Tag Archive | opiate addict

3 things I did during active addiction that I cringe to think about now..

I have been in substance abuse treatment since March 10, 2013. I am by no means perfect but I have managed to stay in compliance with the same program since then, without any use or abuse of my drug of choice, prescription painkillers. Having a clear head means remembering some things that you’d just as soon forget though, and as I’ve been struggling lately, I felt inspired to post a few of these things to remind myself why I never want to be that woman again.

1. I neglected my children’s needs for my high or due to my withdrawals. At the time, I blamed it on my health (and I do have legitimate health problems) but the reality was I was heavily abusing any opiate (also sometimes benzos) I could get my hands on. So that had me super high and out of it at times and when I was withdrawing I would be angry, sick and unavailable to them. Daughter suffered for this in many ways that Son did not end up as she was older. It has been painful for me to see and know, as she’s now in college, if I’d been there for her when I was supposed to she wouldn’t have nearly as many issues with math and math anxiety. And math is important to her long term goals as she wants to be a nurse. Son was in the second grade when I detoxed and I have been an active part of his education since then. He’s now finishing 4th grade and his progress has been amazing. I do often wonder, though, how much his anxiety issues and stammer are my fault. Nonetheless, as imperfect as I was and am, I know I am a huge percent better mom now. I make sure he has all kinds of things that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do for Daughter. She is happy about this. When things were at their worst with the pills, she’d sometimes scream into my drugged out face,”Get your crap together! Don’t you dare do this to him too!!”

2. I drove, loaded, with the kids in the car. It’s only by the grace of God that all I ever did was put small, cosmetic damage type dents. I have a dear friend that crashed with her 3 kids in the backseat and 2+ years later, their lives are still forever changed. Friend has made amazing progress and even managed after serving time to get full custody of 2 of her 3 kids. Her eldest lives with her dad, and only sees her mom on the weekends that her dad deems Friend worthy. As she is still in a sober house living situation and just barely got the other 2 back this isn’t something Friend is ready to take to court.

3. I overdosed on multiple occasions. Sometimes, I didn’t know what happened. One night, I mixed a bunch of Percocet, caffeine pills, and Klonopin. Back then Daughter and I used to go to the all night Laundromat to do 2-3 weeks worth of laundry at a time. Husband was super controlling and rage prone back then and we would kind of look forward to these trips. That night however, I was on edge about something, so I bummed a few Klonopin off my Mom. I felt mellow after the first one. But then I took a few more Percs and a couple of No Doze, with the idea of getting the pain relief, motivation and energy to get through the night. They hit me weird, however, and all of a sudden it seemed like a good idea to pop another 2 Klonopin. I don’t remember much of what happened after that except 2 things that stand out clearly.

First, I remember being woken up by Daughter screaming my name and lightly smacking my cheeks. I was reclined in the driver’s seat of our car with the radio blaring Lady Gaga, and Daughter kept saying,”You weren’t breathing! You weren’t breathing.” That is scary as hell (for obvious reasons) and also because we lost my brother in 2007 due to that same type of overdose. He mixed Percocet and Klonopin with who knows what else all the time but for some reason, on 10/30/07 he ended up with just the right opiate/benzo cocktail to just go to sleep and then stop breathing and by the time they found him it was too late.

Second major highlight of that messed up night was when I got home and went to go pee before bed. I vaguely remember going in the bathroom, then the next thing I knew I was on the bathroom floor and my face hurt like hell. I had passed out and hit my face on the heater grate. I blamed it on my bad knees, saying that my knees gave out when I stood up after peeing, but really I had just blacked out. I had a concussion, a cut cheek (within an inch of my left eye) and a badly bruised fat lip. I know Son remembers this at least a little because every now and then he mentions the time I fell and got a “giant purple swelly.”

Other times when I KNEW I had taken too much of one thing or another, I would wait it out, monitoring myself, instead of asking for help from anyone. I would lay on my side, with the idea of not choking should I puke, and set alarms on my phone. I would then wait it out, usually playing solitaire or some other game, self assessing every 45 minutes or so till I felt safe to go to 2 hour increments of time. I never asked for help even though I was scared, sometimes really scared, because I was always MORE scared of someone in power finding out how out of control I was and cutting off my supply.

I also lied, cheated, manipulated and stole from loved ones and even a few strangers on a regular basis. Bottom line though, being so screwed up with my priorities that my precious children and even my own life came second to the almighty opiate is what haunts me the most.

