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    1. #21
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      Progress thread for ne

      Hello Neva,

      Some unsolicited advice from a long time Bac user (1.5 years...1.1 sober)

      I went through the whole drinking while taking Baclofen thing before I determined it just wasn't working. The trick for me was to switch gears and not wait on the Baclofen. After 4 months of sputtering, I decided to take 125mg of Antabuse every morning while titrating up slowly. This kept me sober while mitigating the side effects of the Baclofen. You might want to give it a try. Some here have successfully continued to drink until the Baclofen took effect, but many suffered while doing so. Also, it's my belief that mixing the two slows down the whole process.

      You also might consider stabilizing your Baclofen intake for a bit. Your current titration schedule seems a bit aggressive and erratic. I take 25mg at 6:30am, 25mg at 10:30am, 50mg at 3:00pm, and 50mg at 7:30pm. This helps with the somnolence in the morning and squelches the evening urges. Maybe a few consistent weeks at 150mg on a strict time table combined with morning Antabuse will normalize things. If you still feel you need to move up after some time AF, I'd recommend no more than 10mgs per week.

      The trick for me was staying AF while letting the Baclofen do its thing. The Antabuse helped facilitate this. I can't say I ever reached the mythical "switch", but I did become indifferent to the point where I've managed over a year of sobriety. Not bad for a 20+ year 8-12 unit per night drinker.

      Good Luck

      Photoman

      "There'll be two dates on your tombstone
      And all your friends will read 'em
      But all that's gonna matter is that little dash between 'em..."

    2. #22
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      Progress thread for ne

      Hello Neva,

      Some unsolicited advice from a long time Bac user (1.5 years...1.1 sober)

      I went through the whole drinking thing while taking Baclofen before I determined it just wasn't working. The trick for me was to switch gears and not wait on the Baclofen. After 4 months of sputtering, I decided to take 125mg of Antabuse every morning while titrating up slowly. This kept me sober while mitigating the side effects of the Baclofen. You might want to give it a try. Some here have successfully continued to drink until the Baclofen took effect, but many suffered while doing so. Also, it's my belief that mixing the two slows down the whole process.

      You also might consider stabilizing your Baclofen intake for a bit. Your current titration schedule seems a bit aggressive and erratic. I take 25mg at 6:30am, 25mg at 10:30am, 50mg at 3:00pm, and 50mg at 7:30pm. This helps with the somnolence in the morning and squelches the evening urges. Maybe a few consistent weeks at 150mg on a strict time table combined with morning Antabuse will normalize things. If you still feel you need to move up after some time AF, I'd recommend no more than 10mgs per week.

      The trick for me was staying AF while letting the Baclofen do its thing. The Antabuse helped facilitate this. I can't say I ever reached the mythical "switch", but I did become indifferent to the point where I've managed over a year of sobriety. Not bad for a 20+ year 8-12 unit per night drinker.

      Good Luck

      Photoman

      "There'll be two dates on your tombstone
      And all your friends will read 'em
      But all that's gonna matter is that little dash between 'em..."

    3. #23
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Sunny, I hope I made it clear that the steps I took to get back on bac were a result of my own issues, and unrelated to you specifically. I was trying to make clear that sometimes your responses hurt my feelings. And while hurt feelings are not the be all and end all, and I certainly need a push in the right direction more often than not, this is a process... Bac is not easy for most of us, and many of us are drinking while taking it. We're also dealing with other things as well.
      I wonder if you wouldn't consider posting on your thread, or starting a new one, detailing the process that got you to rehab and what followed. Your experience is telling and it's a pain following your thoughts all over the boards. (But I've done it!)

      Photoman, what sticks out for me is that you've been sober for more than a year. God, you can't imagine how inspiring those words are.
      But also that you took bac for four months before you 'decided' to quit drinking.
      I am firmly convinced at this point (mho only, of course) that drinking does in fact slow down the process.
      All advice is unsolicited on here. Except that I think we post looking for exactly that. Thank you for your input.
      :l

