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I very much doubt there is anyone left on the board back from July, but if you were then perhaps you will remember me. To those who don't, let me give a quick recap: I spent 2 1/2 years addicted to morphine (about 100mg a day) that was prescribed by my doctor to treat various ailments (mostly back related).

4th of July weekend (July 2nd) I decided to begin my independence from drugs and reclaim my life. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and remains the thing I am most proud of. I remember the fears that I had back then -- the fears that almost kept me from reclaiming my life. I was absolutely sure I wouldn't be able to handle the withdrawal. It terrified me. I also remember when I was lurking and I would read about the cravings people felt even after the withdrawal faded and the emotional struggle they endured. I knew I was too weak to handle that.

The day I quit I was sure it was temporary because those pills had such a grip on me. I remember counting my pills to make sure I had enough - and I remember doing this several times a day. I remember reaching for that little bottle every morning before I even had my eyes open. I remember telling myself that I wasn't really addicted because my pills came from a doctor and I had a legit medical problem (even though I knew I was lying to myself and that I did take them for emotional pain too). I remember feeling that my life would always be tied to those pills and that I wouldn't be able to escape. I was desperate and depressed and even though I was still too drugged to realize how much of myself I had shut off by using - I knew I was in trouble.

So I quit. July 2nd; the day that changed everything. That morning I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and instead of taking my dose of 12-hour morphine I looked at myself and I cried. I cried because I was scared - of what I had done and what I was about to do. This would be one of several times during the first few days that I would do this. I quit cold turkey, without attending any kind of counseling or program, without tappering, without any other prescriptions of any kind -- not because I am a hardcore tough guy (trust me, I'm not). Quite the opposite, I did it that way because I was scared to reach out and tell anyone.

Week one was pure hell. The only place I had to turn was this message board and the only people who kept me going were it's members. Reading about what other people in my position were doing really helped. The encouragement and support I got was tremendous. Being able to ask questions about my withdrawal symptoms and being inspired by others taking the same journey as I was really made those sleepless days and nights much easier.

Little things started coming back to me during this time; like music. Listening to and being moved by music was something I didn't even realize I lost while I was on drugs. I was like a deaf man hearing for the first time. Little things like taking a drive a night or walking along the beach all of a sudden felt amazing. It was sort of like coming back from the dead -- and it in many ways that is was I was doing. Withdrawal sucked, but for every bad symptom there seemed to be three new good things reawakening in me.

One of the things that surprised me was the length of time it took to get past the withdrawal - mine was severe. I had insomnia and restless legs for a long time. Even in October I was still battling those two lingering symptoms periodically. I won't lie, that really sucked, but it was hard to be too upset when suddenly I had my life back. I was going out with friends again, I had a social life after spending too long locked away from everyone. Oh and the pain that I had that prompted my start on morphine? It really wasn't as bad as I remembered. Today I am able to manage it with FOUR ADVIL! That's it. I cannot believe how much fear had held me back. It turns out that when you take opiates for a long time your body lessens or stops it's production of it's natural painkillers - which is why even after taking the morphine I still hurt and seemed to be getting worse. I'm healthier today than I've been in five years.

Mentally I never struggled or had any cravings. NONE. EVER. I have no idea why this is. Maybe I just got lucky, but once I quit that was it for me. Today I'm not even sure why I even liked them to begin with because I ALWAYS feel happy. I can't imagine a better feeling that having my life back. Simply put; those pills don't have to chase you forever. Over the course of the past 8 months I've had a handful of dreams where I had accidentally taken a pill and the freaked out. I would wake up each time so relieved and grateful that that part of my life was over.

I'm glad I quit cold turkey and -looking back- I'm grateful for the suffering I endured during withdrawal because I know I never want to go back to that again. It serves as a reminder of what I allowed myself to become and what I will never be again.

If you are reading this and thinking of quiting or just starting out let me just tell you that you really can do it. I did it at the worst possible time in my life. I had a million things going on but I knew I had to put all that on the shelf and tackle this beast before I lost my nerve. I am not a strong person nor am I brave - my fear is what motivated me to quit and stay quit. Use that fear to your advantage because I assure you it gets better. You don't need pills to cope, you think you do, but you don't. And once you are free of them you won't even remember why you turned to them in the first place. I've been where you are right now and I know how scary it is. You are not alone -- many of us have been where you are and there really are some success stories out there and you can be one of them.

So why did I drop back in after so long? Because I'm in excruiating pain today. I have an impacted wisdom tooth that is positively killing me. I am on 23 hours of the worst pain I've had since withdrawal and I cannot see my dentist until Monday morning. When I was offered a prescription of vicodin to tide me over until Monday I didn't even hesitate to say "HELL NO". Maybe I could have taken it to ease the pain and been fine, but I am not willing to play games and risk it. I remember how it feels to be in the beginning of withdrawal and I never want to put myself in a position to relive that again. I can handle a tooth ache, I can't handle losing myself again. As I reflected over the past 8 months I remembered my time here and I wanted to say thank you to those who helped me get to where I am today and to offer encouragement to those who are where I used to be.

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss,

-Large
[QUOTE=Largeman]I very much doubt there is anyone left on the board back from July, but if you were then perhaps you will remember me. To those who don't, let me give a quick recap: I spent 2 1/2 years addicted to morphine (about 100mg a day) that was prescribed by my doctor to treat various ailments (mostly back related).

