Wednesday, 30 January 2013


I've been meaning to write this post ever since I came back from Australia but kept putting it off
I was a bit concerned about what certain people might think but I think I'll write about it anyway

I brought 33 days worth of methadone to Oz with me, which was just over a litre
Plus my other meds
I was managing fine
Taking the right dose everyday
On the second week I threw out all my anti depressants
I'm not sure why but it seemed like a good idea at the time
I had brought a measure to measure out my methadone but wasn't using it
I was basically eye balling how much I took
I also spilled some one day
So I got to my last week and the bottle looked decidedly empty
I measured it and to my horror realised that I only had 3 days left
Cue panic
I had 7 days including a 24 hour flight to get through
I could have spared it out
Stretched it as much as I could
But I just couldn't take the risk of going in to withdrawal on an international flight

So I did what any addict would do and decided to hunt down some methadone
I thought about trying to buy it on the street but that was too big a risk
Doing it the legit way made more sense
I made an appointment for that morning with the local doctor
This was a risk too as some doctors will just not entertain addicts
I sat in the waiting room with my mother reading trashy magazines
Then I was called in
It was a female doctor which I was glad about as sometimes they are more sympathetic
I told her about my predicament and thankfully I had a doctors letter to confirm that I was on methadone in Ireland
She listened carefully and took down my details
She explained that she could not prescribe methadone but she would ring some clinics to see if they could help
I watched as she rang clinic after clinic
My hopes were almost dashed when a private clinic agreed to see me
The doctor wrote me a detailed letter to give at the clinic and wished me good luck
The appointment was made for 7 30am the next morning
I still had no guarantee that I would get methadone but it was worth a shot

Early the next morning my mother and I set off for the clinic armed with a map and my doctors letters
I was hoping that it would all go smoothly but I was prepared for disappointment
On the bus 2 women got on
I knew by looking at them that they were probably heading for the clinic too
We found it easily and went in
The girl behind the counter said 'Oh your from Ireland, we've been expecting you'
My mother waited downstairs while I went up to the waiting room to see the doctor
The receptionist up there said 'Ireland?' before I even opened my mouth
I took a seat preparing for a long wait
Methadone clinics are not the nicest of places to be
People are antsy, anxious and sometimes desperate
It can be an intimidating place
I had no sooner sat down when one of the other people waiting started to kick off
He was waiting to see the doctor and needed to be at work
He verbally abused the receptionist
A petite little woman about half his size
She dealt with it well though and didn't seem phased
The receptionist seemed interested in me and kept asking me questions
Before I knew it I was the topic of conversation in the waiting room
Why was I there?
Where was I from?
What drugs did I take?
And so on and so on
The receptionist let everyone go in front of me who had to be at work and so after an hour I was finally called in to Dr. Browne's office
To my surprise he was Irish
What a stroke of luck
He looked at my address and said 'My brother won a swimming gala there once'
He took my details and told me to come back in an hour
He didn't even take a urine test
So  my mother and I went to a cafe to wait
She told me about the people she had met in the clinic
One girl explained in graphic detail how her brother was tortured to death
Like I said, methadone clinics are not the most pleasant places to be

We had tea and toast and discussed all the characters we had met
I felt very guilty for dragging my mother through this
It was the last few days of our holiday and we should have been making the most of it
Instead here we were in a seedy methadone clinic
She said she didn't mind
Unfortunately she is used to such things

We made our way back to the clinic
Again we had to wait until the doctor was ready and after about 20 mins we were called upstairs
'Good news' he said
'I rang the department of health and we can prescribe for you'
Relief flooded through my body
He handed the precious script and I brought it to the girls downstairs
Yet again I had to wait
This is the thing with drugs including methadone
In active addiction I spent most of my time wating
Waiting for dealer who were in no hurry at all to come and meet you
If they said they'd be 20mins, you could bet your life they would be over an hour
Same with methadone
You wait for the doctor
You wait for the script
You wait for it to be dispensed
And because you need these drugs, waiting is like torture
I know it's because these drugs are so tightly controlled but that doesn't make it any easier
They agreed to prescribe me 3 days
I would collect one dose today
And then come back the next day for the other 2
It was a private clinic which meant I had to pay
8 dollars a dose plus 30 dollars to see the doctor
But I was willing to pay anything
I watched as the girl pumped the methadone in to a little cup
I was surprised to see it was a different colour
Where as at home it is bright green, here it was a pale orange colour
I downed it in one and it was vile
I struggled not to throw up
I think the difference was that here it was sugar free, where as at home it is filled with sugar
It didn't matter though
What mattered was that I wouldn't be sick
Thank God I wouldn't be sick

