Here's a few tips that have worked for some of us:
1. The realization will never live up to the expectation. That means that you will always expect it to be better than it is. And each time you use, you'll be more and more disappointed.
2. Why return to the source of pain to find comfort? The meth is what is causing all your pain and discomfort, so why go back to it? That will just make it worse.
3. It will NEVER EVER be as easy to quit as it is now. Each moment you wait to get clean, makes it that much more difficult.
4. Withdrawal sucks, Right? So why go through it more than once? It just doesn't feel good to have to go through withdrawal over and over.
5. There are a jillion more ways of getting clean and staying clean. It takes a little effort to search for them tho. Keep finding them. It's worth it.
6. If possible, see a therapist, counselor, or similar source of support. Abstinence means drug free, recovery means dealing with the emotional things that led to substance abuse
None of us has a choice where we come from, but we can all have a choice to upgrade
THINKING ABOUT QUITTING CRYSTALTools Of Recovery
Or reducing your use? Here are some tips to help you along.
Crystal, like other stimulant drugs, can make you have intense memories and thoughts about what life is like when you're high. It can feel like anything and everything gets you thinking about using crystal meth! These memories and thoughts are called triggers. Triggers can lead to craving, an intense need or feeling that you want to use. Much of the work of quitting crystal is learning how to deal with triggers and cravings. They are automatic, natural and inevitable. But you can learn new ways to deal with triggers and reduce your cravings.
If you use crystal on a regular basis and decide you want to quit, here are some tips that might help you reach your goal. Don't be overwhelmed by everything on this list. These are merely suggestions from other users who have quit successfully. Do what feels right for you and make changes where you can. Don't give up!
1. Set small goals that are easier to reach. Be realistic about what you can achieve. Avoid thinking in terms of "forever." Think in terms of days, hours or even minutes. Not using for one day is much easier than not using for a whole month. Quitting "cold turkey" is not for everyone and can seem impossible. Try cutting back your use in steps. Use twice a week instead of every day, or twice a month instead of every weekend. You can also cut down how much you use. Use 1/4 gram instead of 1/2, or use 1/8 instead of 1/4. This can help with withdrawal as well!
2. Get rid of your drugs and drug paraphernalia. This includes all product, baggies, spoons, needles, bleach, mirrors, and any other stuff you use when you get high. Be sure you get rid of stuff you may have stashed in your house, car or at a friend's house. If porn is a trigger, get rid of your mags and videos, too!
3. Throw out phone numbers that trigger thoughts about using. Change your phone number. Get rid of your pager. Make it hard for your dealer and acquaintances to reach you. Make it hard for you to reach them. Toss out any drug-related phone numbers!
4. Become aware of your using patterns. Like when, why, where and with whom you use most often. Whenever you can, avoid these situations and find other activities to substitute for using. Hang out with friends who don't use or go to a movie instead of a bar or club.
5. Avoid anything, anyplace or anyone that might trigger you to use. It doesn't have to be forever. Triggers might include specific objects, places (parks, bath houses, streets, clubs, or friends' houses), special events, sex activity or strong emotional situations.
6. Schedule your day thoroughly. Boredom is ENEMY #1 for most crystal users because it can tempt you to use. Try to keep yourself occupied all the time. Exercise, hobbies, shopping, volunteering or napping are all great ways to keep busy.
7. Anticipate withdrawal. Symptoms may include severe mood swings, irregular sleep, depression, anxiety, boredom, irritability and feeling completely hopeless about everything in life. These experiences are very common and will ease up over time. These symptoms will also make you want to use again, so have a plan for how you will deal with them.
8. Make a plan. If you get into a situation where you feel like you might use, have a plan about how you are going to deal with it. Are you going to call a friend? Then have his number handy at all times. Are you going to go to a meeting or a support group? Have a schedule so you know when and where you can go.
9. Watch your eating habits. Limit your intake of caffeine, sugar and white flour products like pastries, cookies and white bread. Sugar comes in many forms: white, brown, honey, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, flavored syrups, so read the labels! Sugar affects the same brain chemicals as meth. Eating sweet foods will start a cycle of highs and lows. You may feel like you're "crashing," sort of like when you come down off crystal. This feeling may make you crave more sugar and/or even meth. When a sugar craving hits, eat some protein instead (cheese, burritos, burgers, yogurt, etc.).
10. Try alternative therapies to ease withdrawal. Acupuncture, nutritional supplements and some herbal remedies can be very helpful for reducing cravings, balancing moods and regulating sleep. Health food stores and natural health clinics are good sources for information.
11. Get a health check-up. Quitting or cutting back can be hard on your body. See your doctor or local community clinic to make sure you don't have any untreated health problems. You could be eligible for free care. And, there are special programs for people who are HIV+. Check out the resources on the back page.