    4. #24
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      The last time I went for a very expensive rest in rehab was about 5 years ago. Since then I've presumably been sober to close friends and family. The truth is that I started drinking again almost right away. Sporadically at first and then soon after, I was back to drinking daily. But I managed to keep up the facade until this summer.
      I found OA's book in the library, when I decided to look into this disease and find a solution other than AA or exercise/diet/lifestyle choices, all of which I was managing fairly well. I googled him, assuming he was a quack, (he's not) and eventually found MWO.
      I ordered bac online, but was VERY anxious about taking it. My husband knew about it and was skeptical and also very anxious about my taking some drug from Vanuatu, off label without a doctor's knowledge based on a book from the library. (pretty absurd, I'd agree.) I wasn’t sure if it was going to kill me, and was looking for reassurance so I told the two people who know that I drink and how much and that I HATE it. They were also skeptical and alarmed. But, I had the book and MWO…
      So, I took it, had the first of many panic attacks when I titrated up erratically and way too quickly. My behavior at that point was erratic enough that family and close friends were a little alarmed. (So was I.) So I quit taking it, saw the doctor for the first of many times, and armed with the successes on MWO, I decided to tell my family. I assumed that they knew I was drinking (what else could explain the craziness?) but I was wrong. No way I would’ve told them if I didn’t think there needed to be some explanation. But also, in retrospect, I was tired of lying about the disease and hearing from everyone about how proud of me they were re. my continued abstinence. Very burdensome.
      I bought several copies of OA’s book and sent them, and then I called my parents and emailed my closest life-long friend. There was nothing but support, of course, though my dad is still mad at me. He’s got the disease too. When I tried to talk to him about it, about taking bac and the disease, he said he thought I was just procrastinating and making excuses. It’s a truth, I think, that those that suffer from this, or that treat it, are the most reluctant to hear about a solution. Also true that I was procrastinating and making excuses, sort of. (Doggygirl has some interesting thoughts on that in the monthly abstinence thread, ftr.)
      I don’t and won’t share with them anything about how much or how often I drink. That’s just off the table. It would wound them. And it’s none of their business. It’s enough that they know. And enough, for me, that I have their continued love and support. Everyone I’ve shared this with is relieved that I told them, and upset that I was reluctant.
      I have a close group of girlfriends that know nothing about this disease or my struggle with it. We meet at least once a week. I’m pretty confident that if I told them they’d be nothing but supportive. And that if they weren’t then I shouldn’t make room in my life for them… That said, I’m reluctant to change the dynamic with the one group that is relatively unaffected by this. We go to the gym, have coffee, FB. I wonder what would change and understand why people with other life threatening illnesses compartmentalize their battles. But it makes me feel disingenuous and our relationships are suffering because of it.
      It’s important, in this moment, for me to maintain the fa?ade. The people I’ve told don’t really get it, anyway. Ha. How could they? But I’m looking forward to disease suppression and having my double life merge.
      I’m going to look back over previous posts today and make sure there is nothing in there that would unnecessarily hurt them if they happen to figure out where this is, and who I am. Honestly, it alarms me more that they may think I’m one of the other people on MWO! lol
      But you know what? I don’t think they’d make the effort to suss it all out. And if they did, it would be a relief in many ways.
      If you’re reading this, and someone has given you the book or directed you here, please READ THE DAMN THING!

    5. #25
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      I hear you on the compartmentalization. I do think it makes things easier, in some ways. It all depends on who you're keeping the information from! But in your case, I think you've really gone about it the right way. You've opened up to your family and close friends. I don't think you really need to share it with your group of girlfriends. I recently saw a therapist to get some insight into a tough situation I was dealing with, and she said something that proved very true for me: "When you are going through a big change in your life, it's helpful to keep other things the same." So keep your coffee meetups and FB networking the same, it's ok.
      Just for shits and giggles, I'll play devil's advocate too. Maybe one of these friends would benefit in some way to know what you're going through. You could always share the experience at some point down the line if you decide to though. Like some time after you have hit your switch! But personally, I think that keeping the dynamic the same with them right now is a good call.
      I've thought recently about the idea of being truly authentic. With everyone. And you know what consensus I came to? Hell NO. There are some things that I just would not want to burden people with, and there are things that could get me fired! :H I don't share everything with everyone, and I like it that way.
      I have shared with my close friends my issues with alcohol and that I'm on baclofen. I've told one of my brothers that I'm on an anti anxiety medication that makes me not really want to drink. And have just mentioned to my dad that I haven't really been in the mood to drink lately. Mostly just because they would notice my lack of alcohol intake in certain situations, and I wanted to kind of make an excuse for it early on. For instance, I'm going out to dinner with my dad tonight, and we normally would split a bottle of wine (or 2). Now he already has a head's up that I'm not really drinking much, so it won't be weird when I just have water with lemon.

    6. #26
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      My last two posts miss the mark.

