Avatar universal

My story

I've never told my story before.  However, over the past few days, I've read the questions and responses of others.  This has helped me a lot.  I guess I need to get this off my chest and tell someone -- even if its in the relative anonymity of the internet.  Thank you all in advance for caring.  I feel safe saying so here.

About 10 years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer.  We had two young children.  During the 18 months it took her to die, she received pain med prescriptions -- primarily dilaudid.  She gave me one for a headache once, and boy it made me feel good.  I'd take one here or there -- it sure was a good distraction from the hell of life at the time.  Then, once, she was hospitalized and there wasn't any more at home.  I didn't think a thing about it . . . until a day later, I was having a drink after work and couldn't figure out why I felt so uncomfortable.  I thought it was the flu.  I then realized I was in withdrawal!  Shortly thereafter my wife passed away.  I shouldered on and raised my kids pretty well for many years. Never touched pain meds in that time.

Of course, those first few months were horrible!  Not from withdrawal, but from grief.  I made some stupid decisions, wasted some time, but finally got it all back together.  Things started going pretty good!  I remarried (and remain so) to the greatest woman anywhere.  I have another child.  Family is great.

But about 3 years ago, my wife was prescribed vicodin.  I took some.  I took some more . . . .  I got hooked again!  At about the same time, my job took a downturn (consequence of the economy).  Two years ago, I lost that job.  It was at this point that I started hitting the scripts pretty good.  I remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror as I popped a couple and realized, I had a problem!  A big one.

Since then, I've tried to withdraw and detox at least 10 times (like so many others here).  I don't think I've made it more than 6 weeks between binges during this time.  I'm not stupid.  I'm not weak.  I couldn't figure out why I kept going back, since the withdrawal symptoms sucked so bad.

Then, as I was fishing around on the internet -- 18 days ago during day 1 -- I found the Thomas Recipe.  Along with some of the posts related to that, someone mentioned PAWS.  Eureka!  Even after the worst withdrawal symptoms went away, I still felt bad . . . depression.  Obvious, right?  I don't know why I didn't realize it before.  

Since I've kept this all a secret, its no wonder why I keep slipping back.  There is much wisdom in after care support.  Thing is, I haven't had any luck with head shrinkers in the past, and I really, really don't want to tell my family. I'm obviously not the same guy on the outside that I was before, but I haven't fallen too far in their eyes.  There's still time to turn my Titanic around.  I also don't want to go to meetings.

I now know though that its going to take a bit of time.  Months, maybe a year or more to come out of this depression.  I know it has layers -- the top layer is the PAWS part, but other aspects include my change of job, my kids growing up, you know -- things in life that we all must deal with.  Its just the PAWS part handicaps me in dealing with the rest of my issues.

But I'm not doing this again.  So that's where this post comes in.

I've said something.  I'm getting it off my chest.

On the internet, I've found a group of people who don't know each other.  But at the same time, know more about each other than some of their closest family members.  So thank you for helping me through this.
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495284 tn?1333894042
Many of us believed that once we stopped the pills it was over with, I had no idea that getting clean was the easy part.  Staying clean was when the real battle started.  We bury many many things while using.  I am still dealing with the grief process and my dad will be gone 4 yrs in Feb.  This is a slow process but so worth it.  Doing it my way just didnt work.  Only when I reached out for help did i start to see some changes.  Dont be afraid, dont let pride get in your way.....You can do this!!           sara
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Avatar universal
Thank you all so much.  I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, Sarah.  I know that grief never really goes away . . . and I'm lucky to have my kids to help remind me of the good instead of the bad.  I try to keep that in perspective.

I've been on my own so long, so private, that its so hard for me to reach out for help.  As IBK noted, I do know this at a deep level -- which is why I reached out over the comfortable anonymity of the internet.

And I finally reached the same conclusion -- that stopping is the easy part (although it hurts so!) but staying clean is where I've been failing.  Thank you for your words of encouragement -- I will find the courage to stay clean, even if that means facing my worst fears.

Thank you all.
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1435456 tn?1314674659
I just wanted to comment, I hope you don't mind.  I am gathering that there are people from every walk of life on this forum, actually from many countries as well. I suspect some are Dr, lawyers, upper management and self employed, etc, etc.
I kept my own little secret and couldn't figure out why I kept slipping down the ladder at work, when I have been there for 20 yrs and had always been in the top 10% always. I also found that it always took more (drugs) to stay at an even keel. I didn't tell my kids (16 and 20) and I might not ever, but I did tell my wife of 25 yrs, guess what? she already knew (not the extent, it totally freaked her out) then I went to my family Dr, the one that delivered those kids of mine, it was humiliating, but it felt better to get it out there. I was at a point that I was spending all my productive time counting pills, lining up a new supply, etc. I finally reached a point that I had to fess up, regardless of the fall out. I felt like my wife would support me, but if she didn't and kicked me out, I was prepared. That is how sick of it that I got. Now that I am 10 days clean off of a big, nasty habit of hydrocodone, I too am thinking of options in aftercare. I have started going to church with my wife (she is soo happy about that) but we live in a small town area, and even if I go to one of the 3-4 nieghboring towns for meetings, I am likely to run into someone that I know. At this point, I still have pride, but feel that I have been given a second chance at life, so I view it as part of my new life. Maybe I will save someone that is struggling from this horrible pandemic that is far worse than any H1N1.
Last thought. When I was using, my #1 wish (strange) was that, man I wish I could get up in the morning and only need coffee and a bagel, maybe some juice to get going. I didn't think it would ever happen. I am very close to being there now.
I feel your pain, good luck and God Bless. Thanks for sharing.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
All I can say is my story is the exact same. I have tried quitting many times although I never hit a bottom, I would get fed up with them. I kept it a secret from the people I cared for most so there really were no consequences for using again. This time, I decided that had to change so I voluntarily went and told my mother about my problem in hopes that letting the cat out the bag would help me stay sober. I can say that I am now almost 20 days clean and have made it further than any length of time that I can remember. The fog is definitely lifted and mental wd's are slowing down, I am finally starting to get to a really good place and it feels good! This site has been a godsend and so glad I was able to come share my secret here but it wasnt enough. Now telling my mother seems to be!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes...hang out here with us. You'd be hard pressed to find a more quality of people!

I have a suggestion:  I understand your reluctance to share this with your family...I've been there and it took some time for me...but definitely speak with a physician. It may just be that you need an antidepressant. There is a reason why we use drugs and it's usually a form of self medication for another issue...sometimes depression. Look in to that,okay?  

18 days is great...get rid of any pills in the house;cancel refills. You need to close all the doors!

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Avatar universal
what is PAWS
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495284 tn?1333894042
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