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A neighborhood bunny, Kate, has some questions/discussions for some fellow critters, and a personal dilemma.
For those who have been clean off meth for long periods of time, how do they deal with cravings and feeling down? Has it become easier or harder? Have they relapsed? If so, how long did the relapse last? Are they clean currently? What's the longest period of time they have been clean? Etc etc.
Kate is feeling kind of torn. She has been clean off meth for 13 months now, since being hospitalized for an overdose last year in the summer. (With the exclusion of one small, single use relapse around October of last year). It has been a difficult year, with Kate coming extremely close to relapse many many times. However, somehow she has made it this far.
Kate knows meth addiction doesn't just go away, but she feels like her desire for meth has slowly been building inside her. She has been able to fight the cravings so far by remembering all the negative effects the drug had on her life & trying to stay busy, keep moving forward in life, and surrounding herself with good influences. But Kate is migrating away to college at the end of the month and fears her desire to use will overcome her then because of increased stress and work. Also, Kate's critter friends, who provide an immense support system, will not be there to lend a helping bunny hand and help her stay clean.
Kate would really appreciate some words of wisdom from other critters & their experiences, stories, and anything else.
And on a less depressing note, Kate would like to say to all other people who are trying to get clean from meth, or have recently gotten clean... please don't give up or be discouraged! Kate never thought she would make it this far, and although she worries about the future & sobriety every day, she is proud of how far she has come.
Did not start using until approx age 30. Longest period clean since then is approximately 2 years. Used regularly for 3-4 years. Went from occasional to almost every weekend, to every weekend, to Thurs-Mon, to just do it all the time unless out of it. Maintained job, household, and outward appearances until near the end. Usually abused by snorting, the last year this moved mostly to hotrailing and smoking. Recently had an "oops". Clean two months now. The "oops" lasted about a month.
Cravings were exceptionally intense at first. In fact, the subject in question tried to commit suicide to escape them after about a week. Intense depression, mood swings, nightmares and drug dreams. This persisted for quite a while and then seemed to improve with periods of crisis again at 1 month, 90 days, and a year. Anything which was "triggery" (seeing someone snorting something on TV etc) would bring back the feelings and the fiending. The WORST is the first two weeks. The first two weeks was barely being able to get up to go to work, frequent crying, SEVERE depression, insomnia even when exhausted, and EXTREME hunger, which caused her to eat ALOT and to have weird food cravings like she was pregnant! A frequent snack was two cans of spaghettios with brown sugar dumped on them, and a glass of chocolate milk. You wouldnt think that would be very appetizing, but let me assure you, she told me it was delicious. LOL Weight gain was depressing but she couldnt stop eating.
For the most part, things were alot better after a year....but then when the two year mark was nearing, the subject began to crave intensely. She thought about meth all the time and fantasized about it, cocaine, and other stimulants. She tried to find MDPV since she is out of the "circle of trust" in the local tweek scene, having been away too long...and she generally will not make new connections because by the time she would expend the work to do so, she is already ridding herself of the notion to get high, if that makes any sense....i guess what i am saying is, if she found dope easily she would have screwed up sooner, but since she doesnt "know anyone" any more, or cook meth herself as she no longer has a place to do it....the feelings would generally lessen and she could go on about her business.
The feelings became more and more intense and the woman began to question if she wished to remain clean. She took Ritalin and caffiene and still craved. She put herself out there and managed to get some cocaine which she did up quickly. Then she was immediately depressed at having thrown out her two years sober. So she kept doing drugs. This went on about a month and she is now quit for 2 months.
Stress, boredom, and triggery things make her want to use. She is very stressed right now and is about to crawl out of her skin with craving.
I dont know maybe some people get over it sooner. I suppose it varies. I didnt think it would still be going on now. That shit gets you and wont let you go. You have to really work to break the hold it has.
For those who have been clean off meth for long periods of time, how do they deal with cravings and feeling down?
I don't have cravings for methamphetamine anymore and I'm not depressed either. I attribute this to the meaningful things that I spend my time doing, re; work, study, spending time with my son, speaking to my mother (who is interstate) on the phone everyday, making/playing/listening to music always in the car/at home/when I work out/on the computer.
