My Suboxone withdrawal diary (2016)

Suboxone is the hardest thing in the entire world to quit. I’ve been addicted to methamphetamine (also really hard but mostly psychological), heroin (very hard but it’s short, less than a week, so you can knock yourself out with benzos for 3-4 days), benzodiazepines (probably the second hardest, the withdrawals are fucking out of this world), and OxyContin (don’t even know why this is legal, you basically go into withdrawals within 12 hours after the dose so it’s so compulsive).

Suboxone is so insidious coz it’s very long lasting. You don’t even feel proper withdrawal symptoms until 72 hours after your last dose. Of course, you won’t be pleasant to be around after 24 hours but it’s not that bad until the 3rd day, when hell really breaks loose. The withdrawals are VERY intense and VERY long. It’s the longest opiate withdrawal you’ll go through. I read a lot about people withdrawing from Suboxone and it really helps to see their progress so I can also look forward to feeling better.

I’m going to start my own so if anyone comes across this while you’re sick, tired, unable to sleep, crying, going crazy, just wanting to drive out to score some heroin, thinking of heading to the ER with some bullshit ailment to score some opiates to stave off withdrawal, about to kill yourself etc – STOP!

It really can and will get better. It’s the thing where one day at a time really holds true.

I have been taking 16 mg of Suboxone daily since 2011. I was on OxyContin (oxycodone) before that, around 240 mg per day, before I switched to government approved Suboxone at RM 40 (USD 10) per 8 mg tablet or film. I was taking tablets before but switched to Suboxone film before switching back to the tablets coz it was easier to split. I tapered down to 8 mg this year (2016) before tapering down to a further 4 mg.

I quit at 4 mg, which in hindsight was a bit of a bad idea, but I wanted to do it and I want you to know it’s possible. It’s really hard though, so try tapering from 1 mg or 0.5 mg if you can.

Day 1

I have used a wide range of opiates in the past. In light of the nature of the post, which is about recovery, I won’t be linking my old experience reports on drugs and pharmaceuticals coz it might be relapse triggering if you’re in a particularly sensitive time. You can search for it if you want to read them (Caution: All drug reports have photos/videos of drugs and use of said drugs) but take my word if you don’t want to, I’ve been hooked on a lot of different shit in the past. I quit benzodiazepines earlier this year and I’m quitting Suboxone now. After this, I’ll be totally clean, with no illicit or prescribed drugs and medications. Day 1 doesn’t feel bad at all.

To be perfectly honest with you (and I’m sure you’ve done it too) Day 1 is a walk in the park. I do it sometimes if I want to lower my tolerance – just stop taking it for a day, and the usual dose will feel EXTRA WONDERFUL the next day. I know what to expect. I’m a little grumpy. I feel minor aches. I’m horny. I’m more buzzed and alert. It feels like a mild dose of meth but it’s actually just your body acclimatising to reduced opiates. It can honestly be quite fun if you like a more stimulating experience. It’s not tough at all.

I slept 7 hours and woke up feeling refreshed.

Day 2

Suboxone lasts really long in your system so you won’t feel the full brunt of withdrawals until late into 36 hours or so. It’s supposed to last 24-48 hours but for long term and high dosage users like us, it doesn’t, coz our bodies have tolerance and clears it faster. Today is the start of bad feelings. My body hurts. My muscles hurt. My joints hurt. I’m sniffing and I have a runny nose. I also have a mild fever. I had diarrhoea and felt like I needed to go every hour. My asshole feels painful from the toilet paper friction.

I spent the day feeling very sorry for myself but it wasn’t bad until the 36th hour or so. One of the worst things about opiate withdrawals is restless leg syndrome (RLS) – nothing I do feels right. My thighs feel like it needs a long, good stretch but when I stretch it, which will normally make it better, it feels worse instead. I feel like squeezing my toes together and contorting my legs into strange and interesting positions, not coz I want to, but coz I NEED TO.

I thought I could sleep like yesterday. Alas, I couldn’t. Not even a few minutes. I tossed and turned and got angry at myself for the insomnia.

Day 3

I feel exhausted from lack of sleep. My body hurts and my brain is screaming for opiates. I CRAVE opiates. Anything would do. Even shitty codeine with paracetamol (APAP). I just want to feel better again. I want to feel like a human being so I feel like I’m in a body which is not my own. Everything hurts. I called my better half and nearly cried coz I felt so bad. It’s emotional lability, also another symptom of opiate withdrawal.

You’ll cry often and much during these few days.

Don’t worry, it’s normal to have wild mood swings and jagged crying fits. I’ve seen tough guys bawl their eyes out when I gave them benzos after a hard meth smoking session (which also causes emotional lability). It’s interesting to note that common people who don’t know this thinks the drug user has “turned over a new leaf”. Bullshit, don’t kid yourself. I hear that so often in church last time that I want to puke. Please guys, don’t fool other people, it’s not about turning over a new leaf and regretting the past, it’s just the chemicals in your brain getting all messed up. That’s why you’re crying. Not coz of anything else.

Opiates make you feel good and emotionally distant. Now your brain don’t have the usual opiates anything and everything seems ultra emotionally intense to you. It’s fine. Cry and bawl your eyes out.

I also couldn’t sleep at night and I got so frustrated I cried in anger and hit myself (also coz I was hurting all over). The restless leg syndrome has spread to my whole body. I can’t sleep coz I feel muscle tension all over. I had to stretch all the time and maintain the awkward pose so I feel better. I was contorting my body in interesting ways the entire night, tossing and turning.

I nearly gave up.

It’s so hard. So fucking tough. Your body screams for the blessed sweet release of sleep.

The insomnia is the worse part coz if you’re able to sleep, you’ll feel much better. I did on the first day and I was ready and raring to go on Day 2. Sleep solves things, rests your mind and body and lets you approach the beautiful new day with newfound energy. Suboxone withdrawals cause terrible insomnia so it saps your willpower and it makes you want to give up.

Hold on.

I’m not going to say the toughest times are over coz it’s not. There’s more to come.

Day 4

I feel drained after 72 hours of no sleep, not even an hour or a few minutes or a cat nap like some nights when you feel you haven’t slept but you actually did for a while. Not here, not with opiate withdrawals, you won’t sleep one wink. It’s so hard, this insomnia totally breaks you. It makes you feel so tired instead of optimistic you feel depressed and pessimistic and just want to give up. Everything sucks.

My record was 7 days without sleep in Melbourne while on a wild drug binge with dexamphetamine but I regularly went for 3-4 days without sleep in KL and Kuching when I was on methamphetamine. It’s very easy when injecting and smoking meth – time flies, it feels like hours instead of days and when it was time to crash, I just swallowed a handful of benzos and slept for 12-24 hours before doing it all over again.

