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The End of my Addiction


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  1. 11 points
    My name is TerryK and I'm no longer an alcoholic. I've been on high-dose baclofen for more than six years, and indifferent to alcohol for more than five. There is so much distance between who I am now, and the person I used to be, who *needed* to drink every.single.day to fall asleep, to quell anxiety, to lift depression, or to celebrate that it's hard to find new words to describe what that past was like - so I'm just going to borrow pieces from updates that I've written over the years on MWO and let them live here from now on (edited, and hopefully a bit more concise). 25 years ago - I started drinking in college. 19 years ago - I was drinking most nights, and probably pretty heavily on the weekends. It never got in the way of my life, my job, or anything really. I could stop if I really wanted to, with maybe a sweaty, sleepless night or two. I took a couple of weeks off here and there only when I had to. 13 years ago - I was drinking pretty heavily every night, and getting shitfaced on the weekends. I powered through my daily hangovers with aplomb. I could always wait until after work, or even after the gym, to start drinking, but absolutely, I needed at least 5 or 6 to fall asleep. I was concerned, but I wasn't able to cut back. 9 years ago - I could barely wait to get home from work to start drinking. I planned my days around where I could get alcohol. I carried a hip flask. I hid bottles in my house. I hid my drinking from my girlfriend. I considered a six-pack of pounders (8 US units) a sober night for me on weekdays, then I would get completely obliterated Friday and Saturday hoping to be able to taper back down to my 6 (8) beers a night maybe by Wednesday with Friday just around the corner. If I wasn't drunk enough when I went to bed, I would wake up after a few hours without being able to fall back asleep. I started drinking in the middle of the night. I started drinking in the morning. All efforts to cut back failed over and over. 7 years ago - My life was completely unraveling. I would wake up sometimes with a panicky, retching sickness that I could only stop with a couple of shots of hard liquor. I missed work. I snuck drinks on the job. I obtained some benzos to stave off my withdrawal during the day and wound up propelling my drinking to the stratosphere. I switched to the cheapest vodka. I sometimes drank mouthwash. My health was failing (Liver Panel, Gout, High Blood Pressure). I felt like I was dying. I wanted to die. I went to the ER a handful of times; Outpatient detox twice, and inpatient detox twice. 6 1/2 years ago - I got home from my 2nd inhouse detox and white-knuckled for the next 5 months without alcohol. Everyday seemed like a waste - I was miserable, and I made everyone else miserable. 6 years ago - After reading "The End of My Addiction," I started self-medicating with baclofen that I purchased online, soon after from a local psychiatrist. 5 years, 9 months ago - I was hospitalized while trying to titrate too quickly on baclofen. 150mg/day to 235+mg/day + a lot of alcohol. 5 1/2 years ago - I reached my "switch" - indifference to alcohol @ 280mg/day Today - Still cured of my alcoholism! Completely indifferent! I don't count days and it doesn't take any effort. I'm currently at 160mg/day down from 280mg/day on 9/26/10 (240-220mg/day in all of 2011, 200mg/day in 2012 and 2013, 180mg/day in 2014). After all of that time, no "other shoe has dropped" - my kidney function/blood work is fine, I'm still sharp and sane, and my indifference is solid despite the couple of beers I have occasionally. I am side-effect free. I don't like to give advice on how to take Baclofen, but if I were to hazard a guess as to the longevity of my success I would say that staying at/near my switch dose for so long, and titrating down very slowly might be the key. Some background: I'm in my 40's. I drank heavily for 20 years, just about every night for the first 15, and more often during the days, then 24/7 towards the end. Typical week night for me was 8 beers and almost a pint of scotch, weekends were no holds barred. In my late thirties I had 4 trips to the ER, 2 outpatient detoxes (lorazepam), and 2 inpatient detoxes (phenobarbital). Attempts at moderation invariably put me in the exact place I left off in a month or less. CBT, SSRI's, counseling, did zero. AA was a poor fit for me as well (to put it mildly). I did try Moderation Management online, and had no luck finding Rational Recovery. I read Ameisen's book in early 2010, and I stumbled upon MWO soon after. I began titrating in March 2010 with Fexobac baclofen ordered online from India (4rx.com) and Neuraxfam baclofen from Germany (Goldpharma). I was then extremely lucky to find a psychiatrist who began writing me a legit script in late spring 2010. Post "switch," my indifference has been effortless. My titration, however, was *definitely* not. I had very, very severe side-effects and wound up restrained in the ER and hospitalized for 5 days when I tried to increase my dose too high, too soon, and started drinking *A LOT.* Increasing 20mg/week was too rapid for me and I settled closer to 10mg/week, and even then, day 2 after the increase was always a doozy, with intense hallucinations and shocks to my hands/fingers. All in all, it took 7 months of slow, steady titration for me to find indifference @280mg/day. My answer to overcoming side-effects is 1) slow, steady titration 2) even dosing on an even schedule 60/60/60/60 at 6am/12pm/6pm/12am 3) consistency in brand of baclofen - don't interchange brands day to day and if you need to switch brands do it this way: (100% Brand A to 75% Brand A + 25% Brand B to 50% Brand A + 50% Brand B to 25% Brand A + 75% Brand B to 100% Brand B ). My yearly update on the old forum included a description of my post-baclofen alcohol consumption that read pretty much like this: "I occasionally have a beer or two (every couple of weeks or so). Except for the time I tried Amesien's "drink a bottle of whisky on baclofen and see if you have cravings the next day" experiment (I passed with flying colors) I haven't been drunk in all of this time (legally or literally), as it is, baclofen makes drinking more than a couple pretty unpleasant for me." I realize that I am lucky in this regard, and I do not believe that my experience means that continued safe, moderate drinking is possible for everyone else on baclofen. As I decrease my daily dose from year to year in an effort to find the minimum effective dose necessary to retain my indifference, I can admit that the beer is not as tasteless now as it was (impossible to drink really) at 280mg/day. However, I have learned with the help of baclofen, to live without alcohol as a cornerstone of my existence - I don't need booze anymore to relax, or socialize, or to help me sleep - and even though the anxiety is still very much present, I have learned coping skills that have kept me from turning to the bottle every time. I know that the future is uncertain, and there are no guarantees that it will last forever for me (especially as I continue to titrate lower - maybe even down to zero some day). The best I can do is to be on the lookout for falling back into bad habits, and to be as honest as I can be with myself about realities of the situation should things start to go south (admittedly a difficult task for those of us with a history of substance abuse). What I do know, is that I don't have to live in fear or anger over alcohol, and if I make any missteps along this path that I'm on, there will never be another day zero - it's been better than 5 really good years, and no matter what happens I will always continue to move forward. In upcoming posts, I'll detail my side-effects, my baclofen overdose, and put up some more links to my favorite articles on baclofen and addiction.... -tk
  2. 11 points
    Some of you may remember me from the meds forum at MWO. For those of you that don’t, I was active on that forum from 2010 to about 2012. Using baclofen, I was quickly able to go from crippling alcoholism to complete indifference In a very short period of time. My highest dose, and the one at which I reached indifference, was 3.9 mgs. /kg of bodyweight. Thanks to baclofen and the friends that I made at the old forum I was able to maintain indifference at 2.5mgs/kg for 2 years, during which time my life improved dramatically. I felt that the forum really started to go downhill, thanks to several psychopathic malcontents, and I lost interest in it entirely. I’d pop in for Terryk and other’s annual success stories, but that was about it. As it turns out, the support and community was more important in my recovery than I realized. Around 2013, I had a scare when I ran low on baclofen and needed to reduce my dose quickly. I never bothered increasing it to where I had previously been. I’m currently on just enough to help with some anxiety. As would be expected, indifference passed, and I started drinking again on weekends. A little turned into a lot, and the weekends are starting to creep into my weeks on occasion. I’m in a drastically better place than I was 6 years ago when I showed up at MWO, but things are definitely not good and getting worse. In the coming months I’ll be ramping up on my dose and hope to have good news before too long. It’s encouraging to “see” familiar faces that have had continued success. If you are new, and like me, are still struggling with alcoholism, I can’t make any promises. Baclofen is as close to a “magic bullet” as we have in a medical option to this point and it lives up to the claims in terms of treatment of alcohol addiction. However, success is determined by commitment. Continued success, as the short history of this stupid, stupid man indicates, is determined by continued commitment.
  3. 9 points
    My decline into alcoholism didn’t happen slowly. I took to alcohol like a fish to water because of its perfect anxiety-relieving properties. Drinking was the only time I ever really felt OK in my own skin. I began drinking alcoholically when I was 16, drinking almost every night to oblivion just to relieve the anxiety, depression, and insomnia I was going through at the time. It was a dark time in my life. I dropped out of high school. I just didn’t care about anything. Following a personal tragedy when I was 19 going on 20, I started drinking all day, every day, making sure to dull my consciousness at all times. Even after the pain had lifted somewhat, the habit was there, so this pattern of drinking continued for the next 16 years, with the exception of numerous short breaks following inpatient (or sometimes outpatient) detoxes and rehabs, as well as several successful tapers (usually with the help of my husband, who would hold on to my wallet and car keys, and take me every where I needed to go, while doling out smaller and smaller amounts of alcohol to me each day). Somehow I managed to stay semi-functional through it. I got my GED, then a college degree. I never came close to reaching my full potential, though, and I’ve been fired from jobs a few times when I started to drink too much during the day, to the point that it was noticed. I was usually pretty good at regulating myself, though, and was more of a maintenance drinker during the day, getting heavily buzzed or drunk only at night. It was no walk in the park, though. Besides the job losses, the problems in my marriage, and the legal problems brought on by my drinking, there was the every day misery. I was so physically exhausted that it drove me to tears on a near daily basis, and I threw up at least once a day. I had to master the art of silent puking so as not to be questioned by everyone around me. It was all so exhausting. I wanted to be sober more than anything else in the world, I just could not stop drinking. When I first heard about baclofen, I was elated. I had tried AA, rehabs, counseling, meditation, exercise, etc., etc., and nothing ever helped. The constant cravings were agonizing and I could never last more than a couple months before I’d start sneaking drinks again, and eventually end up in a full-blown relapse. The idea that I could simply not care about alcohol was intriguing to say the least, even if I didn’t quite believe that it would work. Anyway, my baclofen story is a little atypical. When I started on baclofen, my marriage was falling apart as a result of my drinking. I vowed that I would taper off of alcohol and quit drinking as I titrated up on baclofen. Over the course of two and half torturous weeks, I managed to reduce my alcohol intake from a liter and a half of vodka a day on average down to nothing. Problem is that the cravings were still overwhelming and I didn’t last. On day five AF I went to the liquor store and picked up just six or seven (can’t remember!) shot’s worth of vodka and bourbon on my way home and, much to my surprise, I didn’t feel that desperate need to run back out to the liquor store to get more like I had in the past when buying a small amount. I was actually satisfied. I don’t remember what dose I was on at the time. I know I titrated up pretty quickly in the beginning, then went very, very slowly through most of my titration. In any case, the next day the same thing happened, and the next, and the next. I never started to spiral out of control, but continued just drinking that much smaller amount each day. I continued on at that lower level of drinking for a very long time. I saw no further improvements as I went up in dose, probably at least in part because my titration schedule was so very damn slow. But then something happened while I was at 275 mg (and had been staying stagnant at 275 mg for months, for reasons I won’t go into), and for reasons personal to me, I decided to stop drinking entirely. Even though I was still experiencing cravings at that dose, baclofen had muted the cravings just enough that I was able to do it. Plus, the much smaller amount that I was drinking at that time, with AF days sprinkled in here and there, meant that I was no longer physically dependent and had the option to just stop. I started titrating up on bac as quickly as I could manage to get to my switch at that point and at 360 mg, I began to notice that I hadn’t thought about alcohol in days. And even when I did start to think of it, I had no interest in it whatsoever. These days I live my life effortlessly (essentially) alcohol-free. Alcohol is not on my mind, I just don’t want it. But sometimes, there are those occasional social outings where I will have a beer or two, or a glass of wine. There’s no compulsion to keep drinking whatsoever. I just enjoy my drink, enjoy my food, enjoy my company, then I leave and go on with my life. I have no desire to buy some on the way home and keep drinking when I get home, nor do I think about drinking again the next day. Baclofen has given me a freedom I never thought possible. It has made me a non-alcoholic
  4. 9 points
    Good morning, everybody. Suppose I haven't updated or really checked in in a while. So I'm done with holiday travel, home and then the conference. A little sniffly from being out in the cold a lot, and a tad bit jetlagged, but otherwise doing fine. Classes started yesterday and went fine - though none of the little bastards had the textbook. (Ugh, who shows up to the first day of class without the books? 70 students at my school, apparently.) Philadelphia was ok - the conference/convention. I went to a bunch of panel discussions, some were interesting and some were really terrible and stupid. Didn't get the chance to get out much, but did see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and also saw the house where Edgar Allen Poe lived for a few years. And I got a bunch of free books at the publishers' exhibits, well, if you count 8 as a bunch. Barely fit everything back into my suitcase. Decided I'm not going to this conference again unless I am presenting a paper or I have an interview scheduled. A little over 30 days AF. Sleep is pretty good overall. Trying to move past the sugar cravings and the impulsive shopping. I've mostly stopped buying things online (looking at my credit card bills helped). And there's a few things left I want to do with my car to get it set up where it feels like mine, but I'm going to wait a month or two until my bills are back under control. And while peanut M&Ms are still an ever-present temptation, been pretty good about cutting down on those and switching at least from ice cream to frozen yogurt. And working on getting back to mostly vegetarian now that the travel is done for a while. Well, working on that. Small steps I guess. Need to make an appointment for a checkup, and get moving on all the psychotherapy promises I'd made last month. Amazing how easy it is to put that stuff off. But I'm going to do it, this weekend probably. Look for a doc in the area and also a shrink or therapist or two. We'll see how that goes. Been trying to write most mornings, getting a tiny bit of exercise, and reading a lot (or at least reading more than watching Netflix, which I consider a win). And things are good with the girl. She stayed over last night. She hasn't been feeling good this week, we think it's stress from work. But we had a nice time relaxing here and watching TV in bed. I made a sandwich for her and the other night I took soup over to her at her place. So we are OK more or less. And that's about it. Going to try to get some work done today, and maybe get a massage. Haven't done that in a while, and my shoulders are really whacked from carrying my bag loaded down with books n' crap all weekend in Philly. Plus I just like to be a spoiled brat and get massages .
