[This is a typical Daily Page — and it happens to be “Day 0” — from the 28-day online course, “I’m Ready to Quit.” Thankfully, most day pages are around half this length. Sorry to throw this much reading at you on Day 0, but it’s information you’ll need sooner rather than later. ]
If you’re trying to quit or are looking for inspiration to quit, this course can help. I’m Ready to Quit prepares you for the profound emotional and physical challenges of meth withdrawal. We will also prepare for what’s coming afterward withdrawal with a better understanding of meth’s “5 stages of recovery.” This online course covers the practical matters of quitting, particularly in that difficult first month.
3 Strategies You Need To Do ASAP — If You’re Not Already “Crashing”
If you’ve just today quit, withdrawal hasn’t probably begun yet. It will in either a few hours or tomorrow. What’s commonly called the “crash” — the acute phase of withdrawal — is coming around the corner, barreling right for you.
Don’t let anyone bullshit you. You’re going to feel really awful for a few days — maybe even a week, maybe two. I have a friend who insists his withdrawal lasted a month. I believe him.
So! If you’re not crashing yet, seriously consider these 3 strategies. If you can do them now, do them without hesitation. Here goes:
1) trash all paraphernalia now, before you crash. Now is the ideal time to trash any using paraphernalia you have. When you finish with the acute phase of withdrawal, you are so, so, so, so ahead of the game if. Want some details? See my post On Trashing All Paraphernalia Including the Fancy Torch You Love So Much.
2) stock up on drinks that hydrate well and easily-to-prepare foods (microwavable). Once withdrawal hits, you’ll probably never leave the house. You’ll barely be able to make it to your refrigerator, let alone work. LOL, it’s so true. It’s better to have your pantry stocked beforehand, so you can ride out the coming week or two of crushing withdrawal.
3) make a doctor’s appointment for yourself two weeks from now. You’ll want to see your doc after you’ve gone through withdrawal. It’s past time to have those war wounds and battle scars tended to professionally.
Here are some of my most asked “quitting” questions:
Can I Detox at Home?
Though you’ll feel depressed like never before, withdrawal from crystal meth cannot kill you. You’ll eat and sleep a lot at the beginning, but that’s just as it should be. You’ll go through a smorgasbord of emotions — some quite extreme. Try to be gentle on your housemates.
Bottom line: the only danger from meth detox is that your depression becomes suicidal. (It’s happened before.) Otherwise, you’ll be fine. Except…
Important note: If you mixed any form of depressants with your meth use — from alcohol to oxys on any regular basis — you must see a doctor before detoxing. You don’t want to go cold turkey off heroin or alcohol, both potentially fatal. And add the meth withdrawal to the opioid/alcohol withdrawal and you need a doctor’s supervision.
I’ve been told I have to “hit bottom” before I can quit. Is this true?
Nope. The “hitting bottom” concept is a holdover from misinformed 20th Century recovery traditions. As David Sheff writes in Clean: “Though hitting bottom does describe the beginning of recovery for some addicts, it is a dangerous construct. Many addicts are alive because their families didn’t wait for them to hit bottom. [My emphasis.] And for every person who hit bottom and wound up in treatment, many others kept falling further and further downward…. For many there’s no bottom — it’s a bottomless pit…. [Insisting that an addict must first hit her bottom is] like letting a diabetic lose her foot before addressing her diet.” For more detailed discussion, see my post: The Bottom: Do I Really Have to Hit It First?
Do I have to attend a 12 step group?
Nope, again. But — there is a but! The reality is there’s no better ready-made crowd of people who don’t actively use and who are pro recovery than the good folks at CMA or NA/AA meetings. The 12 step program (designed in late 1930s) isn’t a perfect fit for many, if not most, of us in 21st Century recovery. So, here’s a secret not everyone knows: you can do the meetings, without doing the “program” itself. Before you decide to skip meetings altogether, read my post on Crystal Meth Anonymous — Pros and Cons. There are far more pros than cons, if you can navigate the cons safely.
How can I quit without taking time off from work for the withdrawal stage?
I once heard someone say, “I don’t have the luxury of taking two weeks off from work to go through withdrawal.” In all my researches, both scientific and anecdotal, I’ve never heard of anyone quitting ice and somehow bypassing withdrawal. If there was a way, I’d have heard about it. (LOL) The bottom line is you can’t escape withdrawal. So instead of trying to escape, why not embrace withdrawal?
Embrace withdrawal! You feel like shit, both your body and mind hurt. Muscles ache. You may get chills. Night sweats. Wild swings of emotion from tears to laughter. What else? Anxiety. And let’s not forget the crippling depression growing out of your dopamine-deprived brain.
Hold tight without using and, in no time, you’ll be past withdrawal and into stage 2 — the relatively pleasurable “honeymoon” stage. If you want to know about recovery after the first month, I suggest you read my book, Quitting Crystal Meth: What to Expect & What to Do. It’s basically a handbook for the first year of recovery from crystal methamphetamine.
Ready to start?
Inspirational Video for Today:
The rapper Macklemore’s music video about his relapse and return to recovery. His drug wasn’t meth, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the same feelings all around. Ryan Lewis and Macklemore’s Starting Over. (If you’re like me, you’ll cry… but in a good way.)
I cry every time. Well, this is the end of “Day 0.” My best advice? Don’t use anymore. Just stop. Why not give it a serious try.
For more information:
All you need to know about how this online course works, as well as a link to membership, is on the course landing page, “I’m Ready to Quit!”
Or, purchase the course for $28 (that’s $1 a day) now:
Signup This month-long online course offers timeworn strategies and actionable advice that help maximize your success with quitting crystal meth.
Membership price: USD 28
This month-long online course offers timeworn strategies and actionable advice that help maximize your success with quitting crystal meth.