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Slow but steady!

I’m well aware that none of you are acquainted with me personally, yet we share a common thread of addiction that insidiously and relentlessly weaves and laces itself into the very fabric of our beings.  I have posted a few times on this website within the last month or so as I prepared to once and for all eliminate hydrocodone (10/325) from my life on October 13, 2009.  Some of you may recall one of my first posts when I shamefully described that within a period of approximately 6 months earlier in 2009 that my consumption of vicodin had increased from 30mg per day to 300mg per day. I had no pain and it wasn’t my motivator, it was always for the buzz, the break from the sh*t of everyday reality.  The availability of the drug was never a problem; I always obtained it legitimately and legally from my physician who I lied to more times than I like to admit.  What also haunted me daily was the unceasing need to hide my supply.  Literally lying face-to-face to my loved ones was what tore my integrity from within me.  It was a life of deceit and in the truest sense of the words, complete and utter selfishness.  I remember the inquiring looks from those I was closest to as they peered into my constricted pupils and silently pondered why my mood was inappropriately different (mostly elevated).  I always felt paranoid that someone was critiquing my behavior every hour of every day.      

I had a previous episode with vicoprofen abuse in 1999 and that time I was caught by my wife with the pills literally in my possession.  Only through the Grace of God did my 25-year marriage survive.  I “cold-turkeyed” then and yet in 2009 with all that detox pain still so very vivid in the recesses of my mind, I did it all over again.  Do you want to know the worst outcome of the 1999 intervention?  I had obliterated my wife’s trust and I knew it would be a life-long struggle to earn it back; and being human I have made enough normal, everyday mistakes along the way that the re-building of that trust has been very slow-going.  My wife has been openly honest enough in the last 10 years to remind me of the necessary truth that re-building trust doesn’t just happen overnight; restoration of trustworthiness is a very delicate thing to a woman.  

Now for the definition of unadulterated and inexplicable insanity that will make absolute sense to many of you who are like me…this year I made the conscious decision to start up again with the very same poison, only I picked 10/325 narcos instead.  I finally came to the realization that the revelation of this transgression would crush my wife beyond measure, and I know without any doubt she would ask for a divorce if my 6 months of hidden abuse this year had been detected.  Who among us doesn’t look in the mirror, or our reflected image in a window, and not feel disgust?  We are professional liars and have conned dozens of people along our life’s path.  I knew I had to once again do the impossible…“cold-turkey” from opiates.  

On the evening of October 12, 2009, I took my last 100mg dose of hydrocodone and the following morning “cold-turkeyed” from a daily 300mg hydrocodone habit.  It was a pre-meditated decision that I had told some of you about in previous posts.  There was no flushing of my supply. I had to use up every one of my last pills before my self-induced detox commenced.  Yes, I can often be very self-destructive.  

I have since been completely clean.  That’s 13 days of uncontrollable shaking and jerking, cold-sweats, hot-flashes, sh*ts, upset stomach, sporadic and incomprehensible speech while sleeping, hot showers, daily naps, anxiety, occasional unsteadiness on my feet, depression, and periods of energy lasting no more than a few hours.  The above symptoms became manageable after about 5 days.  They haven’t all gone away, they’re just not as tormenting.   I have not been back to work yet (thank goodness I had a lot of vacation time on the books).  I did have one trip to the family doctor last week under the guise of having the flu.  For my own preservation, I’ve also started therapy with a physician on a monthly basis who monitors every single type of pill I take.  

That is an overview of my recent existence.  But now a question for you.  I am suffering with an amount of guilt because I have not been completely honest with my wife about this most recent episode in 2009.  I know I don’t want a divorce; I have loved this woman and been married to her since 1974.  I also don’t want my grown children included because I would lose them and a very beautiful granddaughter.  Does anyone think I should confess to my wife and kids or do I keep this to myself and pray to God I have finally learned a valuable lesson?
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Avatar universal
Man, you've gotta feel so incredible ... Congratulations on staying strong ... I'm soooo happy for YOU!!

