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guardian

6 years later, back where it all began

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guardian

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.

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Molly78

Welcome, guardian.

Several others have told the same story - achieved indifference, reduced the bac, left it off altogether....then back to square one. Well not quite. As you say, you are in a much better place now than 6 years ago - not least because you know what the answer is!

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terryk

Hey man, nice to see that you're still around, but sorry to see you backpeddling a little. If you don't mind me asking, what were your high, and maintenance doses in milligrams per day - I think the general consensus is that effective dose is determined more by the amount, and duration of alcohol consumed, rather than one's mass, heres's a reference (though it doesn't mention mass, it does talk about the correlation between effective dose and  amount of alcohol consumed) You will need register or log in to read this content: 

Quote

Initial regression analysis with six predictor variables (average daily alcohol units, current age, age at onset of dependence, family history, duration of dependence and dose of baclofen in mg/day) showed significant correlation of outcome variable with only two predictor variables - dose of baclofen and average daily intake.

-tk

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guardian

Terry,

275 and 175 mgs. Thanks for sharing that. The study seemed to find that severity of alcoholism in terms of units per day, but not necessarily duration of dependence, was what determined baclofen dose. This makes sense to me, as the reinforcing and punishing effects of binge drinking/ hangover would be pretty well established after just a few years. N=1, but they certainly were with me. I'm not a big guy, but I definitely drink like one, and required a pretty substantial dose to reach anything approaching indifference. 

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bleep

Hey hey, hello again! Good to see you, bummer about the circumstances! Best of luck with round 2...

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Molly78

Duration of dependence might not affect the dose of bac needed, but even when you have got rid of the cravings the "habit" involved in drinking is really hard to break. I found it so, anyway. The routine of coming home from work, pouring a drink, thinking "Mmm, I deserve this". Plus the expectation that the alcohol will make you feel good - it doesn't once you're on bac, but there's a process of extinction to go through, can take a year or more, much like with naltrexone I guess.

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idefineme

@guardian, sorry for your set-back.  Hey, you're here, right?  Fighting back and not giving up.  Give yourself credit for that.  

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Ne1

Hi guardian. Glad you found us. 

I reduced my dose too much, but didn't catch it in time, started daily drinking to drunkenness, and have been struggling for quite a while to achieve indifference again. It is frustrating. 

Hope you'll start to see improvement soon, and keep us posted. 

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guardian
7 hours ago, Ne1 said:

Hi guardian. Glad you found us. 

I reduced my dose too much, but didn't catch it in time, started daily drinking to drunkenness, and have been struggling for quite a while to achieve indifference again. It is frustrating. 

Hope you'll start to see improvement soon, and keep us posted. 

I'm sorry to hear that, NE. I seem to remember you hitting your switch shortly after I had, and it sounds like we've run a similar course otherwise. 

I have no doubt that, if I were to dose-up the way I had when I first found indifference, I could be completely ambivalent within a month. Unlike 6 years ago, I'm pretty functional in my life and can't deal with the side-effects. Back then I was an unemployed accountant, so not getting more than 30 winks at a time and needing to wear an eye patch to keep the room from spinning wasn't something i was unwilling to cope with to get sober. Oh well, easy does it i guess...

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guardian
On 8/29/2016 at 4:12 PM, Molly78 said:

Duration of dependence might not affect the dose of bac needed, but even when you have got rid of the cravings the "habit" involved in drinking is really hard to break. I found it so, anyway. The routine of coming home from work, pouring a drink, thinking "Mmm, I deserve this". Plus the expectation that the alcohol will make you feel good - it doesn't once you're on bac, but there's a process of extinction to go through, can take a year or more, much like with naltrexone I guess.

I've rolled your post around in my head for a few days now, and I've come to something that I feel is relevant to share and a lot of stuff that isn't apropos, but I don't care.

