There’s a song by a band I like called Spiritualized that I can help but go back to every time I think about my pain medication addiction. Throughout the song, the phrase, “All I want in life’s a little bit of love to take the pain away” repeats over and over again. I relate to this line so well because the deeper I fell into my pain medication addiction, the more depressed I became until I couldn’t see where one problem ended and the other began. I would have given anything for someone to just take me away and “fix” me; however I knew that was impossible, and that only made things worse.
As the 18 months I spent abusing painkillers rolled on, I was doing less and less with my life and finding little joy other than those fleeting moments when I was able to escape my reality and feel numb for a few hours. I didn’t want to be there for anybody, but I wanted everybody to be there for me. It’s amazing how quickly you can retreat into yourself when everything seems hopeless. My survival instinct failed me for a long time, and I completely lost sight of who I was.
I started to get serious about recovery when I knew nobody was coming to save me. I was the one to do this to myself and I was the one that was going to get myself out of it. I began trying to wean myself off pain medication; but after relapsing twice, I knew I couldn’t this by on my own. Eventually I put together that the only way I could save myself was by putting my salvation in the hands of others. I checked myself into rehab in November of 2008 and left the worst of myself outside those doors when I did.
They say all’s well that ends well; but I can’t take for granted that my pain medication addiction ever really ended, or will ever end. I learned early on in recovery to accept the fact that I have this problem and that the only way to beat it was to live a continuously healthy life and value myself and the people I love. I haven’t stopped going to meetings or seeing a therapist, because part of me knows that commitment to recovery is the only way I’m going to be able to respect myself and live a sober life.
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