This is nothing like it. You feel like shit the whole time coz of the withdrawal aspects. It’s so hard. I was so ready to throw in the towel. I want to drive out to the pharmacy and get some 30 mg codeine tablets. Anything, anything to make me feel human again.

I don’t even want to get high. I just want to sleep. I want to rest and feel better.

In desperation, I took 2 x 1 mg of Xanax and 10 mg of Valium. I quit benzos earlier this year but I still have a lot of pills lying around the house. I’ve never been tempted to take them and was about to throw them out when I moved but I thought I might need them when I kick Suboxone.

It made me feel worse. The emotional lability became magnified 100x. I felt several times worse than before – my aches were more prominent and my stretching grew more crazed and compulsive. I spent 4 hours hitting myself just so I didn’t have to feel the muscle cramps and the restless legs.

I punched myself in the head. I slapped myself hard till my ears rang. I hit my legs and went at my stomach. I even (accidentally on purpose) gave myself a hard sock on my heart and solar plexus. That was painful but it wasn’t as painful and annoying as the muscle aches. I also won’t stop crying. I cried for almost 12 hours until the tears wet my pillow. I felt sooooo sorry for myself and I felt soooo, soooo, sooooooo bad. It’s a million, a billion, a trillion times worse than dengue and benzodiazepine withdrawals combined with aspects of both.

I was drained. I needed help.

It’s 3 am and I was losing my willpower from lack of sleep. I didn’t know what to do. What am I going to tell my partner? That I gave in again?

I can just imagine the conversation:

Dear, so sorry but it’s really so hard and it’s so bad. I can’t do it, it’s impossible, I gave in and just got a few Suboxone from the clinic. I’ll quit next month k? I’ll be sure to taper down to 0.5 mg so it’s easier next time and I know what to expect. I quit from 4 mg and it was so hard, I really can’t take it dear. Hope you won’t be disappointed…

Yeah, like I haven’t done that or said that before already. Sick, sick fucks, us addicts. We’re sick, manipulative motherfuckers. I wouldn’t say it’s malignantly manipulative, it’s just real hard to quit and I already tried once in 2014 and failed after the 3rd day. I’m at the 4th day now. I won’t give in.

I just need to wait it out till dawn. Things will look better in the daylight.

I took a cold shower to see if I can feel better and to take my mind off the pain with some cold instead. It didn’t help much but it’s good to shower.

I tossed and turned and cried some more. The benzos didn’t help. I’m not going to take anymore, even if I don’t sleep for a week. It made things so much worse and it made my body feel so much more pain. I also was a little afraid coz 4 hours after the Xanax hit, I felt the familiar calmness which I liked and I don’t want to get hooked on it anymore. This will be a no supplementary drug withdrawal, it’s going to be pure willpower from now on. Fuck it, if I don’t sleep, I don’t sleep.

Note: This is not advice but sometimes quitting with another substance can be easier and thus more beneficial. I quit methamphetamine by switching to opiates. It made it a lot easier. I quit benzodiazepines also by using Suboxone (was taking both before) and with the opiate calm, it makes it easier although you’ll feel really bad withdrawals. I had one really bad seizure when I quit benzodiazepines earlier this year when I was alone at home. Please be careful – benzodiazepines and alcohol are the only two things where withdrawals can kill via seizures.

Day 5

I know I won’t die from opiate withdrawals but it feels sooooo bad. Words can’t describe it. Think of the worse pain you’ve been in. I would gladly take that instead if you’ll switch with me. Today is worse than yesterday. Isn’t the worse supposed to be 72 hours after you stop taking your last dose? No! It depends on how much you’re taking, it’s all about bio-availability and half life. To put it in simple terms, if you took 4 mg as your last dose, you’ll still have 2 mg in your body 72 hours later, 0.5 mg at 144 hours etc.

This was my worse day. I don’t know what to say. I fear I wouldn’t get through it, that I would cave in.

Would I suck dick for opiates? No, but that’s only coz I have money and I have connections to get the drug. If I didn’t, maybe I would. That’s how bad opiates are. The only other thing which has made me ask this question was during my methamphetamine abuse days. Most people would suck dick for meth. You feel the cravings so badly when you’re coming down. Again, life has been lucky to me. I was a (small time) dealer at the time so I had my own supply. I partnered up with a few old friends and we’ll drive to Kota Kinabalu from Kuching and pick up 1 kg of methamphetamine for RM 35,000 (it was that cheap in 2004). The stuff came from the Philippines and it’s really pure, we’ll break it up and sell it in sets (5 grams) for RM 1,200 (again that was the price then, you won’t get that now). Needless to say, the profit margin was insane but so were the risks – I got caught and lost almost all my earnings to the police in bribes so I only got a fine and conviction instead of jail time. In a way you could say that the police ended up being the big time dealer raking in all the money. *shrugs*

Back to opiates, it also causes the same desperation for relief, for a high, although for me it was more of a need to sleep. I know if I can sleep I would be able to see things clearer, to attack the day and to soldier on.

I still cried a lot out of frustration and have HUGE cravings where I just wanted to get some opiates, any opiate from the ER or clinic or pharmacy. I didn’t. I held on till 3 am and then went out and got coffee instead.

Coffee helps a lot.

Let me tell you something interesting but again I really don’t recommend this. You remember what I said about using another drug to quit one drug? I’ve been in drug rehab 3 times and I met a lot of heroin addicts at my first whose stomping grounds were Chow Kit. It’s common to use meth to make the withdrawals from opiates more bearable. I used to be really addicted to meth though so I’ll never try that again. However, caffeine is also a decent stimulant and if you drink a lot, you’ll feel much better.

Better at not having slept anyway. It makes the insomnia easier by waking up your mind. I almost feel human again. It doesn’t last very long though and drinking more doesn’t help much. It’s just the initial rush of chugging coffee that gives a mild high. Damn drug addict thinking. Fucking disgusting. Actually no, that’s what I imagine my emotionally abusive mom would say, I don’t think it’s wrong to use chemistry to hack things at all. Of course, it’s not good but hey coffee is legal, what can you say?

It kinda helps with the cold too. I’ve been shivering and needing a blanket the since Day 2. It’s SOOOOO COLD! That’s a strange thing for me to say coz I always hate the heat but again this is also normal. You’ll have cold shivering spells (actually for most of the day) while withdrawing. Get a blanket, it helps.

I also learned that I shouldn’t force myself to sleep. I’ll just stay up since the time tossing and turning and feeling miserable doesn’t help at all and ends up making you more frustrated. You’ll get wild sleep deprivation hallucinations like on meth runs so be careful driving and such coz sleep deprivation can be worse than drinking and driving.

