This is my first time posting to one of these things, but I have read countless threads in the last couple years. I have seen some really positive recovery stories and support and I guess I am looking for something to help me get through this. I am 31 years old and addicted to pain meds, specifically oxycodone.
It all started about 3 years ago when a friend found a crooked dr. Well what started as one friend with one script quickly turned into 6 or 7 friends with multiple scripts. I was one of the last in my group of friends to get hooked but it happened. I remember when I would as my friend (who was breaking up an 80mg oc to snort) to break me out a bump. 10 or 15 mgís is all I needed and I was flying for 8 to 10 hrs. Well it didnít take but a couple months before I was doing 2 80 mg ocís a day. I knew how addictive they were, and to be honest with you I have no idea how I got so deep. After about a year of use I wanted to make some changes. I tried and tried to kick alone (while my girlfriend unknownly slept next to me). Then one day I was fed up with the constant promises to myself that I knew I would break, once the aches and fatigue of morning set in. So I broke down and told my girlfriend how bad I had gotten.
That day I kicked cold turkey. It was the worst 7 days of my life. I had read the horror stories, but nothing prepares you for your first serious opiate withdrawl. I couldnít eat, sleep, had no appetite, no energy, all the common symptoms (except restless leg syndrome, thank god!!). But I was clean!!!!!!!!! About 6 months to a year later I fell skateboarding (yes I am 31 years old) and did a number on my arm. I compound fractured both forearm bones and dislocated my elbow. After a couple dilaudid and fentanyl shots in emergency surgery I was back on.
My dr. said ďin 30 years of being a orthopedic surgeon this is the worst arm break I have ever seen.Ē Which of course I used as leverage when I came time to write me some meds. I was on 20 mg oxycotin 3 times a day, and about 100 mgís of oxycodone a day. But I was in some real pain. I knew I was playing with fire, but was powerless over the pills. Well my insurance made me switch drís and my new dr said ďthere is no way you should be on this much medication 4 months after a breakĒ and cut me down to just vicodin. The dr didnít have a worry about the withdrawls that would force me back to the street. So there I was dropping $100 to $150 a day to support my habit. After a about 2 months of street use I broke down and told my girl friend (again).
She helped me (again) and the withdrawls werenít that bad. Donít get me wrong they were still really bad, just about half what I experienced last time. So I was clean AGAINÖ. This lasted about two months before my tempatation took over, and I ordered my vicoden filled (which I hadnít done in over a month). I only took 10 and gave the rest to a friend, but those ten pills were enough to get me back in the cycle. Since then, for about 4 months my use had gradually increased from using once a week to taking one day off a week.
I know I donít want to use anymore, and up until know always thought I was strong enough to quit on my own. Well on my third attempt I know I am not. It is the morning of day 3. I had long conversation with my girlfriend last night (day 2), and came clean again . She knew this time and wasnít very surprised. But she loves me and is helping me again. I know I will spend the rest of my life making it up to her. I tried to hit my first NA meeting last night but of course it was cancelled (go figure). But I have promised myself that I will seek help. That Is why I am here. I am going to attent meetings regularly and have posted this blog. I have promised my girlfriend to open up to her and let her help also. But if anyone has any words of advise I am all ears. Every morning I wake up with one thing on my mind and spend the next hour or so fighting my demons.
Sorry this is so long, maybe I just needed to get it off my chest.
The following user gives a hug of support to mattoxyrecovere: Phoenix (10-29-2012)
After reading your post I wish had some great advice to help you through this; however, all I can say is that you seem like a very informed, determined person who won't stop trying. It's a long process and I wish you all the best. Your candidness and self awareness will be a great help in this journey. Take care.
The Following User Says Thank You to janeymom For This Useful Post: mattoxyrecovere (10-29-2012)
Its amazing how a few positive comments can change your mood. I have been up since 5 am this morning fighting a craving and feeling really depressed. But your comment has brightened my day, at least a little. Im not sure how bright my day can be at day 4. But im holding strong. Thanks for the support.
The following user gives a hug of support to mattoxyrecovere: Phoenix (10-29-2012)
So glad to see you posting here. :-) Reaching out for the help of others is a wonderful step in recllaiming our lives and souls. :-)
I, too, came off opiates (and benzos). I tapered, but any road we take to get off is difficult. I will share with you some of the things that helped me along the way.
I learned to look at every tough symptom not as a withdrawal symptom, but rather a symptom of healing. The symptoms we go through are caused as our bodies and brains work to restore themselves.
I had a mantra that truly helped... it was given to me by my doctor... 'Everyday I am getting stronger and better."
I reached out not only to other drug abusers, but to private counseling also. I had deep, deep hurts and a lot of grief to deal with buried inside me. The drugs were allowing me to try and hide from the issues. As I faced each issue headon and came to terms with it, I became stronger emotionally and mentally and spiritually. Every addict has hiddedn issues that wwe try to hide from in a drug haze. Deal with the issues and the drugs are not needed.
