Hydrocodone / Oxycodone / Alcohol... Time to stop!! Need support
I started out on alcohol as a teenager and turned into a functioning alcoholic through my late teens, and all through my twenties. Into early thirties.
It almost cost me my life in a few cases, my freedom for driving while intoxicated, my career for coming to work while still intoxicated from a night that ended just hours before arriving at work. It almost cost me my marriage many times as well. When I was younger, it was always fun and everyone loved being around me when I would drink so it worked for me. Alcohol was just a stimulant to make life more fun. But, as my addiction grew drinking was no longer a part of my life, it was my life with just enough sober moments in between to keep a job and survive while doing just enough to keep my wife from leaving me.
4 Years ago, my wife and I were in a very severe car accident in which she almost lost her life. She had to be cut from the car and flown by helicopter to the nearest trauma center. She spent the next month in a coma.
I was badly hurt as well but no where near as badly as she was. I had bad back and neck injuries. I was crushed and realized what my life could be like without her and quit drinking immediately. (alcohol was not a factor in the accident. My wife was driving and we were t-boned by another car running a red light. The impact was on her side.) Unfortunately, I was given these little blue magic pills called lortab for my pain. I only took them at night to help with pain and sleep as I spent my entire days at the hospital with my wife. anyway as she began to improve I realized that these pills made me feel better about life and brought a bit of joy to an upside down life. Over time I began taking them soley for the way they made me feel not to help with the pain. Before long it took more and more pills to get that same feeling. Much the same way it started taking more and more alcohol to get that same high a few years earlier.
The funny thing about the pills was I didn't feel like I was an addict. I needed them for the pain I told myself. I could work, I could do everything while on the pills, no smell, no red eyes. But I did everything better so I thought. I was happier, more outgoing, It was great. In fact I was even proud of my self for quitting alcohol at first; not realizing I had only substituted one addiction for another. The only difference was my drug of choice.
I started realizing I might be in trouble when I started running out of pills before I was supposed to. Realized I was now miserable without them and would go to great lengths to get them. Lies, manipulation, exaggerations about my pain and even taking some from loved ones without their knowledge. Wow. Never thought I would be there.
The addiction grew, I took more pills chasing that first high, but falling short with lots more pills. I finally hit bottom a couple years ago. I started having health problems that were probably related to the toll the pills were taking on my body, especially my liver as the lortab has a lot of tylenol mixed in. I became extremely depressed, couldn't function without the pills. Would be having Withdrawls after a few hours without them. It was horrible. By the grace of God; I was able to quit. I was clean for almost 2 years after being on the pills for well over a year.
And then.... I fell down some steps and re-injured my back a few months ago. I went to the doctor and he gave me a prescription for my little blue friend... OMG not again. I thought surely I know better this time; I really need them for the pain. I will only take them when I need them for the pain. If any of you have ever been in this situation you know this is just an outright lie to yourself. I started off well, but I soon found myself right back in the same boat; a deep dark place I promised I would never go again.
Taking way too many pills and running out in almost half the time they were prescribed for and having to scramble to find a way from prescription to prescription. Getting more and more depressed feeling like the lowest of the low. So zoned out by the pills, I was just a spectator watching my life pass me by with the least interaction on m y part as possible. Doing the bare minimum to survive. It appears I haven't done enough as my minimal effort has lead to the collapse of my business.
Anyway, while feeling like I was the only person in the world in my situation, in desperation I turned to the internet to learn about addiction. I found this site and was amazed that there are other people out there who have gone down the same path as me and have kicked the habit and are living much better, more productive lives one day at a time. Actually experiencing life, not just watching numbly as it passes you by.
I have decided to quit the pillz again, this time for good. I hope. I have found the people on this site very inspiring and helpful and they have given me the courage to quit.
Today is Sunday night... I had my last pillz 72 hours ago on thursday night. Let me rephrase that. My last hardcore narcotics. I am taking tramadol to ease the transition. And I have been tapering that daily. I hope to be down to nothing in a week. Wish me luck.
It has been a strange three days without the pillz so far. The first night I tried to just go cold turkey without the tramadol. I couldn't sleep a wink and was flip-flopping in the bed like a fish with no water. My skin was on fire, I was sweating, it was awful. Everytime I would just about fall asleep; my body would jump and the burning, sweating, nausea would start all over again. My wife asked why I was tossing and turning so bad. Not sure if anyone has ever tried to go through withdrawls sleeping next to your spouse without your spouse knowing you are going through withdrawl; but its not easy.
Stepping down with the tramadol has seemed to help with the hydrocodone/lortab withdrawl. I am feeling more plugged in to life and a part of reality as the hours go by since my last lortab. In some ways it is good and some its bad as I can now see clearly what a mess I have made of my life. But at least now I care enough to address the problems instead of just popping more pills to make me not care about them. I have a long way to go and realize that I will always be an addict looking for a new drug. I just have to try to take one day at a time and refuse the drugs that may come my way one day at a time.
The doctors say tramadol/ultram is non-addictive but I have seen some posts on this board to the contrary so I want to taper them away as quickly as possible as I don't want to just substitute one addiction for another... again. If anyone has any experience or testimony in regard to the addictiveness of tramadol, i would love to hear.
I apologize for this being so long winded but it is really the first time I have been honest with anyone about my addictions and it feels kind've good to let the dirty little secret out of the closet.
Thanks to everyone who has shared their stories on this website; without them I dont think I would have had the courage to make a change.
I'll update with my progress, who knows maybe it will help someone else.
Re: Hydrocodone / Oxycodone / Alcohol... Time to stop!! Need support
Tramadol is VERY addictive. I became addicted after only taking it, AS PRESCRIBED, for 8 weeks. I did not get up in the middle of the night to take them, I only took them during waking hours, and yes, they were prescribed for pain...and I got hooked. I had to go cold turkey since my doctor, for obvious reasons, would not refill. Withdrawal was only a week since I'd only taken them for 2 months, but it was hell.
I'm not a medical professional, but my guess is you will have just as hard a time getting off Tramadol as off Lortab. Please be careful, and perhaps look for an alternative way to ease the withdrawal.
Re: Hydrocodone / Oxycodone / Alcohol... Time to stop!! Need support
Welcome to the board. I am going to keep my hope there with yours that you make it this time. The road is hard at times, but doing it with support can help us over the rough spots.
As I worked my way off of Oxycodone and then from Xanax, I grew so much in myself. As the drugs lost their grip on me, I found my life renewed, restored, and a better life altogether. My use started as physical pain relief and ended with spiritual pain so great that I nearly lost all. Today I am happy and joyful and fully enjoying my family and friends and all that life offers me. I care once again about living, really being alive and not just existing. My thinking has just evolved so much. It is no longer consumed with having or not having pills, but rather just with the anticipation of what each new day might bring.
Every good wish that sober thinking fills your mind and soul. Relish your progress with the gratefulness that we have been given a new chance to begin.