I read that it’s the insomnia that really does you in. When you’re awake for days, your brain accumulates more waste, you turn moody and you start being more impulsive (it’s well documented, probably why meth users are so messed up). It does a number on your thought process and it’s why you feel so shit. Most people don’t know this coz most people can’t stay awake for days, but with constant meth use, you’ll be awake for days. This is similar, if only I could just get a couple hours of sleep. Even two. Please. I just want 2 hours of sleep after so many days with no sleep.

Day 6

I haven’t slept since Day 1 but I feel slightly better. Not a lot better, just a fraction. If the pain and suffering yesterday was at 120%, it was 119% today. I feel like I have rounded a corner. I’m sure the nights will still be sleepless and miserable but at things seem to be getting better now. I need to soldier on.

I need to be strong and take it one day at a time. I don’t believe in that NA stuff, I quit all my addictions by myself, but that’s just me. I’m not extra strong or extra special but I noticed that as I got older, the things that seemed impossible are much easier now. It’s not easy (hell, not at all) but it’s slightly easier e.g. it’s doable. I also feel hungry again. I had to force myself to eat something so I feel more energetic the past few days and I had to shove Mars bars down my stomach without liking it (it’s my favorite candy usually) for so long that I was surprised I actually wanted chicken rice today (though I could only eat less than half.

The night is dark and full of tossing but I will wait till morning and I will write in my journal and I will do active things to pass the time. I just need to pass the 7 day point. I know I’ll start to feel better again. Maybe I won’t even need to write here anymore. If I don’t, it means that the pain and the suffering, the tribulations of Suboxone withdrawals have gotten better. I have read that you won’t actually sleep until after 2 weeks and only a few hours at that but even an hour sounds so good to me right now.

The nights are depressing, real bad so watch out for them. Drink coffee, you can’t sleep anyway and it will boost your mood in a very mild way so it might help with staying sober.

Day 7

144 hours without sleep. It’s driving me insane. I would have probably gone insane if I have not had ample experience with sleep deprivation from my methamphetamine using days. Today the sleep deprivation hallucinations are out in force – I can see shadows everywhere, flanging vision like DXM and blurry edges of items which I sometime mistake for something else. I wanted to pick up my electric kettle and recoiled in fear when I thought the handle was the leg of a huge spider. That was the most vivid hallucination.

One time when I was on several days without sleep while injecting and smoking meth, I saw an old woman rocking in my apartment. I live by myself so that was strange. Even stranger, she wouldn’t go away after I blinked. I tried to close my eyes and she was still there. Even after I knocked myself out with benzos, when I had to use the toilet at 2 hours after I slept – there she was. That was the most vivid sleep deprivation hallucination and my (superstitious) friends in Kuching all freaked out. I didn’t though, I even said hello to the poor old rocking woman coz I know she ain’t real.

It sucks though. I’m a little afraid of driving coz my reaction is impaired and I have visual disturbances. I walked to a local shopping mall today for some exercise. I was wearing a tatty shirt, old shorts and flip flops. No fucks given. I rambled like a zombie, forcing myself to walk every square inch of the mall. I stopped by a pet store and saw two kittens playing – that made me smile for the first time in a week so it was good. Didn’t last long though.

I walked for 1 1/2 hours at the mall and felt like giving up and dying each step due to fatigue and exhaustion and muscle pain but I forced one foot in front of the other. I sometimes grunted in pain and exertion. I got weird looks from other shoppers. Moms dragged their kids away from my path. People went to the other side of the aisle to avoid walking past me. I didn’t care though, I just want to exercise so my muscle cramps don’t feel so bad. Also exercise induces NATURAL endorphins, so it’s like a super ultra very mild opiate. Good enough.

I went home and took a very hot scalding shower for 15 minutes and tried to sleep. No luck!

My brain was racing, and my heart was pounding. I had terrible anxiety. My arms ache. My legs hurt. Muscles I didn’t know I had felt sore. I cried in frustration again and after 5 hours of turning I gave in and swallowed 1 mg of Xanax.

It didn’t even make me sleepy. I was so angry I took another 2 of the blue 1 mg Xanax pills for a total of 3 mg Xanax and popped a 10 mg Valium to boot. This might be considered a high dose for most people (hell, 2 mg is too much for most) but I had taken TONS more than this, and I really, really wanted to sleep.

Alas, I had lost all my tolerance coz I quit benzos earlier this year. I totally blacked out after 20 minutes. Well, if you’re familiar with high dose benzos, a “black out” doesn’t mean you pass out. It’s like if you get too drunk until you forget the things you do. It’s called anterograde amnesia. I apparently called my partner but I can’t remember a word I said and I talked for an hour!

Unfortunately, still no sleep was forthcoming.

I tried and tried and tried until now at 6 am before giving up. I must be careful, this is the second time I’ve taken benzos. You can take it for 1-2 weeks before you get addicted but I won’t even chance that. This is the last time, you can’t get hooked if you take it twice in two days.

It’s hardest before dawn. I also heard a bit of bad news today. It’s personal and it really sapped a lot of my willpower. If I had heard this on Day 3-6, I’ll probably have straight up relapsed. But today is Day 7 and things are not as bad as the nightmare in the past few days so I’ll keep on maintaining my sobriety.

Day 8

Fuck me upside down, I still didn’t sleep a wink. I had a bad attack of RLS which even affected by body and arms, just like Day 3. I told myself I’ll go to the pharmacy to get first generation antihistamines to help myself sleep but I read there’s only one which can really help (doxylamine) and the others like Atarax will even make the RLS worse! I wasn’t hungry despite not eating for almost 2 days too (except bananas). I went to get some food and forced myself to eat it down, even though I had no appetite. I want to give a shout out to Wendy’s Creme Brulee Shake – that shit is the bomb! So sweet and nice and nutrient dense.

I also forced myself to eat some meat coz I read iron deficiency will also contribute to RLS. I felt cold and shivered while waiting in line and then noticed that the worst of the cold shivers have passed! I have gone to the next stage! I still get it sometimes but it’s mot like hot and cold flashes instead of just pure cold flashes.

I also keep on sneezing for no reason and had explosive diarrhoea. Today was the worse in terms of shitting – pure liquid and bits of fecal matter, totally unlike the first few days. I also feel drained, tired, and depressed. No motivation at all. I wonder how long I still have to stay awake with no sleep coz I feel like going crazy already. I know the world record is 11 days but I need sleep.

I took benzos again for the third and last time. No more Xanax coz that’s too short acting and strong. I took Valium instead. 15 mg at first – 3 x 5 mg pills. Nothing. I found my 10 mg blue diazepam pills and started to push one out…then another, and another. I was angry at myself that I was doing this stupid thing in an effort to sleep. I swallowed 50 mg of Valium, 65 mg when you count the 3 I took an hour earlier.

I felt drowsy and calm but not at all sleepy. I threw away all my benzos already, it doesn’t help and honestly, it feels too nice. The calmness I mean.

