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Author Topic: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab  (Read 1384 times)

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Offline Torchwood

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  • Posts: 48
Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« on: July 21, 2013, 09:57:52 PM »
Some background info first: Married, been with my wife for 9.5 years and we have 3 daughters). I am diagnosed with insomnia and sleep apnea. Xanax cured my sleep apnea and Lunesta cured my insomnia. I also take 2 Advil PM for chronic joint pain. I take these all at once at night time. I am a drug addict and alcoholic. I have been since I was 16, which was 26 years ago. I went through rehab, did the 12 steps (which I do not believe in) for alcoholism and the meth/coke/handfuls of script pills 17 years ago. Yes, I have slipped up once in awhile and popped an occasional pill while drinking and did it recreationally but for the most part, I have already turned my life around. I live with the fact that I am an addict and keep it in check (delusional to a certain point I know). Couple times a year I feel the need to get my drink on and go get absolutely shitfaced. It's been like this after I spent almost 2 years completely sober after rehab. I do not do this around my kids. Ever. They have never seen me drunk nor will they. I have no problems in between these couple of times a year to sit back, have a cigar and a beer or scotch then stop after 2 drinks. Most of the time I don't even feel like drinking alcohol.

I have been on Xanax for the past 9.5 years for anxiety (all scripts written by my Dr. All of my Dr's transfer my records to each other and I hide nothing from them except what I am revealing here now because my next appt is in Sept) The attacks started when I left my ex-wife and went through the divorce. I went to full time use when I found out I had HIV in 2006. I have never really quite dealt with the fact that I have it and my coping mechanism has been more Xanax. I started off at .25mg whenever needed. When I started AVR's I was up to 6-7mg a day. Currently I am down to 1mg a day. For over a year I couldn't drop below 2mg. I almost went into rehab at that point because I could not drop my dosage. That is not the reason I am writing this. I know I could quit the Xanax at will at this point. I am writing this because my wife and I (we almost split up this past month because of what is going on in my head and what is going on with her but this isn't about her) have noticed a serious increase of irritability/agitation, moments of confusion, lapses of memory and depression. For me this is hard to deal with. I have/had a genius level IQ and have always had a great memory. Simple math is getting harder for me to do now. What I am fearing is that the years of Xanax usage has finally started to erode my brain.

I have no support groups other than my wife and a few close friends. This is not a case of where I need to do what I did years ago and make lifestyle changes. I am at a loss at this point.
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461

Offline BT65

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  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 05:01:49 AM »
You need to stop the Xanax.  And quit eluding yourself by thinking that "getting your drink on" a couple times a year will remain a harmless activity.  That is, if you are truly an alcoholic.  And why are you discrediting 12 step groups?  They have been the salvation of many.

I was on scripts for years and years and ended up hallucinating.  I am also a recovering drug addict (which includes alcohol).  I stopped the scripts, which were many, and included Xanax and Valium, but in a secure mental health facility.  And it took about a year after quitting before I had any type of social manners, or could navigate through life without someone doing it for me. 

So, if you do end up going off the Xanax, give your brain some time to "clear up."  And I don't recommend you stop the Xanax cold turkey.  If you do not want to go into a rehab, then I would talk to your doctor about a slow taper.  Stopping a benzodiazepine cold after years of being on it, could result in seizures, which could be life threatening. 

Good luck and if you would like to discuss this further, just pm me.

Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Denver Toad

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  • Posts: 152
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 01:26:33 PM »
Quote
I went through rehab, did the 12 steps (which I do not believe in)...

So how's life working out for you without any type of support program? What is it you know regarding recovery that millions of recovering alcoholics and addicts are unaware of? How is it that so many less mensa than yourself are recovering and you're stuck?

Torch, I too once thought 12 Step Recovery was bull. Higher power this, group that, you're grateful for what? Damm these 12 steppers are one f'd up bunch.

It wasn't until I lost my attitude, gained a bit of humility, and was willing to openly listen did anything change. IQ has nothing whatsoever to do with sobriety. For me, submission to reality had everything to do with it. I couldn't out think my addictions.

Betty's absolutely correct about quitting cold turkey. Quit in a controlled manner no matter the environment. Rehab offers both medical supervision and the support of others with same challenges. One of the hallmark behaviors of people who relapse is failure to obtain a network of support. You took a step here and asked for advice/help. Follow it up with another step, be honest with your MD about what's happening.

