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[QUOTE=Arememom]Congratualtions JMB1!!! I'm just at 4 months clean and can't wait to get to where you are today. I am an avid supporter of the 12 steps. However, I agree it's not for everyone.

Could you please share how you did it, what your support system was, what do you do on an ongoing basis to assure that you stay clean/sober.

There are those reading I know who also aren't into the 12 steps and would like for them to know what else works.[/QUOTE]

Well let’s see: How I did it.
Well I went on a stiff taper ((25-30 lortabs a day down to 4 day (1 every 4 hours) for a week and then down to 2 day (1/2 every 4 hours) for a week and then down to 1 day (1/4 every 4 hours...this is hard to have to bite the 1/2 pills in half or get a pill splitter) for a week, and then I had 2 left so I crushed them into dust and would lick the tip of my finger, dip it into the dust and swallow it 4 times a day. This is most likely not enough to cause any noticeable effect but I was doing it for the psychological aspect)).
However the more I look back the more I realize the taper or system you use really has nothing to do with it. What matters is your determination. If there is no other alternative (in your mind) then you will succeed because there is no other alternative. The saying "failure is not an option" is such a cliché I know, but if you are truly determined, and you truly do not allow yourself any other option then no craving, pain or sickness will be enough to break you.
I needed, and wanted badly to get my life back, and since this was the only way to do it, I decided to pay the price. I have been clean for about a year and half and I have not had one re-lapse. About 3 months in I found a lortab in my drawer and was able to flush it. It was not easy, but it got done.

As far as support goes I had none. I suffered entirely in silence as I never told anyone about my problem until I had beaten it.

As far as what I do on an ongoing basis to stay clean: nothing. Once you have beaten it, truly beaten it (and you will know when that happens) you will realize that life can begin again. You will not need to always have this spectre of need and craving hanging over your head. You CAN and WILL be normal again. Except you will be much stronger because of it.

This brings me to the problem I have with 12 step programs. First of all I do not believe in a higher power, and this becomes problematic with those types of systems. Secondly I do not like the "I am powerless" type of things. None of us are powerless. We are strong enough to do it. Believe me I am nothing special, and if I can do it so can you. It’s not easy, in fact it is downright hard, but hard becomes manageable, and manageable becomes somewhat easier, and somewhat easier becomes routine, and routine becomes nothing.

And you will not believe how empowered and strong you can feel when it’s over. I feel like I can do anything now.

I am not knocking anyone’s method of getting clean...whatever it takes good for you. These are just my opinions and I hope they help someone out there.

Arememom: 4 months is fantastic. You are past all of the physical stuff (maybe a lingering symptom here and there, but for the most part that is over). The psychological stuff is harder, I know. At 4 months my biggest thing is I was bored out of mind. Nothing held any joy at that point. Here is what I did to help get me over this hump:
1. Stay busy. Go out with friends. With me I always felt like I didn't want to go out because I would not have fun, but when I did go out I did have fun. My mind would be off of it for a little while and that was great.
2. Remember that normal people have bad days to. We tend to blame every little thing on the withdrawals, but remember normal people feel bad sometimes to. Learn to accept it, and realize that it will pass.
3. Keeping telling yourself how strong you are. You are succeeding where many people fail, and you can and SHOULD draw strength and pride from that. Remember you are doing it and you will NOT fail, because you are stronger then all of it.
4. Remember that you are a little better every day. It such a small amount of improvement that it is not noticeable day to day, but the improvement is happening. Eventually all of these tiny un-noticeable improvements build up and you will be sitting there and say to yourself:” You know I am feeling better" and that is when you have it.

Good luck.

I sincerely hope this helps someone out there.

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