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The beginning or the end?..

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by XXIVdysphoria, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. XXIVdysphoria

    XXIVdysphoria Active Contributor

    It all began with...wait maybe it never began at all. Maybe addiction was a monster lurking in me all along and was unleashed the first time I took a Norco. Maybe...

    The truth is that’s really unimportant. Rather I created the monster or he lived in me prior doesn’t change the facts. I’m an addict who in a a couple of hours will have four days sober.

    I want to to be excited, I do, but I’ve seen this path so many times. Much like watching a movie you’ve seen a 100 times and know every part by heart but it’s a movie you don’t really care for. The scenes are in your head but you always know what’s coming, in my analogy I see relapse and always have.

    I’ve used pain killers more on then off the last 21 years (that looks awful to actually write, 21 years...) and maybe have strung together 3 years sober in total. Each time sober life is great but something happens and I end up back on. Don’t get me wrong, I never lie to myself. I know when I take that pill it’s never just one pill or one prescription. I know it’s for the long haul each time. I have no misgivings about my actions and I knew each and everytine I took the pill what I was doing. No trickery involved, no justifications.

    I do carry with me a super power (well I think it’s a super power you might think it sucks) and that power has been a life long anxiety issue. Now your saying how is that a power? Well it has kept me alive and free from taking my addiction to dark places that I have read about on here that wouldn’t be a far trip for me to go. You see my anxiety kept me from taking meds off label. I would take the **** out of them, don’t get me wrong but my high would be safe. My anxiety would not allow me to use needles, take pills of the street, snort foreign substances, etc. You see any proceived positive effect I would get from doing those things my anxiety would negate with fear of death from overdose, poisoning, HIV, and what ever else it could make me fear. So again my anxiety kept me alive and from taking things any further the safe label use. Any addict on heat can attest to how hard it is to stay safe with your abuse of drugs. I never needed more, would a better or longer high be cool? Sure, but I was content with my steady supply from my doctor, following the rules given (I never ran out early or dr shopped.). I mean not in the last 7 years or so as my doctor had no issue prescribing away to me. It felt a little weird honestly, like a menu. Name your dose, name your count, here you go. Now I know your thinking this a shady practice but it actually is one of the biggest medical groups in America. Recently with DEA and Federal crackdowns it has been harder to fill my prescriptions, not to get my script but the actual filling at pharmacies. They are either out of the qty or just refused to fill it. Either way it is time for this 3 year and change relapse to be done.

    Mind you with my superior anxiety this also kept me from loosing jobs, quite the opposite. On pills I was extremely productive. Even through sober periods I worked through withdrawal (and yes I have worked the last four days). My anxiety would not let me broke, jobless, and homeless.

    What is the point...why is being sober and high both equals in my head? I can’t demonize my addiction like some can and I’m jealous I can’t. I’ve had many enjoyable times high. And while some will point out it wasn’t real or it wasn’t really me, yes it was. Much like my actions lead to my addiction that same person walked the path. On the other side sober life is good too. I can look roundly at the sober periods and see great things about those periods of time too. I guess the point is will I ever be sober? Will I continue cycles? Do I have to learn to demonize my addiction and make it so scary I never want to return and if so how?

    While I’m sober now and while withdrawal sucks it’s not the end of the world. I think I’ve been through withdrawal so much I’m kind of numb to it if that makes sense. It seems I remember in the early days of my addiction never leaving the bed for five days, horrible stomach issues, needing hot baths, etc. Now as my use was at an all time high for a much longer period of time the withdrawals were minimal.

    Forgive my long, fog brained ranting as I’m just trying to work through some things in my mind. I’ve stalked the boards here for s few days and seen the educated people here and thought maybe there’s some prospective I could learn and see. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @XXIVdysphoria... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing. I'm glad you decided to join us!

    It sounds like you've been through a lot, but I'm glad you're sober now. Even if it's been a short period of time, at least you're giving your body a break. And who knows? Maybe this time will be for good. There's nothing that says the cycles you're used to going through have to continue.

    I'm sure dealing with your addiction and anxiety has been more than challenging through the years. And even though you have positives you associate with both being high and being sober, the fact is that being sober will likely help you live longer. So there's that to think about.

    No need to apologize for your longish post, either. You can come here and vent anytime you'd like. That's why we're here. Hopefully getting your thoughts out in that post helped you work through some things.

    Reach out and lean on us anytime, my friend.
  3. XXIVdysphoria

    XXIVdysphoria Active Contributor

    Is it me or is there only three people who regularly visit and share support? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anything. I just noticed posts that were quite old with only a response or two and it always seems to come from the same three people (one of which seems to be MIA and I hope they are ok).

    Anyway, day 5 clean and sober. Decided to celebrate a little and went out into the sun light and did some shopping st my local mall. I felt...I don’t want to say great but I felt good. It was nice not to worry about clock watching for my next pill or planning events around my next high. That’s not to say I didn’t miss having a Norco at moments but they seemed fleeting and unimportant. My head is still foggy but I was far less agitated and anxiety filled today. My mood the last few days has been that of someone who quits smoking and is kind of irritable and cranky (not outwardly as I’m a professional at work but I can still grown to myself when customers walk in I don’t fell in the mood to be cheery to) but today I was talking with people, got my hair cut, did some errands I had put off and never once felt out of it. When I first started my adventure my body was a little iffy on if it was going to provide me the energy to go but after the first 20 minutes and a Starbucks it fell in line.