Thanks so much for the update... Pls continue to be happy & healthy!
(And keep us updated when you're able.)

God Bless You.
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Avatar universal
OK, it is day 18 without any narcos.  The past few days I am noticebly more energetic as long as I try not to do too much and have an afternoon nap (that can help alot strength-wise".  Mornings are my best time, but I'm usually in bed no later than 8:30 or 9:00pm.  My symptoms have all subsided except for an uneasy stomach if I don't eat snacks throughout the day (it's bad if I get too hungry) and I still have bouts of depression.  The "blahs" may be due to the fact that I have not been back to work in 3 weeks and I get bored at home.  My regular work schedule will start up again next Monday.  I had tons of vacation time on the books so my boss could care less if I've been there or not.  He eally hasn't asked any questions at all.  I'm taking 1 mile walks every morning and will go back to my normal 2 milers also on Monday (November 2nd.)  I have had a lot of well-wishers who have all thought I've had the flu.  However, my priest knows the truth and advised me to justify NOT telling my wife (thus ruining a 35-year marriage) by staying "clean and sober" and living a more honest and unselfish life...sort of like allowing the good of others before me.  Sort of makes sense doesn't it?  Oh yeah, I also have an issue with my personal physician of the last 25 years who also knows the truth.  God willing I will make peace with him since I lied to him to get my hydrocodone.  But he has promised, as has my priest, not to tell my family anything.  I grew weary of my dishonesty; I am praying every morning while I walk outside during my exercise time.  Strangely it feels good to be completely honest with yourself and stare your demons in the eyes.  Am I an addict?  Most definitely.  This last go-around really brought that home to me.  For all of you who sent me your support, I hope I may someday repay the favor.  You know what bothers me the most, though?  When I was "high" on 100 mg of hydrocodone at any give time of the day, life was fun and less threatening.  When your "clean:, life is much more difficult.  The drug-induced euphoria is gone and you have to take life on as it comes.  Nevertheless, I will gladly substitute a 30-minute high for my own dignity and integrity...although that little voice in the back of my mind will spend the rest of its days trying to convince me otherwise.  God bles all of you.  
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Avatar universal
You just summed up pretty much the entire gist of what I would like to have written for myself, but can't get out as clearly and succinctly as you just did!  Hard to imagine how you wrote so well in your unbelievably difficult and challenging physical (and mental) state -- I'm in AWE of you!!   I've been a closet addict for ALMOST ALL my adult life -- I'm a 51 year old woman. I'm addicted to just about any narcotic analgesic I can get my hands on -- but currently Fioricet w/Codeine, Codeine Sulfate and Hydrocodone. (Average daily consumption: 420mg Codeine, 400mg Butalbital (barbiturate in the Fioricet) and 20mg Hydrocodone--measly amount I know, but I can only get small rx of 5/500 Vicodins at a time--In addition 500mg Caffeine (also in Fioricet) and over 5000+mg Acetaminophen from eveything together -- my liver HAS to be shot!

I was married for just over 20 years to a wonderful man who became an Alcoholic and Cocaine addict toward the end of our marriage.  Even HE wasn't aware of the full extent of my use -- which back then consisted of any painkiller I could get my hands on (including Fioricet w/Codeine) and a LOT of Valium!  We raised 2 beautiful, successful children together and have 2 incredible Grandchildren from our daughter.  But sadly got divorced about 8 years ago for reasons unrelated to drugs... or I should say more likely due to OTHER circumstances stemming out of our individual addictions.  (We do remain friends today.)

After a few years on my own, I met a really wonderful man I've been living with for the past 4 years who loves and supports me, BUT DOESN'T KNOW how much I use -- he thinks I only take an OCCASIONAL Fioricet for a migraine or Vicodin for other misc. pain.  He and my family all believe I've been clean since I kicked a Valium addiction in the beginning of our relationship, an addiction I admitted to after going thru my divorce.  HE supported me thru the whole process which was almost the ENTIRE 1st year we were together.  Both he and my family were so proud of me.  Little do they know that although I kicked the Valium, I was CONTINUING to use painkillers the entire time!  I've tried unsuccessfully to taper myself off.