12. Exercise. Exercise helps produce endorphins and other "feel good" chemicals in your body. It also stimulates your immune system, relieves boredom and improves energy. Try walking, working out, roller-blading, yoga, etc.
13. Get support. Don't do it alone! 12-Step groups work for some people. Crystal support groups may work for others. Spending time with friends who don't use or seeing a counselor may also be helpful. Check out the resource list for ideas.
14. Be patient. Rome wasn't built in a day. You didn't get to where you're at in a day. And you won't get out of it in one day, either. If you don't achieve 100% of your goal, don't give up. Focus on the progress you have made and go on from there. Review these tips again. Give yourself credit for what you have achieved and get on with making positive change in your life.
15. Explore your treatment options. If you find it difficult to quit on your own, you may need additional support to reach your goals. There are many types of treatment programs available. Making decisions about treatment can be scary and stressful, so it's a good idea to talk with a counselor about your options. Free treatment information is available.
90 in 90. People who "keep coming back" have a much better chance of recovering. We recommend 90 meetings in 90 days; try out lots of different meetings and fellowships.
"A drug is only an arm's-length away." Slipping is really easy: a moment's inattention; wrong time, wrong place.
"A slip is the end of a process." (Also: "On the road to a slip, the first step is to get rid of your sponsor"; "A slip occurs before you pick up.")
Abstinence. We can't get high if we don't pick up that first drug or drink. We've learned that using other drugs-- alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, poppers--can lead us back to crystal meth ("tina") or into other addictions. Abstinence means drug free, recovery means dealing with the emotional things that led to substance abuse
Acceptance. "...Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..." We can't fix everything--certainly not our addiction; we just had to calm down and accept that. And remind ourselves with the Serenity Prayer as needed.
Act as if. Also: "Fake it till you make it." Life is totally different when we're first getting clean. It is full of crazy feelings and fears, excitement and gratitude. When we don't know what to do in a certain situation or state of mind, we ask for a suggestion from our sponsor or another person in the program (see Suggestions). We can't "think" our way to right actions, but we can "act" our way to right thoughts. For example: Most of us had to act as if there was a Higher Power for a long time when we first entered the program.
Action. "...The courage to change the things I can." Life is a program of action; most of us started small with things like going to meetings or making our beds.
Big Book. The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, is the basic text of recovery. Most of us read it from time to time; some of us are in study groups where we use it to work the steps.
Bookending. If we need to do something or go somewhere that may make us want to use-meet an ex, the office holiday party, a first date-many of us check in with a program friend before we go and after we're done.
Burning desires. If a meeting is ending and we have not been called on, but think we might use if we don't get a chance to share, we take the "burning desire" when it is announced. If we are still not called on, we grab someone right away after the meeting to talk.
Chips. When we were counting days, most of us raised our hands and shared our progress with the groups. Those plastic key chains we receive from various meetings as we reach new sober anniversaries are among our most valued possessions.
Choices. A recovery bookstore, Choices carries basic recovery literature: Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book), The 12 and 12, Living Sober, Came to Believe, Just for Today, plus Step workbooks. http://www.amazon.com has them all.
CMA. Crystal Meth Anonymous 12-step recovery that is meth specific http://www.crystalmeth.org/
Coffee. Between fellowship, meetings with friends and sponsors, and just generally showing up for life on time now that we're sober, a lot of us drink more coffee than we used to. This can make us very anxious; if we have trouble sleeping, researchers suggest avoiding caffeine within five hours of bed.
Compare and despair. We try not to compare our insides to someone else's outsides.
"DON’T file em’ DIAL em’." How to treat phone numbers you get at meetings.
"Easy does it." We tried not to take on too much in early sobriety.
Feelings are not facts. Just because we feel that everyone hates us doesn't mean they do.
Fellowship. The meeting after the meeting. We go for hamburgers and coffee, discuss topics and feelings brought up by the meeting, and chit chat.
"First things first." We learned to prioritize.
"Give time time." Getting sober takes time, and we addicts tend to be impatient people.
"Go to any lengths." We did some sick stuff in our pursuit of drugs; we try to work just as hard to stay sober. If we drank or used every day, we can go meetings every day.
Good Orderly Direction. One popular conception of a Higher Power: doing the next right thing.
Group Of Drunks. Another useful concept of a Higher Power (from AA): people helping each other get and stay sober.
"Half measures availed us nothing." We have to give sobriety our all or we won't succeed.
HALT. Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. An afternoon spent struggling with cravings can be explained with these four words. We check in on our physical and emotional condition throughout the day. Hungry? Eat regular meals at regular mealtimes. Angry? Talk about it a lot with your sponsor and others. Lonely? Go to a meeting, call someone. Tired? Take a nap, go to sleep early, schedule less. (gay version: HALTF don't get too hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or fabulous.) (Sfj version: Horny, angry, lonely, tired)
HOW. Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness, the basic tenets behind Steps One, Two and Three. This is HOW it works: we get honest, we open our minds, and we become willing to surrender and work a program.
