Why I Had to End My Suboxone Detox; And The Physical Effects of Being so Sick

Hey everyone. I spent a week in bed, unable to move without help a few feet to the bathroom. At times I laid in bed so thirsty, but I couldn’t move my arm to grab the water next to me in bed. I wanted so badly to continue, but my body couldn’t do it. The first time I attempted to get off suboxone, it was my mind that was the issue. I had cravings, depression, mood swings. I went back on it to avoid relapse. This time, I am happy to report, I experienced no cravings whatsoever and I was in generally good spirits (despite being so sick).

The major complicating factor; I am pregnant. It was very early, and I had hoped to have a pregnancy off suboxone. In the end, it felt dangerous to continue. I said from the start, “I will not risk the baby’s life”. My husband was so busy with the children, he simply could not help me to the degree that I needed help. I need someone to essentially be my nurse for weeks if I do this again.

Now, I am still feeling very weak. My muscles have not recovered, and my dose is whacky. My body was shocked by having this drug withdrawn and now it has it back, but I have not found an equilibrium again. I was also hit with morning sickness (all day, and at night) which made my dehydration and inability to eat even worse. Thankfully, the nausea has  mostly gone and I am eating very healthy whole foods again.

I am very disappointed to still be on suboxone. I am dreading the cycle of doctor visits, scripts, etc. That said, what can I do? I gave it my very best, but my body being pregnant could not do it.

So, will I try again? Absolutely. Especially now that I know I can do it without cravings or mental health issues resulting. I just need more help. My body has been reliant on this drug for nearly a decade now, that is a long time. I am on lower dose that usual which is nice, but detox is no joke after being on it this long. Obviously, next time I will do it when I am not pregnant. But, I have to honest that I do not know HOW this will work out. Not only is it weeks of sickness, but then perhaps months of recovery. I will have five children, who I homeschool, needing me.

My thoughts at this point are focused on the following; get healthy and strong again during this pregnancy, find a good addiction specialist, and try a very slow detox process instead.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been able to successfully detox from long-term opiate dependence.

With just me, it may be impossible. With Yahweh, all things are possible.

Shalom.

P.s I plan on writing about pregnancy, and breastfeeding on suboxone/subutex. It is happening much more often now, yet many moms do not have much information. I have a lot of experience, and thankfully all of my babies were very healthy and needed no treatment. Many doctors still recommend methadone to moms, whereas suboxone has a much better track record with neonatal withdrawal.

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Suboxone Taper/detox- week 3 .5mg

Well, it’s 4:30am and I can’t sleep. I slept from 1-2am but my son woke up crying and wanting nurse. I had my husband bring the baby to me because I didn’t feel like moving from the recliner chair in our living room.
I’ve been on suboxone, which is a synthetic opiate medication used. I have been on it for 9 years which is a long time. I started my addiction to heroin ar 14 years old, went on methadone at 19, and then started suboxone after an unsuccessful attempt at methadone withdrawal. I turn 30 next month, so I’ve been opiate dependent for half my life.

Half my life!

So asking my body to function without any opiate is difficult. But you know what? I really feel ready this time.

My biggest complaint is the muscle aches and creepy crawly jumpy feelings. Very restless, yet exhuasted. Not fun.

So far the stomach pains and “bathroom” issues have been minimal. I felt worse when I went from 2mg down for 1mg as far as the stomach issues, but now the muscles and insomnia have taken over.

So, I went down from 1mg to .5mg, it’s been a full 24 hours. I just took my next .5mg dose and won’t take another until 4am tomorrow. Then, I’m going down to .25mg for a few days before jumping off.

This is a much quicker taper than is usually recommended. However, I am in early pregnancy and I do not want to drag this out for that reason. The baby will eventually be more sensitive to withdrawal, which could even lead to miscarriage in the worst case. I’m keeping a close eye on how I feel, but so far so good. I’d rather get it over with now than give birth on suboxone again (even though my babies were fine).

I feel like a long, long chapter is closing. Despite the physical trials, I truly feel great mentally and spiritually. This is the first time I’ve gone this low and had NO cravings at all! HalleluYah!

