The final phase of recovery

By luckyeppie · Aug 16, 2011 · ·
  1. luckyeppie
    So, I've been drug free for 5 years, been on a long journey that began at aged 17 with a small speed habit, then moved on to small smack n general downers habit, then lucky escape to 4 years clean, then many recreational drugs, then full time skunkdom for 5 years, now am clean 5 years.

    Since age 27, have been seeking help for MH problems and have been doing in depth weekly psychotherapy for 8 1/2/ years now.

    During that time I have addressed many patterns of behaviour ranging from abusive relationships, living in dangerous housing, staying in shit working conditions etc, all of which have involved having some kind of persona and using denial. Managed my smack cravings with combination of denial and fear - in my using days I was mixing with poor lost souls stuck way down at the bottom and coming from a comfy middle class background it scared the shit out of me, was never under any illusions of being able to have a hidden habit, they dont last.... I have no doubt that all the people I knew back then are now long dead, they were virtually there then.

    In the last 2 years, all my defenses have been striped away, I have no denial structure in my life and nobody and nothing to need one for. I am a recluse and not ready to re-enter society until I can trust my own judgement about what is good for me and what is not. So even though I'm nearly 40, in many ways I have gone back to feeling like a teenager and I need to restructure my personality and behaviour from the ground up, but this time in a healthy way.

    Because I'm a teenager again, the things that drove me to smack are back with a vengence. I'm not in danger of actually using again, but the cravings are oh so bad. I'm back to being totally lost again, not knowing who I am and finding the only comfort is indulging the impulse to seek oblivion as the only way I know how to deal with having such a broken and fragmented personality.

    It all started to go wrong for me as an infant, my mum never bonded properly with me and always blew hot and cold so I started life as a very insecure toddler - I never played with other kids, I just didn't trust them. Couple that with being abused by a relative from infancy and it was never going to go well for me. On the face of it I had a nice comfortable life, we were lower middle class, had a nice house, a yearly holiday, always enough food on the table etc. But there was so much denial that led to neglect also. I gave out so many signals of the abuse and the only person to pick it up was my headmaster at aged 5, but my parents refused to believe it or take action. I just used to get blamed for being antisocial, like I was born that way. Then there were things like not knowing if I was loved or hated, depending on my mother's moods (she is bipolar I think) and on top of that a Dad who was so hellbent on denying his own terribly abusive childhood that they only way he knew how to live was to ban all anger and problems in the house - if we were ever upset, we were told "you're just never happy with what you've got" and sent to our room till we could come down and pretend everything was ok again.

    One time I broke my arm, but even though my mum was a nurse, it took her 5 days and me screaming in pain before she took me to the hospital - that was indicative of how much they were prepared to pretend that nothing was ever wrong. I suffered extreme bullying all the way through school due to my lack of social skills with my peers, but was always told that it was my own fault and to stop whining.

    So teenagehood beckoned and I rebelled big style. Daily massive rows with parents, lost my virginity at 14 and then slept with anything that moved - had my first experience with MJ at around same time and it set off a desire in me that festered until I rediscovered it when I moved out alone to the city at aged 17. Drugs became the only thing that provided stability, I knew what I was getting with drugs - they were far more reliable and predicable than people had ever been in my life. Inevitably the drugs then also became unreliable, the differing qualities of gear, the days without, the not knowing when I could get the next fix, etc. So as well as putting myself in danger with truly dangerous people (organised crime) I also began to get really scared about the path towards the game that I was heading down fast fast.

    So I got out on the last train, went travelling, stayed away from hard drugs and started to reconstruct a new life. When I returned to get a job to make more money for travelling, I met a man and desperate to get my parents approval I married him and even had a kid, even though I knew deep down that this could never work. I pretended to live just as my parents had done, owned my own house, had a good job, a happy marriage etc. But it was never real, he was abusive, i was miserable and scared and I left him when my daughter was 18 months old. Then drugs began to reappear in my life - my old reliable crutch. Always stayed away from smack, but everything else was fair game, anything I could get my hands on without going near serious dealers. But most of these recreational drugs were uppers and I wanted oblivion, so the only was for me to get that in a 'safe' way was to go to skunk heaven full time, which I did for 5 years. Kicked it with the help of therapy.and have been free of all illegal drugs for 5 years.

    But I do get valium legit for anxiety - a pathetically small dose but I always take more than I should. This has been a very rare treat and I never considered it a problem - till now. Now I'm a teenager again, it doesn't want to be a rare treat, it wants me to be off my face several times a day. Actually what it really really wants is smack and I dont think enything else will ever do for that young part of me.

