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  • Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 544
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Thu Jun 16, 2022 8:50 pm

    Hi @ing @Mangoes @jmcosgrave @Needtogethelp88 and @Ai1985 ...............welcome to the forums.

    What are you hoping to find on here?
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    Xena9492
    Junior Member
    Posts: 9
    Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2022 9:16 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 18, 2022 12:04 am

    Thanks so much scorpion
    You are so right I have to make changes and work on the reasons I became addicted in the first place. I did get onto suboxone but that’s honestly all the real effort I put in , so I really need to think about that and how to put in place some strategies and maybe go to some meetings etc. and you are right too about working with the doctor and going slow. I have tried before to wean off too fast and ended up right back where I started. Thanks so much for taking time to answer and share your experiences and listen without judgement it means a lot thank you.

    quote=ScorpionPW post_id=9140 time=1654515392 user_id=2782]
    Hi @Xena9492, first of all I just want to say that it doesn't sound silly at all. There's no doubt that you want what's best for you and your baby but it's real that this stuff is really hard and your own well being and stability is so so important.

    I watched my mum struggle with drug replacement for years so I saw first hand how challenging it is to reduce and get off completely, especially the last little bit as @PnorkelPW mentioned.

    As we're peers in this space, and with no medical training we definitely can't offer advice around whether you should reduce, stay on the same dose or increase etc. But I can tell you that of the many years I've been in recovery, and the many people I've seen attempt to get off drug replacement there is a real constant I've noticed. When people get off their drug replacement but don't change their behaviours or move towards some kind of recovery action they almost always end up using again. The people who put action into recovery, into really changing their behavioural patterns and mindframe are the ones who seem to be able to stay abstinent when they jump off. I've also seen that when people reduce slowly and sensibly, guided by their doctor whilst putting this action into place it really helps and jumping off quickly with a desire to just get it out of their system more often than not end up picking up again as well.

    You can be rest assured that there is no judgement here, it's a safe space and we're all here to share our experiences to help eachother on the journey. It would be great to hear what you discover along the way and if you find a place where you can go forward with some decisions you feel comfortable with you for yourself and the bub :)
    [/quote]
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    Xena9492
    Junior Member
    Posts: 9
    Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2022 9:16 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 18, 2022 12:10 am

    Thank you so much pnorkel for listening and taking time to reply it means a lot to not feel so alone. That’s really good advice I need to keep asking questions and work out the best way forward at the moment. It does make sense it gets harder as you drop lower and lose a bigger percentage of the overall dose at each drop. I guess I was a bit carried away with how easy it was to start with and thought it would all be pretty much smooth sailing. So it was a bit of a shock to struggle so much and of course means shame and guilt, but I do need to remember it is hard and that’s ok , and keep asking questions and find the right people to listen to and work with. There’s such a divide in opinion about suboxone it seems , some doctors are advocating get off it fast as you can and others to stay on if it’s helping so of course the advice differs and maybe it’s even different paths are good for different people , or in different circumstances. So I will definitely keep asking questions and work out what will be best for me and the baby. Thank you so much for taking time to reply it means a lot to me.
    PnorkelPW wrote:
    Mon Jun 06, 2022 7:56 pm
    Hi @Xena9492 and thanks for sharing with us. Congratulations on the pregnancy and on the progress you’ve made so far with the suboxone reduction.

    My experience with opioids and pharmacotherapy is limited to conversations with people I’ve worked with so I’m not going to offer any advice on that. What I would encourage you to do is talk to as many people as possible. You say you’ve had conflicting advice…………..my advice would be to go back and ask more questions. Ask as many questions as you can to gather as much information as you can and make the best informed decision you can.

    I’ve seen people reduce and they’ve all said that the last bit is the hardest. A lot have found the initial drops pretty easy to handle but when it’s getting to the end they’ve really struggled. You’re going to have not just your health but that of your baby to consider so question, question, question.
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 624
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:00 am

    Good morning and welcome to our newest members @charlottesometimes @PetaM91

    These forums are a space for you to share your journey and connect with others who also have lived experiences.