I don't think that I ever achieved indifference in the etymological sense of the word; certainly not the way I've seen the term thrown around on MWO. I never stopped drinking, even when I had "hit my switch." I just stopped drinking to the point where I pissed the bed or got a DUI, jailed, and drugged for withdrawal because my girlfriend had had it (for the last time, she promises) and wouldn't post bail. Haven't had either of those occur in over 6 years and married, so, winning I guess. I continued to drink on weekends with my wife, who is an alcoholic. She also grew up in poverty and has an IQ of 168, so contrary to dumb, spoiled me, she is less prone to being a fuckup.  Like so many highly-intelligent women, she's got serious issues. Her drive to drink is to escape real or imagined problems, and not exclusively because of genes that developed millennia ago. I was simply unable to get any reinforcing effect from booze. I switched back to beer because if you are going to drink something, it may as well be palatable. So, I guess my indifference was more post hoc, as I had the urge due to habit but I didn't see any point in drinking more than a beer or two. I think that, had the habit been extinct, a reduction in baclofen dose would not have had the effect of quickly returning me to getting shithoused. 

Disclaimer: baclofen causes mania in some individuals. Like 6 months after 6 years ago, I'm going to come down, get more that 14 hours of sleep per week, and face palm reading this. I'm ok with that. 

Edited by guardian
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Molly78

I think I am exactly where you are, guardian.  I haven't tried reducing my dose of baclofen, been on roughly the same dose for 2 & a half years. 100-150 mg - I upped it from 100 mg because I was in search of that mythical switch, as described by Nicnak for instance , one day she was drinking 2 bottles of wine, the next day she didn't want any at all. I really wanted to be in that situation - to just not want alcohol any more.

I guess based on your experience,  I'm now waiting for the equally mythical process of extinction!  I'm not unhappy about where I am.  If I can continue like this drinking roughly within the guidelines our government has decided are healthy (although those levels are highly debatable) then why would I wish to pursue the utopia of a totally alcohol free existence?  Just for my own satisfaction, I suppose.  I lived with alcoholism for over 3 decades.  It would be nice to shuffle off this mortal coil in a state of virtuosity.

As I'm typing this I am recognising that characteristic that most of us alcoholics can identify with - the drive for perfection. To do everything right. If I'm going for abstinence, I want to be totally abstinent.......

I think I need to lighten up about it.  Accept that where I am is OK.  After all, it's where most of the non-alcoholic population is, isn't it?

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Otter

Very similar story to ours. Complacency sets in and the boundaries are stretched.  Even so, its nothing like it was and a few shocks ti the system gets you back taking the stuff seriously.

Best wishes.

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Otter

We are back from Paris.  Enjoyed the trip and city.  I gave my presentation.  Very stessful speaking for the first time to an audience.  I met Olivier Ameisen's brother and Amanda Stafford.  I spoke in French before an audience of professors and doctors.  I think it went down well. That's probably it for me. I can't see I have anything more to offer this cause. Best of luck to everyone

Edited by Otter
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Baclofenman
2 hours ago, Otter said:

We are back from Paris.  Enjoyed the trip and city.  I gave my presentation.  Very stessful speaking for the first time to an audience.  I met Olivier Ameisen's brother and Amanda Stafford.  I spoke in French before an audience of professors and doctors.  I think it went down well. That's probably it for me. I can't see I have anything more to offer this cause. Best of luck to everyone

Otter, do you have a transcript of your presentation, I would be very interested for a read?

Regards

 

Bacman

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Flyer1210

Is seem to hear this lot regarding total indifference versus getting to the point where your at healthy level of drinking. Ive always shot for total abstinence. I never was a couple of beers guy and always dreamt of being able to say " I don't drink, haven't in years!"

When I read Ameisen's book I was like, shit this is what ive been looking for all my life, a magic bullet as such but it seems it's not totally. Habit can be a very hard thing to get come even with the help of a magical drug like Baclofen. 

Lately I've came to the conclusion that you shouldn't beat your self up to much. If your health is better then maybe the day will come when you just get sick of those couple of drinks and do give it up.

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Baclofenman

Good Morning @Flyer1210

6 hours ago, Flyer1210 said:

Is seem to hear this lot regarding total indifference versus getting to the point where your at healthy level of drinking. Ive always shot for total abstinence. I never was a couple of beers guy and always dreamt of being able to say " I don't drink, haven't in years!"

