I wrote an extensive post earlier (past hope, past help?) and I note that people have been reading it, but no replies as yet. I know this is really messed up, and I really do want out - before it kills me. Things definately seem headed in that general direction.
I'll add a couple of comments here. First, I used to tell myself that as long as I was not sticking needles in my arm I was OK - not really and addict. As of the present, I don't even have that excuse. Second, I have real ambivalence about religious solutions. I study shamanism, and have traveled to the 'spirit world' even without the benefit of drugs, but my scientific training makes me a serious skeptic. Also, when in my early teens, I had prayed and begged any gods there may be to help with the abuse I was enduring. After a while, it seemed clear to me that he/she/they were not listening. I do not pray.
But anything you have to say can only be helpful. I do have a great deal of ambivalence about quitting - the better part of me knows that I am already on borrowed time and that this is a necessary change if I am to have any real freedom; the beast is forever telling me otherwise. But something has to give, and soon. The only thing that comes to mind is to go in and see a counselor I know; he does a lot of work with PTSD in vets and is well-acquainted with addiction. I have talked to him about this in the past, and he really did not offer much in the way of concrete steps to change.
I want more than anything to find what is known as a 'path with heart'; this one has none and threatens to destroy me.
Welcome and congrats on a great decision to post on here. As you have been probably told many times before in order to get better you have to REALLY want to get better. We can guide you and you can use this board as a tool, but you have to be the contractor One question I would start with is: Can you live without REALLY heavy pain meds. <removed> would bet that you can. Yes, the withdrawal will be hell, but can you manage the pain with conventional, less potent drugs. If you feel that you can or are willing to try then we can help you. Let us know your intentions first.
"1 is too many and 1000 is not enough" -
Last edited by mod-anon; 05-20-2008 at 10:36 PM.
Reason: peer sharing only
You dont 'need' to be religious to find a path. A lot of people get a great deal of strength from their beliefs - i know that having a faith definitely doesn't hinder anyones chances in getting clean. But as i often say with a partial tongue in cheek - im an agnostic atheist - i am also 6 months clean of methadone - over 1 year clean from a heavy heroin addiction & 5 months free from nicotine just to top it with a cherry
I think that a holistic approach is beneficial - if you have the spiritual belief/faith.
I think that these drugs also cloud our judgement a lot & could quite possibly make the concept of religion seem unnecessary. I think that the need for religion/spirituality comes when the demons have been exorcised. After all - there is a huge void to fill then.
As for wanting to give up, there usually isnt any ambivalence there when its 'your' time. You give up because you no longer want to live 'that' life any more. You have to want this more than anything - you have to ignore the beast. And if you're ready then, counselling etc is a good weapon to have in your arsenal - it takes a lot of firepower sometimes.
Keep us posted as to how you are doing - this is a good place to air your thoughts/voice your opinions & generally get advice from people from all over the globe with a whole load of experience with different addictions.
good luck & take care
keep on keepin on
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
I want out. Else I would not be here. But I am also terrified. I know that if I do not find some way out that this WILL kill me. I also do not know where to start, how to break this circle forever. I feel almost like I have a dual self; the better part of me recognizes the destruction that I am causing. But self-harm in many forms has virtually ruled my life. I want to be free of this.
It seems to me that living a lie + shame = psychic torment. But gods, I am so, so scared. And I do not know where to start. I hate myself, I hate my life, I hate the drugs and one way or another I want this to end. Forever.
Mind, I am loaded half out of my mind even as I write, but it is certainly bringing me no joy. And yet even aside from the drugs, I am living - existing might be a better word - in a state of alienation and deep angst. Years and years of therapy has not changed this at all.
So my intentions boil down to this: find a way out f this hell, and find a way to be happy.
You dont need faith in anything at the moment, just a dogged determination & a lot of will power. Faith etc may come when you're clean and life makes more sense. You need help. This will include medical intervention aswell as counselling/support. A taper program and a 12 step guide or something similar from NA is your best bet. It is possible to do without these but your chances of staying clean are considerably reduced. Go to you Doc - tell them your story/situation - this should be your first step.
Getting clean will be the best decision you've ever made in your life - concentrate on this and the rest of 'life' will slowly fall into place. And you will again experience 'true' happiness - like it used to be.
keep on keepin on
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
Last edited by Yossarian22; 05-20-2008 at 12:44 AM.