    If you have any questions, feel free to tag myself, @SunflowerSeed or our wonderful peer workers @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW and we'll get back to you ASAP :D
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    charlottesometimes
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:38 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 18, 2022 12:01 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm here because I have Covid and am in iso. I am day 6 without alcohol which is the longest I've gone without a drink for 20 years. I have been scared to stop drinking because doctors have told me I would have to go through a medical detox and that was scary. Having Covid seems to have rewired my brain somehow. I have been really sick (possibly partly detoxing??) but I am coming through the other side now. For the last 6 days I have not even thought about having a drink....in fact when I think about having a drink it feels foreign and somehow unnecessary. I really really want this feeling to continue. I'm expecting that old habits and thought patterns will start to knock at the door the healthier I become. So I'm after some advice about how I can learn new habits and ways of thinking. I'm really keen to change my relationship with alcohol.
    I think it also helps that I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. I also lost everything in the floods so I am in temp accommodation and have moved a few times in the last few months. I think this has built my resilience and my ability to adapt to change. I'm hoping this will also help with me not going back to old drinking habits. I know I'm going to need something solid because having been a drinker for more than half of my life will not be an easy pattern to change.
    What strategies have other people employed to maintain their motivation?
    Thanks xo
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 624
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:19 pm

    heya @charlottesometimes I want to start off by saying welcome and thank you for being so open, also I hope covid isn't being too rough with you! It sounds like you've really been reflecting on your drinking while in lockdown. Often when we are sick our body doesn't want things it now will make it feel worse, so this may be contributing to how you're feeling now. You make a really important point, will these thoughts and habits come back when you eave iso?

    Do you have any techniques or strategies you plan on drawing on when you leave iso to help you not fall back into your old habits? Having things in place will enable you to transition back into your day to day without being smacked straight away by triggers and cravings.

    I'm going to tag our peer workers @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW to see what advice and strategies they may have!

    Let us know how you're travelling :)
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 544
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:23 pm

    Hi @charlottesometimes …………sucks that you’ve got Covid but it sounds like the “every cloud has a silver lining” thing is in play. It’s great that it seems to have helped you see that the change you’ve been wanting to make could actually be possible.

    I remember when I was going through cycles of drinking and then cleaning up. I’d get that run down that my body would shut down and as I started to feel better I felt like I’d be able to drink again. Those thoughts you mentioned knocking at the door would do exactly that and I’d give in to them. Even after extended periods off the booze I’d start to feel great again and life would be ticking along really well so I’d think I was ready to drink again because I’d “do things differently this time”. I thought I’d be able to control it but every time I picked up another drink life would start to go to s#@% again and I’d end up physically dependent on the booze………..again. Sometimes I used to think I was addicted to that feeling of feeling better and I put myself through the cycle just to feel that…….it’s amazing how the booze can distort our thinking and reality at times.

    It’s terrible that you lost everything in the floods but all the change could be a good thing at the end of the day too. The change of job is great. Change of environment and routine is something I’d recommend to anyone. Your changes have been pretty big but it can even just come down to moving the bedroom or loungeroom furniture around. Finding something to do in the morning, afternoon or night can be helpful too depending on what your normal routine is. Going for a walk first thing in the morning or when you get home, doing some jigsaw puzzles, drawing, meditation, exercise or something else you’ve been wanting to try for a while. If there’s someone else you can do things with that helps too. A friend, family member or someone else??? It always helps to have someone keep you accountable and motivated to do things with you.

    Have you played any sports??? You’re never too old for some social tennis, golf and it’s never too late to take up lawn bowls.

    I set myself mini goals. I’ll aim to do something for a week………like swimming. At the start of this year I said to myself I’m going to swim three times per week. I did it for the first week and felt a real sense of accomplishment. I felt better about myself for doing something healthy. I then thought I’d do it for a month. Then it became part of my routine. If I set my goals too big they can be harder to achieve and in turn they become too easy to give up. I set achievable goals, sometimes really easy ones and then build on them as I go. As I start to achieve things it gets easier to maintain motivation.

