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My new sobriety from alcohol [CAUTION: book enclosed]

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
So I quit about 2 weeks ago (today is day 12). I knew my consumption was getting up there but I didn't really realize how bad of an alcohol problem I had until 2 months ago when I ran out of alcohol on a Saturday night, couldn't buy any on Sunday, and ending up fiend-like searching for alcohol and strained a couple shots from some fruit I had leftover after flavoring some moonshine. Anyway, I ended up calculating my consumption and found I was drinking roughly 17 standard drinks a night worth of whiskey in an average of 4 hours (which was surprising to me; I didn't realize how much I was actually consuming and must have been in some level of denial). I immediately tried quitting cold turkey and woke up the next morning in terrible cold sweats, struggling that whole day until the time I would normally have a drink, then feeling a huge wave of relief once that time was reached and I finally had a shot (I've always refused to drink during the day or at any moment when my kids could see me drinking, feeling it was both terrible for them to see me in any altered state and a terrible example to set). Realizing I had to taper, admit myself to an inpatient rehab facility (there are no outpatient options near me), or suffer withdrawal symptoms, I cut down to 8 standard drinks a night for a month, then a week rapid taper down to 0 while also taking 500mg/day of thiamine for the both the last week of tapering and the week after quitting. I realized shortly after quitting and having some long talks with friends that have known me a long time that I was self-medicating an underlying anxiety and mild depression. So I spoke with my doctor who prescribed me 0.5mg Klonopin for anxiety, as well as the insomnia that has been plaguing me for a while, but when I tried one I woke up the next morning with an alcohol-like hangover, vomiting and all. I spoke with her again and got put on Trazodone, but it hasn't really helped my sleep and I haven't been taking it long enough to feel the anxiety and depression relief. The anxiety (especially at night around the time I would start drinking) and insomnia are bad. The depression hasn't been bad at all; I've had no self-harm thoughts or actions before or after quitting, and people around me are noticing I've been in a much better mood since I quit. However, a some of it is me forcing myself to see the positive of everything and trying to avoid drama and problems as much as I can, so it feels kind of forced. I've now found relief for the insomnia in the form of Melatonin taken with my Trazodone, suggested by my Pharmacist. The anxiety, especially at night, is still a big issue. Once the kiddos are in bed and the day is winding down, I still miss the relaxation I got from having a drink and playing some games with friends or watching some TV and letting the day kind of wash away. I don't have cravings for liquor anymore, but the thought of sitting around the TV with a couple friends and having a drink or two to wind down is still quite appealing and something I feel I'm currently missing. I'm hoping continuing on the Trazodone will help the anxiety and let me relax without alcohol, but at the moment I don't really know what to do with myself at night.

I also hate the idea that I'll be forever an alcoholic and can never have another drink again, something being reinforced to me through friends and seen often online. I feel like if I can get a grip on the underlying issues that caused me to drink excessively, having a drink occasionally wouldn't be a problem. I know I'm a ways out from ever being able to have another drink, but I'm an avid believer of "mind over everything", I have a ton of willpower, and hate the thought that I'm incapable of controlling myself and must therefor forever relinquish to that addiction and avoid it cause I'll automatically relapse. When I smoked cigarettes I never had one after waking up, a meal, sex, coffee, etc, basically telling myself that smoking after those actions reinforces the addiction, and had a daily limit I rarely reached but would never go over. I never had a problem quitting cigarettes even though I'd smoked for 6 years and at one point was smoking a pack a day when I had a night job. When I wanted to quit I quit, though to be fair I did get an ecig (I like the action of smoking and still enjoy it occasionally but I vape 0mg). I feel like I could apply that methodology to drinking if I was to attempt to once again enjoy alcohol in moderation. My thought was never drinking spirits or liquor (I know I have a weakness to a fine Scotch and cigar), never drink alone, set myself limits like max standard drinks in a night and how often per week or month, never before 9pm (have already been doing that for years without issue), etc. I feel like if I could get to a point where the underlying issue is good then I'd have no reason for an addiction, but I know for a fact that at any point if I'm having cravings for alcohol it's both too soon to try alcohol again and would be time to quit again as well. I don't know if this is all just my brain chemistry still unable to fully handle sobriety or the fact that I miss the fun times and nightly unwind, or my own stubbornness telling myself what I want to hear. I know it's too early for me to tell or try drinking again until I've gone a good amount of time without a craving and after the underlying issues I'm having are completely in check. I know I need to be sober for awhile and get used to handling every situation without alcohol including the inevitable temptations that will be there at holidays, family functions, and whenever I pick back up my pool cue (I'm taking a break because the only tables near me are in establishments that serve alcohol). But ultimately is it ok to test yourself down the road with precautions in place and see how you fair? Or is it really once an alcoholic, forever an alcoholic?

By now most will have noticed I'm fairly intelligent, quite stubborn (or willful, call it what you will), and am somewhere between an idealistic and realistic thinker. I know I have faults and am working on them. Health wise I'm pretty good. Just had a full battery of tests ran and other than an electrolyte imbalance from quitting and a triglyceride level I'm working on I'm in great health (diets suck yet I rarely "cheat", it's genetic). History wise I started drinking at 15, screwed around with weed and other light stuff like most others do from 16-19, but never tried anything heavy. I've had several short term pain prescriptions as well as street access because of where I grew up and never abused them. I even had a surgery with complications that led to prescription narcotics in my system long enough to develop a mild physical dependency, yet I still quit with a half bottle left without much issue once the pain was manageable without them, and that half bottle took me months to use afterwards. I'm now 30 and am in better health and more active than I was 5-7 years ago. Really I'm just kind of lost with what to do with my night time anxiety, and felt getting all this out might be therapeutic. It has been.
 

