This piece isn’t easy for me to write. These past two months have been tough, really tough in fact. I’ve had to take a good hard look at myself and I’ve had a big shock at what I’ve seen. Let me explain the best I can.
About a year ago I was going to school and struggling with some very personal problems. My sister-in-law and brother had brought home their new baby and I was having a very hard time with emotions that I wasn’t expecting at all. I found myself fearful all the time and fighting panic. The baby would cry and I would feel the need to run away, to escape and quite frankly I became very ill. I began to abuse my prescription medications to relieve the stress I was feeling as a result of these overwhelming emotions washing over me all the time. I now know and understand that by doing this I was adding to my problems but at the time it felt like the only way to get through the ordeal. It’s an old pattern in my family, but that isn’t an excuse. I knew better but kept going ignoring all the warning signs that things were going from bad to worse. Finally, the last weekend in June I was hospitalized with severe confusion. They took me off all of my medications and kept me two nights and three days.
The next part is very hard to explain. I “woke up” you might say, a different person than I had been for months. You see for around ten months I had been so drugged and out of it that I don’t remember much of that time period. I came home from the hospital to find my nephew a ten-month old child instead of the newborn I remembered and a lot of our household “rearranged”. I felt like a stranger in my own home. Instead of feeling like I had been gone a few days I felt like I had returned from a long trip. I sat in the bedroom I had occupied for all that time and didn’t feel like it was mine, it was like it belonged to someone else. I was severely disoriented and afraid. I knew I had messed up my brain pretty badly but it wasn’t until I opened my drug box and began looking that I realized just how horribly I had treated myself. My God! There were 90 pills missing from one bottle that should have lasted me at least two more weeks! I have a history of dissociating and losing time but, wow. This was amazing. My brother told me he had suspected for quite some time that I was “not myself” but that he was afraid to confront me because I would become angry and defensive.
Why am I admitting to all of this? What do I hope to gain by airing my dirty laundry on the internet? It is my hope that by writing this piece I can keep others from making my mistakes. Prescription meds CAN BE dangerous! Just as dangerous, in fact, as illegal ones! Maybe even more so because they can be rationalized away. The statistics of deaths from opoids (prescription pain medications) are staggering! If you don’t believe me look it up yourself! There are literally thousands of people around my age (56) who are dying every year accidentally by over dosing on these drugs which many choose to believe are harmless because their doctors prescribe them. There is a reason you can’t buy these drugs and others that come from the Pharmacy over the counter, they are regulated for a reason! They CAN BE dangerous!!!
I’ve had to eat a lot of humble pie these past eight weeks, have gone through severe withdrawal and taken a major hit to my self-esteem. My Therapist says I need to learn to love me even knowing the fact that I can mess up so badly. I’m hoping by writing this blog I can find a little inner-peace. No, I’m not a bad person. I’m an average person who was trying to cope with a bad situation and chose a rotten path to follow.
I’m not proud of my behavior and I’m not proud of some of the things I did while using. I ask anyone I have harmed for their forgiveness and I am beginning to give myself permission to move on from here. Where my life path and God will lead me is unclear right now, but it has to be better than where I was headed, an early grave.
“Look yourself square in the face and admit all of your flaws and virtues exist. Because only then can you begin to move forward.” Author Unknown