Posted by Carrie (Dallas, North Carolina) on 09/17/2010
I'm a 25 year old who , like many in this growing pandemic, began taking prescription painkillers to get more energy and ward off sore muscles caused by over working myself, so that i'd be able to perform better at work & home, help more of my extended family, and such other reasons. This inevitably turned into an addiction, and before I knew it I was stuck! To come off the meds, u have to basically put yourself through symptoms that equal to 3x's a really bad flu! The mind starts kicking in when u start to feel unpleasant and every little feeling u have, u amplify thinking its getting worse even if its not. I finally went to a methadone clinic in my area, which I thought would help, and in some ways it did! I was finally following my prescription by Dr.'s orders, which wasn't a rush like i'd gotten somehow from taking what I wasnt supposed to! The methadone , though helpful to get over opiates, was just another dependency, and it was similar to the problem I had.
Others in my shoes couldn't go 24 hours if they had to without methadone, I could even though I couldnt go 24 hrs without painpills , because I knew the facts ( its designed to last in the system for 24-36 hours)where I didnt know as much about the pain killers, only whether or not i'd taken something. Anyway, when I was detoxing, which in my case was a 10 day gradual decrease from 70mgs, I knew in my mind i'd taken something, and I stayed busy taking care of house work and such, so I didnt sit around expecting to feel like crap or give myself free time to think about symptoms ( looking back, I'm sure they wouldnt have gone unnoticed whether or not I was thinking about them! )
When my mom started to call and check on me at day 7, she asked how I was feeling and I stopped to really think about it. At that point I began to get the hot/cold flashes, restlessness, and alot of anxiety and irritability. Then I began to look online at blogs written by others going through methadone detox, who were picking apart every symptom or fear of the process! I was freaking out by that point! But when I went to the clinic for my last dose, I asked the counselors and nurses if I should avoid the blog, if I did indeed have the worst hell to come as I had read, and they told me that, just like I had thought, looking at someone elses symptoms didnt mean I would have them, and it was putting the ideas in my head. With the mind being such a powerful thing, of course they could make me believe I was having a harder time than I was! AND, That at the same time, I could tell myself I was going to have a good day, take a shower, exercise, relax (rather than calling it fatigued) and it would help! The nurse told me that I would have a harder time in a few days when the drug was out of my system, then she said "So?! .. And you'll get through it and that will be that! Have you ever had the flu?! ... And did u get over it?! .. Its not the end of the world, and dragging it out inside ur head wont help u at all.! Just do it and be done! ".. And she was right!
Educating myself BEFORE I ever began the detox process, gave me all the info I needed to remind myself of the facts, which helped me to know what to expect. But reading everyones opinions and symptoms only scared me and put stuff in my head, WHICH MADE THINGS ALOT WORSE!! When I went through the worst and most painful breakup in my life (so far) I made myself get up and go out with friends , even though I wanted to sit by the phone and wait for a call that wasnt coming, because I told myself he was out doing the same thing! .. Going out didnt make me forget him all together, but it kept me distracted and gave me alot more smiles than I would've had! That was actually some of the BEST months I had ever lived up until then! .. When I work and I know I cant have a cigarette for HOURS, or I have HOURS left before my shift is over, I start doing more work or cleaning or something that gets alot of my attention, and it helps! If you let your mind scare u, it will, but if you make it help u out, and give your self pep talks that u find to be true, its almost like ur being ur own best friend rather than making urself miserable!
**P. S. ** I also gain weight easily and love sweets, so if I keep reminding myself that the sweets are whats causing my weight gain and unhappiness, they stop looking so tempting!