I always enjoyed drinking in my early 20’s and would definitely party through my late 20’s. I got married at 31 (2002) and at that point really wasn’t drinking much and was content and happy, drinking occasionally. At this point, alcohol, namely getting drunk, was not that much fun and something I ever desired, so I knew it would never be a prolonged problem and I wouldn’t ever have to worry about becoming an alcoholic.
In 2005, I had my wisdom teeth extracted. I was prescribed Vicodin for the pain after coming home. I took a couple the first day, and thought nothing of it, other than it helped with the pain.
A few nights later, and I’ll never forget this night, I remember going to a movie with my wife, and feeling some major discomfort with my teeth. I came home, took a vicodin, and that’s when it all began. That particular experience with vicodin was much different then the past few days. I was euphoric, on top of the world, everyone and everything around me was wonderful. I had so much energy and so much I wanted to do and accomplish during this high. I was up all night, couldn’t get to sleep, because my mind was racing (in a good way), etc.
The next day the feeling had worn off, but I was comforted in knowing that I had a good 25 pills left to enjoy this incredible feeling. It was probably a good week before I had more. It was after a night of a hard workout, I had a headache, felt very tired and took one. There was that feeling again! On top of the world, wanting to conquer the world, etc.
So at that point I told myself I would enjoy the rest of the pills slowly…twice a week MAX. Each time after my workout I would do twice a week. It was my reward. I worked hard and I earned it, in my mind. This was Mondays and Wednesdays. Gave me something great to look forward to on Mondays after a weekend. Then I said to myself, “let’s throw in Saturdays”. 3 Days a week is ok. When I ran out of my first bottle, I figured out how to get more…by telling the doctors I suffer from intense migraines, and Vicodin is the only thing that would help. Not a problem. It was easy.
A lot of you probably know how the story goes from there…it turned into 4 days, then 5 days, etc. (Over about a year or 2) I switched doctors and eventually found one that was very liberal in giving out Rx. By late 2007, early 2008 I had built up a tolerance by taking them every day to the point where I was prescribed 10/325 Quantity 120 and going through those in about 20-24 days. It would be my reward at the end of a stressful day. Come home , take the 5 I need, never drank or had any other vices, it was just this. I justified it in my mind by saying I earned it and I did this INSTEAD of alcohol or big meals or whatever. Then I would do twice a day, take it at work, before big meetings, etc. I would be my most on top of my game and at my best after taking it. Taking them at work was great because of this. NEVER made me sleepy or lethargic, just productive, hard working, etc
I knew it was getting out of control, so in September 2008, I stopped. For about 2 weeks. Went through some really crappy withdrawals (no appetite, chills, anxiety, insomnia, etc). Then I went back…told the Doc I got off it, I’m ok now and just need 30 as emergency for migranes. I blew through the 30, waited 3 weeks and refilled. At this point, I told my self I can go 3 weeks off, 1 week on, etc.
I have my first child due in 2 months and I have told myself I’m done this time. Obviously, the physical withdrawals are almost non-existant after my first stoppage in September. But EVERY TIME, it’s the mental side.
Depression, severe anxiety, severe cravings.A lot of people say that eventually the euphoria wears off, and people take it just to feel “normal”. I can honestly say for me the euphoria has never gone away. To this day, I am still my most social, fun, active, energetic, and productive when I am on Vicodin, When I am at work, I kick *** when I’m on it, When I work out, I do better. I’m much more fun and social. I do everything better in my life while on it. It’s my super cure…and no one can tell. I think I enjoy it most at social events. I’m the life of the party when I take it. Talkative, funny, wanting to stay late, etc. I always used to be the opposite of this. Not a social person, not terribly outgoing, but Vicodin turned me, in a lot of ways, to the person I wanted to be.
