Opiate Detox

Outback Detox – Day 7

So I’ve come this far.  This week I’ve been through physical and mental hell.  I got through it, only to discover things aren’t so good on the other side. I’ve got zero energy.  The slightest exertion just exhausts me.  There is also a very deep and dark depression. I’m so depressed, I just want to give up.  All I can do is lay in bed. 

Opiate free and the world has lost its color.  I’ve no interest in traveling, I haven’t showered in a week.  My van is a mess.  I sit at the table and chain smoke for half an hour.  Even that drains me.  I take my dog outside, then come back in, fall on the bed and sleep for an hour or two. I hide from the light like a vampire. The sun stings my eyes and hurts my skin. I’m so overly sensitized to even the slightest sensation. Even the feel of clothing against my skin is uncomfortable. 

I can’t be like this out here.  I’ve never felt so alone and so far from home.  This isn’t me at all.  I’m so tired.  It’s all I can do to force myself to even attempt the most basic of necessary tasks.  It’s to much effort to even drag myself up  off the bed, nevertheless change my stinky withdrawal sweat soaked sheets. 

Day seven and I surrender.  Surrender to a force that is way bigger than me. I can’t do this.  I can’t be like this.  Not out here. I’m trying to get home.  I need to cross the nullabor. Hell, even going to find a shower is beyond me.  

My scripts are on the way.  Hopefully tomorrow.  I can’t face another day of this. I stink. Even after the mammoth task of wiping myself down with a cloth, it’s not long before I’m again coated in a slimy layer of withdrawal sweat, and that stuff stinks. The whole place reeks of the rancid stuff. 

I give up.  

This afternoon I downed a heap of codeine. Just desperate to feel even half human for a few hours.  It worked. I sat here, slumped and defeated, and watched the color bleed back into the world. I felt it sink into my brain.  Not long after, I was up and moving, needing to take advantage of feeling halfway normal again. I had a wash, I did my laundry, I swept out the van and did the few dishes on the sink.  I ate a decent meal and took my poor dog for a good walk.  Things look so much better.  Thank the gods for codeine.  

Now I’m going to lay down in my fresh sheets and hopefully catch some decent sleep off the back of my buzz.  Hoping and praying that those damn scripts will be waiting for me at the post office tomorrow.  I don’t think I can get through another day of this.  I just need to feel like myself again.  

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Outback Detox – Day 2

Things are going better than I thought at this stage. It’s still very hard, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I’ve been pretty lucky so far and escaped the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal. I attribute this to the clonidine. 

I do have my rough patches, and damn rough they can be, but I learnt my strategies around this on my first day. Tamazepam and Lara Croft. 

For something so real and physical, I’ve really learnt the benefit of the mental.  I have these funny little things that keep me going.  When I spoke to Drew yesterday, I told her of these things and she thought it weird. Yeah, maybe so, but it’s getting me through.  At this point, whatever it takes. 

Late this afternoon, I realized I haven’t eaten in two days.  For one, I just don’t have the energy, and two, my appetite is non existent. I figured my total lack of energy may be attributed to this, so I forced down just a little bit of cereal. It was like trying to eat cardboard but I got it down.  Thankfully I only did eat a little bit, as not half an hour later and I’m sprinting for the toilet.  Think I’ll stock up on immodium before I try that again!

I did manage to take Leo for a little walk this morning, not far, but he was happy. He’s been through so much with me, this dog.  So of course he’s by my side now.  He’s been on his best behavior, happy to just lie around and rest. He gets concerned when I hit a bad patch, he must sense it. He’s been good for me to, as I take him on a little walk morning and evening. It’s hard, but it does help. I don’t think I could summon the energy if not for Leo. 

Last night was pretty rough, but I managed to grab a few snatches of sleep, surprisingly.  The Tamazepam at work.  This morning I slept nearly six hours! Awesome effort! Sleep is always preferable, it passes the time. 

