The mental stuff. I don't know if I'd call it the next step/obstacle, but it is a hurdle. I think a part of what makes the mental something you need to over come is how easy it was, once you took the pills to feel that everything is OK. "Not enough money to pay the light bill?" No problem. "Co-worker trying to screw you over on the job?" Take a pill, no worries. "Anxious about....whatever" A couple or three hydros later, who the heck cares.
When you come off the euphoria of the pills, then you really have to deal with all that stuff and it's not easy to make it all go away just by "not thinking about it." Now we have to deal with real life. Now we have to face the "Sweet Old Boy" who's always on my rear about something.
I think Jam is right. Therapy helps. I saw a good, psych - a man of faith - who prescribed meds only when he really thought it necessary. I was a patient for six months of "talk therapy" before we MUTUALLY decided that an antidepressent wasn't a bad thing to try. It worked after adjusting the dose over a brief time.
I also I had a big problem that went along with my restless legs syndrome that helped me into my first addiction: Anxiety...which greatly contributed to the addiction of my drug of first choice back then ...benzodiazepenes: restorill, halcion valium, ativan, klonipin, librium, xanax...all those medicines from hell. That was my first detox. "Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, stress meds," they're called. Yeah, they calm. Use them and feel good for a length of time, then try the wds from those. I quit those c/t and I did not sleep at all...literally for nine days coming off benzos.
There are other meds, non-addictive meds, with mild side effects of anti-anxiety. I take one used to treat epilepsy that has a side effect in that it mildly helps with the panic attacks and anxiety.
I WOULD NOT NOW TAKE ANY MEDICINE FROM ANY DOCTOR EVER WITHOUT FIRST THOROUGHLY RESEARCHING ALL EFFECTS AND SIDE EFFECTS IN PDR'S, ON THE INTERNET, TRUSTED DOCTORS, AND FORMER ADDICTS. That's partly how I wound up deep in benzo hell. I figured, "He's the doctor." With patient loads today, you can't assume your doc is on top of your health. You have to take charge yourself.
Another biggie that Jam has mentioned on at least of couple of occasions is exercise which makes your body produce it's own kind of natural feel good "drug," endorphins. You can't underestimate the value of what your body can do for itself. Get in a good workout regularly and your body will stop sending signals to your brain, "Boy, I sure could use a pill right now." Your body will take care of that need itself by making those endorphins when you regularly exercise. I PROMISE.
Every addict has issues and reasons we turn to drugs once the pain is gone. Usually it's to escape some kind of mental, psychological, or emotiona pain. Believe me, taking a pill is heck of a lot easier than 30 minutes on a stairmaster. But look what you buy yourself with the convenience of pill taking.
Figure out what else may be hurting besides the pain in your body and maybe the mental cravings will diminish as well.
I'm no expert. I do know that long after I recovered from the pain of my blown calf muscle a few months back that led the doc to presribe the hydro,
I found "rationalized" mental reasons why it was OK for me to still use. "It helped me sleep. It helps my restless legs. It helps the lonliness I feel coming home to an empty house every night."
An addict doesn't need much of a mental excuse to use. We need to remember the pain that using causes. The only hydro I will ever take over which I have any control is the first one. Say no to the first one every time and you'll not get on the slippery slope of addiction again. The only pill I might take that I have any control over is the first one
Sorry. That's my sermon for this Tuesday night. You're doing great. Hang in there. Find a good AA/NA group. Even though I am a drug addict, I chose to attend AA meetings in my last town. The NA groups I visited - all good people trying to stay straight and sober - I just found to be a little "rougher" crowd than this preacher was used to being around. The AA group I made my home group - was closed (open only to recovering alcoholics & addicts - no visitors/non-users), non-smoking, met in a church, and was just a better fit for me. If you start looking for a group, visit serveral. There's one out there that fits everyone.
Good luck Bridget, Ice, and all you other newbies like me. Hang in there and work your program.
"You can dooo eeeet!"