Moreaux

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
1,925
Location
The Beach
Kudos for your time off of alcohol!!! You're doing great!

Anything in the benzodiazapine class (klonopin, Xanax, Valium, etc) may be trouble for you as benzos hit the same receptors in the brain that alcohol does, which is why they are frequently referred to as alcohol in pill form. Melatonin and trazodone is a very effective combination - I relied on it for sleep in rely recovery. I recommend that you hve a sweet treat around the time at night when you would normally have a drink. An often overlooked component to quitting alcohol is that you are depriving your body of sugar, and it takes a while for the body to adjust. I the a lot of candy in the first month I got sober. Candy also helps with cravings, so if you do start getting cravings have some candy.

The best thing you can do for yourself is resolve the underlying issue tht drive you to substance. The other thing that will significantly facilitate a healthy lifestyle is learning non-medicinal ways for dealing with stress and anxiety. I personally got a lot from cognitive behavioral therapy with respect to dealing with active anxiety and recognizing triggers for anxiety. Other things that also help are clean eating, adequate sleep, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and exercise. If you find you are having a present issue with anxiety consider getting a prescription for Indural (propranolol). It stops the adrenaline reaction, and is not addictive . It's a beta blocker primarily used to lower blood pressure but works great with anxiety.

As for drinking in the future, I would be cautious with that. I have known a few people who have learned to moderate it, but the majority of people cannot, and each subsequent detox from alcohol or benzos is significantly worse due to kindling. If that's something you wish to persue in the future, I would definately wait a significant amount of time and make sure you gave a handle on your underlying issues and axiety.

I got sober from alcohol the first time in 2010 and relapsed in 2012. I thought I cold drink like a normal person then. I was wrong and ended up going back to rehab in 2014. I had to leave a very good job with a lot of bonuses and benefits, where I was making close to 6 figures a year. The consequences on "testing the waters" with booze cost me a lot in terms of quality of life, and it was not worth it in my opinion. I no longer have the desire to drink, and will never try booze again. I recommend if you consider picking up a drink later down the road to soberly examine how the negative consequences can impact your life, and what you stand to lose as if you trigger the addiction it will be as if you never quit, and will develop much quicker and the withdrawal will be significantly worse.
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
I'm very happy you mentioned propranolol. I already take lisinopril for elevated blood pressure and fioricet for occasional migraines, and now they're trying the trazodone for insomnia (caused by anxiety) which I don't like taking for stomach reasons. Meanwhile propranolol could potentially help all three and reduce my total medication limiting possible reactions. My doctor must be an idiot! I'll be scheduling another appointment shortly and get switched to that and see how it goes. Maybe I'll even try a few of my wife's first; they prescribed them to her as a migraine preventative but they're ineffective for her and she's about to be put on something else soon anyway. Man, nail on the head with the adrenaline too; it really spikes up for me at night and the anxiety is like clockwork. I've also been having my adrenaline triggered pretty easily and have to take short walks to run in through my system. I'm also really happy you mentioned the candy. I've been craving simple carbs and candy like crazy since I quit; I ate 3 pounds of gummy bears in 2 days after I was a week sober. I've found letting myself eat a snack of carbs or candy about an hour after I'd have usually had my first drink is really satisfying and makes me completely forget about alcohol, and even seems to help with the anxiety (though definitely not the insomnia, lol). I hate that its destroying my diet but I figured it won't be for long and is probably a lot better for me than any alternatives. As for ever drinking again, I feel like to even try I'd need to be in a clean mental state where anxiety wasn't a problem for me anymore without medication for it, set myself rules and boundries, and bail at the first sign of a potential relapse. I understand that a second trip down that addiction road would damage my health and any abuse and subsequent recovery and withdrawal would all be that much worse for myself and my family. Really I'm stupid for even wanting to try sometime down the road and will have to put some good amount of sober time between myself and that decision. No point in rushing it. I definitely don't exercise enough (or really ever) either, so I'm going to start myself on a light work out plan starting tomorrow and see how it goes. Took the kids on a hike one day and a cave trip another recently and all the physical activity really gave me some good sleep. All the sleep interuptions really suck for me too because I'm a lucid dreamer with really vivid dreams and trazodone, cyclobenzaprine, anxiety, insomnia, and constantly waking up have really destroyed my dreams recently. I haven't remembered a dream or had a lucid one since I quit!
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Roughly 3 weeks now... My dreams are starting to get better, more vivid but still can't grab onto them like I used to so easily and instead have a false awakening then losing my lucid dream. It sucks. I stopped everything I was taking for anxiety relief like trazodone, cyclobenzaprine, propranolol, etc. If it gets really bad at night or 3am rolls around I take a shot of hydroxyzine but thats been it. Been dealing with a lot of stress and several crappy days of bull happening but haven't taken anything for it. I'm quite irratable during the day and have a short fuse whenever I'm not on some sort of an anti-depressant. I can't tell if thats just because I'm still getting used to a life without alcohol or if I need to be on something like that permanently. I definitely have a lot more energy and am more motivated and in a better mood when I'm on anti-depressants. I took a cyclobenzaprine again last night and made nearly a grand today after spending a week on the couch, just cause I was bored and wanted to actually get up and do something. I really don't know what to do with my life without getting messed up at least occasionally. I mean, sometimes you just have a really shitty day and want to wind down, and I hate the feeling of THC so that's out. Anyway, I know I'm doing well with my sobriety but its all willpower, and I only have so much of that. I've been smoking my vape setup a LOT since I've quit too. Don't really know why, there's no craving for it. I think I'm just really bored and desperately want a night off from grinding through sobriety to just let loose and relax for a night. Get a little twisted and have a bit of a party or something. What do you do with your sobriety boredom? And what do you do when you just want to wind down after a particularly shitty day?
 

