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The End of my Addiction

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bleep

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.

Edited by bleep
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Lostinspace

Thanks for sharing your story, bleep.

On 4/14/2016 at 2:02 PM, bleep said:

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.

I relate to this so much. I’ve been in rehab twice since baclofen came into prominence for treating alcoholism (can't really blame them for not mentioning it before then). I, too, told the counselors and doctors there that I felt that there was something fundamentally wrong with my brain that caused me to act the way I did - that it wasn’t because I wasn’t “working my program.” God I hate that phrase! Anyway, thanks again for sharing. I’m glad you’ve found freedom from all this crap and I hope you have a great camping trip!

Edited by Lostinspace
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bleep

Absolutely Lost, very frustrating, especially since these are the very people you have turned to for help. And I disagree to a point that you can't blame them before baclofen came to prominence, I would expect people in a profession to be at the cutting edge, especially when what they are currently doing plainly isn't working. I'll try and avoid going into conspiracy theory mode here, but the situation reeks to me.

 

Anyway, to continue...

 

I stayed on baclofen for a while (dates and I are always hazy), experimenting with going to stupidly high numbers, to no additional effect. I was able to have a couple and leave it there, but found that habit was a powerful force, and I would end up getting pissed on Friday's, ploughing through the lack of urge for reasons I am yet to figure out. So I decided to do a year AF, which turned out to be simple once I was through the first week or so, and the habit was broken. During the year I went off baclofen, and when I began drinking again, I was fine for a few months. One day I realised I had been pissed every night for a week, and things were returning to their pre-baclofen mess. The solution was simple, and reintroducing baclofen solved the problem once again. Life continued...

 

As we stand today, I think I've been off baclofen for about a year. I drink, often to excess, but there is a difference somehow. I'm not driven to drink, but I still believe I enjoy it. From a health perspective my drinking is probably on the too-much side, but not by a wide margin. I enjoy going out and drinking with people, and I've tried doing the same without drinking, and it's just boring. I know the advice is to change friends and hobbies and lifestyles, but I like my friends and hobbies and lifestyles, and they seem to like me, so for now that's where I happily sit. As to why I keep going off baclofen, I couldn't really say. It is a PITA to take something every day, which is a really weak line, but for now just having taken baclofen seems to have changed something. I also know it's there waiting for me should shit get out of hand, which so far seems to not be happening.

 

That's it, in a very small nutshell. Drank too much, took baclofen, solved the problem. I know for a lot of people that's an unsatisfying solution; No demons were wrestled with, or harmed in the making of this story. There were no deep-seated psychological issues brought out into the light and examined. No childhood trauma surfaced. When I stopped drinking to ridiculous excess, which was made easy because whatever chemical fuck-up existed in my brain was removed or balanced, the problems associated with drinking to ridiculous excess went away. Problems that were not related to drinking are still here, or have been solved in other ways, only to have different ones appear. Life is still fraught with various issues, they just aren't drinking related. I've sort of come to think of it like taking a cream for a really unsightly and horrifying rash. When the rash goes, you are still you, only people won't be distracted by the ghastly mess that seems to surround you. If you were an asshole with a rash, well, guess what asshole? You are rash-free, but... Obviously this won't apply to everyone. I think people drink for different reasons, and I was fortunate that there were no deep psychological issues. I think I drank because my brain just fucking loved the feeling, and now it doesn't, so much.

 

I'll update as and when developments occur, or I finally discover that there are indeed major issues still to be handled, and I've just been lucky for this past while...

 

Have a good weekend folks.

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Molly78
1 hour ago, bleep said:

 

 

That's it, in a very small nutshell. Drank too much, took baclofen, solved the problem. I know for a lot of people that's an unsatisfying solution; No demons were wrestled with, or harmed in the making of this story. There were no deep-seated psychological issues brought out into the light and examined. No childhood trauma surfaced. When I stopped drinking to ridiculous excess, which was made easy because whatever chemical fuck-up existed in my brain was removed or balanced, the problems associated with drinking to ridiculous excess went away. Problems that were not related to drinking are still here, or have been solved in other ways, only to have different ones appear. Life is still fraught with various issues, they just aren't drinking related. I've sort of come to think of it like taking a cream for a really unsightly and horrifying rash. When the rash goes, you are still you, only people won't be distracted by the ghastly mess that seems to surround you. If you were an asshole with a rash, well, guess what asshole? You are rash-free, but... Obviously this won't apply to everyone. I think people drink for different reasons, and I was fortunate that there were no deep psychological issues. I think I drank because my brain just fucking loved the feeling, and now it doesn

1 hour ago, bleep said:

 

Have a good weekend folks.

I can identify with that, bleep. I can't identify any childhood trauma either.  I think social anxiety was a big issue for me & alcohol seemed to help. And yes, the problems that were not related to drinking are either still there, or have been solved by other means. I love the rash analogy!

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Ne1
6 hours ago, bleep said:

That's it, in a very small nutshell. Drank too much, took baclofen, solved the problem. I know for a lot of people that's an unsatisfying solution; No demons were wrestled with, or harmed in the making of this story. There were no deep-seated psychological issues brought out into the light and examined. No childhood trauma surfaced. 

Amen to that, bleep. I didn't have any therapy, any program, any anything when I quit drinking because of baclofen. Well, except for peer support from an anonymous online forum where I made a bunch of friends who became un-anonymous. Many of whom are still friends today. I couldn't have done it without that support and friendship. 

6 hours ago, bleep said:

Problems that were not related to drinking are still here, or have been solved in other ways, only to have different ones appear. Life is still fraught with various issues, they just aren't drinking related. I've sort of come to think of it like taking a cream for a really unsightly and horrifying rash. When the rash goes, you are still you, only people won't be distracted by the ghastly mess that seems to surround you. If you were an asshole with a rash, well, guess what asshole? You are rash-free, but...

Yep. I got into therapy and have found that even without the booze, I've got stuff I need to deal with. But no horror stories, no major trauma, nothing that makes me have alcoholism, other than, as you so eloquently put it, I had a "chemical fuck up in my brain". 

I got rid of the rash, but I still had some shit to deal with. Some of which is a consequence of having had alcoholism for my whole adult life. It's kind of hard to navigate what's "normal" when booze isn't a part of the picture. I swear my first year of therapy was just my therapist reassuring me that my feelings and reactions and actions were well within the realm of "normal" because I just had no idea...But that's my story and for a different thread. 

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bleep

Hey, these little notifications are cool when you have the site open!

 

Ya, I was fortunate for sure, in that I caught it relatively early (early thirties), and hadn't killed people, punched them because they commented on my rash, etc.. I think that if you aren't as lucky, and practice alcoholism for an extended period, then you'll develop all sorts of issues, which will then need to be addressed once the rash is gone, to tortuously stretch this analogy.

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Ne1

I LOVE this site, so much. Many cool features...

And yes, I was 41 when I found baclofen. It makes a difference. It also makes a difference in that I had a lot of repercussions when I was young. I don't have a lot of fond memories of drinking when I was in my teens/twenties. I have a lot of regrets...Lost jobs and relationships and embarrassments and mishaps. 

But I also just have all other kinds of pent up stuff that I need to deal with before I can participate in my life the way I want to. It was there before the booze. It's still here. Bummer. 

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bleep

I think most of those of those things might just be life itself. A certain amount of shit is to be expected.

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