Weekend Update: Crab 🦀 + Fish 🐟 + Prawn 🦐 @ Sun Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Filipino Food @ Kota Raya, Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Review

Mandy was craving for some crab on Saturday night so we headed to Sun Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Puchong so she can get her fix. Crab is her favorite food – we’ve eaten crab at Pulau Ketam, crab at KKB during Valentine’s Day, and crab in Kuching during CNY in the past few months. She eats these scarlet crustaceans about once a month! 🦀 I enjoy eating crab when it’s peeled like in 1 Michelin star Raan Jay Fai and I love the Alaskan king crab I had in Korea but I find it too troublesome to bother with harvesting the flesh of local flower and mud crabs.

I enjoy eating fish more, especially steamed fish. This is asam tilapia (RM 39) which was recommended by the colourful waiter. 🐟 The savory asam sauce goes very well with rice! There’s a fair bit of meat on the tilapia too.

The restaurant also served us a bowl of complimentary bitter gourd 🥒 and tofu soup. It tasted slippery and starchy. Quite decent for a free soup.

Mandy also had butter prawns (RM 20). 🦐 You can choose either “dry butter” or “wet butter” – the former is deep fried strands of crispy butter and the latter is more like a buttery sauce. I tend to prefer the wet type since the sauce goes better with rice.

She also wanted tofu so we got salted egg yolk tofu (RM 12). 🍢 The tofu is homemade and coated with salted egg crust before being deep friend. I don’t like tofu but my dad and Mandy loves tofu so I’ve grown to tolerate it.

This is the main dish – black pepper crab (RM 68). 🧂 They gave us 3 medium crabs but the “medium” here was quite tiny. The crabs had tons of roe though! Crab roe filled the shells and the body. I love crab roe and the black pepper sauce was delicious!

This restaurant also has free self-service ice cream. They only had two flavors – cookies and cream and mint chocolate but they’re pretty good. I indulged in a big bowl of ice cream and ate another cone with two scoops. You’re never too full for dessert! We ordered too much food for 2 pax though. I managed to finish all the dishes except for the crab but I was stuffed! I tapau the leftover crab for Mandy. Dinner came up to RM 142.50. The food is actually very reasonably priced here. It tastes good too. 😋

My bro Eddy and his wife came down to KL so I went to Kota Raya to meet them. We had lunch at the stall formerly known as Mariza’s Delights. It’s under new management now but they haven’t saw it fit to replace the banner hanging over their shop. Kota Raya is a Filipino hub in downtown Kuala Lumpur – it feels like a mini Manila! 🇵🇭 This shop came highly recommended so we went to check it out.

It’s a Pinoy chap fan stall with various dishes you can pick and choose from. The interior was PACKED with Filipinos! You have to be comfortable eating with your knees pressed against the person beside you and having the plump back of the person behind you rest against yours. 🍽️ It’s that kind of place. I believe travel guides use “full of character” to describe places like this.

The food was slightly unfamiliar but I liked the pork soup with plantains and the pork cooked in thickened pig’s blood. 🐷 However, all of the dishes were cold. It would have been a lot better if they’re cooked to order, but this is a chap fan stall.

I also ordered a halo-halo. 🍨 I had halo-halo during my trip to Boracay in the Philippines and I enjoyed it very much. It’s a complex dessert with condensed milk, milk, coconut cream, yam ice cream, various jellies and a baked scorched milk custard. They go very well together and there’s so many textures going on, it’s like an adventure! Very nice.

The bill came up to RM 112 for 6 pax, which is a surprise for this kind of stall. 😱 That works out to almost RM 20 per person – quite a lot for this type of dining experience. It was fun to experience the Philippines in the middle of KL though.

Kota Raya had many grocery stores selling imported food from the Philippines. I picked up several different flavors of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton. 🍜 This is a dry noodle from the Philippines that I’ve heard a lot of good things about. They’re selling it for around RM 11 per pack or RM 2 per packet.

I tried the Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Xtra Hot Chilli Flavor that night. 🌶️ Each noodle brick is 80 grams, similar to Indomie. There’s a powder sachet and a twin liquid sachet containing light soy sauce and chilli sauce.

I ate 3 packets of Pancit Canton (literally Cantonese noodles) with the leftover crab and ayam pongteh. 🐔 It was decent but light years behind the Indomie/Mi Sedaap benchmark, which I consider the best in the dry noodle class. I gave it a 6/10 and Mandy rated it 7.5/10. We both rate Mi Sedaap as 10/10.

