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The End of my Addiction
KUYA

Checking In--January 2017!

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KUYA

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.

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Baclofenman

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

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Ne1

Happy New Year EOMA! May it be sober, prosperous, invigorating and enlightening!

 

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Felina
On 12/30/2016 at 1:59 PM, Jetsman32 said:

 

With that I am starting to consider my taper down. How is that done? Is it 10mg every 4-5 days? Any advice is appreciated!

@Felina  I hope you are doing well. I have been taking L-Tryptopan for a week now. Started at 500mg and now taking 1500mg at a time 2X per day to improve my mood. Overall I think it's helping. However, it is not helping with sleep. I have taken as much as 2500mg 30 minutes before bed and....nothing. I am not using my prescribed Trazadone. I am prescribed 100mg but find that if I take that much I need to sleep for 9 hours and still wake up in a fog. The last few weeks have been nice. Although I am "back" at the office I have worked from home the entire time. This has allowed me to go to bed at 11-12 and still get 8-9 hours per night. For that I have been taking 3/4 of a 100mg Trazadone pill. There are a few problems however. I still wake up 3-5 times per night- usually every two hours or so. I have extremely vivid dreams and sometimes wake up in a state of utter panic/terror. This usually goes away after 10-15 minutes of deep breathing. Also- I now find that I can't sleep without taking it. The last 2 days I tried to take an afternoon nap and it was impossible. I'm scared that I will become dependent on it and require it for sleep- which would be awful. I am also worried about when I return to the office full time. I typically go to bed at 11 and wake up at 6 to to the gym. That's only 7 hours. If I am waking up consistently throughout the night I might only get 5-6 hours- which would be awful. Any suggestions besides going to bed earlier (I use the night time to spend time with my wife and don't want to give that up!)

I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year's! 2017 is a great time to make much needed changes and improvements. I hope you all enjoy it and stay safe!

 

 

Hi Jets and sorry for the very late reply! Work and holiday stuff got the better of me the last few weeks. I'll reply in the December thread but going forward I'll post in the 2017 one :)

Re: tapering. @terryk is our resident expert on the long slow taper. Would you chime in here tk? I know his was crazy-slow, something like 20 mgs per YEAR. After I hit my switch I did it all wrong, went way too far down way too fast and promply relapsed.

That sucks that the l-tryptophan didn't work for you! It works SO well for me as a sleep aid. I think @SKendall uses it too. Our bodies and brains all have such different responses to these drugs and supplements. You know I mentioned before that phenibut didn't do a thing for me? I continued to experiment with the small amount (25g) I bought. I kept trying larger and larger doses and the only thing that happened was a distinct sensation of baclofen overdose. A couple of times in the past I accidentally took too much baclofen and felt horrible--nauseous, difficulty reading/blurry vision etc. So no phenibut for me, it simply doesn't do anything.

You mentioned social anxiety. Did you ever try propranalol? I suffer from extreme social anxiety, and low-dose propranalol was a lifesaver. You can get it from your doctor for that purpose.

Re: sleep, trazodone isn't addictive, so if you really need it for sleep it would be far better than benzos. I don't know what to tell you about the waking up part. I wake up 1-2 times a night too but it's usually just for brief pee-breaks. Baclofen makes me so unbelievably dehydrated so I'm always guzzling water or tea. 

Sorry for the semi-coherent ramble. Happy new year! :)

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Alice22

 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.  

 

 

 

 

 

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MJM

Happy New Year to all.

@Alice22 I hope your mood improves soon — I have a script for Mirtazapine ready to go but haven't filled it. Like you I am hoping I don't have to go onto ADs again. Mirtazapine makes you put on weight apparently, one thing I don't need. Fat enough as it is. 

My mood the last month has been affected partly because I have been sick. Got a cold beginning of December and it turned into a chest infection. On antibiotics but will go to the Dr today to get a stronger one as after five days on this there's been no change. Still coughing a lot and feeling awful a lot of the time. 

@Alice22 I shudder at the thought of my children as teenagers - they are preteens now (10 and 11) but are already behaving like teenagers sometimes. 

Trying again to stop smoking - the chest infection is putting the smoking in sharp relief. None yesterday, but god I wanted one a few times. Have nicotine lozenges, which help a lot with the irritability/craving. I might have to go with champix or whatever its called.

I have finally picked up A Prescription For Alcoholics. Very interesting, albeit depressing how medicine has been sidelined for alcoholism treatment in favour of AA hokery-pokery. I think the author needs more research into AA as some of her criticisims of the fellowship were a bit off. Not that I have any investment in defending AA; quite the opposite. Yet if you're going to nail them to the cross (see what I did there? :)) you may as well use their own hammer.

