today at the beach, I let the water and waves consume me, and it felt wonderful. It’s funny now how much I have been enjoying the beach again. me and my wife were joking that we probably used the same bottle of sunscreen for the first 6 years of our marraige, and we’re about to have to buy our 3rd for jsut this year. Absolutely amazing what you want to do when you aren’t chasing a high. I have to wonder wtf my wife ever saw in me before, but anyway. day was great, but I am scorched.

5/21/2012-Woke up @ 4am feeling badly burned. Stomach was hurting and had chills. Had fairly physical day at work and will be getting up early to head to clinic in am.* felt great all day. Had no problem with any symptoms other than mild diarreah, and mild stomack pains. Went to bed @9pm and had a little problem getting to sleep. Overall 3.5

*Me and wife calculated this morning that I have seven more trips to these numb-nutts and it’s all over. Yippee!!

5/22/2012- Woke up @3:30am and got ready and left for clinic. Saw counselor today- she didn’t recognize me. Ate good, but didn’t drink enough, but took centrum. It’s been 2 months since I saw her and she said I looked different somehow. Ha, can’t imagine why? Symptoms were mild all day, and only had mild stomach pains in eve. Went to bed @ 11:00pm and easily went nighty night. Overall 4

5/23/2012- Got up @ 5am, and pulled 2.5mgs from bottle before dosing. I’m now officially in the teens (17.5mgs/day). Feels good. No real symptoms but mild upset stomach. Had fairly active day with good eating and drinking. Took centrum and no real symptoms at night. Went to bed @ 10:30pm; went to sleep well. Overall 4

5/24/2012- Got up @ 5am sneezing. Had mild stomach cramps and some diarrhea. Took 17.5mg dose and symptoms subsided. Took centrum, and had a semi-physical day at work. Could have eaten and drank better. By evening I had stomach ache again. Went to sleep @ 3am, and didn’t sleep well. Vivid dreams kept waking me. Overall 4.5

5/25/2012- Got up @ 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep. Bad stomach ache and diarrhea. Went about my day, and actually forgot to dose till 11:00am! Had wonderful morning in spite of not dosing, but didn’t eat or drink well all day. Paid price with bad stomach ache and diarrhea in evening. Very exhausted and went to bed @ 5:30pm.Overall 4.5

5/26/2012- Slept like a log and got up @ 6am (12.5hrs sleep). Stomach still aching with diarrhea. Dosed 17.5 and symptoms persisted. Had a relaxed day and wrote a lot. By evening had bad stomach ache and more diarrhea. Ate and drank ok but not great. Feeling very depressed all day. Went to bed @ 10pm and slept ok. Overall 2.5

5/27/2012- Slept fairly well and woke @ 5:00am with better energy. Stomach still aches with diarrhea, but better. Dose eased symptoms. Had another relaxed day with much writing. Ate and drank well and took centrum (missed previous 2 days). By evening stomach ache and diarrhea much better. State of mind much better today. Overall 3.5

5/28/2012- Slept great and woke @ 5:00am. Stomach ache mild, but so far no diarrhea! Dosed 17.5mgs, and felt fine. Had a good physically active day at work. Took centrum and ate and drank okay. By eve felt a bit sluggish, but was able to go to sleep fine @9:00pm Overall 3.5

5/29/2012- Got up @ 3:30am and went to clinic feeling fairly well. Stomach still fucked up, but not much else. Got there intending to decrease but couldn’t*. Had good day w/out problem,  but tummy still jacked up in eve. Forgot centrum and didn’t eat well and drank worse. Went to bed @9:30pm. Overall 3

*I couldn’t decrease for 2 reasons. 1. The clinics computers were down for 2 days because of Tropical Storm Beryll. They were only allowing people to dose with no take outs or change orders. 2. I forgot to tell the stupid shits (clinic) last week I wanted to decrease this week. As I said before, they no longer allow patients to decrease when and how they want. It has to be signed by the doctor before any changes are made. Funny thing is, that was the one thing I liked about the clinic. That being the ability to decrease whenever and however you please.

