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  1. 11 points
    Some of you may remember me from the meds forum at MWO. For those of you that don’t, I was active on that forum from 2010 to about 2012. Using baclofen, I was quickly able to go from crippling alcoholism to complete indifference In a very short period of time. My highest dose, and the one at which I reached indifference, was 3.9 mgs. /kg of bodyweight. Thanks to baclofen and the friends that I made at the old forum I was able to maintain indifference at 2.5mgs/kg for 2 years, during which time my life improved dramatically. I felt that the forum really started to go downhill, thanks to several psychopathic malcontents, and I lost interest in it entirely. I’d pop in for Terryk and other’s annual success stories, but that was about it. As it turns out, the support and community was more important in my recovery than I realized. Around 2013, I had a scare when I ran low on baclofen and needed to reduce my dose quickly. I never bothered increasing it to where I had previously been. I’m currently on just enough to help with some anxiety. As would be expected, indifference passed, and I started drinking again on weekends. A little turned into a lot, and the weekends are starting to creep into my weeks on occasion. I’m in a drastically better place than I was 6 years ago when I showed up at MWO, but things are definitely not good and getting worse. In the coming months I’ll be ramping up on my dose and hope to have good news before too long. It’s encouraging to “see” familiar faces that have had continued success. If you are new, and like me, are still struggling with alcoholism, I can’t make any promises. Baclofen is as close to a “magic bullet” as we have in a medical option to this point and it lives up to the claims in terms of treatment of alcohol addiction. However, success is determined by commitment. Continued success, as the short history of this stupid, stupid man indicates, is determined by continued commitment.
  2. 11 points
    My name is TerryK and I'm no longer an alcoholic. I've been on high-dose baclofen for more than six years, and indifferent to alcohol for more than five. There is so much distance between who I am now, and the person I used to be, who *needed* to drink every.single.day to fall asleep, to quell anxiety, to lift depression, or to celebrate that it's hard to find new words to describe what that past was like - so I'm just going to borrow pieces from updates that I've written over the years on MWO and let them live here from now on (edited, and hopefully a bit more concise). 25 years ago - I started drinking in college. 19 years ago - I was drinking most nights, and probably pretty heavily on the weekends. It never got in the way of my life, my job, or anything really. I could stop if I really wanted to, with maybe a sweaty, sleepless night or two. I took a couple of weeks off here and there only when I had to. 13 years ago - I was drinking pretty heavily every night, and getting shitfaced on the weekends. I powered through my daily hangovers with aplomb. I could always wait until after work, or even after the gym, to start drinking, but absolutely, I needed at least 5 or 6 to fall asleep. I was concerned, but I wasn't able to cut back. 9 years ago - I could barely wait to get home from work to start drinking. I planned my days around where I could get alcohol. I carried a hip flask. I hid bottles in my house. I hid my drinking from my girlfriend. I considered a six-pack of pounders (8 US units) a sober night for me on weekdays, then I would get completely obliterated Friday and Saturday hoping to be able to taper back down to my 6 (8) beers a night maybe by Wednesday with Friday just around the corner. If I wasn't drunk enough when I went to bed, I would wake up after a few hours without being able to fall back asleep. I started drinking in the middle of the night. I started drinking in the morning. All efforts to cut back failed over and over. 7 years ago - My life was completely unraveling. I would wake up sometimes with a panicky, retching sickness that I could only stop with a couple of shots of hard liquor. I missed work. I snuck drinks on the job. I obtained some benzos to stave off my withdrawal during the day and wound up propelling my drinking to the stratosphere. I switched to the cheapest vodka. I sometimes drank mouthwash. My health was failing (Liver Panel, Gout, High Blood Pressure). I felt like I was dying. I wanted to die. I went to the ER a handful of times; Outpatient detox twice, and inpatient detox twice. 6 1/2 years ago - I got home from my 2nd inhouse detox and white-knuckled for the next 5 months without alcohol. Everyday seemed like a waste - I was miserable, and I made everyone else miserable. 6 years ago - After reading "The End of My Addiction," I started self-medicating with baclofen that I purchased online, soon after from a local psychiatrist. 5 years, 9 months ago - I was hospitalized while trying to titrate too quickly on baclofen. 150mg/day to 235+mg/day + a lot of alcohol. 5 1/2 years ago - I reached my "switch" - indifference to alcohol @ 280mg/day Today - Still cured of my alcoholism! Completely indifferent! I don't count days and it doesn't take any effort. I'm currently at 160mg/day down from 280mg/day on 9/26/10 (240-220mg/day in all of 2011, 200mg/day in 2012 and 2013, 180mg/day in 2014). After all of that time, no "other shoe has dropped" - my kidney function/blood work is fine, I'm still sharp and sane, and my indifference is solid despite the couple of beers I have occasionally. I am side-effect free. I don't like to give advice on how to take Baclofen, but if I were to hazard a guess as to the longevity of my success I would say that staying at/near my switch dose for so long, and titrating down very slowly might be the key. Some background: I'm in my 40's. I drank heavily for 20 years, just about every night for the first 15, and more often during the days, then 24/7 towards the end. Typical week night for me was 8 beers and almost a pint of scotch, weekends were no holds barred. In my late thirties I had 4 trips to the ER, 2 outpatient detoxes (lorazepam), and 2 inpatient detoxes (phenobarbital). Attempts at moderation invariably put me in the exact place I left off in a month or less. CBT, SSRI's, counseling, did zero. AA was a poor fit for me as well (to put it mildly). I did try Moderation Management online, and had no luck finding Rational Recovery. I read Ameisen's book in early 2010, and I stumbled upon MWO soon after. I began titrating in March 2010 with Fexobac baclofen ordered online from India (4rx.com) and Neuraxfam baclofen from Germany (Goldpharma). I was then extremely lucky to find a psychiatrist who began writing me a legit script in late spring 2010. Post "switch," my indifference has been effortless. My titration, however, was *definitely* not. I had very, very severe side-effects and wound up restrained in the ER and hospitalized for 5 days when I tried to increase my dose too high, too soon, and started drinking *A LOT.