@Baclofenman I was so relieved when my wife said she'd cancelled plans for a NYE party at home. I can't think of anything worse than watching people getting drunk. I stayed up until 1.30am making sure that my 10yr-old boy and his friend staying over went to sleep.

I spoke to my wife about her drinking yesterday. I'm glad I did because she listened and scknowledged that her drinking is a problem. Hoping she sees the Dr this afternoon.

 

 

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KUYA

@Alice22 I have just returned from giving my 17year old a driving lesson. It was only her third time on the road. Was a bit of a disaster but we lived. She has no interest in drinking/drugs as we have had very open discussions on the topic and she knows my history and sees the messes her brother has made due to his addictions(all be it relatively mild).

My eldest son, who is diabetic, has just decided to quit drinking, much to my relief as I worry for his health even though his drinking has not caused any problems. We are lucky as a family to have had only one drink related car accident and no one was hurt but the car was completely flipped in a ditch with both my sons in it, they were VERY lucky.

i know my own continued sobriety has a massive stabilising effect on the entire family. This is an additional incentive to remain sober.

 

@MJM I quit smoking 20 months ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I was a worse smokeaholic, 40+ a day than an alcoholic. Keep on quitting. I strongly believe the two are linked. I rarely meet a heavy drinker who doesn't or didn't smoke. It took about a year for my brain to settle down after quitting smoking....much longer than when quitting alcohol but then I smoked ALL day EVERY day for much longer.

 

@Baclofenman I still enjoy a party....was out dancing until 3am NYE. Everyone except my son, daughter and I were drinking but no one was wasted although there was the almost standard drunken partner argument....ah domestic bliss ??

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Felina
18 hours ago, Alice22 said:

 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. 

@Alice22, I am sorry you are struggling with sleep. Even with baclofen, gabapentin and trazodone...you'd think that combo should knock you out.

Have you tried supplements and/or OTC sleep meds? Here are a few you might want to consider:

- doxylamine succinate - this is the medication in Nyquil that produces the most delicious sleep. https://smile.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Doxylamine-Succinate-192-Count/dp/B0045XGE9E/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483334624&sr=1-1&keywords=doxylamine%2Bsuccinate&th=1

- melatonin, 3 mg (it has been my understanding that going upwards in dosage to, say, 10 mgs/night doesn't help) - https://smile.amazon.com/Natures-Harbor-MELATONIN-Medicinal-Sleep/dp/B00ZYBP9G0/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483334711&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=melatonin+3mg&psc=1

 - l-tryptophan - this is what I use for sleep and it works wonders for me. https://smile.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-L-Tryptophan-Enhances-reduction/dp/B000FNKFUC/ref=sr_1_18_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483334788&sr=1-18&keywords=l-tryptophan

- l-theanine and/or Passion Flower extract - both help with calming. I have found the most use from l-theanine but both work quite well. I buy both from puritan.com.

I hope you can find some peaceful sleep <3

 

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Molly78
20 hours ago, Alice22 said:

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.

A lot of us struggle with this I think.  The craving for alcohol has gone, but the craving for that "feelgood" moment never goes away.  Maybe we have to come to terms with the fact that a lot of life is flat & a bit mundane?  I don't have any answers, but I know exactly how you feel.  I have just come from a neighbour's new year bash.  Despite forcing a couple of glasses of wine down, I really couldn't get "in the mood" like I used to.  I left early pleading work tomorrow.

@Felina I have just tried doxylamine after i read about it on here.  It does keep me asleep for most of the night, but gives really weird dreams & a bit of a hangover the next day - I like to be up & functioning at 6 am these days, whereas I can't seem to get out of bed before 8 am after doxylamine.  Have ordered trazadone to try - also recommended by people on here.  I'm chasing a good night's sleep as the holy grail, as you can tell.  Not sleeping is the pits.  Being awake in the early hours is prime time for running through in your head all the things you have f*cked up on.  And like most alcoholics I have a really long list of those - 2-3 am is the time to revisit them if you want to put yourself into suicidal mode.  I can't get amy effect at all from any supplements - have tried 5-HT, L-theanine, passion flower, none of them do anything for me i'm afraid - but don't let that put you off @Alice22, lots of people here find them helpful.  I guess we all have slightly different brain chemistry.

A happy & sober new year to everyone!

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Alice22

Thank you to all of you for commiserating with me about the kids, the sleep, the depression.  It helps to hear your stories, remedies, etc

@MJMDoes the mirtazipine help? I need to put on some weight and it might help with the sleep but i still am very ambivalent about starting a new AD.  I've been off them for about  9 months. It's just I can't shake this depression and i feel like I'm wasting precious time.  My psychiatrist prescribed a "light box".  Theoretically it's covered by insurance however after 4 weeks of calls to my doctor, insurance co, it was hopeless so i'm buying one myself.  Figure it's worth a try. 

