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The End of my Addiction

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/10/2019 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    I've taken baclofen as has my wife. She found it started to give a good result at about 80 mg per day. Initially she was drinking about a litre of vodka a day starting at 7 am but when the baclofen kicked in she was able to stop completely. We got into problems with it when I suggested she go up to 270mg a day in three divided doses as per Ameisen's regime and that caused her serious side effects. I can't remember what they were but it made her not want to take it at all, which led to a catastrophic relaps, hosptial etc etc. A total meltdown. Just go easy with it. After several years she added Acamprosate/Campral and that has had an even more marked effect because she has no relapses and doesn't have any other psychological issues at all. The main side effect we both noticed was somnolence. At night my breathing would slow to the point that I felt I would stop breating. It's a muscle relaxant after all. It's scary but eventualy you do breathe. It also affected my thinking in that I would pause in conversation a lot which I think made people think I had been drinking. I appeared drugged or drunk, which is not great if you are working with the public. lol We are ten years on now and it is a game changer. You have to embrace it and take the good with the bad and keep fighting. It's not a drug to be sneezed at. I've come to respect it because its as though you are fighting with it to get what you want and it fights you back. At the time it was scary but now I can take a couple of pills when I get a bit stressed and it has no side effects at all. My wife has gone down to 20 mg at night and in the morning. I don't think she would relapse if she didn't take it but why tempt fate. We went to Burns night and we were the only people who were stone cold sober at the end.
  2. 2 points
    I'm 36 hours in and I'm feeling pretty strange already! But I've given myself some time out and I'm feeling kind of like I'm going through something big here! The start of an interesting journey. Thanks so much for your support!
  3. 2 points
    Hi, I saw my GP this morning and he looked at the thesis I'd put together on treating Alcohol dependence with Baclofen and gave me a script straight away! So pleased!!!! I've started treatment already, Thanks so much for your advice and info Felina!
  4. 2 points
    Hi everyone, I was very happy to find this site, a wonderful doctor, and information about baclofen. I have tried rehab, detox, AA, coucelors and psychologists and nothing has helped. For the first time. I spoke with a very knowledgeable doctor that treated me with no judgement, no biases and no prejudice. Unfortunately, I do have to go out of province to receive this treatment and it is a considerable fee, but I haven't given up yet. I am a 55 year old female, was successful in school and in most of my career, until the last few years when my drinking kept me from being able to hold down a job on a regular basis. When I spoke with my doctor through a telemedicine app on my iphone, I was at a point of desperation and a lot of suicidal thoughts. I told her that I was giving myself a year, and if I couldn't find something that worked, either alcohol would kill me or I would kill myself. She said "why would you only give yourself a year - you deserve to give yourself as long as it takes". Well, I liked her right from there. I'm looking forward to meeting other people here and wish everyone the best.
  5. 1 point
    Hello all! I'd like to thank all of you who helped me during my struggles! To cut a very long story short: I managed to get Naltrexone on prescription and it worked really well for me. And I had EMDR for my PTSD and ... haven't craved booze ever since. I've believed the theory that there is always a trauma ( big, small, recent, from childhood etc) as a root of any addiction (literally any- OCD, booze, fags, food etc.) So if anyone is still really struggling- look into getting EMDR. I swear by it! Good luck and warm wishes.
  6. 1 point
    man I'm so sorry for your struggles, and at such a young age. it's good you caught this f**king sickness early, but also that terrible anyone has to fight so long, you know? I've never tried naltrexone, so I can't offer any help there. I wonder about cravings, also, like what do we mean when we say craving? I was recently sober 3 years, and I don't know how I did it, I just did it, and then suddenly I went out and got a drink. From there, well, it's like inviting the devil back into the house. what had long settled into a kinda flat depression has now again become a struggle, a daily, f**king hourly struggle, and on a Sunday I'm drinking a beer an hour for no other reason than.. than... you know how it is, there's no reason for it. All I can say is hold tight, hold on for as long as you can and life is maybe less exciting and flatter and grayer without booze but it is, can be, better. There's not much to look forward to but look around and think about everything around you in the moment, and that can smell sweeter than any stupid future we can imagine. sorry, I wouldn't be so vague and maudlin if I hadn't also been drinking today.
  7. 1 point
    Hi @Discodez, The side effects from taking too much baclofen can range from nausea, dizziness, severe anxiety, somnolence, and vision disturbances to much more severe ones. If you read @terryk's baclofen story here, he presented a pretty harrowing account: "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." I've been on these forums (and on baclofen) for almost 10 years. The problem with going up in dosage too fast, as you can see in Terry's account above, is that people often don't get hit with the full force of the side effects for a couple of days after an increase. So people who titrate up extremely fast can get hit with a tidal wave of horrible effects that can completely derail their experience. I can't emphasize enough that slow, steady titration will give you the best chance of success. I personally upped my dose by 20 mgs/week, although French doctors recommend something around 10 mgs every 4 days. I would always get hit with a wave of nausea and dizziness a couple of days afterwards. I can't tell you how long you should expect to be on it. Some people taper off after a couple of years. I've been on baclofen for many years and am afraid to taper down too much. I'm currently taking 100 mgs/day. I've never heard of baclofen being used to treat nerve pain. I know that a lot of people combine baclofen with Gabapentin, which is another GABA-B agonist and does help with nerve pain. Besides titrating up too fast, the other big issue that can derail people on baclofen is that they try to continue drinking "moderately" and end up "drinking through their switch." If you are able to abstain, your titration up will be much, much easier. Baclofen pairs very well with antabuse. Here is an older (but still relevant) collection of success stories from our sister forum. There is a lot of great wisdom in those posts.
