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Author Topic: Help! I am losing control  (Read 455 times)

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Offline stuka

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  • Posts: 44
Help! I am losing control
« on: August 02, 2014, 02:58:47 PM »
Several weeks ago, I had written a detailed post in the 'I Just Tested Poz' forum explaining how I had gotten HIV by sharing needles with an infected person. It was a strange time that lasted several months. It got so bad that I was going to shady places in order to get a fix. Then one of my friends who was also involved and shared needles with me told me that he was diagnosed with HIV and that I should get tested. And lo and behold, I had it too.

After I got diagnosed with HIV my doctor told me that I was lucky that I did not get Hep C as it was so common in the IDU population. At the time I promised myself and my wife that I would never touch drugs again. And it  had been more than 7 months since I had done anything stupid ... up until last week! 

Just when I thought I had beaten the habit for good, I don't know what got into me and I found myself at the same place, and before I knew it I was sharing a needle with one of the guys I barely knew. A few days before this incidence, the urge to inject drugs got so strong that I felt helpless. I kept telling myself that this can kill me but the compulsion got so strong that I could not sleep, just kept thinking about it. Even while driving to that god forsaken place, I was literally pleading with myself to not go. I swear, I have never felt like this before. It was like I had two personalities simultaneously talking to each other ... one part of me kept telling me to turn the car around, whereas the other one said fuck it and just go and enjoy the moment.

I am now scared shit and two accounts. First, that I might have now gotten HCV, you can only get lucky so many times as I found out with my HIV infection. But the second, and frankly the scariest aspect of all this is, how powerless I felt at the time. I am scared that the same compulsive urges will take over in a few weeks/months and I will be completely helpless.

I have never felt like this before. What had gotten into me? I felt like a totally different person with no ability to think rationally. Could it be a side effect of complera? Apart from my drug use which frankly lasted only 18 months (prior to this incidence) I always prided myself for my exceptional will power. Throughout college, I never touched cigarettes, drugs ... even alcohol was once a month at most. Now, in my 40s what the hell is going on with me? I think I seriously need some help before I contract HCV and complicate my HIV treatment further. But I don't know if I will be able to stop when the urges return.

HELP!!!!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 03:01:27 PM by stuka »

Online Joe K

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 03:34:02 PM »
Now, in my 40s what the hell is going on with me? I think I seriously need some help before I contract HCV and complicate my HIV treatment further. But I don't know if I will be able to stop when the urges return.

HELP!!!!

Hey Stuka,

The feelings you describe are the same ones I had when I was binge-drinking and then when I was addicted to cocaine.  It was so easy to lie to myself to get my "fix" and the only way I could stop is when I realized that I could not stop on my own and enlisted the help of others.  I think you know what's really going on with yourself, but, for whatever reason, you are unable to admit that you have an addiction issue.  I've been there as well as denial can be a powerful emotion.

To me, it's obvious that you are unable to avoid the temptation regularly and if it concerns you now, how much longer are you going to wait, while falling deeper into addiction, before you get some help?

Many of us here have struggled with addiction issues and it always involves two possible paths.  The first path is to ignore signs of addiction and think we can "will power" our way past the addiction, but that never works.  The second path is to realize that we are creating a real problem for ourselves and unless we want to hit the proverbial "bottom", the only way forward is to get some help.

If you ever need to talk about this, you know where to find me.

Joe

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2014, 03:45:55 PM »
Hi Stuka . I am a drug addict that does not use drugs any more so I know how you are feeling ... been there done that too any times . I can offer a few words of encouragement and the first bit of advice is stop beating yourself up over this ... you made a mistake and when we make mistakes there is opportunity in them to grow and move on .

I said I am a drug addict because now that I have been there I always will be a drug addict and if I stay vigilant I can be a drug addict that does not use drugs anymore . If I had not stopped doing meth I would have died eventually and was probably only weeks or months away at best from dying when I stopped .

If the urge to do drugs are stronger than your will not to do them it is the time to do as you have done and reach out and say it ... that you have a problem and need help . Please keep posting and find it in yourself to do what you need to do to break the cycle of addiction . You can beat this, I hear the tone f your post and I know that feeling of how could I go there again now that I know what I know ... now that you have seen to power of addiction you can start new right now and make a vow to get the help you need ... this is your silver lining and your opportunity . I'm wishing you the very best and I give you props for being courageous enough to tell is where you are in this struggle . Hugs, Jeff .     