sirfranny

Greenlighter
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
27
Location
occupied ireland
hope youre still staying sober, pal.
youll have to find interests that give you something to do in what was formerly your drinking time. i bought a metal detector and took to the fields and river banks doing some dirt fishing. works for me...this is my 19th year away from alcohol.
its probably a bit early to start messing about with other substanes yet. chin up and make staying sober a priority (number 1 in ur life)
 

manboychef

Bluelighter
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
4,050
Location
central florida
congrats OP on giving up the sauce. It is a lot harder than most people realize (ie.."Why can't you just stop!?"), so you should give yourself a lot of credit for cutting down from that level of drinking to nothing.

I have to agree with moreaux about the candy. It will give you something to look forward too as well the same way you looked forward to that first drink.

Restlessness is okay in early recovery, it will be there. You are still very new to it, and are learning who your sober self is. As addicts/alcoholics we all filled our time with thinking about, using, or finding our drug of choice. Now that those behaviors are not there, you must replace them with good behaviors (treating yourself well basically). This doesn't happen overnight as sirfranny stated. For me, it took slowly getting involved in hobbies I once loved. Gardening is my favorite. What did you used to do before you started drinking? Think about the fact that you will be saving money not buying drinks, which you can spend with your family on family activities.

congrats, keep up the good work, and keep us posted.
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Well I don't even know how long I've been sober now, lol. I don't think about it at all really anymore. Being around it even causes no craving. I'm still worried the smell might trigger a craving but at this point it'd be very easy for me to take a pass. My stomach is a lot better than it was while I was drinking. My insane sugar cravings and constant hunger have taken a 180 again and now I'm back to barely ever wanting candy. My appetite is crappy now, but I blame my increase in vaping to that. Haven't been using anything but some occasional hydroxyzine when I can't sleep. As for my free time I picked back up a business repairing electronics I used to do in Florida before I moved and have been making a ton of money doing that. Plus I kinda got further into my vaping hobby and have even turned a small profit there too. Worked on my cars a little, fixed the ac, messing with speakers for better audio quality. Basically I'm always bored and bouncing between hobbies and money making opportunities. My friends are definitely seeing the difference, and I've even made a couple new friends that don't really give a crap about drinking so it's not something missing like it is with a bunch of other friends. For the business I started with $150 2 or 3 weeks ago and have made about $1200 and accumulated $3,000 in inventory, tools, and assets. Takes up some of my free time but not all of it. I've had quite a few very stressful situations and even a full blown confrontation due to a person mistaking me for someone else and only 1 situation even made me think, "man I could use a drink after that shit". Days and weeks are kind of blending together for me, I think cause I'm trying to keep busy and haven't been sleeping or eating quite right. Might need to slow down a little. But all in all I think I'm doing quite well with my sobriety. Definitely enjoying being able to buy something I want cause I haven't wasted my money on alcohol and my time being lazy thinking about my next drink and instead have saved that money and used that time to make more. I do have to say some friends seem to not like me sober but it feels like it's cause they no longer have someone further down the ladder than them to compare their own problems to anymore. I'm seeing some of their toxic behavior from afar finally and asking myself why I associated with them at all. I can see more of the poor judgement and bad life choices now; all the money I could have saved and made with better choices could have put my family in a house.
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Hey guys, figured I'd post again since it's been a long time now. Haven't had a drop since May 17th. It got easier and easier and eventually I stopped having any craving or thoughts at all. I've had the chance to drink quite a few times now and felt like it would have been ok to have a beer and my mentality went to "why bother, I'm having a good time without it and why would I want a stomach ache?" Took 2-3 months to get to that point and it feels great to be able to be around it and still not feel the need to drink. If you'd have told me 6-12 months ago I'd be turning down a drink I'd have thought you were crazy. Felt like it's been at least 6 months without drinking when it's been 4, but hey I'm finally happy without anything.

New issue, I badly injured my knee July 20th and almost tore my ACL. I've been on Tramadol 50-200mg/day since July 24th. Finally took a 24 hour break now that I'm in physical therapy and the pain is going away. Reduced my usage as the pain subsided so I've been taking less and less. But at about 24 hours I felt like I was detoxing from alcohol, lol. Exhaustion, fatigue, uneasy stomach, lol. Think I'm gonna allow myself some weaning of this Tramadol like I did with alcohol cause stopping completely I still have some pain problems. But at least I feel like I know what to expect and what to do. And I think 25mg/day is enough to ease the pain to a manageable level while still being low enough to cold turkey on.
 

Moreaux

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
1,925
Location
The Beach
Kudos! You're doing fantastic! Be careful thinking one beer wouldn't hurt, I thought that way after picking up my first blue chip and ended up going on a two year bender that ended in me back in rehab...though everyone is different. Just wanted throw that out there.