* Increasing 20mg/week was too rapid for me and I settled closer to 10mg/week, and even then, day 2 after the increase was always a doozy, with intense hallucinations and shocks to my hands/fingers. All in all, it took 7 months of slow, steady titration for me to find indifference @280mg/day. My answer to overcoming side-effects is 1) slow, steady titration 2) even dosing on an even schedule 60/60/60/60 at 6am/12pm/6pm/12am 3) consistency in brand of baclofen - don't interchange brands day to day and if you need to switch brands do it this way: (100% Brand A to 75% Brand A + 25% Brand B to 50% Brand A + 50% Brand B to 25% Brand A + 75% Brand B to 100% Brand B ). My yearly update on the old forum included a description of my post-baclofen alcohol consumption that read pretty much like this: "I occasionally have a beer or two (every couple of weeks or so). Except for the time I tried Amesien's "drink a bottle of whisky on baclofen and see if you have cravings the next day" experiment (I passed with flying colors) I haven't been drunk in all of this time (legally or literally), as it is, baclofen makes drinking more than a couple pretty unpleasant for me." I realize that I am lucky in this regard, and I do not believe that my experience means that continued safe, moderate drinking is possible for everyone else on baclofen. As I decrease my daily dose from year to year in an effort to find the minimum effective dose necessary to retain my indifference, I can admit that the beer is not as tasteless now as it was (impossible to drink really) at 280mg/day. However, I have learned with the help of baclofen, to live without alcohol as a cornerstone of my existence - I don't need booze anymore to relax, or socialize, or to help me sleep - and even though the anxiety is still very much present, I have learned coping skills that have kept me from turning to the bottle every time. I know that the future is uncertain, and there are no guarantees that it will last forever for me (especially as I continue to titrate lower - maybe even down to zero some day). The best I can do is to be on the lookout for falling back into bad habits, and to be as honest as I can be with myself about realities of the situation should things start to go south (admittedly a difficult task for those of us with a history of substance abuse). What I do know, is that I don't have to live in fear or anger over alcohol, and if I make any missteps along this path that I'm on, there will never be another day zero - it's been better than 5 really good years, and no matter what happens I will always continue to move forward. In upcoming posts, I'll detail my side-effects, my baclofen overdose, and put up some more links to my favorite articles on baclofen and addiction.... -tk
  3. 9 points
    My decline into alcoholism didn’t happen slowly. I took to alcohol like a fish to water because of its perfect anxiety-relieving properties. Drinking was the only time I ever really felt OK in my own skin. I began drinking alcoholically when I was 16, drinking almost every night to oblivion just to relieve the anxiety, depression, and insomnia I was going through at the time. It was a dark time in my life. I dropped out of high school. I just didn’t care about anything. Following a personal tragedy when I was 19 going on 20, I started drinking all day, every day, making sure to dull my consciousness at all times. Even after the pain had lifted somewhat, the habit was there, so this pattern of drinking continued for the next 16 years, with the exception of numerous short breaks following inpatient (or sometimes outpatient) detoxes and rehabs, as well as several successful tapers (usually with the help of my husband, who would hold on to my wallet and car keys, and take me every where I needed to go, while doling out smaller and smaller amounts of alcohol to me each day). Somehow I managed to stay semi-functional through it. I got my GED, then a college degree. I never came close to reaching my full potential, though, and I’ve been fired from jobs a few times when I started to drink too much during the day, to the point that it was noticed. I was usually pretty good at regulating myself, though, and was more of a maintenance drinker during the day, getting heavily buzzed or drunk only at night. It was no walk in the park, though. Besides the job losses, the problems in my marriage, and the legal problems brought on by my drinking, there was the every day misery. I was so physically exhausted that it drove me to tears on a near daily basis, and I threw up at least once a day. I had to master the art of silent puking so as not to be questioned by everyone around me. It was all so exhausting. I wanted to be sober more than anything else in the world, I just could not stop drinking. When I first heard about baclofen, I was elated. I had tried AA, rehabs, counseling, meditation, exercise, etc., etc., and nothing ever helped. The constant cravings were agonizing and I could never last more than a couple months before I’d start sneaking drinks again, and eventually end up in a full-blown relapse. The idea that I could simply not care about alcohol was intriguing to say the least, even if I didn’t quite believe that it would work. Anyway, my baclofen story is a little atypical. When I started on baclofen, my marriage was falling apart as a result of my drinking. I vowed that I would taper off of alcohol and quit drinking as I titrated up on baclofen. Over the course of two and half torturous weeks, I managed to reduce my alcohol intake from a liter and a half of vodka a day on average down to nothing. Problem is that the cravings were still overwhelming and I didn’t last. On day five AF I went to the liquor store and picked up just six or seven (can’t remember!) shot’s worth of vodka and bourbon on my way home and, much to my surprise, I didn’t feel that desperate need to run back out to the liquor store to get more like I had in the past when buying a small amount. I was actually satisfied. I don’t remember what dose I was on at the time. I know I titrated up pretty quickly in the beginning, then went very, very slowly through most of my titration. In any case, the next day the same thing happened, and the next, and the next. I never started to spiral out of control, but continued just drinking that much smaller amount each day. I continued on at that lower level of drinking for a very long time. I saw no further improvements as I went up in dose, probably at least in part because my titration schedule was so very damn slow. But then something happened while I was at 275 mg (and had been staying stagnant at 275 mg for months, for reasons I won’t go into), and for reasons personal to me, I decided to stop drinking entirely. Even though I was still experiencing cravings at that dose, baclofen had muted the cravings just enough that I was able to do it. Plus, the much smaller amount that I was drinking at that time, with AF days sprinkled in here and there, meant that I was no longer physically dependent and had the option to just stop. I started titrating up on bac as quickly as I could manage to get to my switch at that point and at 360 mg, I began to notice that I hadn’t thought about alcohol in days. And even when I did start to think of it, I had no interest in it whatsoever. These days I live my life effortlessly (essentially) alcohol-free. Alcohol is not on my mind, I just don’t want it. But sometimes, there are those occasional social outings where I will have a beer or two, or a glass of wine. There’s no compulsion to keep drinking whatsoever. I just enjoy my drink, enjoy my food, enjoy my company, then I leave and go on with my life. I have no desire to buy some on the way home and keep drinking when I get home, nor do I think about drinking again the next day. Baclofen has given me a freedom I never thought possible. It has made me a non-alcoholic
  4. 8 points