@KUYA  Good luck with the driving lessons.  I think girls are easier to teach and they are more cautious drivers.  My son scared me to death student driving. It felt like he was inches from other cars.  Boys take more risks, drive faster, think they're bulletproof.  My daughter drives like an 80 year old.  I think so much of being a good driver is just experience so I try to make them drive alongside me as much as possible.  Here in Maryland the requirement for a driver's license is 60 hours but i think the more the better.   

And your right about your sobriety setting a good example, Same here.  Congratulations on your kids, too.  

@Felina Thank you so much for these recommendations!!   Last night was the worst night. It isn't really insomnia because I'm tired and on the verge of sleep and then I'm jolted awake by anxiety.  I have never experienced anything like this before and it scares me.  It's just a feeling of doom and gloom and there is no relief.  This only started in the past month or so. Before that i slept really well. I haven't changed my medication, only switched up the times. Last night, it was after my last dose of bac, 20 mg and 50 mg trazodone. Then it hit, this complete unease. I was up until 4am then  I took 5mg of bac and I guess i was a little better because i fell asleep for a few hours, maybe 4, so I'm really tired today, as usual.  

I tried melatonin a few nights ago and it seemed to help but a few nights ago i took it along with my regular stuff and sleepy time tea and i felt DRUGGED.  Awful, really, like i was drunk, so Ive been scared to take it again.  i need to find the right balance of these meds.  It's a lot of trial and error.  I've written all of these down, might try the doxylamine first.  i would love to get off the trazodone. Ive been taking it for years, 50mg, and I'm scared of the withdrawal.  One thing at a time. 

Thank you @Molly78for understanding how I feel.  I am afraid i will never feel great joy ever again.  Do you think baclofen has anything do with this?  For a time I was on just gabapentin, 900mg a day, and I felt really good.  I was in rehab too, but I had energy, felt motivated, hopeful. It just didn't stop me from drinking and I relapsed right after I got out.  Baclofen has been the only thing to stop the drinking, it's just I feel so lousy most of the time.  Forgive me for not remembering your story, but how long have you been taking baclofen and do you ever feel really well on it?  

Need to do a few things, fake like I'm ok.  The kids go back to school tomorrow, so need to get a little organized. 

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and suggestions.

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fredson
1 hour ago, Alice22 said:

 

I tried melatonin a few nights ago and it seemed to help but a few nights ago i took it along with my regular stuff and sleepy time tea and i felt DRUGGED.  Awful, really, like i was drunk, so Ive been scared to take it again.  i need to find the right balance of these meds.  It's a lot of trial and error.  I've written all of these down, might try the doxylamine first.  i would love to get off the trazodone. Ive been taking it for years, 50mg, and I'm scared of the withdrawal.  One thing at a time. 

 

No attempt of mine to take melatonin has ever lasted very long for that reason. Try taking magnesium instead, it's a precursor to melatonin so your body will only make as much as it needs at the moment instead of flooding with too much. I like that magnesium also functions as a muscle relaxer and seems to undo the tension caused by caffeine throughout the day. (caffeine and alcohol deplete magnesium from the body)

 

 

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KUYA
1 hour ago, fredson said:

No attempt of mine to take melatonin has ever lasted very long for that reason. Try taking magnesium instead, it's a precursor to melatonin so your body will only make as much as it needs at the moment instead of flooding with too much. I like that magnesium also functions as a muscle relaxer and seems to undo the tension caused by caffeine throughout the day. (caffeine and alcohol deplete magnesium from the body)

 

 

@Alice22 and @fredsonI have the opposite experience with melatonin and can take it fairly regularly but try not to use too much as it has been implicated in toxicity. Quite possibly it upsets you because you are not depleted of it....I use a rule of thumb that if you don't feel fairly immediate benefit you don't need it.

I have used melatonin to sleep but recently found vitamin D3 at 5000iu daily to be the answer for me. I live in New Zealand but spend very little time in the sun as the ozone layer is knackered and you burn too easily. Hence not enough sun exposure and vitamin D deficit. Office workers and any group stuck indoors may benefit.

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fredson
3 hours ago, KUYA said:

@Alice22 and @fredsonI have the opposite experience with melatonin and can take it fairly regularly but try not to use too much as it has been implicated in toxicity. Quite possibly it upsets you because you are not depleted of it....I use a rule of thumb that if you don't feel fairly immediate benefit you don't need it.

I have used melatonin to sleep but recently found vitamin D3 at 5000iu daily to be the answer for me. I live in New Zealand but spend very little time in the sun as the ozone layer is knackered and you burn too easily. Hence not enough sun exposure and vitamin D deficit. Office workers and any group stuck indoors may benefit.