    If something isn’t working I try to figure out why and look for solutions. Do I need to do them at a different time or on a different day………….or less frequently??? I found my cravings were strongest at 4.30pm each day so I needed to find things to do at 4.30pm each day. That’s when I planned to go to the pool. Some days I wouldn’t even swim but I’d hang out in the sauna and the spa………people are pretty chatty there too so it became a social thing pretty quickly.

    I hope some of this has been helpful and that the Covid doesn't knock you round too much.

    What do you think you can do to switch up your routine???
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 462
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:51 pm

    Hi @charlottesometimes,

    Firstly, well done for reaching out and being so open and honest about where you're at, it takes real courage to reach out...well it did for me anyway. I'm sorry to hear about everything going on for you at the moment as well, isolating from Covid is a struggle at the best of times. I'm from the Northern Rivers originally as well and one of my closest mates and my mum lost everything in the floods too...such a tragedy what happened up there.

    You're an absolute trooper facing a detox in amongst all of that but it sounds like it's ended up in a place that you can build from. It's great to hear that the desire to drink has been removed. I remember when I first got into recovery my biggest fear was that the obsession and compulsion to use would never go away and it was honestly one of the most relieving moments of my life when it did.

    I can say that from attempting multiple detoxes that the main thing that made a difference for me to be able to stay stopped was getting the right kind of support. I learnt that the physical detox itself was just the beginning, I also had to find a new way to live without substances that worked for me.

    I'm wondering if you've ever tried any support groups before? I found 12 step meetings to help me alot in having like minded people around me that I could connect with on a daily basis, a place to build new healthy connections and drawing hope from people who had been where I was but who had found a new way to live. The fellowship up in that region is quite strong and there's a lot of good people around so you could always check out a meeting if you were open to it?

    One thing I heard in the early days that really stuck with me was that we can't think our way into new ways of living, we have to live our way into new ways of thinking. Understanding this really helped me to understand that the only way I could change my thinking and behavioural patterns was by making the choice, on a daily basis, to put my behaviour and actions into recovery. Over time my head followed and I was able to actually build a new life.

    I really hope you continue to reach out here and it's just amazing that you've come this far already. @PnorkelPW and myself are always here if you want to touch base. Just put the @ symbol before our usernames to tag us and we'll be sure to respond :)
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 624
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:26 am

    good morning and welcome to our newest members @cazzo @rlines @ConfettiMoon @Got to fix this @luigi2906 @NachoCowBoy

    These forums are a judgement free community for you to connect with others and find support and advice in your recovery journeys!

    You can jump into any of the threads and join the conversation! If you're looking for a little extra support you can use the @ symbol to tag myself, @SunflowerSeed or the peer workers @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW :D
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    SunflowerSeed
    Community Builder
    Posts: 47
    Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:33 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:26 am

    Good morning everybody~ ;)
    I hope everyone if travelling well in your journey.

    Big welcome to our newest members~ @Flossy1970 @NachoCowBoy
    This forum is a non-judgemental space for you to connect with each other and get support. Look around the forum for some inspiring stories from your peers.

    If you need help or support, simply @ myself or @Lhiver. The lovely peer workers we have here will also be able to provide some useful tips @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW :)
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    SunflowerSeed
    Community Builder
    Posts: 47
    Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:33 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:13 am

    Good morning everyone~
    How are we all travelling so far this week? :D
    Let's welcome our new members! @RSR2020 @Banksia* @Julesriley

    This community is a safe place for you to share, connect and support each other, so, don't hesitate to ask for help~
    Simply @ myself or @Lhiver if you need us. @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW are our peer workers who might be able to give some of their experiences and tips.
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    NachoCowBoy
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:40 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 25, 2022 2:03 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I have been lurking here for a week and finally plucking up the courage to get involved today.

    I joined because I am about to lose my family. I have been drinking my whole teenage and adult life without too much drama and I generally seem to be able to stop fairly easily once I make my mind up. However I always slip back into drinking - to begin with socially, then more an more each day.

    I don't necessarily think I NEED a beer but once the idea of having a drink is in my head, then I usually fixate on it. Once I start drinking (sometimes as soon as I get up in the morning) I just don't stop. I drink between 12 and 20 beers a day. Almost every day.