Just for today. We stay sober one day at a time. (Also the title of a daily devotional type book from NA)
KCI. The best website for meth recovery and info. http://www.kci.org
"Keep it simple." Also: KISS "Keep it simple, stupid." We tried not to do anything too drastic while we were learning how to live sober, on the proven principle that anything we put in front of our sobriety would take us back out.
Keep right size. When we are feeling really lousy--or really super--we try to keep our objectivity. Our low self-esteem and grandiosity led us into addiction in the first place.
"Keep the memory green." We must never forget that were powerless over crystal and other drugs.
Literature. CMA is still writing its own "Big Book." But many of us found Alcoholics Anonymous, The 12 and 12, Came to Believe, Living Sober, As Bill Sees It and other AA, NA or CA literature valuable in helping us understand the program.
Make your bed. This is just one example of how we take care of ourselves in small ways we couldn't when we used--we deserve a nice clean bed at night.
Meditation. We found this is not as mystical as it sounds: We just sit quietly somewhere for a few minutes and listen to our breath-- in, out, in, out, in, out... Anxiety melts away, and our Higher Power comes in.
Meetings. At meetings we share our successes and struggles, learn about the steps, explore our spirituality, make friends. We have seen how "meeting makers make it."
Naps. Coming off crystal (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) we were very, very sleepy. We weren't too hard on ourselves when we needed to lie down. Everything in moderation of course: Sleeping all the time can be a sign of depression.
No major changes ... in the first year. This probably sounds impossible and even backwards-why did we get clean, after all, if it wasn't to change our lives? But the reasoning behind it is sound. During the first year, we tried not to plunge into new romances, change jobs or homes, or confront long-standing problems in our families. People said to us: Who you are will change. Who knows what you'll want in a year?
Non-discrimination. Meth addiction does not discriminate, - rich or poor, urban or rural, young or old, male or female, ignorant or educated, gay or straight.
One day at a time. It's too overwhelming to think we'll never use again; we focus on doing whatever it takes to stay clean today. We worry about tomorrow when it comes.
Outside issues. If we are depressed, we get help--therapy, group counseling, antidepressants, economic assistance.
People, places and things. We stay away from anything we identify that reminds us of using. Dealers, party/@#%$ buddies, friends we ran with, or others in our lives who throw off our equilibrium; bars, clubs, baths, certain streets or corners, or other places we associate with copping or using; stems, vials, lighters, cocktail glasses... There's an AA saying: "If you hang out in the barbershop, eventually you'll get a haircut."
Phone numbers. Telephone numbers are our lifeline. Members who have been around for a while are happy to share their experience, strength, hope--and time. If we want to call our dealer, we call someone from the program instead. For this reason, we always carry the numbers of friends in the program. Many of us make a habit of calling someone, our sponsor or a friend, in the program daily. As for our own phone numbers, many of us changed them to avoid getting tempting calls from dealers and using friends.
Play the tape through to the end. When a using craving starts to overwhelm us, we remember one of our last runs all the way through to the end: from the first hit to the bumps in the bathroom and crazy sex, to desperation, paranoia, STDs, hospitals, lost jobs, evictions, busted relationships-whatever brought us into the rooms of recovery. After a while, by playing the tape the whole way through whenever we get a craving, we associate using less with the thrill of escape and more with the reality of our addiction and its consequences.
Prayer. Reaching out to a higher power--whether we believe in one or not--has an incredibly calming effect on us. Many of us pray in the morning, asking for help to stay sober another day, and at night, saying a simple thank-you when we make it to bed sober.
"Principles not personalities." This means a couple of things. First, people in the fellowship may sometimes let us down; but the principles of the 12 steps never will. We never let someone else who is working our nerves keep us from seeking the recovery we deserve.
"Progress, not perfection." We try not to be so hard on ourselves. Even Bill W., the founder of AA, had problems.
Shelf. As in "just put that on the shelf." We may feel we have other problems (cigarettes, debt, sexual compulsion, job problems, family issues) in addition to our addiction to crystal meth (methamphetamine), but we postpone dealing with those other problems directly for a while, until we've begun to lead a life free from crystal meth addiction. The stress of dealing with these other problems can make our recovery from addiction more difficult. Just staying sober helps most of our problems start resolving themselves; in time, when we have some recovery under our belts, we take problems off the shelf to be addressed.
Sfj That’s me. My website is http://sfjaye.freewebspace.com
Smart feet. Knowing when and where meetings are; having a usual routine; attending meetings even though we are busy, bored or don't want to be bothered, because we know its good for us. "Smart feet" is the impulse to get to a meeting whenever something happens that makes us want to use.