5/30/2012- Got up @ 4am and went to clinic again to dose w/ no takeouts. Didn’t rinse bottom of bottle so I hoped that = 5 mgs. Had fairly okay day but stomach started hurting in eve. Ate and drank ok and took centrum. Went to bed @9pm and went to sleep ok. Overall 3

5/31/2012 Got up @ 4am and went to clinic. Got takeouts and didn’t wash bottle out when I dosed. Let nurse know I wanted to decrease to 15mgs next Thurs. Got takeouts and went home feeling ok. Had active day working. Ate and drank well and took centrum. By eve was feeling really shitty. Stomach ache, muscle aches, headache, and emotions shot out. Went to sleep ok at 10pm. Overall 2.5

6/1/2012 Got up @ 4:30am. Took centrum and dosed first sure dose of 15mg. Did much soul searching and writing this day. (off on Fridays for summer) By end of day my emotions were wrecked. I was beaten down and disgusted. I’ll save the time and say that the whole of me burned. It wasn’t good feeling but it was a necessary feeling. By 9pm I was exhausted and went to sleep easy. Overall 1.5

6/2/2012 Woke @ 4:30am and breathed. Just admired life for a few hours and posted “My Grad” Dosed 15mgs and felt ok. Took centrum. Day was awesome. Went to daughters graduation party and did some kayaking down the St. Johns River. Just admired life out there and tried to soak in as much as I could. Beautiful and even saw an alligator. By evening though, things went bad. Emotions in a wreck and all bones ached. Was very happy to reach bed time @ 9:00pm and fell asleep okay. Overall 2

6/3/2012 Woke @ 4am and dosed. Was feeling pretty ruff when dosed, but most symptoms subsided. Took centrum. Had very relaxing day, and I think now, too relaxing. I was able to focus too much on pain, and by 3pm, I was a wreck mentally more than physically. I decided to put my MP3 player on and go for bike ride. I rode hard and felt better, but drained when I got home. By night, not so good. Didn’t eat and drink too well either. Bed at 8:30pm and sleep came fairly easy. Overall 1.5

6/4/2012 Woke at 3:30am feeling bad and dosed. Took centrum. Felt better, but still not great. Took note of how bad this decrease has hit me. Having a few problems communicating with wife, but she’s just adjusting to “new” me I think. Had a very physical day at work and was exhausted in eve. Even though emotions still ripped, felt a little better this eve than past few days so I hope I’m on up-swing. Went to bed @ 9pm and went to sleep good. Overall 2

6/5/2012 Woke at 4am and felt better than previous few days. Took centrum. Had great day at work and wife and I are communicating best. Still tired and weak but strength is coming back. Rebuilding myself to get ready for decrease on Sat. to 12.5mgs <—-Holy shit, that doesn’t even look right! * By evening I felt good enough to keep going.  Went to sleep 9pm and came easy. Overall 2.5

*Starting to see light outside of the tunnel. Almost there and just to give a few words of what I’m listening to right now.

1st- my Spirit

2nd-my wife

3rd-my friends

4th-“Till I Collapse” eminem,

“Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out
Till my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth.
Till the smoke clears out – am I high? Perhaps (not for long)
I’ma rip this shit till my bone collapse.”

6/6/2012 Woke up feeling sluggish but felt better after dose. Took Centrum. Felt better all day. Had fairly physical day. By eve was feeling better than I have for last few days. Ate good, but drinking- not so much. Had headache I think because not enough fluids. Went to sleep okay @ 9pm Overall 3.5

6/7/2012- Up @ 4am to clinic. Took centrum. Even though I’ve been @15mgs for 6 days, got the dose change today. Had a good day, but all at home cause son was sick. Spent day active with sterilizing house from son’s stomach flu.  Ate and drank good. Felt very good all the way till bed @ 9:30pm Overall 4

6/8/2012- Up @ 5am and started dosing 12.5mgs today.* By afternoon symptoms pouring over me again. Anxiety, nausea, stomach ache, headache, bones creaking. Went to daughter’s graduation and was pretty uncomfortable. By eve was really happy to get into bed. Went to sleep good @10:30pm. Overall 2.5

*I am now keeping the extra I pull out of my bottle’s for when I jump off @ 5mgs. Can’t even believe in 4 weeks this clinic bullshit will be over.