    The conference in Paris went well. We took the train in from the airport and when we got off at our stop and came up onto the road, the hotel was in front of us. Very cute little place called the Observatoire Luxembourg: https://www.google.com.cy/search?q=hotel+observatoire+luxembourg&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2kKXiv5LQAhVGF8AKHYD5BbwQ_AUICCgB&biw=1440&bih=805 The lecture theatre was a few blocks away. We spent the first day walking around the Jardins du Luxembourg. https://www.google.com.cy/search?q=jardins+du+luxembourg&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiI1863wJLQAhXJAsAKHT67BTYQ_AUICCgB&biw=1440&bih=805 The conference was actually a colloquium where the various researchers and professors involved in the baclofen trials gave their updates on what was happening. Amanda Stafford was there from Australia and there was a businessman from Holland who has set up a baclofen rehab business. It seems that two of the trials were successful in showing a good result for baclofen with about 60% of baclofen users showing improvement with either reduced drinking or abstinence. Two of the trials don't appear to have been very successful in showing baclofen does anything. There was a lot of discussion about why this was but the result of it was that baclofen now seems headed for approval as a drug treatment for alcoholism in France. I am not sure when this is going to take place. During one of the talks, a man stood up in the lecture theatre and started talking over the speaker, saying that the results of the trials were subjective. I wasn't paying much attention to him but he seemed very angry and he left as soon as he had finished his comments. I think what was happening was that the speaker was making fun of the way in which one of the other trials had been conducted and this fellow took offence. Apart from that, everything went well. I was last to make my presentation and had been sitting from 9 am until 5 pm and by the time I spoke, I was quite stressed from the anticipation of speaking in French in front of a lot of university professors, doctors and baclofen users. I got through the talk ok but found it quite stressful. I had some good comments afterwards and I think I got my point across about the legal implications of a new way of looking at alcoholism. The next day my wife and I went for an open top bus tour of Paris which was a hoot. What an incredible city. I recommend that if you go, definitely do the tour because you can jump on and off the bus for three days and see every site in Paris and stay as long as you like before getting on another bus. That's about it. We went home the next day. Wish we had stayed longer but our son was starting back at school. I had a chance to speak to Dr. Stafford. She is very enthusiastic about baclofen and will be an asset to the alcohol recovery world. She is taking her message about baclofen to doctors in the UK and elsewhere, to talk to hospitals and doctors about prescribing baclofen. She is a very impressive speaker and puts the case very well. Since she has first hand experience of baclofen working in very serious cases, it's going to be very hard for any doctors to ignore what she says. It's very encouraging to hear a doctor speaking in public quite confidently about it. She has the backing of her hospital and the health services in Perth. The problem in Scotland is that the doctors using baclofen there did not have the backing of their hospitals. The good thing is that she said that this drug lived up to its promise and did help very serious cases of alcoholism. She intends to try using this treatment for drug abuse. Apparently about one third of males in Western Australia have an amphetamine problem. Since then we have been trying to get to grips with our own situation. Lots of problems and changes. Too much to discuss and not a lot of good news, to be honest. I was interested to read Neophyte's posts about drinking heavily at the beginning of baclofen treatment. I would like to know if anyone has that experience and what causes if because we are finding the same, starting over. Very worrying.
  5. 8 points
    Check this out https://www.thefix.com/baclofen-alcoholics Also, can someone tell me how to make the topic heading bold? Thanks.
  6. 8 points
    I'm 65 years old and I have had a drinking problem since I was in my mid to late 20s. I'm an only child in a family that moved around a lot when I was a kid. I went to 14 schools in all and ended up shy and socially awkward, always keeping myself a bit aloof from others. I never made friends easily. In my college years I smoked a lot of dope. I was away from home – my parents still living abroad and I developed what I now believe to be cannabis induced psychosis. My life was disorganised, I had no life skills and it all went to pieces. It was relatively mild as the condition goes, but one effect was the start of a life-long struggle with anxiety. At the time the anxiety was at times completely crippling and left me curled up on a sofa my arms wrapped around me, trying to stop my anxious thoughts. In later life it has much reduced but I am sure I remain at the higher end of the anxiety spectrum. I discovered that alcohol handled the anxiety pretty well. The mental anguish that came with the condition lasted into my early thirties, though thankfully the paranoia that was a symptom to begin with eased off after two or three monstrously difficult years. Later of course, I learned the hard way that regular daily drinking generates an anxiety all of its own. Despite all that I managed to get two degrees by the time I was 28, my first at Art School and then at Uni studying Social Work. Later I qualified as a teacher and then took on an MA and then a further post grad qualification. I mntion this not in any way to brag, but to remind anyone who doubts it that the homeless alcoholic in the gutter is probably not the most typical. The average guy is. I did OK with my chosen career and was successful, as these things are measured I suppose, reaching the top of my particular greasy pole by the end of my career – one that ended five years ago as I applied for early retirement. I drank all thorough those years, which included two marriages and a third long term relationship, which I am in now. I had two children, both of who are grown up and doing well. I love them both and we are close, which is a blessing. I drank to relax and to suppress anxiety. And then of course I drank – and still do – because I am addicted to alcohol. As these things are measured the amount I drank was on the moderate side, as alcoholics go. Four cans of beer a night for many years and a bottle and a half of wine in later years. Whatever the amount it was alcoholic drinking- dependent drinking. I have tried to stop many times. I have had periods ranging from a year here, six months there and last year a further 10 months. To do this I used methods ranging from self control and will power, to counselling and several times AA, an organisation I ultimately grew to mistrust and dislike intensely, which is not to dismiss the help it has given many people. I don't very much like or feel comfortable with the me – the mental and internal me that emerges once I am sober for a while. Not my personality - I think I am kind and a decent human being. I am tolerant, forgiving and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. I have never had what AA refers to as 'resentments'. Alcohol however has made me weaker than I should be. Less tough when it counts than I should be. The 'me' that I don't like when I am sober for long periods is simply a rather tenser and more anxious person than I am when I drink. My whole 'self' tightens up ever so slightly and I never truly relax. My most recent attempt to stop drinking was by using baclofen. I read Dr Ameison's book, The End of My Addiction, found a forum where it was discussed and started taking the tablets. I built up the dosage to 140 mg and then stalled. I think I increased the dose too fast and I experienced unusually unpleasant side effects in the process. I also struggled with some negativity about the 'baclofen route' and found managing large quantities of the drug – purchasing it and managing it a bit stressful. I decided to stop taking baclofen – which is to say to slowly reduce the dosage over time - at that point and also to stop drinking. It was pretty easy too – perhaps because of the residual effect of baclofen. I stayed sober then for a two and a half months before drinking again. I firmly believe that baclofen can and does work. I trust and believe the people who have said as much, however don't be fooled into thinking it is an easy route or that baclofen is a magic pill that will take your desire to drink away. It takes time and effort and for most people tolerating side effects – not dangerous ones but sometimes unpleasant enough ones. Alcohol has been with me all my life. It has been a crutch and it has been my saviour. It has also been my master and made me its slave. Sometimes the bargain feels worth it but much of the time it feels like a bad deal. I don't know if I will ever be free of it.
