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What should I do?
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What should I do?

So, I'm so confused and so embarrased and ashamed that I let myself get to this point. I've known that I'm an addict for awhile but this is the first time I've ever admitted it to anyone and I was kind of inspired by a friend of mine that was addicted much worse than I am but managed to open up and reach out for help...something I admire greatly but also something I just can't do.

I have had some sever problems with menstrual cramps as well as extremely sore, swollen joints.  I've had an unsuccessful surgery for the cramps and I was sent to see a specialist about the possibility of RA was basically just dismissed.  I started to take oxycontin (not prescribed to me) occassionaly to ease the pain however, it quickly became more than just a problem with pain...I'm addicted now and it's been about 4 years. I'm young, single and live in a VERY small town - I can't just go to a meeting or even talk to my docor about this.  I know that compared to some my addiction isn't huge but I have no doubt it will be if I don't stop now!  I am currently taking between 20 - 30 mg daily.  I take it when I start to cramp up and feel really fatigued so I can get through the day at work.  My problem is that I'm living with the person that I get them from and they are so addicted and out of touch from reality that it's just a neverending cycle.  I'm not in a position to move - otherwise I would have long ago.  I landed a great job that, in my town, are hard to come by and I don't want to mess it up by taking time ff work to get off the drugs...I need to do this on my own yet, I don't even know where to start. I used to be bright and happy and the life of the party - now it's hell just talking myself to get out the door...and when I'm out I have such bad anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness that I just want to go back home to bed.  I know a lot of my problems stem from my addiction but how do I stop with no support system??  
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271792_tn?1334983257
Hi & Welcome,

I don't know how you are going to do this while living with the person who is giving them to you. For me that would be so hard and detoxing and STAYING clean is hard enough without putting obstacles in your way.

You also say you can't tell your doctor and you can't go to meetings and you can't move. What is it you can do and maybe we can help you from there. You need a plan.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry I should have been more clear...my doctor is a close family friends and although I know it should be confidential - it wouldn't. There are no meetings where I live - literally in the middle of nowhere.  Yes, I live with someone that has an addiction problem but if I don't ask for them they won't give them to me...I need the will power to stop asking.  I'm hoping reading about other peoples experiences it will inspire me and give me strength to help myself.  I've stopped before and the physical wd symptoms aren't horrible but enough that I am uselss at work. it's more a emotional crutch...and I plan on moving as soon as I can find employment in another town.  I don't want to make it sound like an excuse because I take full responsibility for my addiction...I just need to figure out how to keep energy up without the meds.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi and welcome. Its hard enough stopping by oneself but to live with an addict its even harder. You've taken a huge step in admitting your problem. So.cuddos on that. The first step is the hardest. Next ya gotta set up a support system of some sort. Thru meetings like na/aa. Ya can Google it. Then get together a plan of action. My husband and me are addicts. He's in rehab right now. We needed a break. But  i read you can't do that right now so hmmm. And living with an active addict will drive ya nuts. Its like being an alcoholic living in a bar. Its always there in your face. But if you really really want to quit you gotta dig deep and stop. In my opinion once ya want to stop. You'll stop at nothing to stay clean. Its a journey of self discovery. Its a personal choice and we all approach it differently. So wow i don't have any advise to give ya. But i will support ya. Im still figuring this out too. Sending ya lots of support
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271792_tn?1334983257
There are natural herbs and supplements that you can take for energy. I am not the one to ask but I will buzz someone who can give you some suggestions. Hang on for a bit while I find them.

Best of luck to you and be good to yourself.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh what i did was i talked about pills so much i drove my husband insane. I read posts out loud. I researched my oxycontin. I drug him to meetings. I wouldn't give up. I told him if he was high. I asked him if he liked being high. I talked and talked and talked about this til i wore him down. That was my way. I think he went to rehab to get away from me. Lol.lol.
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1926359_tn?1331591739
Hi and Welcome!

I am sorry you are suffering so much and feeling scared and alone...Please know that you're not...and there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel.  It's time to put yourself and YOUR recovery first to reclaim your life.  I'm hearing your fear about other people knowing...and your shame and guilt.  You have nothing to be ashamed of.  You are human and this happens to the best of us.  It's a disease.  And no one does this alone.  Can you see another doctor?  I think you will be surprised that if you come clean there will be help and support and compassion and you will feel so much better.  