  8. 1 point
    Thanks so much Felina!!! I'm soooooo glad I didn't waste more time & lots of $$$ trying to order it online to arrive in Canada before he returns to NZ. I have a lot of confidence in my GP so I've already been arming myself up in preparation for the appt on the 7th,, from reading "The End of my Addiction" so thanks for the advice on doing that too. I also just did 36 hours without any wine attempting to use the meds that I have on hand and that have been recommended by multiple Drs, Benzos, clonidine & bupropion, and spent this morning in tears because of an unshakable sense of overwhelming sadness & frustration. Noone on the closed IGNTD facebook "recovery" group that I'm paying for liked or commented on my reaching out from yesterday, although from the course material that's how I first heard about Baclofen, in the "medication primer". It feels like I've been hitting my head against a brick wall for years while being totally driven and motivated to help others, and myself. Over the last 12 months its been feeling like I'm lying on the floor in undeniable pain, but because I'm drinking, I'm being treated like a criminal & am being kicked by many of the people I thought loved me and wanted to help me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your reply. "The End of my Addiction" and this new hope feels like a lifeline! Again thanks for your advice!!!!
  9. 1 point
    Hi @Marnie Hart, Regarding bringing baclofen from Vancouver without a script: I think your friend will have a hard time since baclofen requires a prescription in Canada. I was unfamiliar with New Zealand's laws regarding ordering from online pharmacies, so I did a little digging. At least from what I saw here, it sounds like it could also be challenging to order it online without a prescription. I would suggest putting together all of the research you can on baclofen - the book The End of My Addiction, the research from this website etc. and study it well. Take it with you to your doctor appointment on the 7th. That was how I got my provider to prescribe to me, even though she had never heard of the treatment. Knowledge is power! Another suggestion would be to reach out to Dr. Amanda Stafford at baclofentreatment.com. She put out a call here for any prescribers in NZ and Australia to reach out if they would be willing to prescribe baclofen. I'm sure she could give you some guidance.
  10. 1 point
    Thank you I did read a few older posts and found one you have mentioned I'm in uk and doctors rubbish basically for helping my partner such a shame as baclofen worked for him before then taken of it and cant get it now so sadly have to go down this route but lots of advice on here its fantastic thanks x
  11. 1 point
    Bless you! Thank you! I am really hoping to be able to try a "one-two" punch on my addition with both Naltrexone and baclofen! I thank you very much for your response. I noticed that there were not many people on the site and was worried I would get no response.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    Hi @stillhoping! So glad to hear you found a doctor who was willing to treat you, and even better that she did so without judgment. It is unfortunately rare to find doctors who even know about baclofen, let alone find one who is willing to prescribe. I can also attest that baclofen saved my life. I have been on it for nine years now, and will probably be on it for the rest of my life. Please read these success stories from people who found indifference to alcohol after taking baclofen (it's an older post but very inspirational): https://www.mywayout.org/community/medication-research-and-support/43945-sweet-success-baclofen.html. I was just reading this thread earlier today, before I read your post. Please keep us posted on your progress!
  14. 1 point
    Hi @stillhoping and welcome! Congratulations on finding a doc and Baclofen. Baclofen saved my life. I had tried everything without success before Bac. Good luck!
  15. 1 point
    Baclofen is used to treat muscle spasm. It loosens off the spasm so it's more likely that if you get stiffness in your leg at night, it's because the baclofen is wearing off. That's my guess. I find I tense up from stress a lot and that baclofen eases it off.
  16. 1 point
    Hi @soulfine99, I take both baclofen and gabapentin. I am currently on 100 mg baclofen and 400 mg gabapentin per day, with zero side effects. I was previously on a much higher dose of baclofen, but have tapered down over the years. The baclofen keeps the alcohol cravings at bay, and the gabapentin helps me to stay asleep throughout the night (I used to have horrible early morning insomnia). I have zero side effects from the combo, and have never had any problems with it. I think I added the gabapentin around 8 months ago. The baclofen is prescribed by a doctor, but I ordered the gabapentin online to escape the headache of trying to negotiate it with the same doctor.
  17. 1 point
    Hi MJM Yes, our lives are good. We've had some difficult times but who hasn't. Our life now is entirely due to baclofen. It's unlikely my wife would be alive without it. Life was unimaginably bad without baclofen. It treated/cured her. Without that, nothing else was possible. Before my wife began treatment with baclofen we were under supervision by the social services for several years because of her long-standing alcoholism, previous marriage breakdown and loss of her children from that marriage, and we were eventually taken to court to have our son taken away from us as well. That didn't happen until shortly after my wife found baclofen and started her treatment. She got baclofen by telling her doctor she needed it for stroke. At the time, 2009, there were no doctors in the NHS prescribing baclofen for alcoholism. We were taken to court, not because my wife had done anything in relation to our son, but because of an incident where she was going through severe DTs because she had not taken her baclofen for a few days and I, therefore, had her admitted to hospital. While in hospital, she went into a kind of manic, hallucinatory state and grabbed hold of a nurse which resulted in the police being called and, instead of my wife receiving treatment, she ended up in court...the court where I worked as a prosecutor. One thing led to another and that incident was reported to the social services, who then assigned a social worker to come to our house to observe my wife's behaviour. After the hospital incident, my wife was in a terrible state, going through withdrawals and totally devastated by being taken into police custody with inevitable consequences. Since I had instigated her admission to hospital, and she was suffering from having neither baclofen or alcohol for several days, she was in an extremely volatile and depressed mood. On top of it all, the social services took the position that they were going to insist that my wife and I separate and that my wife have no further involvement in my son's upbringing. They told me to organize getting my wife out of the house, or they would. Effectively, at that point, our family was finished. That was in 2010. When we got home after all of this, my wife was very upset. I had to explain the whole situation to her. By way of background, my wife had been having problems with taking baclofen from when she started taking it in the spring of 2009, because she did not like the side effects. I was trying to get her up to the dosage which I'd figured out was correct based on Dr. Ameisen's own experience and I was trying to get her to take 270 mg in a few doses a day. That was too much for her and she wasn't taking it and relapsed frequently into drinking. As a result, I got Dr Chick involved, and then a local gastroenterologist, and then started essentially forcing my wife to take small doses regularly until she stopped drinking within a few days. I took time off work to oversee this regime. Her condition at that point was so bad that she had relapsed into daily drinking of about 1.5 litres of vodka a day. She was so drunk she was like a zombie and I had to put the pills in her mouth. It was impossible if she was out with the count, difficult if she was awake but very drunk and more difficult as she sobered up because she resisted my giving her pills every few hours. When she did stop drinking completely, on the weekend, I couldn't get her to take any baclofen at all, because she hadn't been dealing with the doctors, I had, and she did not realize she was supposed to take small divided doses throughout the day. She'd been too "out of it" to understand what was going on. By the Monday, she was in a terrible state of mind because by the she was withdrawing from baclofen, as well as alcohol and she went into a total meltdown, the end result of which is that I had to have her