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GonnaRecover:
Your story really touched me because, your story and mine share a lot of similiarities. I too started with Hydrocodone because of a toothache and my dad felt bad because I was so busy with my career that I just didn't take the time to go to the dentist and since dad had cancer, he was well stocked with a variety of pain meds. Unfortunately, I've always been someone who has had a high resistance to pain meds, so normal dosages just didn't work for me and I ended up experimenting until I found relief from the pain. One day, I took an extra pill and I experienced my first real high with H/C and I admit that I loved how it made me feel and addict was borne. Unfortunately my dad's cancer progressed and the doc's were always changing pain meds and dosages, so there were always lots of drugs to be had and in the meantime, a doc finally diagnosed the cause of severe headaches that I had been experiencing for years - I had actually broken a vertebrae in my neck that was impinging upon my spinal column - now I had a justification for my addiction - If a doc is prescribing these meds, then taking them is okay - right? As my world progresses, work is getting busier, dad is getting sicker and the wife and kids are supportive of where I am at, but not really understanding the personality changes until one day, after my second neck surgery to repair things, my dad has died and the world revolves around whether I have enough pills and I finally snap - I'm drugged all the time, I can barely care for myself and I've been neglecting my wife and kids, so I take the zip lock bag containing all of the various meds that have been prescribed and toss everything down the toilet - I know that I don't have the willpower to taper, cold turkey was the only thing that would work. I went through hell, had two seizures from the withdrawals and a lot of sleepless nights - I can still remember the lowest point, when I was watching Ed, Edd and Eddy with my kids and my mind started to create it's own story line to go with the cartoon - to this day, I'm not sure how much of the cartoon was real and how much my mind created, but the experience convinced me that I needed to talk to someone.

As addicts, we lose our sense of normality, we need to talk with people who have shared our experiences, to appreciate just how screwed up we are and to give us a sense of what normal is for everybody else. I called a friend who is a recovering alcoholic, a guy that I respected and someone that I knew I could trust. I knew that I wasn't a big meeting guy, not really a twelve step person, but I needed someone to tell me that the insomnia was normal, the leg pains were real but they would get better, and at the end of this journey, I would emerge as a better person. It's been a long, painful journey and over the last seven years, I've experienced a lot of ups and downs, but I've emerged a better person with a different appreciation for life and my priorities are much more aligned with who I want to be and not guided so much by what I wanted to achieve - an important distinction.

So what do I have to offer you is this, you have nothing to be embarrassed about, in time you will feel more comfortable talking to others about your addiction, but you are not the first and unfortunately you will not be the last to abuse prescription meds. Talk to those you trust, find those who share your life experiences and remember that you didn't become an addict overnight, you can't become clean in a few days.

Good Luck and when you start to wonder what is normal, just ask.





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