Now to concentrate on kicking Suboxone unassisted.

I feel so nauseous and threw up twice despite not having much food. On the plus side, I have lost a lot of my belly fat. On the down side, I probably lost a bit of my hard earned muscle too (have been working out lately). My stomach just cramps and I don’t feel like eating at all (or drinking for that matter) but I’m dehydrated and I should eat something.

I also talked to a good friend and that helped a lot. Man, if I didn’t have support and people willing to listen to me complain and moan and bitch about my pain and suffering I might have given up long ago.

Day 9

Today was both a good and a bad day. I wanted to do something so I don’t feel sorry for myself and feel sick and have muscle cramps and RLS at home so I decided to go out. I felt better when I forced myself to walk around malls and since there was an interesting event today, I thought I’ll go and spend some time there. It’ll be good.

I drove out and nearly had 4 car accidents within 2-3 minutes. Fuck me, I haven’t slept for 8 days and I was starting to microsleep. I didn’t even realize when I was at home but when I was driving out this morning, I went up the curb and swerved back to the road. I had fallen asleep for 1-2 seconds WHILE DRIVING. That’s stupid and dangerous.

I told myself I’ll do better and started doing all sorts of things to keep myself from microsleeping again. I sang, I shouted at myself, I sat up in uncomfortable positions…and I microslept again…and again! I’m thankful there aren’t a lot of cars that early but during the 3rd time I nearly swerved into another car beside me and I didn’t even know until he/she leaned on the horn.

Too close for comfort right? Not going to happen again right? If you’ve experienced extreme sleep deprivation like I have you know that’s not going to happen. I tried so hard to keep myself awake that my hands are full of bruises from pinching myself. Didn’t matter, I drove over the curb and swiped a tree the 4th time I fell asleep. -_-

It’s a good thing it’s a short and thin shrub. I told myself I’ll park my car and take a Uber back. I haven’t slept for more than a week and I shouldn’t be driving. I should have taken Uber here. I didn’t know why I didn’t think of that – your mind stops functioning well after so long without sleep.

I felt better at the event and managed to feel human again. They (meaning people who have successfully withdrawn from opiates before) says it helps if you’re in public and with people. I think it’s true too coz I barely felt much withdrawal symptoms except a bit of joint pain, muscle pain, RLS and of course depression.

Hey, even my depression wasn’t bad coz I was doing something I enjoyed. I felt better than normal at times. The worst part was my insomnia, I couldn’t sleep and it affected everything I did and my state of mind.

I felt like I was really getting better and except for the insomnia, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt very positive. I even felt a little sleepy (for the first time in 8 days) and decided to sleep for a while at home.

It turned out to be a false positive. I was tired. I was sleepy. I even microsleeped while fucking driving. But I couldn’t sleep normally. This was the start of the bad times, it was even worse than Day 3-6.

I think that I’m starting to get mentally affected by being unable to sleep for 8 days. I had a bit of a psychotic break. It was quite ugly.

I trashed my entire room. I kicked my TV, smashed my notebook, tore my clothes, bit anything I could from pillows to my arms in anger. I have A LOT of bruises on both arms. Some aren’t bruises but open cuts. I don’t know what came over me. I don’t do this rock star trashing of rooms and I love the data I have on my notebook and computer so I’m not sure what happened.

I think it’s kinda like the psychotic breaks you have when you stay awake too long on methamphetamine.

It’s dangerous and it’s unpredictable and you have a high chance of hurting yourself. I did things as strange and curious as throwing new, unopened packs of spicy Korean ramen to the ceiling fan for it to smash and scatter everywhere. I punched walls, I screamed and shouted and threatened and causes enough of a ruckus for my (usually) tolerant neighbor to say he’s going to call the police if I keep it up.

And yet I kept it up coz hey, you can’t control psychotic breaks. The cops didn’t come though, I wouldn’t have cared if they did anyway coz I’m clean with no drugs and part of me wants to go to the ER to get a strong anti-psychotic so I can sleep for at least a few hours. Benzos like Xanax and Valium can’t even get me sleeping, that’s how bad post-opiate withdrawal insomnia is.

Tonight was the worse coz psychosis is setting in. The human mind isn’t meant to be awake for 8 days. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I still can’t sleep. I called my partner and cried and said I want to relapse so badly coz I’m going crazy. I don’t even want to get high, I just want to fucking sleep!

She was very honest with me and said if that’s what I want then she’s not going to stop me. I stopped myself though, I didn’t want to relapse after over a week of being Suboxone free. I know if I started again I’ll be on it for life coz I know how bad the withdrawals are.

I am going to keep being sober.

I really think the worst is over. My restless leg syndrome is getting better. I still have pains and aches but nothing compared to the hell of Days 3-6. I keep on yawning and sneezing but that’s nothing. I have to run to the toilet every hour but that’s expected. Even the depression and anxiety from sudden opiate withdrawals is bearable. I want to say it’s more than bearable.

I’m not sure if I’m kinda used to feeling that way already but if you’ve taken real MDMA (Ecstasy) in ridiculously high amounts, you’ll be quite familiar with post-use depression. MDMA depression is a lot worse than this. Opiates are more subtle, you just don’t feel as happy but that’s fine coz I can still be happy doing the things I like (unlike with post MDMA where even things you normally like suck). There’s quite a bit of lethargy too but it’s not bad.

I still have no appetite. I forced down some salmon today (for the iron) and that’s about it. I have lost weight which isn’t good since guys losing weight means losing muscle. I will hit the gym again this week and swim today. I want to be stronger and buffer coz that’s something I neglected when I was still on Suboxone.

Despite the psychotic break from sleep deprivation, I feel better now. I even managed to sleep 40 minutes just now. It felt so good! This was the longest I’ve slept in 8 days. I already feel better and more positive. I don’t think I’ll update this anymore since I’m pretty much alright except for the insomnia (which is the worst part of this).

Suboxone can be useful for drug users who take faster cycling stuff like OxyContin and heroin but if you already have a stable life and you’re well off enough to afford RM 80 per day (that’s how much 2 x 8 mg costs) I sometimes feel like the addiction doctors just want to use you for a constant income.

I don’t think I’ve said this before but since she’s not working anymore I can feel free to. I started Suboxone coz it was a legal and relatively new thing by the Malaysian government. I went to a doctor at my old apartment – it was a very old clinic with not many patients. I’ve only seen 3 including myself and we’re all either on Suboxone or methadone.

I was the one who brought in the most money for the clinic – at RM 80 per day, I paid RM 2,400 per month and RM 28,800 per year. Minimum. Sometimes I took more than 16 mg daily. I kept her clinic afloat for YEARS coz she didn’t have any other patients.