6/9/2012- Up @ 5am and wrote. Feeling fairly anxious, and symptoms yesterday were back. Dose helped, but not completely. Had an okay day eating and drinking. Took centrum. Afternoon was ruff and into evening. A bit hard to get to sleep @ 10:00pm. Overall 2

6/10/2012- Up @ 4:30am. Felt bad, with all usual symptoms till I dosed. Had relaxing day and didn’t do much. Ate and drank okay. Took centrum. By afternoon was really anxious. Was having pain in my chest and tingling in my left elbow down to my ring and little finger.* Evening had minor headache and leg cramping. Went to sleep okay @ 9:00pm Overall 3

*Decided to go to Med Ex (urgent care) just to be on safe side. Was examined and BP was a little high. EKG they said was normal except for my heart rate. I left feeling reassured I wasn’t having a heart attack.

6/11/2012- Up @4am. Symptoms not bad at all. Took centrum. Had fairly physical day working. Had low grade headache all day. By evening felt good. Ate and drank good. Went to sleep okay @9:00pm

6/12/2012- Up @ 4:30am Symptoms not bothering me other than light headache. Took centrum. Had good day at work. Evening was fine other than persistent low grade headache. Ate and drank good. Went to sleep @10:00pm. *

* All day long I got the feeling my body was telling me it was time to stop methadone.

6/13/2012- Up @ 5am and felt fine. Still had low grade headache though. Decided it was time to stop methadone so I didn’t take my last dose bottle. Worked vigorously throughout day. Have a post “Need For Clarity” that explains next several days. Ate good and drank lots. Went to bed @ 10pm but slept very little. Overall 2

6/14/2012- Up for good @ 2:30am. Was very ill as I left for work. Pushed my body all day and tried not to think about symptoms. Symptoms included: sneezing, bone aching, crawling skin, headache, nausea, stomach cramping.By afternoon I was feeling a little better and was happy for that. Tried going to sleep but never did. Never could get comfortable. Overall 1.5

6/15/2012- Fri morning family got up and got ready to go to Jecklyl Island for weekend fam reunion. Was exhausted all day, but felt better physically. Spent time in pool and walking on beach. Was so tired but realizing I’m seeing all the sights “drug free” was quite an experience. Went to bed @ 10:30pm and slept 6 hrs albeit not straight through. Overall 3

6/16/2012- Sat morning got up and went for long walk on beach. Watched sun rise and took it all in OFF METHADONE! Had good nap midday and slept okay that evening. However, still fairly uncomfortable as I slept. Overall 3

6/17/2012- Woke up with bad stomach cramps. Ate breakfast and set out home. On way home stomach never felt any better. Stayed in bed most of day very uncomfortable. Tried going to sleep at 10pm and never did all night. Evert time I would try to relax, some random thing would wake me. Overall 2

6/18/2012- Got out of bed @ 6am and felt awful. Lack of good sleep was getting to me.* I ended up staying home from work and napped @ 11am for about 4 straight hours. That was the longest straight through time I have slept since last Tues. night. Felt fairly good for rest of day. Ate and drank good.  A little hard getting to sleep @ 11:30pm. Overall 2.5

*I got ready and set to go to work but felt too bad. I went to Med Ex and they gave some advice and also prescribed Clonodine. My BP was very high (by my body’s standards) @ 150/103. Once I got that script filled I was so much more relaxed and was able to take the good nap.

6/19/2012- Got up at 6am after night with 6 hours sleep, but woke up every hour. Very restless at night. Took Clonodine early in am and felt very lightheaded, but much calmer overall past two days. Much more even keel emotionally and psychologically also. Had light day at work. Ate not so good, but drank lots of Gatorade w/ aminos. Have forgotten to take Centrum for several days. Took Clonodine at 11:00pm Hard time getting to sleep @ 1:30am. Overall 2.5

6/20/2012- Woke @ 3:30am and could never go back to sleep. No Clonodine this a.m. Went to work

Letter Unsent

Earlier today I visited the web site of the company that owns the methadone clinic I go to. It was especially eye-opening to see the images of the smiling families they are projecting. It was even more astonishing when I considered all the pain wrought in my family by this company. Anyway, while I was browsing I noticed the names and email addresses of some of the top dogs. Before I knew it, I had my email account open, and I was writing one of them. While I was writing it I realized I couldn’t send it, but finished it anyway. I honestly fear their repercussions. It’s a fairly okay letter I think, so I decided to not waste it, and post it here.

