Kicking the Habit. Again.
Citation: Del. "Kicking the Habit. Again.: An Experience with GBL (exp31841)". Erowid.org. Dec 28, 2005. erowid.org/exp/31841
Its 2:30 in the morning and I find myself undergoing a familiar scene. I'm kicking the GBL habit, again. I first discovered the stuff through a friend, and it was truly miraculous. It was the kind of drug that made me want to stand up and cheer. It could get me through any situation, no matter how unpleasant. It could change my entire perspective on everyone and everything around me. I had become somewhat of recluse at the time, living in a foreign country, but GBL brought out all my old 'social butterfly' qualities. I could talk on just about any subject, endlessly. and we even termed the substance 'gabby' because its what it had us doing most of the time. I found I could once again interact with people with great enjoyment, and it even seemed to enhance my creativity, because it stimulated my mind while giving my body the patience to sit and write.
Then one day the supply went dry, and we had no way of obtaining the stuff for a while. We were frequent online orderers. I had already begun to notice that I was using it to sleep, and much more frequently than when I first began, but I didn't particularly feel worried. I started having withdrawal symptoms. Sleeplessness, restlessness, a strange disjointed feeling accompanied by visual and auditory hallucinations. Some of the symptoms were unpleasant, but none were unbearable, and I thought that if that was all there was to it, then it had to be the perfect drug. After the initial comedown, we missed it around the house but it seemed supplies everywhere had dried up, so we did without, looking forward to the day when more could be found. I think we went about 6 or more months without, after having done it for about a year.
The day came, of course, that we found a new supplier and I ordered loads over the internet. I made damn sure I had a good supply. And I used it too [12-15 Ml a day]. It did not take long for me to go from casual use to everyday and everynight use. I needed it to sleep, and was waking up every few hours just to have a big enough dose to sleep. Problems were brewing in our household, and there was a level of stress that affected everyone here. But GBL took the edge off, made the stress bearable. I increasingly found myself plagued by a variety of health problems, which I cannot for certain attribute to the drug, but in many ways I feel GBL is a contributor to a great many of my aches and pains and skin conditions, etc. A mere few weeks ago I decided enough was enough. I wanted off the stuff. This time I tried the weaning method. My doctor had provided me with Temazepam for stress, and I also had a hefty supply of Ativan. Both these things were a great help in weaning myself off the stuff, for that is the method I chose that time. It wasn't due to deprivation I was quitting, simply that I wanted to. I felt like I'd had enough.
There are plenty of reports that very adequately describe the dopamine rebound and its effects. I started lowering my dosages to just enough to stave off the dopamine, and then I used a little dropper bottle to measure out drops. I started with 30 drops, which closely approximated what I considered my optimal dose. The next time I needed a dose I dropped it to 29, then 28, and so forth and so on, up until - after a couple of days - I was down to 0. With the help of Ativan, it seemed like a piece of cake. Side effects were few and I seemed to suffer very little from the dopamine rebound.
But it was still hanging around in the house. My boyfriend insisted on continuing to take the stuff. And he had never had the addictive problems I had. He had always been a heavy, but still rather casual user, and was always able to sleep at night without it. My habit of waking up in the middle of the night to have gabby would always frustrate him, but it became the only way for me sleep. I tried augmenting the gabby with various sedatives to enhance my sleep, but very little helped. It was only a matter of days before I was taking 'a dose' to celebrate my kicking the habit. I figured from now on I would just use it recreationally, but unfortunately, times are very stressful around the household. I began to depend more and more on GBL to relieve the stress and keep my anxieties at bay. And it worked of course. GBL is my little miracle worker. At the best of times, it is wonderful. At the worst of times, like tonight, it's a demon. It took only a couple of weeks to increase my intake to, and even beyond what I was doing before.