  5. 8 points
    Hello everybody! Sorry for the long absence. I went to treatment for 23 days. Got back a few days ago. I couldn't fight the demons anymore, and definitely couldn't stop drinking on my own. It was good. Intense. Emotional. Very, very busy. Bottom line is that I've got 30 days as of this morning, for which I'm really grateful. I was in a professionals program with doctors and nurses and other non-medico professionals. (The disease definitely does not discriminate.) Three Substance Abuse Counselors! One of whom, an MD, owns and runs his own program. Turns out he was using and addicted to DXM, too. Not in a healthy way. I told him about your experience, Chuck, and he freaked out. Definitely didn't have a similar experience! Or any knowledge about how it might be used in a healthy(ier) way. Anyway, it was sort of enlightening. I mean, it's not as if I hadn't heard it all before. It's an unabashedly 12-step-based program, despite the fact that they agree that the 12-steps aren't 'treatment'. I still enjoyed the meetings. Y'all know I love a room full of addicts. Lots of education, too, which I'm looking forward to sharing. Nice to *see* you guys. I couldn't really keep up while I was gone, because no phones allowed and very limited computer access. That in itself was jarring for this internet-obsessed chick! I'm still grumpy and out of sorts, but much, much better than I was. The last week before I checked in (at my husband's insistence) was pretty dire. I'm going to wander around here and at MyWayOut and see what's new! Hope everyone is doing well. xx
  6. 8 points
    The conference in Paris went well. We took the train in from the airport and when we got off at our stop and came up onto the road, the hotel was in front of us. Very cute little place called the Observatoire Luxembourg: https://www.google.com.cy/search?q=hotel+observatoire+luxembourg&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2kKXiv5LQAhVGF8AKHYD5BbwQ_AUICCgB&biw=1440&bih=805 The lecture theatre was a few blocks away. We spent the first day walking around the Jardins du Luxembourg. https://www.google.com.cy/search?q=jardins+du+luxembourg&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiI1863wJLQAhXJAsAKHT67BTYQ_AUICCgB&biw=1440&bih=805 The conference was actually a colloquium where the various researchers and professors involved in the baclofen trials gave their updates on what was happening. Amanda Stafford was there from Australia and there was a businessman from Holland who has set up a baclofen rehab business. It seems that two of the trials were successful in showing a good result for baclofen with about 60% of baclofen users showing improvement with either reduced drinking or abstinence. Two of the trials don't appear to have been very successful in showing baclofen does anything. There was a lot of discussion about why this was but the result of it was that baclofen now seems headed for approval as a drug treatment for alcoholism in France. I am not sure when this is going to take place. During one of the talks, a man stood up in the lecture theatre and started talking over the speaker, saying that the results of the trials were subjective. I wasn't paying much attention to him but he seemed very angry and he left as soon as he had finished his comments. I think what was happening was that the speaker was making fun of the way in which one of the other trials had been conducted and this fellow took offence. Apart from that, everything went well. I was last to make my presentation and had been sitting from 9 am until 5 pm and by the time I spoke, I was quite stressed from the anticipation of speaking in French in front of a lot of university professors, doctors and baclofen users. I got through the talk ok but found it quite stressful. I had some good comments afterwards and I think I got my point across about the legal implications of a new way of looking at alcoholism. The next day my wife and I went for an open top bus tour of Paris which was a hoot. What an incredible city. I recommend that if you go, definitely do the tour because you can jump on and off the bus for three days and see every site in Paris and stay as long as you like before getting on another bus. That's about it. We went home the next day. Wish we had stayed longer but our son was starting back at school. I had a chance to speak to Dr. Stafford. She is very enthusiastic about baclofen and will be an asset to the alcohol recovery world. She is taking her message about baclofen to doctors in the UK and elsewhere, to talk to hospitals and doctors about prescribing baclofen. She is a very impressive speaker and puts the case very well. Since she has first hand experience of baclofen working in very serious cases, it's going to be very hard for any doctors to ignore what she says. It's very encouraging to hear a doctor speaking in public quite confidently about it. She has the backing of her hospital and the health services in Perth. The problem in Scotland is that the doctors using baclofen there did not have the backing of their hospitals. The good thing is that she said that this drug lived up to its promise and did help very serious cases of alcoholism. She intends to try using this treatment for drug abuse. Apparently about one third of males in Western Australia have an amphetamine problem. Since then we have been trying to get to grips with our own situation. Lots of problems and changes. Too much to discuss and not a lot of good news, to be honest. I was interested to read Neophyte's posts about drinking heavily at the beginning of baclofen treatment. I would like to know if anyone has that experience and what causes if because we are finding the same, starting over. Very worrying.
  7. 8 points
    Check this out https://www.thefix.com/baclofen-alcoholics Also, can someone tell me how to make the topic heading bold? Thanks.
  8. 8 points
    I'm 65 years old and I have had a drinking problem since I was in my mid to late 20s. I'm an only child in a family that moved around a lot when I was a kid. I went to 14 schools in all and ended up shy and socially awkward, always keeping myself a bit aloof from others. I never made friends easily. In my college years I smoked a lot of dope. I was away from home – my parents still living abroad and I developed what I now believe to be cannabis induced psychosis. My life was disorganised, I had no life skills and it all went to pieces. It was relatively mild as the condition goes, but one effect was the start of a life-long struggle with anxiety. At the time the anxiety was at times completely crippling and left me curled up on a sofa my arms wrapped around me, trying to stop my anxious thoughts. In later life it has much reduced but I am sure I remain at the higher end of the anxiety spectrum. I discovered that alcohol handled the anxiety pretty well. The mental anguish that came with the condition lasted into my early thirties, though thankfully the paranoia that was a symptom to begin with eased off after two or three monstrously difficult years. Later of course, I learned the hard way that regular daily drinking generates an anxiety all of its own. Despite all that I managed to get two degrees by the time I was 28, my first at Art School and then at Uni studying Social Work. Later I qualified as a teacher and then took on an MA and then a further post grad qualification. I mntion this not in any way to brag, but to remind anyone who doubts it that the homeless alcoholic in the gutter is probably not the most typical. The average guy is. I did OK with my chosen career and was successful, as these things are measured I suppose, reaching the top of my particular greasy pole by the end of my career – one that ended five years ago as I applied for early retirement. I drank all thorough those years, which included two marriages and a third long term relationship, which I am in now. I had two children, both of who are grown up and doing well. I love them both and we are close, which is a blessing. I drank to relax and to suppress anxiety. And then of course I drank – and still do – because I am addicted to alcohol. As these things are measured the amount I drank was on the moderate side, as alcoholics go. Four cans of beer a night for many years and a bottle and a half of wine in later years. Whatever the amount it was alcoholic drinking- dependent drinking. I have tried to stop many times. I have had periods ranging from a year here, six months there and last year a further 10 months. To do this I used methods ranging from self control and will power, to counselling and several times AA, an organisation I ultimately grew to mistrust and dislike intensely, which is not to dismiss the help it has given many people. I don't very much like or feel comfortable with the me – the mental and internal me that emerges once I am sober for a while. Not my personality - I think I am kind and a decent human being. I am tolerant, forgiving and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. I have never had what AA refers to as 'resentments'. Alcohol however has made me weaker than I should be. Less tough when it counts than I should be. The 'me' that I don't like when I am sober for long periods is simply a rather tenser and more anxious person than I am when I drink. My whole 'self' tightens up ever so slightly and I never truly relax. My most recent attempt to stop drinking was by using baclofen. I read Dr Ameison's book, The End of My Addiction, found a forum where it was discussed and started taking the tablets. I built up the dosage to 140 mg and then stalled. I think I increased the dose too fast and I experienced unusually unpleasant side effects in the process. I also struggled with some negativity about the 'baclofen route' and found managing large quantities of the drug – purchasing it and managing it a bit stressful. I decided to stop taking baclofen – which is to say to slowly reduce the dosage over time - at that point and also to stop drinking. It was pretty easy too – perhaps because of the residual effect of baclofen. I stayed sober then for a two and a half months before drinking again. I firmly believe that baclofen can and does work. I trust and believe the people who have said as much, however don't be fooled into thinking it is an easy route or that baclofen is a magic pill that will take your desire to drink away. It takes time and effort and for most people tolerating side effects – not dangerous ones but sometimes unpleasant enough ones. Alcohol has been with me all my life. It has been a crutch and it has been my saviour. It has also been my master and made me its slave. Sometimes the bargain feels worth it but much of the time it feels like a bad deal. I don't know if I will ever be free of it.