However, a Filipino commented on my Facebook the moment I posted my review to disagree. 😄 He said he felt Lucky Me! tastes better than Indomie and gave me some tips to improve the flavour, like adding 2 sachets of flavor to 1 packet of noodles. I like the loyalty Filipinos have to their home country but from a neutral taste perspective, Indonesia is still the king with their Indomie/Mi Sedaap duopoly. Haha.

Weekend Update: Burnin’ Pit 🔥, The Ice Cream Bar 🍨, Samyang Jjolbokki Buldak Noodles 🌶️, Ayam Pongteh 🐔

I hardly ever go to Desa Sri Hartamas nowadays coz it’s so far from my house. I like the place though – it’s a small community of Korean 🇰🇷 and Japanese 🇯🇵 expats and the F&B options there reflects this unique demographic. Our dinner plans for date night was to start out at The Café Chicken for Korean Fried Chicken. This was previously named WOW Chicken.

I was misled by Google into thinking The Café Chicken was still open. Upon venturing up to the dingy first floor, I popped my head into a dodgy bistro and asked where it was. One of the staff inside told me it’s permanently closed. 🔒 We walked around the area and Mandy suggested Burnin’ Pit. Burnin’ Pit serves Texas style BBQ – a variety of meats grilled low and slow.

The space that holds Burnin’ Pit is open and inviting, with lots of incandescent lights. The place is mostly staffed by Filipinos, although I believe they’re pork free. They serve alcohol though so they wouldn’t be eligible for a halal certificate. I indulged in a Carlsberg draft – only RM 8.54 during happy hour! 🍺

Mandy ordered pulled lamb (RM 22/100 g – 200 grams minimum order) 🐑 and I went for their beef brisket (RM 22/100 g – 200 grams minimum order) 🐄. We also got one side each – Mac and Cheese (RM 7.50) 🧀 and Mashed Potatoes with Beef Bacon (RM 7.50) 🥔. The beef brisket was nice and smoky and we also enjoyed the pulled lamb. The sides were a bit meh but edible. They also gave us 2 complimentary buttery dinner rolls (good).

Overall Burnin’ Pit’s meat products were good. I wanted to try their percik chicken but we were too stuffed from our order. Everything was so rich and heavy – even the sides were laden with cream and cheese so you can’t eat a lot without feeling jelak. Service was prompt and attentive. 💁 The prices were a little on the high side– our bill came up to RM 129.40 – but reasonable for the area and food.

This is a nice place to satisfy your meat cravings. 🍖

After dinner, we headed over to The Ice Cream Bar for dessert. This is run by Inside Scoop but under a different brand so they can do non-halal flavors. They did a partnership with Singleton (the single malt whisky) to produce a range of Singleton Select flavors. 🥃 They have a lot of alcoholic ice creams on offer, and they taste really good too!

One problem with alcohol ice cream flavors is that they’re sometimes done purely for the novelty factor. I’ve had beer and Red Bull vodka ice cream in Tongue Fun, Bangkok – all very dismal. The ones at The Ice Cream Bar is excellent though. We had Guinness Chocolate Brownie and Bacardi Chocolate Crunch in their homemade cone. They also had White Rabbit ice cream, which we tried but didn’t order. 🐇

Since we’re in Desa Sri Hartamas, I thought a visit to a Korean grocery shop was in order. We walked around and Mandy bought a melon milk drink priced at a staggering RM 10 for a small bottle. 🍈 I found the new Jjolbokki Buldak Bokkeum Myeon by Samyang at a more reasonable RM 22.40 for a pack of 4. I also picked up a really cheap box of Korean jjajang mixture for RM 7.50.

I cooked two packets of the Samyang Jjolbokki Buldak later that night. 🍜 Wow. Just wow. I eat Samyang new releases without fail coz I love instant noodles but I mostly left unimpressed. The only recent one I liked was Samyang Jjajang last year. But none left a huge impression on me until Samyang Jjolbokki – the noodles are insanely chewy!

It’s so textural and pleasurable to eat. Nyum nyum nyum. The crispy fried chicken cracker topping tastes like Mamee Chicken and  goes so well with the gummy noodles. It’s a non-stop mochi party in your mouth! I need to get more of this.