taken off to hospital in an ambulance. There's more, I've skipped over about a week of horrors. So, there I was in a desperate situation, facing my marriage ending and with no idea of what was ahead. I remember being in our bedroom and my wife being in a rage. My only thought was to phone Phil Thomas, who is a former doctor and alcoholic who runs his own baclofen rehab business. I phoned on my mobile and handed it to my wife. She at least agreed to speak to him. After a few minutes she calmed down and then she started to laugh and joke with him. That initially calmed the situation down and, after the advice and support she got from Phil, she started taking baclofen on her own, without my forcing her. That was the first time she'd really taken the treatment seriously. She'd been on the drug for over a year but she constantly used "side effects" as a reason for not taking it, and constantly relapsed. The relapses would then make her say "see, it doesn't work". It was a viscous circle. Because of this incident, the social services sent a social worker to supervise us. They probably thought they could get the evidence they needed to split us up by having someone in our house and confirming that my wife was a full-on alcoholic. The social worker came once a week for a period of three months for a few hours at a time, to our house, to watch my wife. Instead of finding a falling down drunk, incapable of caring for her family, she found my wife was not drinking at all and was able to discuss parenting. They became good friends. After three months, the social worker wrote to us saying she was going to stop visiting because there were no problems and the social services had no further interest in us. However, the policy of social services is not to just give up. Instead, while the social worker was visiting us, the lawyers who oversee child protection filed an application with the court, called a "Childrens Panel", to have our parental rights as parents taken away. It took several months before we received a hearing date. The day of the hearing it was raining very heavily and we parked at the far end of the car park, up a bit of a hill. As we walked through the car park, my wife slipped in the rain and went down very heavily. She grabbed hold of me and I went down too, landing on her leg. The result was that she fractured her ankle. She had to have a plate inserted and was in a wheelchair for six months so at that point she actaully was incapable of looking after out son. Needless to say, the lawyers for the social services would have said her fall was due to alcohol. I defended the case against us and filed a court application to stop the whole procedure. That hearing was adjourned by a judge who was annoyed that I should have the impudence to try to delay a child hearing. After the hearing I spoke to the lawyer for the social services and realized she hadn't even seen the letter from the social services. I realized then that she had no case so I decided to just let the process come to a final hearing. As we left the court I turned to her and said "you'll never get an order against us" and turned away and walked off. What was most disturbing about this particular hearing, with that lawyer, is that she had been at the hearing when my wife broke her ankle and when we spoke, at the time, she knew about baclofen. In fact, her own mother was taking it for MS. She'd read all my submissions about baclofen treatment as well. She just had no interest in it or in whether anything I was saying was true. I decided not to pursue the court hearing and let the case go forward to a final hearing, where the Chidrens Panel was being asked to take away my and my wife's rights as parents. When I got to the final hearing, in front of a the panel of three people, the same lawyer attended and asked the social worker who attended to give evidence what she felt should happen. I knew what was coming. The social worker said that she had no concerns about my wife, because she was receiving treatment under supervision of her doctor, on baclofen, and as far as they were concerned, her treatment was working, and she was a fit to look after our son. She said they had nothing they could offer in addition to that, nor could they point to anything which had been detrimental to our son. In other words, they had no role to play in supervising us and could not criticize my wife as a parent since they had been to our house every week for three months and my wife was not drinking at all and was a devoted mother. What this meant was that they had no evidence at all. At that point, the lawyer started trying to persuade the Panel to keep us under a supervision order, which we had lived under for about 9 years or so, purely on the basis that it was "too soon" to leave us alone. One of the Panel said she agreed with the lawyer and, almost mockingly towards me, said something to the effect that "we don't usually let alcoholics off a supervision order this soon". In other words, she had no interest in the evidence and if my wife was an "alcoholic" that was good enough for her. The other two members of the Panel then proceeded to throw out the case, since there was no evidence in front of them to make any order. The lawyer was left sputtering. One Panel member said she had been there on the previous occasion when my wife broke her leg. Maybe she realized that the social services had caused my wife to fall in a slippery, rainy car park just to go to a hearing which should never have taken place, and made our lives massively worse. Had we not discovered baclofen, had it not worked, had it not been prescribed by a pre-eminent doctor and had it not been supervised by two local doctors, a GP and a gastroenterologist at the local hospital to the court, there's no chance we would have won that hearing. If we had lost, we would have lost parental rights to our son. If we had decided to leave the country, which we later did, we could not have taken our son and if we did so without permission, we would have had an arrest warrant issued. That's how serious this was to us. Without baclofen nothing we have done have would have been possible. We're now living in a beautiful house, on the Mediterranean, and my wife's two daughters, who were taken away from her when they were aged 12 and 8, are now living here too with their partners and our grandchildren.
  18. 1 point
    Hello all (or few) on TEOMA. I haven't been on here for a long while. I hope everyone is going okay. I think I have found the source of my sore lower back. It seems to be the Bac, although I should wait a little longer to confirm. I have titrated down from 125mg over the last month or so to 25mg. My back doesn't ache almost all the time as it did. My solmenance has all but gone too. I started to notice it on 37.5mg (a pill and a half) a few weeks ago. Until then I would regularly (but randomly) have a lower back ache... often waking me at night, I'd getting it sitting, standing, sometimes it would just suddenly stop for a while without me seeming to do anything. Some days it seemed endless. Drove me crazy. I have been doing some work on my cars recently and got a sore back after, but it disappeared soon after -- unlike when on a higher dose of Bac, where I would know all about the pain for all that day and the next. I do still get slight soreness, it's the same ache but much less -- it's barely noticable. When I saw an rheumaologist 3 years ago he said it couldn't be the bac causing the pain. Well, after x-rays, blood tests etc etc showing nothing wrong and now I'm mostly free of the pain, I beg to differ... arthritis is well and truly in my family and I have some knee and finger joint pain, but the back ache was different. I am still indifferent, even more so if that is possible. I don't really understand that. I last drank about 3 weeks ago on a work trip. I felt peer-pressure to do so. They were light beers -- I had four or five over about 3 hours -- and I didn't really enjoy them. I certainly did not want more. I still don't have a handle on my depression. My daughter is being a rotten teenager. I love her dearly but she's been doing things lately that made me very anxious and stressed. So I've started smoking again, after almost 12 months. God that's so annoying. Anyway, I am trying to get a plan together to stop again. THe thing is I really wanted an escape from the stress, from my feelings but a drink was the last thing I wanted. It seemed like I couldn't imagine anything I wanted less. I have used exercise a lot to try to manage stress and also 10-minute meditations but clearly those weren't enough. I think now that Bac-induced solmenance is out of the way, I should be able to exercise more and hopefully give away the cigs again. Anyway, enough blather from me. How's everyone else going?