I was on opiates for 5+ years for severe endometriosis, Crohns, and RA.  Have you been tested for endo because of your severe cramping?  I find better pain relief now (I am 40 days clean today) from alternative therapies and natural supplements....Here is a list of vitamins and supplements that are great for detoxing off opiates..and for repairing your body and brain.
Vitamin B6, B12,D, C (ascorbate), potassium, and magnesium.  Melatonin for sleep, Valerian root (nature's valium) Whey protein shakes(2 lb 15$ at Walmart) Mix 2 scoops with milk (I use almond milk) and a banana.  It has all the amino acids you need to repair your body/brain.

For the pain:  Hot baths, massage, infrared saunas, meditation, yoga, HEAT!  I sometimes but very rarely take Tylenol Arthritis for my joint pain.  Heat is better.
I know it feels like you have a huge mountain to climb, but if you start taking the steps you will feel MUCH better about yourself and things will start to get better.  Is there anywhere (family, friend) that you can go to while detoxing?  You need to set yourself up for success....Please let us know what you need.  You can do this.  Believe in yourself......Lu
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,
I read the post, and had to try to say something to help, these people helped me, and I have learned there is no one on here that will accuse or label you in any way, this is a safe place.where you can say what you need to say, and cry if you need to let it go. So  let go, its hard but you have made the first step, look at what you do have and keep the negative thoughts out of your mind, think positive,you are otherwise healthy so to say, you surly have a friend or pastor of a church that could help you, if needed, but try not to anticipate WD's. I found out here that I was having WD's and didn't know not to just stop taking my meds at Thanksgiving. These people are wonderful and sincere, keep posting! keep thinking positive! if you cant talk to your family or you feel ashamed, that may partially why you abuse the meds? my point is you are not alone, I'm not trying to provoke anyone, but I PRAY and believe in God, He helps us and through him all things are possible. life is no fairy tale ,Its tough, and hard to get things going our way.specially when facing addiction issues. but try to stay positive, look at what you do have list your resources, this is the time to use them, if you have sick time use it if you need it, and when you are down post, someone always posted me back, and still does. find your happiest thoughts and dwell on them, remember you are a person, you are someone, you do count, and you are worth it! its not over! its never to late! you can do this, countless others have faced this monster, and overcome its clutches. God bless you, and may God help you through this time in life. Keep posting, these are good people, some of the best in my opinion. they can give you ideas on vitamins and things that will help you feel better. remember you can do this, and you are worth every second of it,
May God bless you and the people on this site, to help you.
Dave






      
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you everyone for your responses....It's really comforting to know that people I don't even know care so much and are willing to offer kind words and advice.  I also find reassurance in knowing that I'm not the only one going through this. I feel hope which is something I haven't felt in far too long.  I think the reason that I'm so ashamed is because so many people look up to me and expect me to be the rational, level-headed person that they can go to for advice.  I was always, and still am despite my addiction,  a go-getter...and to think how much more I could accomplish without this terrible secret holding me back.  It's like I have a double life and it's not that hard to pull off because most of my friends live 5 hrs away where I used to live.  Right now I'm taking 2-3 10mg per day. Do I need to taper down or just stop?  
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1926359_tn?1331591739
Hi Scared (and hopefully no longer feeling so alone(:)

We can't give taper advice and it's a personal choice...There are people on this forum who have done both.  Personally-I say stop.  There is no way to avoid w/d and it's best just to get it out and stop the insanity...That's just me.
I wanted to share that being a type A+ personality (in your words a go-getter) and trying to be all things to all people is too much for anyone...It can also be a way of avoiding 'being with yourself' and experiencing uncomfortable or painful feelings.  This can then spiral into putting drugs or alcohol into our bodies to stop these feelings so we can be 'good' for everyone...See where I'm going with this?  Addiction isn't a weakness...It's a disease-and confronting it and working from a place of self love and compassion will make you see how strong you really are...Authentically.  Take care of yourself and the rest will take care of itself...

