You can call me Chuck. I am a 26 y/o male and live in Oklahoma.
I have known I have had an issue for a while and have been reading this forum and ones like it. I finally started the process of fixing my issues in what I deem the "correct" way and thought I would document my story for several reasons.
1) I couldn't find any stories that related closely to my experience and thoughts with any real answers. I hope if I express my concerns/thoughts throughout and maybe can answer them at a later time that they will help others with the same concerns as they struggle through their own issues.
2) I figure this would be a good place to be held accountable, hopefully gain some followers and get some moral support.
3) I think more the more people that look at this and read it, the more opinions/thoughts may get thrown out that I might not of thought of that could help me.
I guess we will start with my past. I was a normal teenager in high school. Fairly popular with great friends, I made good grades and participated in lots of activities. I attended a great public University on an academic scholarship. I joined a fraternity, had tons of friends and met an amazing girl in which I dated for 5 years. Through college, I had never used any drugs (except for maybe pot a couple of times recreationally).
The year after I graduated college, my behavior really started changing. I started losing motivation, became constantly worried about things I couldn't control, and stopped enjoying things I used to as much. I chalked it all up to my quarter life crisis at the time (leaving college, starting the real world and not being around friends as often). My girlfriend at the time started complaining about my lifestyle and kept insisting I get help. I thought it was all normal and refused, plus we had a really rocky relationship and so I attributed a lot of it to that. I actually told her I would seek help as a couple but didn't see the need at the time to do it by myself.
After about a year of this going, I finally broke up with my girlfriend. My attitude was causing a lot of problems for her which was causing a lot of fights for us, but in addition, I took a deep look at our relationship and determined it wasn't right for the long term, as the years went on her true colors started showing more and more and I figured she was really very selfish and self absorbed. At that point in my life I had three people who were extremely close to me. My girlfriend, and my two best friends (one of which I was living with). My girlfriend was the most important to me. I formed somewhat of a co-dependent relationship with her. Even though I ended things with her, I was miserable afterwards. I went to see a counselor and a Dr. and they quickly got me started on anti-depressants. I kept insisting for the next few months that they didn't seem to help me at all (I was having extreme panic attacks) but my Dr. kept insisting it takes time for them to start helping and it'll work. He straight up told me that he personally didn't believe in putting patients on anything more than anti-depressants.
Approximately 2 months after I broke up with my girlfriend, one of my best friends (who had been married the previous year) decided to move to another town. I went from spending time with him regularly to nearly never seeing him almost immediately. I starting spending nearly every waking minute with my other best friend (and roommate for 6 straight years). Approximately 3 months after my first friend moved, my other best friend (and roommate) died in a motorcycle accident. This was the person I spent every day around for 6 straight years (along with my ex girlfriend). In a span of about 6 months I went from having three of the greatest friends and people in the world around me all of the time to having absolutely no one. I had never felt lower in my life. I had no where to turn, no one to talk to, I did not know what to do.
I kept returning to my Dr. and telling him all of the problems, I told him the anti-depressants were not helping at all. I was having panic attacks on a NIGHTLY basis. I had no desire to function from day to day. My Dr. still refused to give me anything else. I started seeking help through friends. I started smoking pot more regularly at first. This worked for the time being. I could get off work, get high, and not think about anything until it was time to go to sleep that night. But this still didn't solve my anxiety during the day. Eventually I found Xanax which worked much better. I could take it all day and it would clear away all anxiety for the day. I was honest with my Dr. and told him I was taking it and it helped, he still wouldn't prescribe me anything and kept saying the anti-depressants would help. I couldn't find anymore Xanax but ended up finding a regular way to get Lortab. I switched and started using it and instantly thought it was AMAZING. It made me feel good every day, it kept all anxiety and depression down as long as I was taking it. It was absolutely what I needed at the time. I quit going to my Dr. and counselor because I thought I had solved my own problem.
At the time, I thought I would keep doing Lortab until my life would go back to some sort of normality, I thought I would then get off and everything would be okay again. I never felt like I had a truly addictive personality, moreso just trying to self medicate for my problems. I never upped my dosages really. For a year and a half, I stuck to using about 30-40 mg. of Lortab or Percocet per day (whichever I could get easier).
