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Author Topic: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression  (Read 4254 times)

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Offline sh0reboy23

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  • Posts: 9
Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« on: September 23, 2012, 07:15:44 PM »
Hey guys,

As I sit here, thinking about how close my life was to becoming so wonderful until it spiraled out of control within the same exact week, I get a little upset. To start, my partner of 4 years and I had decided on a new place to live in March, as we acquired two amazing jobs starting just a week apart from each other that together would make our lives almost perfect. The jobs are/were in line with our career goals, including health benefits, convenience, and a great start to where we want to be ultimately with our college degrees. (We are in our 20's)

So, judging from my other posts, you can see that my partner became seriously ill a week before I started my present job and was expected to die, as we both found out we were positive. Fast forward to today, he is progressing but lost his hearing completely, is visually impaired but can definitely still see, and is disabled. I was hurting the entire time, dealing with his family, not to know what to expect, and of course living alone. So I feel like I set myself back majorly b/c I dipped back into recreational drug use, that I had given up for so long so that our lives could work together (4 years ago while in college was when I first experimented with drugs).

I still work full-time at the employer that I want to be with, but now commute over an hour to get there, since we were unable to move due to this circumstance. Additionally, I am his primary care taker and although appreciative that my employer is understanding and allows me to take off to assist my partner, I have just hit an ultimate low. During the time of his hospitalization, I started seeing my friends from high school and others I know that partake in drug use, such as heroin, painkillers, and crack cocaine. And although I've experienced them all, since he has been home and I have been dealing with a terrible commute, and truly wanting to be with my partner more to assist him with getting his hearing back, I have been unable to let painkillers out of my life for good.

While the whole situation has me financially tight, spending at least $100 a week to obtain painkillers for the high just sickens me. I just feel like it is helping me get through these hard times, allowing time to fly and me to keep doing what I'm doing. But it also takes a bite from my wallet and I just want to let it go.

As I am working full-time and career-driven, I do not anticipate taking off work to get "help" with this drug abuse, but I do want suggestions as to what I should do. I just begun to dip into my savings to support the habit, but know that it is not what I want to do. My ID doctor has prescribe antidepressant, Lexapro, to assist with the tough times but I have heard bad things about it and the one time I took it I just got tired and it was during my workshift. He also prescribed Xanax, but I am not so sure it will given me the same increase in energy to get me through these times.

I am just looking for suggestions, positive energy, and advice that can be provided to help me avoid going through a withdrawal or depression stage when choosing to stop this on my own. Please anyone, I need your advice. I can't go through depression or heightened emotions as I still have tons of things to do (the anticipation to get my partner's hearing back, working productively at my employer, etc.) and really need advice as to get through this the easiest way possible. Thank you so much.

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 08:25:13 PM »
Shoreboy,

Sorry to hear about the trials you are going through. 

I am sending you positive energy and good vibes.

I am also struck by how you outlined your situation as it shows you have a good head on your shoulders.

As challenging as the situation is with your partner, you are fortunate in that you have the job you had hoped for and your employer is willing to work you and allow time off to care for your partner. 

The stress, however, is difficult and your foray into drug use, as you must know, will dilute your efforts to cope.

Since your employer appears flexible, do they also have an EAP (employee assistance program) for you to get mental and addiction counseling?

These are just a few things that come to my mind.  Other Board members may chime in with even more substantive advice.

Just know that you are not alone. 

I wish you and your partner the best.

Please keep us updated on how things go.

Take care.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 09:46:02 PM »
Wow Shoreboy, Lot of things on your shoulders there. My heart goes out to you.

You are already a step ahead of everything by realizing the painkillers have gone to far. It's good you realize that. As Tampa says, you ahve a good head on your shoudlers.

Im with Tampa on trying to get some kind of cousneling, I realize it is going to be tough with everything you ahve to do. But is there any way you can squeeze in at least an hour a week? I truly think this would benefit you the most.

I cant really comment on LExapro or the Xanaz, but it seems like the Xanax might make you more tired. Maybe we can get some better input form others on that, or what you might be able to take to help you out.

It sounds liek you are really a Saint by doing all you do. I'm sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

Hang in there and keep us posted.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Cojo

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 09:22:56 PM »
Hey buddy

I have followed your posts and first off I want to say that I think you are amazing. With the bottom pulled out from right beneath you, YOU have been constant in keeping love, hope and care alive. In the very weakest of moments, you have been and continue to be so incredibly strong for your partner and your own life jolting diagnosis.

So my first impression of your post is to say, be gentle with yourself. You have been and still journey through an incredible trauma that most would have crumbled long ago. No wonder you have yearned to escape from it, albeit for a moment in a not-so-healthy way, yiu got to give yourself some slack here. The mind and soul can only take so much and you have had your fill!

