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Offline Atm142

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New member frustrated venting.
« on: March 10, 2017, 01:35:02 AM »
I'm going to share my story though I doubt it has much use to anyone but myself since it is a story older than NA itself. If you'd like to share some wisdom feel free.


12 years ago I was in a car wreck and started taking pain pills. Five years later I picked up 120 pills from the pharmacy and they were gone in 3 days and what scared me was I hadn't even realized I'd taken so many. Told my doctor, 'holy crap boss I think I'm an addict.'


He was a close family friend so I had no problem being honest with him and he prescribed me subutex but kept it for the pain. We struggled with the right dose for awhile but settled on 4 mg.


Next few years were great, found my future wife. Every 3 months I paid 25$ to the doc and 3 bucks per pill. He says I should just stick with this medicine for the time being and if I have to take it forever who cares? Lots of people have to take a pill everday.


Five years later my doctor tells me he's retiring and that only a few people can prescribe subutex and since I'm an addict no doc will touch me thanks to our screwed up system. I say screw it I'll just quit. I made it 3 months before I started getting suicidal. Psychiatrist tells me 'look you need this medicine just take it you'll be fine.'


He sees me on it and off of it, totally different people. One is a normal happy guy the other is a suicidally depressed guy in pain. So I start seeing a different doctor who charges a 100 a month. He's a good doctor who actually cares and I'd rather be honest and taking subutex than lying and taking other stuff or even dipping back into the hard stuff so I just start figuring a way around the bills every month.


Things are good for the next five or so years. No relapses, no asking for extra pills, no suicidal thoughts.


A few times I start thinking I can live without the pills so I try to quit. Same thing always happens after the physical withdrawals start diminishing the pain starts coming back in full force either back, jaw or god awful migraines. Within a couple months I'm bed ridden wishing for death, within a bit longer the suicidal urges kick in. I don't really get the urge to use so much as I get the urge to die. I digress.


I accept just taking the medication, a few years pass. 100 a month is tough but what options do I have? If I want a normal life I have to swing it.


Life is so good we find a good balance and at the age of 32 finally have my first child a wonderful beautiful daughter who I never thought I could love as much as I do. That was 2 months ago.


Now though thanks to some screwed up federal nonsense the UAs I used to take were only 5 dollars and I just got two bills for the last 2 UA's 1 was 100 dollars the other was 520! Mom's on maternity leave and our funds are crazy tight. By the way, delivering our baby cost 720 dollars with a 4 night stay. Why the heck are my UA's almost as much?


Seems like every time I find a good balance something comes along and screws everything up making my entire life uncertain. Like you are only allowed to get clean if you are wealthy enough to afford it.


I don't blame my doctor he's a good guy just trying to cover his butt from the feds and the users who want to abuse the system it just sucks being caught in the middle everytime.


I can't survive without the medicine but I certainly can't affor it either and I don't know what I can do about it. It's like taking insulin away from a diabetic because he can't afford a test to prove he didn't eat an extra sugar cookie two weeks ago. Every time I start making headway someone comes along and yells 'you are a worthless addict, you can't forget that and there is an extra tax for that too!'


The irony? I pay 190 dollars a month for my medicine, roughly what it would cost for me to have insurance. Great stuff.

Offline Atm142

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 03:49:31 AM »
So if you don't count buprenorphine I've been clean about ten years now.


A decade is great but at the same time there are underlying mental issues that I think the drugs are masking in an attempt to self medicate.


Sometimes I wonder if I was on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicine if I'd even need buprenorphine.


Just speculation but the one thing I really aim to work on this year is my anger.


I never get violent or lash out or anything but anytime I feel like people are taking advantage of me I obsess on it. My mind rolls with the flaws in the system and I lose sleep that night and obsess over it. There's nothing I can do to make the system better so whats the point of losing sleep and days over it?


It's just a negative obsession that doesn't help anyone. It's absolutely ok to be angry in these situations but at a certain point it becomes self destructive.