      The whole point of HIGH-DOSE baclofen for treatment of addiction is that it works in spite of our continued alcohol use. OA and most others around here continued to use alcohol until they reached indifference. OA, while on lower doses, continued to binge drink. It wasn’t until he titrated up that he reached complete indifference.
      This whole experiment started with the genetically-bred-to-be-alcoholic rats. They didn’t use their neo-whatever brain to abstain. They just stopped choosing the lever to get AL. And they started choosing the one with water.
      It works despite the fact that one is an alcoholic which, by definition, means that one cannot control the compulsion to drink. If, when I logged on here initially I found that one needed to sleep well, eat well, exercise, (but only in moderation), much less remain abstinent I would’ve left in despair. And I slept on a schedule, ate well and exercised regularly. What I couldn’t do was control my consumption of AL. Fortunately what I found was a pretty graph, a bunch of people struggling through the death throes of their alcoholism and HOPE. Any other message detracts from the truth and the heart of the matter. Baclofen works to permanently suppress the desire to drink excessively. You can take it regardless of how often or how much you drink. It's safe for alcoholics and children alike. It is dose dependent and the dose varies greatly from person to person.

      I woke up this morning to find a full glass of wine, and a full (open) beer next to the computer. I opened the beer (last night) because the wine tasted terrible. No will power needed. I guess I was just ready for bed.
      I love the fact that people on here repeatedly spontaneously decided to just not drink after being on baclofen for a period of time. That’s the miracle of the little pill. Not outrageously expensive rest time in a rehab. Not AA. Not saintly devotion to a higher power or even a good diet. They slog through the SEs, most of which are simply annoying, to find complete suppression of their disease. On that day, after years of trying and self-flagellation, they just don’t feel like drinking anymore. Hallelujah.

    7. #27
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      If there are friends and family lurking trying to figure out who's who...
      It is definitely in your best interest to resist the temptation unless the goal is to try to understand the insidious nature of this disease. Because it does in fact pickle the mind and affect the entire body. The craving is physical. Period. Which is why we take medicine in order to overcome it. It's called treating the disease. A brand new trend in addiction medicine.
      Regardless of whatever self-help book you're toting around, it begins and ends with a chemical imbalance in my brain. Not psychological damage based on whether or not I was breast fed.
      My middle name starts with a R. I have a blonde dog and she's quite possibly smarter than a two year old. And four nephews.
      If you're here and you know me, bugger off. This is my space and it's sacred.

    8. #28
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      Neva R Eva,

      That's a lot of personal information Next time I'm in the US, I'll be definitely looking out for someone with a blonde dog and 4 nephews on her/his side. (looking a bit angry)
      I'm with your approach of the disease by the way!
      Low

    9. #29
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      Progress thread for ne

      NE,
      This is your thread. I agree that the effect of baclofen is real. I just feel no need to not use the other tools in my box. For me it worked to also claim abstinence. There was never any white knuckling because the baclofen took care of it. I suspect people will reach their goals at much lower doses if they also use will power. I too, had it in spades and in every area of my life except this one it worked will. I will let this be my last post on your thread. I am not sure if I will start my own as I am almost "out of here". I am sorry if you felt discouraged by anything I have said. I know sometimes we can find ways to use even the things that are less comfortable. In fact, I believe that when things become hard that is actually when we START learning.
      Best of luck and all good things to you.
      Sunny

    10. #30
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      Low, self-loathing and regret often manifest in anger for me.
      Look for the redhead in yoga pants with the glint in her eye. :H

      Sunny, it's an open forum. I'm listening, ftr. And writing, which is rather excruciating.

      Latest bac adventure? I refilled my rx yesterday, just to be extra safe in case I get stuck out of town... And left it at home, three hours away. PANIC! Called/texted the good dr. The pharmacy closes in 40 minutes and is 30 minutes away. (I was secretly kind of glad, if I have to go home I can drink...pathetic.)
      Anyway called a friend with an MD, told him I needed a weeks supply (at normal doses) for the two days I'll be here. Got to pharmacy and all is well. Except that I didn't add right, and it's supposed to snow tomorrow. sigh.
      Here's another one: Telling my closest relatives about bac, and the rats and OA and I see my dad in the kitchen giving me the 'shut the hell up' signal. Ha. good luck with that dad. I'm going to shout this from the rooftops when I reach that point.

      Going up to 180 today. 3mg/kg. Throughout most of this journey I never really believed that I'd be able to get here. By far the worst of it was at the low doses. The rest has been relatively painless, and I loved 120! (Still a little superstitious, so no talk of the switch, please. If I have to follow Low's lead I'm going to be really bummed. :H)
      Can't wait to get out for a run with the trusty dog, watch the sun come up and pretend to be all zen.
      Hope it's a peaceful Saturday/holiday for you all.
      :l

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