Every day. Every single day, every passing moment, was a struggle. I always seemed to be clammy and sweaty, 24/7. As if my skin had a microscopic spongey top layer that felt slightly wet wherever I touched it. I always had to wear hats for this reason. I could never shower before going to the clinic in the morning. My hair would stick to the sides of my face and neck where it wasn’t pulled up into a ponytail. I already drank 2-3 bottles of water from the time I woke up around 3-4am. Sitting up furiously, esophagus burning, like I had to burp but nothing would come up except for throw-up feelings shooting up from my stomach to my neck and jaw muscles, until I got that water bottle. If I didn’t sit up and drink a ton of water like that every half hour or so my body wouldn’t let me rest; withdrawal would start to come on. I was cold all the time, always cold. Acute withdrawal comes on every night in detox. The winters on methadone were the absolute worst as it was, but detoxing brutalized it. I put on a minimum of 3 layers of leggings before a heavy pair of baggy pajama pants before going out in the early morning. A gigantic coat over two hoodies over a sweater. And one of my bedazzled hats to hide my hair and face. I had to start the truck early and let it really warm up, so I’d get out there by 5:20 to do so. Then I’d have to peel everything off and wait 20 minutes or else I’d be a ball of sweat. Put everything back on. The more I exert myself doing all this, the quicker withdrawal comes on. Drinking more water.
The clinic opened at 6am. I would shoot to get there at least 15-20 minutes early, maybe I’d be 4th or 5th place in line. By 6:20-6:35 I’d finally get my dose. Then the ride home. I’d follow my dose with even more water, so it’d be absorbed quicker.
When I’d leave the clinic, I’d still be in withdrawal, but by the time I got ¾ the way home, I’d just start to begin feeling it ease. Over the next hour I’d lay down and try to start to relax, and I’d feel as close to normal for the day as I’d get by 7:30am. Where I didn’t feel quite sick but not quite dope-ish yet either. Before the detox, when I was still on a stable dose, I’d start to nod here and there, eyes drooping. The deepest kind of relaxation and relief would wash over me, making me sloshy and sleepy. By 10:30 I’d be out. I’d drift off for a few hours. Wake up around 1-2pm. Roll around trying to wake up for another hour. Finally, ready to shower by 3pm. Whenever I blew dry my hair, or tried putting on make-up, I’d be constantly sweating, no doubt from the methadone and all the damn water I drank in the morning. So, I’d very rarely do either one. The rest of the day was the only time I had to get everything I couldn’t do earlier done. Laundry, taking care of my cats, eating. You know, the most minimal effort needed to survive. It’s not like I would ever have much energy to do anything anyway. But this was detox. No simple nodding off to sleep for me. I’d maybe get a short half hour nap it. The rest of the day was spent in high agitation and an ever increasing state of withdrawal. I’d take a hot bath at least twice, three times if it was really bad that day. I’d soak in the hottest water I could, let my thighs relax slightly before drying off as fast as I could and running under the covers to see if my relaxed state would let me sleep a little bit. It never really would, and I’d have about a half an hour before the withdrawals were back in full force. If I was too active, the next morning would always be way worse than normal. The more active, the more severe.
Everything I did, I did slowly. Took forever to get places. It was no kind of life to live.
I felt like such a piece of shit. But I had to keep going. Meditation helped greatly. It helped me remember why I was doing this. What would I rather have… a life where I only get to live for a few short hours at the end of the day, or having my old self back? The pain of withdrawal was the price I had to pay. And my sweat, pain and tears were the currency.
But now… everything has changed. It feels miles behind me now, however, I’ve clearly retained a vivid recollection of my experience on it. In truth, I don’t intend to let myself forget it. That detox is why it’s so easy to love every single passing day now that I’m in sobriety. My capacity for joy, depth and peace knows no bounds. I fully embody a true knowing of my own self. From where my very soul out pours. The true space of inspiration. From where I speak to you now. This depth and knowing is what erased my fear of detoxing. I fixed something inside me before the world around me reflected this fix. I became one with my environment. Giving, reflecting, love.