“Been clean for a week and my body is still feeling the aftershock. It’s just not worth it”
If you’ve quit or ran out of meth, you KNOW this feeling. This is what meth does. This is the hold that meth has. ‘Aftershock’ is a great descriptive word to depict just how bad you feel as meth exits your body. In this piece I’ll share my experience with this aftershock feeling, what I think will help get you through it, support suggestions for a family member to help, and, as always, encouragement.
There were many times in my meth experience where our dealer didn’t come through – that is a traumatic event itself. He was always ‘waiting for a phone call,’ and in the meantime, we were crashing and still trying to live (getting to work, trying to work, getting home, etc.). The desperation of needing to get high almost drove you mad. I would start to hurt all over (like the flu) and exhaustion would instantly take over. Trying to work in this condition was absolute hell. Mark’s temper was red-hot when we started to run out and that was terrible to deal with when I felt like I was splitting apart. We would resort to desperate measures to get some sort of high to get a little relieve of the horrible aftershock feeling; scraping pipes, filling pipes with water and drinking it, scraping straws, licking mirrors. Ugh, remembering all this is hard.
When I quit that last time with Jack, I was just starting to feel like the worse of the aftershock feeling was passing when I had the abortion; so it basically folded back over me like a dark wave as a lost myself for a time in grief. If you haven’t read my story about this click here. Not only was I dealing with extreme exhaustion and depression, I was forced to go back to work or lose my job too soon for my body to heal and there were complications from the abortion that I had to deal with. It was horrible to say the least.
If you plan on quitting and fear this aftershock feeling, I have some suggestions for you. First, about the ‘aftershock’ feeling itself, it’s just part of it. Sorry, but it’s just part of coming down. I know it’s impossible to think of but in a way, embrace it. It means that your body is fighting its way out of the chain and the good thing is, it will eventually pass. However, I do think there are things you can do to help the process. Remember, I’m not a doctor; I’ve just been through it myself.
- Water – use water to flush your system and re-hydrate. It flushes toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they are needed. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood, eliminate toxic substances in the urine, and receive water-soluble toxins from the liver for processing. They filter voluminous amounts of blood each day and in doing so maintain the body’s water balance and excrete toxins and excess fluid through the bladder. Daily fluid intake is essential for our bodies to function efficiently (http://(www.freshdrinkingwater.com). In contrast, drinking alcohol is absolutely the worst thing you want to do during this phase because it will cloud your judgement and make you feel worse if you happen to drink too much. Don’t do it! Give yourself a real chance of getting sober, beating meth, and rejoining normal life so just stick to water!
- Healthy eating – I’m guessing that while on meth, either you barely ate, sporadically ate, or ate completely unhealthy. That was my experience. Part of coming down is the desire to eat EVERYTHING. You’ve depleted your body so much while using that as soon as you quit, your body is STARVING. My first meal after quitting the last time was deep-fried Twinkies! This is where support is really crucial because you won’t have the strength to make yourself anything healthy to eat so if someone is there to have something wholesome and healthy ready when you finally surface from deep sleep, that will really help your body start to heal quickly. It’s vital to eat healthy to start balancing out your system and replenishing lost vitamins and nutrients.
- Sleep – You probably won’t have much say on this one. Quitting meth means dealing with the extreme exhaustion. All you can do is sleep. I believe it’s important to find a safe place to sleep it off. Support is important too because there is a since of safety that helps the sleep to be deeper.
- Exercise – GET MOVING. As soon as you find yourself able to sit up and watch a little TV, get up and go for a walk instead. This is where support is crucial because at this point, the mental trips start and being alone is not ideal. Having someone along to gently urge you around the block or around the park is best. By moving around, it will help the water and health food to start repairing your body, it will help in rebuilding strength in muscles weaken by inactivity, improve circulation, and deep breaths will help with stress and anxiety. So here’s another reason to exercise: exercise accelerates the detoxification process. Exercise pushes the blood to circulate more efficiently through the body, allowing nutrients to more easily reach all the organs and muscles. At the same time, exercise helps lymph fluids circulate through the body, which removes toxins and other harmful materials. When you exercise, you naturally take in more oxygen; to make room for the added oxygen, your cells kick out toxins that are taking up space. When you exercise properly, you build up a sweat and toxins are released through the pores of the skin https://www.sharecare.com/health/benefits-regular-exercise/how-exercise-help-rid-toxins.
- Support – I’ve just mentioned a couple of times in the previous suggestion where having support REALLY helps get you through the aftershock feeling. I hope you have someone that continually bring you water, have healthy meals ready when you get up, keep watch while you sleep, walk with you around the block, and just be there. This might be the hardest one of all the suggestion because I know us meth-addicts are great at burning bridges with our family and friends as we choose meth over those we love, but maybe there is one person who has seen you through and is willing to support you in this. So, now is the time to go and be honest with them. Turn yourself in. Be honest about what you are going through. If you don’t have this, I suggest that you consider rehab.
If you are the family-member that is dealing with an addict, I hope you understand how much your support can help through those aftershock feelings. Please note my suggestions and see what your role can be through this. My biggest suggestion to you is boundaries: you must lay them down with love and cement them in with conviction. If you allow an addict to use you as support, they must realize the sacrifice you are making out of love and if they don’t not keep their end of the deal or walk away from the support you are offering, you will take action to terminate your support and that could mean you no longer want them in your home or even in your life. It’s time to practice tough love.
IT’S WORTH IT. When you think you can no longer deal with the aftershocks of coming down, I’m here living this normal life telling you it’s worth it. What, are you going to do meth forever and let it eventually take your life? If you don’t get through it now, you’ll end up having to deal with aftershocks in the future and you’ll have regret on top of it. The aftershocks do not last forever and normal life is just around the corner.
The Bible is full of encouragement for you! This passage speaks directly to you who are in the middle of feeling like an aftershock. “Many are they who say of me, “there is no help for him in God.’ But You, O Lord, are a shield for me. My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people.” Psalm 3:2-8. Amen.
Till next time, peace.