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I'm a 40-year old trial attorney in Louisville, Ky. I've been married to hopefortoday for 16 years this October 29. We dated for 5 years before we were married. We have a 5-year old daughter and 6-year old son. They are really good (and fun) kids -- we're taking the day off tomorrow and going to Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN, for our "end of Summer" outing.

I grew up very poor on a tobacco farm in the western part of Ky (Henderson, just across the Ohio river from Evansville, IN). I played football at a junior college in Illinois out of high school until a drunken episode got me booted. I then went to Bellarmine College in Louisville and played baseball for awhile before transferring to the University of Louisville where I graduated in 1986. After undergrad, I goofed off for a few years -- lots of drugs and alcohol -- before starting law school in 1989. I didn't do hardly any partying while in law school -- I felt that I wouldn't be able to get thru if I didn't study all the time so that's what I did.

After graduating law school in 1992, I began practicing at a firm I worked for while in law school for 2 1/2 years. Hopefortoday and I had a blast right out of law school -- we took a couple of trips every year to the Carribean scuba diving (and doing mega amounts of Cocaine) and basically had a lot of fun. That's why we didn't have kids until we had been married nearly 10 years.

I think (actually know) I was an alcoholic from the very first time I drank a beer at the age of 15 because it took away all the insecurities, etc. I had. However, I was smart enough (no second opinions please) to know that if I did anything more than binge drinking on the weekends that I would never be able to practice law.

Then, sometime around 1995 or so, a "friend" introduced me to vicodin. I thought I had found nirvana. Here was something that I would take and I would feel great but no one would know because I would, much like Candibee, work like a madman for 10-16 hours a day without missing a beat. Of course, I developed a healthy tolerance to the ever increasing strength of meds I was taking (vicodin to percocet to morphine to oxycontin).

I got to the point I was doing 200-300 mgs a day of the Oxys (at $1 per mg) but was not getting anything out of them other than the ability to get out of bed. That's when the pills turned on me and went from my supposed best friend to the worst enemy I've ever had. I was like a zombie with no cares other than obtaining the Oxys. I neglected everything in my life until it got to the point I finally reached out for help a little over 5 years ago when I went into an outpatient program -- I actually used while I was participating in the program and only stayed clean a very short period of time.

Then, on 1/22/01, it got so bad that I thought my wife and kids would be much better off without me in their lives so I swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills and washed them down with a pint of gin. Fortunately, I threw some of the pills up. I don't remember it but that is what saved my life.

That little episode got me locked down on the psych ward at one of our local hospitals for a week. Afterwhich I entered another outpatient program. Stayed clean a couple of months or so, then relapsed for a couple of months before going to an inpatient treatment center in Mississippi for 72 days in the summer of 2001.

Stayed clean for over 14 months before relapsing last October after losing my dad and a really big trial in a very short time span (those aren't excuses because I was already on my way to a relapse when they happened but they gave me a good enough justification to go back out there and try it again).

Used off and on (mostly on) from October 2002 until about 5 weeks ago when I was put on the suboxone. It's hard to explain how the suboxone makes me feel other than to say I feel what I perceive to be "normal". I did have some very minor side-effects that lasted less than 48 hours when I first started the suboxone but have none now (other than really vivid dreams).

I don't get any kind of high from the drug but, and this is the good part, I don't have any desire, craving or mental obsession to get high. In summary, I have never felt better but have this weird feeling that I'm going to wake up some day and it's all going to be a dream and there really isn't such a drug as suboxone and I'm going to be out there fighting the cravings on a daily basis again.

Sorry for the length of the post but, as you can see from reading this board, there are addicts and then there are ADDICTS... I fall into the latter category because I absolutely loved doing drugs. The great thing is that it sounds so disgusting for me to even admit that now but I've been told I need to know that I'm a junkie and will be one for the rest of my life.

I attend AA/NA (mostly AA) meetings on an almost daily basis and have worked the steps a couple of times and am getting ready to do it again this fall. I am truly grateful to be living in this day and time because, before 1935 (when AA was started), there was no place for someone like me to turn, much less a drug like suboxone or even methadone, and I would have been left to my own devices which would have been disastrous.

I actually feel very fortunate to be who I am because I think I'm truly a better person as a result of working the steps and being humbled by something that is much stronger than I will ever hope to be.

I truly am,
verylucky
Lucky, please don't put yourself down--I read every word you write with extreme interest--I probably owe it to you that my life is already so much more sane than it was even a week ago, when I first phoned an addictionologist and attended my first NA meeting...