I'm getting on a plane tomorrow to move country and start a new life. I didn't want that life to include the addiction that hangs over me. I was also beginning to notice that the longer I used GBL, the more I became prone to confusion and memory loss. And my physical symptoms were increasing. Strange and nebulous symptoms that the doctors could never find a reason for, but I suspected were caused by my copious intake of GBL. I decided to kick again using the droplet method, and I began first thing yesterday morning. 30 drops. I had no Ativan this time, only a sleeping pill that had been prescribed by my doctor for insomnia. In the face of the dopamine rebound, it didn't work. Yesterday went fine, lowering the dosage drop by drop each time I took the stuff. But there was nothing really to battle the anxiety, and with the upcoming move, the tension level in this household is very high. When night fell, the real troubles began. There was no sleep - none. Not even with my sleeping pills. I became shaky and my heart was palpitating. My breathing was erratic. I decided rather than lowering my dosage through the night, I would keep it level and start lowering it again in the morning.
My level at that point was 19 drops. No sleep. Deep feelings of anxiety. Fear of the future and a helplessness in the face of all that still remained to be done before the big move. I was in and out of bed constantly, and when I was in bed I would suffer from auditory hallucinations. My limbs were trembling and felt weak. My confusion increased, and I could hold a thought in my head no longer than a second. My anxiety was going through the roof. I gave up and got out of bed around 3am, and I found that moving around helped somewhat with the symptoms. Just like now.
This morning I visited the doctor and aquired some valium. I continued my decrease in dosage. The valium helps, but not much, and I need large amounts to keep the symptoms of the dopamine rebound at a bearable level. I seem particularly lucid at the moment, but believe me, most of the day I haven't been. For some reason the valium and the dopamine seem to cycle around each other. I'm a nervous wreck for a while, then I get a short valium reprieve. Valium is supposed to be a longer acting benzodiazipine, but it hasn't worked out that way for me. Not today. I've taken every calmative in the house. herbal calmatives like valerian and kava, and even a bach flower remedy. I try meditating my way through the harsh dopamine moments, or I get up, pace around or lift weights to try and work some of the nervous tension off. By the time I got down to 8 drops a dose, I was fed up. I didn't want anymore and felt like the continued decrease was only prolonging the pain. I poured the last of my supply down the drain.
Since then, there have been moments when I wish I hadn't. I've been through agonizing crying fits, moments of sheer confusion, more heart palpitations, more shaky limbs, feelings of cold, numbness in the extremities, auditory hallucination, 'eye-movies'. When i went to bed tonight, I actually slept a couple of hours. Probably partially due to the fact that I had had absolutely none the night before and was exhausted, and more due to the amount of valium I had taken. By that time the valium was cycling around the rebound and I was having periods of calm alternating with periods of absolute terror. As I said, I believe I slept for a couple of hours, but I was awakened by some of the closest, most dreadful nightmares I have ever experienced. They seemed right on top of me, and I haven't been able to get back to sleep, even with more valium. I also awoke with more heart palpitations.
So I got up, to write this. My boyfriend thought it might be cathartic for me to do so. My stomach is growling very loudly, and i realize I haven't eaten today. Nearly every ounce of my energy had been expended trying to kick this habit. There is no more GBL in the house now - I have no choice. I'm going through with it one way or another. And I have an international flight to make soon, and can only hope the symptoms will have subsided enough by then to allow me to finish the packing that needs to be done, and get on that plane without fear of a major anxiety attack.
After this, no more GBL. Anyone who can use it casually can derive a great deal of enjoyment and enhancement of experiences. I would recommend being well-informed before trying it. I thought I was. But addiction to the stuff is - at least this time around - hell. Especially when situations are already stressful. It is now 4 am. I still feel reasonably lucid, and I'm hoping the worst is over. After the days of weaning I can only hope the dopamine will subside a little more quickly and let me get on with my life. I want to be clear-headed again, I want to be free from crazy undiagnosable physical symptoms, I want to sleep without a sip of GBL or a pill, I want my hands to type without shaking and I want my journey to be a productive and happy one. Wish me luck.
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