So I didn’t stick to my plan to write a few sentences a day about this journey for various reasons. The first being I was dealing with a major injury to my right foot. A stubbed toe turned into nine days of painkillers and 13 days of antibiotics. Not to mention a small procedure on the toe to boot. To boot! Ha!
Because of the injury and the fact that I was suddenly taking 14 pills a day, my decision to venture away from alcohol kind of took a back seat in my vehicle of attention. Consuming that much of anything a day is wildly distracting. Especially when you stand at a grand statuesque 5’1″ and weigh less than 110 pounds.
Pain meds– oh they are a nasty little devil. Never once did I take the pills for fun or when I wasn’t feeling pain. So when the pain subsided after the cure-all procedure, I stopped taking the pills. Never once did I expect what was about to happen.
Staying at The Man’s apartment on Sunday evening, I awoke around 1am burning up beyond belief, shaking, and feeling like my nerves in my body were firing off like enemies in a bloody battle. I couldn’t breathe and had an anxiety and overwhelming sense of dread tear through me. After trying desperately to not disturb him, I finally had to wake The Man up tell him what was happening to me, and ask him to hold me. For the first time in more than a year with my love, I revealed that I do have panic attacks. He was understandably surprised.
The rest of the night was dabbled with spots of sleep accompanied by torturous nightmares of animorphs, violence, and death. The morning brought little relief, followed by a day’s worth of anxiety, dread, shakes, chills, exhaustion, and hot flashes.
I was going through drug withdrawals.
The experience brought me back to a media event I had gone to when I was still a starry eyed college grad fresh from the warm embrace of my comfy Connecticut university. It was about prescription drug abuse. The stories from families who lost loved ones to the hold of drugs were chilling and depressing.
Once you have taken a prescription pain killer, honestly, it feels nice. It’s easy to see why people become addicted. I was not a person looking to enjoy that feeling recreationally. The whole point of 30 days no alcohol is to cleanse and purify. So I was devastated when I had clearly developed a dependence on these pills.
Dependence is not addicted.
My body got used to something and couldn’t handle suddenly not having it.
Many lessons have been learned so far in this journey but my first one I would like to share is the fact that when you hear of someone battling an addiction and they make the choice or are forced to go clean, that is a battle unlike any other. The tiny peek that I got into that world terrified me. It is psychologically and physically tormenting.
If you or anyone close to your life is battling to get clean, may the forces that be guide you all and give the strength to endure. Best of luck.