I'm so riddled with guilt about deceiving everyone around me and the lies I tell and all of the challenges you raised and then some... hiding the pills, making sure to never run out, just making a trip to the pharmacy to pick up refills, and how to secretly pay for them, and on and on!  It HAS to be such a great relief for you to be ridding yourself of all this!  I wish I had your amazing strength!

I've recently learned from replies to my post that I won't be able to quit on my own due to the high levels of the barbiturate I'm dependent on and the length of time I've been using.  I'm going to HAVE to spill the beans and am TERRIFIED!  I'm afraid of ALL the same things YOU are!  I never wrote this part of my problem into my original post "Need Help Stopping Fioricet w/ Codeine" because at the time of writing, I was more concerned about simply wanting to learn how to stop WITHOUT telling anyone.  I have to undergo surgery in the next 6-8 weeks and was concerned about anesthesia, etc... with the high doses of everything I'm taking.  Gosh, even getting online and writing on this Forum is a challenge cuz I'm NOT READY to tell my boyfriend about this ... I think in the back of my mind I'm still hoping I won't have to, and am trying to figure a way out of it!

UGH!  I need to get to my point, but wanted to share some of my history ... It's so difficult to sum everything up as you did so beautifully.

As I've been writing this post, I was thinking about what would happen if any of my loved ones read this... or ANY of my posts ... and wondering if there isn't a solution in there somewhere ... Like sharing something that you've written -- even editing your above post to help reveal your fears and feelings.   Additionally, I like the above post idea about doing anything and everything you can to prove your sobriety over the long-haul .. like drug testing, etc. if that's what it takes,   I ALSO AGREE with waiting until you are more stable and clear-headed before doing ANYTHING!

All I know is that I'm in very similar circumstances -- with the HUGE exception that you've ALREADY DONE SOMETHING about it and that SOMETHING is unbelievably difficult, noble and brave.  I commend and congratulate you on what you've endured these past two weeks!!  As I started off -- I AM IN AWE OF YOU!!

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this today!  You will be in my thoughts and prayers constantly!!  Please keep me updated.  I'll keep an eye on this post to see what advice the other wonderful members here have for you!

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Avatar universal
My first defense for being clean is the complete honesty I have with my family about my addictions.. second is my doctor and 3rd is a couple of my sisters. the rest knew of my past but have no clue now.. other then that I decide what friends I want to tell.. Just a different take on it. If your wife was open to talking this would help you much.. if you know it would lead to divorce I would definitely wait until my mind was a lil clearer to approach her.. I wish you well and congrats on 13 days.. There is a saying we are only as sick as our secrets.. for myself it fit very much.. lesa
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Avatar universal
Just wanted you to know that I have read your post; but Astray has really said it all.

Just early in WD is not a good time to decide anything. Patience.

Also sometimes we want to confess because we want to get Rid of the guilt. Guilt isn't something you necessarily can get rid of. It is another one of those emotions that you just accept and get on with your life learning from your past mistakes.
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Avatar universal
Very tricky question for all of us, who to confess to and who to keep in the dark.

One thing is certain though, its very risky to trust any emotions felt at that point in the process, your brain chemistry will still be a complete mess. Guilt for the lying and damage we do is natural and justified but WD itself causes feelings of guilt too so even that has to be treated with caution. My personal suspicion is that its unwise to make any major decisions until mental stability has returned.

As to whether to tell your family I think you have to consider what would be best for them as opposed to how you would be affected, whether that means tell/not tell I couldn't say, everyones situation is different. One thing to consider though is that your family may well be very well aware something has been wrong the last two weeks and if they have seen you suffer through WD before they may suspect what that problem was.

If you do decide to tell them I would have a very very good plan in place to make it clear you are clean from now on, be it regular drug tests or another approach.
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