Have you ever used a full spectrum lightbulb wherever you spend time indoors? I keep one in my music room whenever I practice to get sunlight in. 

 

I did not know about melatonin being toxic at high doses. Back in college I idiotically took tons of it along with anti histamines, alcohol and assloads of caffeine thinking I could supercharge my body in all walks of work, fun and sleep. I'd probably have been the type of sucker to buy into bulletproof coffee if it existed back then. 

 

My vitamin regimen shifts over time but generally includes a b complex, l glutamine, D3 and now magnesium. The best results have always come from not being hung over or overdoing caffeine though. 

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KUYA
22 hours ago, Felina said:

@Alice22, I am sorry you are struggling with sleep. Even with baclofen, gabapentin and trazodone...you'd think that combo should knock you out.

Have you tried supplements and/or OTC sleep meds? Here are a few you might want to consider:

- doxylamine succinate - this is the medication in Nyquil that produces the most delicious sleep. https://smile.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Doxylamine-Succinate-192-Count/dp/B0045XGE9E/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483334624&sr=1-1&keywords=doxylamine%2Bsuccinate&th=1

- melatonin, 3 mg (it has been my understanding that going upwards in dosage to, say, 10 mgs/night doesn't help) - https://smile.amazon.com/Natures-Harbor-MELATONIN-Medicinal-Sleep/dp/B00ZYBP9G0/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483334711&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=melatonin+3mg&psc=1

 - l-tryptophan - this is what I use for sleep and it works wonders for me. https://smile.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-L-Tryptophan-Enhances-reduction/dp/B000FNKFUC/ref=sr_1_18_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483334788&sr=1-18&keywords=l-tryptophan

- l-theanine and/or Passion Flower extract - both help with calming. I have found the most use from l-theanine but both work quite well. I buy both from puritan.com.

I hope you can find some peaceful sleep <3

 

Actually @Felina @fredson I am now wondering if it is tryptophan rather than melatonin that can be toxic. I use tryptophan occassionally but it does make me a little hungover when I combine it with melatonin. I buy mine from biorecovery and they advise tryptophan with a little fruit juice half an hour before the melatonin.

Nowadays I am going to stick with regular magnesium and D3 (might look for that lightbulb also @fredson and save the tryptophan and melatonin for those nights it is important I get an early night

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Molly78

I've now got myself confused about 5-HT & l-tryptophan.  My understanding is that both are chemical precursors in the bod'y manufacture of serotonin & melatonin, but they come at different points in the chain. L-tryptophan comes before 5-HT in the chain, so logically, 5-HT should be more effective as it's a step ahead?  Maybe @Felina you can put me right on this?

So combining either with melatonin is perhaps likely to cause toxicity?

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Ne1

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. 

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StuckinLA

Well, another holiday season come and gone. Things went ok. Stayed at home the whole time I was... home. That is, didn't go out or try to visit with friends or go to bars. NYE was very low key with the girl and a college friend who now lives in San Diego, we went to dinner and a movie and then back to the girl's place. We played dominoes, which was surprisingly fun. They had champagne at midnight, I had sparkling cider. I have abstract thoughts about booze, but not really missing it too terribly.

A conference in Philadelphia this weekend. God how I don't want to go. But it'll be over soon enough and then back to teaching next week. Don't want to do that, either, to be honest. But like @Ne1, it will be good to get up and dressed and out of the house. Mold the young minds and shape the future, that sort of thing. Haven't gotten much writing done or many job applications, but still reading quite a bit. Or at least reading enough to balance out the Netflix?

As for magnesium, I really like epsom salts because it gives me an excuse to take nice long hot baths. Very relaxing. I'm like a total chick when it comes to that, candles and bubble bath and a book.

Anyway, didn't really make any resolutions this year. Though of course I need to get back to the gym and eat better and get back to vegetarian/vegan (after Philadelphia) and stop spending money on stupid shit. Fortunately I'm too lazy to go out and spend too much money on big things, like the tint on the car windows. Will do that next month or maybe in March. One thing I do want to do this year is get better about sending cards - thank you cards and holiday cards and cards for friends' birthdays. So far that's going well, but it's only January 3rd.

Hope the year is starting off well all around.

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Molly78

@Alice22 I have been on bac for 3 years this Christmas.  I had an earlier attempt back in 2010 (I think) when I tried to titrate up while still drinking - that really didn't work for me.  The answer to your question about "do I ever feel really well on it?" is a resounding yes!  As I said, I still look for a high in different places because.......well, I would like to feel high at times rather than just normal (isn't this true for most of us with the brain of an addict?  I mean this is how we got where we are, looking for help to give up our drug of choice for so many years).  That doesn't mean I feel flat or low the rest of the time.  Mostly I just feel normal.

