Back To The Start

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.

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Persevere

I had so much anger and hate inside of me and I used it too feed my addiction. Everyday I would put on a façade and act as whoever I needed to be at that moment. I could become anyone, especially with the help of drugs. I wouldn’t last long, eventually everything would explode and I would be gone, a drop out in the blink of an eye. I made a discovery and I immediately stopped caring; I was on a pathway of destruction with no end in sight. Like a tornado destroying everything in its path. A lot of people experimented with drugs, and they were able to do just that; experiment. I on the other hand simply didn’t know when to stop; I had no self control, no drive, no goals, no nothing.

I remember looking in the mirror and feeling disconnected with the person staring back at me. I wondered who it could be; it was devastating because for a long time, I didn’t know. The girl in the mirror frightened me, for she told the truth where I wish I could lie. I looked closer, I looked into her eyes and they resembled me but they appeared to be shattered and cold. I remember looking and thinking this girl doesn’t value, not the way she used to. By then it was too late to go back and erase the disaster I had created within, I realized that who I was staring back at was not who I wanted to be. If I could go back I would tell her that she is loved, and I would tell her she doesn’t have to look at this heartless girl forever.

I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be, who I wanted to be, or for that matter who I needed to be. I found it difficult to be just me. I remember fantasizing about going back along the path I had tread and piecing myself together again. I would fantasize about sifting through pieces of me lost along the way; I would try to grasp what was left but to no avail. It was a battle everyday to keep my head above water; I tried to tell myself everything would be okay. I told myself I would one day persevere, and that is exactly what I have done.

The Day I Forgot, The Day I Remembered

A lengthy, intrusive reminder of why I am where I am and why I want to stay where I am; I forgot to the go to the pharmacy to take my Methadone dose a couple days ago. It hit me and it hit me hard. I had a sudden rush of physical and mental pain. It brought back memories of hospital visits and mental and physical anguish. I immediately felt vulnerable; I wanted to escape my reality. I battled myself in so many ways, counting the seconds until 9am when I could go to the pharmacy and feel better. I knew I had less than 24 hours but I still couldn’t help thinking that using would be a quick fix. The anxiety and panic was almost unbearable. The restless leg syndrome, the yawning, the aching all over my body; it was tough but not something I haven’t dealt with before. I have spent countless hours with withdrawals.

Regardless of what was running through my mind as I lay in bed sleepless, tossing and turning with restless legs. I didn’t give in to the temptations. I just laid there impatiently waiting and although it was a long, long night it reminded me of what I don’t miss.

I am aware that Methadone is another crutch, another thing I have to come off of. But for right now it is something I need in more ways than one. Maybe it is a crutch, maybe I am afraid of leaving it all behind; it doesn’t matter. What matters is I am putting my life back together. I am able to hold a job, I can maintain healthy relationships, and I am giving myself responsibilities and holding them. I am holding myself accountable, and most of all I am learning and trying which has to count for something.

Playing The Victim

I got good at playing the victim. I wanted people to feel sorry for me, to pity me. It’s common for addicts to consistently play the victim even in situations that are clearly the opposite. I got so comfortable with the attention it attracted. The sad truth is I started to pity myself. I started to believe that I was the victim. My clouded judgment and insufficient emotions disabled me to realize that I am not the only person on the face of the planet. I wanted to feel justified in complaining endlessly about my unfortunate circumstances while passively registering my dissatisfaction than actively changing my situation. Sound familiar?

Feelings don’t require justification. They are automatic responses to events; good or bad, and people’s feelings cannot be judged as right or wrong. However, actions, unlike feelings, have consequences and must be considered in relation to moral issues and rational issues. Am I making sense?

As someone who played the victim role for many years, I dealt in judgements and “shoulds”. I had a sense of entitlement, I was selfish, and I was child-like. I assumed that the world should be fair. This kind of victim role led to resentment, anger, righteousness, and vengeful feelings. Worse yet, feeling victimized were bottled up inside contributing to feeling helpless and depressed.

I think it’s obvious to say playing the victim does more harm than good for everyone involved. Although this habit has been difficult to break, it is achievable. I think it comes with maturity and understanding. When I started to learn more about emotions and feelings I found learning compassion and empathy were helpful in breaking the victim role.

Tunnel Vision

It has been almost ten years since that fateful day when I first tasted poison. I still find it hard to believe. When I drive past old memories, just staring into the past, or when I am laying down to sleep, I often find myself drifting back to the beginning again, and then to those last few moments of my pre-drugs existence, when I was still just an innocent girl.