Offline zach

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2014, 03:56:03 PM »
google

"ibogaine opiate"

"ayahuasca opiate"

both have shown promise in treating opiate addiction. full disclosure, both are hallucinogens

i know first hand, at least anecdotally, that ayahuasca helps

but nothing makes it go away.... ever

Offline stuka

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 12:21:55 PM »
Thanks for your replies everyone. I have already accepted that I am struggling with an addiction that is out of control. But unlike other forms of addiction I can go weeks, or even months, without the desire. But when it does happen, its like some alien power has abducted your brain and making you think like an entirely different person. This is what scares me.

So the question now is what kind of strategies (help) can I employ if, or rather when, the urges take over the next time. I have been doing a bit of reading and it looks like what happened to me is a known phenomenon where after a traumatic event (e.g. mine was my HIV diagnosis) the brain represses the destructive thoughts and behaviors and the person thinks that they have conquered their addiction. This is common in a typical 12-step type of program. You think you're healed, everyone congratulates you, you stay on track for a few months or even years and then bam! The urges return. This is exactly what has happened to me.

I know that I am sick and tired of feelings of fear, despair, shame and helplessness that come after the horrible episode is over. Like today I am feeling sick to my stomach. After my HIV diagnosis I had promised myself that I will never put myself in a situation where I could be exposed to anything else. Now, I am back to worrying about HCV (health perspective) and the potential loss of control, negative consequences on my family and finances. Yeah, this is not worth it. I am so ready to exorcise these demons out of my head. So the question is should I go and treat professional treatment at this point or try some self help techniques with possible advice from some of the member here? This was the only episode in the last 6 or 7 months. But I know that if I don't do something about it, it is returning for sure!


Offline stuka

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2014, 12:24:26 PM »
google

"ibogaine opiate"

"ayahuasca opiate"

both have shown promise in treating opiate addiction. full disclosure, both are hallucinogens

i know first hand, at least anecdotally, that ayahuasca helps

but nothing makes it go away.... ever

Thanks, Zach. I googled it and this is something to keep in mind. My dilemma is that I am not doing drugs every day, in fact not even every month. I was clean for 6 months before this episode. So I'm not sure if I am to the point yet where I need chemical (for lack of better word) help. The question is whether I am at a stage where I need professional help or first give the self-help with friendly advice type of therapy first.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2014, 12:26:59 PM »
If there is access and funds, always go with professional help. always.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2014, 12:51:37 PM »
If there is access and funds, always go with professional help. always.

I have to agree with this . Even though I have not used drugs for years now I still have contacts at my HIV clinic in place in case I ever have a setback .

I also see a psychiatrist once a month because I am in pain management . I have never abused the pain meds but the fact that I am on meds that are addictive I feel I need to have a professional involved to help me sort out my issues with it ... its helped my in many other ways as well .

Offline tablefor1

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2014, 02:04:55 PM »
Many of us here have struggled with addiction issues and it always involves two possible paths.  The first path is to ignore signs of addiction and think we can "will power" our way past the addiction, but that never works.  The second path is to realize that we are creating a real problem for ourselves and unless we want to hit the proverbial "bottom", the only way forward is to get some help.

I only bring this up in the hope that it might help someone who is in the position I was in several years ago, so please don't think that I'm disagreeing with you just to be contrary. 

I used to be a heavy crystal meth user, among other things, and I found that when my drug use got to be at a worrying level, things like 12-step programs and the other usual treatment options did nothing for me at all.  In fact, I think that in some ways, they did more harm than good, since these treatments all look at addiction as a disease.  I used this as an excuse to keep taking drugs.  After all, if I have this disease called addiction, it's not really something I can control, right? 

For me, what finally got me off drugs, and I've been totally clean for almost four years now, was a growing sense that I was wasting my life, and also a deep shame, because I saw how my drug use was affecting my family and friends.  This led me to re-think how I had been approaching my own sense of agency, as it related to taking drugs.  Every time I took drugs, I made a conscious choice to do so, and that means I could also choose not to do it.  Now, I'm not saying that I had some sort of epiphany, and just stopped using drugs, but over a period of several months, all of my excuses started to lose their efficacy.  Then, eventually, I just stopped using.  Sure, I get little cravings from time to time, but they get more manageable as time passes.  I don't think I'm particularly special, and I don't have some kind of super-human willpower.  I think that in my case, it was more a matter of understanding my own motivations, and changing my thinking. 

As I said above, I only bring this up in the hope that it might help.  Stuka doesn't really sound like a typical drug-user, since he's not using regularly.  He won't actually have any of the physical dependence if he's only using once every six months.  His feelings of a loss of control, powerlessness, and the compulsion to put himself in risky situations are something to worry about.  Maybe instead of something like a 12-step program or a rehab-type treatment, what would help him the most would be to see a psychotherapist.  As I said above, I think that changing my thinking was crucial in my giving up drugs, and a good therapist will be able to help Stuka to better understand why he feels compelled to take drugs.

