Friday, February 22, 2013

My Addiction Story Summarized

I've taken my most important posts and summarized them to explain my addiction and recovery.

I believe it started when my parents separated.  Being such a daddy's girl back then, it really shook me up when he wasn't in my life as much. The insults back and forth between my parents and the pain they were in upset me. It felt like my whole world came crashing down. I felt like I’d been lied to and resented everyone for it, so I started rebelling. It’s a common fact that teenagers rebel but for me it started a bit earlier than. I was around 11 when I started not listening to anyone and getting angry very easily. I felt like no one understood me and people saw me as being spoiled which didn't help because I felt the opposite of spoiled. Sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious, I was really hurt and people didn't seem to notice that. So I started staying out late, smoking cigarettes, hanging out with the wrong people and that was about it for a while.

Living on my own at 15 was like the coolest thing, at the time. It was the hang out spot, old friends admired, new friends multiplied. But they weren't really friends were they. Just more people taking advantage of a spot to hang out while getting high. Although I was actually pretty strict with whom I let come in my place. I was selling at the time and didn't want the attention by having known criminals seen coming out of my place. I had all the drugs I wanted and I felt on top of the world. Not depending on anyone for my next pill or my next line. I had a nice and actually clean place. I felt like I still had control of my life, oh how fast things change. Nothing last forever, as they say. It went from being able to stop and go to bed, to the never ending feeling of wanting more. A debt was accumulated and my selling career was over. Now faced with not having a steady supply to feed my addiction, I realize how much I needed it. My body cries out for more. The aches and pain take over any control I have over my mind.

I started doing Percocets once in a while at 13 years old.  Back before anyone knew what they were in my small town I got my hands on a few. But thankfully I ended up moving to my dad’s before I could get addicted. Once at my dads, I stuck with smoking weed and doing ecstasy for a while before I first did coke when my dad offered me some at 14. Not knowing I was addicted yet I moved back to my moms, what I didn't know was that my addiction would follow me where ever I went. I ended up dating someone who sold coke and got even more addicted since I did a large amount every day. We also started doing oxys once in a while so we would be able to relax and go to bed after a night of doing coke. At that point I couldn't really go without coke but I could go without oxys. Well that’s until my dad got me a connection to start selling oxys. Once I started selling I did so much of them that my body really couldn't go without it.

Now that I was fully addicted to coke and oxycotin it was hard to say which I was most addicted too. As time went on it became more and more obvious that my body needed the oxys and my mind wanted the coke. Once I was high on coke nothing else mattered but once the high went away my body screamed for an oxy. I was able to go without coke way longer then I could go without oxy. I'd even quit coke for a bit here and there but oxys were the one thing that I couldn't just stop because the withdrawals were too severe. Although after getting on methadone I wasn't ruled by my body any more but my mind. In a way trying to fix the mind can be even more confusing and difficult then fixing the body. So now that I didn’t have withdrawals anymore it became all about doing coke. That got me into a lot of trouble and made me do things that even today I do everything not to think of. It got to the point were enough was enough I didn't want to lose control of myself anymore, so I quit coke for good. Sadly, I just ended replacing coke with oxys. I told myself that it wasn't as bad because it didn't affect my decision making and it couldn't give me withdrawals any more.

I really believed that it didn't affect my decision making and that was my main argument. I was still myself, I didn't need it, I just chose to do it because I liked it and I was bored. It wasn't like coke were once I took a hit all I wanted to do was get more and I'd do anything to get more. With oxys, I did one I was satisfied for the day. I could choose not to do some if I didn't have money. The truth was that I didn't want to be alone with my own thoughts so when things got quiet or I just couldn't bare it any more I'd do an oxy and numb my mind. . I was only able to stop once I made the decision to love myself again. I wanted to be able to enjoy my own company and to enjoy being alone. So I had to face those thoughts head on, change what I didn't like and accept what I couldn't change. I needed to realize that I was an intelligent person with a loving heart that could accomplish great things in life. That I was loved and cared for, I wasn't alone. That's when everything changed because I learned to deal with these thoughts and memories that haunted me.