Kudos on the tramadol. I had surgery a few months ago on both feet and finally opted for tramadol when the norco 5's my doctor prescribed didn't touch the pain. He asked what I wanted...I felt like a kid in a candy store before getting rational and requesting tramadol. I used it for a few days, that didn't really help the pain either so I switched to kratom. The tramadol is really a unique drug with the psychological effects. Many people say it acts similar to an antidepressant but for me it threw me into a deep depression, almost immediately after the first one, and took a couple of weeks to recover from psychologically. The taper is a great idea.

I also wanted to say the tramadol was a good choice as I've seen a lot of cross over from alcohol to opiates and vice versa, myself included. I also noticed opiates tend to increase alcohol cravings. I hadn't had an alcohol craving since getting out of rehab and when I took that first norco alcohol kept creeping into my brain, not a full blown craving but enough to get my attention. Though to be fair I was an extreme alcoholic and you may not be nearly as bad as I was, so this might not be applicable, but I just wanted to alert you to that possibility should you ever need heavy painkillers in the future. I've heard fentynal doesn't activate the alcoholism as badly as other opiates as well, but I don't know as I've never had it.

Keep up the great work and thanks for the update! You're doing great and the fact that you're still sober after dealing with a terrible injury exemplifies your commitment. I hope your knee heals soon!
 

bomber

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
1,032
Location
Athens
So I quit about 2 weeks ago (today is day 12). I knew my consumption was getting up there but I didn't really realize how bad of an alcohol problem I had until 2 months ago when I ran out of alcohol on a Saturday night, couldn't buy any on Sunday, and ending up fiend-like searching for alcohol and strained a couple shots from some fruit I had leftover after flavoring some moonshine. Anyway, I ended up calculating my consumption and found I was drinking roughly 17 standard drinks a night worth of whiskey in an average of 4 hours (which was surprising to me; I didn't realize how much I was actually consuming and must have been in some level of denial). I immediately tried quitting cold turkey and woke up the next morning in terrible cold sweats, struggling that whole day until the time I would normally have a drink, then feeling a huge wave of relief once that time was reached and I finally had a shot (I've always refused to drink during the day or at any moment when my kids could see me drinking, feeling it was both terrible for them to see me in any altered state and a terrible example to set). Realizing I had to taper, admit myself to an inpatient rehab facility (there are no outpatient options near me), or suffer withdrawal symptoms, I cut down to 8 standard drinks a night for a month, then a week rapid taper down to 0 while also taking 500mg/day of thiamine for the both the last week of tapering and the week after quitting. I realized shortly after quitting and having some long talks with friends that have known me a long time that I was self-medicating an underlying anxiety and mild depression. So I spoke with my doctor who prescribed me 0.5mg Klonopin for anxiety, as well as the insomnia that has been plaguing me for a while, but when I tried one I woke up the next morning with an alcohol-like hangover, vomiting and all. I spoke with her again and got put on Trazodone, but it hasn't really helped my sleep and I haven't been taking it long enough to feel the anxiety and depression relief. The anxiety (especially at night around the time I would start drinking) and insomnia are bad. The depression hasn't been bad at all; I've had no self-harm thoughts or actions before or after quitting, and people around me are noticing I've been in a much better mood since I quit. However, a some of it is me forcing myself to see the positive of everything and trying to avoid drama and problems as much as I can, so it feels kind of forced. I've now found relief for the insomnia in the form of Melatonin taken with my Trazodone, suggested by my Pharmacist. The anxiety, especially at night, is still a big issue. Once the kiddos are in bed and the day is winding down, I still miss the relaxation I got from having a drink and playing some games with friends or watching some TV and letting the day kind of wash away. I don't have cravings for liquor anymore, but the thought of sitting around the TV with a couple friends and having a drink or two to wind down is still quite appealing and something I feel I'm currently missing. I'm hoping continuing on the Trazodone will help the anxiety and let me relax without alcohol, but at the moment I don't really know what to do with myself at night.

I also hate the idea that I'll be forever an alcoholic and can never have another drink again, something being reinforced to me through friends and seen often online. I feel like if I can get a grip on the underlying issues that caused me to drink excessively, having a drink occasionally wouldn't be a problem. I know I'm a ways out from ever being able to have another drink, but I'm an avid believer of "mind over everything", I have a ton of willpower, and hate the thought that I'm incapable of controlling myself and must therefor forever relinquish to that addiction and avoid it cause I'll automatically relapse. When I smoked cigarettes I never had one after waking up, a meal, sex, coffee, etc, basically telling myself that smoking after those actions reinforces the addiction, and had a daily limit I rarely reached but would never go over. I never had a problem quitting cigarettes even though I'd smoked for 6 years and at one point was smoking a pack a day when I had a night job. When I wanted to quit I quit, though to be fair I did get an ecig (I like the action of smoking and still enjoy it occasionally but I vape 0mg). I feel like I could apply that methodology to drinking if I was to attempt to once again enjoy alcohol in moderation. My thought was never drinking spirits or liquor (I know I have a weakness to a fine Scotch and cigar), never drink alone, set myself limits like max standard drinks in a night and how often per week or month, never before 9pm (have already been doing that for years without issue), etc. I feel like if I could get to a point where the underlying issue is good then I'd have no reason for an addiction, but I know for a fact that at any point if I'm having cravings for alcohol it's both too soon to try alcohol again and would be time to quit again as well. I don't know if this is all just my brain chemistry still unable to fully handle sobriety or the fact that I miss the fun times and nightly unwind, or my own stubbornness telling myself what I want to hear. I know it's too early for me to tell or try drinking again until I've gone a good amount of time without a craving and after the underlying issues I'm having are completely in check. I know I need to be sober for awhile and get used to handling every situation without alcohol including the inevitable temptations that will be there at holidays, family functions, and whenever I pick back up my pool cue (I'm taking a break because the only tables near me are in establishments that serve alcohol). But ultimately is it ok to test yourself down the road with precautions in place and see how you fair? Or is it really once an alcoholic, forever an alcoholic?