Afterwards I thought about how scary it is to be so dependant on methadone
I have to have it every single day or else I will go in to withdrawal
And that is not something I want to experience
It is physical and mental torture
It feels like your body is trying to turn inside out
I guess this has taught me a lesson
Never take chances with it
Measure it properly
Bring extra if I I think I will need it
And the thing is that nothing else will do
If you are sick the only thing that will make you feel better is methadone or opiates
Not valium
Not benzos
Not sleeping tablets
I've been on methadone for almost 9 years now
Ideally a person is not supposed to be on it this long
It is meant to be a stepping stone between using and getting clean
But all too often we are left on it indefinitely
I have made some progress though
Over the years I have worked my way down from 70mls to 30mls
No mean feat
This year I hope to decrease more
Although the thought of that is scary
It's a lot like thinking about life without my eating disorder
I want to get clean like I want to live without anorexia/bulimia
But I'm worried that I won't cope without it
I'm worried that I will go back to heroin
So even though life is quite difficult with it, it's easier than living without it
It's a crutch
Something that helps me get through the day
The first thing I do every morning is take my methadone
And as well as being physically addicted, I'm also psychologically addicted
If I missed a day I probably wouldn't miss it but mentally I would crave it
Once an addict always an addict

Is there anything you can't live without?


  1. WOW I am sorry you had to deal with that. I really do not know much about methadone or other prescrp. drugs they use to help people get clean. This might sound stupid but I dont think I could live with out some type of colon cleansing tablet in my cupboard. I have the good stuff then I have the crappy (no pun intended lol) ones that are my just in case the good ones run out. other than that I think I could probably work out not having any thing else. Thanks again for the support on my comment!

  2. I've never used those Linny and your welcome x

  3. I'd wondered how you were going with methadone while you were down under. I'm so pleased to hear that you went to a clinic and waited to get a prescription! It can't have been an easy couple of days.

    I couldn't live without weed, everything else I can skip. Maybe tobacco, but I could probably deal without it. I have my pipe next to me 24/7. I get the 'waiting game' with weed too, 20 minutes becomes two hours. I've smoked every day for nearly 3 years now (except hospital admissions). It was a lot easier when I was with my ex-boyfriend, and he would go looking for me/us. Now it's just me, with one contact, and one mother to drive me to his house. She'd rather drive me to get it, than deal with me not having any.

    Love you Ruby dearest. Keep fighting <3 xxxx

    1. My mother has also brought me to get drugs Bella
      And paid for them
      Same as your mother, she'd rather bring me to get it than go without
      This is what addiction is
      We do things we would never otherwise do

      Love you too dear Bella x

  4. so proud that you went through all this and saw a doctor instead of trying to get something illegal!!!

    i know you are not in a good place and everything is very tough, but still you did something really sensible instead of going for the quick and "easy" option...


    1. True Loulou
      I could have used but decided to do the right thing
      Not always the easiest option but I'm glad I did it

      Hope you're ok x

    2. Oh thank you so much for asking, i am absolutely fantastic! Take care of yourself,

  5. My bf is a recovering coke addict and so his in between to keep from using is weed. Not legal here by any means but I don't think it's harmful sometimes. He's pretty reliant on it as a mood stabilizer because he doesn't trust prescription meds. It's hard. I can't imagine. Eatung disorders are addictions too, I think. It's tough because you need something to take it's place as you recover. Never easy. I don't judge you by any means my dear. I really hope that you can cut down the methadone but I totally understand your fear. Take care of yourself, okay? Hugs

    1. Sometimes we have to accept the lesser of two evils
      In my case it's methadone
      I hope your bf manages to stay off coke
      For his sake and yours

      Hugs to you too x

  6. Thank you for sharing this post. I think you handled the situation very well and I think you should be proud of yourself. It is scary to be dependant on something but look how far you have come by reducing it. I think you be proud not focus on the negatives :) Lots of love xx

  7. True Lucie, it was a bad situation with a positive outcome x

  8. i agree- you handled the situation very well and i'm so glad you were able to get some more methadone to tied you over. i vividly remember my dad going through the same sort of thing when he was on it- he'd often consume a couple of days worth of doses at once and then have to try and get the doctor to prescribe him more by lying and saying he'd been ill and vomited up his daily dose. it was such a stressful time for him, so i really empathise with you.

