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Notso and DallasAlice,

Thank you for your kind and patient responses.

Notso, holding up the mirror of my first post gave me a jolt, and, Dallas, the comments on the creativity issue did a good job of actually scaring me again. The ambivalance I expressed is a frustrating seasaw. For some reason I stopped having those evening waves of fear about my abuse, which led to feeling like I really was coping well on the drug. Then, last night it surfaced again. The fear is a good thing. It's a deterrent.

So far, it's been about a week and I'm holding on to the decreased dose. I had one slip, but got back on track by focusing on the fact that I hadn't felt much different with that 10 mg decrease. Yesterday, I got in touch again at the end of my work day with the fear of losing creativity, which inspired a recommitment.

It's time for another decrease and I'm not wanting to do it. Last night I was thinking that maybe for psychological reasons I need to go another week at 80mg, but I'm thinking that that may be the disease talking. On the other hand, if it's not the disease, my reasoning is I really want to let my brain chemistry adjust for every step down, and I'm thinking perhaps giving myself at least another couple of days at 80 will help with any WD symptoms.

I see in the news this morning that an FDA advisory panel has recommended that Vicodin and Percocet be taken off the market due to the high acetominophen content and its dangerous potential for damaging the liver. Well now, that ought to send a lot of people into a high state of anxiety. It did give me pause for a minute, and then at the same time, I felt some relief that I'm at least trying to deal with this addiction, and that if and when the FDA follows that recommendation, I'll be free of the problem.

Then, on the financial front, I've been also feeling some relief knowing that as I'm tapering I'm using less which will stretch refill time, which will save money. I don't know how I could have gone so long without adding up the expense and thinking about what a burden it is. That $500 or so a month represents a couple of weeks of groceries, or plane tickets for the kids to take vacation with extended family, or a lot of books for my research, or, oh-so-many things. . . .

One of my cats escaped yesterday morning and has yet to return. I nearly used that as an excuse last night to help me cope. I live in coyote and owl territory. He's only about
6-months-old and I'm afraid he's a goner, but on the upside, today I don't feel like I need an extra "boost" to see me through this. I can manage the loss, but my children are in a lot pain, especially the 12 y/o who still deeply mourns his father's death 8 years later.

I carry the list of NA meetings in my purse and will try to make a determination to go to one this evening. The kinds that have each visitor share are the best for me right now. I feel like I need to hear multiple life experiences.

The number of viewers of this thread continues to amaze me. If I'm becoming someone with whom others can identify, but who can't express their own personal torment, then I'm happy that my halting journey is in some way helping others.

Again, I welcome all comments, and invite others who are thinking about starting down this path to join me, either in words here, or silently in their own battle.

I *do* know that I (we) can do this.

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