Confessions of a prescription junkie

Admitting that you have a problem is one of the most difficult things to do. Doesn’t matter what it is, admitting and accepting it inside, can be agonisingly painful.

Over the past two years I have had to admit a number of ‘weaknesses’ which I have spent months and months, even years denying. Fear of others opinions and judgements, what the consequences will be if I admit to whatever it might be, how I will manage and losing friends or family.

Mental health illness is scary to admit outloud to anyone. Some people react negatively and make you feel like you are a loser, weak and pathetic. Others are a little more understanding and supportive and then there is having bpd.  No one reacts well to that.

Only my mother did! “ahhhh,” she said, with relief in her tone “that explains a lot and makes a lot of sense.” This was her reaction when I told her what it was. The relief was because it took away any responsibility or ideas of having failed me. She was home and dry. Free from having to accept that she might have fucked up in some way. My behaviour, attitude and failings had nothing to do with her. They are all down to me having a screw loose.

That was hard, but I told those I needed too and have been learning to deal with their reactions, their ignorance, the dismissing and the “you just have to put it all behind you and get on with it.”

What I have found much harder to admit is my addiction to prescription medication. I have admitted it but there’s a part of me that hasn’t wanted to accept it. I push it away and tell myself that I’m taking them because of pain or because it’s the only way to sleep at night.

I can look back and see that my dependency became heavy two years ago. I took a lot every day. But the truth is, I have been using co-codamol frequently since 2011. I was in pain and my original use was for that. But I think on hindsight this was when I became addicted to it physically. I would feel unwell and take it when I felt unwell, but this was probably withdrawal starting up. Psychologically I have been addicted for two years next month.

Whilst I can write it or say it, believing it truly and accepting it has taken far longer and a little part of me still dismisses it and has convinced myself that I take it for valid reasons.

But over the past couple of weeks I have been craving something to make me feel better. Something to make my head quiet and give me some energy or calm and relax me. I suddenly found myself craving a spliff. Last time I smoked a joint was about 13 years ago. I’ve never been able to smoke it really. It would make me really lightheaded and sick. I have collapsed on several occasions and scared the crap out of myself and those who were with me. Needless to say it wasn’t something I could enjoy as the negative effects outweighed the bad.

But then there is coke. I loved it. If I had the money I know where to get it and that I would do it regularly. I’ve craved the feeling it gave me and have wanted it again. However, I don’t have the money and therefore I can’t.

Instead I make do with what I can get. Co-codamol, zopiclone and once in awhile I mess with the quantity of quetiapine.

Co-codamol gives me the most amazing little buzz. It just chills me out like smoking a joint would. I feel calm and less het up about things. I can sit still and just be. It’s perfect most of the time.

Then there is zopiclone. If I get told one more time that it’s not physically addictive I might well punch that person. It is. I’ve tried once to come off it but found myself back on it because of my stupid, uncaring psychiatrist. I needed to sleep and whilst I had done my best to get off it, I wasn’t sleeping, I was manic and my head was just racing with wild thoughts. I just wanted to sleep.

Quetiapine was prescribed in September. Not a big dose but enough to sedate me at night. Mixed with zopiclone it does make me go to sleep. I don’t stay asleep and I have vivid dreams/nightmares. But there have been times when things have been unbearable and I have felt like there is nowhere to turn and I’ve been scared of my thoughts. So I’ve taken more of the quetiapine during the day to keep me calm. I like the feeling it gives me, I feel relaxed and so chilled out. My head stops racing and I am still. I love it.

I’m on weekly scripts at the moment, but I have a few extra from before it went weekly and I save them for when I might need an extra one or two.

I take co-codamol every day. Either first thing or around lunch time and then another couple in the evening. Sometimes I feel ok and don’t, but those nights are far and few between. Zopies I take everynight with quetiapine.

The reason I know that i am addicted is because when I run out or have misplaced them I freak out. I’m agitated, aggressive, irritable. I can’t think about anything else. When I’ve misplaced them I literally become panicked and consumed with searching for them. My husband has witnessed this and has said to me in recent weeks how bad it is to watch me. It’s literally like life or death. I resemble the junkie portrayed in the movies.

I feel ashamed that this is what I become and the fear deep within me of having to go without these pills. If I don’t have them I get over the counter pills instead. Anything with a sedative effect. I can’t cope without that feeling.

I don’t want to be this person, but the idea of not having that feeling, of not taking those little pills is horrible. It’s become like I need them in order to survive. Like oxygen.

Accepting this part of me has been really hard to do. I like to believe that I am in control and that I can manage without. But the thought of not being able to take them, of having to just be me is something which I don’t want to do. I like the feeling and don’t want to give it up.

I feel like such a bad person for admitting how much I like it and that I don’t want to give it up. Understanding the need is something I haven’t got my head around. I’m not sure how much is physical need and how much is psychological. I just know that i don’t want to stop.

I’m slowly realising how quickly I become addicted to things. I have to be so careful with alcohol and food. I can become so engrossed in a subject or tv show that it takes over everything. I don’t know if this is part of the bpd or whether it’s something else. I probably need help but I really don’t think I’m ready or want the help. But is that the addict talking? I no longer recognise who the ‘real’ me is.

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a prescription junkie

  1. I relate so hard to this. When I finally did admit to my prescription addictions, it very quickly felt like a game of whack a mole. Like, if I got control of my pill usage, I was suddenly binge eating. If I got control of the pills and the eating then an old toxic relationship would rear it’s head. I detoxed in 2013, and I still have periods of time where it seems I can’t do anything without first reaching for something to help me through it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since being open and honest it about my addiction it’s been amazing how many people relate to it. I totally agree about your analogy of whack a mole. For me it was self harming and then eating. Its been almost 12 months since i detoxed from the substitute subutex and still these things bother me in much the same way. Currently I’m struggling with huge cravings for co-codamol, i think in part because im dealing with some heavy psychological issues. I admit that in getting clean i thought that i would be ok and be able to move on from the addict part of me, but I’m realising that this is not the case at all.

      Im glad that you wrote and shared your experience. It always means a lot when people interact and share but also it helps me to feel less of a freak and alone in my battles.

      Liked by 1 person

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