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This only makes me want to scratch your eyes out more!

There are days that I know for a fact my bank balance (pitifully low) pain levels ( acutely high) my agitation and anxiety levels (also dangerously high)… all of these things are greatly affecting how I feel about people around me, namely Husband. I am SO bitchy right now. All I want to do is anything I can’t! Go for an angrily fast walk. Go blow money on breakfast out and a bunch of clothes.I’m fucking hungry,angry, lonely, tired. AND I HURT so fucking bad. What am I supposed to do when I feel like this? When mass quantities of fast food followed by oxy oblivion sound like the only answer? What am I supposed to do now?

Leaving love unsure

As i write this, I am exhausted and sad. My face streaked with tears. My voice is husky from alternately crying and shouting. There is a sense of loss. But I think I do feel a little better.

I have tried and tried to make things better with Husband. But it seems that that one epic fight almost a week and a half ago now unleashed all sorts of resentments in him that he hadn’t really let go of.

There are two things that I am unwilling to do. I am unwilling to cut off every person, be they friend or family, that Husband has chosen to cut off because, in his anger, he sees them as garbage without any redeeming qualities. The fact that many of these people do have redeeming qualities is not apparent to him. The fact that many of these people have struggled hard for years to find his redeeming qualities is also not apparent to him.

The second thing I am no longer willing to do is suppress my anger at him. I used to be able to do this, when I was self medicating with opiates. Instant happy lovey dovey feelings, pain relief, energy and self confidence all in one or three potent little packages some of them even smaller than an M & M, but OH what a difference they made. Better living through chemistry alright! Some women do this with wine. For me it was my pills.

Pills “helped” in 3 ways when it came to my relationship:

1st off, the lovey-dovey feeling they provided helped me to suppress all the tremendous amounts of hurt, anger and anxiety that comes from living with a super controlling, rage-aholic spouse.

2nd, they killed enough of the pain so that I could touch and be touched without wanting to scream.

3rd, the (false) boost in self confidence helped me quiet all the little voices in my head telling me that soon Husband would figure out how much better off he’d be with an able bodied lover, one who had the physical abilities to meet is needs in a way that I never could.

Not that HE ever gave me reason to think that. In all of our nearly 15 years together, the latter 13 married, he never once gave me any real concerns that he might cheat. Sure, there were women that flirted with him, ones that would pounce if anything ever happened to me, but he always made it clear to them that he had no interest in going outside of marriage. During our very darkest times, I used to pray that he WOULD take some woman up on her offer. Or that he would die. I see how horrible that is written down but it’s the truth. Those were the only 2 ways I saw out of the misery that I was drowning in, pulling my children down with me.

The separation, detox, DCF intervention, and counseling have made huge difference in the both of us. We are lightyears better off than we were before. But there are quite a few battle scars. Some of which I am starting to think can’t be healed. Every fight we have has some major old baggage attached to it. The bottom line is, he can’t forgive me for leaving with the kids. Even though we were only separated for 6 months and I’ve been back more than 2 years now. And I can’t forgive his unforgiveness. And all the anger I repressed back then still bubbles out now. It’s far less often than it was at 1st but it’s still most certainly there.

As a recovering addict you live your life with amends that need to made hanging over your head constantly. At least I do. So when Husband has old baggage ready to drag out every time we fight I feel defeated. Like I’m never going to be able to atone for what I’ve done and move the HELL on with our lives! And he really resents my anger. He hates when I am having a bad day and stupid little things that he does drive me nuts and I snap at him. Says he hates walking on eggshells and that I should work harder to remember to treat him like a human being! Which I think is pretty damned ballsy coming from someone whose rage volcanoes burned and scarred me and Daughter for years! Whose temper was the VERY BASIS for separation! But of course in his own revisionist history that was all my doing because I was a crazy, pill popping child stealer.

It hurts. If it wasn’t for how good he was with Son, I’d leave again in a minute. But we both love him too much to have either one of us be with him part time. And we have it good here. Together. Nice, newly remodeled apartment, paid bills,close to my doctors. But neither on of us can afford this on our own. And its been proven Son is miserable living with us separate. So for now, we stay. Platonic, civil, coparenting.. roommates.

Disjointed insomniac thoughts and calling 911..

Crazy day. Shortly after Son got on the school bus yesterday morning Husband informed me that he had called 911 for himself and the ambulance was on it’s way. Literally a minute or so after he said that I heard the howl of approaching sirens.