I am not being given more than I can handle, and I am grateful for the support system I have in place as I go through this process.

Busy Moms Still NEED to Focus on Recovery

I am sitting at my laptop, it’s almost midnight. I have my Anatomy and Physiology text books to my left, my homeschooling planner for my 3 kids to my right, and I just swallowed a handful of chocolate like medicine. My 3 daughters are sleeping (for now), and baby brother is finally asleep after I nursed him and left the bed like a ninja.

I just finished planning the rest of this week; with all the kid’s activities (dance, cheer, music..), my schedule for college, and my husband’s schedule for college and work. I have half finished crochet and sewing projects that I don’t touch for weeks. But despite all of this—I am STILL in recovery and that means I have to make time for recovery.

Motherhood is very self-sacrificial. Of course it is worth it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require a lot from us. I give from myself every day; my body through breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding, playing, my mind through planning, hoping, thinking, worrying, and my emotions through love and dedication. I do it because I want to invest in this little tribe of mine, but I also need to invest in ME.

Why? If I don’t invest in myself, my children lose me. If I forget about my recovery needs, my children lose me.

I read an article recently about the lives of men and women who are in active addiction, mostly with heroin. They had pictures of people at their worst. I recognized that look. I looked like that at one time in my life, before my babies were born. That bone-tired, devastated, hurt-beyond-words look. That junkie life that sucks the spirit from the people it possesses. The streets are hard living, and I remember it well.

It is good for me to remember. This addiction kills people. There is no way for me to exaggerate or employ hyperbole in this discussion. It is a war against addiction, and there are many, many causalities. In fact, the heroin epidemic has only gotten substantially worse since I was a user a decade ago. I have buried friends too.

I was at deaths door when I put down the needle and the stem. Emaciated. In such a depression that I was nearly comatose. Sore all over my body from the constant picking. And my heart and soul were in much worse shape. I was broken so badly, hurt by so many. It is NOT life I ever want to go back to.

So, I fight. Thankfully, most days don’t feel like a war anymore. When I first got clean, I hide myself from the world because I knew I was too weak to refuse drugs if it was offered. I had cravings so bad, my body would shake and I would vomit. I had intense physical reactions to my psychological addiction to crack cocaine. It was absolutely horrendous. But I survived.

And, my first baby was born not too long after. She was a beautiful light from God. She changed me. Motherhood changed me. From the moment she entered this world, I knew I would never be the same. I am a better person, a thousand times better, because of her and my other children.

So, please, if you a mother in recovery—focus on it. You know what you need to stay clean! Everyone’s recovery is different. It could be meetings, or church, or meditation, or prayer, or community, or exercise or all of the above. Just do what you know you need to do. Even if it means you have to ask for help with babysitting, or work a

little less, or go to school part-time. It is needs to be your priority.

If you don’t have your recovery, you don’t have your life.

If I don’t have recovery, I don’t have my life.

I do it for myself. I do it for my children.

Shalom.

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Baby Boy with his RECOVERING Momma

