Life Useful Bits of Advice

Sitting In Discomfort

painI’m a junkie.  I’m not saying that to be self loathing, it’s the truth.  I’m not participating in all of my junkie behaviors anymore, but it’s important to remind myself of the fact.  I can’t escape it, I can’t change it, I can’t compose a special cocktail that will allow me to only have a taste.  I’ve proved my thesis that taking opiates and doing cocaine ruins my life many times over.

All that being said, I DO NOT have to live like a junkie.  I don’t have to let my predilections towards certain substance destroy me.  Even when I’m in the most severe mentally or physically pain, there are other options.

Over the last five weeks I have dealt with the most unbearable back and joint pain.  I thought it was from a reoccurring back injury.  I started seeing a chiropractor three times a week as well as doing physical therapy. At first I felt a little relief.  Then the pain start spreading throughout my body, into my joints and I developed flu like symptoms.

I went to my primary doctor, explained my situation and underwent a gamut of blood tests.  It turns out I have an autoimmune disease.  I had JRA (Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) as a child, but I have not had a severe flare up in 20 years.  I have to see a specialist, but most likely that’s the culprit.

The past five weeks have been hell.  My range of motion is shot.  My joints ache and refer nerve and muscle pain throughout much of my upper body.  I am unable to work out in my normal fashion.  Some nights I don’t sleep.  Yesterday I didn’t get off the couch because my pain my so severe.

Wahhh, boo hoo, lifes hard, I get it.  I’m not writing this to bitch about my pain and have a pity party.  I’ve experienced large amounts of mental and physical pain in my life.  In the past I wanted to get rid of the pain as quickly as possible, by whatever means necessary.  I won’t lie, I still want that.

I’ve taken more Aleve, ibuprofen, and prescription anti-inflammatories over the past five weeks than I have in countless months.  My stomach is in shambles from the medicine, I’ve lost weight and feel nauseous every morning.  However, the pain has stayed the same or intensified as the days progressed.

Several nights the pain has been agonizing to the point I debated taking narcotic pain killers.  For a normal person, without my predisposition towards opiates, it would seem like a logical next step.  But, as I said earlier, I’m a junkie.

I texted friends and told them what I was going through.  explaining my relentless and excruciating pain.  I told several people I was considering taking a Percocet to deal with the pain.  The vast majority responded with an astounding NO.  My best friend put it to me this way, “Maybe the pain you are experiencing justifies taking a pain killer, but the pain of taking the pills may be worse.”

The junkie in me was telling my friends I was considering using Percocets.  I was waiting for a single person to tell me it was ok for me to take a pill.  I wanted that validation.  In my mind, if they told me to take the meds It would be copacetic because I wasn’t using them to get high.  I was trying to condone my use of pain killers for a justified reason.

It’s a very disturbing and perplexing situation to experience almost unbearable pain, yet not know if I am able to handle the prescribed medicine mentally.  My life has become unbelievably rewarding and positive in the 11 months since I stopped using opiates.  I’m terrified of getting strung out on pills again.  Even when I have a legitimate reason to use the medicine.

I want the pain to stop, but I’m too afraid of the outcome of taking pills.  I’m starting to rebuild relationships that I lost because of my drug use.  My mind isn’t in a foggy, negative state anymore.  I have a new found passion for my life and the people in it.  I’m almost certain all my good fortune will disappear if I take the first pill.

Two years ago I was taking pain meds for a legitimate reason and I couldn’t handle it.  I started making up reasons why I needed larger doses more often.  I quickly fell back into my addiction and lost what I had valued most in my life.  My relationship, my family, my mental health and well being were all destroyed expeditiously.

At times I feel this is a test to see if I am truly grateful for my life and the blessings I have been given since I stopped using opiates.   Making sure I understand and appreciate the incredible gifts bestowed upon me over the last 11 months.  I could be overthinking whats occurring, but ill take it as such.

As with all things in life, this too shall pass.  Sitting in the pain and discomfort of what’s happening on the outside while staying in control of yourself builds the strongest muscle you have, your mind.  Learning to distance yourself mentally from situations you can’t control at the present time.  Enduring whatever pain comes your way in an appropriate manner without reaching for a crutch instills confidence in yourself.  Developing mental strength and accepting that no matter what happens you will persevere through the hard times.



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