By now most will have noticed I'm fairly intelligent, quite stubborn (or willful, call it what you will), and am somewhere between an idealistic and realistic thinker. I know I have faults and am working on them. Health wise I'm pretty good. Just had a full battery of tests ran and other than an electrolyte imbalance from quitting and a triglyceride level I'm working on I'm in great health (diets suck yet I rarely "cheat", it's genetic). History wise I started drinking at 15, screwed around with weed and other light stuff like most others do from 16-19, but never tried anything heavy. I've had several short term pain prescriptions as well as street access because of where I grew up and never abused them. I even had a surgery with complications that led to prescription narcotics in my system long enough to develop a mild physical dependency, yet I still quit with a half bottle left without much issue once the pain was manageable without them, and that half bottle took me months to use afterwards. I'm now 30 and am in better health and more active than I was 5-7 years ago. Really I'm just kind of lost with what to do with my night time anxiety, and felt getting all this out might be therapeutic. It has been.
M8, there is no reason to think about your abillity to control your drinking after you are tottally clean. That's not your problem now, focus on facing the addiction. However it seems you got addicted to alcohol because you didn't understand you was getting addicted, but this can't happen twice. I think when you finally get clean you will be able to drink like a normal person.
I would advice you differently if you knew you was getting addicted but didn't stop, cause that would show an addictive character, but that is not your case, it seems.
Be ware, though, don't think you can NOW drink like other people, because your addiction is still there. If you drink again now you will fall into the deep again. Stay safe!
 
Last edited:

bomber

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
1,032
Location
Athens
LoL I hadn't noticed how old your post was. Welldone for managing to get clean.
 

Moreaux

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
1,925
Location
The Beach
M8, there is no reason to think about your abillity to control your drinking after you are tottally clean. That's not your problem know, focus on facing the addiction. However it seems you got addicted to alcohol because you didn't understand you was getting addicted, but this can't happen twice. I think when you finally get clean you will be able to drink like a normal person.
I would advice you differently if you knew you was getting addicted but didn't stop, cause that would show an addictive character, but that is not your case, it seems.
Be ware, though, don't think you can NOW drink like other people, because your addiction is still there. If you drink again now you will fall into the deep again. Stay safe!
This is very dangerous advice. Many alcoholics have years clean and think all is well and that they can possibly moderate their use. They have one drink and they pick right back up from where they started and have to start the entire process of getting clean over. While yes, some people can learn to moderate drinking after becoming addicted most alcoholics cannot. Quitting alcohol is very difficult and the addiction is insidious. For the sake of harm reduction, advising somebody to drink or use (depending on their DOC) in a few years is very harmful. It is much more constructive for people to learn how to navigate and cope with life without the use of substances.
 

Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
84,600
Location
Looking-Glass Land
Especially learning to cope with life without having to continue to rely on those particular substances (or classes of substances) that caused them serious harm.
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Kudos! You're doing fantastic! Be careful thinking one beer wouldn't hurt, I thought that way after picking up my first blue chip and ended up going on a two year bender that ended in me back in rehab...though everyone is different. Just wanted throw that out there.

Kudos on the tramadol. I had surgery a few months ago on both feet and finally opted for tramadol when the norco 5's my doctor prescribed didn't touch the pain. He asked what I wanted...I felt like a kid in a candy store before getting rational and requesting tramadol. I used it for a few days, that didn't really help the pain either so I switched to kratom. The tramadol is really a unique drug with the psychological effects. Many people say it acts similar to an antidepressant but for me it threw me into a deep depression, almost immediately after the first one, and took a couple of weeks to recover from psychologically. The taper is a great idea.

I also wanted to say the tramadol was a good choice as I've seen a lot of cross over from alcohol to opiates and vice versa, myself included. I also noticed opiates tend to increase alcohol cravings. I hadn't had an alcohol craving since getting out of rehab and when I took that first norco alcohol kept creeping into my brain, not a full blown craving but enough to get my attention. Though to be fair I was an extreme alcoholic and you may not be nearly as bad as I was, so this might not be applicable, but I just wanted to alert you to that possibility should you ever need heavy painkillers in the future. I've heard fentynal doesn't activate the alcoholism as badly as other opiates as well, but I don't know as I've never had it.