Sunday was my cooking day and I made a huge pot of ayam pongteh with 4 kg of chicken legs. 🍗 I haven’t made this in a long time and I’ve been craving for it. I fried lots of shallots, red onions, garlic and Bombay onions in sesame oil before adding potatoes, taucu (fermented bean paste), dark soy sauce, sucralose, fish sauce and chicken stock. I also chopped the chicken legs into drums and thighs so it’s easier to store.

Mandy wanted some vegetables so I cooked a medley of green peas, baby corn, broccoli and oyster mushrooms in oyster sauce. 🍄 I really liked how this turned out. I only pan fried them for a while so everything is still crunchy and fresh. The oyster mushrooms tasted really savory and umami!

The chicken was good too but overtly oily. You need to skim the top of the bowl coz there’s an oil slick there after cooking this amount of chicken. 4 kg of chicken can make the pot look like the Exxon oil spill! 🛢️ However, it’s hard to do when the gravy is still hot and solid. I usually do it the next day after it’s been refrigerated – the fat rises to the top and solidifies, making it easily skimmable.

We ended dinner with Tillamook Monster Cookie ice cream. 🍦 This is a delicious concoction of cookie dough ice cream, salty peanut butter, crispy oats and M&M type candies. I’ve been indulging a bit too much though. Mandy assures me I’m not fat but I think she has a secret agenda to make me overweight and unattractive. I need to diet stating today.

Weekend Update: Crème de la Crème, Burger Mbira, Ang Chow Pork Belly with Engkabang Butter Rice

Mandy loves unicorns and desserts so I thought Crème de la Crème (CDLC) would be the perfect spot for our weekend date night. This is a new place that just opened a few days ago in Damansara Uptown. They’re a specialty ice cream shop with handcrafted ice cream made in-store. We actually popped by during dinner time so we could try these frozen delights when we’re hungry.

They have an interesting range of creative ice cream desserts from Beauty and the Beast (a rose shaped dark chocolate and Madagascar vanilla ice cream creation) to Da Bomb (which is shaped like one of those antique spherical bombs with a fuse running from the top). They’re all very beautiful and no doubt crafted for the Instagram crowd.

Mandy chose Unicorn (RM 22) – a Madagascar vanilla ice cream with lychee and raspberry sorbet, white chocolate dip and a pastel meringue. It looks like a very pretty Magnum, and I like the eyelashes, which really brings this unicorn together. The vanilla is good, contrasted by the sour sorbet components.

I went for the Longevity (RM 25) – Japanese matcha and black sesame ice cream with mango yuzu compote, lemon curd, matcha sponge and white chocolate dip. This reminded me of the bao that came out in Pixar’s recent animation. The Oriental components work well together but I’m not the biggest fan of black sesame – would not have ordered it if I had bothered reading the description. I’ll be the first to admit I choose based on presentation. Haha.

We wanted to try their Unicorn Drink (RM 18) but it was sold out on that day. We both didn’t want coffee coz it was late so we had another dessert instead – two scoops of ice cream! I chose Roasted Pistachio (very good and burnt tasting) and she had Kaya and Toast (the bread bits are super crunchy).

I really liked their store made ice cream. They have very different flavors and local twists and the ice cream is well made. I particularly enjoyed their roasted pistachio. The burnt and toasted notes really come through. It’s a flavour profile I really enjoy. 10/10.

There are lots of spots where you can take photos for the ‘gram too. Most new F&B spots prioritize these feature walls nowadays.

The bill came up to RM 76.10. Not cheap for a dessert outing but on par with similar establishments. We ordered a little too much and it was cloying to eat so much sweet stuff but sharing one of their mini ice cream cakes or having a scoop of ice cream each would have been perfect!

We needed something salty after that (and we haven’t had dinner) so we headed to Burger Mbira around the corner. This place has good reviews and I read an article that (falsely) claimed Burger Mbira makes their own patties. This is untrue – they use Ramly beef burger patties as can be seen by the stack beside their grill. I asked if they have homemade ones and they said they do not, they only use additional toppings like hash browns to add some zest to their offerings.

I went for the Deluxe Big and Tasty (Beef) as recommended by the lady. This was a standard Ramly beef patty topped with a chicken slice and crispy hash brown. It’s not bad and I like the crunchy hash brown inside the burger. However, it took 40 minutes for the burger to arrive. That’s an insanely long wait for what is essentially a Ramly burger with a few pre-made, store-bought flairs.

