Alcoholics Have It Easy…

In my group, there is a woman talking about being an alcoholic. It’s funny because until this moment I thought drinkers were cry babies. I know I know, that is terrible. Maybe it was because my Dad drank and it seemed like he kicked the problem so easy. All I know is I gained a respect for Alcoholics after one of my group members said something.

My first 12 step meeting was at the age of thirteen. I went to them off and on with my Dad until I was about 18. So I knew the message. Many times when I found myself lonely or scared in my adult life I would seek out meetings. It was at those meetings I lost respect for AA. See if you are a drug addict and go to meetings you are not supposed to say “Hello My Name is Joe Moe and I am a drug addict.” Even if that is what you are. I was treated badly at meetings when I told them about my struggles with opiate addiction. The worst was when I was in Methadone Maintenance and thought you were, to be honest at AA. After those experiences, I was told by many a therapist​ to not tell anyone in meeting that I was on Methadone or Suboxone. The thing people don’t understand is if I am still having to lie and hide…what is the point of going? There may be some AA meetings that are not this way. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of attending one. So let’s just say I have a bad impression of AA at this point. I will write more about why in another article.

The group I go to is an IOP. ( Intensive OutPatient Program ) It is provided by Our Lady of Peace in Louisville, KY. There are only 2 people in our group that are alcoholics. So after one of them did their “check in” a fellow opiate addict asked to give feedback. Meanwhile, I am one the other side of the room thinking I know it all and this chick needs to stop drinking beer. I mean what the fuck? It’s nasty anyway. ( I know…I know..let me finish ) So he says to her that he is sorry she is having such a hard time. He told her that he cannot imagine being in her place. “THERE IS NO WAY I COULD WALK INTO A STORE AND SEE HEROIN ON THE SHELF AND STAY SOBER” OMG!

HE WAS RIGHT. I never thought about it that way. I couldn’t believe it. I was a snobby addict. There are lots of us. All this time I was angry with AA because of their snobbiness and look at me. He was so right, there is no way I could handle opiates in any form being sold in 75% of the stores I enter. Going to a pharmacy like Walgreens to buy smokes is hard as hell. Imagine if the pills were on the shelf and not behind lock and key. I couldn’t do it. So I must reevaluate my disdain for AA. At the very least I must accept that I can be a snobby addict just like many of them.

One Little Pill

That one little pill that turned into twenty years of addiction,  my “friend” gave me for a headache. I fantasize about going back in time.  I would run as fast as I can to that younger me. Grab her and shake her. THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU; I want to scream. The outrage and anger make me shame her, for being so careless and naive. If only she could see me, she would see, the broken soul that I came to be.  She would be shocked and maybe she would think twice about taking that one little pill.

 

That one little pill that turned into two, then three till it was never enough. How did this happen?  Where would I be if there was no headache?  Things would have turned out different for me. One little pill, and twenty years later, there is a demon that lives to control me. It feeds off my shame and devours my guilt. It gives it the power to control me. That little pill has made my life just another sad story. All it took was ONE LITTLE PILL.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Treatment is the program that I am attending. The place is called Our Lady of Peace and is located in Louisville, KY. Recently, I was asked by a page on Facebook to write about my experiences there. This is the second entry.

When I walked into OLOP ( Our Lady of Peace ) my mind was already made up. I had been taking Suboxone and Xanax for years and just didn’t think I could come off of the Suboxone.

When it was my turn to “check in” I announced to the room that I was taking suboxone, had been taking that or methadone for about ten years. Also, that they need not try to change my mind. I was there to get off of the Xanax because the Xanax is dangerous to come off of without being monitored. There is no telling how many times I have done it on my own before, but the older we get the more scared we become. That has been my experience anyway.

After I told them my story I was shocked that no one jumped up and gave me the typical lecture. You know the one, you are just trading one drug for another. To which I normally reply, oh yeah, your right. The only difference is now what I am doing is legal, monitored by a doctor and it makes it possible for my to be a productive member of society. That is all I am going to say about this subject for right now because my views are strong and that is not what I am writing about today.

So the rest of the room told a little about their story and for the first time since this disease began I thougth maybe I could do this. Just maybe

Dear Addiction – My Addiction

You and I have been together for almost half of my life. It is as though you are a lover that won’t let go. If only I could get a restraining order because no matter where I go or how good I hide you find me.

