Being an addict

So whilst I have openly accepted that I had an addiction to codeine, I had some how convinced myself that I wasn’t a ‘true’ addict. I believed that getting clean would mean I would feel better and could move on!

Who the fuck was I kidding?!

Yesterday I met with my drug counsellor and relayed to her the struggle I was having with cravings and urges. I know I was originally prescribed co-codamol for pain relief, and all in all honesty I was probably addicted within a week or so of having it, physically that is. Psychologically is a completely different story and a very different battle.

I can’t recall when I started to take it to calm myself, to numb thoughts and feelings but I know that this is the battle I’m now facing.

The problem is that it’s not just about the co-codamol, but a whole host of other ‘unhelpful’ ways I’ve coped.

For the past week my emotions have been on overdrive and I’ve struggled with them. Having to just sit with them and work through them has been hideous. I don’t like the way I’m feeling, the way that it takes complete control over my entire being. I literally feel like I’m walking on egg shells with myself. The smallest thing triggers me now. Just simple words can cause a problem. I’ve fought back the tears several times and have only let go in front of my counsellor. I’m too scared to cry at home because I don’t think I’ll be able to stop.

My head is full of voices telling me I could do X and it would make me feel better and then this other voice starts up telling me that I can’t.

This was reiterated to me by my drug counsellor on Friday. Apparently even though I’m not an alcoholic I’m a problem drinker so I shouldn’t drink or at least I should think about why I’m drinking. If it’s to numb my feelings then avoiding it all together is the safer option.

I realised that I don’t have a single coping strategy which is helpful. I have often wondered how I made it as far as I did without having a major breakdown. Well it would seem, looking back and being completely honest, I’ve always turned to something to help get me through whatever it was.

Alcohol, self-harming, drugs and sex seem to be my go to coping strategies. Sometimes all of them at the same time at other times maybe one or other but I’ve never sat with anything for long as i can’t deal with it.

So what is I can’t deal with?

I can’t deal with the way I feel. How deep those feelings go and the thoughts that undoubtedly accompany them.

I’ve noticed that when they get too much I get this crazy nervous, tingly, itchy feeling in my arms, into my hands and fingers. It’s almost painful.

I become restless and unable to focus on anything for more than a couple of minutes. I find that I get irritated really easily and my patience is virtually non-existent. Despite the restlessness and the fact I can’t concentrate, I’m bored and just get to the point where I can’t be bothered.

This week, I literally hid in my bed most of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to be downstairs. I just wanted to hide away. I know if there had been any pills I may well have taken them.

Tonight hasn’t been particularly easy. I tried to do some studying for uni. I managed to do some but I got frustrated and pissed off. My mood fell and I just felt like a complete fraud. I’ve got this sinking feeling that this is just too much for me and therefore I’m a complete failure.

The inner demons got too much and I had a drink. I couldn’t have given a fuck if it was a bad idea or not. I just wanted to switch off and chill.

I’ve got some seriously bad thoughts in my head at the moment and as hard as I’m fighting them, I’m getting really fucking tired of having to tell myself no to every way that I know how to cope because it’s either unhealthy or its an addiction waiting to happen.

I’m having the hardest time dealing with all these weaknesses. Dealing with the past. Taking responsibility for my life… Apparently it’s an important part of self regulation. But I don’t know how I’m meant to take responsibility for my life, for the past which I can’t handle and which I get told isn’t my fault. I’m so confused about how I’m meant to deal with things and what I’m supposed to think.

Yesterday I was referred to the relapse prevention programme. It runs for 8 weeks and is a group thing. I’m anxious about going but perhaps it will help. I’m also going to be meeting with an occupational therapist who it’s hoped will be able to help me control my anxiety. Since being sober it seems my anxiety is easier to read and I’m struggling to control all aspects of it.

I’m doing better in many areas, but it’s still a massive problem and now that I’ve not got anything keeping me calm I don’t hide it very well. The so called mask seems to have slipped on several occasions and I feel quite exposed and vulnerable.

I know I’ve got lots of support and I’m trying my best to embrace it and fight as best as I can.

But like I said to my friend today, I feel a massive amount of pressure and a sense of guilt if i slip up given the amount of help I have.

I don’t want to let any of these people down.

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