Mandy had the Chicken Spicy Deluxe. This patty may be homemade or perhaps they just deep fried a regular Ramly chicken burger patty. It doesn’t taste extraordinary. There’s nothing remotely gourmet about the burgers here – these are merely street corner burgers masquerading as something more with a few off-the-shelf items added. It’s like The Mac’s in USJ – I don’t see why we should be glorifying mediocre food assembled with store-bought ingredients. Give this a pass. You can get way better burgers at places like myBurgerLab.

On Sunday, I decided to cook engkabang butter rice! I bought two sticks of these beauties in Sibu – one for RM 20 and the other RM 15. Engkabang is a type of nut in Borneo and the locals extract the oils and make it into a paste, which is then sold in short bamboo lengths. You just push the inner tube of engkabang butter out and let it dissolve in warm rice. It has an unusual jungle-y nut taste which is quite addictive!

I also bought some ang chow (red yeast rice wine sediments) in Sibu and I used it to cook pork belly. This is more fried than stewed. I first stir-fried ginger in hot sesame oil before adding pork belly slices, ang chow and other seasonings. It tasted really good paired with the engkabang butter rice! One of my better recipes.

I also bought a honeydew coz Mandy loves honeydew but unfortunately, it wasn’t sweet. No worries, we’ll just make this into juice. 👌

Weekend Update: Outdark Malaysia, Xing Fu Tang Bubble Tea, Surprise Care Package, Homemade Sarawak Laksa

Saturday is our date night and I listed 3 options for Mandy to choose from – Carpenter’s Daughter, Big Hug Burger and Outdark Malaysia. They’re all around the SS15 area coz she wanted to check out Xing Fu Tang. That’s the latest bubble tea shop from Taiwan to open in Malaysia and the queues are insane. We actually went there first but had to wait till 7:30 pm for their drink allocation to open up so we headed to Outdark.

Outdark Malaysia is a Korean franchise that came from Busan. I went to Busan a few years ago for a work trip – it’s a nice place but I prefer Japan to Korea. They had a glass wall where you can write on with felt tip markers and Mandy drew both our names there.

I like the ambience of the restaurant – the warm lights provide a nice vibe. However, the tables can be a bit sticky despite the guy wiping it twice, the second time quite carefully. It may be the type of lacquer which makes it prone to retaining the stickiness from food instead of wiping clean.

We ordered the The Ultimate Cheese Kingdom (RM 88). This is their flagship dish of Korean fried chicken, tteokbokki and gooey cheese. There are sides of kimchi, short grained rice with seaweed, sweet corn with more cheese and mashed potatoes.

The server waits for the cheese to melt then wraps each fried chicken in a cocoon of cheese. It tastes pretty good. The fried chicken is covered in a sweet tomato and gochujang sauce which can be very cloying in large amounts but the savoury cheese cuts through the sweetness well. We both enjoyed it.

The bill came up to RM 104.50 including drinks which is decent for a weekend dinner. They serve reasonably priced soju compared to grocery stores too.

We left promptly at 7:30 pm and joined the long queue in front of Xing Fu Tang. There was a girl giving out tickets. Each slot (about 2.5 hours between slots) only has a maximum of 100 cups of their signature Stir-fried Brown Sugar Pearl Milk and 25 cups of their Strawberry Pearl Milk tea. I hear these tickets are fully taken up within 10 minutes! Each person can only have 2.

I wouldn’t doubt it. We got 84/100 for the brown sugar boba and 10/25 for the strawberry boba and we were there at 7:30 pm when the slot opened! Part of the problem is the newness – it’s only been open 4 days so people want to see what they’re about.

It took us 45 minutes before we got to the front. There’s a staff stir-frying the brown sugar pearls in a huge wok. This is then poured into a cup, making sure to get the liquid on every side, to produce their signature look. It costs RM 25 for two bobas which is on par with other imported Taiwanese brands. They also use a better barista fresh milk to make their drinks.

One quirky thing about Xing Fu Tang is they let each person who buys a drink have a go at their lucky draw. You pick a random stick from a huge basin and the number is matched to one of the drawers. This is similar to the Buddhist fortune telling sticks. You basically get your fortune told, with a grand prize of a free boba drink.

