“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Taper update and discussion
Hey everyone. Well before I begin I would like to bring your attention to my relatively new methadone support group on Facebook with 209 members and growing! I have seen people on methadone helping each other and answering questions and I really believe this is going to become a great community so if you have Facebook, please join the group here!
As you might have noticed, the pace is slowing down, but I’m still on track and I haven’t increased my dose at any point, so I choose to deem this “progress”. Tapering off of methadone is not a race and it is not wise to put a deadline on something of this magnitude. Many successful individuals have had to spend sometimes up to 2 years to finally taper all the way down to 0mg, but that also doesn’t mean it has to take that long, I’m just trying to point out that even though we are all on the same drug, our reasons for being on it can be very different and as individuals we are very different, so you need to listen to your body, be honest with yourself (read quote at the top), and take action when the time is right for YOU.
Lately I have been taking an introspective approach and making an effort to be honest with myself about my faults instead of being blindly optimistic about everything because the fact is, this has been manageable so far, but also difficult in ways, and unless I work on the aspects that have been difficult, I’m not going to reach my goal.
In my case, the greatest obstacle is that if I am honest with myself, I will admit that I still look forward to each methadone dose every day. Even though on the one hand I am sick and tired of being dependent on the drug and I have many reasons to feel that way, another part of me believes that taking it has helped me become a more accomplished person with more confidence and less anxiety. To be honest, at one point recently I even slipped up a bit and altered my dose to once a day, instead of three times a day at smaller doses, so that I could feel the methadone as much as possible when I took it. And that was first thing in the morning and I really believed that the next few hours were the best and most productive time of my day and that I was on some sort of a timer where anything I consider to be enjoyable should be done while I was still feeling the methadone. Kinda sad (and ridiculous), isn’t it? But that is the truth and unless I come clean about it, I’ll just be making everything harder on myself. Moral of the story: Please be honest with yourself above all!
In many ways, this is a lot like an unhealthy relationship where your better judgment tells you that you should not be with the other person because they cause you so much pain and unhappiness, but you believe deep down you can’t live without that person and you depend on them in many ways. Same thing here!
Do not lie to yourself and deny your faults. I have accepted mine and that is what allowed me to get back on track with my three doses per day schedule divided almost equally. I have realized and accepted that my greatest challenge of all is the perception I have that I can’t function without a certain amount of methadone in my system and I cannot enjoy life unless I’m taking methadone. Heck, that is even the reason I could not bring myself to update this blog as much as I had been for a while; it was a lack of motivation because even though I have been good about not taking more than I am supposed to, I always have the desire to take more so I could feel better. Basically I am teaching myself how to function without drugs again and I’m taking myself back to times in my life when I have been “clean” and enjoyed my hobbies as much as I believed I did on any dose of methadone. That’s right, I’m telling myself that it’s a misconception because it is. I have made myself believe that I am a more motivated person when I’m on methadone when in fact, it is simply not true. Being honest with myself and being mindful of my thoughts have allowed me to slowly find a way to enjoy my hobbies just as much on my decreasing dose of methadone as I did before. In fact, sometimes I believe (and know) that I am actually more alert and focused than I was when I took a greater amount of methadone which caused me to have too much comfort in laziness. Methadone gave me an escape and an excuse that most sober people do not have and I need to teach myself to live naturally again. If I am bored and lazy, I need to get off my ass and become productive instead of taking a drug that gives me comfort in laziness.
Current methadone dose and structure
Days on taper: 95 days
Qty decreased: 7.5mg
Qty to go: 22.5mg