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Unread 03-09-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
badbrad
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For the last 10 years my life has been in a slow downward spiral.There is no logical reason why I started doing drugs. I have a loving family and a good job ( for the time being).For some reason the drugs call my name.I finally got a grip on my opiate addiction by taking suboxone and all was well for a while. Then I started smoking crack. That stuff is sucking the life out of me and I don't understand the strong hold it has.The way my job is, I go out to sea for about 25 days at a time and come home for about a week. When I am gone I don't have any thoughts or urges for cocaine.But as soon as I get home I start right back where I left off.
I finally asked my family for help and told them what has been going on and needless to say they were shocked. I don't know how that I've been able to keep my addiction a secret for so long, but I guess that's the one thing that an addict is good at. I want help but am not sure where to start. I feel like my addiction is 100% psychological. It's been about a week since I smoked and I don't have any desire to right now.But it seems like as soon as I get left alone I start thinking of ways to make it happen.
The deppression and guilt that goes along with this addiction is very powerful and I am in the process of seeking proffessional help.My family is doing all they can to help me, I just hope we find someone soon.
I want my life back and this is a big step for me.I'm the type of person that sticks to hisself.It's certainly out of character for me to ask someone for help, but I realized I couldn't do it on my own.
Please pray for me and I'll keep posting my progress.
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Unread 03-10-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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Hi badbrad, welcome. Congratulations on taking that huge step of reaching out for help. Also, congratulations on a week!

That's great that you're seeking professional help. A good therapist should be able to work with you to help find out why it has such a strong hold on you and also help you find ways to keep your addiction in remission. Have you ever looked into live support groups like Cocaine Anonymous? Here's a link if you're so inclined to see if there's a group near you for when you're home.
http://www.ca.org/

When you come home for that week, do you have anything scheduled to keep you occupied so you don't get pulled into thinking about crack?

A few people on the opioid/Suboxone forum here have found this CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) useful in learning how to distract their thinking, it might be worth taking a look at:
http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

Again, welcome, and please let us know how you're doing.

Nancy
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Unread 03-10-2011, 11:41 AM   #3
badbrad
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Thank you NancyB for responding to my thread.Cocaine is a lonely drug.I went to the CA website but there was nothing in my area.I'm sure I can find some NA meetings close by if I look hard enough.Right now I'm trying to find a proffessional psychologist to talk to.So far not having any luck finding any immediate help. I've got an appt. in a couple of weeks with a Dr., I just hope I can keep it together that long.
I've got some down time on my job right now for about six weeks so this is a dangerous place for me to be in.Every hour of every day that I am home I feel cocaine trying to seduce me.
I don't understand how I can go 2-3 weeks at a time without thinking about it and as soon as I get home that's all I think about.
Anyway maybe the Dr. help me figure it all out.Thanks again!
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Unread 03-10-2011, 04:26 PM   #4
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Hi badbrad, have you called any hospitals in your area to see if there are any support groups you can go to? Or check here: http://www.naabt.org/local/ to see if there are any therapists listed in your area. The ones who are on that list are supposed to be therapists who specialize in addiction counseling.

Is there anything that you try to schedule for yourself every day to get out of the house? Maybe volunteer somewhere for the time you're home, like a nursing home and talk with people who have no one, that would help you as well as them. Or at an animal shelter, just something to get out and try to keep your from obsessing about cocaine.

Keep posting and don't give up calling therapists!

Nancy
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Unread 03-10-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Badbrad,