  9. 8 points
    Hi all, I originally wrote my story on mywayout.org, which was instrumental in assisting me. The "being part of something" that the forum at the time invoked was massive (and Ne must take credit for that as well), unfortunately it's gone now, but hopefully will be replaced by this forum. I think it's extremely helpful to have a system in place when you do something like this. Particularly, I found that because baclofen is such a weird experience, it really feels like something that, let alone a doctor, but a team of people, should be around you whilst you're going through. Having taken several mind-altering drugs, my experience is that few of them actually compare with baclofen, both in terms of immediate effect, and far-reaching consequences... (ellipsis for effect!). Meanwhile, back at the ranch, help is unavailable from all quarters... People unaccustomed to feeling different as a result of chemicals (apart from booze, of course!), may well find themselves uncomfortable when going this route, when their doctor has advised against it. That said, I cannot stress enough what a difference taking this drug has made to my life. It really is like one of those fairly-tale stories, and even involves big-pharma, for those who dig conspiracies. Get another doctor. Do it. I was a fun drinker. I mean, I had fun, but not many other people did. I was fortunate that, apart from car crashes (in Zimbabwe, drunk driving depends on how much money you're caught with), arguments, and the imminent dissolution of marriage as a result of being fucked every night, there were "minimal" consequences. I hadn't gone as far down the road as some, but I had the road firmly in my sights, and was accelerating. And accelerating gladly. In a discussion with my wife just prior to baclofen, I had declared that I would rather have booze than my family, and was sincere. In a a last ditch effort, I Googled alcoholism cures, and lo and fucking behold, but some of them pop up. Coming from a rehab background, this was incredible. Having been at rehab, why the fuck had this not been discussed, especially considering that I had specifically mentioned that to me it felt like something was wrong in my head, and had nothing to do with morals; surely this should have at least been mentioned? My original thread on mywayout was entitled something along the lines of "fucking unbelievable", IRRC. Anyway, that aside, on a January morning in 2011 I went to the Dr, and laid out my spiel. This being Zimbabwe, he immediately went and gave me a prescription for 240mg, despite me forgetting all my literature at home, which I went up to in about 3 weeks, It's not a titration i would recommend, but I would like to point here that going up on baclofen is not necessarily something to feared - I had several highly enjoyable experiences - at one point, for several days, I felt like I was on ecstacy, at other times my vision was all weird, but in a good way, and a lot of the time I felt like I was pleasantly stoned. On the hole, I actually enjoyed my titration experience. This, in the face of a titration that was probably way too fast, my personality came out, and I wanted to see what this drug could do for me. Note that this is an unusual experience, and the quicker you go, the more likely you are to feel odd - if that sits with you ok, then go for it. Amidst all the weird feelings, and red eyes (which made work kind of tough, but the more you do baclofen the more you can adjust and measure it's effects, to the point where after a year at most, there are no effects to manage), and looking kind of spaced, something very strange happened to me. At dinner on the 21st of January, 2011, after one glass of wine, I suddenly felt the wine wasn't... sitting well doesn't describe it, there was simply no urge to have another. This was an actual feeling that I can remember clearly, it being the first time it had ever happened to me... This in mid-dinner, that was normally a prelude to a party. I was floored. I was with my wife, and tears actually came out of my eyes. I was in mid-drink, and suddenly I was voluntarily putting a handbrake on. Something that had only happened if I was extremely hung, and my body couldn't take anymore. Here, at the beginning of a session, I was ready to just talk to people and chill. Bliss settled in for a while. I had the ability to drink a couple, then relax, go to bed, and be "normal". Man, this is taking too long - I want to give it some attention, but need an early night - I'll carry on when I get back from camping. If you're thinking of trying baclofen at this point, I can only urge you to give it a try, There are still a few bumps in my story, and life is far from perfect, but this chemical has made it possible for the problems to be of my making, rather than a chemical imbalance in my brain that dominated my life up to 2011. I wish you the same success, with this problem, and all the others. Better living through chemistry. Back in a week or so..., stay good everyone.
  10. 7 points
    Well it's official, 8 months today. Longest I have ever been AF since I first began drinking regularly. Doesn't feel like much of anything, really, but I sure wouldn't mind celebrating with a shot and a beer.
  11. 7 points
    Wanted to separate that last post from an update about me. August check in. Wow, where did the summer go, huh? Well, next week will be 8 months AF and I am no longer smoking pot at all since before the Spain trip, so that would be the first week of July. Still out of a job, which blows. Have a lead on a single class at the school here where I did my PhD. That won't be a lot of money, but it would be something to build around and I am hoping to get an email back confirming an interview/conversation this week. I also have taken all the steps to become a Lyft driver. You read that right. So far everything is good to go in the phone app, and pretty sure I could be out driving right now, but I am waiting for official confirmation that my background check cleared, which could be up to another week. I'd rather not invest in a more expensive phone data plan, a more expensive car insurance plan, and the few other expenses that go along with independent contractor tax status before knowing for certain that this will work out long-ish term. I am also working on writing a couple things that I'll hopefully be paid for. And I am also doing a LOT of writing that I'm not being paid for. A few people from the local activist organization I'm involved in and I have started an online web magazine - kind of an alternative-weekly news thing. "Your progressive news source in Los Angeles" we're calling ourselves, or something like that. I forget. Anyway, we're kind of blowing up - lot's of people contacting us wanting to write things, and getting a couple hundred daily visitors to our page. We hope to eventually bring in some money with this, too, but that's a bit further out in the future. Regardless, it feels good. Feels at least moderately important. And I get to write about the environment, and housing development and public transit infrastructure, and all the commie propaganda that I want. Haven't written much creative stuff, though. Pulled the novel out of the drawer and tinkered a bit, but still trying to really get into that again. Started jogging again - boy, that was a mistake. Took yesterday off because I was tired and it was 100+ degrees yesterday. And I had to finish writing a thing. Trying to read more, as always. The public library is definitely my friend right now. As is Medicaid, and unemployment. Like I mentioned in the last post, I am having vivid drinking dreams. Didn't used to mind those, but this time around they're bothering me a bit. And not getting the best sleep lately, though surely the heat has something to do with that. And as I just now clicked over to check my email in the middle of writing this post, the director of the place with the thing emailed me back to confirm he will call me today or tomorrow about the job. So that is very good, something to get me back onto a college campus. And something solid to build around, all the pieces of freelance and Lyft driving and maybe even some tutoring. Not the best possible outcome - I HATE hustling - but for now it's OK. Guess that's about it - kind of a lot, maybe too much - from me. Hope y'all are having a good one out there. And here's to August, cheers.
  12. 7 points
    I'm pretty sure it's the opposite, Molly. 5-HTP is the precursor to L-tryptophan. Definitely don't want to take those two together! All well here. Or as well as it can be at the moment, I guess. I'm still in a funk. Still not focused on the exam, much less studying to pass it, which is extremely stressful. But I like the job, and more than that, I like going to the job. Getting dressed, getting out, talking to other people. (Who knew? ) (That said, I'm pretty clear, or rather it reinforces, that I just don't like a lot of people. I mean, I don't dislike them. I just don't...like them. And small talk? hmmm. Very impatient with that. I don't think I was always this way, so maybe it's age? Like, why are you wasting my time telling me about your dinner last night? I don't care. I mean, I want to care, or feel like I should care, but I really and truly don't. Am I being a misanthrope? Is it just that the dinner didn't sound very good? I dunno. Still, I smile and act as if. ha.) (The exception to that is when I'm online. I care a great deal. Is that because there's already a commonality? Or do you guys just eat more interesting dinners?) I took a breather from all medications to reset and get a baseline. That's always really hard to do, for all of the obvious reasons. Started back on baclofen Jan 1st and will titrate up again. <sigh> Adding naltrexone to it, too. May (like @mjm and @alice22) have to add in an antidepressant at some point. urgh. Annoying. Would rather start running or exercising A LOT. (NYT article from last year, one of their top 10, about running--not walking--and neural plasticity or something. Would link but I'm being lazy.) Trying to break some bad habits, like reading junk, and instill some new ones, like anything else. Or continue to instill them, I guess. Like walking. I can actually jog quickly enough, in short bursts, that the husky has to lope! That feels good. (Did I mention that I've lost 20lbs? I think I did. But hell, I'll say it again and again and again.) Wish the weather wasn't quite so sucky! Spring comes early here, and as always, I'm over-eager. Have a ton to do in outside in order to prepare for the season, though, and still struggling to get enough energy to do most things. I want to have a bunch of blood tests done that aren't the usual profile. (Inspired by Stop the Thyroid Madness among other things.) I did have the MTHFR blood test, and am normal. Turns out the test isn't covered and the hospital is charging me $456 for it! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? A BLOOD TEST? Needless to say, my pDoc feels terrible for prescribing without checking and the hospital is NEVER going to get that from me. They'll be lucky to get $40 when I'm done with them. (Have to argue with both hospital and insurance about it. Happens to be my forte, though. Wasting time so I [and others] don't get taken advantage of. grrrr.) I'm not going to get the rest of the blood work I want done until I get that (and the ones I want) covered. I'm rereading A Prescription for Alcoholics, @MJM, in preparation for a new project and to finish some of the stuff I've started here. Forgot how good it is. Highlighter in hand, this time. I want to write... a paper. Or a letter. To doctors. And the world. Or something. And she's got lots of really good information in there. It's remarkably comprehensive. Huge hugs and all that.
  13. 7 points
    Morning Kuya and Happy New Year everyone Last night was a strange one - My first Christmas period I can remember when I have not been properly bolloxed for the whole period - The really strange part is that I did not miss alcohol - At all! - I just watched the others getting louder and louder, repeating themselves consistently and generally showing the tell tail signs of being drunk* New Years day is also The Pianna's birthday so we normally get properly wasted, New Years Eve - We stayed at home and she drunk (sp) a little - I still maintain embellishing yourself in a "safe" environment, at least in the infancy of attempting to reduce alcohol consumption is a very important tool 2016 started and finished, I did not drink and I did not die - I have changed my opinions on alcohol, I have become a bit of a dry drunk* (I suppose) but I do not feel I have missed out on anything because I have not drank What I am trying to say is that alcohol does not effect my life in a good way and without it, has not made me a worse person Regards Bacman * Edit - I feel this comment is a dry drunk comment - In so far as I have an issue with people drinking per se, rather than recognising that some people only do this once or twice a year
  14. 7 points
    I was so excited to start a new thread, a new written chapter for the new metaphorical chapter of new sobriety. Sunshine! Rainbows! Unicorns! Yesterday my alarm went off at 7:30am to remind me it was time to leave for my national certification exam. The exam was at 8. I still can't believe I forgot to reschedule it. I was in the middle of composing a post here, but I decided to just take the damn thing. Replaced my pajamas with some almost as cozy, but socially acceptable clothes, wash face, baseball cap, and out the door. Hit rush hour traffic and still made it there at 8:03. (Time IS relative. I keep trying to convince my husband of that fact. I know I've got it backward, since Einstein was trying to prove that time is not actually malleable. Or something like that. Way over my head. I think time is malleable and most people just don't know it. I have no attachment, unfortunately, to clocks.) So I took it. I don't know officially yet, but I know I failed it. Don't encourage me to think positive! It's okay. I mean, it's not okay. It's humiliating. But I haven't opened a book or picked up a notecard in a month. I couldn't remember the difference between Addison's and Cushing's, and lamented the easy access to google. What's the range for ammonia, again? pfffft. Whatever. I won't be able to take it again until next year and I was absolutely determined to have it done with (and all the other stuff that's been weighing on me for the last two years of active alcoholism) in 2016. Goodbye 2016! Hello sunshine and rainbows and unicorns! <sigh> Came home completely deflated and slept for 6 hours, got up and was still empty of thought for the rest of the night. Which was actually really nice. No anxiety, which I'm battling with every breath, and no guilt, or demands or anything permeated that fog. Made a nice dinner, watched Saving Grace and fell into bed at 9pm. About starting a new thread: There are plenty of things in my life that lend themselves to remaining humble and plenty of lessons yet to be learned. I don't want to live in the old space, in my head or on this forum. The words are there, people can read them if they want. It's not conducive to positivity to feel shame about where I live. And, well, it's about me. (This is a theme going on in other parts of the forum. I'm pretty sure it's not just about me, actually. There's a bigger picture I'm still yearning to be able to see.) My family is thrilled that I took the exam, and my mom is convinced I passed. (How could I not? pffft.) Now that that particular onus is taken care of, I can move on free of guilt about not studying every day. I have other, more important things to do. I'm going to take @Cassander at his word and get out on a really great new trail with the dog this morning. (Exercise and Nature, too!) Then I'm going to go to the gym to make Lo0p proud. I've already forgotten what day I'm on, and don't care anymore. I love the clarity of thought, looking forward to being able to consistently put thought into action. My last drink was on... Sunday, November 6th. Now it's official and I don't have to count! Peace out, peeps. Thank you. xx
  15. 7 points
    I'm back. After leaving MWO last September I'm pleased to say that I've not come back because things have gotten worse. In many regards, things have improved and I'm ahead now of where I thought I would be then. The reason that I've come back is that the things I care most about- creating a sense of closeness with others, creating something to leave behind, getting a sense of self respect- have gone absolutely nowhere. They've gone nowhere because they are the things above all else that I fear the most, and alcohol is the first place I turn to avoid them. This past weekend's wakeup call, although underwhelming and nothing that I would have considered unusual a year ago, really drove this home. Friday I drank (alone) by my fire pit. Saturday I drank (much more than) my family in the evening over a BBQ. Sunday I had planned to get some things done to make up for blowing off the previous two evenings, but despite knowing how much I'd hate myself for throwing the day away, despite knowing full well how much drinking would affect the next couple of days, three terrifying words went through my mind that I had not uttered to myself in a long time: I DON'T CARE. I thought those words had disappeared from my vocabulary two years ago after tapering off of baclofen. In reality, they've always been in the background, popping up this Friday night or that Tuesday evening when I didn't want to do what I should have been doing or simply had nothing else to do. What was terrifying about yesterday was that I expressed that sentiment to myself in explicit terms, accepted it and signed off on it. This is not about drunkenness- I don't get drunk nearly as much as I used to. It's not about work or money- I keep those areas of my life heavily walled off from alcohol after learning the hard way. What this is about is that alcohol is and has always been the first thing I run to when I'm afraid to engage in life. It doesn't matter that it only amounts to between 10-15 drinks a week- it's a major problem and it's destroying my life. In the past, I've made successful changes in my life when a confluence of circumstances made them known, desirable and attainable. I think that this is one of those junctures. The need for change is known: last summer I felt exactly like this. It's desirable: I absolutely cannot live a life where months of my life emotionally disappear from my memory. It's attainable: my living circumstances have improved and I now have a small social circle to engage with. The finish line for my final debt payoff (another excuse I use to avoid people because I have to "remain focused") is going to be around Halloween. I have enough baclofen to reach a switch before then and taper off afterwards. Between now and then, I'm not accepting alcohol as an excuse to compromise my quality of life when I know that there are bridges that need to be built and wounds that need to be healed. For the next 4 months, I'm going to update this thread to chronicle reaching the switch again with a fresh set of eyes. The first time around circumstances were so dire that baclofen was little more than a crutch to limp to higher ground, but I made it. This thread is not about escaping the catastrophe- it's about mustering the courage to run back towards it.
