Hi there, welcome! Sorry you're struggling.
From your description, it sounds like you're dealing with an addiction to opiate pain meds, is that accurate? Can you elaborate on that a bit? Give a little history as to how long you've been taking pills, what you're taking, and how much? Also, how did your addiction begin? I ask because it's SO very common for someone with anxiety or depression to find themselves self medicating away the symptoms of those disorders with addictive substances, like pain pills, alcohol, etc. Then, unfortunately, the merry go round ride begins. Addiction fuels anxiety, anxiety fuels addiction, and so on.
So, being that you're dealing with multiple issues, you would really benefit from seeing a provider that deals specifically in treating people with dual diagnoses. You have to address both issues, you won't be able to effectively manage your anxiety while you're still in active addiction, and vice versa.
The biggest priority for you should be addressing the addiction, as that can affect your life negatively in multiple ways (as I'm sure you already know)....and it also could affect your health, even to the point of being life threatening. So, that needs to be TOP of your list of what to do next. If you can find someone to address both issues concurrently, that would be most ideal. If not, the addiction needs managed first before you can even THINK about addressing the anxiety.
Have you confided in your family doctor? If not, that's a great place to start. He/she can help you by referring you to an appropriate doctor/clinic. I know that discussion is a tough one to have, and that fact keeps a lot of people suffering in silence. Doctors are there to help you, and addiction is something that your doctor needs to help you with, just like anything else, blood pressure, etc.
If it's possible for you, looking into an inpatient program would be wonderful. Being that you suffer with both anxiety AND addiction (and likely depression as well, as secondary depression is so common in these kinds of circumstances)...an inpatient program would help you to start addressing all of the issues at hand, while allowing you to get clean, and start a comprehensive recovery program, in a safe, supportive place.
You state you cannot afford therapy right now....look at it this way hon...how much are you spending on pills? Even if you're not spending a dime, you're spending your time, and your energy, right?...as addiction is all consuming! Time to take the steps needed to get your life back. YOU need to make YOU your biggest priority. Your addicted brain will feed you ALL kinds of BS and give you reasons why you can't do "such and such" right now.
We have an amazing addiction community here. Please consider posting there for support also. Those folks are not only a wealth of info, but they have lived it....been there, and they KNOW what you're going through. You'll get all kinds of support.
Please hang in there, and keep us posted on how you're doing ok? You're not alone in this. This battle isn't one meant to be fought alone. That's what keeps people so sick for so long.
What are the heart and blood pressure meds you are taking, or your heart condition?
There are support group meetings out there for addiction, mental health, and sometimes, depending on where you live, specifically for conditions like anxiety, OCD, depression. There may even be support groups for people with heart problems that you have. You can probably do an internet search for them, ask your doctor if he knows of any. Also, you can usually ask someone in the meeting or people in the organization sponoring the meeting if they know of anyone or any program like a grassroots community free counseling or sliding scale service where you can get one to one therapy or a counselor. It may only be short term, but at least, you get to talk to someone face to face, or just peer support (someone who is going through the same things you go through). I know how it feels to feel like it is so alone to be in the place you are in, and it really does help alot when someone knows or is going through the same thing. it was a great relief to me to hear that what I am going through is not unique to me or really off the wall, and hear what people have to say about it.
I do hope you get support here, but I also know it's nice to share things and sit with someone for support side by side, and hear, "You feel that way too?!". Even for a minute to hear that, is such a relief.
I asked about your heart medicarions because quite a few of them make you feel really lousy, even when they really help you alot with the heart issues, besides all the other things you are going through, which I think all interact and affect everything else you are going through. It's a struggle to keep up the positive attitude and cheeriness when you feel miserable from the physical ailments, which I know sounds obvious, but just referring to what you said about the hypochondria comments you get from people.
