I feel like I want to share my story. Not sure why, perhaps I want to just lay it out there. I was bought up in a fairly strict family, no consoles or games computers - we had "educational" hardware like the BBC Micro. We didn't really have fizzy pop or sweets, etc. On the rare occasions we had sweets, I would consume them all - whereas my brother would manage to save some "for later". My mum has always said I had an "addictive personality". I never did anything naughty at school. I never smoked round the back of the bike sheds, etc. I never drank my parents drink (although they didn't really have any in the house) When I went to college, I immediately made friends with a bunch of stoners. And I started smoking weed. My parents found out and being fairly liberal / or realising I wouldn't stop - they tried to get me to promise to not start smoking "cigarettes". But that fell on deaf ears. So by now I was smoking ciggies and pot quite a lot. I got a job as a junior computer programmer and earned a modest wage. I started drinking in the pubs with my school friends but we didn't have unlimited funds. So it was manageable. When the year 2k came around, I was no longer a "junior" programmer - I was fairly well seated in. And the y2k bugs that were infesting the news, got me a bloody huge payrise. I had some major clients in the TV industry who were petrified about the date bugs that were coming. So this payrise catapulted me to being the highest earner (easily) between my friends. I was still only 23 and I bought a house. But what happens when a young man has a house and none of his friends do? It becomes the party pad. Every single night I would have friends round. They weren't freeloaders, they'd always bring supplies, whether it be cases of beer or smoking substance. It was great - party central. I should have been learning to drive, furthering my career, whatever. But I wasn't arsed. I was having far too much fun. I was constantly drunk - oversleeping around 50% of my working life. But luckily for me I was fairly indespensible to my boss (and he was a bit of a pisshead himself) I always stuck to the soft drugs, weed and alcohol. But I met a girl and she convinced me to try ecstasy. It was AWESOME, I loved it and it was a brand new high - and I was instantly hooked (and it was so so so cheap). After we split up I was a right pill head. I would take it alone just for the buzz. I snorted coke, and I went through a pretty dark patch where I would basically snort anything I was offered. How I survived I don't know. By now, some of my childhood friends had drifted away. I was a bit of a mess, into all sorts of drugs couldn't even be sure what I've taken in my life), sleeping with anyone and everyone - including close friends partners. Low point was found. I met another girl who was sort of into the same things, E and amphetamines, but no snorting (as far as I remember). I calmed down and we ended up having a child. She lived far away and I had to learn to drive. This knocked my partying on the head a bit. And I was mortgaged up to my neck. My oodles of cash was now tied up in my house. We didn't last long but I was already changed. I was now just a borderline alcoholic. I stopped seeing the child unfortunately and I settled down a bit. I still liked to party, but got a new job, moved away from my hometown and lost contact with all my party friends. I met a new girl and moved house with her. By now I had given up all drugs, smoking and I wasn't drinking anywhere near as much. Then I had a hospital saga - a tumour was found and I had to have surgery to have it chopped out of my chest cavity. This involved prescription drugs. Tramadol, alpha blockers, beta blockers, codeine, morphine... I got addicted to codeine fairly quickly. It was like a "baby" buzz like ecstasy. I enjoyed it, and when my prescription drugs ran out, I ended up buying over the counter stuff. The OTC stuff isn't as strong and it took me down a path of buying all sorts of different mixes. Codeine with paracetamol, codeine with ibrofen, codeine with asparin. I would take as much as I could without going too far over the maximum for the other part. So Paracetamol would be the limiting factor. Now and again I would have too much, but it wasn't regular. Before I knew it, I was buying a pack of nurofen plus, a pack of codeine with aspirin and solphadine every couple of days. This isn't cheap. First thing I'd do in the morning was pop a load of pills, and ensure it was on an empty stomache as that gave the best results. But the effect was wearing off. I decided to can it in the hope that I would grow less immune. But I hadn't expected the backlash of the withdrawal. It was horrendous. I felt like I was dying. I'm obviously used to a comedown, but they only lasted 24 hours. This was more like a week or two. And not just feeling ****, I had the shits, the trembles, the sweating at night and not being able to sleep. I managed to get hold of some Xanex from a "friend" and they helped me through. I also absolutely nailed the vitamins. I was on about 5000% RDA - which got me through. Anyway, I was feeling very proud that I'd given it up actually and after about 16 days, I was going to the toilet fine, no headaches. And I just felt "bouncy". It was good. But then I relapsed and went straight back to it. I continued for another 9 months before deciding to kick it again. Couldn't get hold of the xanex this time (and that was probably lucky as I think I liked them a bit too much!) I kicked it again. Took less time due to the less time I was taking them I guess. But then I hurt my back and was prescribed more pescription codeine. I should've told the doctor that I didn't want it. But I remembered how "good" the pescription codeine was. Anyway. I've kicked it again now, for the third time. I have half a pack of nurofen plus in my drawer, and I have not been tempted. Well maybe a little, but I've not took it. Is it that I am addicted to the struggle of withdrawal? I'm not missing the codeine buzz as the real buzz was gone long ago, and I think I know I won't get it back unless I lay off them for a year or so. But something nice about going through the pain of withdrawal to get to "the other side" I'm still a little bit of a pisshead. I struggle to have 1 beer. But I don't get smashed everytime I have a drink. I have installed a self control switch somewhere. Its working. My memory is totally shot to pieces. I'm putting that down to the amount of drugs I used to consume. I can even eat half a bag of sweets - although that does take quite a lot of toing and froing with my conscience. So there is me. Reformed. Middle aged, and really only addicted to tea.