I’ve been watching a lot of movies.  I’m watching the Walking Dead through again.  I’m playing Lara Croft during the hard times. I’ve always been a fan of Miss Croft, but after this, I’m devoted to her.  It’s just the perfect game for the worst opiate pangs. You have to concentrate so fiercely, there’s no time to think of the lack of drugs and the subsequent pain.  I just focus my entire attention on running through that damn tomb. After a time, it does pass. It gets easier every time knowing this. 

I’ve also noticed the moon is waning down into it’s dark phase, perfect time for me to descend down to that old Dark Goddess again and face my demons.  The moon will be new on Sunday, (today is Thursday)  and by then I will be coming out of this and starting to function normally again, without opiates. New Moon, new me. 

As I write this, the sun sets on day 2. I made it, another day.  It feels like such an accomplishment. I can only keep telling myself that after tomorrow, this will start to let up.  I’m dreading tonight though, the nights are so long. But I’ve gotten through one, I’ll get through another and hopefully feel that little bit better tomorrow. 

Just one more day…  let me have that for now.  

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Outback Detox – Day 5

I can’t do this. 

It’s awful. Today has been terrible, I can barely function. I can’t eat, I can’t stop crying.  I’m a physical and mental wreck. I thought I’d gotten over the worst of it, turns out physical detox is the easy part. 

Everything aches. My muscles hurt. I’m an emotional mess.  Here in this beautiful place and I can’t even enjoy it.  The slightest exertion leaves me exhausted.  It’s all I can do to take the dog out a couple times a day. 

I got out a bit yesterday.  I took Leo to the beach and we both had a good time.  But this morning I woke up sick and craving hard.  I’ve been downing ridiculous amounts of codeine, all I’ve got right now.  

This is too hard.  

I can’t do this.  

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Outback Detox – Day One, Take Two

Another rough night last night, till I found one last pill.  So that gave me a good nights sleep at least.  But again, I awaken to nothing.  

This morning, Day One, I actually felt good. The clonidine definitely helps. Getting into conversation with a couple of English backpackers even took my mind off things for awhile. 

But by late morning I’m getting pretty damned uncomfortable.

Not sure what possessed me, but I decided to drive the 44km to the next town. Bad idea.  I come way to close to going to sleep behind the wheel.  These detox meds are no joke. 

I did make it, fell straight into bed, but then my muscles started feeling restless, my skin started crawling. I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t sit up, I couldn’t walk around.  I lost all track of time, but it felt like an eternity in hell. I smoked some weed, not a good idea, it made it worse. It intensified everything. It took me a moment to realize I was having a panic attack.  I downed some Tamazepam and picked up my tablet.  Lara Croft has been my saviour. A very immersive tablet game managed to divert my attention for long enough for the Tamazepam to kick in.  So at least now I have a strategy, benzos and Lara Croft! 

After that passed, I felt ok.  Enough so that I could move down the road to where I was going, even deal with having to charge my flat car battery.  I phoned my daughter. I walked to the store and bought Powerade and chocolate bars.  As I was crossing the road back to my van, sunshine in my face, I had a moment of peace come over me. A little taste of the clean life to come, one where I can enjoy the simple pleasures and take my time.  

Day 1. 

I can do this.  

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Outback Detox – Day 3

I awoke on day 3 having finally gotten a good night’s sleep.  I lay in bed for a moment and felt at peace.  It was nice to wake up not dope sick for the first time in many years.  

It was also pay day, time to get moving.  I packed up and was ready to hit the road.  Leo and I get in the car, and it won’t click over! Bugger.  That damn battery problem again.  I can rig up my solar panel, but it wasn’t enough this time, I had to get a jump start.  Got up to the mechanics and got that sorted. No sweat!

I drove away from that little town laughing like a maniac, I’d gotten through the detox!  I drove over 250km of dirt road through the desert and arrived in Esperance right on schedule. 

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Outback Detox – Take One

I made it well into my second day, then hit a rough patch and caved immediately. I spent the day getting high, blowing through the last of my emergency stash. 

Tapering has never worked for me, I don’t have that kind of self discipline.  I start out with good intentions, but once I’ve had a little, I want more.  Then it’s back to the races. 