I've been on Lexapro for a decade and can tell you it does work, but you've got to give it time (4-6 weeks) before it really does its job. Hang in there with it as it really makes a huge difference; especially in the anti-anxiety domain.

In the meantime, you may want to check out some mindfulness body stress reduction techniques. Again, it has done wonders for me. Google MBSR and I'm sure you will find tons.

Again, be gentle with yourself ... as gentle as you have been to others. You're awesome.
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay
Oct 2014 CD4 320 33% UD

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,366
Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 10:01:05 PM »
Wow. You stirred up a ton of old memories for me, mostly pre-HIV.

Glad Cojo shared his experience with Lexapro -- if you've not shared your painkiller addiction with your ID doc, I encourage you to do so. It seems as if you have, but I'm not 100% sure. I'd be less inclined to use EAP so early in your new job. Just my own protectiveness popping through.

Working full-time at a new job, with a lengthy commute and caring for a sick partner and still new in your own diagnosis is the epitome of a stress volcano. And, it's already begun to blow, you're just keeping it tamped down with painkillers.

So fess fully with the doc and figure out, even if it means hiring a nurse part-time or someone to help with your partner, how to put yourself first. There's advice from a group I know of which asserts basically...take care of yourself first so you can be available for others. If you dissolve, your partner will have compounded losses.

Can you get into an NA group and twelve-step your way through this? You could start engaging relief and accountability from a free support group away from your employer immediately.

Probably the hardest thing you need to do is put yourself first. My partner died of cancer. I worked full-time and cared for him after work and it was so easy to kill my pain by dipping into his meds. So, I do understand the incredible, bone marrow sucking grind you are in right now and the intensity of love that fuels care of someone. It is easy to grind yourself to dust and sacrifice the very health you need to keep the job to buy the groceries to have the insurance to put gas in the car to lie down and start it all over the next day.

Yes, there's no doubt you've got a good head on your shoulders, but it's just not firing on all the cylinders available right now.

You first, no guilt. You first and things will get done and other avenues of support will open up to you. Imagine yourself in your partner's position and imagine him in yours. You would not want him to implode, would you?

I hope this finds you in a good spot. Get enough sleep. Get the drug issue figured out pronto, the legal ones vs the ones you should not be taking. Yep, the psychotropic drugs sometimes demand adjustment time, but you can do that, hell yes, you can do this.

Em

Offline Cojo

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  • Posts: 201
Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 11:20:55 AM »
Em reminds me of what they tell us on planes....

Always put on your own mask first before assisting others.

If you don't take of yourself right away, then no one is left for you both right now. Be strong and do what YOU need to do to stay as even keeled as possible. You will come through this, heaven knows you are a VERY strong person. Hugs
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay
Oct 2014 CD4 320 33% UD

Offline BT65

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2012, 05:50:15 PM »
Be honest with your doctor about your re-addiction, and ask for a prescription tapered dose, if you want to avoid heavy withdrawal.  Of course you could go cold turkey on a weekend.  I know kicking opiates is rough, but it's over in a couple days (I've done it many times).  I totally understand, though, you not wanting to deal with that while dealing with all the other (heavy) stuff you're dealing with.

Em made a good suggestion in going to NA meetings.  You could always go to a few, see which one fits, and think about getting a sponsor.  That could help relieve some of the stress, especially when you feel comfortable to talk about what's going on, even if it's just with the sponsor. 

I understand you're dealing with more than many people do in their lifetimes.  But, you won't be going on too much longer if you're already getting into money put aside, to continue the addictive lifestyle.  I get it, I've been there.  So since I've been there, I also know it's possible to stop.  And get help.  Good luck.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline BubbaPat

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  • Hugs
Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 02:56:53 PM »
Howdy sh0reboy23!

I'm a bit late to this conversation  but I wanted to throw some good vibes your way.

I've got a friend that I believe has some issues wit recreational drugs and I can only tell you how he handled it.  He actually budgeted out. When he lost his job and his budget had to tighten up, the recreational got smaller.

My hopes for you is that maybe you can budget it out and soon take it out completely.  As the others have stated, you have a good head on your shoulders.  I've got family members that let their recreation take control and while it didn't destroy them, it took a huge toll on their lives.  Please don't let this hurt yours.

The one thing that has always helped me in times of despair is I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I CAN handle things no matter how bad. Admittedly, there are days where I end up not believing myself but I make it through.

I hope things are looking better for you soon. In the meantime, bubba hugs!

Patrick
hugs!