  7. 8 points
    Hi all, I originally wrote my story on mywayout.org, which was instrumental in assisting me. The "being part of something" that the forum at the time invoked was massive (and Ne must take credit for that as well), unfortunately it's gone now, but hopefully will be replaced by this forum. I think it's extremely helpful to have a system in place when you do something like this. Particularly, I found that because baclofen is such a weird experience, it really feels like something that, let alone a doctor, but a team of people, should be around you whilst you're going through. Having taken several mind-altering drugs, my experience is that few of them actually compare with baclofen, both in terms of immediate effect, and far-reaching consequences... (ellipsis for effect!). Meanwhile, back at the ranch, help is unavailable from all quarters... People unaccustomed to feeling different as a result of chemicals (apart from booze, of course!), may well find themselves uncomfortable when going this route, when their doctor has advised against it. That said, I cannot stress enough what a difference taking this drug has made to my life. It really is like one of those fairly-tale stories, and even involves big-pharma, for those who dig conspiracies. Get another doctor. Do it. I was a fun drinker. I mean, I had fun, but not many other people did. I was fortunate that, apart from car crashes (in Zimbabwe, drunk driving depends on how much money you're caught with), arguments, and the imminent dissolution of marriage as a result of being fucked every night, there were "minimal" consequences. I hadn't gone as far down the road as some, but I had the road firmly in my sights, and was accelerating. And accelerating gladly. In a discussion with my wife just prior to baclofen, I had declared that I would rather have booze than my family, and was sincere. In a a last ditch effort, I Googled alcoholism cures, and lo and fucking behold, but some of them pop up. Coming from a rehab background, this was incredible. Having been at rehab, why the fuck had this not been discussed, especially considering that I had specifically mentioned that to me it felt like something was wrong in my head, and had nothing to do with morals; surely this should have at least been mentioned? My original thread on mywayout was entitled something along the lines of "fucking unbelievable", IRRC. Anyway, that aside, on a January morning in 2011 I went to the Dr, and laid out my spiel. This being Zimbabwe, he immediately went and gave me a prescription for 240mg, despite me forgetting all my literature at home, which I went up to in about 3 weeks, It's not a titration i would recommend, but I would like to point here that going up on baclofen is not necessarily something to feared - I had several highly enjoyable experiences - at one point, for several days, I felt like I was on ecstacy, at other times my vision was all weird, but in a good way, and a lot of the time I felt like I was pleasantly stoned. On the hole, I actually enjoyed my titration experience. This, in the face of a titration that was probably way too fast, my personality came out, and I wanted to see what this drug could do for me. Note that this is an unusual experience, and the quicker you go, the more likely you are to feel odd - if that sits with you ok, then go for it. Amidst all the weird feelings, and red eyes (which made work kind of tough, but the more you do baclofen the more you can adjust and measure it's effects, to the point where after a year at most, there are no effects to manage), and looking kind of spaced, something very strange happened to me. At dinner on the 21st of January, 2011, after one glass of wine, I suddenly felt the wine wasn't... sitting well doesn't describe it, there was simply no urge to have another. This was an actual feeling that I can remember clearly, it being the first time it had ever happened to me... This in mid-dinner, that was normally a prelude to a party. I was floored. I was with my wife, and tears actually came out of my eyes. I was in mid-drink, and suddenly I was voluntarily putting a handbrake on. Something that had only happened if I was extremely hung, and my body couldn't take anymore. Here, at the beginning of a session, I was ready to just talk to people and chill. Bliss settled in for a while. I had the ability to drink a couple, then relax, go to bed, and be "normal". Man, this is taking too long - I want to give it some attention, but need an early night - I'll carry on when I get back from camping. If you're thinking of trying baclofen at this point, I can only urge you to give it a try, There are still a few bumps in my story, and life is far from perfect, but this chemical has made it possible for the problems to be of my making, rather than a chemical imbalance in my brain that dominated my life up to 2011. I wish you the same success, with this problem, and all the others. Better living through chemistry. Back in a week or so..., stay good everyone.
  8. 7 points
    I'm back. After leaving MWO last September I'm pleased to say that I've not come back because things have gotten worse. In many regards, things have improved and I'm ahead now of where I thought I would be then. The reason that I've come back is that the things I care most about- creating a sense of closeness with others, creating something to leave behind, getting a sense of self respect- have gone absolutely nowhere. They've gone nowhere because they are the things above all else that I fear the most, and alcohol is the first place I turn to avoid them. This past weekend's wakeup call, although underwhelming and nothing that I would have considered unusual a year ago, really drove this home. Friday I drank (alone) by my fire pit. Saturday I drank (much more than) my family in the evening over a BBQ. Sunday I had planned to get some things done to make up for blowing off the previous two evenings, but despite knowing how much I'd hate myself for throwing the day away, despite knowing full well how much drinking would affect the next couple of days, three terrifying words went through my mind that I had not uttered to myself in a long time: I DON'T CARE. I thought those words had disappeared from my vocabulary two years ago after tapering off of baclofen. In reality, they've always been in the background, popping up this Friday night or that Tuesday evening when I didn't want to do what I should have been doing or simply had nothing else to do. What was terrifying about yesterday was that I expressed that sentiment to myself in explicit terms, accepted it and signed off on it. This is not about drunkenness- I don't get drunk nearly as much as I used to. It's not about work or money- I keep those areas of my life heavily walled off from alcohol after learning the hard way. What this is about is that alcohol is and has always been the first thing I run to when I'm afraid to engage in life. It doesn't matter that it only amounts to between 10-15 drinks a week- it's a major problem and it's destroying my life. In the past, I've made successful changes in my life when a confluence of circumstances made them known, desirable and attainable. I think that this is one of those junctures. The need for change is known: last summer I felt exactly like this. It's desirable: I absolutely cannot live a life where months of my life emotionally disappear from my memory. It's attainable: my living circumstances have improved and I now have a small social circle to engage with. The finish line for my final debt payoff (another excuse I use to avoid people because I have to "remain focused") is going to be around Halloween. I have enough baclofen to reach a switch before then and taper off afterwards. Between now and then, I'm not accepting alcohol as an excuse to compromise my quality of life when I know that there are bridges that need to be built and wounds that need to be healed. For the next 4 months, I'm going to update this thread to chronicle reaching the switch again with a fresh set of eyes. The first time around circumstances were so dire that baclofen was little more than a crutch to limp to higher ground, but I made it. This thread is not about escaping the catastrophe- it's about mustering the courage to run back towards it.