It’s difficult to “just say no” to something that makes everything great. But I have and I will. I must for my future and family. August 3rd was my last. The mental cravings are there, but not bad, but I know they will get worse. They always do…usually about 2 weeks after. But this time I’m more serious than ever. And more committed. I will also switch doctors
This is the first I’ve shared with anyone any of this. I’ve kept it hidden from everyone. I am ashamed and sad, but know I can do this on my own. I have to accept a life without it and all the wonderful things life has to offer, including my 1st child
For those that have experienced the mental withdrawals (depression, anxiety), can anyone tell me when that gets better? Or is it different with everyone? The longest I’ve gone is 20 days, and it was still there. Please share, this is helpful for me.
Over, wow, your story is so much like mine I can't believe it. I started the same way -- Percocets after dental surgery....first, they made me nauseous but darn it all, I stuck with them....I specifically remember the first time I realized how much energy they were giving me. I was cleaning my a** off. And, same as you, occasional usage became every night, and then more than one pill per night, then eventually needing them to get out of bed. I was getting them for legitimate chronic pain issues, but I realized they were controlling my life, I was depressed....they are, after all, a depressant....and I finally got off two days ago after an 8-week taper.
Sooo, I can't really help with your question about how long the "funk" will last because I'm just in the beginning of mine. But I'll tell you this -- I am really glad you posted. Because I had been thinking, even though I've flushed all my pills, maybe in a couple weeks I'll ask the doc for just a small scrip for emergencies. You know, just take it when I'm going to do some physical activity and I need energy or pain relief. Well, you've shown me that doesn't work!
The other thing I wanted to say: You mentioned being "life of the party" on the pills. Were you really, or do you think you could've just been "hopped-up" on the pills? The reason I'm saying this is, I would catch myself babbling incessantly, or jumping up and down doing this and that, when I was high on the oxycodone. Did you see that interview that Martin Bashir did with Michael Jackson where he was holding Blanket and acting all agitated? Or when Christopher was high at Tony Soprano's party and just talking non-stop? I'm just wondering if that's kind of how we look....only we're so in a state of euphoria, we think we're just loads of fun...?
Well, just some random thoughts. I know there are many others here who have gone through this "process" and can advise you on how long it takes to get back to normal. As I sit here with no more "artificial energy", I am hoping it doesn't take too long, for both (all) of us!
You are one smart person. You have clearly identified and admitted your problem and have done something about it. I also take Vicodin for lower back pain from previous surgeries. So far I can honestly say that I have only taken 3 per day. I only fear that I will start to increase the amount because I have a friend who is addicted to painkillers. I am prescribed 10/325 to be taken once every 6 hours. (which is 4 per day) Originally the doctor gave me an Rx for 2 every 6 hours, which is 8 a day!!! I told him I would not take that much so he cut it in half. I promised myself I will only take 3 a day maximum. So far it has been 2 months and I have stuck to my promise. My only fear is that I find myself taking them even if I am not in substantial pain. I live in Florida where Vicodin is given out like candy. I NEVER EVER got Vicodin when I lived in New York City from a dentist for dental pain. But here in Florida even the dentist gives Vicodin. I thought he was joking when he gave me an Rx for Vicodin. This was 2 years ago when I first moved down here. I gladly took the prescription. When I go to my family doctor for any reason the first words out of his mouth are "Okay lets give you something for the pain." I dont know how the Florida pharmacies keep enough Vicodin in stock. I do have a lot of pain from gym-related injuries and surgeries, so I am glad to know that I can have the pills when I need them, but it also tests your character not to abuse them. In New York, I had serious neck surgery and was given 30 Vicodin afterwards. My surgeon would NOT give me anymore. I was in REAL pain and the 30 pills were gone in 3-4 days max. He said Sorry NO MORE, Take tylenol!!! If I had that surgery down here I would have been given Morphine and a syringe to inject myself, and Vicodin for the pain of the needle *****!!!
Sorry for the long post but I have strong feelings on this subject as I pray I dont get addicted to these pills. So far so good.
Holy crap your story reminds me so much of my own.... The super woman/man feeling is EXTREMELY common and it's the reason we all become so addicted. I can completely and utterly relate to everything you wrote except the part about having the first child! CONGRATS by the way on that blessing!!!!