Guess what? When I started tapering to 8 mg then 4 mg, she said it was bad and that I needed the full 16 mg per day. I didn’t listen coz I know better and when I got to 4 mg and visited once every few months, her clinic closed down. She had lost her #1 customer – me.

I hear stories like this all the time all over the world. The company that owns Suboxone is rich and the doctors that prescribes it are also rolling in dough – your paycheck. What else can make a person spent almost RM 100 each day, without fail, no holidays, each and every day.

That’s not why I quit coz to be honest I can afford it (although being able to afford it and wanting to pay that much are two different things). However, I didn’t want to feel numb (but happy) all the time and mostly I did it for my partner. You’ll enjoy live more without the artificial happiness from Suboxone.

Even better, Suboxone gives a lot of “wrong learnings”. This is what I all the effect – you feel happy about everything since you’re on a strong but legal opiate so everything becomes positive reinforcement. You don’t even know what’s really good for you or what’s a false positive from just being on opiates. You don’t know who your true friends are and who’s just there coz you feel the same both ways with the strong opiate positive reinforcement.

Nobody talks about this which I find strange. Have they not noticed it before or is it just my unique personality? I won’t be falsely modest, I’m very intelligent and I’ve also used so many different drugs and I’ve self aware enough to think, analyse, and reflect so maybe I notice things faster. Humblebrag aside, do think of this little known side effect too and life live with a clearer head without false positives messing with your head coz falsely reinforcing behaviour can cause a lot of bad habits to build up without your knowledge.

Day 10

I’m so happy. I just slept 2 full hours, the longest in the past 10 days. I was so fucking tired, having slept only 7 hours on Day 1 and a combined 48 minutes from Days 2-9 (minus the almost catastrophic microsleeps while driving).

I wouldn’t call a two hour sleep good but for me it was heavenly. I feel so much happier now and I truly think this is the start of better things. I have rounded the corner. Sleep is such a luxury – you don’t even realize how beautiful sweet release is until insomnia robs you of this simple pleasure.

Depression and anxiety levels are pretty bad, I don’t even feel like getting up from bed most days and my mind is dark and bleak but I put on some songs and force myself to face the day and it’s all good. It’s very bearable for me coz I’m kinda used to feeling like shit already. I just hope I can sleep more tonight. That would really make me feel super.

I hear a lot of Suboxone users complain that they still DON’T feel normal after months or years after withdrawals.

Well, duh! That was an artificial feeling! It’s opiates, of course it makes you feel good. No regular human is supposed to feel that good all the time, so you better get used to the more mediocre real world. Don’t keep thinking about the fluffy cloud you experienced in the Suboxone days. It ain’t real yo, and it’s most definitely not “normal”, you gotta live in the real world now. In the real world, happiness is fleeting and sadness is constant. Deal with it.

Ending thoughts:

It help a lot to read other people’s Suboxone withdrawal journals. You can see the timeline and commiserate and best of all, you know what you’re feeling is normal (well, it’s not normal per se, it’s just expected) and you’ll get through it. It’s okay if you don’t sleep for a week, even though you feel shitty, you’ll get over it. The depression that comes after 2 weeks to 1 month can be overcome with exercise and activity. You’ll get over it, just like many of us have. You just need to take the first step. Don’t be scared, there’s nothing to fear but fear itself. It’s going to be bad. It’ll probably be the worst thing you’ve ever experienced. Suboxone withdrawals is hell on earth and it’s not pretty.

However, try doing some things to take your mind off it. I always thought this was a stupid thing to say but it works. I poured my energy into writing and doing stuff. Do something active, not passive. You’ll feel bad if you watch TV all day long. Go out and exercise. It doesn’t even need to be strenuous, just a walk around the mall. You’ll feel terrible. People will stare at the weird guy/girl shivering and hunched and shuffling along like an old person. Fuck them, you do you and get better.

This journal is also for myself. Don’t forget the hell you’re going through. It is worse than meth, worse than benzos. Just in case you ever think it’s okay to take even a little bit of opiates in the future, stop yourself and read this again. You might think, whats a little insomnia, what’s a little pain in the arms and legs but you’ll want to remember how bad and hopeless it actually feels.

The nights are the hardest and where you will want to lose hope. I don’t know exactly why it’s soooo bad at night – it’s when all the doubts and depression and frustration sets in and you think you’ll never be happy again and you’ll never live a happy life and this fucking hell is all you’ll feel and your willpower is sapped. Try to talk to someone if you need to (you will need to) and you feel like relapsing. I had my dad and my partner who are solid 100% supporters and got me through some real dark times. You will need someone, if only just to bitch and moan and cry and complain.

It’s possible. I hope I helped you get through the hard nights with this journal of my experiences. Life is a beautiful thing, don’t waste it under the influence of Suboxone. I know you’re hurting right now but think about the next day. You’ll have gone one more day in this long withdrawal hell if you just wait it out for 1 more morning. Then set your target on the morning after that and the morning AFTER the other.

You can do it.

Eat clen, tren hard and accept no subs

I haven’t updated my blog in a long time and I want to start off the cycle by writing about something I’ve always felt the need to hide. I’m not even sure why besides a vague sense of it being right, and I’ll explain that the best I can now. I have had problems with substance abuse in the past and I’ve let my misadventures with methamphetamine, heroin and other fun and interesting chemicals define me. I’m the guy who was all for “better living through chemistry” and I wasn’t afraid to say it out loud to everyone who wanted to hear (and the ones who didn’t as well).

However, as I have grown older, I found myself looking askance at people like that. Admittedly there aren’t many people like me, and even less who has built up such an impressive chemical resume as I have. But the ones who have told me straight out that they’re users, I find that I tend to judge them a little. Even though I used to in the past? Especially coz I used to. I knew what kind of deviant I was and I’ll have no part of that. Now that I’ve quit for so many years, I find myself wanting to dissociate myself with other drug users.

My point is, most people have something against substance users, no matter if it’s recreational or a dependency. It speaks volumes about your character that you’re not willing to make your personal life private and maybe that’s why I stopped divulging so much. It doesn’t matter if you pop MDMA once a year or you’re shooting up smack every morning and lunch in the toilet. People don’t need to know.

There is an odd comfort in being truthful though, as long as you’re not shoving your personal politics down people’s throats. I’ve stopped using all illegal drugs for many years. However, a lot of my legacy is still there. I’m still on buprenorphine (Suboxone) and benzodiazepines.

Suboxone

I’ll talk about Suboxone first. It’s a very, very expensive and legal opiate substitute that the government has been pushing for several years. Government? So it’s free then, you say? No, it’s not. It costs RM 40 per 8 mg tablet and I take 2 per day. I used to run up RM 80 daily, RM 2,480 per month, RM 29,200 annually. RM 30,000! 30 fucking k per year! It was ludicrous.

