Methadone taper/ detox - this time it's real! - Part 19

By Helene · Jan 4, 2015 · ·
  1. I think, without being extremely simplistic about the subject, the big difference was that I actually wanted to stop using opiates, and had no desire to continue having anything to do with them at all. It's amazing how much easier it is to quit something you actually want to quit. I really do believe that whether one actually, genuinely wants to stop is paramount to the chances of success. If you don't want to take drugs, it's much easier not to do so.

    Also, completely cutting off contact with every single person who still uses drugs. That was a big part of it. Making a conscious decision to have no real life interaction with active users, at all, ever. This is very particular to me, perhaps, but for this reason things like NA and 'groups' would just not have worked for me, at all. I couldn't think of anything worse than sitting in a room full of people talking about why they want to use drugs, whilst attempting to detox off methadone. This in part has been the reason for my absence from DF also, I just haven't had any interest at all in anything drug related, and I feared that my patience, sympathy and understanding for current users had taken a bit of a knock. Sparkles, you referred to my strength of will to help others. It’s still there, but I think I’m perhaps a little less likely to suffer fools gladly now.

    With regards to my mother's illness and death, I am so glad that I had the sense at the time to move back home, and stay there, being an active part of her care for the last year or so of her life. That was something which I really would have regretted not doing, and you're right, if I had spent those months just sat in some scummy flat somewhere getting wasted, it would be triggering a huge amount of guilt now. As it stands, other than the general regrets one has towards things like this, not spending enough time together before she got ill, being an impossible brat when I was a teenager etc, I can say that I am pretty okay with the situation. I've done a lot of thinking about my mum in the past year or so, I do agree that the clarity with which feelings suddenly hit you is quite a bit stronger than when not on any opiates, but…I guess I’ve always been relatively honest with myself about how I feel about things. I’ve always attempted to have some degree of emotional integrity, at least towards myself. I think this is also a very important aspect of recovery, being able to confront and deal with one’s emotions, without wanting to hide away at the first sign of an emotional response.

    You mention about getting off methadone and then just continuing with life as if nothing happened, and everything just changing so easily. This really isn’t the case. I’ve worked bloody hard at turning my life into the life that I want. I realised I was not in a position I wanted to be in, there were things going on in my life that I was very unhappy with, and I did what needed to be done until that was rectified. People can get so stuck, living a life that they don’t want, thinking that it is out of their control, when in fact it is pretty much the only thing that we do have true, ultimate control over – our own life. Things may go wrong around us, bad things do happen, but ultimately we do have the control to decide how we react to all that, and what impact it has on our future. Do we use it as a reason to become a victim, and mask everything with opiates and wallow in self-pity? Do we just go into a world of avoidance, pretending everything is fine, when in reality it's all turning to shit around us? Or do we get out there and make changes? I decided it was time to do the latter. And as for unjustness, well…life isn’t exactly just, is it? You can however make it what you want it to be. A lot of the difficulties I had in my life were of my own making, and therefore it was down to me to unmake them. I cut people out of my life, ruthlessly. I moved away, I worked hard and earned money and got myself into college again...and I changed the way I thought about things, changed my own internal responses to certain situations, stopped justifying actions that I knew deep down were unjustifiable. None of my prior problems "evaporated", I just made changes.

    I am, however, fortunate that I managed to escape relatively unscathed – this is a luxury that many others do not have. Not having ended up with a criminal record, no lasting physical damage, blood borne diseases etc….it certainly makes it easier to just move on with life. But that is not to say that others, who haven’t been as lucky as I, would be unable to do the same.

    Nothing in your reply has seemed in any way out of order, Sparkles, nor has it upset me at all. I do think however that you may have underestimated just how stubborn I am; as BBW said, I’m one seriously stubborn lady. I was extremely single-minded about what I wanted and what I didn’t want, and I made it happen. I worked hard at it, that’s done, it’s mine, I own those changes. Of course I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do know that I’m not going to allow anything to take this away from me.


  1. missparkles
    Wow Helene, you're sounding positive, assertive and extremely determined, which is the best foundation anyone can have in place as they begin the rest of their life after quitting heroin. And of course you're so right when you say that with this in place any future problems can be dealt with. Like you I attended college, in fact it was the one thing that got me out of bed each morning. It motivated me, kept me focused, and the bonus was that I earned a qualification at the end of it. One more thing also helped me enormously although I didn't realise how much until afterward, and that's the cycle of addiction, determination, motivation, in fact all of the things I mentioned above.

    During my decades of heroin/opiate,drug use, it occurred to me that that positive assertive motivation that made quitting easier seemed to come in cycles, as long as I could recognise these cycles at the time they occurred, You know, the times when life seemed so bloody difficult, so much so that I struggled to find the motivation and inner strength to make a cup of coffee. And at other times life just couldn't have been better with everything just falling into place when and where it needed to. Now if I were able to recognise the positive cycle my attitude to quitting didn't seem such a big deal, I felt motivated and determined. At those other desperate times it just couldn't have happened...end of.

    Did you have any experience of this?