So now I’m in a real predicament, I’ve absolutely no dope and I’m literally in the middle of nowhere.  

This is exactly how the addict mind works; I’ll take all these now and tomorrow will work itself out.  Your mind can always find a way to justify it. Of course, I’ve only put off the inevitable once again. 

Night draws down and the dope is wearing off.  

Shit.

Here we go again…..

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Outback Detox – Detox Eve

Not many people know that I’m an addict. I have been addicted to prescription pain killers for going on ten years. That’s a long time to be dependent upon a chemical to function.  

Oxycontin. Such a tiny pill. Amazing that something you can fit on a fingernail can wreak such havok on your life.  

I began as a chronic pain patient, but during the past year, I’ve spiraled down from dependence to straight up addiction. It has taken over my life.  

As I write this, I sit in a campground a very long way from home.  A very long way from my pill supply. I’ve blown through this month’s prescription and realized that no matter what, I’m going to run out, at least for a few days.  I could do as I usually would and do whatever the hell it takes to get my hands on those scripts, I’ve done it every month during this epic trip. I always find a way. But this time is different. I’m tired. I’ve had enough. This madness needs to stop. I want my freedom. I want my life back.  

So tonight I prepare myself, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, for the hell that awaits me over the coming days.  I’ve found a place of peace and solitude.  I’ve eaten a good nutritious meal. I’ve gathered plentiful water supplies. I’ve showered and moisturized my body.  I’ve gotten high.  Really high. A farewell high.  I sat and gazed at the stars, set my mind and heart on the end game.  I’ve asked the Goddess to help see me through this.  I feel strangely at peace.  Total absence of the panic that usually sets in at the thought of going without.  I’m ready for what lays ahead.  

The thing with opiates though, you’re never so sure of getting clean as when you’re dirty.  And right now, all cells well fed, I’m so full of certainty that I can get through this.  Yet I know, come tomorrow, when I awaken, the first thing my mind will grasp for is that dope.  My body, mind and soul will be screaming for that hit.  That is when it truly begins.  

I am prepared.  I put together a withdrawal kit during my time in Perth.  

  • Clonidine, a blood pressure medication, helps immensely.  
  • Temazaepam, a long acting benzo 
  • DXM, found here in cough syrup, is the addicts best friend in a multitude of ways.  It relieves withdrawal symptoms and helps in dropping tolerance. Though I only have a pretty limited supply of that. 
  • Immodium. As well as stopping up the inevitable diarrhea, it also soothes the opiate receptors in the gut. 
  • I have a good supply of quality cannabis. 
  • I have essential oils.  

I wish I had more herbs, but being out in the desert, my options there are a little limited.  But these supplies will help me through. 
Detox will take me a week, give or take.  Just one week.  It’s not much, but in the iron grip of withdrawal, seconds become minutes, minutes become hours, hours become a fucking eternity.  This week will be an absolute living hell.  Symptoms will peak around day 3. Then gradually start to ebb from there.  I just need to get through this, one week.  Only a week.  

I need to stay focused on why I am doing this.  I want to be free.  I want to be free to travel, without having the constant worry about keeping up my supply.  I want to wake up in the morning and not feel the pangs of dope sickness.  I want my mind back, my life back, my self back.  I want to be free of these damn chains that have held me tight for all these years.  

Soon I will go to bed, and full of dope, I will sleep.  The kind of sleep that will completely elude me for weeks to come.  I will rest and prepare my body for the torturous marathon I am about to inflict on it.  Addiction is such a big thing.  It’s so real.  It’s so physical.  It’s so mental.  Every fibre of your being craves that chemical.  Without it, your entire being is thrown into chaos. You’re nothing but a state of pure need and desperation.  

But I will get through this.  This time, I have no choice.  I have a few pills stashed away, in case things go bad and I need to get to a hospital or a doctor.  Those pills will absolutely taunt me.  They will whisper to me constantly, they will scream for me.  But I don’t see a way around this.  Doing this as I am, alone in a pretty isolated place, I need that backup just in case. 

Just one week.  

I can do this.  

I have to do this.  

One week.  

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