I got on Suboxone as a legal way to get off OxyContin in 2012. I had a HUGE oxycodone problem. I was a monster. I would take 280 mg per day. That’s 14 tablets (one blister pack) of 20 mg OxyContin. It was, strangely enough, about the same price as Suboxone and offers a much superior high. However, it wasn’t legal, since I obtained them via doctor shopping, and that’s why I ultimately chose to switch over to the government Suboxone program. It was expensive but it was legal and I could travel all over the world with my prescription (except Singapore, who considers buprenorphine a Class A drug).

I was happily on Suboxone for several years before I realized I was hooked on it. Yes, that’s how buprenorphine works, it has a STRONGER binding affinity to your opiate receptors, that’s why you don’t crave other opiates like oxycodone. It’s not very pleasurable, but it’s good enough to prevent you from seeking other MORE pleasurable opiates like heroin. The buzz is acceptable, and it staves off withdrawals. Many Suboxone users already know this but I bet the general public doesn’t. Suboxone works by making you dependent on it. That’s why you don’t get withdrawals, it’s coz you’re still on opiates. In other words, you become addicted to Suboxone.

Quitting was hard. It was harder than OxyContin due to the longer half life of Suboxone. I tried once with the help of my better half and I’m not ashamed to say that I tapped out after 4 or 5 days, just when the withdrawals hit me really hard. I’m not embarrassed coz with my life experience now, I know that you’ll know when the time is right to quit. It’s when you want to, above all else, without any other reason, no pressure, no one to nag you, no guilt. You quit coz you want to be rid of it. That’s when you succeed.

I tried cutting down and I got down to 1 x 8 mg Suboxone tablet per day. After a few weeks, I cut it down to 1/2 then 1/4. It’s hard to get rid of that final bit, the “boost” you need each morning and which comforts you, but when you cut it out of your life, it’s a lot better. I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner but I know the answer to that. It was coz I wasn’t ready to.

The same thing with benzodiazepines. This is the most insidious drug I’ve ever taken. Not worse than meth, methamphetamine is the worst thing I’ve ever taken, all in all. But I personally think benzodiazepines are more insidious than opiates. You know why? There is no honest “value proposal”. I took benzos for fun at first, then to help with the come downs from meth, then I obviously got addicted to them. The one time I tried to quit was cold turkey, in drug rehab, coz the sick sons of bitches at the center didn’t know anything about benzodiazepines or how dangerous it is to quit cold turkey.

I seized in the jail cell while my ankles were shackled and my hands were handcuffed. I cried, I had multiple seizures, I thought I was going to die, and I wept again. It was a fucking nightmare, going from 10 mg clonazepam (Rivotril), 2 mg alprazolam (Xanax) and 20 mg diazepam (Valium) in a day to complete zero, cold turkey, back in 2007. I’m not sure if I can do it a second time. That’s what I thought for the next few years anyway, since I started taking them again after rehab.

However, and I’m really not sure what the catalyst is, I somehow decided to take less and less starting from last year. I was on 2 mg clonazepam (Rivotril) daily for many years and then I decided to start taking 1/2 of the tablet. Thus, I was on 1 mg. It felt better, and my head was clearer and I was feeling a lot more emotions and I thought that was good. It was. I cut again to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (which is 1/4 of the tablet).

One day, my doctor said he ran out of clonazepam and it’ll take 2 weeks to get the new stock so he gave me diazepam (Valium) instead. It was a 10 mg pill which is about equivalent to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (don’t look at the mg, trust me when I say these two doses are “similar” – think of clonazepam as being 20 times stronger than diazepam) but it wasn’t. I felt significant amount of anxiety and had mild panic attacks but I liked the clarity. Clonazepam has stronger anti-anxiety effects but it’s not as hypnotic as diazepam. I felt sleepier and I hated it coz it felt like I was “going back” on my progress.

I didn’t want to let myself acclimatize so I cut it again by 1/2 to 5 mg. I cut it again the week after to 1/4 of that and within a week I titrated the dose to 1/8, 1/10 and 1/12. Then I switched to 5 mg Valium (diazepam) – it’s half the amount of my previous 10 mg tablet so it’s easier to split for a smaller dose. The doctor didn’t have 2 mg ones. I then started splitting the 5 mg pill to 1/20 until I had to pinch just a bit. It was effectively nothing coz it was about 1/30 of a 5 mg pill – or 0.16 mg daily. Most people take 5-10 mg and I managed to cut it down to zero with my own super fast taper plan. I was essentially clean. The last bit to get rid off was more psychological than anything.

It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t as bad as when I kicked it cold turkey in rehab. I kinda like the new clarity. It gives me purpose. It also made me feel bad about the time I’ve spent “under the influence” (kinda). Now, this is not medical advice, everyone is different and you should never cold turkey quit benzodiazepines coz you might die of a seizure.

However, I have grown to belief that it’s more like US FDA precaution. I’ve done plenty of things which should have killed me. I’ve taken things which I KNOW as a fact that’s over the LD50 (lethal for 50% of the population – everyone is different) many, many, God so many times and I’m still alive. There’s nothing wrong with being on benzos, some people need it for anxiety.

I just didn’t want it anymore. It was a personal decision.

This is probably the last thing I’m going to write about drugs. I’ve said I was off all illegal drugs. Well, now I’m off it all – legal and prescription included. I don’t want it to define me anymore. I just want to write an appendix for the blog. This is it.

Pink shirt guy belts out an off tune (but heartfelt) song

I was at the karaoke last night and asked one of the staff to film this (admittedly horrible) rendition of the ABBA classic “The Winner Takes It All”. Mamma Mia was the first musical I went to with my better half and this song was in it. I think the staff member was quite confused as to what I actually wanted coz I had to use her phone to open the lyrics page while I sang outside.

I told her it was for my girlfriend and she happily agreed to do it. :)

Here it is for your weekend entertainment:

I don’t want to talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more Ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
That’s my destiny

I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking I’ll be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules

The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
It’s simple and it’s plain
Why should I complain?

But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all

I don’t want to talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
You’ve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence

The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I’ve seen a lot of resources offered to people who’re contemplating (Befrienders etc) which is good and all, but some people don’t want to talk and they’re past the stage where they want to talk.

If you’re one of those people, I can totally vouch for this site. I had linked it in the past, in 2004 and it’s a very good read.

It has helped a lot of people and I highly recommend taking a minute to read this before you decide anything:

If you’re thinking about suicide, read this first.

The day won’t be quite as bright…

Cut Hand

I accidentally cut my hand just now while trying to slice a mango (of all things). My better half gave me a bunch of mangoes to eat and what I’ll do is slice the top off of each one and peel downwards.

However, this particular mango was rather slippery and the knife slipped and I sliced into my right arm instead.