Do not listen to music that reminds you of methamphetamine. Find new, refreshing, energetic music, that will help you to move onwards and forwards. High energy music is better because it's motivational. Note how they play trance music in gyms... this is to energise and motivate people while they exercise innit. Same can be applied to real life.
Music is very important in healing.
Originally Posted by ltpx
Has it become easier or harder?
It's not an issue for me anymore, because I honestly don't want to use it. I haven't just convinced myself temporarily that I don't wanna use it; I genuinely am disgusted by the drug. Why?
-I love my sleep.
-My skin looked fucked while I was smoking it.
-The whole time I was addicted to it, I wished that I wasn't a methamphetamine addict.
-It made my mental health suffer.
-I didn't look attractive on it and had a gaunt, but flabby build. Even though I was thin, I was very untoned and it wasn't very sexy at all.
-It's expensive to smoke all day, everyday.
-I like being able to shit properly, without my bowels only working after a lung full of methamphetamine! -I love my health.
I admit that it was hard for the first 18 months, because I wasn't content in my own skin. I didn't like the weight that I'd put on and I didn't have much energy or motivation to do a great deal. However, when I started eating properly (not junk foods), and drinking enough water, and working, and studying, and keeping my house tidy, things improved.
I wasn't putting enough effort into keeping my body systems healthy and happy, and as a result, my mind wasn't happy and healthy. I honestly believe that if I had started taking good care of myself and my body earlier, my mind would have improved a lot sooner than it did.
Originally Posted by ltpx
Have they relapsed? If so, how long did the relapse last?
I have not relapsed back to addictive behaviour since 2007. Though I did chip once every three months until approx 2009. My cravings at that time only surfaced once every three months and I was able to refrain myself from returning to addiction, because I knew how my head and how the drug worked on my head to lure me back. I guess you could say that I was wiser to meth and myself, so put interventions in place to protect myself from a full blown relapse cycle.
Originally Posted by ltpx
Are they clean currently? What's the longest period of time they have been clean? Etc etc.
Currently I'm completely sober. Not even nicotine or alcohol goes into my body. The term "clean" is arguable, but I have not been a methamphetamine "addict" since 2007. I have taken the occasional acid trip and ecstasy tablet since 2009, however, I have taken no drugs at all this year. I think I've been clean (in the complete sense) from methamphetamine since 2009. Perhaps early 2010. That is when I realised that 3 months had passed by without a craving, and after that I really didn't see a need to put it inside my body anymore.
At this point, your mind is what plays the important part in your recovery. You will not achieve a healthy mind if you neglect your body or your soul. Good health is made up of contributing sociological, physiological, and psychological factors. A healthy balance is needed between all three, in order to achieve the token of "good health". Most of all, a positive frame of mind is necessary and you need to adopt an attitude that will take you above and beyond your current predicament. Think forwards; not backwards.
Even if things feel bad, you need to start giving yourself some pep talks and motivating yourself. Look towards good nutrition, good hydration, good music, relaxation techniques, good sleeping habits, and light exercise. It may sound like there is lots of things to do in order to achieve a healthy mind state, but these are nothing in comparison to the effort that you used to put in to getting high everyday. On top of these, you need to work, study, or volunteer, in order to fulfill the productivity/generativity requirement that is actually part of human nature (though this may just be the result of socialisation), because fulfilling this makes us feel worthy and in turn we feel good about ourselves.
Remember that. Don't be afraid to work a little on yourself. Every little step adds up to something wonderful in the end.
The last time I used meth was in 2004, I still remember how it made me feel, still remember the extacy I got from the cloud, and I still remember how it made life so.......pleasant. I also remember fiending at 3:00 A.M. and actually pondering if I should have sex with _____ to get some more, I also remember causing the pain I did to family and friends, and I also remember the come downs.
The night I stopped, I knew I would never use again, I knew that there was no way I could live in the world meth created. I did not crave after the drug when I quit, I was turned off by it, much like one would think of licking slime off of a sewer pipe. In my head, they were the same, the only difference is look.
I think ex-junkie had great advice for you, so did Joker. The only thing I can really say, is every time you look at that drug, or even think about it, imagine everyone that ever hurt you, or every time you hurt someone, think about who you love, think about who loves you. Every time you look or think of that drug, imagine a life not locked away in a prison where you are dominated by a substance.