Saturday, January 26, 2019

Would you...?

This is my question readers- If you knew everything you know now about opioids- would you try them again? What role did they play in your life?

I ask this based on a conversation I had with a friend the other day. We were in a coffee shop that is semi well known for having steady traffic of both recovery people using the tables for step work and folks who are actively using that need the key to the bathroom to do their thing.

"I used to shoot so much dope in that bathroom..." he said. This spiraled into a whole conversation about mental health and substance use. I've said this before, I'll say it again. Opioids, specifically heroin, probably saved me from killing myself. This is simply because I had no access to mental health care. In fact, I wasn't even fully in touch with what was wrong with me. I would just wake up with an impending sense of dread. Yes, I chose opioids but in my young mind, there was nothing "addictive" about them. I 100% believed that feeling was "all in your head". No one truly understands the gravity of being underwater until you are drowning. That was me.

Now today, in 2019, I have progressed beyond many of the conditions that existed then. I have had many years of adequate mental health treatment. I have skills and a vocation I adore. I have positive people in my life. My drug and alcohol use may have been a "phase" or simply maladaptive coping mechanisms. I'm not sure. Either way, I can't change the past. I have to move forward with the decisions I've made. The important thing is I can't continue to ruminate on GUILT. These things are done. Today, I may still have cravings or negative periods. I have no control over my thoughts. I do have control over my actions. I have to continue to CHOOSE to do positive things for myself today. And trust me, it can be a struggle.

Anyway, I'd like to hear from you. What role do drugs, alcohol, and anxiety play in your life?


12 comments:

  1. I still would have tried them, I first tried pills in high school, and it was over a decade later before I ended up having a heroin problem. I kept the high school use occasional, post high school even more so, as the effects didn't appeal to me very much for a long time. Even with heroin, my first and second use were four years apart.

    Far as actual addiction goes, which came much later, and I also believed that outside of rare extreme cases, it was "all in your head," and what I know now, maybe I would have stopped earlier. Or at least left it as something much more rare for use, maybe stopped binging when it got to that but prior to dependency. I've been addicted for over a decade now. But the thing is, despite some negative consequences, there's been positive as well far as tamping down the extremes of bipolar, and allowed me to live through and accept a bunch of crappy periods in my life. Also, there are people in my life I wouldn't have met, including my fiance, had I not made choices that definitely intertwine with my habit. So I can't say for sure whether it's good, bad, or just different. I do know that it's been a definite time suck where I haven't accomplished some things I wanted to by now, and it takes me excessively long to change things and work on goals. One thing I definitely would have done differently is taking better care of myself, made more effort no matter how much I didn't feel like it. And much better injection habits so I wouldn't be so scarred up from abscesses. Not have had periods where I could barely walk, not have ended up in the hospital with 10 abscesses and MRSA two years ago. A lot of it sounds and is somewhat superficial, but it matters.

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    1. that's rough. Did you end up in the hospital for the MRSA too?

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    2. Yes, that's why they kept me so long, although there was an extra day added when I ran out of my own dope for too long & it made me really sick. The IV Dilaudid 2mg every whatever number of hours wasn't enough, Especially because I occasionally got forgotten. I wouldn't ask for it because I was afraid to get flagged for "drug seeking behavior." My life is alright, I just feel like I'm getting too old to do it anymore and am slowly cutting down so I can detox, so I can stop before it gets too hard to survive.

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  2. I started smoking weed at age 11. In hindsight, I was a depressed kid. Earliest memory of depression was age 4 (in hindsight). Yes, alcohol, Qualudes, Cocaine, Acid, 'Shrooms, any kind of opiate helped me 'survive' my teens. I once had 14 yrs sobriety and was able to make it through the deaths of both my Dad and brother. My excuse for relapsing was the murder of a friend. I'm now basically drinking myself to death. Though I'll take prescription Oxys and Hydrocodone any chance I can get. I just can't get the willingness to stop. That is an incredibly difficult question to answer. If I hadn't self medicated I probably would've ended my life by age 18. If I hadn't tried dope, maybe I could've held out until the effective anti depressants started to be marketed. Once again you make me think. Thank you. You do inspire me.
    Liz