Keep up the great work and thanks for the update! You're doing great and the fact that you're still sober after dealing with a terrible injury exemplifies your commitment. I hope your knee heals soon!
Wow guys, I appreciate the comments a lot. You all have no idea how much I needed to see all of this today. I posted a week and a half ago after so much time because I was feeling a little overwhelmed and slightly depressed. Yesterday when I walked past the liquor Isle I had such a bad craving to grab a 6 pack and I really, really wanted a shot of whiskey. I mean, day 2 sober bad I wanted that drink. I cqn feel something is up and came here to reread my past struggle and remind myself what it took and what I went through. Luckily I did because it reminded me of 2 things; when I really want a drink I should never have one because it'd be feeding the alcoholism tendencies, and I'm still too new to sobriety to chance it and will be for awhile longer. I ended up posting because I was/still am feeling really down. Tramadol is still an opiate and it would make some since that it could give me some physiological set backs that could trigger some of those cravings and depression. I felt really high taking them at first, and still get/feel high after a 48 hour break or upping my dose, plus I can hear my speech slur and my mind feels fuzzy. Kind of like a couple drinks but not quite the same. Been like a roller coaster the last couple weeks taking them here and there. I've only had 150mg in over a week now, going days at a time without one and trying to stop taking the NSAIDs that mess up my stomach too. Just been feeling weak, unmotivated, occasionally in pain, migraines, lazy, and my insomnia is brutal. I'm happy I came here and expressed myself, somehow it's refreshing.

Those Tramadol suck, and they did give me Norco 10mg when I had a systemic allergic reaction because they thought it might have been the Tramadol, but those didn't do anything at all for the pain. This kind of odd feeling, with days lapsing, and truely foul mood is very hard to break. Probably the side effects of cutting my dose while dealing with too much stress and insomnia. It's really therapeutic to come back here and reread over it all and reflect; it makes me feel positive and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I've came a far, far ways these past few months. I've reopened my electronics business and have been making good money. My step counter on my watch just moved me to a new average group meaning my activity level is way up, and my wife is so happy about my sobriety and business I could go buy a new Xbox and not hear a word other than cool (so I did the other day, 2tb slim, lol). Struggling with the mood daily at the moment but powering through. It's very tiring.
 

MisterNotSoClean

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
165
Hey Blazie! I just finished reading your walls of text. ( I only bring that up because it rivals the novels I've been writing here ) You are doing a great job and it sounds like you've come a long way!

I've been in a similar boat for the past month as I finally got off any and all opiates. Definitely has been a test of willpower as well as finding ways to adjust to my sober self. I am just now beginning to truly feel like a person again.

The biggest difference in our situations is going to be the amount of temptation we come in contact with. So far, I haven't been put in that situation as I don't have contact with any old friends. Personally, I know there will be a time where I will have access to opiates again and I will have to deal with it then.

You on the other hand I could only imagine! Alcohol is like the only socially encouraged and accepted drug which is available at most all convenience stores. Shit, you get exposure buying groceries and the fact that you have been able control yourself in those settings amazes me and gives me hope that when inevitably I encounter the same situation that I'll be able to do the same.

I do want to inject a word of caution though. Please please please be careful while recouping the knee injury as in my case thats how everything sprialed out of control with my opiate use. At one point I was clean for 2 years from a year long minor opiate addiction and then decided it would be a glorious idea to see if i could tear my acl, pcl, mcl, whatever that kneecap ligament is called, and grind my meniscus into jelly...I totally succeeded and got a trophy and everything... wait... not a trophy... I mean I passed out instantly (in a pool no less) and was awarded with a 20 minute ride in an ambulance with the absolute worst suspension in the world. I'll spare most of the gruesome details but after 4 surgeries, 2 years of rehab, and what I could only imagine would be a trashcan full of almost every painkiller out there, I was absolutely depended on painkillers. (Preference for some reason was hydrocodone) In a span of maybe 6 months, I went from taking them like a normal person, to maybe 15 or 20 every 12 hours or so. It got out of control quite quickly and I knew it but when I would try to taper down my knee would say "Say son!!! You remember me!?" And being the pussy I am, would grab anything to kill the pain.

I just heard a bit of an echo from my past in your story so thought I would share my own knee story.

Anyway... really what I'm trying to say is you are doing awesome and you are an inspiration to the BL support community. Keep up the good work and don't be a stranger! :D


~MisterNotSoClean~
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Hey Blazie! I just finished reading your walls of text. ( I only bring that up because it rivals the novels I've been writing here ) You are doing a great job and it sounds like you've come a long way!

I've been in a similar boat for the past month as I finally got off any and all opiates. Definitely has been a test of willpower as well as finding ways to adjust to my sober self. I am just now beginning to truly feel like a person again.

The biggest difference in our situations is going to be the amount of temptation we come in contact with. So far, I haven't been put in that situation as I don't have contact with any old friends. Personally, I know there will be a time where I will have access to opiates again and I will have to deal with it then.

You on the other hand I could only imagine! Alcohol is like the only socially encouraged and accepted drug which is available at most all convenience stores. Shit, you get exposure buying groceries and the fact that you have been able control yourself in those settings amazes me and gives me hope that when inevitably I encounter the same situation that I'll be able to do the same.

I do want to inject a word of caution though. Please please please be careful while recouping the knee injury as in my case thats how everything sprialed out of control with my opiate use. At one point I was clean for 2 years from a year long minor opiate addiction and then decided it would be a glorious idea to see if i could tear my acl, pcl, mcl, whatever that kneecap ligament is called, and grind my meniscus into jelly...I totally succeeded and got a trophy and everything... wait... not a trophy... I mean I passed out instantly (in a pool no less) and was awarded with a 20 minute ride in an ambulance with the absolute worst suspension in the world. I'll spare most of the gruesome details but after 4 surgeries, 2 years of rehab, and what I could only imagine would be a trashcan full of almost every painkiller out there, I was absolutely depended on painkillers. (Preference for some reason was hydrocodone) In a span of maybe 6 months, I went from taking them like a normal person, to maybe 15 or 20 every 12 hours or so. It got out of control quite quickly and I knew it but when I would try to taper down my knee would say "Say son!!! You remember me!?" And being the pussy I am, would grab anything to kill the pain.

