I’m not embarrassed to say that I might need methadone. Staying at a 10mg dose was helping with pain and the psychological part of my addiction. Right now I feel weak, and I’m holding off hoping it will pass. Doesn’t seem like I am mentally strong enough like I thought I was, not only that but now the pain from my accident is back and I was given the option to go back on Dilaudid the very medication that put me in this position. I was shocked that my doctor even gave me that option; truly shocked. It’s a vicious cycle and nothing but a money pit for the doctor. How does a doctor run a pain clinic and methadone clinic in the same building? A smart doctor. He knows that all his patients will stick with him the whole way through; either because they aren’t ready to let go or they don’t have any other option. It makes me sick to be honest.
Once again I feel defeated, I feel scared. I’m afraid I am going to lose the battle again. I am beginning to think going back on the methadone is the safe and right thing to do. I would much rather be on a low daily dose of methadone than go back to using. Its like my mind has been programmed to think of nothing but opiates, it reminds me that I am still a junkie whether I want to be or not. Being clean for however long has not taught me self control, it merely institutionalizes self deprivation. Going back on methadone doesn’t change who I have become and what I have learned. Going back on methadone could potentially save me from years of depression and self loathing, isolation and misery. I just don’t want to tread the same path I have for the last 11 years. I’m trying to open doors not close them. I don’t know if the people surrounding will support my decision but I hope that they will try to understand my situation and not look at me as a failure.
Clearly I have a lot of work to do, being on methadone blindsides me from realizing that just because my receptors are being blocked and it doesn’t mean they will stay blocked once I’m off the methadone. The cravings will come back with a vengeance and the old addict mentality will linger and play games with your mind. It will test you, it will tease you and it will eat at your brain every day and every night. These cravings always pass, and sometimes it’s difficult to remind myself that they do in fact pass. With time they are getting stronger and lasting longer, and in that mental state I can’t say I fully trust myself. Sometimes its trial and error, I don’t want to relapse so maybe this is for the best. I tried, it’s been almost 4 weeks now and it’s becoming unbearable. I don’t want it to affect my job, or my relationships; I have come too far to fall back.
I’ve been seeing the same faces every week for 3 years at the methadone clinic. But it seems new faces have been appearing more and more; so many people who can relate to each other and don’t even know it. Few of us have gotten to know each other better, and we are able to talk and somewhat help each other out; it’s almost like having a group therapy session. People from all walks of life go weekly to maintain their sobriety, if you consider methadone patients clean. I do, because I am one of them. If it wasn’t for my daily dose of methadone I don’t know where I’d be. I am however aware that I will have to come off of it at some point, I just have to make sure I’m ready this time.
I’ve heard and seen heartbreaking stories of people’s struggles with addiction. Everything from domestic disputes, to deaths, to amputations. Sometimes these stories are sad, sometimes scary, sometimes inspiring, but always unique. It is a place full of sadness, despair, hurt, anger, but it also has happiness, strength, empathy, and most of all it is a place that has hope. Although some may not agree with methadone or suboxone; it’s a fact that these medications have saved lives. It has given people an opportunity at a new life, a job, a career, a family; again it has given people hope. Hope is priceless; hope is something that can change a person’s life. Hope is a possibility, and sometimes that remote possibility becomes a reality.
I used to want to hide my face while walking into the methadone clinic. I didn’t want people to know anything about me; I didn’t want people to judge me. Thing’s have changed and I now walk in there proudly. I am proud that I have made it this far, proud that I am still breathing, proud that I have a future, and happy that I have hope. I have found a place where I am not judged, a place where everyone can relate one way or another. All I can do is make the best out of the situation, and that’s what I have done. At the end of the day, like it or not; we all look up at the same set of stars.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. I could hear the wind in the trees. I could close my eyes and feel the movements of the night rippling through my spine. I could listen to the sound of my heart, the sound of my blood, the sound of the machine beneath my skin. I could open my eyes and stare at the TV lights strobing on the ceiling, imagining the flashes of a storm lit sky. Or I could just lie there, perfectly still, doing absolutely nothing.
But after a while this feeling wore off and it wasn’t fun anymore. All those small things that seemed so comforting were the very things that drove me nuts. After a while I was drained. There was nothing there, no recognition, no awareness, no self. My eyes were cold and empty. I could stare right through people. I became isolated and lifeless.
There is something about feeling so careless, like nothing in the world matters. All anxieties and fears become meaningless. It feels great, you feel free like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.
I can honestly say I am happy about where I am. I don’t regret my past like I did before. I have come to accept it. It has made me who I am today. Of course I have done things I’m not proud of, but I am who I am. My past has made me be a better person. I have learned, and I am still learning. But instead of loathing the future I am looking forward to it.