Offline DiabloII

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  • Posts: 21
  • Life is a Battle Field
Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 10:34:40 PM »
I'm new here but just reading all the responses were a great boost for me!  I must agree, you are unselfishly a hero above all and it must be truly difficult to cope!  But by no means give up!!  You have had some setbacks but these too you can overcome!  I am in upper level management in a federal agency.  I would be the first one to tell you to seek assistance with EAP!  However, I agree that sometimes management does not always take the best interest of the employee to heart!  I agree 100%, come clean with your  ID doc.  As with mine, I'm sure he will have some resources to share with you to help you through.  I also agree that YOU MUST take care of yourself FIRST and Foremost or you will not be able to continue to take care of your partner.  So make sure to do what you have to (healthy and appropriate) to see that you remain in good health, body, mind and yes...soul!  However you feel this can be achieved in your best interest.  Then, you will have the strength and fortitude to continue to help your partner and achieve your dreams!  Remember, this is a setback, its not the final chapter in the book!  You and your partner have my thoughts and prayers!  Stay close here, I have learned in just a short time, there is much wisdom and compassion in these threads that are woven on this site!  Love ya and stay strong!  Where you cant walk, we will pick you up on our our words, thoughts and prayers to carry you on!

Offline roy100

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  • Posts: 123
Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 01:11:52 PM »
You are on your way out of this terrible addiction you got into.

My question is why been afraid of an AD or a Xanax after the terrible drug problems you had? Lexapro, and Xanax are a walk in the park compared to what you were using.
More, you were using those recreational drugs as AD, or to deal with anxiety.

As a user of AD and clonazepan, I tell you they make you feel great, no depression, able to work, no anxiety. After using them for a period usually 1 year , your PDR, would try to see if you can get off them, taking out 10 % each month, until gone.
In my case I dont want to get off them because I feel pretty good, and I dont want to deal into going back to depression or anxiety.

Right now I am on vacation in Europe ( crusing in Berlin ), after taking a 2 week cruise in Spain. Do you think this could be posisble without AD?

Needless to say you are having a bad time now, but I am just leting you know there is a way out of it , the the use of AD and Clonazepan ( clonazepan is a xanax type drug with longer lasting duration). So dont use the wrong drugs for your depresion, use those designed for it.
Remeron, and wellbutrin, are the AD with less sexual side effects. Lexapro is good for you since you are so young, it will only delay your orgasm a bit, some people use it for premature eyaculation.
I wish you the best, and hope something can be done to help your partner, you wrote his hearing might come back, belive me after a while with AR evrything tends to become normal.
Best fot you  Roy

PD: This important, I decided to edit the reply:

AD take 4 to 5 weeks to fully work. They usually make you feel worse before you get better, in the times you are getting use to them suicidal thoughts are not unusual, they do come with that warning, but its is only  A PHASE, things will improve belive me they do.  Do what your PDR tells you. That is important.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 01:57:58 PM by roy100 »
Diagnosed 18Th March 2010
March 30Th VL +100,000 CD4 46
CD8T  575 CD8 %60.6
On Truvada and Kaletra. . Remeron 15mg  and150 mg  wellbutrin xl for depression. Clonazepan 2 mg to sleep. Omeprazole 20  once a day.
July 17 2010 Vl 362 CD4 155, 6.4 %
CD8T suppressors 1482 CD8% 61.1
 Nov 16 2010: V l 937 CD4 188,10%
CD8T Suppresors 997 CD8%55.8
August 15th 2011 Vl UD, less than 40.
CD4:543(26.7%) CD8:887 (43.6 %) Ratio .61
Jan 14th,2012 ,less than 40.
CD4:478 (24.4%) CD8: 962 (49.1%) Ratio.50
June 2012 CD4 599, CD8 856 UD
Oct 2013 CD 702, CD 843 UD Ratio:.87

Offline BT65

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 03:13:23 PM »
I wouldn't necessarily say Xanax is a 'walk in the park.'  As someone who's gone through withdrawal from heroin (cold turkey) and withdrawal from Xanax (cold turkey), I'd rather do withdrawal from heroin again before the Xanax. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline sh0reboy23

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 11:52:44 AM »
I really appreciate all your responses, and I sit here disappointed that I gave in to the urge yesterday evening, after thinking over and over I cannot make it through this coming work week sober, although last week I made it through with energy drinks in the afternoon. I have a few roxi's left and should probably be one and done with them by the end of this week. I'm just upset because I made it almost 9 full days clean. What I noticed while sober, and not on any medication, was my weekend was longer yet amazing, as I took my partner to a fall festival and we went to see my family and had a great weekend. Thoughts continuously processed of me wishing I was never diagnosed with HIV and how awful the disease is that, once you get the damn thing, it doesn't go away :(

In addition, I found myself comparing to before I met my partner when I was in the closet, and that being the reason why I started using. And now the reason is, I am genuinely hurt that we both have become so 'ill' at 23 and 26. I become jealous at my fellow gay men, who are negative, and have so much more to look forward to than him and I, like saving for a house or retirement.