Coming clean takes bravery and humility...And yes you are right-you will be amazed at what you can accomplish without all this wasted energy going to secrets and destruction....But really it's about happiness...True happiness...And you deserve to be happy.  You just have to reach out and grab it...One moment at a time..Lu
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Avatar_m_tn
hello,
I hope this finds you well. and happy. Back in Dec, you gave me a tremendous amount of encouragement during my issue, as well as, Bama 88,and paolme. I was as distraught as I have ever been  in my 43 years of life. I came to the site to get information about my meds, and started reading the post, I cant stop! I found a place and some people who I have grown to like and respect. I will be posting more. I am just figuring out the site, and how to use it. I did find out that I need the meds for now. just as prescribed. but I am finding I'm starting not to like them but that's for  later. for now i'd like to thank God that you guys are here for everyone. its a thankless job that you could choose not to do, but do it gladly. Its a ministry in a way. You are all doing good things for others, without any thanks, and I want to say again how grateful we all are, to have you here for us. I'd like to keep posting and join when I can, I feel I have made some good friends here. I don't have anyone else who understands what's happening to me inside. Chronic pain is a disease, that effects the whole person, which almost always leads to abuse of the cure. I am starting to hate this cycle of pills and refills, the counting, the waiting for the clock to roll around, Its not living, and the reward is not worth living for. thank you for helping so many in need.
Gods love for all of you,
Dave  




  
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1926359_tn?1331591739
Hi Dave...

Thank you for posting.  I know on a very personal level how bad chronic pain can be to live with.  There was a long time in my life where I needed those meds to have any kind of quality of life.  The issue is the long term use can sometimes cause your pain receptors to fire more frequently, thus tricking you into thinking you're in more pain than you actually are.  For me, I am in less pain post-opiates...I've found great holistic pain management alternatives that don't just treat the symptoms....but have lead to healing...that's just me.  I felt like the meds were stealing my soul and were definitely not allowing me a good quality of life...The end result of staying on opiates was a very scary one...I know that now.  This is just my story.  

I also want to say....Posting on here and lending support is anything but a thankless job.  41 days ago when I went c/t there were so many wonderful and wise people here to support me....And being able to repay that favour by helping and supporting anyone in any way is what recovery is all about.  I know what the merry-go-round of pills feels like-think about getting off.  You can reclaim your life.  Stop the suffering.  You may find after awhile that like me, you are not in as much pain as you once believed...Or not...But don't you think you owe it to yourself to find out?  Whatever you decided...Know that we are here to support you in any way that we can......Lu
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1047946_tn?1332611629
I'm not sure what kind of chronic pain you are suffering with but can relate. I think doctors tend to treat with pain meds instead of treating the source of the pain because more times than not the pain ends up being temporary. By the time they realize that something is causing chronic pain we are already hooked.

There are many ways that you can live life without pain meds while minimizing the pain. There's physical therapy, strengthening exercises, accupuncture, water therapy, steroid injections, stretching, good old exercising, eating healthy, etc. The key is finding what works for you. There are also many prescription strength, non narcotic pain meds that work great. If one doesn't work, try another. Eventually you will find one that helps.

We have to remember too that while living with chronic pain we are going to have to deal with some pain. The key is to get it down to that level to where we can still function.

There are many other forums here on medhelp. Try and find one that has to do with whatever is causing your chronic pain. You will get ideas on how to help that pain. Posting on this forum will help also as there are so many of us that have become addicted due to chronic pain.

Two years ago I decided enough was enough and haven't taken a pain meds since. I do all I can to minimize and to help my pain. Some days are better than others but if I'm having a bad day I know the next will more than likely be good.

I'm not saying you should put them down right away and live with pain. Only you know how bad your pain really is. Just do your best to figure out how to treat your pain rather than mask it. Many doctors fail to do this and it's up to us to find answers. There are even pain management clinics that specialize in non narcotic treatment of chronic pain.

Best of luck to you Dave. If I can be of any help, please let me know!