Well, I have gone different lengths of time over the years off and on and I found that for me it took many months of sobriety to make the cravings simmer down. At first for me the depression is always so intense and the cravings will drive me close to the edge..... However, it does get better and better as time goes on.
I think for every person it is very different. There are some people that barely suffered at all..... Some people moderatly, and some severely..... We are all so different that it's hard to be able to give you an answer because you just never know. I pray for you though that it's not a horribly difficult process!
I think your story has related to a lot of people and that will help you understand you are NOT alone anymore. We are all here for you and understand exactly what you are going thru! We have all been thru it.
Secrets, the Superman feeling is extremely common you say...That's interesting. Is it the fact that we get this feeling and others don't that make us different?Or is it the fact that EVERYBODY gets this feeling, but we just handle it much differently. Namey, what I wonder is if it's something mentally weaker about us that makes us like this...or is it something physical that we really can't help?
I always leaned towards physical, because I've talked to so many people that have taken Vicodin or Percocet before and commented about "not really liking them"...or "they just make me tired"...and I'm thinking to myself, how can you NOT like that feeling? You know what I mean? So do these things do something much different to us than the majority of the rest of the world? Is it a curse? Why does it have to make me feel like Superman? It sucks and isn't fair.
NotPerky, to answer your question...No, it wasn't just a misconception about being the life of the party, my wife or anyone else I was with would comment about how much fun I was and how I seemed to have such a good time...I was extremely conscious of making a jackass of myself. That's the hard part...I was always so in control....just felt like I could do anything, it was all in a good way. The control and confidence is what I miss
Over, yeah, that's interesting about why *we* are the ones who feel great while taking this stuff, while others don't like the feeling. My friend took one after foot surgery and said, "I don't like the way these make me feel"...and then nicely gave me the rest of the scrip. In thinking about it, I don't think I embraced them at first either -- in fact, I think I mentioned they made me nauseous -- but I do remember I sorta liked the little blanket of warm-fuzzies, and then I LOVED the eventual burst of energy. On Day 5 of "no oxy" today, I don't crave them (because I hated that feeling at the end) but I do miss the energy, 'cause I don't have any. But I'll hang in there because I know this "flu-like" feeling cannot last forever and hopefully I'll get my mojo back soon. And you will too, 'cause you're probably way younger and stronger than me! I forget, did you get rid of the rest of your pills?
I would suggest you check out a 12 step group NA(narcotics anonymous). There are many, many people that have been where you are at and have felt the same thing. The problem with us addicts is that our brains are wired differently and what makes one person tired and drowsy, will give us energy and euphoria. The problem also is the fact that "we can't have just one". We always want more and need more. That is the dilemna. If we did not have the consequences, then I don't think anyone would quit their drug of choice. You are starting to realize the consequences, like lying to your doctor, not being honest to co-workers, using a drug to cope and deal with life. The problem becomes that our whole life and thinking becomes centered in drugs. We also suffer from a form of OCD(obsessive compulsive disorder). The obsessive part is the mental obsession of the drug, the compulsive part is the brain/body's compulsion to take more after taking that first one. WE CAN NEVER HAVE JUST ONE. If you feel like you need more serious help, then maybe try an IOP(Intensive Outpatient Program) offered through many different drug rehab programs.
I hope you are still out there buddy! It is so comforting to know so many others out there have feelings or have felt the same way as I have....
As for the question you ask.. Is it mental or physical weakness in some of us and not in others... I HAVE NO IDEA but it does feel like a curse! It's hard for me not to feel that way. I see so many people who have had to take narcotic pain meds never have a problem.. Like my sister after her wisdom teeth were pulled.. She would take one, get tired and that was it.. She even had left overs... It made me so angry at myself... I was so happy for her though... I never would want anyone else to fight this battle.. EVER.
Hope you are doing well.. CRAVINGS suck and I feel terrible that you are suffering!