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Hi Matt

Glad to answer any questions I can for you.

I was on pain meds and benzos for 15 years after a series of surgeries for cancer that claimed part of my leg. There were a lot of repercussions from the surgeries and the radiation also did long term damage that is painful to live with. The drug use was legitimate and for 10 years all was well.

There came a time when a series of really emotionally crushing things came into my life. That is when I crossed the line from legitimate use to abusing the drugs. They were always prescribed, so I had a never-ending supply. I think I was on just about every oiate and painkiller out there at one time or another. Percocet, Fentnyl patches, morphine, etc etc. When I finally had a total breakdown and the gig was up for me, I was using 60-80mg of oxycodone a day and also about 2 and 1/2 mg Xanax.

I was already in clinical depression when my taper began. My family doctor first drpped me to 1 and 1/2 mg of Xanax and 60mgs of oxycodone. Too big a drop and doing both at once was disastrous. I stayed at the 1 and 1/2mg Xanax then throughout the taper from oxycodone and then did the Xanax taper.

Matt, truthfully, I never had any mental cravings for the drugs, only physical. I did not want to die. I also reached sober thinking (through some family background and with the help of a clinical social worker) long before the tapers ended. Once I realized that I was abusing the drugs to hide from grief and hurt and learn how to deal with it in healthy ways, there was no cravings for the drugs mentally.

I really get on a soap box when I talk about this. :-) As addicts, we are [U]not[/U] losers or lowlives. We are people who need a new set of coping skills, people who use drug hazes to try and hide from whatever in our lives we fear. Fear is a huge part of addiction, of withdrawal and of working to reclaim our happiness in sobriety.

Always, there must be a plan for aftercare if we want to succeed in truly reaching recovery. Make a plan[U] now [/U] as to how you will find the help for yourself to work on your life issues. Sometimes we may think, "Nah, I don't have any issues." I certainly thought that until I began work with the social worker and came to discover that I had many! :-)

Most of all, Matt, we need to believe others who have gone before us that ther is, indeed, hope for every single one of us. When an older, more experienced poster wrote that to me the first time, I sobbed. I sobbed my heart out and my journey in hope began. Keep taking the steps, Matt. A beautiful life is waiting for you, also.

With hope always

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