4th of July weekend (July 2nd) I decided to begin my independence from drugs and reclaim my life. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and remains the thing I am most proud of. I remember the fears that I had back then -- the fears that almost kept me from reclaiming my life. I was absolutely sure I wouldn't be able to handle the withdrawal. It terrified me. I also remember when I was lurking and I would read about the cravings people felt even after the withdrawal faded and the emotional struggle they endured. I knew I was too weak to handle that.

The day I quit I was sure it was temporary because those pills had such a grip on me. I remember counting my pills to make sure I had enough - and I remember doing this several times a day. I remember reaching for that little bottle every morning before I even had my eyes open. I remember telling myself that I wasn't really addicted because my pills came from a doctor and I had a legit medical problem (even though I knew I was lying to myself and that I did take them for emotional pain too). I remember feeling that my life would always be tied to those pills and that I wouldn't be able to escape. I was desperate and depressed and even though I was still too drugged to realize how much of myself I had shut off by using - I knew I was in trouble.

So I quit. July 2nd; the day that changed everything. That morning I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and instead of taking my dose of 12-hour morphine I looked at myself and I cried. I cried because I was scared - of what I had done and what I was about to do. This would be one of several times during the first few days that I would do this. I quit cold turkey, without attending any kind of counseling or program, without tappering, without any other prescriptions of any kind -- not because I am a hardcore tough guy (trust me, I'm not). Quite the opposite, I did it that way because I was scared to reach out and tell anyone.

Week one was pure hell. The only place I had to turn was this message board and the only people who kept me going were it's members. Reading about what other people in my position were doing really helped. The encouragement and support I got was tremendous. Being able to ask questions about my withdrawal symptoms and being inspired by others taking the same journey as I was really made those sleepless days and nights much easier.

Little things started coming back to me during this time; like music. Listening to and being moved by music was something I didn't even realize I lost while I was on drugs. I was like a deaf man hearing for the first time. Little things like taking a drive a night or walking along the beach all of a sudden felt amazing. It was sort of like coming back from the dead -- and it in many ways that is was I was doing. Withdrawal sucked, but for every bad symptom there seemed to be three new good things reawakening in me.

One of the things that surprised me was the length of time it took to get past the withdrawal - mine was severe. I had insomnia and restless legs for a long time. Even in October I was still battling those two lingering symptoms periodically. I won't lie, that really sucked, but it was hard to be too upset when suddenly I had my life back. I was going out with friends again, I had a social life after spending too long locked away from everyone. Oh and the pain that I had that prompted my start on morphine? It really wasn't as bad as I remembered. Today I am able to manage it with FOUR ADVIL! That's it. I cannot believe how much fear had held me back. It turns out that when you take opiates for a long time your body lessens or stops it's production of it's natural painkillers - which is why even after taking the morphine I still hurt and seemed to be getting worse. I'm healthier today than I've been in five years.

Mentally I never struggled or had any cravings. NONE. EVER. I have no idea why this is. Maybe I just got lucky, but once I quit that was it for me. Today I'm not even sure why I even liked them to begin with because I ALWAYS feel happy. I can't imagine a better feeling that having my life back. Simply put; those pills don't have to chase you forever. Over the course of the past 8 months I've had a handful of dreams where I had accidentally taken a pill and the freaked out. I would wake up each time so relieved and grateful that that part of my life was over.

I'm glad I quit cold turkey and -looking back- I'm grateful for the suffering I endured during withdrawal because I know I never want to go back to that again. It serves as a reminder of what I allowed myself to become and what I will never be again.

If you are reading this and thinking of quiting or just starting out let me just tell you that you really can do it. I did it at the worst possible time in my life. I had a million things going on but I knew I had to put all that on the shelf and tackle this beast before I lost my nerve. I am not a strong person nor am I brave - my fear is what motivated me to quit and stay quit. Use that fear to your advantage because I assure you it gets better. You don't need pills to cope, you think you do, but you don't. And once you are free of them you won't even remember why you turned to them in the first place. I've been where you are right now and I know how scary it is. You are not alone -- many of us have been where you are and there really are some success stories out there and you can be one of them.

So why did I drop back in after so long? Because I'm in excruiating pain today. I have an impacted wisdom tooth that is positively killing me. I am on 23 hours of the worst pain I've had since withdrawal and I cannot see my dentist until Monday morning. When I was offered a prescription of vicodin to tide me over until Monday I didn't even hesitate to say "HELL NO". Maybe I could have taken it to ease the pain and been fine, but I am not willing to play games and risk it. I remember how it feels to be in the beginning of withdrawal and I never want to put myself in a position to relive that again. I can handle a tooth ache, I can't handle losing myself again. As I reflected over the past 8 months I remembered my time here and I wanted to say thank you to those who helped me get to where I am today and to offer encouragement to those who are where I used to be.

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss,

-Large[/QUOTE]
Hey Largeman'
What an inspiring story if not also so vividly true..the description of the addiction I guess we are all similar creatures.I've been struggling with this tapering for almost a week...but I know IT IS JUST TIME!! I don't think of much else and I've played the game with myself that this isn't really happening to me!! Right going on 3yrs. and the fool still tells herself no not me. Well thanks for the story and the letter of encouragement..without u guys Iam alone and having this board is really a BIG help..Take care of that darn tooth!! What a bummer...later,Jennah





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