I learned to understand that withdrawal is a process. There is a beginning and there will be an end.
The end of withdrawal is not the end of our work, but the true beginning. It signals the time when we must learn to live on Life's terms and not run from them. Truly, the year it took for me to detox first from Oxycodone, then Xanax, was the greatest time of learning about myself than all my other years combined.
Matt, you can do this. Truly. I am 6 years out now and drugs are just not a part of my life or thoughts anymore. Well, i guess it must be some part of my thoughts in that I continue to come here to share and remind myself that my life is so much fuller again. I don't just exist anymore, I live.
It's all waiting for you, my friend.
With all good wishes and support
Thanks for the support. I really like the mantra and am going to live by it. If you don't mind me asking, how much opiates were you on and how long? How were your cravings? when did you notice the cravings starting to go away? The cravings is whats killing me. I am strong now but I know how my mind works and sooner or later I will start the justification process. One day at a time right.
Thanks again for your thoughts, I never thought messaging strangers would make me feel better but i do. I understant why so many people post on these things.
The following user gives a hug of support to mattoxyrecovere: Phoenix (10-29-2012)
I was on pain meds and benzos for 15 years after a series of surgeries for cancer that claimed part of my leg. There were a lot of repercussions from the surgeries and the radiation also did long term damage that is painful to live with. The drug use was legitimate and for 10 years all was well.
There came a time when a series of really emotionally crushing things came into my life. That is when I crossed the line from legitimate use to abusing the drugs. They were always prescribed, so I had a never-ending supply. I think I was on just about every oiate and painkiller out there at one time or another. Percocet, Fentnyl patches, morphine, etc etc. When I finally had a total breakdown and the gig was up for me, I was using 60-80mg of oxycodone a day and also about 2 and 1/2 mg Xanax.
I was already in clinical depression when my taper began. My family doctor first drpped me to 1 and 1/2 mg of Xanax and 60mgs of oxycodone. Too big a drop and doing both at once was disastrous. I stayed at the 1 and 1/2mg Xanax then throughout the taper from oxycodone and then did the Xanax taper.
Matt, truthfully, I never had any mental cravings for the drugs, only physical. I did not want to die. I also reached sober thinking (through some family background and with the help of a clinical social worker) long before the tapers ended. Once I realized that I was abusing the drugs to hide from grief and hurt and learn how to deal with it in healthy ways, there was no cravings for the drugs mentally.
I really get on a soap box when I talk about this. :-) As addicts, we are not losers or lowlives. We are people who need a new set of coping skills, people who use drug hazes to try and hide from whatever in our lives we fear. Fear is a huge part of addiction, of withdrawal and of working to reclaim our happiness in sobriety.
Always, there must be a plan for aftercare if we want to succeed in truly reaching recovery. Make a plan now as to how you will find the help for yourself to work on your life issues. Sometimes we may think, "Nah, I don't have any issues." I certainly thought that until I began work with the social worker and came to discover that I had many! :-)
Most of all, Matt, we need to believe others who have gone before us that ther is, indeed, hope for every single one of us. When an older, more experienced poster wrote that to me the first time, I sobbed. I sobbed my heart out and my journey in hope began. Keep taking the steps, Matt. A beautiful life is waiting for you, also.
Thank you for sharing your story. I never thought posting online would help so much. It it so good to know that there can be a happy ending. I think that when fighting addiction the tendency is to focus on the now and how bad everything is. But hearing that you made it through definitley gives me more cofidence and motivation. It is the end of day 4 and im feeling pretty good considering. I set an appointment with an addiction counseler, and blocked my dealers # from my phone(incoming and outgoing). I told my mom the situation a few minutes ago. Im going to my first NA meeting tomorro, all that said im feeling pretty damn good. lets hope i feel this way tomorro morning.
You will never know how your post lifted me up as I read it. So many good, good steps are being taken! From where I sit, it sure seems like you have found a determination and strength. Blocking those numbers, making that appt, telling Mom, getting ready for a meeting... Matt, you are going to be okay, Buddy.
I think you might be surprised at how willing so many people are to help you. Once I got past my shame, I realized that all that time I had only to reachout (hence my screen name) for help and it was there waiting for me all the time.
Matt, you are on your way. :-) I will be here rooting for you and walking beside you the whole time as will manyu others. Keep the faith, stay strong and determined.
I only got a couple hours of sleep last night, probably due to the fact that my girlfriend decieded to break down and tell me how disappionted and hurt she is by my actions. There is also some family issues that are causing her stress too. But man did I feel ashamed and bad last night. I thought about using, but didn't, I woke up at 6am with another craving but curbed it. I think I might be getting better at this craving thing. I took a bath and listened to some music which took my mind off of it.