There are some things we need to remember so that we may grow and learn from them. Unfortunately some memories don't have any purpose besides making us feel bad about ourselves. These memories have a tendency to creep up on us when we less expect it. Most of the time it happens to me when I'm in bed trying to fall asleep. I start to toss and turn, remembering the awful things I did or awful things that were done to me. I replay it in my head over and over thinking of the things that could have been done differently. These are toxic memories and we all need to find ways to get rid of them and think positive.

What I've learned during my recovery is that when these thoughts happen I have to remember all the things I've accomplished since being sober. This definitely became easier the longer I was sober because I had more things to be proud of as time went on. As soon as I was on the methadone program and had my withdrawals under control I started working towards my high school diploma. I did it by correspondence so I could stay at home and get better but still do something I could be proud of and gave me hope for the future. I believe the only way I was able to get sober without any therapy, rehab or detox was due to the methadone program. Nothing else worked for me before then because my withdrawals would take over any determination I had to stop.

It took me a little over a year to get completely clean after starting methadone. The program only fixed part of the problem. I had to fix my way of thinking on my own and no amount of medication would do that for me. Although I agree therapy would have helped once the withdrawals were gone.  I'm not exactly sure why I never committed to weekly therapy but it might have to do with how terrible I am at keeping appointments. What did help in its place was reading books which did a great deal to take my mind off negative things. Also keeping a journal and having my mom to talk too made a huge difference. I really felt like she understood me and I hardly ever felt judged.

I often wonder if I did the right thing getting on methadone, or if I just took the easy way out. At the time it wasn't even a decision. It kind of just happened. Well not that easy of course but in my mind there wasn't any other possibility. It was either that or keep doing what I was doing to keep the withdrawals away. On way or another I had to keep the pain and withdrawals at bay. I didn't know any other way. I even tried doing a bit less oxys everyday and gradually stop that way, but it didn't work at all. Everything just seemed so futile and hopeless. The more I fucked up in my life by doing stupid things to feed my addiction, the more I wanted to get fucked up to forget about it. A vicious cycle. (Forgiving myself was an essential part of my recovery but that only happened after Id been on methadone for a while.)

So I finally got to see a methadone doctor after months of waiting. It wasn't easy getting an appointment since the doctor was out of town. I had to travel there twice a week for the first couple months and finding a ride wasn't easy. On top of that I had to go to pharmacy every day, freezing wind, pouring rain, cold snow, extreme heat with no car or city buses, I had to find a ride or walk there and back. That doesn't include holidays when their hours were so  short I sometimes didn't make it in time or when I had to leave where ever I was like work or school to go to the pharmacy. The doctor even screwed up sometimes, or sent my prescription out of town on the wrong day, and I didn't get my medication. Those days Id be in incredible pain. I wish someone would have told me what I was getting into. How hard it was going to be to quit methadone or to go without it for even just a day. Even now when I only need to go to pharmacy once a week I still feel trapped.  I can’t go anywhere for more than a week. I've thought of getting away from everything, go work far away for a summer, get to see new places, out of country even, but then I realize how difficult that would be if I'm still on methadone. I've been slowly lowering my methadone hoping to be able to do something adventurous this summer. Hoping is the key word here because I've tried going down before, more than once. What always seems to happen is I go down to fast then my body starts hurting, I can’t sleep and I'm always tired. In short I don't function well, so I give up and return to the same amount of methadone I was originally at before going down.

Now I'm going down slowly and it’s been going ok but there were moments where I didn't feel good and I really thought about going up again. Thankfully, I was able to hold on and not go up again. Instead Id stay at that amount for a while to get use to it. I know if it weren't for methadone I wouldn't even have the state of mind to dream about travelling or to go to school or to even have a life in general so I'm really grateful. I can’t expect it to be easy or to magically get fixed, good things require effort and determination. I have to take the good with the bad and hope that I'm strong enough to get off it eventually. Its ironic how the one thing that freed me is also keeping me trapped, but honestly it could be worst at lease now my minds my own and I have a chance at life.