Deep Cut

It turns out that the skin at this particular area is actually quite thick, and it took considerable force to make such a deep cut. I think the fact that my knife is about as sharp as a pair of children’s scissors helped, or else it’ll have been much worse. :x

Freedom of speech does not include bullying

I was a victim of cyberbullying.

I’ll share the details of how it started, how I realized what was happening was getting serious, and how I managed to resolve the issue and start criminal/legal proceedings against the perpetrator.

Cyberbullying can come in many forms on the Internet. It doesn’t just include direct attacks but other forms of harassing behaviour. I wasn’t equipped with enough information about my rights until I did a bit of research, which I’ll like to share with all of you. I’m sure every blogger or social media personality must have run into these things.

However, I’m not talking about the common trolls or haters, but people who have stepped further than that – committed identity fraud, impersonation and libel.

There’s a huge difference between freedom of speech and libel. You can hate all you want but when you step over the line by using other people’s identities and writing libel, you have committed a crime. The Malaysian government does not look kindly upon people committing cybercrime and they’ve taken a lot of steps to prevent that.

In my case, there was a single person (mostly) with a core group of 2-3 supporters, coordinating a libellous personal attack using other people’s identities to comment on my blog and on other blogs to defame me and others.

I can’t talk much about this since there is a police investigation and at the same time, I also plan to report this to MCMC so I’ll just write about the basics.

I first thought it was a common troll, but I realized that this person has gone on other forums and blogs impersonating me (using my name and blog) to make false and provocative statements. I only realized that when I got a bunch of emails asking me about “insider information” for a property.

The person intentionally put my email on a forum and created an account using my name to spread false and libellous statements. I had never even HEARD of the forum, much less commented there.

I got in touch with the forum administrators to get the IP address and other details of the cyberbully.

It was at that time that he started commenting on my blog (usually posting libellous and false statements) first using obviously fake names, and then when I banned him, started using other blogger’s names and email addresses.

He also went to other blogs using *my name* to comment and I realized that after some bloggers got in touch with me to ask about some unusual feedback I was leaving.

The first mistake this person made was that he seemed to have access to email addresses and names of a certain demographic of bloggers, suggesting he is more than a casual reader – he’s either a blogger or someone in the media/advertising industry, or he wouldn’t have access to such a laundry list of personal email addresses so that’s the first break I got while making the police report of a list of suspects.

This second mistake this person made was believing Tor would completely mask his identity. I’m just using the male pronoun for ease of writing, as I said this is going to be a legal case so I can’t put specifics.

The third and most vital mistake he made was that he usually copied and pasted a series of stock comments he had written (probably in a text file) and spammed them in quick succession at very specific and certain times during the day, the first batch of which is earlier than when most people wake up which helped a lot in the investigation.

It probably says a lot more about him that he’s obsessed enough to want to do this several times a day, which takes up his time but not mine (due to my spam filter) and to go further and spam comments on other blogs too. This, the authorities say, is very indicative of a CLOSE and PERSONAL relationship – someone I probably know in real life, gone slightly unhinged due to competition or work related stress/demands.

That was the nail in the coffin, since it narrows the suspects down to less than 5 people, which can be easily monitored for Internet usage and access patterns.

Cyberbullying doesn’t seem to fun when it’s not anonymous anymore eh? Be smart, don’t think that the Internet is the wild west, coz it’s not. The normal rules and laws apply if all the charges are upheld, the perpetrators will have to go to prison and have a civil lawsuit for damages waiting for them when they come out.

…and it’s not just from me, but from all the people they have impersonated so not only is their freedom affected, their future earnings and current assets will be to. Be smart, and know the difference between freedom of speech and libel, fraud, defamation and threats to property and life.

You are responsible for what you do so make sure to be a responsible online citizen. Contribute to the positive Internet experience, the law is very clear about this, as the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588 Section 233 (1) (b)) states:

(Anyone who) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address, commits an offence.

The Internet is a wonderful place but some people just seem to think that anonymity can provide them with a license to do whatever they wish without consequences but truth to be told, there’s no real anonymity online. Everyone can be tracked with the digital trail you leave behind.

Cyberbullying is a very serious issue as the suicide of Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier and many others have shown. Don’t be disheartened or feel down if you’re a victim of cyberbullying – that’s just what the bully wants and it can have a very strong impact on you emotionally. I was lucky in that I was mature enough to shrug off the daily barrage of comments (over 13 years of blogging can do that to you)…

…but more importantly, I knew what my legal rights were and how I could get justice. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I’m not big on revenge but I believe in personal responsibility so I’m going ahead with the criminal and legal proceedings. I know it’s not easy, especially for younger people, but if you’re a victim, please remember that you’re not alone – find out more about cyberbullying and how to get the help you need at the Klik Dengan Bijak initiative by MCMC.

My late mom’s first Ching Ming (Tomb Sweeping Day)

Arranging Flowers

I was holding the nice arrangement of flowers awkwardly as we loaded the car, before deciding to put it on someone’s lap instead of inside the boot. We were headed for my mom’s burial ground (technically it’s a tomb since it’s aboveground) to pay our respects during the Chinese festival of Ching Ming (similar to All Saints Day).

Mom Ching Ming

It was then that my aunt told us we’ll be better off getting a new mop since having it makes it easier to clean those really hard-to-reach nooks and crannies so we all packed into the car (my sister came back with her husband in tow) and I drove to a nearby grocery store to pick out an appropriate one. I was quite surprised to find them retailing for RM 17.50 each!

Buying Mop

I guess it’s a temporary price increase, just like flowers, to rake (mop?) in the profits during Ching Ming.

Methodist Cemetery Sibu

The actual date is next week on the 5th of April, which happens to be my birthday, but our family has always done it one week in advance, as most people do nowadays since the day itself is really packed with people and it can take hours just to *reach* the burial grounds. It was also close to the exact date when my mom was called home last year.

Cleaning Tomb

My mom was laid to rest almost exactly 1 year ago after her battle with lung cancer at a Methodist cemetery.

Wiping Moms Face

I helped clean the tombstone (said I was wiping mom’s face, to a few quiet twitters) and everyone pitched in as well. The mop turned out to be an AWESOME idea as it allowed us to clean the top and sides easily.

Singing Hymns

These new tombs are meant to be easy-to-clean – unlike my late grandfather’s where you have to pluck grass growing in the cracks. The hardest thing I had to do was to borrow a bucket of water from a nearby construction crew, which they were happy to give, knowing what we were there for.

Flowers Mom

My sister had printed out Amazing Grace and another hymn from the United Methodist Hymnal (my mom loved to sing during church on Sundays) and the entire family sang both before my dad lead us in prayer. He gave a very touching dedication and I could see how so many decades of marriage has cemented these two lives together, making the parting hard even after one year and my heart went out to my dad.