I just heard a bit of an echo from my past in your story so thought I would share my own knee story.

Anyway... really what I'm trying to say is you are doing awesome and you are an inspiration to the BL support community. Keep up the good work and don't be a stranger! :D


~MisterNotSoClean~
I've realized now that I treat this thread and forum as my own personal chronology and support, kind of like AA but for someone with anxiety and anti-social tendencies like my myself. Coming here and posting when I'm feeling weak, depressed, or overly-confident is quite helpful. Anyway, the knee went pretty well, quit the tramadol with over 20 left! My wife and I have occasionally used them since for severe migraines when our normal preventative or emergency medications don't work and we'd end up in the hospital to likely get a shot of tramadol anyway. I've been prescribed a short dose of optiates again for severe abdominal pain. Doctor thinks it might have been acute diverticulosis but since I never ran a fever the doctor suggested I ride it out and monitor my condition. I'm fine now. For the real story here...

About a month ago I went ahead and tested myself out with a drink. It was coming up on the holidays and my birthday, and I wanted to test myself outside of a situation where I would feel awkward refusing a drink at a holiday party, or being outside of a controlled scenario to test myself. I feel like it went really well, and now I'm not so sure. I've had about a night of drinking once a week since (Thanksgiving, celebration for a transmission I rebuilt by hand with no experience working perfectly, my birthday, etc). I've started to notice my step counter down, my irritability up, my motivation lacking, my business in a slump, and I can't shake the feeling like it's cause I'm desperately trying to control something I'm no longer sure I can. I'm under control as of right now, with a bottle of baclofen on stand-by in case of a spiral or lack of willpower, but the cravings are daily again. I won't have a drink when I feel like I need one, I let the cravings from the previous drinking night subside before having another at least a week later, but a few nights ago I caught myself trying to rationalize another drinking night and when I realized the date it was only 3 days after my previous drink, yet it had felt like forever since my previous drink (I argued with my wife briefly that it had been a week or so before I realized it was only 3 days later). Basically, I think I'm starting to lose control, or maybe the internal struggle is getting too tiring, or maybe never had the control I felt I might have. I'm finding myself wanting to lay around and be lazy, not really do anything, easily irritated/frustrated, constantly fatigued, etc. My last night of drinking was a week ago today, and it was more than the other times as well (tequila, 2 margaritas and 2 regular shots, way less than I used to drink and not my drink of choice but still an adequate amount, yet I never got a decent buzz while my buddy I used to drink with was damn near wasted). I've also found I can't really get a buzz. If I drink fast I'll get a very mild buzz for about an hour, then I'm wanting more. If I take it slow I never get any buzz at all. In my height of drinking I could easily down a 750ml bottle of whiskey in 4-5 hours, and I don't think my tolerance has gone down as much as I'd want. I really don't want to give up drinking for life, because I don't really have any other way to deal with severe stress build up, insomnia, etc. But I can't keep this up either. I feel like I'm teetering on an edge, constantly battling myself; it's downright exhausting. I wish I could still enjoy weed sometimes, but that would come with the same inherent problem; needing a near daily way to wind down and release the stress of the day. I've tried substance free solutions; meditation, constructive hobbies, gaming, tv, chatting with friends, but nothing will take away the feeling like I need something to help my mind slow down and my body shed the aches and cramps.

Well, by the end of this I think I have my answer. I went from happy, healthy, success confidence and motivation growing, to feeling like my old self and posting on here with my mental anguish. I've come to the conclusion that I don't think I can control the drinking and be happy with it at the same time. The stress of the willpower needed is making the craving demon worse, while also affecting my mood during the day, and my wallet and potentially my family in the end. I guess I'll have to find happiness without a crutch, which is a scary thought because I don't know if I have it in me! I think I'll finally have my one-last hurrah I never had before (a glass of my favorite scotch with a cigar, which I've only ever done 3 times because I only do that ritual for life altering decisions or events), then start a baclofen cycle and quit forever. Nothing in life worth having is had easy, sobriety and true happiness are no exception. What irritates me is this all started after a series of life altering events happened and threw me into desperate and terrifying times. Now, I'm thrilled with my life, my family, my home, yet the alcohol is no easier to control. I've wasted a lot of time, money, stress, and health, but I'm lucky that it wasn't all much more. Thank you everyone for the great support and understanding on this site! It has been more helpful than I'd ever imagined. I'll update you all again, probably sooner than later this time!
 

Moreaux

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
1,925
Location
The Beach
Thanks for the update Blazie! Sorry to hear controlled drinking didn't work out that well for you. At least you didn't lose total control! Years ago I got sober and after a year decided to test the waters with one drink...my alcoholism picked up right where I left off and I was on a two year bender which ended in another stint in rehab. I have learned it is nothing to play with. If cravings are an issue for you consider the vivitrol shot. I got the shot my last day in rehab and stayed on it for 8 months - literally zero cravings. It's been almost three years now and I still haven't had an alcohol craving. If you can't get the shot they have a naltrexone pull you could try, though the shot seems to work a little better than the pill, at least it did for me.