The human experience can really suck sometimes.Logic.When dealing with a subject
so preposterous as addiction logic wont help I'm afraid.You';ve taken a giant step
when informing your family of your situation.They may have surmised that something was wrong.However addiction was probably way down on their list.It seems you may have a trigger at home.Something that sets you off when not at work.Your brain
wants to escape and feel better.Nothing news worthy about that.So what could
it be?A shared experience we humans have is termed "self destructive tendencies".
The want or need to do ones self harm.We all have it to varying degrees.The reason one might suffer from this is better left to the professionals.I, by no means,would suggest this is your dilemma.Its merely food for thought.Food for
thought?Stick around.You may find a venerable feast of ideas and help here.For
now try not to be so anxious and believe things might just work out...Lasiter
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Unread 03-11-2011, 08:03 AM   #6
badbrad
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Going on 11 days since I smoked and I'm starting to think this is possible. I realize that I'm a long way from where I need to be.Since I informed my family of my problems they haven't really let me out of their sight, so it hasn't really been that much of a challenge to do the right thing.
I know I've got some strong triggers that work on me when I am alone, so I am still seeking professional help.
i am going to try a Celebrate Recovery meeting tonight. I don't know much about it, but it is the first opportunity for me to reach out past my inner circle of family & friends.
Right now the most painful things that I am dealing with are the shame,guilt, and depression.I don't know if the drugs caused these feelings or covered them up, but I'm trying to stay positive by knowing that I will eventually get the right help that I need.
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Unread 03-11-2011, 12:02 PM   #7
Lasiter
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Badbrad,

The social stigma associated with addiction is one of those entities that will tear you up if you let it."How could you"?"Look what you're doing to the family".After you're done beating yourself up you've come full circle.Then you can beat yourself up again.
Is this logical?The cold hard truth is.YOU'RE AN ADDICT.Its nothing to be ashamed
of.And certainly nothing to hide in a closet about.However it does have to be dealt
with.Logically.You're seeking professional help as well as experimenting with group
and alternative therapies.All steps in the "right" direction.You've already taken the
hardest step.Admitting you're an addict and that you need help.The next path you take is equally paramount and must be chosen wisely.The path of "you're" recovery.
Hang on tight its quite a ride.............Lasiter
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Unread 03-12-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
badbrad
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Lasiter,
You're right on about beating myself up over and over again. That may be the hardest thing so far for me to get over. I'm going on two weeks since using and I'm starting to believe in myself again,but every time I start to feel good about myself the guilt sets back in.In the back of my head there is a constant reminder of the damage I've done to myself and my family.I've got enough sense to know that I have to own the things that I've done and suffer the consequences.
I attended my first meeting last night and just saying the things that I've done out loud seemed to help.Knowing that there are others like me also made me feel better.
Anyway...I'll keep taking it one day at a time.Things have to get better!
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Unread 03-13-2011, 08:00 AM   #9
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Hi badbrad, just keep moving forward. We can't do anything to change the past, but we can use it to learn how to shape our present and future.

Will you continue going to the meeting? It sounds as though it was helpful to you.

Things WILL get better. You're doing great, give yourself a lot of credit for over two weeks, ok?

Nancy
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Unread 03-13-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
badbrad
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Nancy,
I certainly will go to another meeting.It was a Celebrate Recovery meeting so they only meet once a week. I wasn't sure about going to an NA meeting since I heard some bad things about my local one.
I have an appt. with a substance abuse psychologist in about 10 days.I hope he can help me deal with the guilt and depression that I am suffering.For the time being I will try to stay occupied and have a positive outlook. Thanks for your support!
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Unread 03-15-2011, 08:18 AM   #11
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Hi badbrad, good to hear you'll go to another CR meeting. Some people have found that they like AA meetings better than NA anyways. They seem to be more accepting of medication-assisted treatment - not that it's anyone's business what medications you take - but, of course, it all depends on the people at the meetings.


Here's a list of other support groups that you might want to take a look at and see if they're worth checking out:

LifeRing
A non-religious self-help recovery organization for individuals who seek group support to achieve abstinence from alcohol and other addictive drugs.
http://www.unhooked.com/index.htm

Smart Recovery
Self Management and Recovery Training. Based on ever-evolving scientific knowledge.
http://www.smartrecovery.org/

Secular Organizations for Sobriety
Self-empowerment approach to recovery.
http://www.cfiwest.org/sos/index.htm

You're doing great!! Keep up the good work!

Nancy
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Unread 03-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #12
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Brad,
I'm not sure how long it takes for crack/cocaine to get out of your system but I'm sure the first few days you'll feel exhausted, depressed, etc.. Do you ever have these feelings when you're out on the boat?? These are common feelings too when you're putting your addiction in remission. I felt those feelings when I was getting off of opiates... I am now on Suboxone.

You can do this!!! That is so great you're going to meetings and counseling. If part of your guilt has to do with your family.. maybe give them some of the info we gave you about addiction so they can UNDERSTAND ((a little)). It seems like they're really supportive. It's hard to understand addiction when you haven't been through it. Before I was an addict, I would think, "What the hell is wrong with them.. why can't they stop??"