In the beginning​, you were loving. Whispered in my ear that I was sweet, beautiful and charismatic. You held my hand all day long. You made it so easy and when it was time for bed you cuddled up close. Now, with you inside me, my thoughts didn’t race. I thought you were magic. You made me feel so safe.

As time moved along, you slowly began to change. One morning, after running out the night before. The sweet voice that used to comfort me turned into a growl​. The​ honeymoon phase passed​; all of a sudden my sweet addiction changed. See before if I didn’t reach for you, it wasn’t like this. Now if the thought even crosses my mind, you start to scream and yell. YOUR USELESS and NOBODY CARES, have replaced all your encouraging words.

Aches, pains and vomiting it’s as though you have poisoned me. You say if I don’t come back, that this is just the start. Yelling and screaming you promise to tear me apart. Just for a moment my mind breaks free, and all of a sudden I see.

You didn’t love me and you sure as hell don’t care. When I look around I realize you and I are the only ones there. Where is my family? I start to cry, Oh my god what have I done? Everyone I love and everyone that cared is gone. They are tired of trying since they can’t do it alone. Lying and cheating, are just a few of the terrible things I have done. Oh, my god, I am homeless everything is gone.

You keep begging me to come back. Just like an abusive lover, you say, things will be different. Tomorrow is a new day. It’s like a game you are playing and your always up in, score.

You have taken all my family and all of my friends. You have even taken who I am. My looks are all haggard, I am scared to death and the only time I am nice, is if I am using again.

You have taken control of most of my thoughts and even if I see you it’s not the same. Hell, now I just want to be normal again.

I know you will make sure that I will pay very dear. It doesn’t matter what you say this time because I don’t care. You’re trying to kill me and I want to stay here.

Suboxone & Methadone

So, you are thinking about using Suboxone or Methadone to get off of HEROIN or OPIATES, let’s talk about it okay. So I have been addicted to opiates for almost 20 years. My addiction started like most with Loratabs or Vicodin. When 5 at a time wasn’t enough, it was undeniable that there was a serious problem. There was no functioning without putting these pills into my system.

After being told about Methadone, I called a clinic in Southern Indiana. At the time, I smoked a ton of pot and heard that in Indiana they did not care about smoking pot…right up my alley.

First of all, no one should get on methadone or suboxone if they are just taking hydrocodone . Believe me, you don’t want to trade a monkey for a gorilla. Seriously, that is what you would be doing.

However, if you have been abusing the harder ones it might be an option for you. The deal is if you want to do either of these maintenance drugs, you need to understand a few things.

First of all don’t let anyone tell you that Suboxone is easier to come off of than Methadone. They are both equally hard to come off of. The success rate of staying clean after detoxing is very small. I mean you came to these drugs because you didn’t want to face a few days or couple of weeks of withdrawal. How in the hell are you going to face 2 to 3 months, and a good 6 months before you feel like it’s all gone?

Now if you have been using hard opiates and time after time you have detoxed and found zero success, this is when you consider Methadone or Suboxone. If it were me, the only way I would use these drugs is if I were making a lifetime commitment to them. That is right, you are going to marry these drugs. Like I said earlier the withdrawal is much longer than with any other opiate.

I have zero cravings after getting stabilized on these meds. If you have a weak moment, it won’t matter because you won’t get high. Buying dope is a waste of time and money. It is a safety net, it ensures you won’t pick up something on impulse.

If you feel you truly need a maintenance drug talk to your doctor, before going to a clinic. The clinics are a business and letting patients detox is bad for business. If you have any questions about either of these drugs or anything at all, please feel free to ask. I would be happy to give you more detail of my experiences.

Don’t forget there is also Vivitrol out now. It is a shot. I have never used it so I will not speak about it. Ask your doctor if you think it might be a good fit for you.

OMG SOMEONE GRADUATED

Well, today was different, we had someone graduate from my Intensive Outpatient Program that I am attending. I have been there for four weeks and this is only the second person to complete the program. He is going to do great. The other one, however, is a different story.

His last day he spent the whole three hours nodding in the corner. Yep, when the others in the group told him how disrespectful it was for him to show up like that on his last day, he swore he was just tired. What the hell, we are all addicts in the room. We know the difference between tired and high. This “graduate” was high!!

I was waiting for the therapist to tell him he wasn’t going to be graduating, but it didn’t happen. At the end of the day, she passed out brownies and like so many people do, she brushed it under the rug and in the books she had a success. This is crazy.