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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.
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1383825 tn?1315232262
I love my job, but its tough. When the squid hits the fan, I'm the one that goes on mic. High profile, high stress.  So, when I pull into the garage and realize I have NOTHING left to give,  I got used to pulling out my trusty Duct Tape (pills). I have two teens and a dear hubbie who also has a high stress job. Over and over, I used that duct tape for everything.
Fast forward: I'm on Day 65. I wouldn't be this far without this board. No meetings at all for the first month.. For me, during those first super super hard days staying clean was job #1. One day plus one friggin day.
Then eventually, staying clean  got just a bit easier - STRONG CRAVINGS morphed into WEAK CRAVINGS...
Eventually,  I was ready to take some more advice and went to Celebrate Recovery. (Look it up on web, if you like :>)
The biggest thing is Staying Clean.  If you are in a holding pattern so be it! You'll seek the next level when you are ready. Just keep adding one day plus one day plus one day. Hugs, Lindsay PS: AWESOME peeps on this board!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hey guys.I got a lot from your posts.I can feel the desperation and the desire to clean.We are only as sick as our secrets.Opiates have a strange way of menipulating and changing our thought paterns.It does take time and dedication to stay clean and sober but it is nothing like getting pills scrips,Drs and street venders to keep our habits in full steam.There is hope and a lot of sucsess in recovery if you are just willing to do the leg work,I go to AA-Na and use mh I stay connected to my Higher power .Life today is so much beter than 9 months ago when my addiction was at full bloom.II have 5-children a wife and work for myself.I am so greatful that today i do not need drugs and alcohol to get through my day I will pray for you my brothers
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
So true, Lindsay.  Been there in that garage too many times!  

Punkin -- I'm learning a new way of living.  One day at a time . . . or maybe this was the old way . . . what came between was a blur and that's such a shame.

Thanks, y'all.  I'm staying on the straight and narrow.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You have to do what works for your situation.  My bf went to group and found way too many people still using and even dealers in his group to stay with it and he asked his doctor for an alternative.  I noticed the same thing.  When I went all of the drug talk made me miss it around month 4 of being off, and I ended up hating the long timers and wanted my old life back.

So I just quit everything that reminded me of drugs.

12 step programs started during prohibition and you ought to look into them and their 4 and 5 year "success" rate and then make a decision.

Some here had problems with methadone and I didn't.  Some here had good positive group stories and I didn't.

Find your balance.
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