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Addiction & Recovery Message Board


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Firstly, a huge "thanks" to all posters, here...for your honesty, your good - often-so-eloquent! - information, and, mostly, for your kind support of one another. There is so much intelligence, generosity, compassion to be found on this Board! Makes it a lot easier to 'share one's story.' And my (OUR) story may be a tad 'weirder'...or, let's just say, 'more different'...than some heard here, before. It is a tale of 'TWINS' - tho, thankfully, not as far gone as the poor twins of "Dead Ringers" - for those of you old enough to recall the novel/film! :-)
First...an introduction: we are 57 1/2 (that 'half' COUNTS at our age..so what if our 58th birthday is in January!) year-old identical twins. We are also: 'model citizens' (of course! lol);...no kids but we're deliciously dawg crazy (3 Shih Tzu furkids for me...hence, my 'Best Friend' board handle...I've worked with all 3 in Obedience )...and a lovingly-benevolent-dictator-Lhasa and Peke for my twin; she also has a VERY respectable, responsible job (for a public figure)...and I 'get by' with freelance writing, after a fun career in acting;...we are avid (tho never-in-shape!) skiers;...and....well...you get the picture - we 'seem normal!' My sister is recently separated from her husband of 20 years and dealing well with it. We live in same building, but in different apts. Now for the "weird" part... This whole drug thing began with, (and its continuance is pretty much dependent upon), our cousin, who has been prescribed pain meds (legitimately, for REAL suffering!) for the past ten years. Over this period, she has been received Vicodin, Oxys, etal, and has been "very generous" with them (since my sister and I have occasional back pain). To make a long story short, what started out for us as taking these pills for our 'real' pain, has escalated to us "siphoning out" whatever we can (without being absurdly greedy) from her ongoing supply...which can be substantial. (By the way, we are fascinated that our cousin never seems to suffer withdrawal when she goes off opiates. She has quite an amazing constitution.) We rarely get our own scripts (once in a while, for back pain) and we've never gone online or accessed meds thru 'dealers.' But our cousin's supply has been just enough for both of us to have acquired a serious "habit.' It was so gradual, that neither one of us realized how bad it had gotten. Now, we have admitted to ourselves - and to each other - that these drugs have changed our lifestyles quite dramatically. The need to feel "medically warm and fuzzy" has supplanted so many of the 'real' activities we once filled our lives with. We used to love wandering the city, enjoying its varied cultures, it's wonderful ethnic areas...and we'd rent cars and drive miles to see friends exhibit at out-of-town dog shows...and checked out any interesting new eateries... Let's just say, that before drugs, while we may not have "gotten high on life" each and every day, we never 'needed' those "highs" to simply "get ON" with life...(to function)! Now...it's mostly about hanging out alone or with each other...no natural energy...no goals. "Nibbling' an opiate has become the day's focus. It's just been so insidious. And, what finally drove the point home, is that we are finally facing withdrawal ('funny' how this Board gets REAL interesting when it's time to pay the piper). Our cousin is getting different medication now, so WE are confronting reality...SOON. The "physical" symptoms will, fer shure, be uncomfortable for us....but it is the 'emotional' pain that we know we will face. We will have to 'relearn' what it feels like to wake up and look forward to a "normal" drug-free day. In one sense, I am almost happy we will be forced into this. I used to love waking up and planning each day....I got SO excited over such simple pleasures. Now, I feel like a social 'hermit'....unable to separate my 'real' depressions and fears from those, drug-induced. My twin feels the same (tho she goes into an office everyday and I write at home...so she is 'forced' to socialize, while I just have to walk my dogs!). We have both dealt (fairly successfully) with clinical depression and OCD over the years (for us, Prozac was a blessing and still is), but this escalating addiction has been a real setback for us. Things got worse for us some years ago when we cared for our mother, who, for about 8 years, suffered bad depression and dementia. We got her an apt in our building and, tho she had a daily caregiver, we spent much of our time with her, trying to make her final years bearable. "Pills" were a 'way out' for us at the end of an emotionally draining day....and even tho our mother has been gone a few years now, we are still left a bit 'stunned' by all those years of sadness. While the drugs remain "OUR secret," both my sister and I do continue to have loving, caring friends...and the irony (part of the "weirdness" of this!) is that many of them rely on US, like 'gurus,' for help in THEIR day-to-day troubles. They have no idea what is going on with us (guess my years of acting paid off - lol!) - and, of course, we are so HAPPY to help out our friends in any way we can (and relieved that apparently our brains have not been TOTALLY "fried!" ). I guess that's what just amazes me. I can 'talk down' and psychoanalyze almost anyone out of anything - but I sat back and watched 'myself' sink lower and lower into this abyss. But that seems to be typical of many posters here -- 'levelheaded' and down-to-earth in every 'other' aspect of our lives!
It's amazing tho, isn't it, how this 'drug thing' all happens... My first experience with opiates was 20 years ago...I was prescribed Percodans for a sprained ankle. I actually called the doctor and told him, "There is a problem with the medication you prescribed...I took it last night and felt like I was floating." At THAT time, I considered the 'floating feeling' a "problem!" Then, fifteen years ago, we had a dr. who gave us a small amount of Percodan once a year for our menstrual pain...and we both recall being 'delighted' with its warm little buzz. But we had no access to other drugs. Then....came our cousin and her constant supply. Who could imagine getting addicted so "effortlessly!" No "doctor shopping"...no ferreting out "dealers"...just a family member with a monthly bottle of opiates.
Well, this is getting awfully long...but so many of you have been so brave this week, so thought I'd take the plunge with our "twin story." Identical depressions, identical OCD....and now, identical addiction. Two DOWN....ONE to go! ... We hope, we hope, we hope.. :-) We wish you all lots of strength and the love and understanding of good people in your lives. Believe me, we know that we, as twins, are totally blessed to have each other to share all this. (If we can help anyone else somehow, please do not hesitate to direct a post our way. And, by the way, we are happy to "do" twin questions....no query considered 'too silly.' Promise! Lol! P.S. We will be home until late next week when we go on our annual ski holiday.)
The Twins :-) :-)





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