Spirituality. Not to be confused with religion. CMA is a spiritual program of recovery, but the spiritual path in CMA is very personal and individual. In CMA, everyone finds his own higher power and his own way of communicating with it. Someone said, “Religion is for those who are afraid of going to hell, Spirituality is for those who have been there.”
Sponsors. A sponsor is another recovering addict, with a year or more of clean time, who helps mentor us in our recovery.
Steps. There are 12 of them, and they work. The process of self-discovery they describe unfolds organically the longer you stay sober, but it's best to really work on them--with a sponsor. Everyone works the steps in his own way, at his own pace. The only step we have to work perfectly is Step One.
"Stick with the winners." We try to hang out with people who have good attitudes and some clean and sober time in the program.
Suggestions. Most of us needed a lot of humility to come to our first CMA meeting. Admitting that we don't have the answers to our difficulties, as hard as it is, is the source of our serenity. People in CMA and other fellowships often offer us feedback. Whatever we may think of them and their "advice," however much we might not want feedback, we have to remember that they wouldn't be telling us something that didn't work for them.
Surrender. Also, "Surrender to win." This is the core of the program; it's really explored in Step Three. Surrender is not defeat, it's joining the winning side. Basically, we are willing to try some other way-ours wasn't getting us anywhere.
"Take what you can use and leave the rest." If a suggestion or concept is confusing or seems contradictory, we set it aside until we are ready. We try not to complicate our programs unnecessarily.
Traditions. There are 12 of these, too. The code of conduct for the organization, they are the principles that guide CMA meetings and the group as a whole.
Triggers. People, places and things that remind us of using, and anything else--a fight, depression, being hungry, angry, lonely and/or tired--that upsets our equilibrium enough to make us want to use.
We are not professionals. We are not doctors. Therefore, we seek professional help for physical or mental problems such as depression or mania; financial counseling; or job training.
"We are only as sick as our secrets." Openness takes the toxic strength out of shame. If something is eating away at us, we share about it at meetings and with our sponsor.
Yets. These are things we have yet to do but that, knowing the way our minds work, we might encounter on our next relapse-smoking, shooting up, heroin, crack, prostitution, jail, homelessness. Addiction is a progressive disease; if we go out, it will most likely be worse next time.
Meth use is like taking out a huge loan on future happiness and pleasure, with incredibly high interest rates and no grace period.
Meth does not forgive those who sell out. It will extract your very soul, then invite you back .
Meth doesn't kill pain, it postpones it, then multiplies it.
Meth doesn't kill depression, it postpones it, then multiplies it.
I think that recovering is very hard work, it is about the hardest thing I've ever done, the only thing harder is not recovering
Stages of change, 1. Pre-contemplation, 2. Contemplation, 3 Preparation, 4. Action, 5. Maintenance
Drug abuse begins for one reason and continues for another.
Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
- General George Patton Jr
Gambling Addicts can't understand Porn Addicts, Porn Addicts can't understand Compulsive Shoplifters, Compulsive Shoplifters can't understand Overeaters, Overeaters can't understand Drug Addicts, Drug Addicts can't understand Bulemics and Anorexics, and so on.
We meth addicts will stop when the pain of continued use exceeds the fear of withdrawal
"Playing the tape to the end." is a phrase often used to describe the bad effects of meth use.
Here's a few portions of it.
Desperation, paranoia, STDs, hospitals, lost jobs, evictions, busted relationship, bills I can’t pay. Bill collectors, foreclosure, car repossessed, self-loathing, loss of dignity, loss of integrity, loss of friends, loss of self-respect, loss of self-control. Lawsuits, Fear. Sick thoughts of perverse sexual behavior. Thievery, hanging out with bottom dwellers, crawling through trash piles, dumpsters, and dumps, debauchery, getting ripped off by dealers and so-called friends, sickly skin, speed bump skin, dental disaster, pain and suffering, panic, hollow empty looking facial features, hiding from everyone and everything, ripping off those I love, urine in a jar or bottle, risk of liver and kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, riding to the hospital ER or morgue. Unable to think, unable to focus, horny as hell and unable to get laid, unattractive, ugly, repulsive, smelly, looking weird, sick, deathly, putrid, premature aging, premature aches and pains, getting in debt to the connect, unable to cop, unable to get high because I’m too damned dirty, late for everything, dope really doesn't work much any more, people avoided me as much as I avoid them, long-time friends don’t want to see me or have anything to do with me, can’t go to the bathroom because my plumbing quit working due to meth addiction, more panic, more paranoia, hiding, turn off the lights so no one can see me, garbage hasn't been emptied in weeks, missing a vein and getting abscessed, lung disease, scars that won’t heal, sores that won’t heal but get worse, filthy living conditions, loss of humanity, lose a baby if pregnant, strung out on porn, too scared to commit suicide and to too desperate not to. SICK.