Finally, my life seemed to be getting better. After about a year I started dating new girls which really picked me up. I worked on making new friends. Everything seemed okay. But now I felt tied to these pills. I had a good college education and a great, well paying job, but I felt like I could never get ahead financially like I should be because I was spending so much per month on acquiring these pills. This made me decide it was time to start getting off. I tried to taper down and quick taking them, but the headaches were terrible. In addition, I realized the anxiety was still there beneath the "warm" feeling as soon as I quit taking. I thought maybe this was just psychological and it would go away if I could just manage to quit.
One day, about 3 months ago, a friend who was supplying the pills told me about Suboxone, and they thought it could help get over the psychological part and help me taper off any pills easily. I made the decision I would switch over and try to come off. I didn't research the stuff much on my own (foolishly) and little did I know this was one of the worst decisions I would make in the entire process. I was given a bunch of 8mg subs. I didn't take the time to read about dosages or how they should be used. I just started taking 1/4 of one at a time and when it wore off, I would take another quarter. For about 2 straight months, I took nearly 8 mg per day.
Last month I realized I was using the subs to replace my habit and really wasn't coming down at all. I started reading and learning about it more and realized what kind of mistake I made. The drug scared the $%*& out of me. I wanted nothing to do with it. About 3 weeks ago I switched back to taking Tabs/Percs and tapering down there. I thought I would get myself off and just put up with the headaches and minor w/ds from those and be done. I tapered myself down over 2-3 weeks where I was only taking about 10-20 mg. per day. I felt pretty good nearly every day taking pills but some w/d symptoms were bleeding through. I think I was starting to w/d from the subs, but the pills were providing enough cover to make it bearable. Finally, last Tuesday, I took my last pill and thought I'd be done. I made it until Wednesday night and the w/d symptoms were TERRIBLE. I am not sure if I was withdrawing from the pills or the subs, but it really didn't matter. I finally started accepting how serious my own problem was and the fact that I needed help to get through it.
Hi chuck ! I'm Wendy! I take pills like u.
My first comment is that I am terribly sorry for your loss. I know saying that can't take away much, but please know how sorry I am.
Have you tried to go back to a therapist? A different one? Although I have issues with pain meds, benzos aren't an issue for me and they help me with anxiety (along with SSRI meds). Of course, u should tell your fox of your history. Benzos and withdrawals can kill you ( for real) so you really dont wanna be pushing up your dose on your own (for many reasons).
I'd suggest finding another doc, not to look for benzos, but one more flexible in their outlook and their understanding of what u are going thru.
A family member of mine was diagnosed with a serious illness several years ago, which launched me into terrible panic etc. The doc was like yours. I felt like my feelings weren't being taken seriously, I wasn't looking for a high. I just needed to stop freaking out in a crisis.
Anyway... It takes a long time to heal from these things. I still suffer sometimes from the suicide of a teenage friend (and that was way over a decade ago). I suggest that if you still feel emotionally rocky, please find someone who specializes in grief therapy. Otherwise, living in that sadness will make staying sober harder. If u need meds again, they can refer you. Just, please, be honest about your drug use. Some drugs are not good for people with our issues, and avoiding them is a good thing (unless u wanna pay for that doctor's second house)!
Best to you! Don't give up! (and of course, welcome to the boards).
__________________ my issues have issues!
Last edited by Wendy88; 06-23-2012 at 01:33 AM.
Reason: Spelling error
Hi Chuck, I'm an Okie tooo S/E OK LIL H dog town here was about as bad as Colgate years ago but they bulldozed the dope houses down THANK GOD!!!!
I feel for ya as I lost my father, Mom is in bad shape and friends are screwed dead insane or in jail from DOPE!!!. I conceal my feelings and blow them off pretty stupid then sh**** hits the fan. I have took my meds appropriately don't wanna go there, abusing to deal ya know. I take a long acting med for pain and percocet for breakthrough as needed. I Had a major Dope problem back in Michigan long ago and went cold turkey and dealt with LIFE!!! It is the only way as you know, I wish you LUCK FRIEND OR FAMILY AS WE ARE ON HERE TAKE CARE. I pray for you to be able to deal with your anxiety one day or hour at a time YOU WILL FIND YOUR WAY fellow OKIE.