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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.
28 Responses
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Avatar universal
Sorry fellas -- I didn't mean to omit you from my last post.  Thank you for your comments and sharing your story with me.  We're going to make it.  We've taken the first steps and just have to keep walking this path.

Thank you!
Helpful - 0
1167108 tn?1328439313
Congratulations on making it this far and keep posting!

This is a one step at a time process. You are reluctant to go to a support group and also to tell your family. This is most understandable but my angle is a person who has been the "victim" of addictive behavior as both of my parents had addcition issues. My father was a functionomg alcoholic an dmy mother had serious alcohol and prescription drug abuse issues. I also am working with my 21 year old nephew whop has addcition issues that have messed up his life.

As a family member who has been hurt by addiction in the family the best thjing that the personm with the addiciton issue can do is to admit their problem and sicerely apologize for what ever things they have done tom harm the particular family member.

Chances are that the family meber knows anyway or strongly suspects that something is seriously wrong based on your behavior. You will propbaly receive support but you have to understand that your family is going to be skeptical if you have lied to them in the past to cover for your addcitive behavior. It will be very tough to do this but is is a very important step in your recovery process. I hope that you can do this with at least one family member or trusted friend.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
To Tab57~  Sir,you assume an awful lot.  You assume that every addict has hurt and lied to someone/everyone.  That's not always the case.  Not everyone needs to say they're sorry,over and over.    Your advice is always sweet but it's not one-size-fits all.
I just needed to say that,for what it's worth.
Helpful - 0
1435456 tn?1314674659
I really believe that everyone has to do it their way. The fact that you are where you are now in the recovery process says alot about you, your strength.
My biggest fear was always WD, you didn't get on here until like day 14 or 15. I think you are going to be fine. I am glad you found the forum, it really does feel a void. Just keep doing what your doing, staying clean.  I enjoyed reading your thread. It sounds so familar. CONGRATS on Day 17.
Helpful - 0
1432897 tn?1322959537
Hi folks.  Thanks everybody for sharing.  I've enjoyed reading the post.  When I was using I tried doing a lot of things my way.  I always seemed to end up drunk or high.  When I started getting cleaned up I found that talking and listening to people who had been there and done that really helped.  All the support was tremendous.  I didn't always follow suggestions.  I didn't pick up either.  One day I realized I was clean and miserable while the people around me were seemingly pretty happy and at peace. They told me how they did it and continue to do it.  Well,  I was hurting enough to give it a try.  I started following suggestions and was able to adopt a new way of living .  This new way was molded into my life.  I didn't have to make a whole lot of changes on the outside.  It was my insides that were screwed up.

When I started out I was pretty beat up.  Halucinations from the drugs and alcohol, no job, no money, wife hated me, sleeping in the garage cuz the wife and I couldn't get along.  Emotionally I was a mess too.  I was in a lot of pain.  That pain is what made me want to change.  Today I have learned that I don't need to be in all that pain to take positive steps to improve my world.  I can take suggestions and learn from others' experiences.  That has been one of the biggest blessings in sobriety.

There are two things I think about often:

Am I still willing to go to any length to be sober?

Anything I put before sobriety I will lose anyway.

Good luck and God Bless!!!!!!
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
We could apologize until we are blue in the face but it is our actions that allow our families and loved ones to see that we really do mean what we say~~~~~sara
Helpful - 0
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