Take care and stay strong!
 

blazie151

Greenlighter
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Thanks for the update Blazie! Sorry to hear controlled drinking didn't work out that well for you. At least you didn't lose total control! Years ago I got sober and after a year decided to test the waters with one drink...my alcoholism picked up right where I left off and I was on a two year bender which ended in another stint in rehab. I have learned it is nothing to play with. If cravings are an issue for you consider the vivitrol shot. I got the shot my last day in rehab and stayed on it for 8 months - literally zero cravings. It's been almost three years now and I still haven't had an alcohol craving. If you can't get the shot they have a naltrexone pull you could try, though the shot seems to work a little better than the pill, at least it did for me.

Take care and stay strong!
I have tried to get my doctor to write me a prescription to help me quit more than once. I got a small amount of benzos once, which did not agree with me at all (full hangover from a really small dose), and I finally got baclofen by lying about an insurance issue and having them switch my muscle relaxers to it from dantrium, which I'm not happy I had to do in the first place because the dantrium helped with my severe muscle aches as well my terrible insomnia. So now I have the baclofen but I'm in pain and trying to do at home physical therapy to counter act the cramping and pain. Problem is, I'm in a small town. I don't have a regular doctor because none in the area are accepting new patients and haven't been the entire 4 years I've been up here, so I have to use an urgent care facility or the hostpital, neither of which will handle any outpatient treatment at all. There's no in patient rehab facility at all, so that's not an option, and the only place that does outpatient is where my son goes for behavioral problems relating to his autism and adhd, and I'm not going to the same facility as a father of a patient with alcohol problems. I'm not surprised alcohol is so bad here; my city is number one in alcohol related arrests and deaths in my state and several surrounding ones. Honestly, I don't even want it on my medical record as it could affect future pain relief needs due to injuries like my knee, and I don't need doctors telling me what medications they're giving me based on unwillingness to prescribe to any kind of former addict. Especially since drugs are a really big problem in my area and doctors already won't prescribe certain things without a huge fight. I had a full systemic allergic reaction to tramodol and had to keep taking it because the hospital refused to give me more than a 5 day long dose of anything else! Good news though, I started a small dose of baclofen already, and I already feel the cravings starting to wean, while also noticing an improvement in my mood, all after only 2 30mg doses in 2 days, so I think I'll be better off this time around than last. One thing is for sure; I can't lose control again, and I refuse to let this beat me. I have too much to lose and nothing to gain but temporary relief from allowing myself to lose control again. Thanks for the kinds word, support, and suggestions, it's greatly appreciated. And I'll research naltrexone, maybe it has another usage I can exploit to get it prescribed like the baclofen did. Baclofen is great but I think I'll have trouble getting it prescribed in the dosages I'll need (probably around 150mg/day based on research I've done); I should have been stocking up in case but I only have about a 1 week supply and could only get about that much every month unless I get really lucky. So if I need it for more than a couple weeks I'm going to have problems.
 

tired of crap

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
553
Hey blazie

I can relate to your story in many ways. I too am a parent who refused to let their kid see them drink / drunk for fear of instilling bad habits. For about 2 years I was consuming about the same amount of liqour as yourself (before and after this time I typically stuck to beer to limit it - but it was still typically 12 in a session and some for in the morning to deal with the hangover). But then I came to my senses and quit for 6 months.

However when my mother in law moved in I reasoned I could stand a drink here or there to deal with her. Wrong. I was back to drinking 12 beers a night (x ~5 days a week) in less than 2 week. This continued for almost a year, then I had a choice: have my old lady (partner at the time) take her away when she moved out or quit drinking. Needless to say, I quit. But given my daughter would be with me during the school year she stayed with her mom for most of the summer and I fell back into drinking my usual 12 beers x 5 days. But school came for both of us and I quit again. 2 months later a family member became ill. Back to drinking at the same old pace.

That was 3 (?) weeks ago. The first week was rough, admittedly mostly psychologically. My anxiety was horrid. I have been completed unmotivated these last few weeks despite exams coming. I have one tomorrow, yet still I sit here venting and attempting to give advice - I suppose my sanity is worth more than good grades? haha.. But anyways I developed a routine of yoga and meditation in the morning, exercise and yoga in the afternoon and maybe something at night. The insight meditation has really helped me deal with my anxiety, it has helped me realize that the arising of these feelings is out of my control. It is how we relate to them which determines our degree of freedom. It has also helped with my cravings as well as it helps me to recognize when and why I have them (ie when Im stressed/anxious, dehydrated and hungry/low blood sugar are huge too) and through the various techniques I am able to get past them one at a time. Yoga and exercise have helped me deal with the aches and pains of life (haha I say that like Im old - 29 in reality, though sometimes it feels like dog years).

I too relish the idea of drinking in moderation. After a stressful day on saturday I had a few (read 3) beers over the course of a few hours. Another stressful day on sunday and justifying another 2 was easier. I havent had any cravings but I have been busy cramming the studying in and will continue to do so until thursday. At which point I am mildly concerned that having no school responsibilities and the stress of potentially failing these courses might lead me to make some poor choices. But we'll see. I plan to take some sort of psychedelic journey to help me refocus. I find them incredibly useful tools which usually help me reassess my direction and choices (including my drinking) if I choose to engage in such thought processes. Im typically a once a few months kinda guy. They are not for everyone though but they give me something to look forward to.

Anyways man, what Im trying to say is that I understand your struggle - its real. Keep at it - one breath/ craving/day at a time.
Much love,
ToC
 
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