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Am I On The Right Track?

Posts: 1
Joined: September 24, 2021

Posted: September 24, 2021, 5:23 PM
Hi All.

I have been addicted to codeine tablets for years. I used to take 2 tablets 3-4 times daily and have decided to stop. The codeine is a 10mg codeine pill.

I am now down to 1 three times a day. ( Had some shakes, tummy problems feeling a bit emotional and crying at silly things. )

Today will be my last 3x daily dose.(Friday)

From tomorrow I will be taking 1 twice a day for one day. (Saturday)

The next will be 1 at night for two nights. ( Sunday and Monday)

Tuesday nothing. CT.

I have planned it as I have 5 tablets left and want to be rid of it. By Tuesday I will have 1spare Tablet left which I want to symbolically bury in the garden. LOL I hope my plants don't succumb to the addiction.😁
Does anyone suggest something different?

Thank you in advance for your answer/s.
Much love.

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: May 10, 2022, 3:11 PM
I realize this was posted last September but I wonder if you're still around here? And I wonder how it all went for you? I'm in the process of doing the same thing, only with bigger doses. I take 4 doses a day and I started stepping down from the 4th dose first, let that lie for 4 days, step down from the 3rd, then the 2nd, 1st, and then start again with shaving more off the 4th, 3rd, etc. until I'm only taking 4 a day, then 3, 2, 1, ZERO!! Not sure if this is considered "cheating" or not, but I am eating Delta 8 gummies to take the edge off withdrawals and .5 xanax to help me sleep when physical withdrawals are bad, like body aches, restlessness, etc. I figured they use that stuff to help people get off heroin, right? And also I have to maintain my everyday life and duties and responsibilities because absolutely nobody knows I'm doing this. I mean, absolutely nobody knows I have a problem. I'm the only one who knows she's a problem and even I don't know what is driving me to do this. Sure, I've said for years I'd eventually stop but as we all know the longer it goes on the more you have to take, and not even for a "high" but just to feel "normal". And every time in the past I've looked at my calendar and found 100 reasons why it never was the right time. I don't know if I'll ever know what made me just start it one day out of the blue. And so far there's been at least 3 occasions where I've thought, "Oh sht! You picked a bad week to start stopping!" I don't know about anyone else but over the years I've been convinced that the pain pills made me more sociable, funnier, wittier, more fun, and so on. So here I was (as one example) looking at my calendar and realizing that my next step-down coincided with a big society fundraiser event at a foo foo country club headlined by an Academy Award winner and I'd be seated at a table with only one person I knew. The me a month ago would have said, "yeah that won't work, I'll need to be 'on', so we'll just start that diet the next day", but for once in my life, my stubbornness was an asset and I went and survived.
I'm glad I found this place and I hope I find more than just tumbleweeds of old posts, but I think I've reached the point where I don't have to be completely alone and can talk to others going through it, even if they are just nameless faceless folks on the internet.

Posts: 1764
Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: May 13, 2022, 8:17 AM
Hi Sherry,
I am the mom of a son who was addicted to pills. It went on for many years. He was functioning and always worked full time, except for when the addiction would catch up to him, he would loose everything and end up in rehab for a few months, be clean a few months, repeat about once a year or two for 6 years. He has now been clean for 1.5 -2 years.

First, I want to say addiction is complicated. Although it sounds easy to step down, it think it is very difficult for most people. You get 5 gold stars for that!!! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Secondly, as you step down to the least amount of doses, it might become more difficult and you might need to figure out different strategies.

You may want to find a therapist who is familiar with addiction now, instead of later. Or smart, or any support group, hobby, exercise, etc, to fill up your time and add healthy habits.

It may be hard to see the progress, or what’s the point, right away, You will keep seeing progress in long term increments, like every 6 months. Hey, time keeps going, does not stop, even the smallest amount of progress is big over time.

Others on here have done step downs, over fifty has good information and there was someone else with detailed information in the methodone tabs, it think.

Good Luck, stay strong. !

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: May 13, 2022, 2:54 PM
I can't tell you how much your post helped me. I am having a bad day. I can't stop crying. And I have to be "on" tonight and tomorrow night with big events happening with hubby and friends. But I've got to put a brave face on and push through. I've caught myself today bargaining, "well maybe since I'm allowed to take this many today, I'll just save most of them for the events so yeah, I'll feel like crap all day but I'll be the person everyone expects me to be at the events". I was looking for reasons to scrap this whole thing and try again later. When it would be more "convenient". I mean how is it humanly possible to literally ache between your toes?? I know that every recovery plan on earth encourages you to reach out and get help. I can't do that in real life because I'm not one of "those people". Ain't that a hoot?
I am extremely active in my church, my neighborhood, my husband's business, etc. My kids have aged out of all the PTA responsibilities I had, thank God. But I have plenty of things to fill my time with. It's just that I've been walking around for years ostensibly being able to do everything I have to do BECAUSE of the pills. I need to break that.
I'm rambling and I really need to get up out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. But thank you again for answering.