Offline Eggbeater

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 11:26:32 PM »
Welcome, Atm142.  I'm Lillie and I'm an addict too.  I'm glad you're here.  I related to your story in that I am very familiar with chronic pain and doctor's offices.  I'm wondering if you have ever tried a Narcotics Anonymous meeting?  If you go the www.NA.org website you can find a local meeting in your area.  I've found lots of support in NA and I think you would find you're not alone.  It's easier to stay clean with the help of other recovering addicts than by yourself. NA helped me learn how to cope with life without any drugs and then I was able to get proper professional support for outside issues like suicidal thoughts.  I didn't really know what was really going on with me until I removed all drugs.  It wasn't easy, it was like waking up from a coma.  The world seemed bright and loud and scary and that is why I needed support from people who had been where I was so that I could relearn how to live clean.  People in NA had my back while i was going through it.


You are welcome to come into the chatroom and get to know us.  We have online meetings at 10pm EST every night.  They are not meant to replace local meetings but they are a nice supplement and you can get a feel for what a meeting is like.


Hugs to you!
Lillie

Offline Lon

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 03:13:32 AM »
Welcome ATM..hugs. You are in the right place. I know a little about pain and addiction too. As an addict I know there is a reason for my desire to use (insert whatever drug name here) that goes beyond the physical effects of whatever drug...and simple abstinence...without that drug I dont know how to live...and soon don't want to.  "An addict alone in their own mind lives in a dangerous neighborhood."

NA helps us to find a way of life where we no longer have the need for dope to fill or numb that "empty spot inside" we all feel. Working the steps with a sponsor helps us find freedom...the choice is yours to make.

Hit some local NA meetings..stop into our chatroom.

Narcotics Anonymous' Tradition Three - "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using."
"In this program, the first thing we do is stop using drugs. At this point, we begin to feel the pain of living without drugs or anything to replace them. The pain forces us to seek a Power greater than ourselves that can relieve our obsession to use."
"Narcotics Anonymous" copyright by NAWS

Offline Atm142

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 04:02:26 AM »

Yeah I go to meetings a few times a year, I always feel really out of place at them and I've tried several different groups. My doctor wants me to do some kind of therapy monthly even if it's just posting my thoughts on a website. I'd rather see a psychiatrist or therapist but I can't afford that. I'm happy you found a balance that works for you. I'm still getting my IRC client worked out and then I'll be joining the chats in the next couple of days.


That grayness you speak of, when food loses all taste, the world loses its luster, your hobbies don't excite you, even the people you love don't give you that feeling they used to. I know that feeling all too well but I only feel it when I go off the medicine I become numb and everything I found meaningful before loses all meaning. I simply exist.


I know its cliche so I hope you'll indulge me anyway, I don't get high I just try to feel normal.


I'm on a neverending quest to feel normal. I don't need to be permanently happy but I need to feel, well, feel anything besides that grayness.


What bothers me more than anything is that when I'm not on my medicine people can't depend on me, I become what is essentially a leech that needs to be taken care of and I lose all value as a human being.


I have an amazing fiancee who has maybe smoked pot twice, she's only ever known me on my medication. She fell in love with the guy on medicine and isn't a fan of the guy who isn't taking it, franky I'm not either.


The problem is the medicine is an absolute ball and chain. What if my doctor starts charging 1000 a month? What if he retires or just quits after getting sick of dealing with sketchy addicts and federal nonsense? What if something apocalyptic happens? lol , seems silly but I'd be totally useless to everyone around me.


Its just a rock and a hard place and I've decided to try and find a new balance.


I've tried pure abstinence, it's not an option in the short term until I can deal with the depression and anxiety that the buprenorphine masks.


Thank you Lillie, I appreciate the support.
- Joe

Offline Atm142

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 05:05:41 AM »

Hey Lon, thanks for the support.


I got my blue book right beside me. I've got no desire to use but I do desire to lead a normal life and be there for my family. It's been about ten years since I took anything that wasn't prescribed to me. I never really have that urge to use but I do get fed up with the darker thoughts that swirl in my head.


If I could live without the anxiety and depression without medication I'd do it in a heartbeat. If I can lead a normal life thanks to taking one pill a day I'd do that too. I have people who depend on me and I just want to be there for them.


I've been seeing my doctor for over five years and in the past I paid 5 bucks a UA plus 100 for the appointment and 10 bucks for the therapy. I guess the feds are hassling him though and now the UA's are costing 100-600 dollars a piece which is totally unaffordable to me.


So I'm going to talk to him and see if he'll just let me buy the 30 dollar ones from walgreens since I've never had a dirty UA. If he says no then I have a choice to make.