The first thing I did when I grasped that I wanted to live and not die was get to my family doctor and spill my guts with total disclosure. I was a total mess as I sobbed out the truth to him. He didn't pull any punches... simply said, "Full disclosure and nothing less." And that's what I gave him. In return, he gave me compassion, hope and a plan to wean off opiates and benzos. As I moved forward in the tapering, other live, 3-D people were incorporated into my plan for support... therapists, psychiatrist, etc.
The relief that floods us once we have let the horrible hidden secret out is beyond description. I was living in a self induced hell and was going nowhere but deeper into it. Once I shared that dark secret, I went through the hell of withdrawal, but this time there was an end to the hell. This time I moved upward and onward. To stay in our throes of addiction is to cede to defeat and it just does not have to be. We are each worth more than that and have so much to offer ourselves and the world besides our addictions.
Fear is our worst enemy in seeking the help we need. Fear of humiliation, fear of living without drugs. This is the time to face the fear and do it anyway. We do not die of humiliation and living life without drugs is so possible. Millions do it everyday. The body, and the mind, have awesome powers of restoration if we allow it to occur.
Do it. Make the call and get into a doctor. I started with a medical doctor, my family doctor, and everything else just fell into place. Also, read the second thread on this board, "Sample Home Detox." No matter where or how we detox, there is helpful information there.
Get proactive for your very life here. Make the call.
thanks to those who have replied. You give me a lot to think about. Today was really bad; I posted details under the other thread.
When I run out of meds & end up in withdrawl, the one symptom that freaks me out is that my heart races constantly (about 120 BPM), and I can literally feel it pounding in my chest. I have always been told, and it has been my past experience, that opiate withdrawl, while most unpleasant, is not life-threatening. Is this something I should be concerned about?
Also, in regards to the pain, you may very well be right. My pain stems from several things. First, I have migraines that are sometimes disabling, and migraine-specific meds either do not help or I react badly to them. I also had a serious head injury about 10 years ago which aggravated the headaches to the point that I was having them daily. Part of this, I am sure, was rebound pain - at the time I was on Stadol, which I learned is notorious for causing that very problem. I was going through a bottle of the nasal spray every 3 days or so. I finally went to see a pain management doctor, who took me off of the Stadol and put me on methadone. I was later changed from methadone to fentanyl because fentanyl does not cause as much of a problem as methadone in respect to breakthrough pain being almost impossible to overcome. At one point, I had to have my gallbladder out, and it took ridiculous doses of Dilaudid to even take the edge off of the pain.
Additionally, I have had injuries to both my lower back (a disc injury) and my upper back and neck. A lot of my pain is in my upper back and shoulders, and is aggravated by some bad postural problems. I am going into PT to work on the posture problem.
I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but I am not sure if I really have it or if my problems stem from other sources. On top of the injuries, I was diagnosed several months ago with a serious vitamin D deficiency. My doctor told me that my level (6) was the lowest she had ever seen. She gave me an article from the Mayo clinic that said that a level below 10 can cause agonizing bone pain. This has now been corrected, and I have no idea how long it was going on.
In truth, I have no idea at this point in time whether my pain can be handled with some other kind of medication or even without. It has been so long since I have NOT been on heavy pain meds for any appreciable time that I have no idea what the status of my pain problems is. For a while, I was seeing a physical medicine guy who had me on more than twice my present dose of fentanyl, a level that I have since been told was reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous. He was asked to leave his practice by the hospital, and rumor has it that he was being investigated for his prescribing practices. Once the vitamin D level was finally looked at and corrected, dropping the dose in half made no appreciable difference - and for a little while, I was even being compliant about it.
You have a lot of good things to say. Given what happened today, the fact that this is a life-or-death issue has been underlined with a few exclamation points. I do have an appointment with my doctor in 6 weeks, and meanwhile, the next time I refill my script, I am going to have her drop my dose. I am also going back into counseling. I can't swear that I won't chicken out with my doctor in terms of full disclosure, but at least I see that it is a better option than seppaku or death via drug OD.
Last edited by mod-anon; 05-20-2008 at 10:32 PM.
