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?


3 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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