Brian
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you,
I think for me the meds are a short term remedy, I am working on other means to eliminate my pain, my issue is real, it took me two years to admit it. I didn't want to admit to the fact that I had bad issues wt my low back. I do OK if I don't pick anything up, and getting out of bed is sometimes an event, but I have to keep going. I found you guys, and that's been a great help to me, I found out the difference between dependency and addiction. both are very scary to me.I know i just cant keep living like this anymore. its a vicious cycle, that has tried to ruin my life.I haven't figured out how to do things yet but I am working on it. just want to say everyone has been nice to me, and i am thankful for you. I will keep posting, and reading. its helped me to understand things better, and that we are not alone.
Thanks,
Dave  
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1979360_tn?1328147465
not sure if any of the other posters/commenters on here brought this up, because i didn't read through all of the comments... but i wanted to let you know that regardless of the closeness your doctor has with your family, by LAW he/she cannot say anything to anyone. even if it were your father. if they did, that would be the end of their career, and surely they wouldn't end their career because they went to their friend about their friends' daughter or whatever the relationship may be with your doctor and family.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks,
To have someone care enough to take the time to write me a letter means a lot to me, seriously! very kind. I have taken to many meds before and I really watch it now. It stinks, I am at a point that i am not sure what to do. I am trying hard not to over do my meds, yet control is tough. I don't have anyone around me who understands what I am trying to say. or understands what I am feeling. I cant believe I am telling this but, I hate the meds, one is to many and the rest are not enough. That is what i am feeling. I am not abusing them but I want to. By the time I refill I am nervous hoping that they will give them to me. even though I have enough to last. It's  nuts! I have no reason to feel this way, and before i started taking the meds, I never felt like this. the meds now instead of making me feel good they make me feel bad, tired, bad stomach feeling. I almost think I am allergic to the cure? my issue is that I have to work, but when I pick anything up,over 10 pounds or so, about six hours later, I can't hardly walk, I hurt so bad I just don't know what to do. I am sorry to post this i'm embarrassed to tell anyone. I am going to talk to my DR next week and tell him what is happening. I have had all the test. They say its degenerative disc and one is gone in my low back. I also have an issue with my feet, they are not formed right which makes it hard to walk now.by the end of the day I have a hard time getting to my car. just feel I am going through something that will change me forever. I thought the meds were a God sent blessing, now I am starting to wander because they make me feel so bad, even though they do curve the pain some, my friends are supportive, but don't understand, they think I should be happy to have the meds for free, they don't get it! its not a party, its a living nightmare, I go through WD's every morning, until i take my first dose, I hate the cure, and hate myself for thinking, I was doing the right thing, by seeing a DR. for help. I am going through , the pity me stage. which I have never done! I am sorry to tell it, I never tell anyone my thoughts, especially to feel sorry for my self.  I had to get it off my chest. thanks. again, so sorry, I'm usually up beat,and close to being a living cartoon.
Dave












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Avatar_f_tn
hi Dave.... I am glad your back. Stick around. It doesn't matter if you succumbed to taking meds or not. You need to be here. It helps keep.you grounded. At least it does for me. As far as being a thankless job. I disagree. This forum saved my life. And i want to pay it forward. I don't have the smarts  like some of the people here.. Im a silly person who lives by goals and inspirational sayings. So i can't give any medical advise. But it breaks my heart to see good people who have been torn apart by pills. The doctors just keep.feeding America pills pills pills. Its a slow death sentence. Now Im not against pain medicine but pain medicine was never intended to be long term therapy. I do know that.... I also know its a very personal choice on that subject... Whatever you decide i will support you. Your friend.....bama
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree about the thankless thing, it came out wrong, so sorry I agree 100%. I just said the wrong thing, the people here are very kind to each other, and I like it. so sorry, I wasn't making light of things. just saying Its nice to see people help others, I kinda big on helping others. sometimes it doesn't come out right,sorry
Dave
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1926359_tn?1331591739
Dave,

Please stop apologizing...You have nothing to be sorry for.  Brian listed all the different alternative pain management tools that I would suggest.  For me, yoga has saved my life.  It helps the body and the mind and the spirit...I know exactly how you feel about the pills and only you know when enough is enough.  It's healthy that you are aware and questioning this and asking for help.
If I could give you a piece of advice it would be to talk to your doctor...Tell him/her what is happening to you with the meds...Ask for non-narcotic alternatives and then start trying some alternative things.  Like I said before, it's hard to tell what your actual pain levels are while on the opiates.  If you decide you are done and want to detox-your doc can prescribe non-addictive meds to help with the process.  Just know that whatever you decide we are here to support you....
Lu

Lu
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1047946_tn?1332611629
Like Lu said, it's hard to tell what your pain level truly is when it's being masked by opiates. If you do stop the meds you will experience some rebound pain but it will subside.

I too suffer from lower back chronic pain. I injured my back and have had two surgeries since. My back will "go out" on occasion along with sciatic pain. I still have many days where I have extreme pain but I take the good with the bad. Every day of pain is much better than a day of being high. That's how I look at it. I've learned to live without narcotic pain meds and I'm doing much better compared to when I was on them and in more ways than one. I hated how the pills made me live in a fuzz. There were also days where I overdid it. Since I was masking the pain I didn't feel the damage I was actually doing to my back.

Now that I'm off the pills I'm able to work a job that is normally hard on the body without doing any damage. Life is good.