Reason: peer sharing only
A year ago when I was in the depths of despair from my addiction, I made the decision to start attending an NA group. My biggest single stumbling block was also that spiritual thing....ie..I have never been a religious person and had a serious REFUSAL in my mind about accepting any sort of idea of a God or a "Higher Power". But I did devote myself to attending the group meetings because the compassion and unconditional love I received from those people more than offset that little "stickler" I had about accepting a "Higher Power".....until I gradually began to look at the whole situation in a new light. I Still fought the idea of a religious form of a higher power. HOWEVER, it IS obvious that we all DO have things in our lives that we are powerless over and I made the momentous decision that MY "Higher Power" was going to be THE NA GROUP ITSELF! For me, the strength, love and such devotion I got from these folks filled that void that others might fill with their own personal concept of what "God" means. Once I made that emotional step, things seemed to just flow.
From that point on, I no longer felt any resistence to the concept of NA and never felt pressured to mold my personal beliefs into any sort of formula that included accepting any sort of "God".
My point in this long-winded ramble is not to give up on something that might offer you valuable assistance in your struggle to overcome your addiction just because of some preconceived ideas or personal beliefs. Good luck to you and I hope you find the strength to win this battle.
Wanted to wish you a day of hope in the midst of your despair. Recognizing that we are in the throes of addiction can be a time of confusion, turmoil and angst. Thoughts can fly in a million directions. Plans are made and changed and remade. Doubts about our future are scary and fear can consume us. The emotions get dark. I know I feared I was in way too deep to ever get out. While the fear kept me locked in the addiction for so long, I believe fear was ultimately my motivating factor.
After I finally hit my bottom ( bottoms are different for all), it became more simple to me. If I didn't get off the narcotics, I was going to die. Quite honestly, the effects of the drugs on my body wasn't even a concern at that point. I was dying inside my head and soul. And I didn't want to. Once I came to that point, the confusion left me. My sole goal then became one basic idea... get off the drugs. I don't understand how the mind does it, but all thoughts of pain, all thoughts of doubt, all thoughts of anything beseides my sole goal became insignificant. Staying so totally focused on that one goal allowed me to endure the symptoms of withdrawal. I journaled almost hourly the first few weeks of tapering. I journaled eveything! What I was able to eat, how much time I spent getting rest, how much time spent crying, if I took a walk, if I spoke on the phone to anyone, my doses, the cuts. Every single thing that was encompassed in that one single goal of getting off the drugs. I would read backwards constantly and could see in black and white that I was making progress even though I did not feel the progress at the time.
In my addiction, the darkness was never-ending. My journey to end the crazy cycle was dark sometimes, too. However, as I worked through it with the people on the board, with my doctors, with family and friends, there started to come times that were not so dark. Hope began to creep in. As people with addictions less than mine, people with addictions more than mine, shared their stories, I began to belive with all my heart and mind that their hope could be mine also. Whatever our histories, whatever the degree of our addictions, their is a common denominator--- we all have the ability to get out of our nightmares. Each and every one of us. And it all starts with one simple goal of priority... getting off.
After that, everything else will fall into place. Focus on that one goal and it will propel you into finding the plan that is going to work for you. For me, as I have already shared, it started with my family doctor. Together we set up a plan for me to follow. It was tweaked along the way when needed and as time went on it began to include other professionals who helped me greatly.
I don't know what your plan will be, but there is one that will work for you. Get the goal set and get the ball rolling. Smiles. We are with you for the long run.
Reach, Rheanna, you both have some really good things to say. And it does help. A piece of an old Indigo Girls song started running through my head while I read your posts: : "My place is of the sun and this place is of the dark / I do not feel the romance, I do not catch the spark / By grace my sight grows stronger / And I will not be a pawn for the prince of darkness any longer." It does kind of feel like that...
I have already started journaling, mostly as a reminder to myself of how bad things are and how bad I really feel when I use, once the rush wears off. I reread the entries frequently. One of the things I said in my journal that I had not even realized previously is that I do not look into mirrors anymore if I can avoid it, because I hate what I see there.
Meanwhile, as I think I said already, I am going back to counseling and I do have an appointment with my doctor a ways off. For now I am trying to stay in a sort of holding pattern; trying to be at least compliant about my meds and not abusing them. Some days I even succeed. I'd probably try to quit on my own, except there is no way to taper myself off of this stuff, and I really am afraid of the cardio symptoms that I have when I do end up in withdrawl.
I really am grateful to the people on this board; you are getting through to me, and it does help.