Mandy got Great Luck while I got Greatest Good Luck. We both wondered if they have a Bad Luck drawer. Probably not.

Xing Fu Tang’s flagship Stir-fried Brown Sugar Pearl Milk was disappointing though. It tasted tepid and dilute. It’s still better than the commercialized Chatime/Tealive but nowhere close to The Alley’s standard. It’s milky, but not very tea-like. Mandy gave it 7/10 compared to The Alley’s 9/10. The Strawberry Pearl Milk Tea was better – acidic and refreshing, yet sweet. I quite enjoyed it!

I made a care package for Mandy and surprised her by putting it on our living room coffee table with no comment for her to find. I filled it with Korean and Japanese face masks, a chocolate bar, a packet of Ribena, a lotion and a comic book. I noticed she really enjoys masks but finds them expensive on her salary so I thought I’ll get them for her. She uses them so frugally that I felt sorry for her. Haha.

Sunday night was my experiment with homemade Sarawak laksa. I bought the paste during my trip to Kuching over CNY. Mandy’s mom provided me with some mystery seeds which she says tastes good in laksa so I thought I’ll make some. I made a deluxe version with chicken leg, lots of prawns, sambal, lime, coriander and shredded omelette. You can barely see the rice vermicelli! It’s decent but missing something. I’ll cook the paste with prawn heads and shells next time. We’re off to Sibu next weekend for Ching Ming! I also have a work trip to Penang this Friday and another one to Ipoh when we come back from Sibu so it’s a busy week ahead.

My new housemate

Mandy

I have a new housemate. She’s 24 and staying here for 3 weeks. I have lived most of my adult life alone, so I was a bit hesitant to have someone stay over. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t mind paying a bit more for the entire unit instead of having to share rooms. That’s not to say that I’ve never had roommates. In various stages of my life, I’ve had female companions (I hesitate to use the word girlfriend) stay over at my place long term.

Mandy-KL

The most memorable (though not for the reasons you think) was this wild girl who stayed in my room when I was 17. She was 19 and hung out with this lesbian crew of motorcyclists. No need to fantasize coz they’re all very dismal looking. Hideous, rough and stocky. Except her though, she was slim, feminine and quite good looking! A friend of mine who joined the 3rd Mile gang in Kuching introduced her to me. “Eh tang chiau eh,” he whispered conspiratorially. You can play with this one. God knows where he found/met her.

Mandy-Milk

I had to go back to Sibu for Chinese New Year and she convinced me to let her stay on while I was away. Bad decision. She ran up a RM 200+ phone bill, threw parties with her lesbian biker friends, got into a fight with the neighbor who told her to keep the noise down, police were called, my landlord was called, they were all kicked out. She even wanted my landlord’s address so she can go kick her ass! I was almost evicted for letting an unauthorized person stay over.

Mandy-Office

Needless to say, that experience did not endear me to housemates. The sex wasn’t great either, mostly coz she had a serious BO problem. Her armpits were very funky! I’ve had other roommates since but none I remember as vividly as that first one. She gave me PTSD about people staying over. Hahaha.

Housemate-Shopping

Thus, when my friend asked if his girlfriend can stay over, I was exceedingly reluctant. My roommate from hell 20 years ago was still fresh in my mind. Also, I’ve seen her photos and she’s very attractive. I thought it best to not expose myself to such enticement. Flee from temptation, the bible extorts us. Flee! I grudgingly said okay.

Mi-Sedaap

She came on Saturday and we’ve had a chance to hang out and talk. She’s grown on me. This one is a college psychology graduate – a nice, soft spoken girl miles apart from my first ever roommate. I was secretly pleased when she asked if I’ve eaten when she arrived at KL Sentral – she wanted to tapao for me. Gam sek zou! She also likes Mi Sedaap so bonus points for that. Haha.

New-Housemate

I found myself enjoying her company. It’s nice to have people around. Like a cat, but more interactive. 😄

Mandy-Housemate

There’s really no point to this post. I just remembered my terrible housemate from 20 years ago and wanted to share the story. Here comes the abrupt ending.

Kuching-Housemate

I know my first housemate was a rare outlier and she’s on one extreme of the negative-experience-with-roommates scale. This one is on the other end – the positive-experience-with-housemates end. Both are rare and most people fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t mind nice housemates. Sekian, terima kasih.