Thanks for your post, it's a familiar story but one that's good for me to hear often.

Best of luck, I'm here if you want to chat. I'll be thinking of you in the meantime.
Todd



Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 01:38:52 PM »
I didn't get the impression that Torchwood was knocking 12-step programs in general. It's very true that they are valuable programs for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, but that doesn't mean they work for everyone. Different strokes for different folks.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 02:30:33 PM »
Yes, I have slipped up once in awhile and popped an occasional pill while drinking and did it recreationally but for the most part, I have already turned my life around. I live with the fact that I am an addict and keep it in check (delusional to a certain point I know). Couple times a year I feel the need to get my drink on and go get absolutely shitfaced. It's been like this after I spent almost 2 years completely sober after rehab. I do not do this around my kids. Ever. They have never seen me drunk nor will they. I have no problems in between these couple of times a year to sit back, have a cigar and a beer or scotch then stop after 2 drinks. Most of the time I don't even feel like drinking alcohol.

  I don't think we give children enough credit sometimes.  They are keenly aware of the dysfunction caused by a parent who has a drug/drinking problem.   Recognizing denial is tough, and living with it is even tougher.   I hope you get the help you need.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 03:29:35 PM »
There are several reputable alternatives to conventional twenve-step programs out there.

http://blog.smartrecovery.org/2012/07/17/5-alternatives-to-12-step-meetings/

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline BT65

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  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 04:41:04 AM »
I do realize the AA/NA groups are not for everyone.  But, had the op stuck with them, he may not have gone through the years of grief he posted about, plus the continued addictive behavior.  Having support is extremely important.  I just talked about this last night with a friend who has been sober for 24 years. 

I myself don't attend many 12 step meetings anymore.  However, I do recommend them for my clients.  Why?  Because when someone gives up an addiction, there has to be something to replace it; something not totally self destructive.  Having the support of another person can sometimes make all the difference. 

It seems the op was not ready to stop addictive behavior the first time through rehab, which could be the result of resistance to 12 step programs.  And, 12 step groups really do have the best outcome and greatest success of any other treatment for alcoholism/addiction.  That's taught in addiction classes.  Sorry, don't have a link.  Just observance, researching myself, personal experience, and opinions of professionals (therapists, professors) who have worked in the addiction field for years. 

I don't beat people over the head with the Big Book or Basic Text, nor do I tout 12 step programs being the only way someone can break an addiction.  However, if I listen (or here, read) to someone who sincerely wants to give up booze, drugs, whatever, I suggest attending AA or NA, whichever a person would be more comfortable with.  If someone is around others who have similar issues, the someone doesn't feel so isolated, which goes hand in hand with continued destructive behavior (isolation).  And can also get suggestions on how to deal with issues from people who have had success in such matters.  I know when I'm dealing with a specific issue, I contact my friend who has been sober for so many years, or someone else in a 12 step program, who can give me invaluable advice on how to overcome whatever I'm dealing with.

Of course, willingness is something one has to have, plus humility.  And a strong desire to give up whatever is at the root of the problem.  And then work on not repeating the same behavior. If not, nothing will work. 


-End rant-
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Torchwood

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  • Posts: 48
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 08:42:04 AM »
....
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 08:49:36 AM »
Torchwood,

You have requested that this thread is deleted. We do not delete posts or threads here unless they violate our posting rules or Terms of Membership.

People take time and effort to respond to posts - how would you feel if you spent time to give someone a heartfelt response only to find the entire thread has suddenly vanished?

Think before you post - because it's not going anywhere.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 09:27:13 AM »


  Torchwood,

    While I may have an idea, I don't know exactly what you are feeling right now.  Addiction is pretty powerful, and it's also cunning and manipulative.  You reached out to us for a reason.  It takes a lot of courage to be open and honest with a group of your peers, I commend you.  It's a tough path you're on but you've already taken one of the toughest steps.  Don't stop!

  Hang in there bud.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline bocker3

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  • Posts: 3,262
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 04:59:35 PM »
Torchwood,

I agree with Skeebo -- you wrote this post for SOME reason....  I understand addiction and it's very cunning nature -- it wants you to second guess, it wants you to continue as you are, it wants you completely.