However, you need to know I was an active alcoholic for about 30 years, so it's difficult for me to know what "normal" feels like.  I think in fact I never felt particularly normal or comfortable in my own skin until I discovered alcohol & thought I had found the panacea.  It made me talkative, confident, outgoing, witty.......... bac doesn't make me any of those, if anything it's turned me a bit antisocial because I don't want to be around people who bore me ( a bit like Ne above!) & before I drank so that I could do that.  Now I'm starting to learn how to exist comfortably on my own without a chemical crutch (you could say bac is one, but I don't see it like that)

I'm rambling now, but I think what I want to say is that it takes time to adjust.  And I don't think you will stop hoping for something that makes you "feel good" the way alcohol did.

@Ne1 I obviously should do some proper research on 5-HT & L-tryptophan rather than just reading the adverts on Amazon!  I'm not really motivated to do that because none of these supplements so far have helped my sleep so think I'm barking up the wrong tree!

Really well done on losing 20lb - that's amazing!!  And pleased that the job is going well.

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Felina
22 hours ago, KUYA said:

Actually @Felina @fredson I am now wondering if it is tryptophan rather than melatonin that can be toxic. I use tryptophan occassionally but it does make me a little hungover when I combine it with melatonin. I buy mine from biorecovery and they advise tryptophan with a little fruit juice half an hour before the melatonin.

Nowadays I am going to stick with regular magnesium and D3 (might look for that lightbulb also @fredson and save the tryptophan and melatonin for those nights it is important I get an early night

I've never heard of combining melatonin with l-tryptophan. I've tried them individually, and found that taking three 500 mg l-tryptophan capsules before bed usually knocks me right out with no hangover in the morning. Most nights I sleep like a log, except for inevitable pee breaks (baclofen makes me SO dehydrated).

5 hours ago, Molly78 said:

I've now got myself confused about 5-HT & l-tryptophan.  My understanding is that both are chemical precursors in the bod'y manufacture of serotonin & melatonin, but they come at different points in the chain. L-tryptophan comes before 5-HT in the chain, so logically, 5-HT should be more effective as it's a step ahead?  Maybe @Felina you can put me right on this?

So combining either with melatonin is perhaps likely to cause toxicity?

I must admit, I really don't know. I can only speak about my personal experience with these supplements. Sleep has long been a problem for me. I've tried melatonin, 5-htp, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, benzos, Seroquel, Remeron, trazodone, amitryptyline, valarian root, kava kava...I'm sure I've tried more but I can't think of them off the top of my head. I just found l-tryptophan to be the best at helping me sleep without a hangover. Sometimes I combine it with something else (gabapentin, l-theanine etc) if I really need the sleep and don't feel tired.

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Jetsman32

 

@Felina Thank you so much for the L-Tryptopan. I have an update on that. 3 days ago I stopped taking the Trazadone- it was doing more harm than good. I read an article that said that for some people, L-Tryptophan requires very high doses to work. The same day I quit Trazadone I tried 3500mgs (3.5g) of L-Tryptophan 30 minutes before bed. It worked like a charm! I slept soundly for 5 hours, work up to pee and went right back to sleep until my alarm went off. The last two nights have been more of the same. I am also taking 1500mgs 2X a day to help with my mood. Awesome find- I owe you big on this one!!!!

  I wanted to share my recent tapering story with the group. Last Friday(30th) I decided to start tapering. My plan was to taper 10mgs every 5 days. I am currently at 310mgs- my switch dose. The weekend went well. On New Year's eve I had two Mikes Hard Strawberry Lemonades and didn't want any more. However, that Monday (1st) was an entirely different story. My wife went to work and I had the day off so I spent the day playing video games (Mass Effect 3 for the 2nd time if any of you gamer's care). Around 11am I got a thirst to have a drink. I started with 1 Mike's and ended up drinking 4. I then had a bud light platinum (6% alcohol). I had a really nice buzz going and wanted more. I still had a 24oz Bud Ice in the fridge. Rather than go for the Bud as I wanted to, I realized that I was instantly back in my old ways. I took 60mgs of Baclofen and took a hot shower. For the day I ended up taking a total of 360mgs. The next day I started back at 310 and have continued at that dose since with no cravings. Now, I am insanely scared of tapering off at all. I don't know how 10mgs instantly triggered my old drinking habits. I have not had a craving or wanted to drink in 3 months! Has anyone had an experience like this?  @Baclofenman any ideas? I see my Psychiatrist next Monday to get by bac refill. I am considering just staying at 310 for life. As the old saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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Felina
4 hours ago, Jetsman32 said:

 

@Felina Thank you so much for the L-Tryptopan. I have an update on that. 3 days ago I stopped taking the Trazadone- it was doing more harm than good. I read an article that said that for some people, L-Tryptophan requires very high doses to work. The same day I quit Trazadone I tried 3500mgs (3.5g) of L-Tryptophan 30 minutes before bed. It worked like a charm! I slept soundly for 5 hours, work up to pee and went right back to sleep until my alarm went off. The last two nights have been more of the same. I am also taking 1500mgs 2X a day to help with my mood. Awesome find- I owe you big on this one!!!!