Hello thankyou so much for replying to me - it means a lot! I have had headaches since age 8 and used to take paracetamol and aspirin, then was introduced codeine and paracetamol at 14 by a doc and then when I got a few years older I discovered the damage I must have been doing to my liver with all the paracetamol and then found pure codeine could be prescribed and last few years it's become dihydrocodeine 25 x a day :( iv lived through cancer and heart failure (chemo did that) and have been depressed ever since. I can't really make friends easily anymore and find it hard to keep boyfriends. I'm 30 years old now. I'm going on subutex this summer. Iv posted on the addiction forum before and all responses I get is that my addictions not bad enough for subutex. So many doctors have told me I should go on it because the doses I'm currently on r high. And due to my heart failure I wouldn't b able to tolerate withdrawals that make my heart work too hard for too long.
Sorry this is long. I do hope to get counselling along with the subutex treatment plan and hope for the best. It's the best I can do at the moment because is relapse no question. Iv tried withdrawing a billion times and it's getting ridiculous if not dangerous..
I know I'll b ok in summer (I'm hoping) but before then I'm struggling with crazy amount of guilt and self disgust yet being on the pills is wats making me feel better. I kno that's exactly the problem.. I just think that I'm getting extremely paranoid at times with my body and it gets so overwhelming at times.
Thank you so much again for taking the care to write to me. :)
The heart meds are for heart failure that the chemotherapy gave me (from being treated of cancer at ten years old) x
I can see why you are having a hard time, with fighting addiction and being treated for heart failure at the same time. Those are really serious conditions to have together. The domino effect makes a lot of sense now in your first posting. What is it that you fell guilty and self disgust about? It went through major illnesses and conditions since you were a kid and how would you know then, how to medicate or know better?
I think you can stop blaming or kicking yourself for that. We can so easily go into the "blame game" with hindsight, and it's not really realistic or helpful to do that. It also helps not to overthink things. By that, I mean, wondering if you have a headache or don't have a headache. Just know you feel are feeling. If yo aren't feeling well, you aren't feeling well. You are dealing with big medical conditions. You aren't a hypochondriac.
It sounds like your doctors are thinking things through with your treatments and are concerned about you. Do you feel that is how it is? Have you talked to them about how it isolates you and you could use some emotional support? Yes, I would think there would be counseling involved with the subutex treatment as well as close monitoring and follow up. I would ask about it.
What is your life like? Do you have any friends and family in your life sticking with you?
I found it difficult for me to want new friends personally, and just only wanted to be around friends who were calm, quiet and nurturing; besides, understanding, since depression and going through major medical issues take so much time and effort. Plus, that I got annoyed easily. I had to little by little ease up on that, and get put of the very small box or frame of mind (best but lousy way to describe it right now) to think "outside of myself." Many times, I didn't feel up to it, but I just practiced it once a day at first, and then, twice a day, until it got to be easy and not so much of an effort. It also included saying something positive when I started my day, and it was anything, even a really small thought like "This shower felt good." For awhile, I did talk about how I was feeling and going through, but after years of that, I didn't want going over and over about it for years more. I also used to be pretty anxious and sporadically Obsessive compulsive to the point that it really disabled me socially or just getting out. A lot of people got tired and their patience were really tried with me, which I could understand, because I was so tired living with myself. I know it sounds tiny or even silly, but I tried it and figured what do I have to lose, and just did it without expecting much. I didn't really get it that what I was being made to do was opening my own "window curtain wider a little at a time." I also didn't know I was learning how to see and be kind to myself. it helps in letting go of things that I did that isolated me.Maybe, it will work for you. I have new friends that I made in recent years, btw. Two are especially close to me, and they have told me the same. They were more like acquaintances when I was really having a lot of health problems and serious physical and mental conditions. i had to relearn some social skills I lost sight of with the bipolar disorder (mostly depression). Personally, it really helped me when I did those things both mentally and physically. I think you could definitely use a hug and a warm smile. I can only do that virtually here, but just know, it's there:) o