Home Improvement

Tape

I have my own place now but it’s still quite empty. I spent 20k on an initial renovation but that’s mostly air conditioning, fans, concealed piping and wiring, and kitchen cabinets. The apartment was completely empty when I bought it. Even now, the only fully furnished area is the kitchen. I’m actually okay with that coz I spend most of the time in the bedroom and I never felt the need to clutter my surroundings with stuff.

DIY

However, I have recently got into slowly upgrading things around the house. My minimalist goals were slowly eroded by practicality and the fact that I live above a mall so I tend to pop into this cheap DIY shop to look around. I have accumulated stuff, necessary stuff, but stuff nonetheless. It was a rail for my bath towel at first. Then came the small hook for a face towel beside the bathroom sink coz I thought it’ll look nice. Then a holder for my shaver, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, floss. You know how it is.

Bidet

It’s gotten to the point where I’m actively looking for new things to add to my place. I won’t say it’s a bad thing, doing this gradually over a year has actually become quite pleasant and I must admit I feel a mild consumerist rush when I install something new in my condo. It’s quite fun. Today I bought small wooden hooks for my car keys and house keys as well as a bidet. I don’t have a bidet but I have a tap beside my toilet.

This one only cost RM 16 or so. I was told I can just install it without any tools but the guy told me to buy these adhesive thing so the bidet won’t leak. I put everything together as per instructions and it works fine but the top part is leaking. Not where the tape is, it’s the bit where the connecting hose comes out so I suspect it’s defective. I’ll go and change it tomorrow.

Hook

I’m pretty happy with the hooks though. I’ve always put my keys on top of my fridge, but I thought it’ll be nice to hang it beside the main door instead. I know these are simple and basic things but doing a small project like this every few days makes me happy.

My very first Boyzilian!

Bananas

I have just finished my very first Boyzilian waxing session. Yup, it’s the male version of the Brazilian, where they remove all your pubic hair and the ones around your anus/crack too. I’ve made it a point to keep my dick clean shaven coz I like women to be hairless down there too and I thought I’ll return the favor. Most females prefer a shaven look. I have usually taken to it with a razor but it’s so annoying to have the little hairs grow out and tickle you down there.

Waxing

Thus, I called up a waxing place and they told me they’ll give me RM 39 for my first time. It turns out to be RM 60 but it’s still really cheap compared to their usual price. I also went for underarm hair removal, everything was RM 89. I have heard many horror stories about the application and removal of wax by force to the nether regions and I must admit, I was a little apprehensive.

I also wasn’t used to girls I’m not sleeping with touching my junk. However, I’m not an excessively modest or conservative person so I really didn’t mind either. I honestly would prefer a female to a male.

Me

I stripped down to my birthday suit and got on the massage table. First up was my pits. Not very complicated, although I had just recently shaved so she needed to pluck out the smaller ones with tweezers. I had to control my tickle response though. I kept bursting out in laughter when she touched my armpits. Ticklish.

Next, the main event. She did the area below my ballsack first. The sides of the legs where it’ll show the most when you don swimwear. It really wasn’t that bad at all. I didn’t even find it painful. No big deal. I was puzzled by the feedback on Brazilian waxes being painful.

Brazilian

Then she moved on to the sides of the balls. No problem too. She removed all the hair beside my testicular region and moved to the upper part.

Wax

The part that joins to my actual penis. I was playing with my phone, taking photos and such when she pulled off the first strip. I actually had to bite my tongue to prevent me from shouting out in pain and surprise. It was surprisingly gnarly. I was half afraid she’ll accidentally rip my penile shaft off.

Boyzilian

You’ll notice that my toes are curled in at this point. I was doing that in trepidation of the next time the wax strip is pulled off. It’s not unbearable but definitely uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. Worth it for a clean bush though.

Clean Dick

I’ve never even done any sort of waxing before this so it was a learning experience. I would do it again, but I’m too lazy for this to be a regular thing, unless I’m sleeping with someone. I’m not currently banging anyone so I guess the only people I have to show my new cleanly shaved dong is you guys. Enjoy! Hehe

Day 14

I feel like the 14th day is the usual time you break through the tough part. The past two weeks have been hell and I still have terrible insomnia (which is a special kind of torture) but all other withdrawal effects have pretty much subsided. I still have occasional bouts of the chills and sneezing as well as diarrhea but it’s nowhere near as bad as the past fortnight. I have only had 8 hours of sleep since Day 1 and that was with promethazine (and a cocktail of other first generation antihistamines).

