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.