  9. 7 points
    Hi all, I just love the diversity of this forum. Loop, I would love to know more about your work. Stuck, it's still in the 60's here, but it's warming up. My b/d tomorrow, always follows summer solstice and I haven't spent it in weather this cool since I lived in the UK (lol). I have befriended a couple of kids who like my dog age 3 and 14. Apparently dad got laid off and they've been living w/o electricity for about a week. On Saturday the 14 yr old had that very sad look and stare. This isn't bragging on myself but an opportunity to see how enthusiasm works. On Sunday they (all kids) were all gathered around the picnic tables so I ordered a couple of large pizzas for them and told him about a cherry tree close to us. Monday, cherries were picked and signs were up charging 2 cents a cherry. He had 2 goals 1) to earn his first dollar; 2) to reach a goal of $5 and a wish for $10. He made his first 2 and was 43 cents away from the $10. Setting goals and achieving them was a great boost to him and he became so enthused he was bouncing and told me he hadn't had this much fun for a long time. This wasn't fun because he'd played a video game or gotten a new tablet it emanated from a 14 yr. old setting a goal, executing it and enjoying that sense of achievement that no amount of money can buy. I felt privileged to be part of it. Today I took him old magazines and paperbacks and tomorrow he comes to change a light bulb, move a table and vacuum living room and each job is $2.00 and are things I can't do with the back injuries.
  10. 7 points
    Greetings! Just a quick drop in. Will post more later. Stuck -- First, there is a documentary I saw recently called "love the nature". It looks like it's screening later in June in Orange County. Here's the website http://www.lovethynature.com/screening. Check it out and please take your girlfriend. You may decide it's bullshit, but it will at least keep her from killing herself over the environment. It is a tad bit hopeful on the environment, and while it might be a stitch, it is interesting and science-based while also spiritual and holistic. The trip was awesome. Very healing for my brother and myself (I'll expand on this later). Also great time with my kids. I drank on this trip. Every other night I had a beer at dinner and the kids shared it with me. I had 23 or 24 days of AF when this happened. It didn't throw me into cravings. I didn't want more than what I ordered. In fact, the last night of the trip my brother ordered me a second beer when I went the the bathroom, and I only took a few sips out of it and made him finish it. I haven't had anything now for 2 days, and I don't want anything. Will let you know if anything changes, but I'd call that indifferent. I'm steady on 120 mg. of Bac and 1,500mg of Gaba. The Gaba for me has made all the difference. In my mood, lack of anxiety, lack of nerve pain, and general sense of pretty-darn-goodness. Will post more later. My partner has had some major health issues, as has my daughter. My son may either be gay, or just very metro-sexual. I'm a lesbian, so having a gay child is not a huge deal, but it is a little odd because it just never occurred to me that this was possible (clueless much?). Anyway, my point is that I haven't wanted to drink because of any of this, or to deal with any of this. So far, so good. Love the liveliness on the forum. Right on!
  11. 7 points
    Before I drank at 16, I was an anxious person. Not like it was always there, or obvious to others when it was. I was like the duck in the pond; I may have looked calm but underneath I was paddling hard. I remember clearly at age 14 or so being at a school disco and too frightened to ask a girl to dance. I ending up going for a walk and crying, asking God why was I so scared, and how I felt so useless. It was a common theme, the feeling less capable and confident than most, and often fearful of doing things lest I look like a fool. Perhaps this is typical teenage angst, but I remember having these thoughts well before my teenage years. I first had AL when I was perhaps eight or nine. It was vodka at my Russian grandparents' house, for Easter or Christmas, I don't remember. I also don't remember much about it except it made me feel warm inside. I wan't allowed more than a sip I think. At 16 I got drunk for the first time and like all the other times to follow, AL gave me the most fantastic feeling of being part of the world, calm, in control. As with most of us, it came with a cost, which for many years I was willing to pay. My drinking was cut short at 21 when I started going to AA with a second-uncle, who was sober nine years in AA. I took a while to get sober, including a couple of detoxes. At 24, I finally got sober, which I remained for the following 11 years. In that time, I still felt like a fraud in AA. I tried doing the steps, again and again. I'd go to at least a meeting a day, got hard-line sponsors, went to rally, etc etc. I still felt anxious, but now had no way of relieving it. Praying didn't help. I found social situations of almost any kind incredibly stressful. AA meetings were kind-of okay, because I went to so many of them. Even new meetings, where I would be anxious to get up, I had a 'routine' I could roll out when sharing. Telling my story was easy because I had told it so many times in AA. I had my first clear episode of depression at about 27. I was driving to Uni one morning and just burst into tears. I wasn't suicidal, but remember feeling incredibly black. AA, sobriety, praying; none of it worked. I started running again, got to the point I could do a 14.4km fun run in 67min. The running helped, but it wasn't a cure-all. By 35, I had stopped going to meetings for 3 years. By then I was married to a woman who I felt like I talked into marring me 2 years before. I felt that being marred would make me more normal, I wanted to make up for lost time. I was not happy with life. I felt as though I was hollow. So one evening at home by myself, I bought beer. A year later I was separated (the best thing to happen, and not directly linked to my drinking. The marriage was going south before that). The drinking was hell, but I had starting running again, the first time in 8 years. Being fit helped withstand the Al benders, but only for a time. I started smoking as well, so that plus increasing benders and worse hangovers, the running stopped. I met my 2nd wife, who I am still married to, at 37. We met drunk at a party, and so that was our first common bond. My wife stopped drinking when pregnant with our first child, and so did I -- my drinking was bad, and not so easily forgiven when she was sober and not part of the fun. She could see how bad my drinking was. So back to AA. I got a born-again Christian sponsor, and even told my wife one day that she was not close enough to God. Clearly, I was crackers. I stayed sober from age 40 to 45. My wife had started to drink again, and we held lots of drunken parties with other parents. So I eventually cracked, and began drinking myself. In this time of sobriety, at about 44, the