I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but my situation is very, very difficult (above & beyond the norm) and will take some space to describe. With the exception of a few years scattered here and there, I have been using or abusing something for more than half my life. I've been around the block with just about every drug you can think of. Now I have a serious problem with fentanyl. It is prescribed for me for chronic pain (which by the way is legitimate), but I abuse it all the time. Also morphine. To give you an idea of what I'm into, where the fentanyl patch comes in doses of micrograms, I have used as much as ten miligrams at a time without it killing me. Periodically I end up in withdrawl because I have run out and can't refill my prescription yet. I have been on methadone in the past, and do not want to do it again.
I also have PTSD. I was abused in every possible way as a child and teen, and it was my abuser who started me using drugs (as a means of control.) I also have serious problems with major depression, something that I do not remember a time without.
To complicate matters, my husband of 15 years is unaware of this. And he has made it painfully clear in the past that if I repeated past offenses (ie, drug abuse) that he will leave. So telling him is out of the question. My doctor obviously trusts me and I do not want to tell her that I have betrayed that trust. I think I'd rather eat a bullet.
I've been through inpatient treatment multiple times in the past, and it has helped me not at all. I've also given 12-step groups an honest try more than once, but have some major issues with that approach.
Remarkably, all these years of drug addiction has not kept me from achieving things. I just (this month) graduated with my second degree (in biology; the other is in art) and was named our department's outstanding biology graduate, something that almost always goes to a pre-med major. My intent is to find a good PhD program in marine ecology.
All of which leaves me - where? I have a chronic pain problem but abuse my medication. I am comletely isolated, cannot come clean with my husband, and am beginning to believe that there really is no way that I will ever have a life worthy of the name, in spite of the genuinely positive aspects of it.
So - any thoughts? I'd much appreciate it. Thanks.
No one is ever past hope. First know that.. but in order for you to honestly get over your addiction.. it has to be something you REALLY want.. because you already know that it will not be easy. Probably the hardest thing you've ever done. Myself, I just got off of suboxone, which was a miracle drug for me. I haven't experienced that bad of withdrawals from getting off of it.. I got down to 1mg though.. Tapered slowly. It may be a form of treatment you look into. But you definately need to get some kind of help....just keep in mind like times before if it's not something you truly WANT.... it won't work just like all the other times.
Just some advice from someone that knows where you're coming from.. Best of luck to you..
i do understand exactly what you mean when you say that. stuck in that fearful place, too scared to continue doing what you're doing and too scared to stop...
its not a good place to be. But there IS HOPE. and the one simple thing that you have to do right now is make a conscious decision to stop. and formulate a plan that you can follow that will help you. Also, please, accept the help of others. Thats huge. Because you cannot do this alone, you need support. We are here to help, and you will always get an answer here, and comfort, and support. Really good people here.........
G8r mentioned suboxone. It might be something you want to look into. Suboxone will get you off the drugs without withdrawls. when you are on sub, you wont get high at all, you just get your script once a month, and take them daily. it allows you to lead a normal life again. But there is a tradoff to all that; you will one day have to ween down from sub. You can go slowly, you can try to go quickly. some people ween themselves down to a low amt and stay on it indefintely.
But the biggie is that you can BE normal, LIVE normal, ACT normal. And not worry about running out of drugs, or appearing high, etc.
Look into it, it might be for you.
Another choice you might have is to come clean with your doctor (as much as you dont want to) it could be the road to get out of this mess. Your doctor, if he's a good, conscientious doctor, will not hold the fact that you became dependent on the drugs against you. On the contrary, a good doctor will help you find a way out.
Please keep me/us posted on your progress. We're here. And Im happy to help in any way i can.
Oh, baby girl...I feel your pain, and know it well. I remember that cold isolated place, and it sucked. Just know one thing...you are NOT past hope or past help...this is completely doable. Not easy, but possible. They say active addiction leads to jails, institutions and death. Like you, I was staring death in the face, and for me it was get clean or die. You still have that will to live, or you wouldn't be on here posting. May I ask why the 12 step programs didn't work for you? I had a problem with the God issue, but finding out that I could have a God of my understanding made all the difference in the world. For the first little while I even used the group as my Higher Power.
I was scared to tell my husband too. Unfortunately, I let it go on long enough that he found out (for sure) when the cops busted me. If you were in his shoes, how would you want to be told? By your spouse, or by the coroner? You can't control whether he stays or goes, only in how you get your life back, and you will need support at home.
You have so much to offer the world, don't let your addiction win. Take your life back.
12-step groups...where do I even start on that? Yeah, the god thing is a big issue - I have a problem with the hypocrisy of saying first that it does not matter what or whom your higher power is, and then reciting the Lord's Prayer at the end of every meeting. Beyond that, I found that people in AA had an attitude that I did not like about drug addiction (like theirs is somehow different), and that NA was a good place to score. Not the ideal for getting and staying clean. Also, I have a little bit of a problem with the disease approach to addiction, and the fact that people in 12-step groups have their identity all bound up with their addiction. Added to which, they tell you that if you ever NEED pain relief (with surgery, for example) then you have relapsed. This does not strike me as a healthy attitude, and there has to be a different approach that is effective. That said, I know that 12-step groups work really well for a lot of people, and personally have had friends who would not be around without them, but it really, truly, did not work for me. And I don't think that one approach is necessarily for everyone. There must be something else.
