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    1. #1
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Progress thread for ne

      I think it may be time to post, though I have a little trepidation about doing so.

      I started taking baclofen this time around on Oct. 6th.
      Titration as follows:
      5mg/day for 3 days
      10mg/day for 4 days in two doses
      20-30mg/day For about 5 weeks. Records spotty, but SEs sucked.
      90mg/day Not sure, but if that’s the case, what was I thinking?
      70/day
      50mg/day
      60mg/day for 3 days
      100mg/day for 4 days
      120mg/day for 6 days
      140mg/day for 5 days
      120mg/day for 4 days
      Currently on 2nd day at 140mg/day

      As is made clear by my titration schedule, I find it virtually impossible to follow directions. Wish I’d just stuck with a particular protocol. (Pill boxes would've been useful from the beginning.)
      I’m going to stick with the recommended 20mg/week titration from this point forward. I’d like to document it here, because good things are happening and it’ll help me be accountable.
      The side effects for the first 6 weeks were pretty unbearable. Panic attacks and some sort of weird detachment thing that happened mostly when I drove.
      As soon as I started titrating up those disappeared. Completely.
      At 100mg/day I was feeling pretty damn good.
      At 120/day I was downright euphoric, started sleeping less (not a bad thing if you can entertain yourself at 4am) and getting things done that were onerous. I also started really running for the first time ever. Exercise and bac are awesome. I like the gym, but the running high? Yowza! I also had a bad taste in my mouth, and lost interest in food, too. Wine became less appealing then it ever has and started drinking it with lots of ice. Very dehydrated in general. AL consumption down by a third.
      At 140mg serious fatigue started to set in, but I wasn’t putting myself to bed and getting online at odd hours. Not eating enough and not drinking enough water had as much to do with the fatigue, I suppose. And too much wine, goes without saying…
      Had some repercussions at work, and decided I couldn’t keep up the fa?ade and keep up the 140. Told them I was taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds that were contributing to insomnia and forgetfulness, but that doctor recommended I keep it up for another month. Hopefully I bought myself some time to reach 180, in two weeks, presumably. Time off for the holidays will help, too.
      Ongoing SEs include tingling/numb hands and feet. Definitely spend a good portion of my days dizzy or slightly high. I sleep like a rock. Very thirsty and blood shot eyes. Food is back in the picture, but wine tastes good again too.

      Possibly unrelated to the bac are that my hormones are out of whack, and I’m menstruating v. irregularly. This has been alluded to on another thread, so I’m going to risk putting it out there. And given the fact that this forum is mostly men and many of the women are post-menopausal, I wonder if it just hasn’t come up?

      I think my biggest mistake was doubt. Every step of the way I’ve second guessed the process. I don’t have any doubt about the switch or the process anymore. A lot of that has to do with the recent successes here. A good bit of confidence has come from the friends I’ve made here. But also, and vital, the way I feel is indicative that this works.
      I don’t want to descend into trivial anecdotes, but I have to share that I used to spend a good part of my day, pre-bac and at the low doses, with a lot of anxiety and I didn’t know it. High-strung and skittish are two fairly accurate adjectives. I don’t know exactly when that changed, but things that used to send me into a heart-racing, face-flushing tizzy just don’t faze me. For all the years of therapy and AA and introspection and self-help books, I never knew I was prone to anxiety. And now it’s gone. Amazing.
      As always, I am extremely grateful to this place and the people in it. Especially, at times, the ornery ones.
      Thank you.
      :h
      (EDIT: If you are family or friend and know me, but do not suffer from alcoholism, please rethink the decision to read this!)

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    3. #2
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      Seethepony's Avatar

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      Progress thread for ne

      So you're still drinking every day? My side effects seem to have been minimal (drowsiness, and that's about it) but when I drank on Baclofen, the hangovers would be mind-blowingly awful. I wonder how many of your SEs are related to the alcohol (and just magnified by bacofen.)
      The only times in my life I experienced panic attacks was the morning after an especially heavy binge - I suppose I was in alcohol withdrawal. (Textbook stuff - total certainty that I was about to die, the most horrifying feeling in the world.) Instead of giving me panic attacks Baclofen has done the opposite, guaranteeing that I can go shopping and not think I'm about to croak in the checkout line (some sort of agoraphobia going on there.)
      Anyway, it didn't take long for the fearsome baclofen hangover to put me off the booze for a day or two, and that is when the magic started. If you can keep off the wine for a night or two, you might find the efficacy stepping up a gear or two. You mention you added ice to wine to make it more palatable - bit of a dumb move if I may say so! I mean, the first time I looked at a beer and it didn't sing sweet lullabies to me I was astonished. It didn't take much effort for me to ignore it completely.

      But generally it sounds like you're making good headway - how high do you think you need to go to get to the fabled "switch"?

    4. #3
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      Progress thread for ne

      Wow, thanks for sharing! I am very curious to read others' accounts of their Bac journeys. I find it curious that the SEs abated once you started titrating up.

      So glad to hear that your anxiety is gone. I am VERY aware of my anxiety (which presents in all kinds of ways: insecurity, social anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, and a generalized fear/panic which prevents me from almost all action at times). That's what I'm looking forward to the most!