  I wanted to share my recent tapering story with the group. Last Friday(30th) I decided to start tapering. My plan was to taper 10mgs every 5 days. I am currently at 310mgs- my switch dose. The weekend went well. On New Year's eve I had two Mikes Hard Strawberry Lemonades and didn't want any more. However, that Monday (1st) was an entirely different story. My wife went to work and I had the day off so I spent the day playing video games (Mass Effect 3 for the 2nd time if any of you gamer's care). Around 11am I got a thirst to have a drink. I started with 1 Mike's and ended up drinking 4. I then had a bud light platinum (6% alcohol). I had a really nice buzz going and wanted more. I still had a 24oz Bud Ice in the fridge. Rather than go for the Bud as I wanted to, I realized that I was instantly back in my old ways. I took 60mgs of Baclofen and took a hot shower. For the day I ended up taking a total of 360mgs. The next day I started back at 310 and have continued at that dose since with no cravings. Now, I am insanely scared of tapering off at all. I don't know how 10mgs instantly triggered my old drinking habits. I have not had a craving or wanted to drink in 3 months! Has anyone had an experience like this?  @Baclofenman any ideas? I see my Psychiatrist next Monday to get by bac refill. I am considering just staying at 310 for life. As the old saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

JETS! That's great! Of COURSE Mr. Go-Big-Or-Go-Home has to take three times as much as most people :) but I'm so glad it worked for you! I am a HUGE fan of l-trypophan. I don't know why it works so much better than 5-htp or melatonin, but once I read the Amazon reviews I knew I had to try it. The stuff is amazing. I should have sent you a bunch more!

Re: your baclofen experiment. If you have no significant side effects I'd just say, stay at 310 for the long haul. Your body seems to be telling you that you need to be at your switch dose for a much longer period. I think the most successful baclofen users stay close to their switch dose for long periods and taper down verrrrrry slowly.

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Alice22

Thank you @Molly78  for that response.  It gives me hope that I will eventually feel better.   Right now, i don't feel well at all and i've been on the bac, 110mgs, for over 6 months. I also take 900mg gabapentin/day and 50mg trazodone at night.  I think I'm going to very slowly taper the gabapentin.  It's funny but at one point I was taking 130-140mg bac a day and i think i felt better, more mental clarity, more energy.  I wish I had kept better track back then but I was still drinking most of the time.   

I've been smoking too much pot.  I use it to stimulate my appetite (I have NONE on bac) and to try and feel a little buzz I guess, but I feel hardly anything, not at all like it once was, no high  or  relief from tension, like it used to provide.   I don't feel any kind of even small high from ordinary things, like  watching a good movie, or completing a project.  I  used to feel happy from these sorts of small things, now I feel just flat.  I am just afraid baclofen takes away my ability to feel pleasure from anything.  I hope this depression is separate from the bac and I don't have to choose between being a drunk or clinically depressed.  So it's good news that you have felt good and "normal ' on bac.  

I might try Mirtazipine, just a small dose before bed instead of trazodone.  Maybe it will finally be the thing to provide relief.  That's why I keep trying, because maybe there is some drug out there that will finally make me feel ok.    It's an appetite stimulant too.   

I slept better last night.  I stopped melatonin and the sleepy time tea and just took my prescribed meds and pot and I didn't have the awful panic attacks.  See how it goes but i'm not going to add anything in yet. 

@Ne1So glad to hear you're enjoying the job.  A job would do me a world of good.  I finally made a call today about a volunteer opportunity I saw a while ago and I have a second application for another.  I'm nervous about committing to something and then not liking it or just not having the energy to show up.  But every time I manage to push myself out the door, I feel better.   I really need the social interaction too.    I'm afraid that I am one of those people who talks about her dinner with strangers.  Mostly I'm just dying for some conversation, but I'm good at shutting up as soon as I see someone isn't interested.   

@StuckinLACongratulations on all the AF time.  I wish so much I could do it without the drugs.  Much healthier way to go.  

I'm from Philadelphia.  I met my husband on a blind date at The Four Seasons.    A fun way to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Place, is to go late at night and you can push button and  a loud voice tells you all about the history of the bell,  etc.  Also, Ben Franklin's grave is right there with a list of all his accomplishments.  It's fun to compare your life to his and it's tradition to throw pennies on his grave.   Hope you have a good time.  It's cheap compared to most east coast cities.  And LA.