Dear Sir,
My name is ____ . I am patient number ____at your ____, Florida clinic. I have been detoxing for some time now- without the help of your wonderfully detached counselors, and the doctor without a face. In fact, I’ve had a new counselor for seven weeks now, and still have not met her. For the last five weeks I have gone by my counselor’s office on my weekly pick-up, and she has yet to be there. One of those weeks I was really hurting, mentally and physically, and needed to talk to her. I did find my counselor’s supervisor and ended up speaking to her for about fifteen minutes. She was easy enough to talk to, but at that point I probably would have been fine talking to a tree. That’s a funny coincidence because as it turned out, I may as well have been- talking to a tree.

The next week I was notified via bulletin board that i needed to see that same supervisor for a urinalysis because my counselor who isn’t counseling was out once again. As I walked into her office I was smiling because I felt as though we were already acquainted. We had just spoken one week prior and she had even promised to get a question I had answered for me. Immediately though, I could tell she did not recognize me, and my smile quickly faded. I was very much saddened that the intimate details I shared with her weren’t enough for her to even remember my face.

Since she didn’t remember me or my question, I was wondering if you could answer it for me? I do understand the clinic doctor is busy signing prescriptions for powerful narcotics to patients he never sees, however, is it possible for him to see a patient who is detoxing? Please don’t try reminding me that I see him once a year at my physical either because that is horse shit. The doctor at the clinic now is not the same doctor that did my physical last year! In fact, I have been at the clinic for roughly six years, and there has never been the same doctor administering physicals from one year to the next. So I ask again. Is there any way for me- a patient that is detoxing- to see the doctor I have never met- but that writes my prescription for methadone?

While I have your attention, would you mind answering something else? Do you know what your clinic, and the drugs you push have done to me? No, of course you don’t, and neither does your clinic. The addiction I own, I own alone- I accept that. My addiction is my burden to bear. That still doesn’t diminish the fact that you lied, through your clinic. Just as sure as if you had personally whispered the words in my ear. The words professing that I would live a better, more complete life. You said my family would be happier. You said you cared about me. YOU LIED! What you are doing is no different than a drug pusher on the corner.

No matter how you sell it, literally, you both are addicts just as I am. The drug pusher on the corner deals to feed his addiction to drugs. You deal to feed your addiction to power and riches. You do this on the backs of sick, desperate people, and what you are doing is not helping; it is prolonging, and enabling of the worst kind. Have you no conscious? Have you no kids? If you do have children, and one was diagnosed with a terrible disease, would you feel okay about a doctor willing to treat the disease without wanting to meet your child? I think not.

You are participating in a masterful, well thought out plan. A cash cow indeed, of epic proportions. However, in all the planning there is something you all failed to consider- a pissed off recovering addict with a voice and will to unite the army you raised against you. Their families probably won’t be too happy either- I know mine won’t.

Sure to meet you soon,


I very much long for the day when I can send this company a letter such as this. However, their drug still finds a home within me though so I must remain anonymous for now. I still feel as though people can be made aware, so if you haven’t, please pass this blog along to anyone you know. Thank you so much to those that already have, and those who have given me input/advice. It is most definitely appreciated.


I Can and Did!

I did it! I really did! I completed both my goals yesterday of decreasing my methadone dose, and attending my first NA meeting. I have to give credit where credit is due however, and the voice in my head did an excellent job. This son of a bitch gave me 1,000,001 of the most compelling and crafty reasons imaginable about why I should not go to that meeting last night.

After work, I still had 3 hours until I had to leave for the meeting. I used that time to lie down, rest and explain to myself that I needed to go. My addiction did not happen overnight, would not be cured overnight, but NA was starting tonight I said. The conversation began calmly enough, but ended semi-violently. I even dropped the “do you want your wife to take the kids and leave?” bomb on myself. I could just about feel the pain as I kicked my own ass out the door. It was certainly a battle, but one of the last things I remember thinking was “how bad do you want your life back?” I do, I do, I do want it back!