I am like you, "abstinence", I have always been - initially I could not see the point in drinking again - I had seen what it had done for me both socially and medically - However 9 months down the line, I find my attitude mellowing slightly - I look at the likes of @terryk, who is successfully able to moderate, with Baclofen - I sort of think - Why can I not be like this - I don't know why I want to be like this, it is just "another avenue"

Like you I was "in it to win it", with my drinking - Once one was down the hatch, it was drink till you drop time - The hatred of this situation is what drove me to the abstinence attitude I have, along with a feeling that I can not trust myself that if I do eventually moderate and relapse, all of all this good work will be wasted, or maybe wasted? - Or I may be able to moderate BUT is it worth the risk?

6 hours ago, Flyer1210 said:

When I read Ameisen's book I was like, shit this is what ive been looking for all my life, a magic bullet as such but it seems it's not totally. Habit can be a very hard thing to get come even with the help of a magical drug like Baclofen. 

There is no such thing as a magic bullet - As with everything other changes are required in order to benefit wholly from the primary medication - In your situation, you just love getting bolloxed - I get it, totally - I WAS that man

I did not write on your thread because my interpretation of your situation is that you have ticked most of the right boxes apart from the "need for the high" box - I try not to reply to new users posts as some people find me a little aggressive and blunt, which I suppose I may be but it is only passion, nothing personal - Anyway, I will have another look later

For me "habit" was a by product of anxiety - In fact the habit was actually a need for reward against my anxiety, so in fact the habit did not actually exist - It was the demand for reward - I did not recognise that I had anxiety until Baclofen, severe worrying about my job and social functions at the top of my list was what I thought everyone had - @phoenix posted a comment the other day, that really hit home with me - On refection, drunk, I was the bollocks, the alchy's loved me, the sober thought I was a twat - I can see it now, when I look at those same alchy's, now they think I am a twat and the sober like me - I have been told on non Baclofen friendly platforms that the lack of drinking has "cured" my anxiety, this may well be a bi-product of soberdom however the catalyst was, undeniably, in my mind Baclofen 

6 hours ago, Flyer1210 said:

Lately I've came to the conclusion that you shouldn't beat your self up to much. If your health is better then maybe the day will come when you just get sick of those couple of drinks and do give it up.

I cannot agree with this, my opinion is that until the need to drink as one does is addressed, the need is never going to reduce or desist - The way I describe Baclofen to the layman is that Baclofen eliminates the requirement for reward though a default request for alcohol as a result of my anxiety - If they are still awake or showing any interest in the topic I elaborate further but generally this is the limit of their interest <sigh>

6 hours ago, Flyer1210 said:

 I always dreamt of being able to say " I don't drink, haven't in years!"

<I inserted for clarity>

With what I said before about my posting skills in mind, without addressing your need to get bolloxed, in my opinion, this is purely a pipe dream my friend

Regards

 

Bacman

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Flyer1210

Fair enough man I do agree with what you post. Fitst off whether it be TSM or baclofen. After getting to the point were youve got to the point were your drinking say 2 drinks and just not enjoying it I think it's possible to and easier to just say fuck this I can't be bothered with this no more especially if your a piss head who never really enjoyed 2-3 beer.

 

Regarding your last comment I agree that without addressing the need to get pissed the dream of being able to say I'm sober and proud is gonna be a hard slog. Pipe dream... I'm not sure thought. Although I did use the word "dream" to be fair. I get pissed because I like the feeling. Nothing to do with anxiety, abused as a child etc etc. So I believe I can get there in the end. I used to think I had anxiety until I got a few months AF time under my belt. I realised it was drink that have me anxiety or the other way round. Thats where I never really could click with baclofen users always talking about anxiety issues.

I actually had people telling me, oh but you probably do have anxiety and don't now it. Fuck I hate that shit were people who know nothing about think they do.

I didn't find your perfect aggressive or blunt. It's only the internet after all? it's all just opinions after all mate.