Good luck to you and please keep posting! Nice to "meet" you..


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Unread 03-18-2011, 09:22 PM   #13
badbrad
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Danielle,
Yes, whenever I go out on my boat I have extreme feelings of guilt and depression.I suppose after I get all the drugs out of my system these feelings present themselves. I have felt the same way the past couple of weeks since not doing any drugs.The depression that i have been experiencing the last couple of days seems almost too much at times.
I just got back from a CR meeting and it definitely helps!I also went to a psychologist this week to try some professional help, but that didn't do too much for me.He basically just got a rundown of my family history.I guess he has to start somewhere.
My wife seems to be having a hard time understanding addiction and the depression that I'm currently dealing with.The rest of my family has a better idea of what I'm going through bec ause my brother has been through the same thing.I told her there were support groups out there for her so maybe she will look into them.
Thanks for the info!
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Unread 03-18-2011, 09:48 PM   #14
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Brad,
Did you start doing coke/crack because you were depressed? Or these depression feelings just happen after drug use? I ask because people (like me) take drugs to numb themselves (for many emotions) ... I heavily smoked marijuana and it just escalated to oxycontin, vicodin, etc.. because the grass wasn't doing it for me anymore.

If the depression is getting too much for you, have you considered medication??? Depression can get out of control extremely quickly and lead to suicide. I've been through it too and it's horrible. Please consider it and tell your doctor what you are feeling. I look back at it now and it was like I was in a totally different world.

You can't feel guilty anymore - what's done is DONE. You cannot change the past.. what you can do is be proud of yourself for stepping up and doing the right thing. It can take a while to get rid of those feelings though. But Look at you!!!! So many people need a kick in the butt to tell them what to do even though they know what to do in the first place. You're going to groups, a psychologist (THE FIRST TIME IS ALWAYS LIKE THAT THEY NEED A BUNCH OF INFORMATION).

Does this psychologist work with a psychiatrist (prescribes meds)?.. they usually do - some don't.

You're wife will have a hard time "getting it".. perhaps even if you throw all the information in the world in her face. We weren't born addicts so we know how we used to look at people who used. Education can just help her know what's happening and be able to support you more. The support groups for her are an excellent idea as well!! I hope she does look into them.

Hope to hear from you soon!
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #15
badbrad
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Danielle,
I don't know which came first, the depression or the drugs. This is the same thing the Dr. wanted to know. All I know is that I'm depressed now and I feel like I should be taking someyhing for it.I don't feel suicidal, I just don't feel like doing anything or talking to anybody. I'm going back to the Dr. this week and will explain to him how I feel.
I am trying to stay positive.I know I didn't get this way overnight and it will take awhile to get better.Thanks!
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Unread 03-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #16
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Hi Brad, Danielle has a lot of great input for you. I'd just like to add a couple of things. If you find that you're not getting what you need from the psychologist you're seeing, then find another one. Just remember that you are hiring that person to work with you. Sometimes is may take a few to find the right match for you. When you go this week, express the feelings of depression you're having and hopefully you can get started on an anti-depressant to help you.

For your wife, do you think she'd be interested in learning more about addiction? This piece from the HBO "Addiction" series is very good in explaining that it is a disease and not a lack of willpower or anything or something a person can just shake off.
http://www.hbo.com/addiction/underst...addiction.html

Hope this helps.

Nancy
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Unread 03-24-2011, 06:11 PM   #17
badbrad
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Nancy,
Thanks for the suggestions!Things seem to be going in the right direction with my psychologist.For the first time in a while i'm startign to think more positively and feel good about myself.Hopefully things will continue to move in that direction!!

my wife seems to be a little more understanding lately, but I will let her know about the HBO show you recomended.Thanks again.!
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Unread 03-25-2011, 03:17 PM   #18
NancyB
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Hi Brad, what great news! I'm so glad you're thinking positively and good about yourself! Keep doing what you're doing, you're making wonderful progress.