  16. 7 points
    Hi all, I just love the diversity of this forum. Loop, I would love to know more about your work. Stuck, it's still in the 60's here, but it's warming up. My b/d tomorrow, always follows summer solstice and I haven't spent it in weather this cool since I lived in the UK (lol). I have befriended a couple of kids who like my dog age 3 and 14. Apparently dad got laid off and they've been living w/o electricity for about a week. On Saturday the 14 yr old had that very sad look and stare. This isn't bragging on myself but an opportunity to see how enthusiasm works. On Sunday they (all kids) were all gathered around the picnic tables so I ordered a couple of large pizzas for them and told him about a cherry tree close to us. Monday, cherries were picked and signs were up charging 2 cents a cherry. He had 2 goals 1) to earn his first dollar; 2) to reach a goal of $5 and a wish for $10. He made his first 2 and was 43 cents away from the $10. Setting goals and achieving them was a great boost to him and he became so enthused he was bouncing and told me he hadn't had this much fun for a long time. This wasn't fun because he'd played a video game or gotten a new tablet it emanated from a 14 yr. old setting a goal, executing it and enjoying that sense of achievement that no amount of money can buy. I felt privileged to be part of it. Today I took him old magazines and paperbacks and tomorrow he comes to change a light bulb, move a table and vacuum living room and each job is $2.00 and are things I can't do with the back injuries.
  17. 7 points
    Greetings! Just a quick drop in. Will post more later. Stuck -- First, there is a documentary I saw recently called "love the nature". It looks like it's screening later in June in Orange County. Here's the website http://www.lovethynature.com/screening. Check it out and please take your girlfriend. You may decide it's bullshit, but it will at least keep her from killing herself over the environment. It is a tad bit hopeful on the environment, and while it might be a stitch, it is interesting and science-based while also spiritual and holistic. The trip was awesome. Very healing for my brother and myself (I'll expand on this later). Also great time with my kids. I drank on this trip. Every other night I had a beer at dinner and the kids shared it with me. I had 23 or 24 days of AF when this happened. It didn't throw me into cravings. I didn't want more than what I ordered. In fact, the last night of the trip my brother ordered me a second beer when I went the the bathroom, and I only took a few sips out of it and made him finish it. I haven't had anything now for 2 days, and I don't want anything. Will let you know if anything changes, but I'd call that indifferent. I'm steady on 120 mg. of Bac and 1,500mg of Gaba. The Gaba for me has made all the difference. In my mood, lack of anxiety, lack of nerve pain, and general sense of pretty-darn-goodness. Will post more later. My partner has had some major health issues, as has my daughter. My son may either be gay, or just very metro-sexual. I'm a lesbian, so having a gay child is not a huge deal, but it is a little odd because it just never occurred to me that this was possible (clueless much?). Anyway, my point is that I haven't wanted to drink because of any of this, or to deal with any of this. So far, so good. Love the liveliness on the forum. Right on!
  18. 7 points
    Before I drank at 16, I was an anxious person. Not like it was always there, or obvious to others when it was. I was like the duck in the pond; I may have looked calm but underneath I was paddling hard. I remember clearly at age 14 or so being at a school disco and too frightened to ask a girl to dance. I ending up going for a walk and crying, asking God why was I so scared, and how I felt so useless. It was a common theme, the feeling less capable and confident than most, and often fearful of doing things lest I look like a fool. Perhaps this is typical teenage angst, but I remember having these thoughts well before my teenage years. I first had AL when I was perhaps eight or nine. It was vodka at my Russian grandparents' house, for Easter or Christmas, I don't remember. I also don't remember much about it except it made me feel warm inside. I wan't allowed more than a sip I think. At 16 I got drunk for the first time and like all the other times to follow, AL gave me the most fantastic feeling of being part of the world, calm, in control. As with most of us, it came with a cost, which for many years I was willing to pay. My drinking was cut short at 21 when I started going to AA with a second-uncle, who was sober nine years in AA. I took a while to get sober, including a couple of detoxes. At 24, I finally got sober, which I remained for the following 11 years. In that time, I still felt like a fraud in AA. I tried doing the steps, again and again. I'd go to at least a meeting a day, got hard-line sponsors, went to rally, etc etc. I still felt anxious, but now had no way of relieving it. Praying didn't help. I found social situations of almost any kind incredibly stressful. AA meetings were kind-of okay, because I went to so many of them. Even new meetings, where I would be anxious to get up, I had a 'routine' I could roll out when sharing. Telling my story was easy because I had told it so many times in AA. I had my first clear episode of depression at about 27. I was driving to Uni one morning and just burst into tears. I wasn't suicidal, but remember feeling incredibly black. AA, sobriety, praying; none of it worked. I started running again, got to the point I could do a 14.4km fun run in 67min. The running helped, but it wasn't a cure-all. By 35, I had stopped going to meetings for 3 years. By then I was married to a woman who I felt like I talked into marring me 2 years before. I felt that being marred would make me more normal, I wanted to make up for lost time. I was not happy with life. I felt as though I was hollow. So one evening at home by myself, I bought beer. A year later I was separated (the best thing to happen, and not directly linked to my drinking. The marriage was going south before that). The drinking was hell, but I had starting running again, the first time in 8 years. Being fit helped withstand the Al benders, but only for a time. I started smoking as well, so that plus increasing benders and worse hangovers, the running stopped. I met my 2nd wife, who I am still married to, at 37. We met drunk at a party, and so that was our first common bond. My wife stopped drinking when pregnant with our first child, and so did I -- my drinking was bad, and not so easily forgiven when she was sober and not part of the fun. She could see how bad my drinking was. So back to AA. I got a born-again Christian sponsor, and even told my wife one day that she was not close enough to God. Clearly, I was crackers. I stayed sober from age 40 to 45. My wife had started to drink again, and we held lots of drunken parties with other parents. So I eventually cracked, and began drinking myself. In this time of sobriety, at about 44, the depression hit again, with force. I was tired all the time, often became teary or terse. My wife suggest I get help. I ended up on anti-depressants, which helped. At 45, I was drinking again, and it quickly became shambolic. At around 47, I started to try to get help to stop. I wasn't going to AA again. I went to a psychiatrist, who prescribed naltrexone, then campral. Neither worked. Then Antibuse, which gave me a break from the daily drinking, but did nothing for the cravings. I would stop taking it, so I could drink to relieve the cravings. I also tried mindfulness and things like Rational Recovery. Also hypnosis. None worked. I'm not sure how I discovered Baclofen, perhaps on an online forum. I got a scrip for it from my psychiatrist in May 2014, but didn't fill it. I couldn't subscribe to a regimen of taking several doses a day of a medication. Surely one magic pill of some type a day was enough? By the end of 2014 I'd had enough and would try anything. Then a relative sent me a link to a Bac trial being held by Sydney Uni and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I joined the trial in Jan 15. The doses in this double-blind trial were either 15, 30(?) or a placebo. I was sure I was on something, as I'm sensitive to drugs. But whatever it was, it was not enough. Without Antibuse (I was not allowed to take it on the trial) my drinking took off. I couldn't get a break from it, as I could by taking Antibuse. So by about March 15, I ended my participation in the trial, and wen to see my Dr to go on Bac proper. She declined to give me Bac, so I said I already had a script from my psych. She said to have that filled and try it. Of course she had no idea about Bac for AL abuse, or the high dosages required. By about May, I had hit the switch on 75mg Bac per day. But in June, my mum had a stroke and and had declined. her health had not been good for a couple years, but this time it was different. She called for everyone so that she could say good-bye. After two weeks of going every day to the hospital and staying with mum for a couple of hours, I became depressed. My cravings returned, and I started to drink. It took me until October to pull up again; by this time I had titrated unto 185mg of Bac per day. I soon started to titrate down, thinking that if I could hit the switch at 75mg, then surely I could get back to a similar level as a maintenance dose. I think the cravings returned in early December. I had titrated down to 120mg. I also had become depressed again. We were to have a xmas party on 12 December, and I was having ideas about drinking at the party. On 11 December, my mother died. When I got the call from the nursing home that she had died, i was in shock. I couldn't believe it was her -- she had rallied after illness before. Surely they had made a mistake? I had just driven past the nursing home with the kids, so I'm glad we didn't drop in to see her. She would've probably have already been dead. The night my mum died, after I had called my siblings and went to see dad to tell him, I started to drink again. The drinking continued until late January, when I had titrated up to 185mg again, and the cravings left. In late Feb, I had two drinking episodes. So I changed the times of my afternoon doses, and have had no cravings since. Even though I have a couple side-effects (somnolence and back aches) the rewards are manifold. I have a life, a full life. That is thanks to Baclofen. 9 April 16 -- Baclofen has brought about a huge change in my life but it's still early days. I have found that I still have moments of depression, moments where I don't feel as though I enjoy life, or enjoy the things that usually bring me joy. I also have had a few moments of incredible peace, but it's not consistent. We have gone away for a long weekend break to a beautiful wilderness resort with my father. He has taken the death of my mum hard, of course, but this weekend has cheered him up. Lots to add, will do so soon. No cravings, just the occasional thought of having a drink, quickly dismissed.
  19. 6 points
    December 8, 2017. It's official, one year sober. Feels like something that should be celebrated at a bar.
  20. 6 points
    Well, 10 months AF today. I'm conflicted about celebrating or even marking milestones, there always feels like an implied "great now don't f*ck it up." Anyway, did want to mark it here regardless, I guess. Hope it's a good one out there, everyone.
  21. 6 points
    Quick flyby at 2:30am here, just now back from Spain. Tired, jetlagged, looking forward to a couple days of lounging around to decompress.