I was laying down when they got here. Morning is always my worst mobility time and everything had been aggravated by the fact that it had been a rough night as Husband had spiked a fever and been vomiting so I was on the couch barely able to move at all.

EMT knocked with that scary loud poundy knock that emergency workers and cops have and husband had to answer the door for himself because even though he was farther away AND half delirious with fever and winded from the kidney pain he got there first. So EMT sees a 6’2 man walking to the door himself and me just laying on the couch..he got a little attitude-y for a second.

“So.. (points at Husband) you called… for yourself and you (gestures at me on the couch) can’t drive him in for whatever is SUCH an emergency. Is that what’s going on? Is that how we’re gonna play today?”

He left me at a kind of a loss for words for a second because whenever I am in a situation of being forced to defend my disability I just feel like a someone who is lying even though I am so not. Who the hell would claim the joints, as one doctor memorably described while looking at my x-rays, of a hard living 80 year old.. plus all the other health problems to boot? It’s not attractive to be sick and crippled. I can’t imagine anyone claiming it falsely, YET I still feel like a liar if I’m forced to use words rather then letting my physical appearance while moving around speak for itself.

It turned out not to matter this morning though, because while going back to the bedroom for his shoes Husband completely lost his breath and doubled over in pain. You could clearly hear that he was wheezing and also that pain was practically taking his breath away. When the tech approached him in alarm, he also felt the high fever baking off of him. Suddenly, blessedly, EMT was all health professional, quickly and respectfully asking me questions so that he could speedily get Husband what he needed. They rushed out the door, Husband clutching his cell phone and meds with one hand and his stabbing belly with the other. They didn’t even say goodbye.

After he left I felt overwhelmed and scared and relieved all at once. Overwhelmed with the idea of acknowledging how bad his needs actually are. Scared for him, that he might have to go all the way through the process of passing kidney stones with no pain relief because he is pretty much intolerant of any opiate painkillers. No matter what the variety, what the dosage, the nausea, dizziness and vomiting he gets as a side effect overwhelm any relief. So I was worried.

But he got there, they assessed him and he explained his issues with opiates and they worked around it by putting him on IV dilaudid and something IV for nausea and vomiting. He was actually able to experience some relief. And they put an oxygen tube in his nose. So he was able to breathe and get some sleep. Then they admitted him and when it was time to get more pain med the bitch doctor came in and gave him crap about the dilaudid.

“They give that out like candy downstairs. That’s not how I do things. I’m not going to give a drug that’s usually reserved for terminal cancer patients for Mr. Broken Toe.”

Oxygen tubes, kidney stones, pneumonia and IVs be damned, Husband spoke up for himself.

“Who the heck ( he actually does say heck, he’s very big on not cursing.. you’d think he’d sound ridiculous but he doesn’t when he puts the bass in his voice) is up in this bed with a broken toe? Did you even read the file? Do you even know what I’m dealing with?”

SO they had it out, he hounded her till she read the file and agreed that the hardcore pain meds / antinausea IV combo were what he needed. It was kind of ridiculous or ironic that Mr. Super Sober was treated like a drug seeker. You guys might not get it but between what my opiate issues did to us and what opiates usually do to his own body he is the LAST person in the world that would be drug seeking for pleasure.

So he’s there. Last we talked he was miserably trying to hold down cat scan contrast so they could give  him a ct of his abdomen, By that point, I was doing a whole lot better. I had felt sad, scared and overwhelmed and alone. On top of everything it had started snowing again and it was my Suboxone refill and counseling appointment day.

Crisis in our life usually results in a lot of phone calls and facebooking. Letting family,church and other friends know what’s going on and updating everyone as I get updates. So I started doing all of that and also calling my doctor and my counselor to let them know that i had an emergency, couldn’t come in and most importantly that I needed my script faxed in because I was completely out. I had to leave all of that info with the secretary because nobody was in yet so after leaving all of that info and rescheduling my appointment for 1 week out I had to wait and see what was going to happen with the script. It’s really not a good thing to miss appointments at my treatment center. I have obligations I am supposed to fulfill regularly to prove that I am not just a useless junkie anymore. And due to snow, physical pain and some pretty hard core depression I’ve been dealing with lately I have missed a LOT of appointments. So I worry that a refill day is going to come and Dr. M is going to be like, “You did not honor your contract. You’re no longer in the program.”