As far as telling my husband, well - I am willing to get help or whatever I need to do, but at least for now, that conversation is not going to happen. Right now, he is one of the only good things in my life. Losing him would devastate me. And like I said, we've been through this before and he has told me in no uncertain terms that he would leave rather than deal with it yet again. So for the time being, I'd rather just leave him out of this.
As for my doctor, do I really need to tell her that I have not been compliant and am in deep trouble? Or can I simply ask her to get me off of these meds and leave any explanations out of it? Or maybe go see someone else?
It is not that I don't want to be honest with the people in my life, but truly, I am not only terrified but deeply ashamed. If I were to do the 'searching and fearless moral inventory' at this time, this is the one thing above all that I would absolutely fail everything that I believe to be right. But at the same time, setting the record straight and dealing with whatever consequences arise seems to have a lot of potential to cause further harm, and I really don't know if I could deal with that. As I said, I'd rather eat a bullet. And I do mean that.
I also have to find some way to cope with the chronic pain thing - but I am starting to believe that drugs are absolutely the wrong way for me to do that. I keep thinking about those people who can get into states of trance and do unbelievably painful things to themselves. Also there is something a counselor who I saw for awhile said about 'gate theory' and being able to learn to control or disregard pain. I might have to go look him up. Maybe before I do anything else.
Well, if NA has been that type of experience for you then I can see your point. I guess I'm pretty fortunate to be in a group where people are serious about their recovery, and there are differing views on what to do if you need meds. I didn't agree with the disease part of it either for a long time before I quit this last go around, but it is the only thing that explains it for me. I tried so many times to straighten up and just couldn't. Blew my mind that I could graduate a University in the top 2%, get all the awards, etc. but I couldn't quit using. Anyway, I've known people that have gotten clean elsewhere, and whatever works for you is the way you should go.
just a really helpful suggestion here that really helped me the most when i had gone thru treatment and still didn't really 'feel' like i had actually "progressed" to anywhere like i thought i would feel? go back to the beginning. i too had alot of early childhood and adolescent issues of various types that i had in my head but never really had worked thru yet? it still was too painful to go there. but i KNEW this crappy stuff just had to leave my head or i was going to fall right abck into it again since this really affected me and caused alot of ongoing depression too. it wasn't til i started seeing my therepist and dealing with my past that i really "felt' inside and out,that i really had accomplished something and was able to not go back to what i was using to just not feel things,you know what i mean? our pasts really DO set us on certain courses and bring alot of crap to our adult lives if they were never dealt with. as they say,and it is so very true,we are products of our own environment.
just getting past all of that crap and understanding why certain things occured and who really was responsible for alot of my issues helped me so very much. this is what actually made that difference in me the most,that much i do know. the programs i tried,like you,just never seemed like they 'hit' the right buttons in me or in my head. therepy was a life saver for me.
at some point in time,you will have to come clean to your hubby about this or this too will just weigh you down as well. but getting therepy for your early issues would be something you could do for now and get yourself to that better place in your head and hopefully getting the addictions issues would go much better for you. once you have your head together and things addressed,you can tell him then,you know what i mean? things just simply cannot go on like this anymore or it will take its toll on you.
i just know for sure with my situation it was getting the other crap adressed after treatment that really did make the difference for me. you would think that time would just make the crap a distant memeory that wouldn;t affect us so much later in life,but it can and it does. some worse than others. it all depends upon how things were addressed in the past and how things continue to trigger themselves in our heads. this is just something that really helped me the most.
just what is the generator of your ongoing pain? there are alot of great non narcotic therepies that can help too. ihave found many other things that all help me to deal with five very insane areas/levels of pain,but still have to be on a longer acting narcotic. i could only do this thru the very heavy monitoring and full compliance with my PM. i know without their guidance,i would be most likely back down that road again. luckily,before my spinal cord injury nightmare began i had alot of clean time under my belt.
i just would very highly recommend seeing someone who deals with past abuse. they can do wonders for you in dealing with your past,trust me on that one. this stuff just has to really be dealt with and somewhat 'cleared" from your head or it just stays there and festers away and creating alot of ongoing issues for you that you may not even realize are actually the underlying cause in certain ways.this DOES matter in any type of real success in any recovery process. i do wish you lots of luck in getting yourself back on track. please keep us posted on how you are doing. marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
I have dealt with these issues in therapy more times than I can count. I feel that I have said everything that can be said about it. I mean, 9 years of beatings, rape, and psychological torture is really difficult to resolve even with years & years of therapy. I do not know whether there is anything further to be gained by talking about it yet again. That said, I am going back to counseling, particularly because I am also trying to deal with grief over the death of my godfather a few months back, and both my best friend and my father (who was NOT my abuser) are dying.
Thanks for the advice, though. Just how many years of talking the abuse to death do you think are productive?
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far; you have certainly givin me a lot to think about.
Today was not a good day. I had been in withdrawl for several days, was able to refill my script today, and am ashamed to say that I immediately took way too much to try to stop the symptoms. Enough, in fact, that I was afraid I had OD'd; my heart rate was way down, and I had to force myself to stay awake because I was having to think about breathing. I was afraid that if I went to sleep, I would not wake up. On the bright side, at least I still care and don't really want to die. But I think this serves to point out in a way that even I cannot justify or ignore that this really is a life-or-death issue. I have an appointment with my doctor in about 6 weeks (yeah, I know it is a long time, but she is only working part-time and it is hard to get in with her) and will call tomorrow to set up an appointment with the counselor that I was seeing some time ago.
Please keep me in your thoughts & prayers (even though I do not have faith in any god at this time, it certainly cannot hurt me.)