Just thought I would give a little update on my progress.
First and foremost, today is [roughly] 8 1/2 YEARS (June 2006) since my active opiate addiction 'ended' after 1 1/2 years of use, and I became dependent on Suboxone as a way to treat my addiction. Today is [almost] 2 YEARS (December 13, 2012) since my last drink of alcohol. And the one I am most proud of, because it was the most difficult for me - today marks DAY 42 of being free from Suboxone.
The last update I gave was on Day 21. The progress I made during Day 21 – 30 was remarkable. On Day 23 I emailed this to my doctor:
“Today marks Day 23 of being off Suboxone. Although last week I would have an okay day, then a bad day, this week I feel good each day.
My motivation has started to come back (first 18ish days I didn't want to do much of anything, and I didn't care that I didn't want to). Now I'm starting to care about the things around me again.
I'm still having anxiety issues in the morning. Also, abdominal issues have still yet to subside, which is starting to irritate me quite a bit.
I was having mood swings throughout the day, but now it's fine.
Only other issue is sleep. I cannot sleep still, without Ambien. I tried Melatonin and 12 mg did not do anything but make my head spin in bed.”
In part, he replied:
“For the sleep, I propose we try another sleeping pill to transition from the zolpidem (generic Ambien) and that you can be on for now. It is called trazodone 50 mg and you take 1-2 pills before bed. Take it instead of the zolpidem.
For you abdominal issues, the dicyclomine is the best medicine. You can take it 4x/day. I anticipate these symptoms should begin to resolve soon.”
That night, I tried taking 2 of the trazodone. I had a real crappy night’s sleep, but I still felt fine during that day. Ended up finishing what I had of the Ambien for the following three nights. Then the following night, which was Sunday, November 23 (Day 27), I decided to take nothing and see what happened. My husband has weekends off and had the whole week of Thanksgiving off, so I figured I could use that time to not sleep or sleep crappy and he’d be home to take care of kids. Sunday and Monday night I did not sleep well. And when I say that, I don’t mean because of any physical withdrawal symptoms – those had subsided – I just mean my circadian rhythm was likely off because of my body being used to Suboxone helping put me to sleep. On Day 29, Tuesday, November 25, I went to bed again without using anything. I fell asleep within 20 minutes. Except for waking up twice, I think, for only a few seconds each, I slept the whole night. I woke up at 7:00 am and I felt amazing to have a full night’s sleep without the aid of anything.
Since waking on Day 30, I have felt good. Some nights I don’t sleep as well – but I’m getting more restful sleep than I've had in eight years. I wake refreshed and I have been able to get back to my normal routines.
I have come such a long way in six weeks when I did not think it was possible. I’m not naïve, so I know there may be a day or night where I feel like complete shit – but I know now that I’ll make it through.
I was scared as hell when I first started reading some of the forums online about stopping Suboxone. The process for me was not easy – there have been plenty of tears shed and mood swings and tantrums along the way (my poor husband, seriously) – but I suppose what made it doable this time around, where I’ve failed in the past, is being in the right frame of mind and knowing exactly what I wanted to do. Having my depression under control was also a huge help. In addition, this was the first time I used supportive prescription medications (Clonidine, anti-anxiety, sleep medication, etc.) and it definitely made all the difference.
I hope you are all doing well. No matter what point of the journey you are currently at in your life.