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have i permanetly damaged myself?

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ronnie

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
6
i have stopped using speed after years of abusing it, ihave been clean for nearly three years but I just dont feel right! A bit slow in my head, not completley switched on. Is this to be a permanant state? i stopped using so that i could reclaim my life, but through using have i given myself a permanent brain injury? what resources are there available for people who no longer use but still have residual effects!!!
 
keepsafe

keepsafe

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
13,626
Hey Ronnie,
Welcome - I don;t know the answer to that perhaps you can visit your g.p and ask them the question?
Well done for being clean for three years though.
Perhaps someone else may be able to help.
KS
 
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ronnie

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
6
hey there KS, thank you!
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
i have stopped using speed after years of abusing it, ihave been clean for nearly three years but I just dont feel right! A bit slow in my head, not completley switched on. Is this to be a permanant state? i stopped using so that i could reclaim my life, but through using have i given myself a permanent brain injury? what resources are there available for people who no longer use but still have residual effects!!!
Hi Ronnie. Do you take prescribed meds?

I am coming up for 2 years clean again - I had a slight slip 2 years ago, but I got clean before then in September 2001 - I was a week clean when 9/11 happened; which was odd to clean up for. Despite the slight 'slip', it is coming up for 9 years that I have been following a recovery path - the slip was not a full blown relapse back into how my drug use was before; & I don't class it as a failure - in fact my recovery has felt stronger since.

I am on a low dose of a med; & have had a number of failed attempts to get off it. I do think that the meds have a lot to answer for in how I can feel sometimes. I also smoke a lot of cigarettes, which can make me feel rough sometimes too.

For those of us that have abused a lot of drugs, I think that it takes a long time to recover & get really well. I have felt things to be very gradual, & progress slow. If we look back at what we have taken & done to ourselves, it isn't an overnight thing to recover. I hallucinated constantly for 6 months when I got clean, it took around 4 years before I started to feel more contented, & have a better sense of well being.

I have chatted to a lot of people in long term recovery, & I know a lot of people who have many years in recovery (many over 10 years). Some things are ongoing, & I think that people recover at different rates. I have heard a lot of people say to give things 10 years. The expressions 'give it 5 years for the dust to settle' & '5 years to find your marbles, & 5 years to play with them'. Many people have said to give things 10 years to really feel the benefits of recovery. Not to say that there are improvements sooner. I have generally felt a steady improvement in well-being.

After suppressing how we feel for so long; then I think it takes a long time to thaw out, it takes a long time for personality to find itself again, & biological changes to balance back out. I suppose that a lot also depends on what drugs we took & for how long. I took a lot of hallucinogens & cannabis, among other things. I tend to think that certain changes from those drugs are permanent. But there is still a recovery progress & finding certain things easier to deal with.

Drugs keep us in a kind of emotional limbo; where we were not processing our emotions & experience. It can take a long time after getting clean to really feel the things we suppressed & that were blocked out from drugs.

The thing to remember is that by staying clean, recovery is made. Recovery is an ongoing process or journey, I think we will always be recovering. But definite progress is made, & changes do occur. The brain has an incredible capacity to heal, if given a chance.

I see things loosely in terms of the physical; mental & spiritual - & each area needs to be addressed & balanced. Not in any complicated way - eg - Physical - good food & exercise, Mental - education, psychological understanding, empathy etc, & Spiritual - practices that improve well-being & find a sense of purpose, community, service, meditation etc. These areas cross over, & everyone is different. Different things work for different people.
 
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ronnie

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
6
Apotheosis, thank you so much for your reply! No i am not on any meds. I suppose that I did things the hard way, my substance abuse was also varied(what ever when ever) but Speed(in its various guises) was always the dominant force,other stuff just filled in the gaps! I lost every thing!! My children were taken into care due to the appalling lifestyle choices I was making(fortunantly they are with a wonderful family who love them very much ) I found that the services that were available (in rural Australia) were limited and the people employed in these services had little or no "actual" experience in the reality of the situation, the predjudice and stigma attached to someone who has fallen so far off of the "what is acceptable" radar was also really extreme. I sort of had to Quit my entire "life as I knew it". Istopped using every thing (i still smoke ciggies) moved to the other side of the country. As you said we kind of suppress a lot of our "self" when abusing , I feel kind of like an adult newborn!! Believe me its not pretty! I have found that I lack so many of the life skills that I used to take for granted before I realised I had lost them, this is such a condensed simplified way to describe my life, but I figure that you probably get what I mean. I guess I kind of already knew that the recovery from long term drug abuse was going to be a work in progress type of thing. Thanks again
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
Sorry to waffle, but I wanted to add something.

The longer I have gone on in recovery, the more I have separated things out. I don't know if this is useful to you; but it has been to me -

I try to separate out different 'causes' & factors in my life. So how much is physical health, how much is environmental/social, inter-personal relationships, how much is from drug use in the past, how much med effects, underlying 'illness', smoking?, getting older?, how much is part of natural feelings & emotions - & not connected to MH & drugs at all? etc.

By doing this it helps me to see what areas I need to address; what I can do something about, & what I can't. Then I can work on smaller segments of things - I can focus on a particular area & take things in smaller chunks - instead of everything being one giant overwhelming mess.

By separating out I can see where progress & changes have been made, & evaluate things a lot better.

Hope that helps.
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
I feel kind of like an adult newborn!! Believe me its not pretty! I have found that I lack so many of the life skills that I used to take for granted before I realised I had lost them, this is such a condensed simplified way to describe my life, but I figure that you probably get what I mean. I guess I kind of already knew that the recovery from long term drug abuse was going to be a work in progress type of thing. Thanks again
Hi Ronnie & thanks for the reply.

It is true that many people have no idea about these issues & difficulties. In a very similar way to mental health; it is usually only those who have been there themselves that have any kind of idea, & these people that can usually best help. Support appears to be generally poor in most areas & countries for these types of problem. I lived in a rural area for many years (in the UK) - genuine support & help for mental health & addiction issues was virtually non existent.

Have you tried '12 step' groups? I have used them & generally found them to be helpful. I have gone through phases of involvement with them, & times of stepping back from these groups as well. I am involved with them to a degree - but they are more in the background in my life.

http://www.naoz.org.au/community/index.php

http://www.naoz.org.au/community/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

When I look 'inside' & ask myself how old I feel; I honestly feel aged about 11 years old most of the time. I certainly don't feel like someone coming up for middle age. There is a huge amount of life & emotional development that I have 'missed out' on. There is however a 'flip side' to this; in that I have experienced a certain side to life that most other 'normals' haven't, & these days I don't regret this experience. I am much more accepting of the past, & I have let go of much.

How old do many people really feel inside? If people are honest then I would expect that a lot of people feel young - it's the problem with old age, old people generally don't feel old inside, it's just the body ages, we get old vehicles, & parts break & wear out.

I have to also be very grateful that I am alive, that I have made it through many things that others haven't. It is an achievement. I'm not sat in a back ward dribbling, or in a crack house. It takes time to learn (& re-learn) things. I have learnt ways of adapting & coping with things. Today I am living; which has to be a good thing. That I don't have the house, the family, the flash car, the great job - is OK, maybe one day? or maybe not; what I do have is more important than that; those things would be nice, but they are not the be all & end all.
 
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jamesdean

Guest
I am 47 n I feel about 35 n thats the age people usually put me at, sorry to be jumping into this thread I have to say and I'm sure that I've said this before I can take and leave drugs, I guess I'm quite lucky that I dont get addicted, it seems to me the worse two drugs are cigarrettes n alchol n they are legal n cause so many problems for so many people.
 
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