Posts: 1764
Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: May 14, 2022, 12:13 AM
Hi ! I hope the events go Ok for you. I’m not a therapist, but I do want to give you suggestions. If anything I say doesn’t resonate for you, toss it aside. Thoughts: my son went to college and worked in golf course maintenance. He got into the pill habit in college. His work routine and that of the other guys working the summer on golf courses was get up at 5am, work a labor intensive job in the weather, until 4,5 or 6 pm eat pizza, drink, sleep and repeat, 7 days a week,April to November. For $11-$15 per hour. After about 6 yrs of that work, he has had to try a different path.
The right mindset can thrive in that business, my son could not. It did physically beat him up. A few years into the addiction, he said he had to take the pills just to get out of bed, and just to feel normal. So I understand what you are saying about needing them to do what you need to do. And that you have expectations of yourself and others have expectations of you.

My suggestion is not to step down too fast. Give yourself , your body time to adjust, it is just as much a physical addiction, your body has adjusted to over time, it needs time to adjust as you decrease.

Brings me to the next point, therapist who specializes in addiction as someone to vent to, bounce things off of, help strategize, and give you real suggestions based on what you are going thru each week.

Lastly, people won’t always notice what you think they will notice. And, those who are important in your life will forgive you. That said, you don’t want to throw yourself under the bus either.

I will try to find the other posts that might be helpful. Keep reading, watch YouTube videos, don’t give up.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on May 14, 2022, 12:15 AM

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: May 14, 2022, 2:35 PM
Thank you for that. One event down, one to go tonight. Last night I had to actually get up in front of everyone to give a speech. Twice. I did drink a beer before those speeches but that was actually before I found out I was gonna be the one giving the speeches. Typical when you're the only female on a board of males, no offense to males here of course. Anyway, the world didn't cave in around me and people were so nice. Of course, I wasn't standing up there wearing a sign saying, "I'm on 100 mg less of codeine than I have been in years."
Tonight is the second big event, I'm hosting 8 people & have had to organize where everyone will meet for appetizers & cocktails and a driver to pick us up from there and take us to a concert, pick us up after & take us back to our cars. It's hot here and we'll be doing a lot of walking so that will explain my sweating. I do plan on relying on delta 8 gummies to take the edge off withdrawals while I'm supposed to be the happy hostess tonight. I'm at a point now where I don't care if someone says that's cheating. If that's cheating then I'm a temporary cheat. Temporary because I know for a fact that I'm not replacing one addiction with another. The delta 8 gummies are nowhere near the potency of a real THC gummy, and they just take the edge off and make the body aches less. And when all of this is finally out of my system I'll be so happy to have real, not medically or chemically induced energy, that I won't want to be fuzzy. I can only do this the way I am right now. Maybe a little further down the road, I'll introduce a therapist.
I mentioned I volunteer in my church a lot. What's so insane is that where I volunteer there are mainly people in the recovery community, with YEARS of sobriety in various things. There are 3 people I could go to at any time, sit them down, tell them everything, and they would do everything they could to love me through it. I know this. But I'm not ready yet to see the disappointment in their eyes.
I wish this site had more active users, but I really appreciate your taking the time to respond. It was like Christmas morning when I saw your first response. God bless you!

Posts: 1764
Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: May 14, 2022, 9:28 PM
It sounds like you have it under control, and have a good grasp of your situation and what you need to do, or not do. Trust your own judgement. Your right, don’t tell anyone that you don’t need to. You can’t trust that people will keep a secret. The fact that you are around a recovery community is enough to tell me that you are familiar with what you need to know, and you do have resources available. I think you are in good hands! Your going to be able to do this!

Step down as slow as you need to. Take supplements, vitamins, drink water, try to eat healthy, some one said to eat no sugar.

Many people use other things to take the edge off while stepping down. Don’t worry about it. 🙂

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on May 14, 2022, 9:43 PM

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: May 16, 2022, 1:49 PM
No sugar??? The HORROR!!
I wolfed down a whole box of almond crisps the other night. I go around to area dollar stores buying up pixy stix like I'm drug shopping several doctors offices.
I'm going to read your message over and over again because it's very uplifting, thank you.
I wonder if anyone else has experienced a strange side effect to stepping down, a weird washover of feeling like you need to atone for something? I was so rude to the manager at Costco yesterday. He ended up helping me, but he was a bit dickish at first. Probably responding to my energy. I took my groceries to the car and just sat there and cried. I wanted to go back in and apologize but they were closed. It's like something stuck in your throat, I feel like I really need to go apologize to that man.

Posts: 1764
Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: May 17, 2022, 9:48 PM
Thank you and your welcome! I am glad that I am able to share enough to help you. About 2-4 years ago this website was very active. Since my son has been sober or clean and is not living at home, for the past 2 years, I have not had to need to chat and vent so much. I pop in once I a while to see if there is activity. I’m glad you found the site.