  19. 1 point
    Hi, Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner. I've been very busy recently with other things. I feel awful about what you went through. We have been there. It's horrific. You have no idea how powerful this drug until you go through something like what you went through. We are in Cyprus and we get Novartis Lioresal over the counter with no prescription and it's very cheap here. We are in the north. If the pharmacy is out of it, they get it delivered the next day. It's in every pharmacy but no one seems to have any idea what it is used for. Certainly not alcoholism. We've had some dealings with a senior psychiatrist who claims to be the most popular and experienced psychiatrist in the country and he had no idea, nor did a top GP. I can't really help you with the dosage or tapering as I'm no doctor. I myself got up to a high dosage just for stress and then decided to come off it and I did it over the space of one day. I held off taking it until I felt really bad, then took a pill to calm myself down, then waited again until I felt bad, took another pill and repeated that process again and again. Each time it was longer before I felt bad and by night time I was ok. I still take it from time to time, and I feel absolutely no side effects from it. It seems only to have an imperceptible ability to make me feel "ok". That's the only way I can describe it. I just fee normal. I do get stressed from time to time, and that just goes away by taking 20mg. I feel no effects at all, one way or the other. It just gets rid of any anxiety and I feel fine and think clearly. I suppose taking it for 10 years now on and off has made my brain used to it. I have no desire to drink whatsoever. My wife is the same. She also takes Campral, which is also available over the counter. Most things are here. She also has no side effects of any sort, and has no desire to drink at all. Sometimes, we go out for some event and drinks are available. I might have a glass of wine, and then wonder why I bothered. It has no effects either. In the long term, baclofen is a real game changer. If you can get a handle on it, and get out from all the problems that alcohol brings, you can start living all over again, absent all the garbage that people lay on you as a result of being a pathetic, lost soul or an enabler. You end up, instead, being the ones who aren't drinking heavily while everyone around you is sloshed and thinking that drinking at every opportunity is just fine. It's not been easy though. It wasn't until my wife got onto Campral as well as baclofen that a lot of issues cleared up. She had a very sharp temper every morning until she started on the Campral. Now she's pretty much 100% normal and the only thing that gives away that she has ever had a problem are the dozens of self inflicted knife wounds on her arms from years of self harming and suicide attempts, all of which stopped with baclofen. Again, everyone is different. My wife was probably at the most serious end of the spectrum of alcohol disease and is lucky to be alive. She was a real basket case for about eight or nine years and in the end, rarely got out of bed from week to the next during binges that lasted a month at a time, and sobering up only when she was too ill to drink, then relapsing after less than a week. We had a lady living with us who died in October and our dog died a few weeks ago. Our son is going through A levels and my mother-in-law is in a care home with Alzheimers, and all the stress isn't having any serious effect on us. I'm getting back into work again and my wife runs a business in the UK which provides our income. We have family here and after many years of being shunned, they are now getting used to the idea that my wife isn't drinking. That's the worst of it, that people stop seeing you and assume you are still drinking, no matter what, because it plays into their justification for treating you like dirt. lol
  20. 1 point
    I'd say give 180MG a chance. Also, is the 3 beers typical for you (ie is that what you had before Bac) or is that a reduced amount? What is indifference for you -- do you want to be abstinant or are you happy to drink small quantities of AL? Everyone is different, with what they consider unmangeable quantities of alcohol (aside from medical prescriptions on the matter) but also on their personal level of Bac to reach indifference. I can't say I am typical, but certainly I had to do other things in my life to reach some kind of abstinance. In my case I had to taper off Effexor to help reduce my cravings (SSRIs are known for increasing AL cravings in some people). Having a partner who no longer drinks also helped me. Most important thing you can do is find a good doctor to advise on Bac dose etc. Not always easy, I know...
  21. 1 point
    Hi Otter, thanks for the message. I have found that Baclofen is not available here with UK doctors. I had a pretty miserable time last Christmas when I accidentally ran out of my supply and despite being in a terrible state (I was close to seizure and totally absorbed with suicide) they told me to 'purchase from the street', which was extremely unhelpful. Luckily I found a strip of Russian benzos I had forgotten about and was able to use them for a week, otherwise I think I may have died. I do not write that haphazardly, the level of despair was beyond. The shock of going baclofen free suddenly after taking 125mg daily for 18 months was horrific, I had not expected it at all. I wish I had found this forum then. Thank god using the benzo, Phenazepam, I seemed to pull through quickly. I think I can get more of these but I am particularly uneasy about ordering them as they clearly are narcotic and I worry there could be problems if a package gets opened en route to me. I see you are in Cyprus. I was in Turkey two years ago and found that it was easy to buy 10mg Novartis Lioresal at the pharmacy with no script. I bought several hundred tabs but obviously, they run out. At one point last year I was considering getting a cheap flight to Cyprus to nip into Northern Cyprus to stock up. What is the situation on the island, I guess you have a prescription? Can you purchase o.t.c.? I want to start taking Baclofen again as I am really suffering from reactive anxiety at the moment. I have a difficult period to get through and I know the pills work and I have roughly a 3 month supply here but I am concerned about refills. I wish I could get the medicine prescribed but it seems impossible. Anyone reading this in the UK who knows different please let me know. I am uneasy about ordering from online pharmacies as I am concerned that were I to become dependent on them again and my supply ran out before I had time to taper I might get a repeat performance of last time. This is very scary. I would be interested if anyone reading this might have any experience of taking the medicine for a period then getting off it. Approximately 3 weeks ago I took 30-75mg a day over 3 days and then when I did not dose became pretty ill. The first symptom is a weird cold feeling on my forehead. This is followed with anxiety which gets worse hour by hour and dreadful sleep. I dealt with these symptoms by tapering strictly over a week going from 10mg to 5mg to 2.5 then clear. I found I was all over the place for six days in total and have not totally recovered. I am unsure if this is unusual or normal, yet reading here I see that there seem to be a variety of 'normals'. People obviously process this stuff in different ways. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has done a successful taper though as the knowledge would be very valuable. I don't want to drink and I can't bear to carry on with the level of discomfort I am going through at the moment. I am confused as to whether my current uneasiness is a direct result of taking the medicine for a few days or if it is just my baseline anxiety. My experience tells me that Baclofen has something to do with it as the suicidal ideation that comes in waves, along with the feeling of electricity in my arms and head was present when I cold turkeyed at Christmas. This is all a bit garbled, forgive me but I am just going to type and send and see what comes back. Not in the right state to craft a fully formed post. Feeling uneasy, verging on panicky. Anybody got any comments? Thanks
  22. 1 point
    Thanks for the response Guardian, it's good to hear that there are people out there. Just got home after a long day so will try to put down more detailed thouhtd in the morning. Much appreciate you getting back to me.