 

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Flyer1210

I read that your 9 months in. I haven't read up on your story and don't know how much success youve had but when I said don't beat your self up to much if your drinking is within healthy limits don't you think this a partly a win?

 

Surely it's better that week long benders feeling like death?

 

On TSM I hate drinki. But it'll stop me going to far and I can get up the next day on get on with it. Maybe in a few months I'll say fuck this isn't worth it as it's already tasting like it did wen I was 15 and starting out.

 

 The key for me I'd just taking that pill.

 

I know your on baclofen though. It didn't work for me so I'm not sure how or what way your process is.

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Baclofenman
1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

Fair enough man I do agree with what you post. Fitst off whether it be TSM or baclofen. After getting to the point were youve got to the point were your drinking say 2 drinks and just not enjoying it I think it's possible to and easier to just say fuck this I can't be bothered with this no more especially if your a piss head who never really enjoyed 2-3 beer.

I think this is the whole point of TSM - The attraction of AL having no effect so to speak - For me certainly, I did not consider TSM as I had (at the time) done little research on it - On reflection, if I fail, long term with Baclofen, it is definitely something I would consider - It works for some people - That said, for me certainly I would have to consider how else would my anxieties be relieved? - TSM may well reduce my interest in alcohol (as a crutch) but the underlying issues will still remain? - Again, for me, my anxiety will just find another source for relief, I guess?

Don't for one minute think I am suggesting you have anxiety issues - I am not, I am just trying to impress that I did not realise until it was gone, that is was there in the first place

1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

I get pissed because I like the feeling. Nothing to do with anxiety, abused as a child etc etc. So I believe I can get there in the end. I used to think I had anxiety until I got a few months AF time under my belt. I realised it was drink that have me anxiety or the other way round. Thats where I never really could click with baclofen users always talking about anxiety issues.

This is what I thought, that what I was thinking was the norm, it is hard to explain really - It is only something I have realised since Baclofen - I also understand that AL equals anxiety and regret, something my life was riddled with for years - Don't get me wrong, this is purely my anecdotal opinion, although i have heard it resonated by plenty of others

1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

I didn't find your perfect aggressive or blunt. It's only the internet after all? it's all just opinions after all mate.

It is indeed, however I can be a bit of a cock at times - Funnily enough post Baclofen, I do find that I am a little less able to hold back my thoughts both written and verbal - Whether this is good or bad is a matter of opinion 

1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

I read that your 9 months in. I haven't read up on your story and don't know how much success youve had but when I said don't beat your self up to much if your drinking is within healthy limits don't you think this a partly a win?

I am abstinent for 9 months, since the 2nd January - That's abstinent, 273 days of consecutive not drinking, not 273 days of not drinking but consecutive - There is a difference - I do think moderation is a win, I really do - How can it not be? - I am just scared concerned that I may relapse - The temptation to try OA's "Bottle of Scotch" trial is tempting....but not that tempting lol

1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

Surely it's better that week long benders feeling like death?

Anything is better than feeling like death? - Unfortunately for some people, especially with additional issues, this may be the only way out

1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

On TSM I hate drinki. But it'll stop me going to far and I can get up the next day on get on with it. Maybe in a few months I'll say fuck this isn't worth it as it's already tasting like it did wen I was 15 and starting out.

I certainly hope so - It will be great for the forum if we can have someone posting a live diary of a TSM recovery - My overall view is that whatever it takes to stop or cut down AL consumption should be applauded, nothing works for everone but something works for someone 

1 hour ago, Flyer1210 said:

I know your on baclofen though. It didn't work for me so I'm not sure how or what way your process is.

Basically, I started Baclofen in Dec 2015, stopped drinking in Jan 2016 and reached (what I termed) indifference in June 2016 @ 180mg a day - I currently have a GP script for 150mg a day on the NHS which is my maintenance dose - The titration is the key, medicine interaction and other illness are also important

Regards

 

Bacman

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Flyer1210

Your 100% right that moderation is a win, in my book anyway. I read a lot of TSMers really like a nice glass of quality wine or a nice glass of expensive scotch and being able to stop is what they want. Basically TSM can do this and if that's your goal them you've won imo. It sort of gives you the power to be a "normal" drinker.

