I could be your neighbor, your kids teacher, your kid’s soccer coach, I could be your best friend, your counselor, your therapist, or I could be you. The point is like most addicts we do not mean to end up this way and then we suffer in silence a lot of the time. Why? Because the fear of losing our family, our jobs, or the life we know and think we love; we fear the unknown. Then our healthcare system rarely takes care of us even when we have insurance, so we really do not see the benefit of outing ourself. Plus we also usually think we can stop.
I also did not even recognize all the signs of my own addiction if I want to be really truthful with myself until it was too late. I blamed my need for Opiates on my back injury from a sever car crash – and me being an athlete. I never “doctor shopped” until the last year and half of my addiction and then I only did a handful of times. I really did not have to – I had and still do have a lot of trauma to my body. However, now I am trying to manage it much differently. Some days I am better at it than others – I am human and I am an addict. But I am working towards this goal and other goals.
My use of illegal drugs – began after highschool and continued all through college. Many days I would go to classes high on acid, cocaine, or marijuana or the after effects of ecstasy. However, I really did not enjoy acid all that much; as I felt the buzz just lasted too long for me. It was harder for me to “function” on…Drive, give presentations, work…those sorts of things…Cocaine and I loved one another. I could study, go to classes, party, work, – virtually do it all. However, I also consumed at times large quantities of alcohol to come down and sleep, and take sleeping pills when I was ready for some sleep. Typing this just makes me sick….However, this habit did not stop until well into 30;s!!!! And then I only stopped combining the coke with the sleeping pills…but there was an arsenal of other meds; a cocktail to help me come down. All the while I still worked out, held a job, and no one other that my friends knew my secret.
After college I did stop using illegal drugs for two years but I was just starting my love affair with Opiates and did not even realize it…I stopped the ”Blow” because I built up a sensitivity to the drug, Meaning, no matter how little I did these same awful side effects would happen instantly!!! I would get extremely paranoid! Very frigidity, wiggly….Suddenly a drug for making people talk uncontrollably would turn me into a mute. It was awful. I hated my drug of choice for doing this to me. But before stopping I went from parting out at clubs and bars and friends places to ONLY doing blow at home with 1 or 2 people because of how I would get. It was really embarrassing.
When I started using again I picked up right where I left off – more blow, more ecstasy, more mushrooms, way more alcohol, and my love of the Opiates…..
It turns out kicking Opiates has been the hardest. I miss counting the pills, I miss opening the bottles, I miss swallowing pills, I miss the high. I had also started shooting different kinds of legal “energy” kickers, so my need for speed combined with my love of getting high really makes this a hard road. I have never used a dirty needle, I do not have an STD, but I know am one of the “lucky” ones…I could have easily crossed that line too, so I never judge anyone.
In 2007 when I entered in a methadone treatment center for the first time I was on the brink of losing a lot. I had been caught having an affair. Ironically with someone who has never used drugs, but was bisexual and I had no idea. He was extremely controlling, almost bi-polar. As you can see I did go from one drug to another in way…I had also just been arrested for driving on a suspended license. This was later dropped as the city made a clerical error, but as I sat in jail awaiting to post bail….I just keep thinking how did I get here. I had also asked the officer if I could please take my medicine BEFORE he hauled me off to jail. He allowed me to. I washed down 3 of my 7.5 percasets and 2 Skelaxins and 1 Zanaflex. I was already driving with that same amount in my system and a bottle of wine…But I had only taken the drugs about 10 minutes before he pulled me over.
All the while I did hold down a job where I was making over 100k until one day I was fired. Drugs were a major reason – Drugs and my other addictions.
Luckily, I had secured another job quickly – I was not making the same amount of money but I did have great medical insurance. However, I have never used insurance to get Methadone. I never wanted that on my medical records. My counselor at the treatment center was shocked to learn that I too have a background in guess what…..Psychology, and that I have been such a high functioning addict for so long. She said I was committing passive suicide with my life everyday. She and I worked closely together the first year and half…She met my family. We talked all about my issues etc…but there was never a plan to taper me off of my Methadone…It just kept climbing and climbing and climbing….At my peek and where I remained for years was 160mg a day!!
Then after a while you are allowed to take home your Methadone for a month at a time (although that did not last for long due to dirty drug screens – no benzo’s, or other opiates, but mine were always dirty due to blow). However, I often got two weeks. I did this off and on for a year at least, so I started stock piling my methadone…I knew one day I would want to stop and I felt like I had been paying through the nose for my methadone…$15 a day plus physical and drug tests twice a month…That equals a lot of money – especially after years of methadone. But really started to bother me was there was no real “care or treatment” to getting me off of this very powerful drug. While I think it certainly has it value and place it does need to also come with a plan. Afterall, I am an addict. When I entered treatment I was taking about 12 to 14 different prescriptions a day and over 50 to 70 pills a day everyday to get high. Plus I was using illegal drugs, and washing it all down with alcohol. Many nights I partied all night and worked all day. I would lie to people, make up stories to get my way, and have affairs. I really have always loved sex, but I loved it even more in times of stress or when I was facing something hard. I was one that always had a more than one partner. I would have two and keep those two for years and swear that I loved them equally – another addiction.
I have had sex with multiple partners, both male and female – the same-sex was usually always purely for the shock factor or for someone elses enjoyment. I have woken up places with no memory of how I got there. I have been to crack houses looking for more drugs and I have witnessed friends lose their lives for another high. I have seen families destroyed. I have seen my own family struggling to learn how this could happen to “our family”. And people who you would never imagine in a million years have all been here before me and will be here after me. This is why we need a place like this. A place we can all share our ideas, our stories, our words of wisdom if you will to help anyone seeking that one piece of information to show them there is hope no matter how long it has been dark.
Please take a moment to leave a comment. Write a question. I will answer it in a very timely manner or leave a suggestion. If it is helpful to you and your healing write your story to share here with others. It may just be what someone else needed to hear.
Wishing YOU and YOURS The Best of Everything….The Addict