  23. 1 point
    Hi katallus, This forum, as well as its predecessor – the medication section at mywayout – have certainly slowed down in traffic. I wouldn’t let that deter you from sharing your experiences. People are checking in and will gladly offer feedback. There are many – including myself – who have achieved success in achieving abstinence or indifference thanks to baclofen therapy who were once very active here (and at MWO) and will be of eager assistance and can be an invaluable resource with your journey.
  24. 1 point
    The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two Saturday, March 18th 2017 (My Story) Hi, everyone. This is only my first full day here but I thought I'd get straight on with it and do as is suggested – tell my story. Where I come from is not too different from this place. It was a quitting drinking forum that collapsed at the beginning of the year, a forum called WQD (We Quit Drinking) and I joined it back in the May of 2014 when I was very much still active, still ''performing'' as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, still very much caught in the cycle of drinking and drug taking, and couldn't see a way out. I joined that forum and did as they suggested, set up a journal, and committed to writing in it every day to document what it was like for me to stop drinking permanently. I write quite a lot and would put in excess of a thousand words onto the page, per post every day, pretty much every day, sometimes a few times a day, for my entire two and a half year stay there. It seems like a lot of writing, and for a simple forum it was, but it only really scraped the surface of what it's been like and all that's happened in the time I've been abstinent, and I notice from reading some of the other stories in this thread that writing large amounts of text is something done often in this thread when people first sign up here. So here's a little background, in as few words as I can tell it: I joined the WQD forum after making the statement that I would be quitting drinking. I told my family and was convinced that it was gonna happen. I was seeing an addictions counsellor once a week at the time and she would support me. My friend's father had died the month before while in his mid-fifties from smoking and drinking related causes and I was going nowhere fast. I was working, owned a window cleaning company with my brother actually, but I was rarely able to work and tended to just stay in the safety of the indoors while our employees went out and kept things ticking over, handing in the takings for the day at the end of the shift. My home (which I call a cave) hadn't seen a lick of paint despite me ''living'' there for over a year, and it had become so terribly dirty and cluttered that no one was allowed in. I spoke with my doctor about my plans and was detoxed off the booze starting on June 01st of 2014. Over the weeks I came to realise what all of that drugging and drinking had left me with. I had two people I could call friends (which, to be fair, is more than some people can claim to have who have never drank to excess) and I call them English Sara and Gillon. My relationship with either of these guys was at an all time low however and I wasn't in the habit of visiting people very often. I still could count on them though. I also have a brother (who I already mentioned I ran a business with) and have two nieces – both of them preschool at the time. My relationship with my mother was as poor as it's been and my father.....well......he wasn't around and hadn't been for a long time. I sobered up to try to change all of this but also, vitally, because I knew I had to. It was quit or die. Off the back of a terrible winter alone in my cave where I spent my first ever Christmas by myself, too ashamed of what I'd become to join in the festivities with my nieces and family, I started to seriously weigh up the pros and cons of suicide. It didn't happen but it left me a very scarred and bitter man going into another year. I was struggling to hold it together going into 2014. When Gillon's father died I knew it was coming. This wasn't a game anymore. So I quit. My relationships were so poor that I often had nowhere to go and no one to talk to. I wasn't able to work despite my debts building all around me to the extent where I was always fighting to keep my home (which I'd gotten as a result of being through the homeless system in this country so wasn't sure if I'd have it to fall back on another time) and heating and lighting. I was incredibly isolated. My addiction counsellor referred me to a local organisation which helps to take those early in recovery out of their isolation and give them opportunities to meet new people in similar positions. I tried it but my anxiety would tell me I didn't belong there, didn't belong anywhere, and so I went once and decided it wasn't for me. This place was called Restoration and I was at their Annual General Meeting yesterday I am happy to say. Back in 2014 though – it was more socialising than I was able to take. In late August the inevitable happened and I went out and bought a drink. This started off a five/six month slide which saw me go back to my suicidal thinking of the year before. I dropped everything (not that I really had anything) except from my sessions with my addiction counsellor and writing on the WQD forum. 2015 began the same way the previous year had only this time I had experience of sobriety and didn't want it. Nope – wasn't for me. At least when I am with drink I don't feel so alone. When sober I couldn't believe the intensity of the isolating feelings. But then it got out of hand. February came and I was with my friend English Sara. The house was busy and I had one of my ''moments'' when she decided to take my drink off me and pour it down the sink in front of me. She wanted me to snap out of my depression. Despite my warning to her – down the sink it went. I then grabbed a kitchen knife from the kitchen worktop and threatened the household until they found me some booze. I then went home and kicked the shit out of my cave. I remember nothing about this evening. It proved to be the turning point though. I don't fancy jail, nor did I at all like the person I had become, someone capable of behaving in such a way. Someone asked me of that evening if I could believe having acted like that when it was explained to me what I'd done the following week and I had to say that I actually could believe it. Each and every time I had a good drink I was becoming more and more out of control, more unpredictable, dangerous, desperate. A caged animal angry at the world because it couldn't find a way out of its hellish cage. A member of my forum had suggested to me a few times Alcoholics Anonymous and I had actually been a couple of times but had decided it wasn't going to work. There were no other options left though. I had been seeing my counsellor for some time; had been relying on the forum; had tried all of the local agencies – nothing was working. I allowed myself a couple of days to sober up lying on my bed trying to sleep off my hangover, jumped into the work van, and made way for a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous one Tuesday evening – way back on the 10th February 2015. It was my third day sober. This was the difference. AA. It took me out of my isolation this time around. It gave me something to do every day and somewhere to go. My days consisted of getting up and going to an afternoon meeting. By the time I got back to the cave and posted on my forum it was about time to get heading to the evening meeting. Then the day was done. My head hit the pillow sober