  22. 6 points
    @Ne1 and @MJM -- I've found myself being quite negative, lately. A friend asked me, "where would you go if you could take a vacation." I replied that I simply don't know -- that I don't even see the point in taking a vacation. Nothing interests me... and it all just sounds like a real pain in the @ss. I've been to fourteen (?) countries and love foreign language... so, well, this is a sign that something's amiss. I suspect that it's lack of exercise. I'm simply very dependent on that trauma for my body chemistry to be "right." I've just managed to get myself into a funk. I know what I need to do... and yet I'm slacking. I went from at LEAST ten hours per week to zilch (the inability bend a knee for nearly two months is a reasonable excuse). Anyway, I'm damned near positive that exercise will help. This is inductive reasoning, of course; past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future performance. However, just as much as I expect the Sun to rise in the morning -- just because it always has, despite the lack of logical necessity that it will/must -- I have "faith" that exercise will help. Kicking a cute girl to the curb because she decries everything as "fake news... " well, that doesn't help matters. Still, they say that you can respect someone that you don't love... but you can't love someone you don't respect. So, there's that. I'll stop, here, before I start a pity party. Ah, and because I'm a nob, I'd like to forward a thought about politics and society. We [functionally] no longer have a free press in this country. It's really sad. I think that society would benefit from legislation bringing-back both traditional journalistic standards and something akin to The Fairness Doctrine. Our country is doomed without a free press. And I think that we can all agree that people tend to lie nearly exclusively for self-benefit. Being caught in a lie should be shameful and career-destroying (or at least quite damaging). Part of my "funk" is despair over what's happening in the U.S. It's a damned disaster... and I get the impression that very few people are pleased with government. That we don't have reliable media (and even widespread mistrust of wire services (e.g., AP, Reuters, etc)... er, it certainly doesn't help. I hope that my "political rant" is within the bounds of "fair play," that it's considered to be respectful, and that it's not blaming anyone. I'm heartsick over this and I want people to "DO" something. I see the steady erosion of compassion and respect for others. No one wins from that. I feel that both sides of the aisle are being manipulated by yellow journalism and vested interests. I miss the days when the two sides were so close to the center that MOST people could have well-reasoned, logical-ish debates. I mean, it was never The Brady Bunch... but I do remember when things weren't so acrimonious and vile. There are plenty of problems in the world to tackle -- and spending so much energy on in-fighting is just a fscking waste. #micDrop
  23. 6 points
    Oh, wow. I really do love you all. Sincerely. @MJM, what everyone else said. I'm glad you came back to read their words of support. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments. I would perhaps disagree with @empyr3al definitions, but I may be quibbling over semantics. I think, for me, relapse is a state of mind. Need and want become indistinguishable and the desire for escape, for relief, is overwhelming. Lizard-brain takes over. But that's much beside the point. If you're miserable, MJM, maybe it's time to try another antidepressant? I can finally say, with just a little bit of hesitation and a superstitious knock on wood, that I'm coming out of depression. It's Lexapro. No other explanation for it, honestly, as I was doing healthier things more consistently before I started to feel dramatically, unaccountably, better. After being on 10mg for about a month, and being on the increased dose of 20mg for about a week, I started waking without a sense of dread and the anhedonia I was experiencing all day, every day suddenly dissipated. It's kind of miraculous. And it should be noted that it was completely unexpected. I didn't think something as *simple* as Lexapro would work. I mean, I'm a snowflake, after all, and expected to have to take a concoction of off-label, totally unique to my personal brain-chemistry, pills and potions and whatnot. Nope. One little pill, and an SSRI at that! Never would have tried it if I hadn't been both desperate and resigned to the idea that nothing would ever work so I might as well just do it. What would it matter? Et viola. Here I am bathing and walking the dog and even (gasp) talking on the phone! Went to a relative's birthday party, three hours away, on Saturday! By myself! (It sucked. Don't know what I was thinking. ha.) Just a thought, MJM, based on my own experience and maybe some scientific stuff which says (surprise!) antidepressants work for people who are depressed. Whoda thought? In the meantime, know that drinking doesn't make you bad, much less a bad person. It's our go-to. The panacea that doesn't work, but should. And this is a lifelong thing we're all working on. Not that it's a lifelong struggle (please God, or whomever), but rather it's finding a new way of living and coping and being okay with ourselves and others. Perfection, even as a goal, is anathema to progress. It's doggy-palooza 'round here! Yipppeeee! Y'all are making me wanna run out to the shelter and surprise my husband, which is how we ended up with our first two. Of course, at this point, he'd probably throw me and the new dog out. @barrelchested (why isn't my notification thing not working, @administrator???) what kind of dog do you have? That's a lot of doggy-time you have going on. Which is great! But also, if it doesn't work for you then you'll have to figure out a balance that does. We have a dog walker, and I can't recommend it enough. I mean, we don't use her regularly, because I'm home all the time. But when I'm not, well, it's a peace of mind thing but also really beneficial for the pooch's well being. It's not cheap, I know. I mean, it is, at $12/hour. But quite an expense if you're doing it daily. Still, when I start working *sigh* we'll use her on the days I work. Even with a large, fenced backyard, this breed needs lots of exercise. Barring that, maybe one long walk and dog-park on special occasions? I dunno why I'm trying to solve this for you! I'm sure you'll find a balance. As for the diet stuff, I keep meaning to get back to that thread. I haven't done anything yet, and have actually fallen off the wagon a bit, but plan on getting serious soon. I at McDonalds food when I was on the road. It's been many years since I've eaten any fastfood. My GI system revolted, as you can imagine. It was both delicious and disgusting! McDonalds french fries are soooo good. ugh. I'm gonna post this and then start a new post, to see if I can get the notifications to work.
  24. 6 points
    Hello! I could not figure out where to post, but I am just going to post here. Today is my first day (evening, really) without a drink. I haven't gone 24 hours without a drink in at least 6 months. I typically have at least two drinks a day. Some days, I have far more than that. I do realize that the evening is not yet over for me. It is 9:09pm here in The Big Easy, but it is most certainly far past the witching hour for me. Hope everyone has a good evening. NL
  25. 6 points
    Hello everyone, just a quick check-in. Sober for a while now (a month maybe?) and have no desire to drink. Have been really busy with work, and while stressed out here and there, i seemed to have coped with it. Who would've thought. Feeling okay, just it's been hard with my wife's drinking. It's really difficult living with someone who is AL-addicted. Or rather, when you are too, but are but not participating. I get to see the slow downhill slide from the front row and it isn't pretty. It's especially hard on my kids, and to be honest, on me too.
  26. 6 points
    Morning from Virginia! I just realized that I've never seen Trainspotting. Will put it on the list of things to watch. Didn't see Logan last night. The movie was sold out for both the 5:30 and 6pm shows. Damn internet ticket sales!!! Very annoying. We would have gone to a later show, but Ed played poker with the boys (and I guess some women, too) last night. I had a quiet night in, thinking about drinking and obviously not doing it. I picked up a 30-day chip yesterday, a day early I realized. (And yes, I'm going to AA meetings, which I love, despite my firm belief that AA is not treatment and is often a negative influence for the likes of us. I need to get out of the house! And meet people. And talk about stuff.) I'm taking baclofen, and gabapentin PRN. I started the baclofen while I was in treatment and am taking 120mg/day now. Based on how much my friends from rehab are struggling once they get out, I think it's working the miracle. I'm not craving, though I think about drinking frequently. My friends are craving and really want to drink. I feel sorry for the people who were discharged with only the admonition that they need to take it one day at a time and go to meetings. The doctors at the rehab I went to don't uniformly prescribe anti-craving meds, unfortunately. Some people, I couldn't figure out the rhyme or reason, were prescribed Gabapentin, Naltrexone or Campral. (I snuck baclofen in. Bad me, I know. But I know the stuff works for me and wasn't willing to Just Do It without actual treatment. I also took naltrexone daily, though I've stopped that now that I'm out. I will take it a la The Sinclair Method if I decide to drink again. I hope I won't need it, though.) I should put all this on a different thread since it's all about Me... No big plans for today. Another attempt to see Logan this evening, I guess. So great that you guys are here! I missed you and missed EOMA.
  27. 6 points
    Hey everyone, Still going strong here, "when it rains it pours" is apt for this past month (February); so many health issues of all sorts and sizes, mine and others' being addressed, as well dating, drinking to relax/cope, Dexing (using Dextromethorphan or DXM) to stay happy/cope, or should I say drinking as a crutch and Dexing as a crutch. My mom has chronic pain from compressed discs in her back, she had surgery scheduled, but an insurance problem came up at the last minute, and while the surgeon was explaining his solution he became verbally hostile. So she cancelled the surgery, she's getting acupuncture, and she has to start from scratch finding a new surgeon exploring new options, but I think it was a smart move nonetheless, ditching the errant doctor and insurance mess - with surgery, you should know exactly what's to be done and how it will be covered. Remember a few months ago, maybe when I joined, I mentioned "the love of my life"? Well I got in touch with him. By text. Lame. But it's good. Because there was something he said: "I'm perfectly happy with the guy I'm dating now". That's how he's always been - content, perfectly happy - and always will be. He will always be perfectly happy. But I want more. I want love, romance, a REAL relationship, with legs, with commitment. So he's no longer the love of my life, I've moved on, and I'll let him be... perfectly happy. I continue to drink in moderation and the occasional excess, but it's under control, and I still hungrily, VORACIOUSLY, seek people interested in and willing to try and duplicate my successfull self-treatment for overdrinking using Dextromethorphan (DXM, Dex). Cheers, and STRENGTH as we tackle this perennially difficult time of year, as we MARCH on. Christopher
  28. 6 points
    There seem to be 2 threads labelled "Checking in February for some reason? Anyway, I will post on this one! Today I have had a good day. A non-working day so went to the gym for my pilates class at 9.15 am. I work from a DVD several times a week, but it's good to go to a class as well. After the class I went into the gym for a workout. As usual, my session on the rowing machine & treadmill induced nothing but boredom, especially as the TV on the treadmill had no subtitles - what's the point of "Homes under the Hammer" with no narrative? I also used the various machines for core strength, but was glad to get home. No endorphins as usual. Weather in the UK is unseasonably mild so I went straight out into the garden. First the dog & I checked the mole traps. No moles (they are winning so far this year) but I got my fingers caught in one of the the traps. Ow! Then down the field to check the damage from yesterday's Storm Doris. Lots of branches down & some dead trees in the hedge had blown over. Went to work managing to get lots of "self-harm" marks all up my arms between gloves & t-shirt from the brambles (these always cause interest at work the next day), plus a dislodged branch fell on my head & I turned my ankle on a molehill (they seem to get their revenge somehow). Once I had a reasonable pile I decided on a bonfire - I love bonfires. While trying to light it I managed to melt my gardening glove onto my hand & after I removed the glove, along with some skin, I got splinters in my finger from an old fencepost on the bonfire. It got going really well & then I briefly set fire to my hair. Finally had to give up because my back was hurting. So I came back into the house on a high. @BarrelChested is quite right (re discussion in another thread) - you don't get endorphins without serious tissue damage! Whereas I'm not prepared to exercise to the extent that I get torn muscles/tendons, once I get in the garden there's no stopping me. Many's the time I get stuck in to a task that is really beyond my capabilities, & whereas my rational mind is saying "give up now & pay a man to do it" my irrational mind won't give up. I just keep going until I have hurt myself. Then.....I get the endorphin high I am always unsuccessfully seeking in the gym! So the dog & I are sitting in front of the fire licking our wounds (she gets thorns between her pads, poor thing, so she is literally licking her wounds!) & feeling pleased with ourselves. The sun is setting behind the trees. I will try to get a photo at some point to post on here. Looking forward to more of the same when the spring really does arrive. I suspect we will have some winter weather though before that happens.