Mountain – A Poem

20170406_182751Our love is a gentle breeze

I am a mountain, tall and solid

From my soil grows all types of fruit,

Warm and ripe from the summers sun

From my ground—sharp rocks, jagged edges

You cut your feet when you try to climb me

Your hands reach for the delicious fruit

Hanging there on branches like slender arms

Your blood soaks into the earth of me,

Wet and dark

The ground is fertile like the lining of a womb

The rocks are a boundary raised from

Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes; things that injure

And kill

And our love floats up to me,

Where the white snow covers my highest peaks

It sings to me, asks me to allow you inside

Every crevice and cave

Allow you to pick any fruit you desire

Taste its sweetness

But I shake my earth like a quivering woman

In rage, in shame, in storm clouds and rain

Red fire engulfs the trees, the birds, all things

Alive and beautiful

I am covered in ashes, black as onyx stone

I cannot accept your bleeding feet, your outstretched arm,

Your longing song you sang to me

And yet, beneath the ashes of my rage and pain

The tiniest of sprigs pushes itself stubbornly

Through the hot earth

Its leaves are the newest green, soft and supple

Like the breasts of a young woman

And then it stands taller, grows wider, takes up more space

Soon I am covered in these proud plants

Then trees, and their strong branches

Where birds come to nest and raise their young

I am alive again

The mountain breathing

My lover comes again, here you are

Your feet have healed and my rocks

Don’t

Cut you

You are patient in your climbing,

Holding onto earth and tree

You find me in the quiet solace of

My highest peaks

We rest together in the comforting snow

I hear the song you sing to me

And I begin to sing it too

We live together

And the blood-soil you gave me

Has become a sign for

New things

To come and grow here

 

Trauma and Memory Recall

Memory is a strange thing for the traumatized mind. Some memories are nothing more than apparitions of smell, emotion, and touch; try as I might to put flesh on these ghosts, they remain as formless as mist rising in the morning. Other memories are clear on the big picture yet lack details. I remember his size, the tenor of his voice, the time of year; but his face is an empty and blurred image, as if I can only recall the outline of what happened and who he was. And still others, more strangely, are incredibly vivid and detailed. I can recall the color of my shirt and the exact size of his member on me. I remember the lunch I ate, and the cigarettes I smoked. I remember his face; he isn’t a blurry image I struggle to recall. I can still see the lines on his forehead and the way his lips drew together in rage against me.

Sometimes I have to close my eyes and think “ok…I was very cold and wearing a jacket so it must have been Fall or Winter….yes, it was because the soup kitchen gave us Christmas dinner…” and that is how I put some things together. It is like tracing lines, connecting dots, until I can place a certain event in the timeline of my life. “Was I 18 or 20 when this happened? Well… didn’t meet my husband yet so I wasn’t 20…” and on it goes.

Why are some memories so detailed, and others so far away? They were all traumatic. I was high during some, and sober during others; but it makes no difference in my ability to remember. Why, oh mind, do you insist that I remember the drug dealing pimp from Harlem who raped me but will not reveal the face of a similar man from East Orange? Why, oh mind, do you allow me excruciating memory of shame and secrecy during childhood but will not permit me his name? What is this game of ours we are playing?

There has got to be some reason, no? I just cannot figure it out. This memory puzzle, this strange collection of blurry and clear snapshots in time.

That man from Harlem, I don’t want to remember him. I want to forget. Yet, my mind insists on not forgetting him. But then, I wonder why on earth I am trying to coax details from the misty memories of my mind. Surely they must be worse? But are they? I don’t know.

I am my own puzzle, and my brain has stored the pieces in various places in different ways.

I suppose the most important thing is to resolve the feelings. That is what I focus on now.

If I cannot recall what I want to at will, then I will focus on healing the wounds they left behind. I will work with what I have available to me, and trust in my mind’s way of storing these events long left behind.

As long as one day, I am whole again. Free again. Me again.

Trigger, Trigger. (PTSD)

Where does this despair hide itself from the rest of me when life is going smoothly? Does it seep into the corners of my mouth when I smile? Does it retreat into the shadows of my insides? How can it escape notice from the very person it inhabits? Until—a nightmare during sleep opens me up and the despair that was hidden comes squarely before my face.

And it laughs at me. Taunts me. Turns my gut into twisted pieces.

Causes me to doubt everything that I am, believe, and wish to be.

I carry this endlessly deep space of despair around, it suffocates my heart and fills my belly. I force my body to move the way it is supposed to. I make myself walk around like a human being, like the person I was before the latest trigger. I can’t cry. I can’t think. I feel as if I am being stalked by this shadow enemy.

Just. Leave. Me. Alone!

I don’t want you here anymore. I don’t want to face whatever horrors of my past your trying to foist upon me. I have a present, and a future that I love living; stop dragging me down with those claws. Those claws of despair that pierce me, cut into me, slash my heart in two.

I question everything. And I know this is all a show. I know how it ends if I follow you down this rabbit hole. I have never been able to survive it. I have never been able to be strong. I always fall apart into a thousand pieces and then after you leave, put myself back together (yet never quite as together as before).