for another day. I went to AA quite a lot in the early days – 235 meetings in my first 218 days of membership. Gradually I managed to get myself back out to work a couple of times a week. Because my debts were now so high I had enormous problems in coping financially. I went to the local job centre and explained to them that I was out of work. I doctored the business accounts so that it looked like we had ceased trading the previous December. I went onto benefits for a few months while I tried to get myself better while a couple of my employees kept the company running illegally in the background. When in AA I tried to do everything as it was suggested. I was advised to get a home group – a meeting I could get involved with every week and be a part of – and I did so. It was also suggested that I find a sponsor and try to work through the Twelve Step program of recovery to the best of my ability. I did this as well. I found a guy of ten years sober and asked him. For the next few months he took me through the first five Steps and it gave me something to work on, something to be doing in my early recovery. There were complications though. I met a girl in AA who became my special friend and I spent a lot of time with her in those early months. She wasn't new to AA by any means. She'd been going for around six years but had never followed any of the suggestions and so had never managed to get any further than three or four months of continuous sobriety. We became close and it looked for a while like we would officially begin dating at any moment. This never actually happened but it alerted me to how immature I was in this regard. It had been a long time since I was intimate with a woman and, to be honest, I hadn't really had a proper relationship at all (although I do have a son and a daughter – neither of who I actually have seen for years) so became incredibly confused and it led to problems. There was an old ''friend'' of mine who was to be coming to help me out with something in the cave and as payment I had got for him a gram of cannabis. We had to reschedule a couple of times and one evening I came back from a meeting of AA feeling a little dejected. I wasn't getting into this sober way of living at all. I rolled a spliff and ''enjoyed'' a night of toking. In the end, as you can imagine, this led to me smoking the rest of the gram, heading back to my dealer the following day to buy more, and then getting into the habit of smoking weed daily once again. I went to AA to speak about this but they didn't have much to say about it. ''We are hear to talk about alcohol!!'' they would say, ''Not drugs!!'' And so there was little support for me. My sponsor, whom I called Stu, was very into his AA way of life. He seemed to live and breathe it. I figured at the time that this was for me. A new way to live. A calmer way. A sober way. Over time, however, I started to form resentments with him. He seemed to have an unrealistic expectation of what these twelve steps could do for us. He advised against many things I wanted to do with my life in my early recovery. For a start – I wanted to date that girl I had met in the fellowship. He said that I should break off contact with her. In the end I did break off and we drifted apart. I wanted to go to college. I thought that study might give me something to do, give me some sort of direction in my life. I applied for, and was accepted onto, a sound production diploma. My sponsor seemed not to be too keen on me doing this. He kept saying to me that it was too soon yet. That when I have a Twelve Step program behind me and I'm working it in my life on a daily basis then I can do whatever I want to do, but that I should calm down in the meantime. If I get a good idea I should phone him; if I get a great idea – I should go visit him! That was the philosophy. There were many things I wanted to do but each of them was met with this same belief that I should wait until I have completed these Steps. I withdrew from the college and went back to the cave to smoke weed. I was without hope going into the winter – typically my worst time of the year by some distance. Weed had become my best friend, perhaps at that time my only friend. I stopped going to meetings as much and the darker thoughts started to come back. I had spent the two previous Christmas's alone (despite having an invitation to my brother's on both occasions) and so it was an improvement that I managed to get my sober (but stoned) ass there for the Christmas of 2015 but I was in a pretty bad place. I began to hibernate and moved everything I'd need into my tiny bedroom and barely left for the winter. When I reached my first sober birthday I decided to stop taking the weed and is still to this day the last time I smoked any – that new year being the last time I took any Class A drugs having taken a couple of ecstasy pills before the bells. The first five Steps of AA's program were extremely handy. I had no problem in admitting my powerlessness over alcohol (a popular first stumbling block for newcomers) in that – if you put alcohol into my system how long could I stay in control for? Not long at all! That's how long! The second part where I am to admit that my life had become unmanageable was also not a problem. All my life I had struggled to live. Struggled with employment, with relationships, with family, with even keeping a clean house. I just struggled. Period. Completing this Step was not an issue. Then I had to somehow get into my head the idea that there was a Higher Power out there, a God of my own understanding. Not God, as in the way that Christians might have me believe. No one's God but mine. This was a God of my understanding. Steps Two and Three were, for me at least, all about just accepting that I was going to try to connect with something – I was going to try to connect with something for so long that I started to believe in its ethereal existence. These are other stumbling blocks to people taking the program seriously. I was beat, or close to it, enough that I was going to just give it a go. Steps Four and Five were connected. I had to think about my past. What were my resentments? My fears? What harm had I caused to others? I had to get into the habit of listing all of these, being extra careful not to leave anything out, and then be willing to discuss them all at length with my sponsor. This took a while. Stu and I were meeting up once a week, every Wednesday evening over the spring, summer, and autumn, and several of these sessions were dedicated to discussing my fears and resentments. It was a very valuable time for me in working through these Steps. There were certain things we talked about that threw a different light on some of the ways I looked at certain things that had happened to me in my life. I discovered how resentful a person I actually was. I was filled with hatred. From these lists of people, places and things I resented came a list of amends I would have to later make. I came to Steps Six and Seven in which I am to become entirely ready (not just a little bit ready but ENTIRELY ready) to have all of the defects I discovered I had removed by the Higher Power, the God of my understanding, who I had begun trying to communicate with, that calm part of me we find when we are meditating, but I wasn't ready yet. I had to go through a winter from hell before I would be ready enough to give it another go. During this time I went through a few losses. I lost my internet access at home. Then I lost the business vehicle. Then I lost all of our staff. My brother went to university and to this day there is one worker who still goes out there and cleans windows on my behalf (although it's been a long time since I spoke with him so it's probably his business now). I also ran out of money on many an occasion (most of my cash was going on my daily cigarette and weed smoking habits and so I found myself without cash for food a few times, even shoplifting to make up for this, so anyone who says that weed isn't addictive or is harmless should really wake up). I had been declared unfit for work, was referred to the local psychiatric hospital, and started claiming sickness benefit. I started to wonder if my sponsor had made the right call. Would this have all happened had I been at college? Or was this all happening because there was nothing positive in my life? I will never know. The suicidal thoughts returned; the cave got to the stage where it became home for hundreds of flies who would buzz around; I would sleep on a shitty rug on the floor in the corner (when we become that frightened I think we shrink our worlds as much as possible to protect ourselves) and it took for a member of the WQD forum to make the trip from Glasgow to my town to assist me in cleaning it all up. Eventually the sun came back and the spring started. I went back to my sponsor with my tail between my legs and we started again, picking up where we left off. I got through the Steps I was stuck on and got onto the Steps where we are to make amends to those we harmed throughout our drinking. This meant doing a lot of things I didn't want to do. I would have to make amends to the companies I was due money to. This would mean a serious financial commitment. If I believed AA, wanted to stay sober and get better, then I was going to have to do it. I contacted all of the companies and made the commitment. I wouldn't be able to keep up with these payments as the months went by but this was a good start to clearing my debts. I got them all down a little bit. As the summer of 2016 got as warm as it can get here in central Scotland (not too warm) I noticed that much of the drinking fog had subsided. I had put a little time between myself between myself and my last toke of a joint as well. Things were getting a little better. While working through my amends Steps of the AA program I started up a few other little challenges for myself. I couldn't manage to complete the ''One Hundred Push Up Plan'' which trains us to complete one hundred consecutive good form push ups but I'm hoping to start it back up again soon and give it another go. I heard that when we first get clean and sober we are so irresponsible that we should buy ourselves a little house plant and try to keep it alive for a full year. Last year I bought two. They both died over that terrible winter in the cave. Neglected and haunted. On June 30th last year I bought the same two plants – a Leopard Lily and a Dragon Tree – and only the Lily died this winter. Just three months to go and the Dragon Tree will make it. It's something I'm looking forward to. I also started college in the summer there. My sponsor wasn't too happy about it but if I didn't start back in September then that would be my chance over for another year. I couldn't face another winter and so started the course, albeit at a lower level than the one I'd previously been accepted on. It's given me the chance to practice good self-care values that were completely absent during all those years of drinking and it has given me some kind of direction that was missing in my recovery after that AA honeymoon had subsided. In July I started volunteering at a local charity shop in the cafe section. I like this role as it is so far out of my comfort zone it isn't even funny. Given my extremely poor working history I am hoping that giving up some of my free time each and every Friday morning I will end up with a reference. I like doing things now that test me and that I don't necessarily like doing. If that make any sense. At the same time as the college started my brother married his girlfriend of nine years (whom I call Scottish Sarah) and I was Best Man. I had to give a speech at the wedding while staying sober and I had to organise a night out for all the boys and stay sober for that too. We went to Edinburgh for the night and I did well to stick to the tap water. Also at this time I started dating who has been my girlfriend since. Lindsay, I like to call her. It's the first time I've been in a relationship since leaving my children's mother over ten years ago. It's going well although it does throw up some really big challenges at times. The biggest of these is sex. Even though we've been dating now for nearly seven months, and I stay over at her flat at least three or four nights a week, we still have never had sex. A lot of my challenges came outside of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Someone very close to me, or used to be, in AA who has been there for years but hasn't managed to get and stay sober, once asked me how I managed to do it. How did I come into the fellowship and get sober first time? I don't bother putting myself down by saying that this is not strictly true in that I smoked weed for a few months while I was pretending to be sober. But the main thing I said to her was that the AA Twelve Step program was not the be all and end all of my self-investigation. I had to do a lot of work to find out about myself. My sponsor wasn't keen on any of this and so I called an end to it for a second time, this time giving up at the midway point of the Ninth Step. I may or may not go back to it at a later date. We'll see. I did a lot of reading. I looked into psychology books to find out what becomes of people like me. The biggest thing that ever happened in my life was losing my father when I was five years old. This led to me being very distrustful and negative. It also led to my poor attainment at school. Recently I have started sessions with a clinical psychologist (I like to call him Dr. Bacon) – which has come at the end of an enormous eighteen month waiting list, and we've started to look into my Detached Protector Mode – something which I have formed and perfected over the years, ever since that fateful day way back when I was five, in order to protect me from the world and all the many parts of it I believe want to hurt me. It's something that we are about to start working on using something called Schema Therapy when I see him at our next session in a few days. I turned two years sober last month and was very happy about it. I shared at an AA Step meeting on the day and received my birthday cake. All went well. This was also my first birthday free from all drugs. I decided to make it the day I quit smoking and so today signifies the fifth full week of me being an ex-smoker. On the same day I cut out the cigarettes I also came off my antidepressant medication. Now I feel like I'm entering recovery. I decided a little while ago that I wanted to take a break from the rooms of AA. I'm all for it, really I am, and it did help me sober up and stay sober. I would likely never have managed to get this far without it. AA also taught me much about how to become a (slightly) better person and it introduced me to the idea of a Higher Power – something I still practice believing in to this very moment. There are, however, some extremely disturbing elements to the fellowship. There's a lot of ''Thirteenth Stepping'' goes on. Old men who are trying to hit on women when taking them through the Twelve Steps. A large percentage of members there are still very much living in the problem. They haven't really changed much at all. There's a sense that many members who come into the rooms unemployed wish to remain unemployed forevermore – staying on benefits until