 

Gotta get ready for bed.  My husband is away again and I hate it.  I used to love being alone, now I can't stand it.  Probably because I used to drink alone. 

i

 

 

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Molly78
16 hours ago, Alice22 said:

I've been smoking too much pot.

Not wanting to sound judgemental, but maybe you should try giving up pot before you add in more meds?  It doesn't sound as though you are enjoying it anyway, & it does have its own SE.  My youngest son smoked a lot of pot at uni & had very little motivation or enjoyment of anything - except the pot.  He had a hard job coming off it, but once off his motivation returned, luckily in time for finals.  He found it had such a bad effect on his emotional health, & coming off it was a nightmare, that he has not used it since.  Unfortunately he drinks too much (wonder where he gets that from LOL) & uses cocaine which seems to go hand in hand with his job as a high flying lawyer in London. But I'm very unhappy about it & worried for him.  Out of the frying pan......

Not used pot myself, as not a smoker & being a middle class professional went all out for the legal poison, alcohol.

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Molly78

Agree with @Felina.  Why play with fire, when you've done so well?

OK, OK, now I have to go buy some l-tryptophan, that being the only supplement I haven't yet tried.  Watch this space.

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fredson
41 minutes ago, Molly78 said:

Not wanting to sound judgemental, but maybe you should try giving up pot before you add in more meds?  It doesn't sound as though you are enjoying it anyway, & it does have its own SE.  My youngest son smoked a lot of pot at uni & had very little motivation or enjoyment of anything - except the pot.  He had a hard job coming off it, but once off his motivation returned, luckily in time for finals.  He found it had such a bad effect on his emotional health, & coming off it was a nightmare, that he has not used it since.  Unfortunately he drinks too much (wonder where he gets that from LOL) & uses cocaine which seems to go hand in hand with his job as a high flying lawyer in London. But I'm very unhappy about it & worried for him.  Out of the frying pan......

Not used pot myself, as not a smoker & being a middle class professional went all out for the legal poison, alcohol.

I would second the pot stance. In some ways it's worse than alcohol because it's so easy on you that you really can't tell that you're overdoing it until a lot of problems have accumulated over a long time. At least with alcohol the effects are usually extreme enough to know when you've gone too far. 

 

When I used pot, whatever depression I had was harder to shake off and anxiety got to be extreme every single time I ever used it. I finally mustered the will to quit when I loathed what it did even before I was about to use it with my friends. 

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Ne1
18 hours ago, Alice22 said:

I don't feel any kind of even small high from ordinary things, like  watching a good movie, or completing a project.  I  used to feel happy from these sorts of small things, now I feel just flat.  I am just afraid baclofen takes away my ability to feel pleasure from anything.  I hope this depression is separate from the bac and I don't have to choose between being a drunk or clinically depressed.  So it's good news that you have felt good and "normal ' on bac.  

I just finished rereading A Presctiption for Alcoholics. She points to research that shows that people with alcoholism have fewer "feel good" receptors than other people do. We also have extra "freak out" receptors. (GABA, glutamate, dopamine, and so much more.) 

Alcohol stimulates the good ones and suppresses the ones that make us feel uncomfortable. After years of drinking we have even fewer feel good receptors than we started with. 

Meaning, when we quit drinking, there just aren't a lot of receptors to pick up on things that feel good. It takes time. One way to speed it up is to do things that we know improve mood. Even if you don't feel it now, it'll help in the long run. Funny things. Fun things. Exercise. Social interaction. Music. Sunshine. All the stuff that's been said over and over again. I'm trying, too, Alice. And I gotta tell you, it's annoying to start, to try. But what choice? (The first time I quit drinking I was happy, and taking between 200 and 300mg of baclofen. Pretty sure it's not [just] baclofen. Or gabapentin.) Antidepressants are helpful for this stuff... 

I concur about the pot, based almost solely on dating too many potheads when I was young. Their motivation was nil. ugh. Boringest boyfriends ever. 

In an effort to try new things and increase dopamine and receptors and all that jazz... I took Pete (the husky) on a bike ride today. Ed got a bike for Christmas, and even before that was using mine to run her around the neighborhood (6 miles!). Walks aren't enough anymore. I took her for 2.5 miles yesterday (and had to DRAG myself to do it). Got home and she was still being a spaz. Ed got home and took her for several miles on the bike and she's suddenly Perfect Dog. <sigh>

So today I put on my big girl leggings and my bike helmet and off we were. Thing is, I can't ride my bike very well. She's like the Road Runner, man. And I don't have the dexterity. My first fall was into a huge mud puddle near a construction site. Full on hands, elbows and knees. Into blissfully soft mud! :) I'm a little scraped, but not much. Second one was into grass, and was annoying. I wanted to beat her, but instead cursed her furry existence while she wagged and waited for me to recover. Bent my handlebars! (Fixed 'em.) Now I'm feeling brave and sturdy and a bit reckless. I wish I could've seen the first fall. Given the mud in my hair, and everywhere else, I think it was probably pretty funny. Hope nobody else saw (or heard) though. 