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    1. That’s a rough place to be in. My motivation to stop always fluctuated in relation to access to chemicals until finally nothing worked

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  3. I wouldn't have tried opiates but I would have tried benzodiazepines because my anxiety was so high I couldn't control my actions. I had two children as a teen left home at 18 worked and went to college. However, I was physically and emotionally abusive to my husband and of course the kids witnessed and could probably feel anxiety due to my constant screaming, crying, and interact behavior. However, I became severely addicted to both benzodiazepines and opiates. I was happier when I used them but the benzodiazepine addiction was so severe I resorted to prostitution and was totally disabled. But opiates is what tore my family apart so no I wished I would never touched the first Percocet.

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  4. This is Rachael, I previous wrote I wouldn't have tried opiates but Benzos. That's true but there is 6 months of my life I wouldn't take back. I was with the only heroin dealer in the county. He was the usual white beater, tattoos, swagger every using girl wanted him and he chose me. We lived in the studio apartment above my mom's garage. My kids lived with her in our five bedroom house. I for once had an unlimited amount of dope and a hot boyfriend. I felt sorry for the fools we sold to $30 bucks for a small bit of black china in a cap that I cut after he left. Life was beautiful for once I had unlimited dope and nerve pills. I had a home and was constantly shopping, tanning, and going places. I didn't have to sleep with dirty old men I was the luckiest girl in the world. I'm unorganized but with all these drugs both the apartment and house was spotless. I was never going be dope sick again I also was getting oxy prescribed to me from a pill mill life couldn't be better. I was so in love and he loved me. As time passed I started sleeping a lot and not fixing myself up he noticed. One day we got into an argument about him not coming straight home. He left me for an 18 year old girl that was prettier. I soon lost my script and finally went to the Suboxone clinic 10 years ago. So as I wouldn't have touched opiates I wouldn't take back the time I used without any stress, sickness, or worry. If that makes sense?

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  5. I would say there was a time in my life I needed opiods. I certainly felt like I did. The first time I tried a pain killer I knew this was my new answer. Its hard to pinpoint the exact moment my use went from manageable to habitual and finally unsustainable. I feel like there was a certain naivety at first which made it OK. We were just having fun. Then the first time you think you have the flu and do some dope and realize oh fuck I am withdrawing.

    It is just part of who we are. Maybe we had to go to the place to get to this place in the words of Marshall Mather's. I don't know. It makes me sad the thought of losing those memories.

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    1. I definitely thought I had the flu or was dying the first time I had WD. Caught me by surprise

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  6. I started using light opiates (Tramadol) and occasionaly benzos since 2014 and I have been able to keep it a weekend-only kind of a thing until 2018, when I tried methadone and oxycodone and finally heroin. Heroin came last since I was aware (or at least I thought) of it's ability to suck you into the whole addiction thing. I thought I would do that on a weekend basis too, but it broke my weekend-only plan (which worked for Tramadol for years) in just 2-3 days, I did it on Sunday and on Wednesday I was like "I don't really feel like waiting for weekend", and it has been spells of using for 4-6 months, I stop only when I run out of it and have to obtain more (which is not easy where I live), I am not a hard core user, I take too much sometimes but I never OD-ed, my first OD would be my last because I do it alone, it's a secret well kept from mother, girlfriend, work-colleagues... Sadly, I can say I never in my life felt more disinhibited, carefree, pro-active, motivated and sociable before I tried smack. It really puts away ALL of my anxiety and depressive mood for an entire day. I do not know how the thing is going to progress but I know that doing H every day to cope with mental issues isn't a solution.

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    1. I definitely was on the weekend only plan until I wasn’t 😬

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  7. Hi Tracy, tnx for the answer. Interesting to know there are others with a weekend-only smack plan which seems to be some self delusional thing. I wanted to say you really are a legend, to get out of what you got out of, hats off to you ma'am :) keep doing what you doing...
    Ivan

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