I am really struggling with the shame and regret of hurting my girlfriend. I lied to her to use, and used our money to get high. She has every right to feel the way she does. She said that she cant trust me. I understand that she should feel that way but when she talks about her feelings I get so down on myself. I love this girl and have been with her for 5 years. Dissappointing her is probably what is hurting me the most. On one side i am happy that i am getting clean, but on the other I am so ashamed a depressed that I hurt people around me. I don't know, Im starting to rant.
Thanks again for the encouragment, you will never know how much this means to me. and how much your words are helping.
Your story is much like mine. Ive been an addict on hydrocodone and xanax for 7yrs off and on. In the beginning I took them to get high and hide from my problems. I still do on occassion but now mostly its just for pain. I suffer from bone spurs in my back and recently had ankle surgery. My best friend twice had gotten me clean off the pills but I have since fallen off the wagon. I dont use to get high anymore, I take them for pain but the problem is that i have built up a tolerance so it takes more pills now to ease the pain in my ankle. Just last night my best friend and I had a huge fight about my use of the pain pills and she bascially told me she wanted nothing more to do with me because im a druggie again...that really hurt because i havent used to get high in many years. She has ligit concerns but i have struggled for so long with my addiction that sometimes it feels like its to much and i cant win. you seem like a strong person Matt and your lucky to have a gf to stick by your side and help you get through this. You will get through this Matt, dont give up my friend. I am still trying to overcome my addiction but i am now doing it alone which makes it harder. You inspire me though Matt to really try hard to kick this addiction once and for all. I wish you the best matt. god bless
__________________ Right ankle lateral ankle stabilization with ankle arthroscopy and debridement, curettage and microfracture of the lateral talar dome lesion. Possible RSD of right ankle
Anxiety and depression
The following user gives a hug of support to loki2012: mattoxyrecovere (10-31-2012)
So yesterday started a little hard, but turned out awsome. Anyone that has come off opiates knows that when the withrawls start to go away, you get this passion for life. I had energy yesterday and did some yard work, I took my dog for a long walk, and to get groomed. I watched a movie with my gf and actually had a great time. Didn't think about pills once after yesterday morning. I couldn't sleep last night again, but hey im not complaining. Today I feel better than I have felt in a long time. My brain is firing all these memeories that have been drowned in a drug haze for so long. I was up for hours last night thinking of memories that i havfent thought about in years. Its amazing how you can feel your body come back to life. I know im not there yet but days like today make the last 6 with it. Today I have energy!!!!! I can finally feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep you head up. I'm sure your best friend cares about you and only wants you to be healthy. Maybe use that deteriorating relationship as motivation to get clean. What do you think you best friend would say if a week from now you called her and said "im 7 days clean, seeing a counseler and attending NA meeting" I don't know her but if she isn't your friend after that than you dont need her. Keep people around that are supporting you. It sounds like your friend wants to suppport you but doesn't know how after two failed attempts. I have said those words to a few of my addict friends also, but what I have learned is that once you take the drugs out or the situation the bonds that the friendship was originally based on will shine through. I have a best friend of over 18 years, and he got really bad into pills (8 80mg oc's/day) then he graduated to heroin and coke (speedballing). i watched as his addiction change his personality from someone i trusted with my life to someone I wouldnt even associate with. We lost contact for about a year, but when he called me and was in a 30 day rehab program I gave him another chance. And I am glad I did. I realized that the underlying personality is the reason we were close friends and the drugs just masked his personality. As I visited him in rehab we starting talking and I realized that our friendship is based on much deeper bonds. Then I fell of the wagon while he was clean, and the same thing happened but the opposite way. He started distancing himself from me and we lost contact for the last couple months. But hooray because yesterday I had luch with him and of course he isn't holding a grudge. Have faith in your friends. The friendship is there but just hard to see. She cares about you and thats why she has taken that stand. Make some changes and Im sure she will come around.
You can do it, and im gonna keep posting daily for a while, I would love if you followed and shared your experiences. We can help Eachother throuhg this.
Ps how bad is your pain, is it possible to look at alternative medicines like acupuncture or a chiropractor.
Everyday I can tell my body is progressing. More and more energy is coming back. feel great without any pills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have my full appetite back, but im still not sleeping well, and I still crave in the morning. Hindsight being 20/20 i don't know why people are so scared to withdrawl. A couple days of feeling like crap to get your life back, seems like a no brainer to me now. I hope my posts will help, and hopfully pull someone else out of the hell that our addiction creates. I know that i am only on day 7 but this is the most confident I have ever felt. After quitting twice by my self and relapsing, I am really starting to see the benefits of reaching out for help.
My brain isn't clouded with a drug haze and I can think clearly now. I analyse some of my behaviors while i was on drugs, and it is amazing how you see things without the drugs filtering your world.