  29. 6 points
    Now that I think of it, there probably will never be a good study or source showing DXM's suitability for alcohol overuse. In my long-winded explanations I've mentioned that DXM is actually two drugs in one, DXM plus the highly active metabolite DXO. DXM is the antidepressant and slight mu opioid receptor agonist. DXO is an NMDA-receptor antagonist (that name being most of what I know about it) and produces the dissociative/psychedelic/trippy effects. Everything's on a scale, to loosely quote Shakespeare nothing's inherently good or bad only thinking makes it so, but the way I used DXM to treat my alcohol problem, almost by accident I hope I've made clear, was squarely on the trippy side. Individuals can do that, researchers can't. There's no way to standardize a trip, control for all variables, get solid objective data, and package it into a nice little report that will advance one's career. There's also the element of fear or stigma. So all in all there's little incentive. There have been successful clinical trials of Ketamine and even MDMA and the hard-to-pronounce shroom chemical, but they've all been for depression or PTSD, not alcohol overuse. My miracle "aha" moment that forever changed my drinking was achieved in a dissociative state, one could say that DXM worked "indirectly" in that manner by bringing me to that tremendous insight. That's not to say there aren't direct effects. The direct chemical antidepressant effect, combined with the insight, is what empowered me to go 60 days alcohol free when I had never done more than 14. But the combo of direct/indirect effects is hard to market. Furthermore, while depression is closely linked, both clinically and empirically from many users here, to alcohol overuse, they are distinct conditions and the trial results for one cannot necessarily translate to the other. So what we have here is a few parallel chains but no link connecting them. But, that's what I'm for. I'm convinced of this. And DXM has the advantage of being legal and non-controlled, and from what I hear and remember (I've used Ketamine), K is more of a full-body high party drug, while you would never want to attend a party on DXM; it lends itself to calmer, more introverted uses. So I can say with a high degree of certainty that even if K gets the green light for depression, it doesn't give as much of an insight-reaching power, and thus wouldn't likely be effective for treating the much more tangly condition of alcohol overuse. So again it's my thing to prove and I'm thrilled to take on the challenge. As I said in an earlier post I want to work very closely with any "test patients", talking, Skypeing, even travel for patients whose temperament and condition closely match mine. I inherited some money a year ago from my grandmother and have barely made a dent in it, and most of the principal was really from her husband's, my grandfather's, income, my beloved grandfather Charles from whom I take my middle name and nickname "Chuck". And he, like me, was heavily influenced by the bottle, not a full-on alcoholic but predisposed to drunken rages. So it would be beautifully fitting for me to use the money for this research. Lastly I must disclose once again that I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training from an accredited institution. So to wrap this up, if you'd love to try, I'd love it too, and every step will be taken to ensure your utmost safety and comfort. Later this month or next I'm gonna hire a videographer to film a trip start-to-finish, showing it all, unfiltered, so you can see more directly what all the fuss is about. My very best, Christopher/Chuck
  30. 6 points
    Hi Guys, Good to see so many I have missed at the other place for a while. I will be checking in here and whilst I am not on meds to quit I use a heap of supplements to keep myself healthy and sober. Good to get the boozing season safely behind me. No matter how long you are sober that pressure to imbibe is hard.
  31. 6 points
    Hello All! I've hit 100 mg today! Cravings are still there. So is the drinking. I want to tell you that in Italy, Baclofen is without prescription (some pharmacies at least) and costs 10 Euro for 50 tablets 25 mg. So stock up if you travel to Italy soon! Kind regards.
  32. 6 points
    Hello all. Firstly apologies for my absence here. For those who were around when the forum started I was one of the 'founding members' and helped a bit with setting bits of it up. I posted shortly after, having struggled with baclofen, that I wouldn't post while I was still actively drinking and not actually following some sort of plan to stop. It has been a rough few months but in the end I went back to AA. I'm not a big '12 Stepper' by any means but the longest periods I have ever had sober as an adult were while attending AA. I don't have any time for gods or superstition, but I do get something from the personal contact an group support there I realise and that is what makes the difference for me I suspect. Anyway I'm going, been sober a while and feeling OK about it. I am not even having to fight the urge to drink as luckily for now, it has abated, following a pretty horrible month or two prior to stopping. Anyway I thought I owed people here who were around when the forum started an explanation. Hoping all are well and succeeding at whatever path your chosen route alcohol free living might be. Regards.
  33. 6 points
    Happy New Year. I think Ive been keeping up with most of the posts the past few weeks and glad to see that everyone seems to be getting along ok. I hope I can catch up and respond to some of the earlier posts . I have just been putting all my energy into getting through the Holidays and making it nice for my family. I feel like everything is twice as hard and takes me twice as long and there isn't much time or energy left for much else. I think it's been pretty good though, better than the past 5 years, let's say. I managed to do it all--the shopping, wrapping, decorating and cooking. I even sent Christmas cards. The kind with a photo which I haven't done in 7 or 8 years. None of it was up to my old standards but it was fine. My husband and I went to two beautiful Christmas parties, lots of alcohol, and then my family's Christmas party, even more alcohol. It wasn't hard though, not drinking. I know it might feel good for a little bit and then it just turns bad in every way. But I miss the high I got with alcohol and I know it's gone forever and that is what is hard at the moment. I don't feel any kind of high or joy really, not even from things which formerly made me really happy. I think @Molly78 and @MJM mentioned something like this earlier, about just feeling really flat. I'm hoping it gets better with time and it is very, very slowly, but I cannot live for the rest of my life like this. I think I may need to start back on an AD. I think @Molly78 mentioned Mirtazapine and Dr. Amana Stafford mentions it on her site and it's one I've never tried. I just hope this lack of joy is not a byproduct of taking baclofen. I haven't been sleeping well at all. A couple of times right after my bedtime dose of 30mg bac, 300mg gabapentin and 50 mg of trazodone I get the most overwhelming anxiety, like I've never experienced before, like I'm trapped in barrel and can't get out. I have to get up and go outside in the cold or exercise until it passes, and then I usually fall asleep for 6 hours or so. I just wish my psychiatrist could offer more expertise with the medication. He prescribes the baclofen, 110mg/day, for me now (I had to send him articles, studies, supporting this dosage and he read them and was fine prescribing whatever I needed). He is an addictions psychiatrist and he's just opened his own practice with a couple of other psychiatrists, therapists, etc. He is on staff at a well-known psychiatric hospital here and he seems really receptive to learning about alternative forms of treatment. I tried The Sinclair Method for awhile and although he wasn't crazy about the idea he did learn more about it because of me. The best thing is he takes my insurance and I can walk to his office. I just hope at my next visit he can offer some more help figuring out the meds. It just feels like so much of this is from medication. My kids are all home on vacation driving crazy with worry. @Jetsman32 good luck with your teenaged driver-- we are down to one car in my family of 6 (4 drivers). My husband and son both totaled cars last year. Same son with different car also just hit 2 cars in parking lot at school, over seven grand in damages, and just a few days ago my daughter, home from college, hit a pole and now the front passenger door needs to be replaced. Honestly, I don't even care that much I'm just glad no one got hurt. Although my husband hit another car, the car actually flipped on its side, and the woman was hurt and is suing our insurance company for god only knows what. My 16 year old daughter had a Christmas party last Friday, about 20 kids in my basement while I stayed upstairs. Lots of noise, music but good clean fun I thought. Well, long story short, I found about 3 gigantic garbage bags full of beer cans, a few wine and vodka bottles. These kids are 15 and 16. There must have been 4 cases of beer (Natural Lite). I saw my daughter after the party and she seemed fine but she had about 6 friends sleep over and the next day I could tell a couple of them were hung over. This whole thing is so upsetting because I as a parent could get in so much trouble both from the schools and other parents. And I don't want this going on here. Thank goodness none of the kids drive yet. I suppose i should have contacted the other parents or done something but I didn't , just no more parties here. My 18 year old son drove drunk the other night and I confronted him about it and he didn't deny it. I know he drinks but I've never suspected him of drinking and driving. I have always told them that no matter what or where or when to never drink and drive or get into a car with anyone who has been drinking. They all have the Uber app on their phone. This is among every parent's worst nightmare, car accidents. So he's not allowed to take the car at night now. Still I worry about him being a passenger almost as much. I really need to get a handle on my moods and anxiety and depression to be able to fully parent and enjoy my kids and husband and life in general. I feel like I've wasted so much time already, time I can't get back. I want so much to feel better so I can begin to live for real. I worry a lot my kids have inherited my alcoholic genes, too. By some miracle, I married a man with no addiction/alcohol issues at all so I pray all the time they all take after him but i know I need to be extra vigilant. I guess it's about 10 weeks AF now. Not perfect by any stretch but better than it was, that's for sure. Lots of high hopes for 2017.
  34. 6 points
    This was the day after the colloquium in Paris. Things are starting to get back to normal, slowly.
  35. 6 points
    <cringe> I am ashamed of that post. Glad it's in writing so I can remember exactly how pathetic I was. Stuck, my dear friend, I found my words. Hoping someone doesn't drink is worse than useless. It's unhelpful and complacent. I don't know if what we're reading is a descent into something truly tragic. Not a drunken love story, but a real life danger. All the signs are there. Perhaps you really think you will know when it's time to go to the hospital, or even get outside intervention to help yourself. People make terrible decisions when they're drinking. It can't be helped. Trusting that you'll know when is simply hoping for a good outcome. It's not enough. In the last week you've been drinking 24/7. Whatever you think the reasons are, each binge has been progressively worse and possibly exponentially more dangerous. You're not sleeping. Probably not eating. You have driven drunk. You were in a situation in which you got beat up. You were almost arrested, probably almost hospitalized. You stayed in a cheap motel room, and despite your supposed affinity, the pain in the posts you wrote that night was clear. You don't have a support system. You've been drunk when you're working and at a national conference. You're jeopardizing your career, your health, your life and the lives of other people. It doesn't surprise me that you don't feel the sense of urgency that I do. I doubt you remember how it feels, and if you do, you're anesthetized to it with copious amounts of booze. It's impossible to tease rational thought out of the bottom of a bottle. You wondered why it was only after a fifth that you started thinking rehab is a good idea. Now you know. It's not that I don't want you to post about it. That's not enough, either. I don't want you to be living it. While I can't make choices for you, I can try to keep it real for you. You need help. I am not overreacting. It's a considered (and frankly, delayed) rational response to what you're going through. I'll be honest that I'm torn about how to handle this in 3D. Because we're friends outside of the platform of this anonymous online forum. I love and support you unconditionally. There are many other people very invested in you, personally, because you have touched them, too. We're here. Stand up today and take action, please. Or crawl. Whatever it takes.
  36. 6 points
    Thanks, gents. This feels good! Sorta. Day 7 here, and definitely not drinking. Haven't had a week completely free of alcohol in... a very long time. Maybe a year? Who knows, as I didn't used to feel the need to keep track, but now I'm on a mission. Ed's off today and lots of chores and feel good activities planned. Including some very much needed intimacy. Is it that we've been married for so long, or that we're so estranged, or that when I was taking ADs for more than a year I had no interest in sex that we now plan it ahead of time? Whatever. I'll take it. Sorry if that's too personal. It is. I'm going to regret posting it. But it's the truth so I'll leave it. Last time I got sober the sex went from good to transcendent. Here's hoping that the same thing happens this time. Okay, someone else post something quickly!
  37. 6 points
    At the other side of the world here, but I was shocked at the result in the US. Had been away on my motorcycle and when I came in and was told the news I thought my family was pulling my leg. Nope. Interesting times ahead for all of us... I'm still not the slightest bit interested in drinking and still pretty happy without happy pills.
  38. 6 points
    Hello BC, I haven't tried Nal, but actually just recommended it to a young man who isn't necessarily interested in not drinking, but wants to rein it in and not go overboard any longer. I was prescribed Nal, along with Baclofen initially. I decided against trying the Nal and just went in for the kill after finding MWO a few years back. I didn't necessarily want to just dull the effects of the high. What I found/find debilitating is the cravings that can occupy my every waking minute when I'm in the throes of active addiction. Baclofen does the trick for me where that is concerned, however, I do have to stop drinking entirely for a about 10 days to two weeks for that effect to take hold. I still haven't been able to stay completely AF forEver. I do have long stints of AF time, followed by actively ramping up the drinking -- I have found I can drink over any switch/medication with enough persistence. That's just how I roll. I am in the midst of a dry run right now... coming up on six weeks. What I find is that these long dry spells bring about a different kind of soul crushing emptiness that has me yearning for the relief of a drink. I'm once again trying to soldier through and find my way to the other side of it. Being human is not as much fun as the brochure promised. Stick around and keep posting. The board here does go quiet from time to time, but if you scream loud enough, someone will come to your aid.