Think about trying to find a secret vision; you’ve been running on hope, disregarding reality; feelings you don’t understand consuming your mind. You have been searching for something you’re not quite sure exists, but then, out of no where; you find it. It becomes your everything, it comforts you. For what it’s worth, I know now that what I was aimlessly searching for does not have a fix. That is something I have to find within myself. I was young, and I was naïve. I thought the world would wait for me to catch up, for me to figure out what I wanted. I managed to block out all the negative emotions I was feeling not realizing you can’t effectively block negative emotions without blocking the positive ones too. I was a robot; emotionless is a drama fueled environment.

 “The days passed, as they do, and life went on.”

A Day At The Methadone Clinic

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.

My Life as A Junkie; Part Of It

I was addicted to cocaine for years; a big part of my life was all about coke. Until I discovered OxyContin, I became addicted instantly; when they were wiped off the market other drugs just had to do. Anything from prescription pain pills to heroin. Whatever there was at the time, whatever I could get my hands on. It wasn’t too long after that I decided to start shooting them instead of snorting them. I’m being honest when I say, I was terrified of needles, and I used to freak out just getting blood work. But when it came to getting high, I got over that fear pretty damn quickly.

Its true when they say you not only become addicted to the drug, but you become addicted to the ritual, the whole process of breaking down the pill, adding the water, heating it up, drawing blood, and the plunge of the wonderful feeling I desired. Those were the so called good times of being a junkie. I’m not going to lie; it’s an indescribable feeling, a rush like no other. I’m not trying to glorify it in any way, I just can’t deny that it felt good.

When being a junkie, you learn pretty quickly what it’s like to be dope sick. Withdrawals that eat you alive and spit you out. I can honestly say, I have never felt so fucking shitty (excuse my language) and the only way to get rid of it; is to use, and it works instantly; instant relief.

One of the worst things about feeling helpless is the constant intrusion of doubt. Even when you know there’s nothing you can do about something, even when you’re absolutely sure, even when you’ve considered every possibility over and over again, knowing full well that you’re wasting your time… Even then, you still can’t help feeling that maybe your wrong. That horrible feeling of desperation. . .I can’t tell you how many times I have searched my house and car for hours thinking that maybe I missed something, maybe when I broke the pill up, pieces fell on the floor. I would search for crumbs; I would hold on to this thread of hope that I missed something.

84 pills were to last me two weeks, and they would always be gone in 5 days. When I would run out of my prescription; which I always did, I would have to drive roughly 45 minutes- hour to find what I needed. Driving while withdrawing is not fun, it’s uncomfortable and extremely painful. But drugs make you do stupid things, and all you’re thinking about is feeling normal let alone high. I did things I am not proud of. I figured I was doing what I had to do to get by. I consistently lied to myself, justifying everything in my mind to make it okay.

I can look back now and understand that my mentality was one of an addict, I did thing’s I wouldn’t otherwise do if sober. I know this now, so I have stopped beating myself up. But that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten, that doesn’t mean what I did was okay. All that means; is I recognize the pain I have caused, I recognize my mistakes, and I take ownership of it, and I can move on. I can forgive myself, and hopefully the people I truly care about can find it in their hearts to forgive me.

Putting my feelings and thoughts down on paper, then sharing them here helps in so many ways. It’s like self-therapy.  I know I say it all the time, but I’ll say it again; thank you to everyone who takes time to read my posts.

It’s Over Now

I didn’t say anything for a while. I was thinking about it, picturing things, weighing up the consequences of leaving everything behind—my life, my friends, my drugs. It was a struggle for me, they could tell. They had no way of knowing how much of a struggle, but if the look in my eyes was anything to go by, it was a bigger struggle than anyone could even imagine. It was as if there were two separate people inside my head, fighting each other for what they wanted. . .

Fighting to the death.

They wanted to talk about things, but they weren’t sure where to start. There was so much to talk about. . . and so much they didn’t know, about opiates, addiction, withdrawal. . . they didn’t even know if I wanted to stop using. It seemed like a pretty simple decision to them, if I stopped using, I wouldn’t have to do the things I did, and then I wouldn’t have to live the life I was living. What could be simpler than that? But then again, what did they know? They’d never been addicted to anything. They didn’t have a clue how it felt. Of course, they knew how it felt to want something. But wanting something so much they’d give up everything else to get it?

That was beyond them.

They knew they had to try and understand it though, which was why they wanted to talk about it. But like I said, they didn’t know where to start. And besides, I was starting to nod off, my heavy eyes beginning to close, my shoulders were slumping, my head was resting on the wall.

They tried; they tried really hard to understand.

But it wasn’t possible. It still isn’t possible to grasp what their daughter was going through. But that’s okay.

It’s over now.