    Today has been a good day. I’m hoping my elivated mood lasts through my evening at work. I’m a little anxious for the next few days as they are my “tough” days as I work 16 hours each day. I’m hoping they go a lot like today and maybe start a little iffy but once I get going everything just falls in line. Anyway that’s my update, hope everyone going through withdrawal or loving sober life is doing great and my thoughts are with everyone.
  4. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener


    Good morning! Thank you for that update. Many people come and go on the forum. I think many of them come when they are in need of immediate support, and might post once or twice and then go on their way. Some come back later and some stay for awhile. There's also those that read the forums but don't post anything. I'm super glad that you're here!

    I'm glad that you had a good day and congratulations on now day 6! You are doing it! It's understandable to feel a bit agitated for now. That will pass in time. I will believe with you that your work days will go just fine!
  5. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Hey, @XXIVdysphoria... Yeah, you're right. There are probably only a handful of people who may comment regularly on the forum posts. @Dominica and myself are two of those people. We're here on a regular basis. Others, like Dominica pointed out, come and go. Some comment, some don't. Some comment frequently for a bit, then move on. This forum is dynamic, for sure. But we don't mind. If the stuff posted here can help people--or even a single person--then we're accomplishing our goal.

    I'm really proud of you for getting 5 days of sobriety under your belt, and I'm assuming today is Day 6. That's awesome! I'm glad you had a good day yesterday, too. I'm sure working 16-hour days isn't easy, but it probably keeps your mind occupied and that's a good thing for someone who's early on in recovery.

    Keep doing the next right thing. And know that we're here for you if you need us. You got this!
    Dominica likes this.
  6. XXIVdysphoria

    XXIVdysphoria Active Contributor

    Thanks @deanokat & @Dominica! I appreciate the support. Yes today is day six and I’m going strong at work. Keeping my mind busy is key. When I’m left to my own thoughts that’s when temptation creeps up. So far the day has been good. I haven’t felt sluggish or tired which is good. I was able to grab coffee with a friend before work and actually have an articulate conversation. My head is still foggy as hell but at least my words are coming to me. Thoughts seem to be on auto pilot though. I can’t really explain it but I don’t feel as if I’m thinking as much as my mind is auto answering, sounds weird but the best way I can describe it. Like maybe I’m not all here yet. I’m sure in time that will get better. I’m about 4 hours into my work day at this point and hope the rest of the day stays as good.

    My thoughts are with everyone out there going through the struggle and I hope your days are great and your suffering is less by the moment.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  7. XXIVdysphoria

    XXIVdysphoria Active Contributor

    Alright, starting day 8! Sounds more cheery then I mean but hey it’s a good thing...right?

    Let me ask a question, what can you do when your used to the high as a reward system? Let me explain. At work when I would reach milestones through the day my reward was a pill. This would give me motivation to power through tasks to get the reward. Now I’m at work and everything I do triggers the response for me to take a pill. Oh you got this done it’s time for your reward. Now, I have quit addictive things in the past like smoking cigerrettes. That was different because I could avoid things and situations that made me want to smoke. Like I didn’t go out to clubs or bars anymore. I gave up drinking coffee. At work it wasn’t a problem because I never smoked in doors so it was never a part of the routine, it was an addition to the routine if that makes sense. Now I find myself struggling at work (and granted maybe it is because these are my theee 16 hour days in a row) and everytime I complete something I go looking for the pill then realize I don’t do that now. This in turn creates a physical craving (much like needing a ciggerrette) in me. Will this fade over time? Any suggestions to get through those cravings? Walking always seems to help and I’ve been doing a ton of that lately but it’s not like I can walk away from my job everytine a craving hits me. Just curios if anyone had any advice to share. As always sorry for the long formatted post.
  8. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener


    I understand what you're saying. From a scientific point of view, your brain has made a neural connection between completing a task and a dopamine boost from a pill. (dopamine being a very good feeling neurotransmitter) It takes time for your brain to forget that connection. It forgets by you NOT doing it......It will forget that connection sooner if you can create a NEW neural pathway that replaces the old pattern. So essentially maybe think about how you can reward yourself in a healthy way, once you complete your task, so your brain can begin to make a new Association.