I think that's all I have to say for now, but this is a very interesting topic, so I hope more people will chime in with their experiences.  And to Stuka, I hope all the best for you, and I hope you'll be able to kick this thing using whatever method works for you. 

Offline stuka

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2014, 10:09:57 PM »
@mecch: I am coming around to the idea that i might need professional help. Soon. I have basically promised myself that if a similar episode were to happen again, the first thing that i'd do is get professional help.

Offline stuka

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2014, 10:20:16 PM »
@tablefor1 - thank you for such a detailed and well thought out post. I have read your post several times and I feel that you have hit the proverbial nail on the head.

You are right in saying that I have not developed a chemical dependency yet. I stayed clean for 6 months and now for the last 3 days I have not had any desire whatsoever to do drugs. So perhaps I am not addicted in the classic sense (whatever that means) but there is definitely something seriously wrong with my thought process. I know how much harm sharing needles can cause. And yet, even with my HIV, knowing full well that if I get HCV due to needle sharing, my HIV treatment will get unnecessarily complicated, I still was not able to stop the urge.

The scary part is that I found myself fantasizing about sharing needles with someone else. It's not even about the high that I get from drugs alone, I don't think that could be it. Otherwise, I would be craving it more often. I feel it has to do with something else that gives me some insane pleasure in putting myself in extremely risky situations. Kinda like adrenaline junkies except in my case I get off on putting my life in danger.

I hope whatever mental issue I am going through can be controlled without further medications. I've made the decision that if the same urges were to raise their ugly head one more time I will definitely contact a therapist. However, I'm not sure what kind of therapist I should be looking for. Fuck, never knew I could be so mentally twisted.

Online Joe K

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  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 10:57:10 PM »
I hope whatever mental issue I am going through can be controlled without further medications. I've made the decision that if the same urges were to raise their ugly head one more time I will definitely contact a therapist. However, I'm not sure what kind of therapist I should be looking for. Fuck, never knew I could be so mentally twisted.

Hey Stuka,

I wish to help you make a distinction, because it really matters.  You are not mentally twisted, rather you may suffer either from some form of mental illness, or the affects of addiction.  Having addiction issues does not make you less of a person, nor does it mean you are crazy.  You are ill and with any illness, you seek someone who can help you feel better.

It's never your fault if you have mental health or addiction issues.  It's only your fault if you chose to do nothing to help yourself.

Joe

Offline zach

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2014, 11:21:33 PM »
seriously man, you come across very well adjusted. kicking ain't easy, but plenty of people have done it. you'll make it through this, you're not alone. as far as knowing exactly what flavor of doctor, let them make that call. put yourself in the pipeline and they'll funnel you where you need to be


Offline tablefor1

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2014, 11:46:37 PM »

The scary part is that I found myself fantasizing about sharing needles with someone else. It's not even about the high that I get from drugs alone, I don't think that could be it. Otherwise, I would be craving it more often. I feel it has to do with something else that gives me some insane pleasure in putting myself in extremely risky situations. Kinda like adrenaline junkies except in my case I get off on putting my life in danger.


This is very familiar territory to me.  I never shared needles, since clean needles are available without a prescription and without question at any pharmacy in Illinois, but I almost always injected my crystal meth.  Other than the initial rush, injecting amphetamines doesn't really give you any benefit, since it doesn't suffer from the first pass effect like opiates, but I think that using a needle turned me on to some extent, because it was forbidden.  I think this is also part of the appeal of unprotected sex. 

This is why I suggested a psychotherapist, because he or she might be able to help you to understand why it is that you enjoy putting yourself at risk, though only if you really commit yourself to the therapeutic relationship (with therapy, it really takes two to tango). 

What I would look for is a therapist who specializes in HIV+ clients, if you can, because most of them will also have experience with substance abuse issues and this thrill-seeking behavior.  I would probably not just go to some generic family counselor, since they probably have less experience with issues relevant to your problems.  You'll also want to ask a potential therapist what their therapeutic approach is, and see if it's right for you.  I'm partial to constructivism, which you can read about here:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1414735/

The good news is that with time, effort, and a bit of help, you can get this under control.  I don't think that this thrill-seeking behavior is all that uncommon, so you're not alone in this. 

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Help! I am losing control
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2014, 02:23:48 PM »
   Hi guys, I never done drugs in my life, so I don't have anything to say about the subject, but, what I like to say, is that it is so nice to see the poz community gather together and support a fellow member, I'm so glad to be a pasrt of this community, thx guys

STKA, is time to look for help, please buddy

 


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