Good time of the day to you friend!
If you remember my journal entry last Tuesday, I mentioned the opiate I took to help fall asleep the night before (last Monday). Well, in just about an hour and a half, it will be a full 7 days since that last half of a hydrocodone I took to help me sleep after being up working on Amphetamines. I wanted to continue to make daily updates since my 3rd entry last week, but I got discouraged because the thumbnail images weren't showing for some reason and so instead of the image I selected, it would just reuse my default journal cover again. I didn't want to just use the same old, same old with a new entry, so I created a ticket at the helpdesk and decided to sweat it out. Literally. But seriously, the withdrawals weren't terrible for what I believe were two reasons:
Those adjusted working hours consuming more Amphetamines helped keep the opiate withdrawals at bay which in one way was simply replacing one addiction with another, but in another sense, since it got rid of the Opiates completely, it was a major win for me in battle against addiction because now instead of spread across two different drugs, it is narrowed to only the one I'm legally prescribed.
- I wasn't taking a lot of opiates everyday (usually no more than half a hydrocodone a day, but sometimes 3 or more and on very rare occasions, a 30 mg Oxycontin).
- I'm prescribed Adderall (D-Amphetamine Salts) so it helped curb the withdrawals.
- For most days, I also maintained my prescribed daily dosage for Adderall, but a couple of days I had larger workloads to complete and I pulled some all-nighter work sessions adjusting my dosage accordingly to the longer waking hours.
So yeah, I wanted to update with this entry to share I've been completely clean from the Opiates for an entire week now.
Yes, it was tough because of the withdrawals and the availability of Opiates if I decided that I had to have them. But, despite the cravings, I maintained my resolve when it would have been too easy to cave in the addiction. I didn't, so I'm grateful with that relief kind of feeling of accomplishment pride, not the haughty kind, because I know it's only God's grace that let me go 7 days without using what used to be my drug of choice. I say "used to be" my drug of choice because each withdrawal pain along the way and each craving I've had to take it again, I've made the choice to not do it even when it hurt.
Something else I noticed is that about the fifth day of not using, my old weightlifting injury to my shoulder pain actually stopped hurting as bad as it used to. This didn't make much sense to me since that was the reason I was taking the pain pills in the first place. I think in some weird twist of neurological twist of habit and addiction, that it might have somehow been the addiction that was causing my shoulder pain to flare up whenever several hours had passed without a pain pill to treat it. Maybe it was my body or physiological dependence craving the drug and using the nerves in shoulder as bait to convince me it was okay to treat the pain like some kind of Pavlov dinner bell experiment or a monkey pushing the morphine dispenser button. My addiction used all the tools at its disposal, including my own brain and body in tandem to feed itself more dope?
I would like to research this and if there are no clinical trials with conclusions and evidence to support the hypothesis already, maybe conduct a study myself or find a way to have one done. The results could be landmark because if the addiction can manipulate the brain and sensory nerves at regular intervals to mimic the expected pain from a legitimate injury, then the next test would be to see how anti-addiction counterstrikes could be executed in the same way, using the programming of neural sensory adaptation with selected stimuli to combat cravings so that the mind and body is convinced that it no longer needs or wants to use the drug.
How would I gather the support to fund such a study?
Maybe I could ask my doctor friend who put me on the internal review board of a clinical trial study for a medical device invention earlier this year.
If the results led to the creation of an all-natural supplement that was engineered to curb and eventually eliminate all the cravings including the physiological and physical cravings, wouldn't it be worthwhile?
In my opinion, yes, as long as the new supplement, which we'll call "crave clean" for now, wasn't addictive or habit forming itself, which it won't be, because the protocol for the formula will entail the requirement of using non-addictive ingredients for its production.
Then, even if the user somehow still leans on it physiologically, at least it won't be true physical dependence, and they can taper down the use of a non-addictive and non-habit-forming all-natural supplement without any unwanted side effects to go from replacing their drug dependence with the use of an all-natural health supplement and finally stop using the supplement to be completely clean.
I wonder if I would have been as interested in inventing solutions to treat addiction and dependence had I not become addicted myself at some point?
This proposed solution would by no means replace existing successful recovery methods, but to the contrary, would seek to work compatibly with them.
Last night, I had my back against the wall with two months worth of work due before the end of March left to do. With the minimum effective therapeutic dose of my prescribed Adderall, I managed to get done in one uninterrupted sitting of 9 hours (only took breaks to rehydrate and urinate) what took me two weeks to do earlier without the medicine.
Again, I found myself at the crossroads, the proverbial fork in the road and valley of decision.
(Man, I swear this Adderall turns me into a cornball sometimes. ^ Proverbial? Really? Who talks like that? And yes, I'll explain why it's so effective right now and no, I didn't take more than prescribed! Honest.)
The time to make a decision came after I got the project workload down to 16 of the 22 written tasks completed with only 6 remaining to complete that project. There would still be two more projects within that project that needed to be done and three other similarly sized larger projects to be completed by the deadline, but at least that portion would be completed. To put it in perspective, it had taken me the two weeks earlier to get the first 8 done and 9 hours to get the second 8 done.
At this point, the sun had come up about two hours before and around 8:00 am, there was a new day upon me.
I could either take my first dose for the day and be worn out after staying up all that last night working into the morning and end up feeling like a dry worn out washcloth or I could go to sleep during the day and not take my next dose until after I caught up on some sleep debt.
Neither of the two choices seemed appealing. They both carried undesirable disadvantages. I didn't want to lose an entire day's productivity sleeping even though I got a lot more done the night and day before. It was still sleeping the day away which seemed like a waste. Besides, even though I was feeling drained from working all night (especially once my body got more fatigued when it sensed the sunrise happened without any sleep before it), the Adderall was still very much in my system which would prevent me from getting a full, deep sleep.
On the other hand, if I chose to forgo the sleep, I'd still be a walking zombie and wouldn't do my best work no matter how many times my jaw clenches, teeth grind, side hurts, and eyelid twitches if you catch my drift. I'd just be an empty-headed speed ghost going through the motions like that team of monkeys left in eternity to eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare with enough keystrokes. (Though admittedly, at this point, it felt more like the team of monkeys under the command of that green-faced Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. That reminds me. I should call my mother to see how she's doing since she had gone to the doctor for a cold last time we talked.)
I believe I made the "correct" choice again. Even though sleeping caused me to miss a day's worth of work and I still have my sleep schedule out of whack, after sleeping a solid 12 hours, I realize I made the right choice because I had only slept a couple of hours the last time I went to sleep and obviously needed to catch up more than I thought. I didn't wake up until 8:00 pm this evening, but after taking my regular scheduled dose of Adderall (See! I told you there was a reason I was feeling it stronger than usual -- I just took it recently and it's working more effectively because I slept, ate, and took a multivitamin after the last use which replenished my cells' depleted stores of potassium and sodium, so there was no crash between then and now.
My plan tonight is to stay at the regularly prescribed dose like I have been and finish the six remaining tasks to complete this next project milestone and then begin work on the next milestone. The work is divided across four different disciplines with little to no overlap so my plan is to be a sniper and pick off at least one milestone from each of the four if possible before I crash from fatigue to get the most out of my waking hours this time around and then begin work on the next milestone of the first project again (the one I'm completing tonight).
Without medicine, focus for these prolonged work periods would be nigh impossible, but thankfully, I am on pace to complete the entire project before the end of March. Wish me luck! I'll be so busy I won't even miss the opiates.
Thanks for keeping up with me and I hope you have a great day ahead of you!