    Now I say healthy, b/c it is tempting to replace the one addiction for something that might not be so good for you, like a big ole piece of delicious cake. lol Once in a while, sure.... but all the time...not so healthy haha

    Hope you understand. I like to study the neurobiology of things... so this helps me in terms of working on changing addictions or bad habits... :)
    deanokat likes this.
  9. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I think @Dominica hit the nail on the head, @XXIVdysphoria. Your brain is trained and expects that pill. Kind of like those lab rats that ended up expecting cocaine when they rang the bell. (I think that was a thing.) But if you start instituting a different reward, you can retrain your brain. And it will go away in time, too. I guess figuring out a new reward is the tricky thing. Obviously, a pill was quick and easy. I'm trying to think of something else you could use. I'll let you know if I come up with anything.
    Dominica likes this.
  10. XXIVdysphoria

    XXIVdysphoria Active Contributor

    Well I’m at day 17, yay! I feel a little better each day and have worked out everyday since the fourth day rather I felt like it or not. I think that has helped a lot. I’m still missing my reward for work accomplished and wonder if I’ve not been dealing with some depression the pills were masking. How long after quitting should I evaluate this issue? I know directly after quiting you deal with some depression and PAWS but when should I worry this might be something else? The fog is still in place and I’m hoping it will lift soon. My social anxiety seems to be better as people aren’t annoying me now and I’m actually enjoying people’s company. All and all each day is better then the previous, I’m just ready to feel normal again. Withdrawal and detox are so hard and not just the initial symptoms but everything that comes along mentally. At this point nothing I used to enjoy is fun. I’m hoping that changes soon so I can have things to occupy my mind. Just wanted to check in and let everyone know I’m still on the path to recovery.
    True concern and deanokat like this.
  11. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Congrats on Day 17, @XXIVdysphoria! That's fabulous!!! If you're worried about depression, I suggest seeing a psychiatrist or therapist. There's nothing wrong with taking care of your mental health just as you would your physical health.

    Keep doing the next right thing and know that you are doing a wonderful thing for yourself! And we're here for you anytime you need us!
    True concern likes this.
  12. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @XXIVdysphoria hey there! how are you doing?

    just thinking of you and wanted to reach out.
    True concern and deanokat like this.
  13. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Wondering how things are going in your world, @XXIVdysphoria. If you have a minute, please check in with us. Happy Friday!
    True concern and Dominica like this.
  14. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Wholyshit it's me on steroids,not muscle steroids mental one's. I read your initial post and much like myself you "ANALYZE"What you "ANALYZE",our abuse time similar 2 decade' seems more dramatic than saying 20 year's although honestly either way is an insane amount of time.Yes I am a stretch beyond you as I did use syringes,mix pills,snort whatever, smoke everything, however I suffer from anxiety and I'm going to explain in a way I never have "My Anxiety "that is.I do not like and honestly can barely stand to be in doors,like in a strange way...people feel safe and at ease in their home's but indoors is where my anxiety flourishes, why is this?Trust issue's?Childhood trauma?Sure all those are true but it's a bit more than that outside I can see your eye's, sounds odd but I cannot conversate with a person without complete mutual eye contact.I have learned through life that a person who can't make eye contact when they talk to you is disingenuous and I don't have time for "Fake"Is this a golden rule of life?Of course not but it keeps me centered and mentally aware of my surroundings. Why am I telling you all this?Honestly it's nice to see another over analyzer on the site and I will respond further if you continue to post but I have created many threads where ya absolutely over analyze everything, I guess the reason is I really want to know, Now I'm rambling however I will say it's great to meet you and I will read more of your comments tomorrow. STAY STRONG AND GOD BLESS
    deanokat likes this.
  15. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Expect 5-6 month's of brain fog keep in mind 21 year's is along damn time but you got this I'm just a few day's behind you in sober time,like a dumb ass I threw away 7.5 month's but I'm refocused. TAKE care and Stay Strong
    deanokat likes this.
  16. XXIVdysphoria

    XXIVdysphoria Active Contributor

    Hello from day 63! That’s right, two whole months have passed. I’m doing really well. I’ve joined a gym and working out is my new addiction lol. I’ve dropped 22 pounds in the last six weeks and I feel amazing! Also recently gave up my final vice which was my vape (nicotine not thc). Thank you all for your well wishes and checking in. I wanted to come give an update on my progress and thank you all for the support. Mentally I’m doing better, im still forcing myself into social interactions to gain some sense of joy again away from drugs and it has been really good for me. Anyway, enough of me, how are you all?
    deanokat, True concern and Dominica like this.
  17. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @XXIVdysphoria hey there. thanks for checking in. congrats on your recovery time! that's remarkable and i'm so happy for you!!

    also great about your exercise .... nothing wrong with loving to exercise...

    sounds like you're doing well...and that tickles me. love it when people are experiencing breakthroughs and enjoying life....

    thanks again for sharing here with us. this inspires others!
    deanokat and True concern like this.
  18. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Outstanding :),a word of advice...dont force yourself to run 4 miles a day in your new addiction or you may blow out your knee:eek:,I say this as I am recovering from knee surgery for doing this exact thing:(but I am getting there lol.Thats so awesome, your getting healthy and sober:cool:.I am proud of you....super awesome ;)
    Dominica and deanokat like this.
  19. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    What a wonderful update, @XXIVdysphoria! Kudos to you on your 63 days! And on your weight loss! And on giving up nicotine! You are killin' it, my friend! It's such a joy to hear how you're improving your life. Keep it up, my friend! You are an inspiration!
    Dominica and True concern like this.