Trashing Room

Unfortunately, I got a bad case of akathisia (state of agitation from antipsychotics, promethazine can elicit this effect) from all that. It was so bad I felt like I was going crazy. I thrashed my entire room and kicked in my TV and notebook. I’m not the type of person to rock star trash rooms and I’ve never done anything like this before. I also bit myself on my arms to get some relief from the intense akathisia and paresthesia. It was so fucking intense I couldn’t believe it. It’s like you accidentally took a deliriant with a super heavy body load. I knew I shouldn’t but I pulled all my clothes out of the wardrobe, threw instant noodle packets to the fan, tore blankets and bedsheets with my bare teeth and just went Hulk on the entire room.

I love the photos and videos and assorted data I have in my notebook and one part of my mind was telling me “Don’t do this, you’ll regret it” but the other part, the dominant part, smashed my notebook anyway. I had to go buy a new one yesterday coz the screen is smashed and the hard disk was non-functional after being kicked around the room. Jesus fucking Christ. It’s not just akathisia of the body but of the mind, I felt like I was possessed by a stronger willed being which was causing me so much discomfort and downright insanity that I had to do something to relief myself.

Of course, there are no such things as beings and possession, I’m merely using an analogy to describe how I felt. I didn’t dare take any after that but after not sleeping for 2 more days after that I popped 3 x 25 mg promethazine again and managed 3 hours of sleep last night. I also had TERRIBLE akathisia but knowing the carnage I left that time, I was smarter and locked up all my electronics (especially my new notebook!) and the destruction was minimal – mostly just tearing up blankets with my teeth and biting myself and punching and kicking walls. It’s hard to tell yourself not to behave like that coz the overriding imperative from the akathisia is so strong. It’s hard to explain coz you already get RLS and akathisia from opiate withdrawal and this is excarberating it.

The reason I was taking mild sedatives was coz I didn’t want to take benzos anymore. I was wondering why my benzodiazepine withdrawals were so mild when I quit earlier this year. I had some bad effects and seizures for a few days and a few bouts of rage where I had to physically restrain myself from kicking someone’s ass for no reason but otherwise it was quite easy. Well, I found out later (now) that it was coz the Suboxone was masking most of the effects and making me chill and calm and still able to sleep. Thus, the intense withdrawals of Suboxone I’m feeling are also mixed with the tail end of benzo withdrawal which I masked with opiates. Fuck…

Oh well, things looks quite positive now though, I’m going to force myself to sleep with promethazine every 3 days or so and ride out the akathisia, It doesn’t feel like it’s worth it when I’m feeling it but after I get rested I think it’s all good. The worse of the Suboxone withdrawals are over, just the insomnia part and the depression and the anxiety. The last two I can deal with pretty well due to my long term usage of benzodizepines most of my adult life and the process of withdrawing from that so it’s not too bad. I just want more sleep and I’ll be normal again. It’s not too bad. I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I quit Suboxone but it’s definitely not something I want to repeat. The past week has been a nightmare, the worst thing I’ve been through. Even though heroin and OxyContin withdrawals are worse, you don’t feel it as long – would you rather lug a 5 kg bottle of water for 1 day or a 1 kg bottle of water for 14 days?

Most people would rather do the former coz it’s easier and there are ways to get over the shorter duration. I wish I hadn’t gone on Suboxone when I wanted to quit heroin and OxyContin but it was a government approved thing at the time and I wanted relief. I would have told myself to tough out the few days instead of the fortnight if I could. I’m better now so there will be no more updates. You can withdraw from Suboxone, I jumped from 4 mg daily which is a relatively high dose to quit from so try something less if you want the symptoms to be less intense. Peace out!

Addendum: I got 2 hours of sleep last night au naturel without antihistamines or any other sleep aids. This is the last post I’ll make about this, things are really getting so much better now so if you feel like you’re going to give up, just wait till Day 14 and reevaluate coz I promise things will look so much easier after a fortnight.

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 detox and withdrawal (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 after being in rehabilitation “When I found The Beaches Treatment Center it was a true life changer for me”  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.

I’m feeling better now – this is my last post on Suboxone.

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.



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