But that day wasn’t yesterday. Partway through my giant web of crisis social networking, I got a call from my counselor who was very supportive, then the secretary saying that she would fax in the script. She asked me about the pharmacy and I like an IDIOT gave her the CVS closest to my house which for some reason, a few months ago, after faithfully filling my script each month, they decided to not keep Suboxone in stock properly which means stupid hassle after hassle. Give them the script, wait the hours that they say it takes to fill it, trying to distract my inner addict, who’s all,”Gimme, gimme, gimme! It’s refill day. REFILL ME!”

When I drop a script off or it is faxed over I can check the computer to see if it’s filled or being worked on, and I also get a text when its available for pickup, But yesterday like a freaking moron I gave her the fail CVS, the script just sat for hours, looking on my end of things like they were working on it.

SO long story long, I finally broke down and called them which I hate doing because I hate sounding like a junkie and that’s when they told me that their order didn’t come in right and that they couldn’t fill it today, but tomorrow after 5, worst case scenario Monday at the latest, they’d have it in. I said that didn’t work for me.

That was part because my inner junkie couldn’t stand waiting an ambiguous amount of time to have what she’s allowed daily and part because  by that time my awesome Daughter, who had the day off and had heard what I was dealing with had volunteered to come over, do some shopping and pick up my meds. She wasn’t going to be available tomorrow after 5, or Monday worst case scenario. I asked could they transfer it to a CVS that had it and she said no, THEY couldn’t but if I wanted to call around and see who had it in stock, then have the doctor fax it there. That pissed me off. Cause I knew what kind of pain it was gonna be to get the clinic to refax it on their busiest day of the week  and ALSO pharmacies are not usually inclined to tell random people on the phone which schedule III narcotics they have in stock.

Instead I took a gamble and had it faxed to the one that had solved my problems last month, by filling it quickly without hassle or attitude.And it worked. Dr. M only faxed in a weeks worth which means I am not going to be able to get away with not seeing him face to face next week.

The day ended on a good note for us. The kids took Husband being very ill in stride. Son was very pragmatic about it.

He said something like,” Well, if he’s very sick like he seemed the the hospital is the best place for him. And the car is here for us so we’ll be ok if we need to do anything.”

Then he ate his snack and went to his after school program at the community center. Daughter, like me, had more complicated emotions about it because like me, her relationship to Husband is a whole lot more complex due to a difficult past when Husband ruled the house with controlling behavior and unchecked anger issues. He has changed a lot,  but the past is still an undercurrent that’s always there.

That didn’t affect how much she and her boyfriend went out of their way to be there for me.They went shopping, picked up my meds, came over, cooked, washed dishes, hung out, played with Son, and laughed at old episodes of Saved by the Bell while still marveling how great Mario Lopez STILL looks. (that last part was Daughter and I.. (Son and Boyfriend couldn’t care less, or whatever that saying is.)

She made everything better. I didn’t even have to ask. And it wasn’t even just the food and the meds that made me feel better. It was the love behind it. Sometimes when pain and depression and illness get the better of me, I wonder why the hell I’m still here and I look at  my kids and the meaning of it all floods back in. Thank you babygirl and little man, for making me a mommy.

DAMN! or the winner of my own personal superbowl ad watch…

I watch the superbowl commercials every year. We aren’t big football people here. Husband played football in high school but never has really shown much interest in watching it. Son wants to know WHO won particularly in years that New England is in the running and I have only EVER been interested in the commercials and the party food. Though as  New Englander, GO PATS! 😀

Anyways, I discovered a couple of years ago that I could watch just the commercials on my HuluPlus. I love it. It keeps me involved in all the pop culture references without having all the pesky sporting events getting in the way.

I may have been a little raw emotionally to attempt professional manipulation of my emotions because I found that quite a few of the more “touching” spots were causing tears when I didn’t want to be teary. But a lot of the stupid car commercials had a theme of touching daddy kid moments  got to me.

A few were funny. I liked the Brady Bunch Snickers mostly cause Machete and Buscemi are both favs of mine. And I  liked the Sorta Greg, Sorta Mom ones.

But the most DAMN moment for me was the Weight Watchers commercial. As a raging opiate addict who is now basically in do or die mode with her food issues, this hit hard.