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Felina

@Molly78 @Jetsman32 the best thing I found about l-tryptophan was that, like baclofen, I don't seem to need to take higher doses over time. For me, the recommended dose (three 500 mg pills at bedtime) continues to work almost two years after I first started taking it. I might start taking it during the day for mood as well. Why not? I bought so many bottles during that $1/bottle sale I can take it for years.  I'm so glad you had a great result from it. 

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MJM

I agree absolutely about exercise, socialising and doing fun stuff @Ne1. Also meditation is good. I am hopeless at doing these things regularly but when I get off my lazy arse and do something I feel better for it. I rode my bike down the shops the other day. First time I have ridden the bike since sometime in 1963 (okay, an exaggeration, probably about a year :)). I got frustrated with it (a mirror fell off on the way down, etc etc) and on hill coming back I powered up to burn off the anger. I felt really good after that!

I have not been taking antidepressants since stopping Effexor in Oct/Nov. I have a script for Mirtazapine, but haven't filled it yet. Came close in December, with the double whammy of being siick the whole month with a cold (then a chest infection) and it being the first anniversary of my Mum's death. Anyway, I made it through and am slowly starting to feel better.

I told my wife how I felt about her drinking a couple days ago. She went to see a Dr and has a referral to see an addiction specialist (?) so it feels like real progress there. A real relief. Naltrexone or Campral is what I'm guessing she'll try. She hated Bac, just didn't work for her.

Hating the smoking, taking a day off them here and there. Also on the rolled tobacco, much cheaper, slightly less bad for me and more fiddly to smoke. Hoping I can stop soon... 

 

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KUYA

@Molly78 I understand your concerns for your son as I am in a similar place with a son who smokes too much weed and drinks and is a 'failure to launch' in life. I know your son is a lawyer so fully launched there but the drug use is just as scary.

 

At least nowadays there is increased awareness that regular drug use is a problem. When I was in my twenties NOT using drugs was considered the weird thing.....little wonder we are the fucked generation, too much money, too much access.

Sadly for our kids they also have to find their own way out, their own 'rock bottom'. We can only lead by example and hope they learn through our mistakes and experiences.

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Ne1
12 hours ago, MJM said:

First time I have ridden the bike since sometime in 1963 (okay, an exaggeration, probably about a year :)). I got frustrated with it (a mirror fell off on the way down, etc etc) and on hill coming back I powered up to burn off the anger. I felt really good after that!

I know how that feels, MJM! My parents took us (my brother and I) on an ill-fated bike trip overseas when I was in my 20s. It was ill-fated for many reasons, not the least of which is that I hadn't been on a bike since early teenage years. I feel the same now. Like a fish. On a bicycle. Never-the-less, I'll persevere. I didn't think I was that banged up, and I'm not really, but I have a couple of great bruises. It reminds me of when I first started...anything. Bruises! It shows I tried! These are glorious, though. I wish I could show them off, but people (other than nurses and like-minded individuals) would be put off by the sight of my broken blood vessels. (Don't get me wrong. I don't like pain. I'm not a "no pain, no gain" kinda woman. But it was fun to be pulled along by the husky dog, and fall into mush. Like childhood?) I was going to take her again today but, alas, I have a flat tire on my bike. Thank all that matters! Whew. Tomorrow we may have to dredge through a foot of snow. Or an inch. We're in one of those places that blows storms off, with no repercussions, or brings them in and shuts everything down for eons 'til we get our sh*t straight. I hope for deep snow to (hopefully, if I get up the muster) slog through. I have clear memories of taking our old husky (Goose) on one of her last winters, and she wanted to play, but couldn't. Hopefully Pete will. 

My street doesn't get plowed. Ed's staying where he works to take care of the old folks. I'm on my own with Pete (husky) for at least 36 hours. It's kinda nice. 

@KUYA, It's such a relief that Rock Bottom doesn't really define addiction or recovery anymore, isn't it? The more I read, the more I listen, the more I get that the punishment of addiction is severe enough without insisting on that requirement. Enough to be sucked into the vortex of shame and ignominy without getting sucked into the "It has to get worse before you get out" rhetoric. Not that it's easy for the people around the person who is still seeking the punishment of Rock Bottom. God knows. 

I have to admit after reading the book I've mentioned a thousand times (A Presciription for Alcoholics) I'm left both devastated and hopeful. Good thing my mind can incorporate the contradiction. Sort of. ugh. Cheers to finding solutions that don't include devastation and destitution. 

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