depression hit again, with force. I was tired all the time, often became teary or terse. My wife suggest I get help. I ended up on anti-depressants, which helped. At 45, I was drinking again, and it quickly became shambolic. At around 47, I started to try to get help to stop. I wasn't going to AA again. I went to a psychiatrist, who prescribed naltrexone, then campral. Neither worked. Then Antibuse, which gave me a break from the daily drinking, but did nothing for the cravings. I would stop taking it, so I could drink to relieve the cravings. I also tried mindfulness and things like Rational Recovery. Also hypnosis. None worked. I'm not sure how I discovered Baclofen, perhaps on an online forum. I got a scrip for it from my psychiatrist in May 2014, but didn't fill it. I couldn't subscribe to a regimen of taking several doses a day of a medication. Surely one magic pill of some type a day was enough? By the end of 2014 I'd had enough and would try anything. Then a relative sent me a link to a Bac trial being held by Sydney Uni and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I joined the trial in Jan 15. The doses in this double-blind trial were either 15, 30(?) or a placebo. I was sure I was on something, as I'm sensitive to drugs. But whatever it was, it was not enough. Without Antibuse (I was not allowed to take it on the trial) my drinking took off. I couldn't get a break from it, as I could by taking Antibuse. So by about March 15, I ended my participation in the trial, and wen to see my Dr to go on Bac proper. She declined to give me Bac, so I said I already had a script from my psych. She said to have that filled and try it. Of course she had no idea about Bac for AL abuse, or the high dosages required. By about May, I had hit the switch on 75mg Bac per day. But in June, my mum had a stroke and and had declined. her health had not been good for a couple years, but this time it was different. She called for everyone so that she could say good-bye. After two weeks of going every day to the hospital and staying with mum for a couple of hours, I became depressed. My cravings returned, and I started to drink. It took me until October to pull up again; by this time I had titrated unto 185mg of Bac per day. I soon started to titrate down, thinking that if I could hit the switch at 75mg, then surely I could get back to a similar level as a maintenance dose. I think the cravings returned in early December. I had titrated down to 120mg. I also had become depressed again. We were to have a xmas party on 12 December, and I was having ideas about drinking at the party. On 11 December, my mother died. When I got the call from the nursing home that she had died, i was in shock. I couldn't believe it was her -- she had rallied after illness before. Surely they had made a mistake? I had just driven past the nursing home with the kids, so I'm glad we didn't drop in to see her. She would've probably have already been dead. The night my mum died, after I had called my siblings and went to see dad to tell him, I started to drink again. The drinking continued until late January, when I had titrated up to 185mg again, and the cravings left. In late Feb, I had two drinking episodes. So I changed the times of my afternoon doses, and have had no cravings since. Even though I have a couple side-effects (somnolence and back aches) the rewards are manifold. I have a life, a full life. That is thanks to Baclofen. 9 April 16 -- Baclofen has brought about a huge change in my life but it's still early days. I have found that I still have moments of depression, moments where I don't feel as though I enjoy life, or enjoy the things that usually bring me joy. I also have had a few moments of incredible peace, but it's not consistent. We have gone away for a long weekend break to a beautiful wilderness resort with my father. He has taken the death of my mum hard, of course, but this weekend has cheered him up. Lots to add, will do so soon. No cravings, just the occasional thought of having a drink, quickly dismissed.
  12. 6 points
    Thanks, gents. This feels good! Sorta. Day 7 here, and definitely not drinking. Haven't had a week completely free of alcohol in... a very long time. Maybe a year? Who knows, as I didn't used to feel the need to keep track, but now I'm on a mission. Ed's off today and lots of chores and feel good activities planned. Including some very much needed intimacy. Is it that we've been married for so long, or that we're so estranged, or that when I was taking ADs for more than a year I had no interest in sex that we now plan it ahead of time? Whatever. I'll take it. Sorry if that's too personal. It is. I'm going to regret posting it. But it's the truth so I'll leave it. Last time I got sober the sex went from good to transcendent. Here's hoping that the same thing happens this time. Okay, someone else post something quickly!
  13. 6 points
    So after spending the hour with my therapist talking only about the election results, and then showing up at my bff's house to find her literally crying, with yesterday's mascara on her cheeks, I am completely emotionally exhausted. But I didn't drink today, so there's that.
  14. 6 points
    I have been off the air and drunk most days for the last 7 or so months. I have begun to make posts on here but wound up deleting them and walking away. Some of the guys on here may know me from MWO,I am on day 1 again and thought to myself that it was time to posts on here. Hoping to find some support but not looking for positive affirmations and fairy floss. I hope all are well out there that I used to regularly communicate with. Cheers Stevo.
  15. 6 points
    Hello BC, I haven't tried Nal, but actually just recommended it to a young man who isn't necessarily interested in not drinking, but wants to rein it in and not go overboard any longer. I was prescribed Nal, along with Baclofen initially. I decided against trying the Nal and just went in for the kill after finding MWO a few years back. I didn't necessarily want to just dull the effects of the high. What I found/find debilitating is the cravings that can occupy my every waking minute when I'm in the throes of active addiction. Baclofen does the trick for me where that is concerned, however, I do have to stop drinking entirely for a about 10 days to two weeks for that effect to take hold. I still haven't been able to stay completely AF forEver. I do have long stints of AF time, followed by actively ramping up the drinking -- I have found I can drink over any switch/medication with enough persistence. That's just how I roll. I am in the midst of a dry run right now... coming up on six weeks. What I find is that these long dry spells bring about a different kind of soul crushing emptiness that has me yearning for the relief of a drink. I'm once again trying to soldier through and find my way to the other side of it. Being human is not as much fun as the brochure promised. Stick around and keep posting. The board here does go quiet from time to time, but if you scream loud enough, someone will come to your aid.