Lights… camera… acute self-loathing…

Being that I have so many life changing processes that I am pursuing at the moment I had an idea to document things on video with a nebulous further concept of maybe using some of said video on Youtube or somewhere like that to inspire others who had gone through similar things or something.

Since this injection is one of the newest things my medical team is trying to help me reach my eventual goals and improve my quality of life today seemed as logical a time as any to start making vlogs. Husband is a musician and record his music for creative outlet. Some that have been reading here for a while may have read  with me complaining bitterly about him playing the same piece of music over and over trying to get it right like here:this post.

The difficulties of his recording space and our bedroom being the same place have been somewhat resolved as we finally cleared out the third bedroom in our apartment and he moved his recording equipment in there. When he suggested this concept I was whiny and resentful about it. Now I actually appreciate it because I have more space to be me. I can lay down and watch tv at whatever time I feel like instead of having to tiptoe around him and try to comfortably contort myself into the bed with headphones and the tablet. Also, it gave me back another closet in here so we have more space to keep everyone’s clean clothes put away in an order which makes sense which in turn frees up hall closets for storing things that make sense to be stored there.

ANYWAY.. he has offered his services to help me with the recording and editing cause he knows about all that crap with cameras and such and he has been very supportive and available for this. I wanted to get started last night because I was noticing some weird emotional symptoms that reminded me of the time I was on high steroids for a life threatening blood disorder. And I was wondering if there was any connection between then and the fact that I had just been injected with a more potent steroid then I had received before and I wanted to remember how I was feeling if that was the case because the thing about steroid mood is that no matter how horrible it is, no matter how much damage you cause being out of control of your emotions, you don’t clearly remember how bad it is. And since you are causing all sorts of damage you can’t get an unemotional account of how things really went.

So I wanted to document for myself. What I didn’t take into account was how different it is to video record feelings as opposed to writing them down. When I write I have a voice, a presence or “appearance” that I (most of the time) feel secure in.. when being filmed, every wrinkle, every pound,every unkempt inch of insecurity is staring me back in the face. I don’t know if I could ever have the confidence to make a thing out of sharing on camera.

Insomnia, the REAL little mermaid and boots of pain..

I really hate nights like last night. My feet and ankles have been in a terrible flare. There is a lot of pain and swelling and it makes standing shaky agony.

It’s truly terrible. And because it’s so terrible it’s really hard to describe without sounding like I’m whining or making things up.

When things are this awful my thoughts get kind of weird. My brain dubbed my swollen ankles and feet boots of pain. As awful as that metaphor or simile or whatever the hell it is is, I can’t seem to settle on anything else.

So I sit. Or lay down. Just me , my boots of pain, and my thoughts. My thoughts inevitably wander to the Little Mermaid. Not too happy redhead Ariel. I’m talking about the real Little Mermaid. The one who made the horribly  Faustian deal with the sea witch to get legs.

She agreed to have every step of those super expensive legs be as horrible as if she were walking on knives. I think some versions even had her shedding blood with each awful step.

It must have been something for that castle cleaning staff to get used to bloody footprints everywhere. And poor mermaid couldn’t even explain herself because she had traded her show-stopping voice as well for the dumbass Prince.

But wait I don’t even think that there’s a version of the Hans Christian Andersen version where mermaid even gets the prince. So she gave up everything for a life of mute blood stepping pain per a stupid douchebag prince who didn’t even acknowledge her worth. That is a terrible, terrible bedtime story. Nonetheless, it’s where my head goes on nights like last night.

Oh wait, I don’t even think she gets to keep living either, I think she turns into sea foam or something like that. Sigh. I’m sorry, real mermaid. That really sucks.

In case it’s not obvious, I get insomnia when the pain is this bad. I also get extreme opiate cravings when the pain is this bad. It got super dark for me last night. There was a point where I was sure that if I had something opiate based in front of me I would not hesitate to eat, chew, snort, inject, or otherwise ingest whatever substance it was just to quiet my screaming nerves..

But not really… The problem with that is that you feel better at first. But at some point no matter how great the opiate you took is, you come down. You start feeling again. You have to face life again. And you have to face life where you just used when you said you  wouldn’t . And that’s not something I’m willing to face.

As painful as life can be right now, I am not willing to give up the good. I am NOT willing to give up Son and Daughter doing so well. I am NOT willing to give up to give up the awareness of their achievements. I am NOT willing to give up the freedom of not having DCF in our lives. I am NOT willing to give up awareness of my OWN achievements however small they might be.