    now that i've been taking my meds properly for 3-4 months, i fear that i'm addicted to them :( if i try and skip a day i start feeling really physically ill and funny in the head (even more so than usual!). this really scares me as that was one of the main reasons i didn't want to start anti-depressants- especially one with a reputation for being a nightmare to get off because of its short half-life. other than that i suppose i'm addicted to smoking, but i kind of enjoy that- i consider having a smoke my 'chill time' so i'm not in a hurry to give that up even though i realise it's bad for my health.

    stay strong ruby, i know you're struggling but remember we're all here for you :) xxx

    1. I was on an anti-depressant with a short half-life for 7 years and can relate a lot to what Ruby wrote, getting sick and needing to get emergency supplies when I had screwed up and ran out of meds!
      It was really hard to come off the medication and I had to be in hospital for part of it (though this was also becuse I relapsed, necessitating a med change, and I had a severe reaction), but you know what? It was worth it for those 7 years of relative stability and I'd do it all again if I had my time over. I knew going into it that it might be difficult to cease but it was necessary at the time.
      I hope you get to experience the same stability and find, like me, that it is worth it.
      NB: Discontinuation syndrome from anti-depressants is not the same as addiction. Physiologically your body is reacting to the 'withdrawal' but there's no psychological craving. So I wouldn't worry about that. x

    2. It is difficult being so dependant on a drug
      I'm constantly worried about being sick
      I'm like your Dad, my life revolves around it
      Hopefully I will come off it soon x

  9. Sorry you had to go through that love, especially being abroad. How terrifying. But you definitely did the right thing, going for the legal route rather than the illegal one.

    All my love to you, and take care, okay?
    <3 Gabby

  10. Holy hell. Just. . . Fuck.

    Have I ever mentioned how much of a badass you are for getting this far though the process of recovering from the first addiction? And then going the legit way? Bloody awesome.

    Ugh, the sugar-free methadone must be to discourage the aussies from wanting MORE of it or wanting to stay on it longer. Like the nasty-tasting penicillin I got as a kid. Medicine tasting like medicine. Blargh.

    Aiming to cut down a bit more this year is awesome, but be careful not to push yourself into behaviours or other addictions out of fear or random brainshit, ok? I want you around to hang out with.

    Think of how epic it would be to never have to go into another methadone clinic ever again, and to be able to use all that boring time you spent waiting around doing something you like? You could be writing or choreographing or teaching the next generation of Amazing Dancers in that time! Hell, you could be at the beach with your dogs writing obscene words in the sand with a stick :p (Or a bunch of mathematical formulae just to fuck with passers-by)

    Thank you so much for the amazing comments. You're so many kinds of awesome I can't find the words for it. Really, I can't. I never even realised I was a part of this community before, I'm so used to being on the edges and outskirts that I struggle to see myself as ever being an actual part of anything.

    Hanging on. I promise. It hurts but I am.

    Love you so much Ruby. Lets pwn this year *hugs you tightly*

    1. That would be great Peri, to never have to worry about methadone again
      And yes, our sugary methadone means that it plays havoc with my teeth

      I also have trouble feeling like I'm 'part of the gang' too
      I have always stayed on the fringes
      But you are part of it Peri
      You are an essential part of this community

      Love you always x

  11. Wow that is scary. To me you are doing great. You are starting to really see. I never thought you were 'hooked' I just fingered you would slowly cut back on the doses until you didn't need them at all. I am not professional though.

    Are you doing okay without the depressants? You sound okay. But want to make sure you are truly okay :-)

    1. Yea, I'm doing ok without them Winter
      So far so good
      Thanks for your concern x

  12. my brother is addicted to heroin and its really touching to see how youre struggling to get better. best of luck to you on continuing to lower your dosage and to finally be free of all that. i have faith in you, love.

    i dont know if i could live without this world ive made for myself. a world of numbers, and restrictions, and depression. its always there, sometimes im just better at ignoring it. maybe one day.

    stay lovely. <3

    1. I hope your brother overcomes his addiction
      For his sake and yours
      It's a daily battle but it is so worth it x

  13. Thanks so much for taking the time out to comment on my blog - it's so encouraging to read the stories of others like me, and I'm so grateful that you've decided to share your journey for that very purpose. I hope you find as much comfort in writing as others clearly find in your words! Looking forward to facing the many challenges ahead, right along with you!

    Best of wishes and love from me, Hope x

  14. You're so welcome Hope and thank you for your kind words and for taking this journey with me

    Love to you too x


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