    I work from home so it is easy for me to drink throughout my work day and be a mess by the time my family comes home in the afternoon from work and school.

    Previously I would have called myself a "functioning alcoholic" and almost been proud of how much beer I could drink and be OK. However recently my intake has been increasing and I have been more belligerent when drunk and causing ridiculous arguments with my family. I have been with my partner for 2 years and we have blended our families. I guess everything came to a head for me when my step daughter sent me a very upsetting, eye-opening text which shocked me and shook me to my core. Unfortunately I was drunk when I got this message and it turned into an argument with my partner who yelled at me that me and my kids need to leave and he doesn't want to be with me anymore. I finally realised I am well on my way down a increasingly slippery slope. If I don't take this seriously now then I am in real trouble.

    So, this is me trying to stop my life falling apart around me.

    My last drink was on 19th June. I have reached out for help, spoken to my doctor, joined this forum, signed up for free 12 x 1 hour counselling sessions each week with ARM (first appointment next Friday) and also secured an appointment with a psychiatrist (mid July). This is the first time I have ever reached out for help with my drinking. My primary goal is to save my relationship with my partner, my children and his children. I want them to remember the person I am when I am not drunk. I want to prove that I am committed them, that I've had my wake up call I needed and that I don't intend to go back.

    I am clinging on by a thread at the moment, but I know if I work on myself now - no matter what happens with my relationship - with help and support I will be in a better place to move on by myself if needed.

    I'm 45 years old, I want to spend the next part of my life happy, healthy and alcohol free. I commit to make a weekly post in the forum to help keep me on track.

    Thanks for reading. Good luck to me and everybody else here on your journey.
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 624
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 25, 2022 4:26 pm

    @NachoCowBoy I want to start off by saying welcome and thank you for sharing your story with us. It shows so much strength opening up like this, so good on you.

    It sounds like that message from your stepdaughter was a pretty big wake-up call. I can hear how much your family means to you and how much you want to be doing better by them!

    6 days without a drink is a great first start. Likewise, going and speaking to your GP and getting linked in with services already is fantastic! You're really setting yourself up well.

    I'm going to tag our peer workers @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW and some other members of the forums for some support and words of advice! @English muffin @WildeReformed @Katiee

    If you have any questions just use the @ symbol to tag myself or @SunflowerSeed
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 624
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 25, 2022 4:43 pm

    good afternoon and welcome to new member @MissMay and @jessiespears

    this is a safe, non-judgemental space for you to share your journey! Everyone here has their own story and is here for support and advice!

    If you have any questions or need a bit of extra support, use the @ symbol to tag myself or @SunflowerSeed
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    Mark68
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2022 3:51 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:24 pm

    Hi there. I hope that I am posting correctly....a bit new to this experience!!

    I have had an alcohol abuse disorder all of my life. It started in my teens as a way of coping with the sexual abuse that I had endured all of my childhood from an uncle, and by the time I was in my early teens I was well on the way to addiction!! For the past 40 years I have moved from heavy binge drinking on weekends to my current 2 bottle a night habit...red wine being my poison of choice.

    I have tried to control my drinking for most of my life, and my failure to do so has cost me along the way. I am lucky enough however that I have a supportive /tolerant wife and kids....but everyone has their limits, so I do worry that if I cant change my addiction then one day I might pay the ultimate price. For much of my life I would have considered myself to be a 'high functioning alcoholic'...but in recent times I have declined into high risk behaviours such as morning or midnight drinking....and I'm not feeling real good about myself at the moment, with suicidal thoughts creeping into my mind for the first time ever....it's just an expression of despair and I don't feel that I would act on the thoughts but they are scary when they occur.

    I went 7 days sober last week but then smashed it hard over the weekend, so today I decided that it was time for me to reach out again for some support, and I thought that peer support is something that I have never tried before....I have had residential rehab admissions, worked with Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counsellors and GPs, used anti-craving, anxiety and depression medication but I just keep slipping back into addiction behaviours....seems like peer support is worth adding to my toolbox!!

    I look forward to contributing to the conversations on this site :-)

    @SunflowerSeed
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