Another thing that might be good for both you and your wife is Dr. Urschel's book "Healing the Addicted Brain". It explains addiction quite well. You can get it on Amazon, or maybe your library has it:
http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Addict...1080603&sr=8-1

Keep in touch!
Nancy
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Unread 04-03-2011, 03:07 PM   #19
badbrad
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Nancy,
Thank you so much for all the helpful advice.I know it's only a month or so since I decided to make these changes in my life but it feels like I'm an eternity away from the person I was!! Although I feel strong and healthy I know I still have a long way to go in my recovery. All I can do is continue to stay positve and take it one day at a time.
I also realize that I am most vulnerable the first 24 hours when I return from my job at sea. I have been at home the last month doing maintenance on my boat and will probably be home for a few more weeks.
The cycle of doing drugs when I was on land and cleaning up when I go to sea has finally been broken, but perhaps my biggest challenge is going to be after I leave and return again!
As far as my wife goes, I still don't think she "gets it".Don,t get me wrong she is trying to be supportive and things are good between us since I've been clean, but I know she doesn't truly understand that addiction is a disease.
Things continue to move in the right direction and this website had something to do with my recovery.It helps to just get things off my chest and communicate with people who understand what I'm going through.Thank you so much!!
Brad
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Unread 04-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #20
NancyB
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Hi Brad, it's so nice to hear you're doing so well! Staying positive really does help.

The thing about coming back from sea is that you KNOW that it is a vulnerable time for you. And after more than a month away from your addiction, you KNOW you can do it. One thing that might help is switching up your routine when you come back next time. You could have someone meet you at the boat and bring you right home. Or maybe have some projects planned that you need to get done and you can spend time thinking about how to accomplish that so you have something important to do when you get home. Just a couple of thoughts. Just keep focusing on how well you're doing, how your relationship with your wife is better and how much better YOU feel.

Maybe some day your wife will understand that it is a disease, but for the meantime, it's great that she's supporting you.

I'm really proud of you Brad!!

Nancy
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Unread 04-18-2011, 03:32 AM   #21
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Dear Brad ,

I was catching up on your thread and the feedback is spot on. I hope you will keep dealing with the depression with a professional - ideally one you have rapport with . For me , depression plus the addiction led to a merry go round ( and NOT the fun kind either ) , I had to deal with both and stay VIGILANTE as one feeds off the other.
Also, staying in the day, sometimes , even hour /minutes at a time when I felt restless, unpredictable....
BUT believe it is doable even though it takes work, but is worth it.

How are you doing? Please post an update - Take care ! Carly
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Unread 04-24-2011, 11:15 AM   #22
badbrad
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Things are still going good. Iwent and had some blood work done just to see where I was at physically. i found out I had a couple of things out of whack that could be contributing to my feelings of depression.My testosterone and b vitamin levels were low.My Dr. suggested getting tose levels back to normal before prescribing me an anti-depressant. I am feeeling a lot better as I am treating my body better both physically and mentally!!
You don't realize the damage that drugs do to your body while you're on them. the indirect damage that occurs from neglecting your body can be just as bad, or worse, as the direct damage that coicaine does to your body.

i'm finally getting ready to go backl to sea this week and although I'm excited about getting back to work, I know that returning home is going to be a big test for me.I'll just have to keep taking one day at a time remember no matter how strong and confident I feel right now, I am still vulnerable.
thanks again for all the suggestive feedback.It really does help knowing that there are people out there who have been through similar circumstances and survived!!
badbrad
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Unread 04-25-2011, 08:53 AM   #23
NancyB
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Hi Brad, I'm glad you went to the doctor - treating the low testosterone and B will probably make a big difference in how you feel.

How long will you be gone to sea? Yes, coming home will be a test, but it's great that you are cognizant that you're vulnerable - I think that, in itself, will make it easier for you to take it one day at a time.

You're really doing great! I'm very happy for and proud of you!!

Nancy
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Unread 05-09-2011, 12:50 AM   #24
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Brad This is such great news. I agree with Nancy about the testosterone and B and glad you are treating yourself better as you posted of the damage we can heap on ourselves.
I wish you the best of LUCK returning to work. Take it easy, be vigilante, maybe take some healthy literature? And if possible keep us posted. May you continue on your journey and to feel better each day, YOU CAN DO THIS!

And a huge Congrats on the work you have done so far !! Take care, Carly
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