You should start your own thread and title it "Chronic pain and living life without opiates" or something like that. I don't want to take over the original posters thread so doing that will give us a chance to let you know what has helped us.

If you feel comfortable enough, fill us in on all the details of your back problems. You'd be amazed about how many of us share similar injuries.

We will get you through this.
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1814148_tn?1332489398
Hello and welcome :o) I'm glad you found this community of genuine people who understand you. Being honest about my addiction is one of the most difficult things I've had to do. I have been an addict for 20 years. I have enjoyed lengthy times of sobriety...2 years here..6 months there..7 years here. Only recently did I admit to my husband and family that I struggle with addiction. Like it wasn't obvious lol. We tell ourselves that people don't know but they do. By the time I reached out for help I was walking vortex to every negative emotion there was. I totally lost myself and it was surreal to how quickly it happened. I was reinventing the meaning of rock bottom time and time again, never allowing consequences be my teacher. Addiction does not discriminate. Stick around and read the threads. We are real people whose lives have been impacted by addiction.

Doses have little to do with the magnitude of addiction. High doses simply equate tolerance that's built over time. In the grand scheme of things, how much of what drug is irrelevent. Our compulsion to use is largely psychological. There is a root as to why people abuse drugs. Our addiction is a maladaptive way to cope with feelings or situations that we think are too painful to acknowledge. Taking drugs as prescibed, or not, tends to kick the crap out of our "selfs" (self-confidence, self-efficacy, etc) because of changes in the brain. Ironic how something we take to 'feel better' is a catalyst for depression and isolation. Sure detox is rough for a week or so, however once you stop taking all mind altering substances you will feel better.  Somedays we have to settle for feeling 'ok'.

Drugs alter our perception of pain (physical or emotional) by attaching to specific receptors in the brain and releasing feel-good chemicals. When we use substances or behaviors for a euphoric feeling, the brain doesn't just get a taste of them, it's saturated. Our DOC raises the bar for what makes us feel good. Nothing can compete with it when one is in the active phase of addiction. The brain's reward system has been changed and the mind, body and spirit are slaves to trigger it. It's like the devil has highjacked your thoughts and actions. It's important to know that you are a BEAUTIFUL person and deserve to be happy. Unfortunately we can't flip a switch for instant results. It took time to get here so it will take time to feel like your 'old self'. Ugghh, need to work on patience...A difficult task for most people, but exceptionally difficult for the addict who is used to instant gratification.

The more we nurture and empower the monster, the more likely it will eat us alive. We are resilient and resourceful creatures. Once you're over the actute withdrawl (withdrawal) we will chat more about strategies to stay clean. It sounds as though you have thoughtfully reflected on some strategies already. Relocating sounds exciting! Your insight is realistic. While a new town won't cure you, it may reduce the emotional triggers that make you more vulnerable to relapse. It's kind of standard to not make any major changes in the first year of recovery but I can see how living in a fishbowl limits your options for aftercare. More to be said about that later lol.

Dig deep and reach high m'love. Recovery is a quest. Each sober day will bless you with the strength and courage to discover yourself. You are NOT your addiction. Give your tender heart permission to forgive yourself and start fresh. Leave the shame and guilt behind. Don't allow negative thinking to become a barrier to your recovery. We were designed as free moral agents with the power to choose our reactions and feelings toward any given situation. I'm sending heartfelt hugs your way and am here to support you in anyway I can. Peace :o)
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks,
I will stick around, Can't get this kind of friendship just anywhere. I think I will talk to my PCP and get things straightened out wt him. I am sure with the amount of people going to see DR's these days with all types of disorders, they are doing what they think is best and have good intentions. the physical therapy was awesome for me, it helped. but had to stop due to work and school. ill  try to get back into it.
you guys have a great and Blessed day.
regards
Dave
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,
I hope everyone is well. everyone is in my prayers. I think my PCP figured out my med problems yesterday, thank God ! I had a test ran last week and the results say that my testosterone is at a dangerous level normal in men is 400-1000. or so. my levels were 261. my DR. told me he had never seen levels this low, and it could enplane why I feel like i do. I have meds to try to get the levels back to a normal range. he told my when someones levels are that low it could cause all kinds of problems with taking meds and the way the body is absorbing them. hopefully things will get back to normal, this has been like the first three days of  WD'S every day for eight months, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone,Thanks so much for everything guys, I start treatments this morning and cant wait to see if I feel any better in a week.
God bless you all
Dave
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