  16. 6 points
    Hello, I just joined this forum and thought I would introduce myself. I am in my mid 50's and live in California and have been trying to get sober since 2010. Alcohol is my drug of choice and it has caused a lot of problems in my life, primarily personal with my family and friends. I've been through two outpatient programs, countless AA meetings, SMART recovery, and counseling and nothing seems to blunt the cravings. I have tried Topomax, Naltrexone (both normally and through the Sinclair Method), and Campral. None of those had any sustained effect, although I did reduce my intake through the Sinclair Method. The longest sustained period of sobriety that I have managed is 7 months and that was in 2010. I'm an early riser and the first cravings hit in the morning (8:00 am) and grow in number and intensity as the day goes on. They reach a crescendo in the late afternoon (5:00 pm) and subside in the mid evening around 7:00 or 8:00 pm (whether I drink or not). Eating dinner always helps and idle time is never a good thing. My wife and I are empty nesters and I have a fair amount of free time on my hands, which I try to fill but am not always successful. I typically drink 1 pint of vodka in a concentrated period of time in the mid afternoon and then am done for the day. This is not to say that I don't on occasion drink more, but that is my typical pattern. My health is beginning to suffer as a result and I am just sick and tired of this. I and my family deserve better than this. But that voice in my head never takes a day off, ever.... I read Dr. Amiesen's book about 6 weeks ago. Naturally the notion of craving reduction/suppression intrigued me, so I decided to investigate further. I did some research and decided to go see my GP. He was supportive and willing to prescribe Baclofen off-label up to 40 mg initially. I went to see him a second time and he was willing to go higher based on some data that I provided to him. I started the medication on 8/16 at 10 mg and increased the dosage up to 110 mg by 9/2. From the beginning I was having side effects, the most noticeable of which are shortness of breath, nasal congestion, tightness in my throat and chest, tingling in my hands (although I had this prior to starting Baclofen), grogginess, increased muscle tension, sometime feeling of shocks, inability to concentrate, and generally feeling like shit. Rather than relaxing me, Baclofen seems to have the opposite effect. It should be noted that being the good drunk that I am I kept drinking during the first two and a half weeks and over last weekend the side effects started to intensify. I am very physically active and have continued to exercise every day despite these physical issues. On the plus side I have noticed that the cravings are reduced and easier to deal with. As a result I have been sober for all of 4 days now. I have also reduced my Baclofen intake to 60 mg per day. My hope is that these issues are going to reduce and eventually taper off. I am noticing that I am gradually feeling better, but many of the side effects are persisting. If anyone has any guidance on these issues I would appreciate the feedback. None of these feel life threatening and are in some ways similar to being hung over, which is a state that I am sadly well accustomed to feeling. Hopefully I can become one of the success stories here one day and return the favor. Thanks for reading.
  17. 6 points
    I am bac at it, beginning with 12mg this evening. Today was rough, really rough. But I made it through and am home now until work again on Thursday. Still a ton of grading to do, but I'll spend the day tomorrow doing that. The plan is to go very very slowly, and I don't think I want to go very high. 150 was good last time, we'll see how it goes.
  18. 6 points
    Hi Folks Enjoy Dr Amanda Stafford’s videos on Baclofen against alcoholism. Dr Amanda Stafford’s is working on Emergency Department, Royal Perth Hospital (Australia). Practical Protocol for Prescribing Baclofen From one man’s experience to 100,000 patients Abstinence or Social Drinking on Baclofen? Baclofen Assisted Alcohol Withdrawl Paris to Perth - How I found Baclofen Does Baclofen help with other addictions? How long does Baclofen treatment need to be for? Why does Baclofen fail in some patients? Anxiety and Alcoholism - the missing piece of the puzzle What other treatments can help when treating alcoholism with baclofen? If Baclofen is so great why isn’t everyone using it already? Tips for Tough Cases Why Baclofen is not PBS subsidised for alcohol addiction treatment? Slow release Baclofen - Is it possible? DonQuixote
  19. 6 points
    So this is my 4th day AF and I think I'm definetly indifferent? Cant believe I've got here below my original switch of 180mg so now I'm putting all my effort into loosing weight now that I'm not drinking and not eating half as much. Im going to guard my switch and not going down any time in the near future.Ive got a good supply from Goldpharma and defo not telling my gp this time even though I've been prescribed Nalmefene by local alcohol services
  20. 6 points
    Stuck I saw the posts, I assume you are referring to, in two ways Firstly, it was pointing out that their dream was that this was going to be a forum where the sober helped out the drunk, with advise and sagely words and it was not to be site for the ramblings of a drunken school teacher with no intention of reaching sobriety Secondly, it was frustration at you and Ne for not being able to reach either sobriety or a position where you/her were drinking at a level of normality (Like most people do) I have to admit, I shared, at least the second observation - Ne will tell you how I feel about her "not pulling herself together" - Although I hate myself for saying it, she knows what I mean and why I say it I love your thread - Your writings make me laugh and cry - The comedy that you manage to portray through such a serious subject is epic - I sometimes wonder where you are going but then you go a couple of days sober and things look up again I am not so blind to understand that abstinence is not the only way to being sober, likewise I do not think Baclofen is the only "way out" method or attitude to have The diversifying thing about a forum is that everyone has different ideas and beliefs, it is about sticking to where you feel comfortable You know, NS once said to me that it was odd that on MWO the nesters and the Medication members never mixed - I tried for a while, myself to mix in both and you know what, it does not mix - Rather like we are finding here, some areas do not mix - SK is looking for sobriety and looking after the newbies and you are after a different area, using your given talents to record you progress - Neither is wrong Mate, your a funny guy - I wonder if you feel you would not be as funny, entertaining and infectious if you were sober - Only you know that answer but what I do know is you cannot go on living like this forever If I have totally misread you post SK, I apologise Peace Bruva Bacman
  21. 6 points
    I'm at day 14. Feeling much better. The bac/gaba combo is kicking in and without the alcohol running interference, it seems to be doing wonders. My mood is pretty stable, the brain fog clearing. All that jazz. I have gone up again on Gaba and spreading it out over the day. That seems to be combatting a lot of the nerve pain, so fingers crossed there. I know Ne is a busy bee, and guessing Stuck is out knocking on doors for Bernie, but I'd like to see posts from either or both sooner rather than later. However they're feeling and whether or not those feelings have taken them into a bottle of booze or not.