  39. 6 points
    Hello, I just joined this forum and thought I would introduce myself. I am in my mid 50's and live in California and have been trying to get sober since 2010. Alcohol is my drug of choice and it has caused a lot of problems in my life, primarily personal with my family and friends. I've been through two outpatient programs, countless AA meetings, SMART recovery, and counseling and nothing seems to blunt the cravings. I have tried Topomax, Naltrexone (both normally and through the Sinclair Method), and Campral. None of those had any sustained effect, although I did reduce my intake through the Sinclair Method. The longest sustained period of sobriety that I have managed is 7 months and that was in 2010. I'm an early riser and the first cravings hit in the morning (8:00 am) and grow in number and intensity as the day goes on. They reach a crescendo in the late afternoon (5:00 pm) and subside in the mid evening around 7:00 or 8:00 pm (whether I drink or not). Eating dinner always helps and idle time is never a good thing. My wife and I are empty nesters and I have a fair amount of free time on my hands, which I try to fill but am not always successful. I typically drink 1 pint of vodka in a concentrated period of time in the mid afternoon and then am done for the day. This is not to say that I don't on occasion drink more, but that is my typical pattern. My health is beginning to suffer as a result and I am just sick and tired of this. I and my family deserve better than this. But that voice in my head never takes a day off, ever.... I read Dr. Amiesen's book about 6 weeks ago. Naturally the notion of craving reduction/suppression intrigued me, so I decided to investigate further. I did some research and decided to go see my GP. He was supportive and willing to prescribe Baclofen off-label up to 40 mg initially. I went to see him a second time and he was willing to go higher based on some data that I provided to him. I started the medication on 8/16 at 10 mg and increased the dosage up to 110 mg by 9/2. From the beginning I was having side effects, the most noticeable of which are shortness of breath, nasal congestion, tightness in my throat and chest, tingling in my hands (although I had this prior to starting Baclofen), grogginess, increased muscle tension, sometime feeling of shocks, inability to concentrate, and generally feeling like shit. Rather than relaxing me, Baclofen seems to have the opposite effect. It should be noted that being the good drunk that I am I kept drinking during the first two and a half weeks and over last weekend the side effects started to intensify. I am very physically active and have continued to exercise every day despite these physical issues. On the plus side I have noticed that the cravings are reduced and easier to deal with. As a result I have been sober for all of 4 days now. I have also reduced my Baclofen intake to 60 mg per day. My hope is that these issues are going to reduce and eventually taper off. I am noticing that I am gradually feeling better, but many of the side effects are persisting. If anyone has any guidance on these issues I would appreciate the feedback. None of these feel life threatening and are in some ways similar to being hung over, which is a state that I am sadly well accustomed to feeling. Hopefully I can become one of the success stories here one day and return the favor. Thanks for reading.
  40. 6 points
    I am bac at it, beginning with 12mg this evening. Today was rough, really rough. But I made it through and am home now until work again on Thursday. Still a ton of grading to do, but I'll spend the day tomorrow doing that. The plan is to go very very slowly, and I don't think I want to go very high. 150 was good last time, we'll see how it goes.
  41. 6 points
    9/26/16 Here I am, six years later, still cured of my alcoholism. Still sharp. Still sane. Sober, but not abstinent - I still have a few beers now and again - at a level well below the World Health Organization standards of safe drinking (<4 a day, <14 a week), and less than what could be considered "moderating." I do not believe that baclofen is a path to moderate drinking, and I will go further to say that the more distance that you can put between yourself and the bottle, the better that baclofen can work for you. I'm currently at 180mg/day - after about 10 months @ 160, while I had no cravings (or drunk dreams like I had when I first dipped below 200mg/say), I felt like I might be teetering on the edge of indifference, so I jumped back up 20mg, which seems to do the trick. I was pretty surprised to find that I experienced almost the same severity of side effects (I jumped up the 20 overnight) that I had during my initial titration. Fine the first day, but on the second afternoon: somnolence, queasiness, shocks to the hands, visual disturbances etc. No fun at all - I guess I am just really sensitive to the medication. Anyway, you can read about the rest of my story here: My anniversaries from the past on MWO - Last year, 9/26/15: 5 years for me today....doesn't really seem like a big deal - I don't count days and it doesn't take any effort - but that's not to say that the trip to get here wasn't a rough one - I had severe side-effects and a difficult seven month long titration (see below). I'm currently at 160mg/day down from 280mg/day on 9/26/10 (240-220mg/day in all of 2011, 200mg/day in 2012 and 2013, 180mg/day in 2014). After all of that time, no "other shoe has dropped" - my kidney function/blood work is fine, I'm still sharp and sane, and my indifference is solid despite the couple of beers I have occasionally. I am side-effect free. I don't like to give advice on how to take Baclofen, but if I were to hazard a guess as to the longevity of my success I would say that staying at/near my switch dose for so long, and titrating down very slowly might be the key. I don't post here (MWO) much anymore for the same reason that many people are talking about leaving. I still pop in to offer evidence-based information when it's needed and to try and help people out of a jam when I can, but I no longer have the time or energy to combat the idiocy and abuse that's been dragging the Meds section down for the last 2.5 years - I've got much better things to do. I have a great life with a great person who stuck with me through this whole mess. I'm healthier than I've ever been, I've been lucky enough to get to travel and do outdoorsy stuff in a few far off (for me) places, and my job keeps me busier than I'd sometimes like to be. Now that I've cured my alcoholism, the vast majority of thoughts about alcohol that enter my head come from reading posts on this site (not that it's a problem). And as much as I like to be helpful and help people, I don't know that that can be accomplished here anymore, so maybe it's time to move on EDIT: I HAVE! THANKS EOMA!. 2 years ago, 9/26/14: Still here. Still sober*. Still healthy, sane, and sharp. The only thing that has changed is my dose, down to 180mg/day (for about 10 months now) from 280mg/day on 9/26/10. Here's a shout out to friends old and new who've helped me along the way: Ne, Redhead77, bleep, serenity, Redthread12, StuckInLA, Dr. Levin, Cinders, craving, ZenStyle, Tiptronic, beatle, Slippery Pete, Neophyte, and to Olivier and lo0p (wherever you are). * I have a couple of beers every couple of weeks - but I haven't been drunk in over 1400 days (so the app on my phone tells me - I've never had the need to count the days).. 3 years ago, 9/26/13: Today marks 3 years since I found indifference to alcohol with high-dose baclofen. My dose has been stable at 200mg/day for the pretty much the past two years. At this level I experience no cravings and zero side-effects. I'm still here and I'm happy, healthy, sane, and sober. As I've done for the duration of my indifference, I have a beer or two occasionally - every few weeks (maybe even a couple of days in a row around the year-end holidays). During those instances, I experience no pleasurable effects or further desire to get drunk (or ability to drink to excess even if I try and "test" myself), nor any cravings returning the next day. I'm not condoning moderation, and I do not want to give anyone the impression that baclofen is a pathway to it. I said "sober" because I haven't been drunk (literally or legally) in 3 years*. That might not fit your definition of sober, but that's the way I see it for me. And it's how I know that baclofen works. Alcohol is such a non-issue in my life: it's not on the radar - as a reward, or a threat. I have a hard time remembering how it fit so completely in my life before, and I'm continually amazed when I realize that I've gone on with my life for days (or weeks) and not even remembered to think about it, let alone miss it. This isn't spontaneous remission - baclofen simply makes the booze not fit anymore. * Shortly after finding indifference, I tested it with Ameisen's "drink a bottle of scotch and see if cravings return in the morning" - I passed/they didn't/obviously I was ostensibly drunk here (though it didn't feel like it). I find that 200-220mg/day is my magic number - any lower and I start having "drunk dreams," though no real cravings and even at that lower dosage I find drinking completely unenjoyable. But the mental game is no fun and I'd rather this whole business be effortless, which lucky for me it is at the proper dosage. In the interest of taking the smallest dose that remains effective, and hoping that my (alcohol damaged) brain may be healing, I will continually attempt to reduce my dose in the future. I can titrate down comfortably ~10mg/week. Any faster than that and I experience some anxiety and depression. Much faster than that (like when I dropped 40mg in 2 weeks) and I invite panic attacks towards the end of week 2. It's been a tough year with the passing of Olivier Ameisen and the licensing action against Dr. Levin. I feel as though I owe both men for saving my life: Ameisen through his original discovery and the few emails I shared with him, and Levin for returning my calls from the hospital I was admitted to for overdosing on baclofen with guidance that eventually enabled me to find indifference. Thanks for reading and thanks to the usual suspects who helped me along the way. I'm always around and I'll certainly be here in another 365 to tell you how year 4 went. 4 years ago, (9/26/12): 22 years ago - I started drinking in college. 16 years ago - I was drinking most nights, and probably pretty heavily on the weekends. It never got in the way of my life, my job, or anything really. I could stop if I really wanted to, with maybe a sweaty, sleepless night or two. I took a couple of weeks off here and there only when I had to. 10 years ago - I was drinking pretty heavily every night, and getting shitfaced on the weekends. I powered through my daily hangovers with aplomb. I could always wait until after work, or even after the gym, to start drinking, but absolutely, I needed at least 5 or 6 to fall asleep. I was concerned, but I wasn't able to cut back. 6 years ago - I could barely wait to get home from work to start drinking. I planned my days around where I could get alcohol. I carried a hip flask. I hid bottles in my house. I hid my drinking from my girlfriend. I considered a six-pack of pounders (8 US units) a sober night for me on weekdays, then I would get completely obliterated Friday and Saturday (and then Sunday) hoping to be able to taper back down to my 6 (8) beers a night maybe by Wednesday with Friday just around the corner. If I wasn't drunk enough when I went to bed, I would wake up after a few hours without being able to fall back asleep. I started drinking in the middle of the night. I started drinking in the morning. All efforts to cut back failed over and over. 4 years ago - My life was completely unraveling. I would wake up sometimes with a dry heaving, retching sickness that I could only stop with a couple of shots of liquor. I missed work. I snuck drinks on the job. I obtained some benzos to stave off my withdrawal during the day and wound up propelling my drinking to the stratosphere. I switched to the cheapest vodka. I sometimes drank mouthwash. My health was failing (Liver Panel, Gout, Blood Pressure). I felt like I was dying. I wanted to die. I went to the ER a handful of times; Outpatient detox twice, and inpatient detox twice. 3 years ago - I got home from my 2nd inhouse detox and white-knuckled for the next 5 months without alcohol. Everyday seemed like a waste - I was miserable, and I made everyone else miserable. 2 years, 7 months ago - After reading "The End of My Addiction," I started self medicating with baclofen that I purchased online, soon after from a local psychiatrist. 2 years, 4 months ago - I was hospitalized while trying to titrate too quickly on baclofen. 150mg/day to 235+mg/day.I talk a little about it here 2 years ago - I reached my "switch" - indifference to alcohol @ 280mg/day 1 year ago- http://www.mywayout.org/community/fo...ks-to-baclofen Today - Still cured of my alcoholism! Completely indifferent! I've been high dose baclofen consistently for over 2 1/2 years, currently taking 200mg/day (I was at 280 for about 6 months, then dropped to 220, was at 240 for more than a year, and then recently dropped to 200). Though I had severe side-effects throughout my titration (even continuing for a few months after my switch) I am 100% side-effect free today. I occasionally have a beer or two (every couple of weeks or so). Except for the time I tried Amesien's "drink a bottle of whisky on baclofen and see if you have cravings the next day" experiment (I passed with flying colors) I haven't been drunk in 2 years (BAC or otherwise), as it is, baclofen makes drinking more than a couple pretty unpleasant for me. I'm happy, healthy, sane, and as sharp as ever. 5 years ago, (9/26/11): It's been 365 days since I reached my "switch," indifference to alcohol at 280mg/day baclofen. I'll try and keep this short and sweet.... Some background: I'm in my 40's I drank heavily for 20 years, just about every night for the first 15, and more often during the days, then 24/7 towards the end. Typical week night for me was 8 beers and almost a pint of scotch, weekends were no holds barred. In my late thirties I had 4 trips to the ER, 2 outpatient detoxes (lorazepam), and 2 inpatient detoxes (phenobarbital). Attempts at moderation invariably put me in the exact place I left off in a month or less. CBT, SSRI's, counseling, did zero. AA was a profoundly poor fit for me as well (to put it mildly). I did try Moderation Management online, and had no luck finding Rational Recovery. I heard about, then read Ameisen's book in early 2010. I stumbled upon MWO soon after. I began titrating in March 2010 with Fexobac baclofen ordered online from India, 4rx.com. I was also extremely lucky to find a psychiatrist who began writing me a legit script in late spring 2010. Post "switch," my indifference has been effortless. My titration, however, was *definitely* not. I had very, very severe side-effects and wound up restrained in the ER and hospitalized for 5 days when I tried to increase my dose too high, too soon (recounted here). 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 am very happy to report that today I am indifferent *and* side-effect free on high-dose baclofen (currently 220mg/day). I have been taking baclofen continuously for 19 months. My simple answer to overcoming side-effects is 1)slow, consistent titration 2)even dosing on an even schedule 60/60/60/60 at 6am/12pm/6pm/12am 3)consistency in brand of baclofen - don't interchange brands day to day and if you need to switch brands do it this way: (100% Brand A to 75% Brand A + 25% Brand B to 50% Brand A + 50% Brand B to 25% Brand A + 75% Brand B to 100% Brand B ). I've had a beer or 2 (or 3) a few times and that probably doesn't fit many people's definition of sobriety, but I know that baclofen has cured my alcohol addiction. I don't think about drinking, I don't remember about drinking, when I try and make a plan to drink a beer to enjoy the taste of it, I always forget it. I don't like to have more than 1 or 2, I don't like the feeling (it doesn't get me buzzed or drunk anymore) and I don't like how I feel in the morning. I don't have any of the cravings that made me feel like every night I was missing out because I couldn't drink a beer. I don't know if it will last forever, and maybe it's a slippery slope, but that's the way it is, and I feel confident, sane, and sharp as ever. Thank you Dr. Olivier Ameisen for making this journey possible, and Dr. Levin, Ne/Neva Eva, RedHead77, Lo0p, Cinders, craving, ZenStyle, beatle, ignominious, XXXXX, bleep, _serenity_, moglor, guardian, birdy02, Otter, and anyone I've left out, for helping me along the way. -tk
  42. 6 points
    I don't know, somewhere in the middle. Trying to get some work done every day. Not really accomplishing much. Not going to the gym like I was, hardly getting any exercise. Leaving the house here and there to hang out with a couple of supportive friends. Watching a lot of TV. Heading out of town for a long weekend, and that's the last thing before school starts at the end of the month. AF 4 weeks, 30 days tomorrow.
