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Addiction & Recovery Message Board


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Hi Friends

Just a check in to say hello and share how life is going for me. It seems like far away and long ago when I first started the tapers off Oxycodone and then Xanax in October 2006. The memories of that time of struggle are still clear, though… like childbirth… memories of something I went through that have a life long impact. It was a long, hard struggle learning to live my daily life without those narcotics. At this point, though, I realize that the harder struggle was living life on them. Sometimes I reflect on what my life had become using ( misusing, abusing) the opiates and benzos. I was a mess. Had I not stopped, I don’t think I would be here able to reflect today. I would have been institutionalized with no brain left to think with or dead. I did not enjoy at all the harshness of withdrawal, but when the realization came that it was time to do or die, I accepted there was no other choice but to fight. There were times in withdrawal that I believed that I would die because it was so hard. However, the want to live was greater and helped me face what we have to face in withdrawal.

As I went through the withdrawal process, I really believed that nothing in the world could be harder. That proved to be only partly true. Just as hard for me was relearning to live life without the drugs. So much thinking had to change, so much learning had to be done. I had to ease back into learning what to do with the time I used to live spaced out. I had to learn to discover again how to incorporate everyday activities into my life to fill my days. All the things like socializing, putzing around the house, working in the garden, planning things that I had just ignored and put on hold for so long. Learning to engage in these things again and enjoying them makes the difference between just existing and living. There is a joy and peacefulness in me today that was missing for so long. No more totally muddled brain, no more shame and guilt because I no longer participated in life in a normal way.

My life as it was 2 years ago has changed a lot. I am no longer working. Through therapy, I have come to understand that I thought a lot of my worth came from working. I pushed my body to keep performing by using drugs. I did a lot of damage to my body and brain that way, as well as to those around me. I could tout all the words about family being my priority, but in truth, in action, it had taken a back seat to what I was actually pursuing as more important… work and money. My own actions led to my own complete breakdown, to not working and left with a family I had isolated myself from. Oh, so much change was needed! Not using drugs was but the tip of the iceberg!

I have learned to think about pain differently. It impedes some things that I may want to do, but not working allows me to take the time I need to rest my body when the pain is intense and not resort to drugs to deal with it. I use heat and ice and elevation and rest and the time it takes for the pain to ease up and get to a level I can function in. I applied for disability and no longer allow myself to feel shame about it. More changed thinking. I received a letter last week and the disability has been approved. It is a relief to me in many ways. Financially, of course. Emotionally also because that process of filing is a rollercoaster. However, it is also a relief because it has helped me to accept that I can not try and bend life to my terms, but must play according to what life brings me. All these past months of learning have helped me to understand myself, understand more about how I react to life and to recognize more quickly when my reactions are not helpful to me.

If some one is struggling to get off whatever drug it may be, know that the struggle is worthwhile and can lead to a much more fulfilling future for you. There is a life of calm thinking and happiness waiting after the storm of withdrawal. It takes ongoing work to find it and claim it, but it is truly there. For each and every one of us. Make your plan. Incorporate every resource needed, including a strong aftercare system. Aftercare not just to stay off drugs, but aftercare that helps us to grow in our thinking about ourselves and our place in this world, aftercare that helps us to recognize the good in this world and allows us a new sense of balance.

God Bless Us All
reach





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