I'm 25 and my story with substance dependency and addiction goes back ~4 years (I know everyone emphasizes the difference between the two, but can't it be both?)
I have allllways suffered from chronic depression and by that I mean, no particular event triggered this, it's not a temporary state that needed to be treated, it is one that has always existed and because of that, along with similarities on one side of the family that do not exist on the other, I honestly believe it's absurd to neglect that certain people have a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be treated... just like... somebody who needs corrective lenses for poor vision or any kind of PHYSICAL disability; we're all composed different mentally just like we are physically.
So when I finally expressed my symptoms, that now included (I guess) panic attacks, sleepless nights, uncontrollable worrying, etc, my primary care physician at the time put me on Lexapro and Xanax to be taken as needed.
...And boy, did that help. Unfortunately, however, "tolerance" kicked in, and eventually I was back to my previous state, however, still taking the medication to avoid maintain and avoid withdrawal because, I have a job where I sit in a chair in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, if I went into any inpatient treatment to recover, it would be at the expense of my job that I can't afford to lose, and so obviously, I'm kind of trapped in a setting where I fear withdrawal because the symptoms that come with it would quite easily cost me... my job.
So... I realize I wrote a lot already ( I have a tendency to do that, hopefully I didn't lose anyone yet)... and I'll try to get to the point a lot quicker now.
After about a year... quit Lexapro CT (no big deal because it's not addictive) and just stayed on Xanax... every morning before work I took it... for 2.5 years.
AT that point, I turned to hydrocodone, because, even though it's a pain medication, it gave me more mental relief than anything else ever did... and I would bluff every time to get it,.
Hydrocodone enabled me to CT off Xanax EFFORTLESSLY. For all the talk of seizures from benzo withdrawal and whatnot, I didn't feel a single withdrawal symptom as long as I was on the painkillers the entire day. For the record, prior to taking painkillers, I experimented coming off xanax a couple times and frankly my mind was in a state of hell so that I got right back on em each time.
But everything came at a price,... I used to be a workout fanatic, the endorphin high I got from lifting ~4 times a week was very helpful to me. Plus, it helped me put on a front like I was a very healthy, hardworking individual, with no mental issues.
And on hydro all day, it got to a point where (once again) tolerance kicked in, it became less effective, and it robbed me of my motivation towards my #1 hobby of working out.
So I looked for help, and emphasized the fact that at my job I could not afford withdrawal and that's when methadone was prescribed to ease WD and make it less intense (but obviously prolonged)
2 months later I knew it was time to quit the methadone. Since I failed at tapering, I was forced to do this cold turkey.
10 days later... I feel worse than ever... I don't sleep... and it drives me crazy. I feel like I'm in hell all the time. When I'm at work, I feel like I'm in prison. Today I also made an uncharacteristic mistake at work but instead of dealing with it, I went home an hour early without telling anyone because I just can't cope with it. This is what I feared all along, I knew it would happen like this, and it did.
10 days in..... I don't know how long this is going to take.. but today has been worse than the previous 9 days. And yesterday was worse than the previous 8 days.
For the record, when I was 4 days in, I was amazed at how well I was doing "clean" for the first time in 4 years... but just as soon as I thought I was fortunate, it all took a dive
So finally here's the question
Is this withdrawal or is this just me? The person that 4 years ago sought help because of a state of mind that required treatment... I feel like I'm in the same boat as people who take pain meds for real physical pain, but after a while, get so sick of the BS that comes with it that they want to come off that medication, but the pain is still there.,.. so it's like a "can't win" situation
I can't even tell whether my symptoms are withdrawal and/or pre-existing mental issues because I'm so messed up right now. I could be thinking of something good and then a moment later I'll have what feels like a mental surge of frustration. Or something crazy like that.
I don't want to be dependent on medication, but maybe I have to be. Because I don't think I can live without it. but at the same time, this is still a lot worse than I felt before I started taking meds, so I don't know.
Thanks for reading and any feedback is very much appreciated =)
Edit: 1. No discussion of any illegal activity or threats of violence. (ie. illicit drug use or exchange, threats of suicide or self-injury, or threatened or intended physical harm).
Discussions of suicide or self-harm are deemed negative and also not permitted.
Your input is greatly appreciated here, I do hope you understand why I have had to edit this post. Thank you ~ Kitt
Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 7/17/2010 6:46:20 AM (GMT-6)