This is the third part of my series and the hardest to write. Any comments are welcome but please remember that this is my life.
Living life as an addict is not an easy way to live life. I never thought that I would be an addict but that’s the way I was meant to be. Many a day, I am so angry that I live my life in chronic pain and can’t take pain medications now. I blame myself for becoming an addict but in reality, it’s not my fault. I do believe that we are born a certain way and that is the way we become. But there are things that we can do to not always be an addict, they aren’t easy to do.
Being an addict is a rollercoaster life. What I mean by that is, you go up and down with emotions on a daily basis. Or at least I did. I remember feeling so secure in my life when I was taking pain medications. The pills would give me confidence and courage to be the person I wanted to be. I could do anything from asking a guy out on a date to feel like Superwomen and nothing could bring me down. I would feel so high as a kite that nothing would hurt. I could walk for miles, clean the house 2 times a day, run errands, and be, what I thought, was the best mom out there. Little did I know, most people liked me sober and didn’t care if I could get all those things done in a day. But I had it set in my mind that I needed to be the best at everything. I had to be the best wife, mother, daughter, and person to everyone.
Once I had that set in my head of being the best, I would start to feel like the medicine would wear off quickly and that is when I started to take more than the doctor prescribed. If the prescription said to take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours, I would take 3 tablets every 3 hours. And as my body got used to that dosage, I would up it to 4 tablets every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The most I took at one time was 6 tablets at one time. I am very lucky to be alive today. I would keep messing with the dosages. no matter what the doctor prescribed. I was even prescribed pain patches that were Fentanyl, the hospital grade pain medication, and when 1 patch wasn’t giving me the high, I would put on another patch. Sure at first I would feel a little shaky but that would go away and eventually, I would need more to get high I wanted.
Soon it just became all about the high. I knew that I was in pain, severe pain at times, but I didn’t care about that. All I could think about was being high. I did many things that I am ashamed of doing and I didn’t care who I hurt along the way, just as long as I was high. When the doctor approached me about the medication, Suboxone, I felt like I had to do it. I couldn’t keep going the way I was or I would end up dead. Or even worse, I could hurt or kill someone when I was high. I really began to look at my life and hate who I became.
The days that I had pain medications or patches were my happy days. I would bask in the rays of being high and try not to think about what was yet to come. Then there were the days that I would run out medicine and start to withdrawal. At first, I would be telling myself that this was a good thing and I needed to become sober. Even though deep down inside I was thinking of where I could get my hands on any kind of pain medications that were out there. I would go to friends and families houses and steal anything that I could find so that I wouldn’t go through the withdrawals. I would have the conversation with myself that I promised this would be the last time. I promised that if I made it through this withdrawal then I would stop all pain meds. And I would be honest with my husband and tell all my doctors.
But this just became a cycle. I would get more pain medications, I would abuse them, and then I would run out and withdrawal. This went on for years. Many painful years. There would be times in these cycles that I would actually be sober. And go for months without pain medications but then something would happen and I would be in a great amount of pain, knocking on the door of abusing pain medication. begging a doctor for more meds. Most doctors didn’t have a problem with throwing medications at me. After all, I was a cop’s wife. I wouldn’t be abusing pain medications. Little did the doctors know…….
I finally hit my rock bottom when I had gone through the cycle and was at the point of no medications. At this time in my life, I was working and I couldn’t get myself out of bed to go to the place called work. I called in sick one day, two days, and by the third day, I couldn’t get out of bed to even call work and tell them I wouldn’t be in. I had been telling work that I had this horrible flu which at first they believed me. Then came day four and day five and they told me that if I didn’t make it in by that Monday, I was done. Oh, and I needed a doctor’s note excusing me from the past week. By Monday of the next week, I didn’t have the energy, strength or will to make it into work. Needless to say, when I did finally tell work what was going on because the truth is always the right thing to do, I was fired.
This wasn’t the only part of my rock bottom. My husband had had enough of going through these cycles with me. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, and the kids had once again witnessed another round of me withdrawing. Enough was enough. This time was the time that I would become sober and stay sober, no matter how hard it would be. And believe me, it was so hard. It still is hard especially when there are pain medications in our house. It’s very easy to go back to my old ways. But I have remained strong, that is until after this last surgery. Having a number of drugs that the doctor gave me, all I wanted to do was to get that high again. I had many conversations with myself, telling me that it wasn’t worth it. Or would be telling myself to just go ahead, after all, I deserved to be high again because I just had major back surgery.
Unfortunately, I did talk myself into taking a few extra pills here and there. And the amount of guilt I felt toward not only my family but especially towards myself. And the funny thing was, I didn’t even enjoy the high this time. It wasn’t something that was good or a part of my life anymore. All it made me feel was disgust, anger, and disappointment. Now I know that after all these years of being on Suboxone and being sober were thrown away, I just wanted to hate myself. But instead, I am pulling myself back together and starting over again. After all, this is my life and I am worth being sober. I am worth being the best I can be, and I am worth loved for how I am not and not hated for the mistakes that I made.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to changes the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
The final part of this series will be posted next Sunday, February 25, 2017. Please watch out for that post.