I am a bit pumped up this morning. I should be because I cleared two big hurdles yesterday. I am being one hundred percent honest when I say that on my way to the life drainer (clinic) yesterday morning, I contemplated the excuses I would use for forgoing one of the two goals I had set for myself. After leaving the death trap, I knew it would be the meeting I would cancel. It wasn’t to be. Turns out, I want to live just a little more than that clinic ever bargained for.  Screw you people, I’m bringing this fucker home! If I die in 4 months, I will die having seen my kids-in spite of you.

i most definitely smelltherain

Methadone Decrease/Still Here

Sorry but I feel like shit, grumpy as hell, and probably won’t feel like writing for a day or two. Still plan on getting my broken down ass to the meeting tonight, and still smell the rain.


Tools of Methadone Detox

This Friday will be an important day. For one, my two weeks at 40mgs of methadone per day is just about up. The alarm clock is beginning to ring, and although I could hit snooze, there is no good reason I should. In fact, there has been only one time since beginning detox that I have put off decreasing. It was because I didn’t want my family’s week-long Christmas vacation overshadowed by my withdrawal symptoms. Last weekend, my aches were so intense that I was sure I would be putting off for the second time. After a few days though, I am feeling much better so there will be no stalling. I feel as though I’m ready to make the push. I am on the front lines again; body battered, but recovered enough to continue waging war. There is one other reason Friday will be of import and that is Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Friday will be the first time I attend a NA meeting. I haven’t had occasion to mention this before, but my current stint at the methadone clinic is actually my second. The first time was about 10 years ago. I was on Oxycontin and wanted to get off. I started the clinic at the beginning dose of 30mgs/day and went down from there- just like I am doing now.  I managed to get completely off opiates for a period of about 6 months. My sobriety ended when I woke one morning with a simple head cold. I needed some Tylenol so I went to my roommate’s bathroom to find some. When I opened the medicine cabinet, there was a demon on one of the shelves. It handed me a Lortab- 10mgs in exchange for 10 more years of my life.  It’s so hard for me to imagine, that little pill cost me ten more years of suffering. It’s true though, it did. Can anyone tell me why it cost me? Addicts in recovery know. I now know too. It’s because I tried to do it alone. It may work like that for a very select few, but I am not one of them.

It may be hard to believe that I have never, in all my years of opiate addiction, gone to any NA/AA meetings. This time though, I will go to the meetings. I will go, and I will work the steps I have heard so much about. I will meet the contacts who will give me the tools, and teach me the skills I need to fight the demons in all situations. Once I am clean, I know there will come a day when I will open someone’s medicine cabinet, and there will again be a demon. It will be ready to make another exchange, and it’s price could likely be my life. However, I will be ready the next time-I will use the tools I have been given, and the skills I have been taught to gouge its fucking eyes out.


Wanting Change (off methadone)

It was one year ago, or thereabouts, that I knew I wanted to make a change. I knew I wanted off methadone. My family had struggled with money for so long that I knew some things for certain. If I did not clean up my act, my wife would eventually take the kids and leave. She would at some point meet another, and I would be on the sidelines, watching as a better man raised my family. It rocks me to the core of my being thinking of another laying with my wife, being a father to my kids. One day I will have the courage to ask my wife how close I pushed her to that point. Right now though, I am not ready to know. I also knew that my health would not hold as I was deteriorating at a much faster rate than when I was younger.

Opiates work as a depressant.  Pain pills cause many vital organs to work much slower than normal. When the functions of intestines are depressed, the result is horrendous constipation. My intestines were in terrible condition because of this.  Many times, having not shit for a week or more, I was forced to use a saline laxative. This liquid was commonly used by doctors to empty a patient’s bowels in preparation for a colonoscopy. What’s more, this horrible tasting laxative I had been using for years, was later recalled for the damage it caused to one’s kidneys. My kidneys have been damaged as evidenced by an ultrasound I had done a few years ago. Methadone has also been known to cause severe cravings for sweets .

I was literally compelled to eat things such as a quart of ice cream covered in caramel, m&m’s, crushed oreo’s, and topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.  The sugar began to eat holes in the lining of my stomach, causing ulcers and indigestion I can’t even describe. I gained roughly 70lbs, and would sweat profusely at the slightest exertion. I generally had to carry two or three shirts everywhere I went. It has been a very miserable existence. Fortunately, my weight is dropping, and I no longer sweat from a walk to the refrigerator for ice cream.