Tapering from my stress dose to my baseline is like withdrawal. Although, my problem is dependence rather than addiction- I have to take steroids to stay alive but I should be on the lowest dose possible for me. I have to double dose when my body comes under stress, but once that’s passed, I have to go back to my baseline dose.
The last 2 weeks ish I’ve been tapering after a viral infection. Which for me means reducing by 5mg every other day. It’s not a pleasant process, I still have all my ‘normal’ symptoms from my adrenal insufficiency, plus all the ‘I’m just getting over an illness’ ones everyone else has as well, but on top of that I also get the ‘withdrawal’ ones. Think about the impact the following might have on you emotionally, mentally or physically:
– halving your coffee, tea or alcohol intake
– reducing carbs in your diet
– cutting back on smoking
– not reaching for something to wake you up when you have a sugar slump
– reducing your calorie intake
– not eating chocolate
People who do things like that, like Dry September or Stoptober for example, tend to get recognition of their achievements because it’s seen to be that big a challenge. And most people only tend to do it once in a long period of time because it’s hard. Except tapering happens roughly once every couple of months for me, not including the random adjustments I make some days. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks, sometimes it takes a couple of months to get back to baseline. The longer I spend on a higher dose, the harder it is. And if I get it wrong and reduce too quickly I can make myself ill and have to start the entire process again. All while trying to have some kind of a life.
Granted I don’t have 10 years of being addicted to caffeine to try to cut back on, but those people don’t necessarily have to juggle the myriad of other problems I have, which is why I’m drawing the comparison. I do get the ‘I know I’ll feel better if I take more HC but really shouldn’t’ thoughts that people get when they’re trying to cut back on caffeine or alcohol. It’s hard. But it’s something that’s going to happen regularly for the rest of my life so it’s become ‘normal’ for me. I figure if women can moan about PMT and periods even though they’re normal, I can moan about tapering- it’s far worse than PMT!! Normal or not, it’s always a challenge and I’ll be glad when I’m ‘back to normal’ which should hopefully be in the next few days (*touch wood*).