    5. #4
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Progress thread for ne

      .

    6. #5
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      Progress thread for ne

      Hey ne, just wanted to post a quick response to your mention of menstruation irregularities. I've always been regular and have continued to be so all throughout my bac experience.

      I've been there and back with the food thing too. Just a few days ago I posted that I just wasn't interested in it anymore. Then I dropped down from 135mgs to 120 and food and wine were both tasting good again. Damnit!

    7. #6
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Thanks, Is. I really hesitated putting it out there, but wanted to ask. Probably has as much to do with the exercise and lack of food/sleep as anything else.

      I hear you about the food thing. I don't really have issues there, other than those related to getting a majority of my calories from booze for far too long. And I'm sorry to hear about the craving and the wine tasting good. Glad you're going back up.

      I left work tonight with a white hot poker in my belly yearning for the first drink. I realized, amazed, that it's been a while since I've felt that... burning, overwhelming "I'm going to kill someone if that light turns red" desire. It made me so eager to go up that I'm tempted, again, to rush it. but won't.
      Hope you find the equilibrium again soon.

    8. #7
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Progress thread for ne

      I’m rereading OA’s book.
      What a seriously unbelievable story. And my puny little experience, regarding AL and searching for treatment has so much in common with his…
      Though rehab was decidedly not at Clear Spring. Once it was at a bunker, literally a cement bunker built in the 50s in rural NC. I checked out after 3 days, sick of the despair and overwhelmed with craving. To be honest I was disgusted, too. With the pathetic people, the pathetic treatment, the pathetic experience of being locked in a building at night in order to be kept safe from the men in the adjacent bunker. Took a cab 50 miles and picked up a case of beer on the way home.
      The experience he relates in the book, about being repeatedly dismissed, the shame and horror is what I latched onto the first time I read it. This time, I’m intrigued by the co morbidity conundrum.

      I’ve been following the Big Book discussion in the Abstainer’s thread. I was really looking forward to it. There’s some wisdom and a good deal of sobriety there. But it’s all about the spiritual malady now. The higher power etc… I don’t know about you people but I’ve prayed drunk and sober. On my knees, with a group, alone, to God and Jesus and the collective human spirit. Jesus, I've even been 'saved' in one of those huge gatherings in a stadium. Ha!!! And for all that I feel like I’ve had profound spiritual experiences, and love AA because that’s where my people are, I gotta say…Fuck that. If Elie Wiesel couldn’t help OA find a spiritual solution, and Oprah isn’t offering up yet another self-help treatise I think I’ll just stick with bac.
      *also, and ftr, am currently a member of a synagogue. my desperation for a spiritual solution has led me down some mighty divergent paths.
      Very tired of being hungover, ftr.

    9. #8
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      Progress thread for ne

      ne,
      well said. having a hard time with the higher power right now,also. the only thing that feels right is community. like this one. of course I love to isolate and not feel a part of... so being sober I get to work on that every day. anyway, thanks for your post.

    10. #9
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      beatle's Avatar

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      Progress thread for ne

      neva eva;1021567 wrote:
      Possibly unrelated to the bac are that my hormones are out of whack, and I’m menstruating v. irregularly. This has been alluded to on another thread, so I’m going to risk putting it out there. And given the fact that this forum is mostly men and many of the women are post-menopausal, I wonder if it just hasn’t come up?
      :h
      I have had the same experience. Although I am not post-menopausal (perhaps peri-menopausal, though). I also have profuse night sweats. But that may be because I keep it so warm in my room ;-)

      Also, I don't think this forum is mostly men. In fact, the opposite.

    11. #10
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      Ne/Neva Eva's Avatar

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      Progress thread for ne

      Gratitude, sorry for your struggle with HP. I'm grateful, too for the community and the shared stories. I'm not so much into isolating these days, though. ha!

      Beatle, I'm not peri based on last rounds of blood tests. Night sweats are gone since I've stopped bingeing. Forgot about the waking up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat thing... Another thing bac/drinking less has helped to eliminate. I think I'll start a list of all of the things 'missing' since I started titrating up.
      I meant bac threads.

      I'm drinking, more often than not, less than a bottle of wine a day. Which is pretty remarkable. wow.
      And when I drink more than a bottle the hangovers really suck.
      Finished the section where OA details his periods of rest in rehabs. I'm struck by all of the tools he employed in his struggle to get permanently sober, pre-bac. Gratitude journal. Affirmations. AA and community. Lists of things to do for the day, which included 'eat three good meals, take a walk...' I've often said/thought that the most important lesson I learned in the last rehab were to eat regularly and sleep on a schedule. And it was there that I started walking every day.
      Family crisis on Tues, missed afternoon dose and only took 120. No significant SEs so far on 140 this week. Still sleeping in part because I'm making myself. Very easy to get up and start the day. Almost as easy to stay in bed and wait for sleep to return.

      hmmm. will power and abstinence. How to do that without the inevitable failure and remorse? Then again, I'm definitely not being driven by the... white-hot-need atm.
      I may get snowed in away from home tonight, so maybe?

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