To Hell and Back

During the height of my pain pill addiction, I tried so hard to be someone else; someone better; someone worthy of the love and respect of my family; someone who could rise to the occasion and not alienate people. Unfortunately Percocet had other plans in mind for me. It robbed me of my ability to make decisions for myself; hijacked my independence and turned me into an erratic monster who took his pain out on other people. I suppose my story is no different than anyone else’s in my position, although there were times when I could swear that I coveted painkillers more than anyone has ever coveted anything in life.

I was 35 years old, overworked and half-conscious when I fell asleep at the wheel on I-95. It was the moment that changed everything, because I went straight from the ambulance to the emergency room to surgery to recovery to Percocet abuse to Percocet addiction—I may not remember a lot of things that happened during my addiction, but I sure as hell remember how I got there. It felt like a slow bleed, but when I look back on it, I was addicted in a matter of weeks. One of the things I learned in rehab was to draw a timeline illustrating when I knew I was addicted. For me, it was after I stopped telling my wife I was taking the pills.

I had two small kids at the time, and they were never one to hold anything back. They say that a child’s innocence will always compel them to tell the blunt truth; unfortunately it was a truth I was neither interested in hearing nor acknowledging. So when I was about a year into my addiction and I came home with a whole luggage store under my eyes, my daughter felt compelled to ask: “Why are your eyes so black?” This sent me on a tirade, during which I told her it was rude to say things like that to people, expecting her to have a PhD in Emily Post at the age of three. My wife was shocked at my response, but I tried to paint it as a “teachable moment.”

As the next year and a half passed, things got worse. I further withdrew myself from my family, was completely disinterested in my job that I used to love and could focus on nothing but keeping myself dull with pain medication. For me, the best-case scenario was to feel nothing. I was at my best when I was numb.

I entered pain pill addiction treatment when my wife threatened to leave, but I thought I was just buying time and postponing the inevitable. Slowly but surely, I learned how to feel again, and I didn’t think I was capable of that. I went through two months of treatment, and was probably one of the world’s worst patients, but eight years later, I’m still standing with a family that loves me. Simply put, the day I asked for help is the day I got it.

Contact the National Information Center for Pain Medication Addiction anytime toll-free at (855) 222-1980 or through our online form, and receive the answers, information or our recommendation for the help you or your loved one need to stop their pain medication addiction!

Get back the quality of life and level of dignity that is only possible when you or your loved one are no longer addicted to pain medication drugs . . . regardless of whether they were obtained legally or illegally.