Late Family Portrait

Goodbye mom. You are still missed.

Our traditional fish pie for New Year’s Eve dinner

Fish Pie

I wanted to have a traditional British fish pie for New Year’s Eve dinner so I used ½ fresh salmon and ½ smoked salmon with snow crab meat for a pie. I actually modified Jamie Oliver’s fish pie recipe which used half smoked haddock and half fresh salmon for a “smokier” dish than all fresh fish.

Salmon Fillet Steak

The salmon I got were nice fillets meant for pan-frying that costs RM 79.90 per kg. There was another batch of salmon steaks going for half the price but I didn’t like the look of the sad pieces of fish lying about so I paid premium for the fresher salmon.

You will need:

Fish Pie Recipe

  • 300 grams salmon fillets
  • 150 grams smoked salmon
  • 250 grams snow crab claw legs
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 bunches of spinach
  • 3-4 Brussels sprouts
  • 800 grams of red potatoes
  • 200 grams freshly grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 lemon

Curly Parsley Flat Leaf Parsley

I bought a packet of parsley and you can see the difference between flat-leaf and curly-leaf parsley. There are equal amounts of each in the pack, I just used the flat-leaf ones, also known as Italian parsley.

Fish Pie Cheese

I chopped up all the vegetables into small pieces and lined the bottom of the baking trays with it before adding the grated Cheddar cheese on top. I used two, and that was a mistake, you can’t split a recipe in half like that, will show you why later.

Red Pontiac Potato

Meanwhile, I peeled the Red Pontiac potatoes for chopping into 2 cm chunks. Red potatoes are perfect for baking but due to it’s starch content, is not so suitable for frying. These aren’t the potatoes for French fries, but it’s good as mash.

Dicing Red Tomatoes

The red potatoes are then dumped into a pot of salted water and boiled for 15 minutes until soft.

Skinning Salmon

I started on the fresh salmon fillet after that – you need to skin it since the recipe calls for the fish to be skinned so the easiest way is to de-skin it is to run a sharp knife under it.

Cutting Fish

I chopped up the fresh salmon fillet into bite sized pieces and did the same for the smoked salmon and snow crab claw legs…

Fish Crab Pie

…before dumping everything into the baking trays.

Mixed Fish Pie

You just need to give it a good dousing of extra virgin olive oil and add some salt and black pepper before mixing *everything* thoroughly.

Fish Pie Topping

The red potatoes are mashed and then put on top of the fish pie as a topping. This is where I went wrong coz I used two baking trays and the potatoes were barely enough to cover both!

Potato Topping

I actually needed a deeper baking tray which would provide the same surface area for the potatoes but I really had to stretch the potatoes to cover both trays.

Baked Salmon Pie

I put both of the fish pies into the oven for 40 minutes and they came out perfect!

Fish Pie Baked

The kids both tried it but declared it to be too salty as I had forgotten smoked salmon is already seasoned and added too much salt to the recipe.

Baked Fish Pie

My better half also thought the same, and I had a huge thirst after eating all that due to the sodium.

Fish Pie Cooked

I think I’ll use cod next time instead of salmon, and hold back on the liberal handfuls pinches of salt. smirk

New Year Eve Dinner

Nevertheless, it was a great New Year’s Eve dinner together with the family. :)

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015

2014 has come and gone, and there are a lot of happy memories associated with it (and a few sad ones – we lost a member of our family to cancer, my late mom). It was a year where I learned to be a better person and a year of renewal.

Here’s to a better year in 2015 – may all your hopes be fulfilled, your dreams realized, and your worries conquered. Above all, may you find love, joy and meaning in everything you do.

Happy New Year everyone! :)

How I came back from Frankfurt with more Euros than I went with

euro 700

This is a funny (and true) story which I haven’t written about. I’ve been recovering my crashed HDD photos and came across this bunch. This is from my third Europe trip in 2012 and I actually didn’t bring much Euros there coz the hotel and food was paid for. Thus, I went to Germany with a total of 400 Euros in my wallet.

I travelled the country from Dresden to Berlin and when it was time to come back home, I took a flight from Berlin to Frankfurt. Yes, this was the ill-fated flight that delayed me for almost 2 days. Thank God I was flying Business Class so I had a hotel room and food comped at Sheraton (heard the Economy passengers had to choose between either a shower or a meal).

frankfurt casino

Long story short, I was stuck at Fraport for a long time so I thought I might go to the Frankfurt Airport Casino to see how my luck holds up. The good thing about casinos in airports in Europe is that they actually allow cameras – as long as you don’t take photos of other patrons (croupiers and tables are okay). I did the same at Holland Casino in Amsterdam.

Anyway, I tried putting 100 Euros on Player. They only had a Baccarat table open at the time but that’s my game of choice anyway so it’s all good. I ended up losing all my 400 Euros *and* an additional 1,000 Euros to the house! A friend of mine had joined me at this point and was playing at the Blackjack table. I told him I’m out to withdraw more money and I’ll join him in a bit.

frankfurt casino 500 chip

He later told me he was quite worried about me. I had withdrawn 2,000 Euros at this point and it was all from my credit card! My ATM card had not worked the entire trip. He was there on business so he had a bit of petty cash to play around with but I was using my own money and I was losing lots of it. I decided that the last 1,000 Euros be dedicated to the Blackjack table – a game I do not play much.

frankfurt casino chips

However, as soon as I sat down, I kept winning. I lost count of how many times I got a natural 21, which pays 3-2. I was so caught up with the game that I didn’t even realize I had gotten my bankroll back until my friend nudged me and asked me (he knew I was down 2,400 Euros at this point). I just wish I’ll be somewhere close to this lucky as well when I go play on www.ipadcasino.com.au later! I was actually hovering around the Euro 2,200 point so I took the 2,000 Euros and cashed out, with only 200 Euros to win back the remaining 400 Euros I’ve lost.

fraport casino win

I did have a nasty thought run through my mind at this point – I had tipped the croupier almost 500 Euros at this point (!!!) and would have won if I hadn’t tipped him (tipping the dealer is not allowed in most Asian casinos and will likely get you kicked out). I didn’t realize it, I subconsciously threw a Euro 20 chip his way every time I got Blackjack (that was the second reason my friend nudged me). It almost caused an argument with the dealers when it was time for a change in croupiers. smirk

However, I still believe to this very day that I wouldn’t have won if I had not tipped the croupier so much. I had uncontested wins (where the dealer doesn’t hit to try and better you) a lot of times when I was the only person who didn’t go bust and I think a lot of that had to do with my generosity.

frankfurt casino blackjack

…and with that last 200 Euro in chips I managed to win 700 Euros. I had already cashed out the 2,000 Euros I won prior to this to avoid the temptation to hit the reserves, and that was the story of how I managed to come back from Germany with more money than I went with. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...