It was a good week away from the roxicet for me to distinguish the reason I'm doing them, and it is because of the diagnosis and impact it has had on our lives. I anticipate starting Lexapro, but want to be sure that consuming energy drinks in the afternoon will not affect its impacts.

Offline Ann

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 03:10:55 PM »

I become jealous at my fellow gay men, who are negative, and have so much more to look forward to than him and I, like saving for a house or retirement.


If you keep going with that attitude, you're going to find yourself elderly, broke and homeless one day. Being diagnosed in the 2010s with hiv is NO reason to not be saving for a house or for your retirement.

Believe it.

If you don't, with all the information on this website at your disposal, then you're just finding excuses. Go live your life - in spite of hiv. If you don't, you'll regret it when you're in your 60s and 70s.

Believe it!
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 01:20:22 PM »
Vyvanse, honey.  If that won't help with the energy, I don't know what would. 

And the next best thing to straight up crack (energy wise) that I ever found was the classic combo of 1/2 of an ephedrine tablet with one cup of coffee - with a baby asprin kicker.  I think the ephedrine is harder to locate these days thanks to the brilliant "war on drugs" and you have to sign a sheet for some tabs - if you can even find a place that has them.

Oh - and in all most sincere seriousness - I cannot endorse music therapy enough.  A cheap pair of headphones (to let the music IN your head not just at your ears) and one good CD / favorite playlist of some of your most cherished and uplifting tunes).  Allow yourself to kick back for 30 mins.  Close your eyes or even put on a small blindfold to shut everything else out.  Surrender to the sound and let it take you somewhere wonderful. 

I swear to you it works.  Heck - I personally like some good trance.  I put on Dave Ralph's "Tranceport" set last night, and coulda sworn I'd scored a tab of ecstasy. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2012, 09:04:02 PM »
If you keep going with that attitude, you're going to find yourself elderly, broke and homeless one day. Being diagnosed in the 2010s with hiv is NO reason to not be saving for a house or for your retirement.

Believe it.

If you don't, with all the information on this website at your disposal, then you're just finding excuses. Go live your life - in spite of hiv. If you don't, you'll regret it when you're in your 60s and 70s.

Believe it!

Complete ditto from me on this.

I challenge you to open an account into which you start depositing any money you would normally use to purchase drugs, excessive booze and cigarettes (I don't think you noted smoking but if you do, that's a ton of money not serving you well).

Try it and then envision looking at why you started it 4 decades from now, and then envision spending it 5 decades from now.

Offline kjohn

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2012, 06:54:59 PM »
I second all the other good advice here.  I am in a sort of similar situation, but not with painkillers, rather Benzos.  Just be happy you're not addicted to Benzos like Ativan or Xanax, etc..  More addictive than Alcohol, Opiates or Barbiturates.  A complete nightmare of the highest degree.

I am not clear on where you are in your withdraw, but give yourself a break and don't go too fast if you can.  Successful withdraw is often more easily achieved with a tapered approach.  In addition to reducing withdraw symptoms you also give yourself time to learn new coping skills which are critical to remaining drug free. 

I know exactly what you are saying about not wanting to have this get in the way of your moving forward, but this is a serious issue.  You might have to rethink that because it can be such a difficult process even without all of the other stresses you have and I fear that if you might be putting undue pressure on yourself.

I have found that actively seeking out relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing some yoga etc.. can really help.

The good news is that the data is clear that anyone can kick the habit with the right approach, so relax, you're going to do great and in the end the relief will be overwhelming.  Sending lots of good thoughts your way.
Nothing is ever as good or bad as it first seems

Offline thepostergirl

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Re: Advice to Avoid Withdrawal/Depression
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 11:09:54 PM »
I used to be a full fledged drug addict. I've gone from one addiction to another and in the more recent past I've come off of a hard street drug which is one of the reasons how I became infected with hiv - I was letting my body be used up for my drug of choice and of course when you're high you don't really think or care much about protection. But I am where I am and this is what I have to get through but with the right help, I will.

I'm not going to sit here and condone drug use especially when one already has a fragile illness. If you are on HIV medication and using recreational drugs - isn't there a large possibility of them cross interacting and not working properly? In no ways am I preaching or being pissy.. I guess what I'm trying to say is - it's going to be important to the vitality of the rest of your life physically,emotionally,and spiritually to treat yourself well on all accounts and you are better than letting this world get you down! You can do this! You are strong enough! and I believe in you. I live my world day by day the best way possible - one foot in front of the other but there's one thing I know now for a fact is that I won't abuse myself or others any longer. Life and living is worth more than abuse of any kind.

Stay strong, believe in yourself, and never ever give up - with love and light, echo
Diagnosed : October 2012
CD4 count high
Viral load 19,600
Started Stribild
Viral load is now undetectable

 


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