Is there a way to swim through this ocean without choking on the pain? I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I feel emptied out. Terrified, again.

The sick thing is, as soon as this storm passes…all I see are clear blue skies. And then I wonder, what was I scared of? Why was I so lost in this emotional war? It all seems so..obvious and simple.

But then these triggers come and cut me open again, exposing that hidden despair. The same old cycle. I just have to hold on and let it tear through me. I have to be inert and unmoving. I have to allow it to run its course without choosing any actions, without thinking any thoughts. Then, I survive it without destroying myself. Then, I stand under the clear blue skies and realize the insanity of the storm.

But, is this the only way? Is there a way to stop these emotional tempests and finally have lasting peace and calm? I don’t know. I only know how to survive. But survival gets exhausting sometimes. I want to have that peace. Please, let me have that lasting peace.

And the storm is rolling over me….

The Lies of the Enemy vs. The Glorious Truth

I have been very busy lately with the end of this semester fast approaching, along with life’s other obligations. I’ve been able to spend some time praying though, and it has brought up a theme for me; resisting temptation and the lies of the enemy.

This is in stark contrast to the promises of Yahweh, and what he can offer us to sooth our weary souls.

For those us with mental illness and/or addiction, we tend to experience emotions in a BIG way. Often we are just overwhelmed by them, and hence we seek out a way to ease that pain. The enemy tells us “I have these drugs, all kinds of drugs, pick one…it will sooth your suffering and take it all away”. Or maybe it’s sex, gambling, taking big risks; anything that takes us out of the pain and brings us a rush.

But as we know, this never lasts. In fact, when the high wears off we are much worse off than when we first started. Not to mention the trauma, the family rifts, and many other consequences of our using that we now have to deal with. The enemy lies to us, and by the time we realize we are trapped in this cycle of addiction and pain, we face a huge struggle to climb back out.

But we don’t have to do it alone. The entire time we were searching, searching, searching for that fix—that high—that thrill, He was waiting with his arms outstretched to us with real hope.

The enemy tells us, “Go ahead, indulge yourself and feel better”

“Go ahead, follow your own desires and thrills”

“Go ahead, I can make you feel better than you ever imagined.”

When this fails, when we end up doing nothing and sacrificing everything for that fix/that false cure—we end up often considering suicide. Imagine how the enemy feels when he tricks us into following his way, and then takes our very life from us? That is exactly what he wants to do; steal, kill, and destroy.

You know how horrible it feels when a young person dies, because that had to feed that addiction? Or a middle ages person dies and leaves their children and spouse, questioning and devastated?

It is as if we can see how things could have been. In an alternate universe, in a world where their life had a difference ending; we can see how much was lost for this addiction. It is so breathtakingly sad. It was almost my fate as well.

This is a song by R.E.M called “Country Feedback”, and I listened to it a lot as teen. Part of the refrain goes like this;

“It’s crazy what you could have,
Crazy what you could have had,
I need this…I need this…”

I used to cry so hard at that, because it cut to my soul. I knew I could have another life. I saw a future that could have been mine; college, love, children, etc. but I needed my high so badly that I just couldn’t have it. I could feel that other future, and its loss (and my inability to stop myself) was so gut wrenching.

Of course, my future is not what I believed it would be but ONLY because I have resisted and fought and clawed my way out of that abyss.

Yahushua (Jesus) tells us that we must hate even our very own life to be his disciple. What he means by that is, we must put him first and follow him no matter what.

We used to put drugs first, which leads to death…

We used to put risk taking first, which leads to death….

We used to put sex first, which leads to death….

We used to put cutting/self-injury first, which leads to death…

But now,

Oh now we have something glorious!

We put HIM first, which leads to LIFE!

HalleuYah. Amen.

We all struggle, if you are being tempted please remember that no temptation will overtake you that you cannot overcome with HIM. He always gives us a way out, he always shows us the narrow path that leads to life and bids us to walk in in—with Him.

I wish healing for you all.

Shalom.