  43. 6 points
    Hi Folks Enjoy Dr Amanda Stafford’s videos on Baclofen against alcoholism. Dr Amanda Stafford’s is working on Emergency Department, Royal Perth Hospital (Australia). Practical Protocol for Prescribing Baclofen From one man’s experience to 100,000 patients Abstinence or Social Drinking on Baclofen? Baclofen Assisted Alcohol Withdrawl Paris to Perth - How I found Baclofen Does Baclofen help with other addictions? How long does Baclofen treatment need to be for? Why does Baclofen fail in some patients? Anxiety and Alcoholism - the missing piece of the puzzle What other treatments can help when treating alcoholism with baclofen? If Baclofen is so great why isn’t everyone using it already? Tips for Tough Cases Why Baclofen is not PBS subsidised for alcohol addiction treatment? Slow release Baclofen - Is it possible? DonQuixote
  44. 6 points
    Cool article, and some interesting discussion for a change. Not all rabid wally's with a viewpoint that cannot be changed. Sadly, the more I get into this, the more it seems to be either a self-selecting audience that approves to the bitter end, or just a bunch of wankers that will not look at studies, and have their fixed viewpoint. I understand the aversion to narratives, they are useless when deciding what works and what doesn't, but at what point do you gather all the narratives up and think, hang on, something is afoot! Having looked at how science works, (and wishing I had taken a more scientific route at schools, rather than smoking behind the bikesheds), I get the reluctance. But jeesh. Having had it work for me, so well, in front of at least two doctors, who knew me personally, and knew the disasters that regularly befall me, I would expect more. Saying that, those familiar with my story will know that I went to a psychiatrist fairly early on, who had been involved in other chemical experiments with alchies to see what might help. I was the first guy he came across who was pushing (bad choice of words) HDB, and he prescribed and was with me through the initial phases. I lost contact with him after reaching indifference, and recently bumped into him in a bar (of all places), and he mentioned that as a result of my titration with him, he had several patients successfully using baclofen, right now. He was very optimistic as to its future, and that's here in a little backwater in the middle of nowhere. This shit is contagious. Success is contagious. It will out soon enough. I feel like I'm living in a revolution on all fronts, country, economic, personal... Fortunately, the revolution will not be televised. It's a good time to be alive, we are a hugely privileged society, and we are making the most of it. Viva la revolucion! On a more serious note, most revolutions end in disaster, so wish me luck. Perhaps slightly too melodramatic, but hey, why not.
  45. 6 points
    So this is my 4th day AF and I think I'm definetly indifferent? Cant believe I've got here below my original switch of 180mg so now I'm putting all my effort into loosing weight now that I'm not drinking and not eating half as much. Im going to guard my switch and not going down any time in the near future.Ive got a good supply from Goldpharma and defo not telling my gp this time even though I've been prescribed Nalmefene by local alcohol services
  46. 6 points
    Hey, somewhat late to the party Jets, but hopefully a few things to contribute... Well done, firstly, on starting the journey. That's the hardest part out of the way. As regards dosing, man, I've been all over the show. As stuck said early in the thread, when I was titrating up, I found it better to do it very often, going to the ridiculous extreme of every 2 hours. I later changed to once a day on a fairly large dose. I think it is a pretty unique experience for everyone, as it seems to affect people in wildly different ways, and the best (and unfortunately useless) advice, is that you should be experimenting to see what works, which I see you are already doing. Just play around, and see how you feel, and know that with each increase, expect differences, and play around again. I definitely found easier ways, that suddenly didn't work, and then methods I had tried previously suddenly seemed effective. As soon as shit happens, change the formula, was my rule, and it sort of worked. And then as Ne has said, there is a marked difference between taking baclofen for the first time, and being on it for a while. All the rules you have so carefully promulgated are useless, although the general trend is that is gets easier and easier with time. As to cutting pills, man, life is too short. Just take an extra bit at some point to round it out. If you find it too onerous to take an increased dose, well then, cut the pills, but try and avoid sinking into that level of detail. Work on your daily dose, and keep going. As you increase this will drop away as 10mg becomes a more insignificant part of the dose... This stuff is amazing for those who are able to take it to the correct level, it completely alters the rules of the game. As regards drinking during the process, well, no-one other than you can decide. I drank the whole way, and still drink today, but undoubtedly it would be easier had I not (isn't everything?). Don't beat yourself up, you are doing something that is pretty fucking difficult, and should have clinicians at your beck and call, so life is tough enough without creating more and unnecessary misery that really only you will ever notice or care about. Shit happens, and this isn't even necessarily shit, you are just predisposed to see it in that light as a result of your experiences. Abstinence was never my goal. Beating the fuck out of alcoholism was. Mission accomplished, but fuck, do I feel like I dodged a bullet through no virtue of my own. There must a be a few chemicals out there that promise the same or more, and do absolutely nothing, what luck to stumble across one that does the job! Best of luck.
  47. 6 points
    Dude, gabapentin is a lifesaver. I wish I'd dug through my kitchen cabinets to find it sooner. So we went to a meeting together. I'd found this one that sounded all right - I don't like the Big Book meetings, so I was looking for a speaker meeting close by. Turns out it was an Agnostic meeting - so they don't open or close with prayers, there's no moment of silence for the still-suffering alcoholics, and they don't read the 12 steps or mention God at all, the heathen bastards It was also an hour and a half, 'cause the whole room shared for 3 minutes each. That was OK, though. It seemed like a real tight-knit group who all knew one another. Guess if you're super-set on an Agnostic meeting, you kind of have to stick to the couple you can find and just keep going to those. I liked it - I think that'll be my Tuesday meeting. Anyway, the girl was very supportive. And we went out for a late dinner afterward. All in all, I probably couldn't have thought of a better way to spend an evening. By the time I got home, I hit up another dose of gabapentin, for a total of 1200mg yesterday. And I slept the way you imagine innocent children do. Only until about 5 this morning, granted, so Im a little tired, but not unhappy about being up early. Today is the day I'm going to get some shit done. I've only got about 8 papers left to grade. Still gotta get a syllabus and reading assignment out to my weekend class today, but I think I can manage it. More importantly, I'm going to make a dentist appointment (desperately needed), and go see about some new glasses (only slightly less desperately needed). My mom sent a pretty big check for my birthday, so I splurged on a little something I've been wanting for a while. I'll call it a shaving kit, but it's just the bag - you know, one of those leather ones with the single zipper that open real wide, kind of a Dopp Kit I guess they call it. But anyway I'm really trying to find ways to support this company, Shinola, out of Detroit. They're doing all American made stuff and trying to do their best to revitalize Detroit with some good manufacturing jobs. They don't make a whole lot of stuff that I want, mostly bicycles and watches, but they've got awesome journals that are like Moleskines only better - sustainably-farmed paper and whatever, so from here out Moleskine can go fuck themselves. Not sure what my deal is with Detroit. There's a project called Write A House, which is a writer residency in which rehabbed houses are given - literally given - to a writer who promises to live there and be an active part of the Detroit art/literary scene. They're trying to repopulate the city and grow the scene, basically. I've applied the last couple years, and last year my rejection was personalized, and they said I came pretty damned close. No idea what I'd actually do in Detroit, though. And today, on a lark, I'm applying for a tenure-track job in Washington DC that was just posted. Hey, why not, I love House of Cards so how bad could DC be? That was a really random tangent. Anyway, hope it's a good one for everybody out there.
  48. 6 points
    Oh man I really hate Day 1s. By the grace of God I pray this is the last Day 1 for a while. First, today: weak and shaky as hell, as always. Got home from work and poured out all the leftover booze. Going to go for a walk in a bit, then the girl is coming over after work and she's going to accompany me to a meeting. Now, yesterday: first she said I could take a cab over to her place, but if she smelled liquor on me she wouldn't let me in the house. But then she showed up on my doorstep. We sat and talked for a while - she felt like I have been manipulating her. And she's probably not wrong, though it's difficult for me to figure out if I'm manipulating her consciously or not, and I told her that, too. Alcoholics manipulate, it's what we do. Her back was sore from travel and the flight, and I convinced her to come inside for a back massage. Even though I'd been drinking, and the place reeks of smoke, things went well and she spent the night. I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up at 3 and couldn't get back to bed. I have no intention of being in contact with the "friend" who does not support my attempts at sobriety. That was just a completely destructive relationship, and I have to cut him off for my sanity.
  49. 6 points
    I'm at day 14. Feeling much better. The bac/gaba combo is kicking in and without the alcohol running interference, it seems to be doing wonders. My mood is pretty stable, the brain fog clearing. All that jazz. I have gone up again on Gaba and spreading it out over the day. That seems to be combatting a lot of the nerve pain, so fingers crossed there. I know Ne is a busy bee, and guessing Stuck is out knocking on doors for Bernie, but I'd like to see posts from either or both sooner rather than later. However they're feeling and whether or not those feelings have taken them into a bottle of booze or not.
  50. 6 points
    Being embarrassed about drinking on a forum for people who drink too much is, dare I say, somewhat daft. That's why you are here, it's why I am here, and it's generally why everyone is here. You are in the right place doing the right thing. Keep going. It will come together.
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