    Sparkles. :vibes:
  2. halo99
    your experience mirrors mine.... I have been saying this as well since I quit: you cant succeed until you actually *want* to be done... I see many people on here saying something like "this has to stop... I really mean it this time.." but in actuality its more of a desperation move instead of a genuine desire to be done with opiates...

    when I made the decision to quit it was the exact same process. I decided I was done with them once and for all and then I made a detailed plan to quit and stuck with it. And yes when I was done and out the other end I also thought "why didn't I do this a long time ago..."

    anyway congratulations on quitting for good!
  3. missparkles
    A lot of people say that they are done with addiction and really do mean it when they say it, but they're just not quite ready yet. Having said this I truly believe that quitting addiction is a long long process that has to begin somewhere, and a part of that "somewhere" is declaring their intent to do so. I also believe that the declaration is the most difficult part, and a place that's hard to admit was an over reach by themselves. Even if I'm almost certain that this is the case I will still encourage them as much as I possibly can in any way that I can.

    Sparkles. :vibes:
  4. nursemarie
    Want to goes a long way. Sometimes have to goes pretty far too lol.
  5. missveronica
    Re: Methadone detox - this time it's real!

    Is there any way I can send or invite my mother to this thread? I would love for her to read so she could understand better what I am going through in terms of tapering from also at the tail end...I certainly don't want to post it openly on facebook.
  6. cbabycee
    Hey u666a. From the amount you are on now 5mg every 2 weeks sounds great for the first 30mg or maybe 60mg. I went from 100mg to 50mg in 5 weeks @ 10mg a week drops didn't feel a thing at all.

    A lot of it is your mindset and how determind you are to do it. You are lucky u have full carries as you can test the dose yourself and maybe when u are comfortable then drop it so you are one step ahead of the doctor just incase you find you need a bit more time.

    I found do a few 5 ml drops then give yourself a few weeks to recover, then go again. Don't rush it, it's taken a long time for you to get to this place.

    Also take time to think how you will deal with future problems.
    It is hard, but always seems to happen, u decide to get clean and something goes wrong in your life and u no longer have a crutch and are more susceptible to ur emotions because of withdrawl. So try to learn some coping strategies. I got clean for 4 years then both my nans died in a week and here I am back at square one.

    This is my biggest advice to anyone wanting to get clean.

    Hope your all ok, and today's a positive day for all x

    cbabycee added 2 Minutes and 20 Seconds later...

    Copy and paste to her the address of the post in the bar in your browser x
  7. robina
    has anyone ever thought of using a syringe for tapering. you can cut down by millileters and the very tinyinies amounts.
  8. robina
    helene.thanks for all the posts and telling us how you managed to taper and get of the methadone. it has been really helpful and iv enjoyed reading everything you have said. and all the replies as well.i wonder how you are getting on now. hopefully you are still clean. I'm on 16ml and cutting down 1ml every 10days. iv no wish to get off it now. so to speak. i can be the sort of person who wants everything yesterday. what i mean is i will really take my time. as my goal is not to get off it. my goal is to get off it with the least pain i don't mind being on a couple of mL for a few weeks or longer. I'm just going to take it easy.

    i used heroin many years ago and when i stopped i had to get of it now if you know what i mean. that was the big goal and gave me a high. but when i reached the goal i came down to earth with a bump. as i had nothing left to strive for. i know what you mean about not suffering fools gladly. but i never forget where i came from and have so much empathy for people who are stuck on drugs and just can't get off them. i remember my pain at those times. so i know what those people are suffering and they are not fools.

    what happened to me was i had hepatitis c and did not realise it i also had a secondary illness called after 28 years of being clean i found myself in terrible pain and my body was hurting all over. so i was put on dihydrocoedine df118. and i got addicted to them.and thats how i found myself on methadone. i did go through the treatment for the hep c and cleared it. however you just don't know whats in front of you. any illness can strike you at any time of age. and you can be put on strong painkillers to relieve the pain.i know you said that you have nothing like that and thats great news.i came to terms with everything in my past that hurt me or other people. there are still things i'v done that hurt me and i know i will have to work on that for the rest of my life. i struggle with my attitude on a day to day i do go to 12step groups. i hate going i hate it. but its like medicine. you don't have to like it. does it help me and make me feel better?yes it does or i would not have kept going all those years. i do realise that not everyone needs to go to those groups. maybe they have a strength i don't have. iv had a lot of bad luck in my life over the last 10 years.when i went on the hep c treatment i had a breakdown and was hearing and seeing things and ended up in the mental hospital and they put me on anti psychotics. they are the most horrible drugs iv ever had. im still trying to get of them. i'v been on a few different kinds. I'm now on one that is not so strong and iv managed to get it down to 25mg. most people take 400mg of this one. so I'm tapering two drugs at a time and its really hard.

    I'm so depressed.coming onto this forum has cheered me up.i know that doesn't sound right. but I'm reading about people like myself. and realising that I'm not the only one in pain. i honestly don't know what i would do without my 12step group. not that i have been much lately. but its there when i really need it. I'm stubborn to like you but it can work against you at times. as i should be going to those meetings more regular. but when i hear them saying that life is great and they are happy i just can't cope with that. i start crying and feel sorry for my life is not great and I'm not happy either. i know life is what you make it. but things can happen that are not easy to accept. like illness. you don't know what it feels like until you get it. knowledge alone is not enough for me i need extra help. i pray and even that doesn't seem to be helping much.

    i can see that i am really feeling sorry for myself today. well I'm only human. they have a saying in those 12 step groups that really annoyes me. they say if life drops lemons on you make makes me laugh as well. what they are really saying is make the best of whatever circumstances you find yourself. it sound so simple doesn't it.but it now. thanks for letting me get this off my chest.sending you lots of
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