they are old enough to claim their state pension seems the way of life for many in the rooms. It's a poor message to show to newcomers. More than this though – I think there's a huge sense of dependency there. These guys NEED to go to meetings all the time in order to stay sober and they don't mind telling you that. I decided I needed a little time away from the rooms to test out this philosophy. Do I NEED to go there every day, week, even month, to stay sober? Besides this – I began to feel that my sponsor was having too big an influence on my life. It was getting to the stage where I couldn't make up my mind on decisions which would affect my life. I'd been told, like I mentioned, that – ''If you have a good idea, phone me; if you have a great idea – come and see me!!'' and I think that I'd taken this as being the way forward. When Lindsay and I started seeing each other regularly I decided to run it past Stu, see what he thought about it. I figured that he would not approve and would advise against it. Break off communication – that is what I feared he might say. I met him and we discussed it for all of five minutes. Don't do it! Break off communication. This is what he said. I felt as though enough was enough. It was not by any means the first time he'd told me that he did not think I was about to make the right choice on my life and future. Nearly seven months down the line I have to say that things have turned out quite well. I made the right choice. At the time of speaking to Stu I came to realise that he was, in effect, stopping me from becoming responsible. He was taking away my God (of my understanding's) given right to make my own mistakes in life. I ended things with him so that I could try to learn to be independent and responsible. Every time I felt a fart brewing inside I was thinking, ''Fuck – I wonder if this is the right time and place to release it. I'd better call Stu and run it by him!!'' So I felt I should also tone down my meetings for a while and today is the fifth week of thirteen where I am not attending meetings. I choose thirteen weeks because they have this thing in AA when you first join (as some of you may well know) that you should attend ninety meetings in ninety days so I decided to put my own little spin on that and stay away for a full ninety days. Over all then – that's my story! The forum I used to help me before (the now defunct WQD) aided me greatly in finding my way early doors into a new kind of life far away from that one where I woke up on the floor of the bedroom in that cave over the winters. It had its problems, as any forum will. Many of its senior members hadn't been to the kind of places that many of us who are/were very serious drinkers and who have lifelong psychological and social dysfunctioning yet pretended they had, which is something I found to be deeply disrespectful. When I was going through my suicidal thinking I had to pull away from the forum for a while as it appeared to condemn me for feeling this way. Many of its members figured I was just seeking attention. Again – many of them couldn't relate to what I was going through. The senior members especially. Things were never the same after that. I don't care too much for people posting responses to what I write. Sometimes there are periods when no one reads my text yet I still put down my 1000 – 1500 words daily. It's a tool I've used to help me stay sober since the beginning of my journey. This website is the latest place to be cursed with these words. Thanks for giving this your time. Stevie, Lunarer.....
  25. 1 point
    Hey, thisperson. When I ordered online the first couple of times, I was completely twisted in knots about it. I understand. Here's the thing. You are not doing anything wrong. No one cares. I mean that. NO ONE CARES. They do not care if you use a different name. They do not care if you ordered something from India (or Germany or Vanuatu). The customs agents have SO MUCH MORE TO DO. The police will never, ever get involved. The reason I am saying these things so emphatically is because I have been where you are and I had all of that running through my head. It was actually worse when I finally got a prescription for FOUR TIMES the FDA approved amount of baclofen. I started an argument with the pharmacist, before he even had a chance to look at my prescription. Really. I did that. I was so concerned, and so defensive, that I told him it needed to be filled. Turns out he was just trying to tell me they didn't have enough in stock and it would take a day to get it in. Before he got that out, though, I insisted he call my psychiatrist (out of state) and fill the damn thing or I would contact The Authorities. (Mind you, I didn't know then, and still don't know, who The Authorities are and why they would care.) I freaked out. I was hyperventilating in the car after I left the counter. Now? pfffft. No worries, mate. I've taken baclofen from all of the countries I mentioned above. I've had to sign for it. I've had to pick it up at the post office. I have a pharmacist who knows me by name and has filled more questionable stuff for me than I care to recount. (Not bragging. I've just tried a lot of things to get well. It makes me cringe.) But here's the bottom line: I couldn't quit drinking until I took baclofen. When I took enough baclofen, not only did I not want to drink anymore, I was HAPPY about it. I was contentedly sober. For the first time in 20+ years of trying. Three rehabs. Years in and out of AA. (Talk about humiliating. ugh. Picking up white chip after white chip.) Not everyone's got it like I had it. Not everyone has the terrible experiences I've had trying to get sober, or the amazing experiences I've had since getting sober with the help of baclofen. But it's worth a shot. So hang in there. Keep posting. We're here. We'll help talk you down off the edge. And support you when you start. It's scary. But it can definitely be worth overcoming your fear.
  26. 1 point
    @MJM have you thought of trying vapes to help with stopping smoking? My oldest son (now late 30s) has been a smoker for most of his adult life. He managed to stop completely in about 3 months using one of these. DIL now also trying, trouble is I think she is enjoying the vape too much, it's become a sort of substitute - but at least it's healthier. Glad to hear things are going so well for you - you sound like someone whose life is coming together. I have had back problems which I think are due to bac. My theory is it relaxes your core muscles, so that any pre-existing problem (in my case a scoliosis) gets worse. I'm now doing yoga & pilates to try to limit the progression (I've said this elsewhere, probably repeating myself - sorry!)
  27. 1 point
    Mentium - I consider myself 'cured' (for want of a better word) and I took naltrexone. The thing is, I feel that if someone WANTS to get the monkey that is AL off ones back, then they WILL comply. If they do not comply then they really do not want to be cured. That is just my opinion of course - but not once did I ever drink without taking the Nal at least an hour before..... To me, Naltrexone was an absolute miracle - I was a highly functioning alcoholic - I rarely got drunk, (because I did not 'do' hangovers) and many people would argue that I did not really have a problem - but to me I did - because I drank daily! The Nal took me 11 months which is longer than it is 'supposed to'. But I never gave up. Oh and I would most definitely read the book - it explains all the logistics so helps you understand the whole thing much better! Wishing you all the best with it, hugs, Maggie
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