While a 12-step program got me sober almost 24 years ago, I get that it doesn't work for everyone.  However, my suggestions is to get help somewhere -- personally, I'd give the 12-step another chance, but it is NOT my call.  So many do get turned off on the spiritual side of it -- I tried to not pay much mind to that.  I used the people, I listened to their stories and heard their "feelings" their pain -- not so much the particulars of what they did or did not do.  That is what made me feel that this was someplace that I belonged -- where people would "get me".

When I hear people talk as you have in this thread, my gut (and experience) tells me that something is going on.   You see -- folks without a "problem" rarely rationalize their drinking or drugging.  They rarely say, "I could stop if I wanted to......".  They rarely say how it doesn't effect their children (or spouse, or friends, or work, etc). 

Good luck -- and feel free to reach out via PM if you want to "talk".

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Torchwood

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Coping Mechanisms for being POZ. What did you do and what are yours?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2013, 03:19:49 AM »
Getting off the Xanax is easy (that being relative because I am in day two of the current withdrawals from tapering my dosage down. I was 6mg a day 3 years ago and have successfully tapered down as I can). I didn't write this out to argue about 12 step programs, the negativity involved and cult like behavior that goes on within a 12 step program. My IQ has nothing to do with my addiction other than my addiction and dependence has affected my memory and that is what is making me break my addiction. I never said otherwise.

BT65: do not bother responding further. Your insinuations and accusations are misinformed. You jump to conclusions without having even remotely all my information which I leave vague because I do not want anyone to be able piece together who I really am. You also pointedly ignored what I wrote and read only what you wanted to. In short, you have done more harm than good.

My main issue to being off of the Xanax is to build coping mechanisms for being POZ. This is why I am addicted. It was easier to medicate at the time than deal with it (insert more information that I am not putting in here) I started the Xanax full time when I was diagnosed with HIV. Anyone have any constructive suggestions for this? Quite simply, if I do not build any coping mechanisms I will find myself on something else.
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461

Offline mecch

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Re: Coping Mechanisms for being POZ. What did you do and what are yours?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 07:46:49 AM »
BT65: do not bother responding further. Your insinuations and accusations are misinformed. You jump to conclusions without having even remotely all my information which I leave vague because I do not want anyone to be able piece together who I really am. You also pointedly ignored what I wrote and read only what you wanted to. In short, you have done more harm than good.
BT65 doing more harm than good?

Calm, insightful, experienced comments - probably she came closest to pushing the right button because your reaction is odd.  I'd look inside to see why I was throwing up such resistance, keeping a lid over something...  Maybe you feel like you're an exception to rule, and the comment about your IQ might be one of the stories you have told yourself, one of the justifications for being exceptional.  Now, you say your addiction may be eroding the buttress that has allowed it to continue and excused it....  You fear your addiction is cutting your IQ.

Your logic is all confused on these points.  Maybe a group might help you feel come commonality and see things more clearly and simply...

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 09:21:11 AM »
Torchwood, have you checked out if your local ASO has any support groups? Or maybe one-on-one counselling?

Sometimes having a hobby that really interests you can help. It can be one that you do alone, or one that involves others. What's important is that it gives you pleasure and takes your mind off your troubles, even if only temporarily.

I've coped by joining this forum (back in 2001) and giving back to others by becoming informed and being supportive to other people. It's one of my hobbies, if you want to look at it that way.

Good luck with the withdrawal, and stay strong.

By the way, I know Betty well enough to be able to say that she certainly didn't intend to do any harm. Far from it.

I'm glad you reached out to us - it's a great first step. We're always here for you, even if you don't agree with everything anyone says.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 09:25:00 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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

Offline Theyer

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Re: Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 06:08:53 PM »
Hi Torchwood.

I hope you are on the path that suits you and are feeling stronger. From bitter experience I have found that I have often gotten very angry at the advice that proved the most helpfull in the end, and as you said your having issues.

The posts you have receive have been made with care and thought based on years off experience , I hope you stay with us try not to fly off the handle instead work out why what you have read has created the anger.

Forgive me if I missed this point but are you having any checks as to wether your cognative ability is being attack by other causes other than the drugs?

So here's hoping that things getting clearer/calmer for you, best wishes
m
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

 


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