I can try to go completely clean for the 1000th time and hope this time doesn't end in relapse or suicide. I can try to find a more affordable doctor which will be next to impossible or I can risk everything and go back to street drugs.


Obviously the last option is simply not going to happen but I don't know I can't be worthless to my fiancee and month old daughter either.


I don't know what to do, just trying to take it one day at a time I guess but the anxiety about the ridiculous bills and meeting with my doctor is killing me.


I've rattled on long enough. Nice meeting you Lon, thanks for the kind words.


- Joe

Offline Atm142

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 06:14:26 AM »

Like I mentioned I wanted to work on my anger so I've been thinking about it a lot. What triggers it, where it comes from etc..


I think it all stems from a feeling that pervades my life and even ability to function and that emotion is guilt. I live my life in constant fear of hurting people because the guilt associated with it is too much. At the age of 32 I still don't drive because I'm terrified that I could kill someone.


I have a hard time with employment for the same reasons, this is all despite going to honors classes and at one point being fast tracked through school to earn my MD. Now thanks to my fear of guilt I can't even hold down a crappy job at Dillards.


Here's an example at Dillards. I had been working there for 6 months when I read in the news that a sweatshop in Bangladesh burnt down killing 600 people who were locked inside sewing cushion covers. The next day at work I read the "Made in" labels and sure enough 'Bangladesh.'


I realized that I was perpetuating this god awful system of exploitation and suffering. I tried to suck it up for the next few months but I couldn't sleep, as I laid in bed I'd think about those poor people burning alive in their factory so I could sell furniture and pillows at discount prices. On the rare occassion I did sleep I'd have nightmares I was in the factory itself.


I know that by me quitting won't change anything but at least I can sleep at night and know I was no longer directly contributing to anyone elses misery.


You'd think finding a job that didn't exploit people would be that hard but it is. You can't make a living without taking it from someone else.


WIthout medicine those feelings of guilt are ten times worse and absolutely self destructive. I still beat myself up because I was a bully in middle school to a kid. He and I are amicable friends now but that guilt never goes away. I could be zonked out watching a documentary and all of a sudden it hits me right in the face.


I don't know what to do about it honestly, but I can't keep feeling this way. I go out of my way not to hurt other people or exploit them in any way even if it means suffering myself and when other people exploit me it is a major trigger.


Anyway, I think that if I truly want to get a handle on my anger I'll have to handle my guilt first so that is my focus for now.


Guilt is absolutely a healthy emotion and something you should feel when you do something wrong or hurt someone but at a certain point it only serves to be self-destructive and I've got to figure out a way to cut it off.

Offline Lon

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 01:55:22 AM »
ATM..hugs. I gotta point out something that isnt too obvious at first..and we all do it. You are trying to fix your broken brain with the same brain that thinks using was/is a great idea.

Step one; "We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanagable."

Meetings sponsor, steps with that sponsor.
"In this program, the first thing we do is stop using drugs. At this point, we begin to feel the pain of living without drugs or anything to replace them. The pain forces us to seek a Power greater than ourselves that can relieve our obsession to use."
"Narcotics Anonymous" copyright by NAWS

Offline Atm142

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Re: New member frustrated venting.
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 01:39:24 PM »
Sorry I haven't wrote in awhile my laptop crapped out so I'm posting from my very unhelpful phone. Still 'clean' still on drt. I wanted to share a very neat though very corny exercise I discovered while reading some psychology texts. I find it pretty useful in calming me down and helping me move on but again it's corny as heck. Maybe it can help someone else too.


When I'm feeling anxious or guilty and maybe a panic attack coming on I picture myself as a child sitting there trembling and I say all the things I wish someone would say to me. During this time I remind myself these minutes are dedicated to me being anxious and it is totally fine to feel this way but I remind myself that when the time passes I need to pick myself up and focus on something positive.


Pretty corny right? It also makes me think about what and how I talk to my daughter as she grows though.


 Anyway, my second dad just passed away from lung cancer so after I bury him on Friday I'm going to redouble my efforts on quitting nicotine. I realize now I use cigarettes as an outlet for my anxiety.


And sure, I am looking for ways to fix my brain but there is no permanent fix. I'm just looking for ways to make it through each and everyday without harming myself or anyone else and staying a contributing positive member of society.