Lol feeling the need to atone? Maybe that is just part of life. I recall a few times that life was getting the best of me. Then, being mean to someone and realizing that they did not deserve to be on the other side of my attitude. Sometimes I would tell the person in advance, such as a sales person. When I knew I was aggravated about something. Like saying ‘it’s not you, I’m really annoyed or distracted about something else , but need to get this task done’

And talk about crying, at times I cry so easily. At movies and things on tv. Sometimes I cry a lot and sometimes I don’t. I think crying is cleansing. Maybe sometimes I end up watching a movie that makes me cry and I wonder if I just needed to cry in order to let out closed up emotion or sadness.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on May 17, 2022, 10:10 PM

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: May 18, 2022, 1:23 AM
Well, I'm glad you popped in!
I did not follow my step-down plan today. I had them counted out and ready to keep going with my plan. My husband left for a business trip today. I had nothing on my calendar, but sure plenty of things to do around the house. But for some reason I thought, let's see if we can tough out a day with nothing?
I'm taken a hot jacuzzi bath for body aches, ate some delta 8 gummies, and I just took a Xanax to go to sleep. But I haven't taken a pain pill in 19 hours. Yeah it's sucked today but I didn't have to put on any makeup, didn't have to get dressed, didn't have anywhere to be, so I thought why not? I'm hoping to sleep well tonight and see how I feel tomorrow.

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: May 18, 2022, 3:04 PM
I'm toughing it out again today. It's slightly better except for a headache and my legs and feet ache, Sneezing has been RIDICULOUS. It's been 43 hours since I had a pain pill. Interesting the 3, when I was taking them I'd take them every 3 hours, that's when the beginning of withdrawal would happen. But of course, as soon as I popped 6 pills in, everything was fine in 15 minutes. It's been weird for 2 days now I haven't been looking at the clock to figure out my next dose. Now tomorrow I do have to be somewhere, and I really do need to clean this house. But I'm giving myself the rest of the day to just lay around and power through.

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Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: May 18, 2022, 7:36 PM
Good to know you can go so long without major withdrawal sx. I have read about the sneezing and insomnia. Even though it is good that you have gone 2 days w out codine, I wonder if it would be better if you reduced at a steady pace, on the other hand if you can do it cold turkey, why not?

A next step you might want to decrease is the Xanax for sleep. My husband takes Tylenol PM once or twice a month if he knows that he wants to be sure he sleeps well. My kids say melatonin can have unwanted symptoms, I don’t remember what it was - bad dreams, or some kind of addiction to it. They use sleepy time tea.

And the sugar! One vice at a time!

NOT looking at the clock is cool. It is a big relief when that whole part of your life is gone. It frees up hours in a day that used to be dedicated to the addiction. I used to be a smoker and gave it up about 2 yrs ago. I still miss it some times and wish I could have a cig once in a while like having a candy bar. The parts I did not like were the expense, the smell, the time consumption, going outside in all of the weather,, and going into the ‘smoke store’ . So glad I don’t do all of that anymore. Also remember someone on another message board who was getting off methadone- she was feeling relief and freedom since she did not have to check in every day, and make sure she had enough for a weekend, etc.

Hey, I’m watching the news and find my eyes tearing up. Lol.

Congrats on your success so far. At least you know you can do it!

Posts: 9
Joined: May 10, 2022

Posted: June 14, 2022, 2:13 PM
I've been meaning to check in and just haven't had a chance. Today is the 29th day without pain pills. Yay me! I never want to go through that withdrawal process again. It was excruciating. My husband came home from that work trip and I sat him down and told him everything. I'd been a week in bed by that point and wasn't getting better. He took care of me for another week I spent in bed. I also had a heart to heart with my bestie, a 40 year friendship. Honestly they both were incredible.
I haven't told anyone else. That urge I felt to come clean to everyone? Yeah, that's gone. I guess I'm fortunate that my mind was made up and somehow I was able to just shut that part of my life out. And for the most part life has returned to normal. Took a while to be able to do small things without gassing out and having to go lie down some. Ever so often I still get up too fast and fight a dizzy spell but they're fewer and less frequent.
The freedom from looking at the clock all day to calculate when my next dose was, it's liberating. Not counting pills every night for the next day. And just knowing that I have a big bottle of those pills and absolutely no urge to take them is also liberating. I'm done, that part of my life is over.

Posts: 1764
Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: July 20, 2022, 5:54 PM
Yay YOU!
So glad you quit and had the trust and courage to tell your besties what you were going through!

You remind me that everyone’s addiction is customized to the individual. What works for one isn’t the same for all. It is important to try, try, and keep trying to find what works- for those out there reading this and struggling.

One last note: remind yourself that you are only a mere human. Not super mom, not super wife, not super volunteer….. pace yourself, only sign up for what you are able to do. Don’t over schedule. Put yourself first sometimes.

Another last thing I want to say to the readers is that life IS hard. Sometimes we make it look easy.


This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on July 20, 2022, 5:57 PM
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