Started on the suboxone Friday night. I guess there's a part of me that feels like I'm "cheating" still, because there's a part of me that thinks I deserve to therefore SHOULD be suffering without the hydrocodone that has been the focus of my life for the past five or eight years...

And I know that with the suboxone I'm not yet "home free" by any means. But I AM so grateful to have a clear head with which to ponder my recovery, one free from obsession, one with significantly reduced guilt... I'm thankful that I can begin to learn how to live my life NOT HIGH. I'm thankful that a $45 copay covers all I need for my addiction for the next month... Instead of being worried about coming up with the THOUSAND or more that I might normally spend...

I'm having trouble opening up at the meetings I'm attending. For one thing I'm worried that when I DO begin to try to share, that I'm just going to melt into one big ball of tears, and I guess I'm just not ready to be that vulnerable to a bunch of strangers...

So maybe sharing some here could be a bridge to sharing there? Let's see...

I was a major pothead for about ten years before being introduced to vicodin, which I received for about five years for FREE by virtue of a friend who worked in a pharmacy. Still cannot believe that for about five years after that, that I was able to keep my intake to three to five a day, maybe because I knew I could only get 100 every three weeks or so? But thank God for that, since at that time they were the 10/650s, so that had I escalated then to where I was last week, at over twenty a day, I might not be here now, still with a functioning liver anyway...

But that supply ceased, and was eventually replaced with online pharmacies, which was eventually replaced with another person, all of which cost mega bucks. And what was really bad was that when I'd run out of my regular stuff, I'd spend two or three hundred dollars for a two day supply of oxycontin, so the whole money thing is just maddening. I just hope and pray God can forgive me for all the theft and deceit that went along with that... I pray about it every day...

I had actually detoxed myself, with the help of a Chinese medicine doctor over a three-day weekend, before discovering that I was pregnant. Looking back on it I can see how a force greater than me was really pushing me at the time to give it up. But just the THOUGHT of going to work that following Tuesday morning caused me to want to use, so I did. But I was soooo frustrated because by then I figured it must be all in my head because I had quit for three days with minimum withdrawal symptoms, although I did spend the entire time in bed... But anyway I had actually made an appointment with a hypnotherapist before throwing up that morning. And I had been suspiciously throwing up several times the previous week, but I thought it was a bug or something. See I had received the birth control shot, but little did I know they had failed to give me a PREGNANCY TEST FIRST! Anyway I got a test and learned I was indeed pregnant, called the hypnotherapist and cancelled my appointment, and stayed free from the pills until about one or two months before I delivered, at which point I began "dabbling" in them again. I smoked pot every day inbetween the pill free days, btw. Oh I justified taking them again when I did with the rationale that doctors DO prescribe them to pregnant women, after all!! And I WAS VERY BLESSED AND LUCKY, I mean THANK YOU GOD for protecting my beautiful baby who I put at risk, and please forgive me for doing so. By the time she was born I was playing that "I'm quitting tomorrow" game, but AFTER she was born her father left six weeks later, and THAT'S when my use just went totally through the roof. Not an excuse, just what happened.

I so wish now that I had entered recovery when I was first pregnant and pill-free. Maybe I wouldn't have resumed when I did. Thankfully I have the brightest, most beautiful (and I'm not exaggerating folks--everyone who sees her cannot believe their eyes!) baby you could ever want to see, and I'm really a very good mother where attending to her developmental needs are concerned. Now my goal is to get and stay clean and sober to be an example to her, since she has two addicts for parents and is therefore EXTREMELY predisposed to the madness of addiction herself. (Her father started drinking again after she was born which is one reason our life together went down the tubes.)

Anyway, I don't know if I'm one of those who will have to be on something for the rest of my life or not. Right now I'm just focusing on the basics of recovery, getting to know myself not stoned, and trying, TRYING to get to know others, since one of my biggest problems is extreme isolation... And always keeping in the back of my mind that a suboxone tapering process is forthcoming...

In case you're wondering I take 32mg in morning and another 8 mg in the afternoon or early evening currently, which is a LOT compared to anyone else here I think...

Oh I'm thirty four and my baby is seven months. I work in family business in industry and live next to parents and grandparents who I'd rather not know about this but with whom I am otherwise very close. I have two dogs and three cats, and a degree in early childhood education. I'm wondering what God wants me to do with my life once my recovery is well underway...

[This message has been edited by Jeffie010603 (edited 08-12-2003).]





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