  22. 6 points
    Hello good people, Ne - I'm stoked that you've been able to sort out the Prius - I was feverishly trying to find a cheap fix for you from afar. Sounds like the stars aligned for you guys. So glad for you! I'm sorry to hear about the friction between you and Ed. Time is the healer. I hope you guys work it out. LIS - You are able to give everyone the most kind, loving feedback. You are a really so thoughtful, and have given me such hope with your comments. Thank you so much. I hope that you can face the dope use you use to escape. I know you've mentioned exercise - have you given meditation a solid go? Sorry, I'm not anyone to suggest anything, but it sounds like you have a stressful life (I relate to that!) and I know that Bac alone is not the answer. Bacman, you will have no chance against my father re: an Englishman abroad. I am already wincing at the thought of dad 'on hols'. I'll know all about it in two weeks... Stuck -- You have been posting a lot, then nothing. What's happening with you? Let us know dude. I'd love to meet you one day, to swap stories. I have an Eng Lit degree, but you could blast holes through it I'm sure! Dun - that's so cool abt your trip to Iceland with your kids. I bet parts of it will be stressful (have you so contingencies for that? - I ask because I'm doing something similar soon) but it sounds like an awesome trip. What you said about your children' genes - Wow! I think it's exciting the prospect of 'new' relatives you might find. Maybe it's just me. I'm sure facing that would be stressful, but all I can say is go girl. I think it's a chance to give your children a richer context. Have I forgotten anyone? I'm sorry if I have. I don't have anything to say about me. I'm fine. No, really. Oh okay, you've pushed me to say something about me. It's only though my sense of forum duty that I do. I'm drinking one evening, not the next. Bac works one evening, not the next. I have found that the anxiety that plagued me before anti-depressants has come back - despite my continued use of SSRIs. It hits me mid-afternoon. I just feel that pit of the stomach, fight or flight feeling. I try to breathe, try to move past it, but it's difficult. My wife's work had just gone off. I met her as a secretary 12 years ago; she's now a dep director of a govt dept. A very bright woman. Also an alcoholic like me. It is a struggle when I'm sober to deal with her drunkedness every evening. Anyway, I am sorry to be so negative. I looked on MWO recently, and saw all the loving support you all gave me. I'm trying to not do the AA guilt thing now. But it feels bad and fucking frustrating to still be drinking. I am a good man. Just not very good where Al is concerned.
  23. 6 points
    I was the one who pm'd Ne. She has asked me to post my issues here. I subscribed financially and expected a lot more than I've been getting regarding living happily in sobriety and helping newcomers. I am very frustrated with Both Ne and Stuck and not because they are drinking, but because THEY DON'T WANT TO GET SOBER. Sobriety doesn't fall into your lap while you are sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself or vomiting in your bed. Stuck, if I were paying for a drunk to teach my kids with MY hard-earned money, I would be pissed and you also claim self-pity. Ne, I take your posts with a grain of salt b/c I don't know if you've been drinking. Self-pity is one of those emotions that are fucking useless and never attractive, I was raised by stiff upper lip English parents, so it was never accepted. Self-pity denotes laziness and an unwillingness to help oneself. Why do you post when you're not looking for sobriety? Ne, I look at your post the other day where you are in debt, never passed your expensive school certificates, and wished you'd gone for a higher degree? Really? Sobriety and life management takes work and neither of you are willing to do that so you continue to drink and don't function in any positive way.
  24. 6 points
    Being embarrassed about drinking on a forum for people who drink too much is, dare I say, somewhat daft. That's why you are here, it's why I am here, and it's generally why everyone is here. You are in the right place doing the right thing. Keep going. It will come together.
  25. 6 points
    Hi All. Sorry I haven’t been around as of late. I’ve been in a funk/massive anxiety state/smoking my body weight in weed, with huge kief hits on top, to deal with everything. Anyway, the meeting with my boss went well - better than expected. My boss told me that he’s happy with the changes that I’ve made so far, and that so long as I keep up the changes I’ve already made and continue improving, that I still have a place with the company. Thank all that is beautiful in the universe!!!!! I really couldn’t afford to lose this job and I think I will finally sleep peacefully tonight for a change. Thanks, Ne and Stuck for your thoughts. Otter - I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. My heart goes out to you. I agree with others that the situation may be more than you can handle and needs professional guidance. In any case, you’re in my thoughts. I hope things start to look up for both of you really soon. Ne - I’m sorry you’re still wrestling with depression and lack of motivation to do anything. That undoubtedly feeds into the “fuck it, I’ll just give in and drink” mindset. I understand completely how difficult it is to try to stop drinking when you’re not yet at the dose of baclofen where quitting drinking is easy. I stopped drinking when I was at 275 mg. I didn’t reach indifference until 360 mg. So I understand your pain. My situation was a little different because I had a husband threatening to leave me if he ever found out I was drinking again, so my motivation was pretty damn high. But the cravings were tough to deal with at first, for sure. I had to get by by keeping myself as thoroughly distracted as I could. If thoughts of drinking popped into my head, I tried my best to redirect them towards whatever else it was I was doing when it happened, things like refocusing on what I was reading, or refocusing on enjoying nature as I went for a walk. I often had to refocus many, many times even in the same hour, or even for hours at a time. Some times it felt like the cravings would never go away, but they always did. It sucked, but with persistence, I made it through and eventually reached my goal. The key is to stay engaged in doing things, and don’t leave idle time for your mind to travel to the liquor store without you. I’m not suggesting that you have to maintain perfect abstinence (or feel badly if you don’t), but quitting at a sub-par dose of baclofen is doable - uncomfortable, but doable. Just think of it this way - how much harder would it be to quit if you didn’t have any bac in your system. You’ve already come a long way, and the cravings are substantially lessened compared to what they were pre-bac. Use that edge you have now to propel yourself towards as many AF days as you can manage. I don’t mean to pressure you, but you said yourself you don’t have the time or energy to wait until you’re at the right dose to quit comfortably. I hope everyone else out there is having a good one.
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