 

I was never really that way. I'd drink piss out of a shitty bucket if I thought it got my where I wanted to be so moderation to me has no incentive. I've probably said this many times but a couple of beers totally ruins my day. I HAVE to sleep right after I finish, I basically have to finish my day. I could never get my head around how people could have a liquid lunch and then go back into work. Once i start I go until its time for bed. So that being said I know in my heard of hearts total abstinence is the only thing for me. That's why I find TSM hard work. I just can't for the life of me get past a few beer so I have to time my drinking so that by the time I finish its not to early to go to sleep that I'll be waking up at 11pm with no way of getting back to sleep again.

 

I've seem me purposely going to the off sales, buying a shit load of beer with the fuck intention of getting shit faced but after maybe 5 at the most I'm like, fuck this whats the point I'm not even getting a buzz. Its a godsend really as benders where ruining my life with 10 day non stop vodka binges landing me in deep shit.

 

Its a trip alright;)

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IWantOut
On 8/29/2016 at 4:12 PM, Molly78 said:

Duration of dependence might not affect the dose of bac needed, but even when you have got rid of the cravings the "habit" involved in drinking is really hard to break. I found it so, anyway. The routine of coming home from work, pouring a drink, thinking "Mmm, I deserve this". Plus the expectation that the alcohol will make you feel good - it doesn't once you're on bac, but there's a process of extinction to go through, can take a year or more, much like with naltrexone I guess.

This is the thing which has be a bit...concerned.  I am very much looking forward to not feeling the urge to drink.  But at the same time, facing a life where I can't make myself feel better by tossing back 3-4 glasses of wine is kind of alarming.  It's going to take me a long time to be ok with that, I think.

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Molly78

Sobriety, however it is achieved, is always going to lead to a life where there won't be a chemical fix to make you feel better in the short term.  It does take some getting used to.

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guardian

I'm updating this thread for my own record keeping really. I continue to drink, more and more by the day. I got into some legal trouble recently that, if things go poorly, may lead to me losing my CPA license. If that happens, I'll lose my job. Every willful action I take is to benefit my loved ones, and to ensure their continued safety and protection. That is the sole purpose in my opinion for which I am alive and it is why I get out of bed in the morning. It defines my existence and I love it. I've put their well being in serious jeopardy with my fuckedupism and I am ashamed. I need to up the baclofen. I need to fix this. 

 

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terryk

Hey man, I just read this... I'm sorry that you are in such dire straits. Here's wishing you the best, and hoping that you check back and update us on your progress.

 

-tk

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guardian

This is it. I'm doing it the way I did it the first time. I'm ruined by this alcohol. I earned and saved a million dollars and burned through it. 6 years it took me. I lost my angel. Threw her away. I have a 5 month old boy I've never seen. My first. I know guys aren't supposed to care; I do. I'm shattered. I haven't worked in 4 months. I have a gun by my side that I'll never use on myself because I'm a coward. I'm an immature little boy in a titan's body. Everything I had was destroyed. Ian starting dose: 100. Current dose: I don't fucking know, I'm just poppin pills.. 

 

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Mom2JTx3

Good luck.  Be careful.  It took a long time to get here so give yourself some time to titrate up safely.

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MJM

Hey @guardian hang in there. You can do this.

Getting out of the hole we dig for ourselves isn't easy, but you're already on your way to doing it.

I've fucked up too many times to count; many of us have. Sounds like you've had a shit of a time but now isn't the moment for recriminations.

You know where the starting point is, you just have to stick with it this time.

I'm of the opinion that being sober on Bac is the only way to help re-wire my reward system so I can eventually not feel that getting out of it will fix me. That and dealing with any other problems - eg anxiety and depression. That's just me. Whatever works for you.

Of course you care about your boy. You will have a chance of being a good father to him. Just give yourself that chance.

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Felina

@guardian I am so sorry. 

Please be careful with your dosing. Please get rid of the gun as well! You can rebuild, for your own sake and for your son's.

Please keep posting here. We all support you. :75_EmoticonsHDcom:

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