    Anyway I've been angsting for the past few days as I've tried and failed to manage the cravings and have blown my carefully stockpiled stash and have been more off my head in lovely benzoland than I have been since I was 18. I was going mad yesterday, panicking about the cravings, but also panicking about how I was ever going to got hold of enough stock to keep it up, the measly dosage I'm supposed to take gets ramped up to 8 or 10 times what I'm supposed to take and if I get my usual allowance (for 3 weeks) it'll be gone in a few days and then what will I do?? Panic panic....

    So very reluctantly I phoned my therapist yesterday, the first thing on my mind being that he is going to phone my GP and tell him not to give me any valium, which very nearly stops me from ringing him but the prospect of running out anyway means I just have to stop the cravings - there's no other answer - I'm not going to score illegally as this would put me too much at risk of more damaging temptations - cant stay clean if it's offered me on a plate, no way I'm strong enough for that.

    I LOVE MY THERAPIST!! Not only does he get me to understand why I am craving just now, he says there's no purpose in remaining in such distress - no sleep, no food, constant tears and fear etc. So if valium is going to help with that, then take it - at least it's safe in comparison to what I could be doing - It's pharmaceutical so it's reliable and I know what i'm going to get, this is obviously very importnant for that young part right now and stopping it's distress is important. At the same time, we will work in therapy towards finding other ways to help that young part without turning to drugs, which we know is not the long term answer. But for now? Just do it, it's not that dangerous compared to street drugs. Yippee, I can get high and I dont have to feel guilty about it!!

    Now I have to work out how to get enough supply off the doctors to keep me happy for a while - I went to a new doc this am and got a temp script for 3 times what i normally get - obviously didn't tell him the truth about why I wanted it, lol. Now i go see my regular gp tomorrow, who is a compete pushover and see what else i can get. What other benzos can i get my hands on? I know that i quickly become tolerant to diazepam, any suggestions anyone??

    So long term plan - get over this short phase of highness, work hard in therapy to rebuild personality without drugs and then in theory I will finally be the person I should have been and life will be better. I'll keep you posted!

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  1. luckyeppie
    WARNING: Obviously this is a safe route for me to take as I am 20 years off hard drugs with very strong resolve not to go back and have constant professional support - I would caution anyone out there NOT to think that this might be safe for them to do - GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FIRST! Hope that's not patronising but I would feel neglectful and irresponsible if i didn't say it.

  2. sassyspy
    I appreciate you posting this, LuckyE. Though our drug of choice is different, and I don't have 20 years clean yet, I will!
    I can so thoroughly understand the needs that drove your addiction. Same here, but I've a long way to go to be where you are.
    Don't give up (I already know you won't) but try to find something that takes your mind off the cravings. I've been experimenting with guided imagery, its quite good.
  3. luckyeppie
    Thank you xxx Good luck to you too :)
  4. Moving Pictures
    This just has "bad idea" written all over it. You're going to get a raging benzo addiction to get over your heroin cravings. That's just replacing one addictive drug for antoher. Why don't you work with your therapist to figure out ways to get over the cravings without using other drugs? That seems like the sensible thing to do.

    You are aware of how addictive benzos are right? How bad the withdrawal is? (worse than opiates) You're not going to just be able to party for a few months on benzos, kick 'em, go to your shrink and fix what's wrong, and then move on with life. Won't happen in a million years. You're just saying that so you'll have an excuse to get high.

    Oh, and you are not drug free anymore. Abusing benzos (even if they're prescribed by a doctor) makes you a drug user.

    There's the cold truth. Use it how you see fit.
  5. darkcharmer
    I agree about the benzos. In fact, withdrawing benzos is often considered worse than withdrawing from heroin (for one, benzo withdrawal can kill you, whereas heroin withdrawal alone can't). If you're truly feeling anxiety, I highly recommend looking into SSRIs instead. They're much more sustainable in the long-term, don't have the abuse potential of benzodiazepines, and are considerably easier to get off of. They can be tricky to taper, for sure, but it's not even in the same ballpark as trying to get off benzos or opiates.

    Try to avoid the benzos: you're setting yourself up for absolute hell in the near future.
  6. luckyeppie
    Thanks but can't take SSRI's, they make me hypomanic. I don't usually take them for longer than a week at a time and then normally with several months in between. Only been freaking out lately due to closely spaced hypos and lots cravings, but all is well again now. I don't say I'm clean for no reason, compared to where I have been, a few valium for a few days every few months for my mental health problems - which is what they're for - do me no harm. This is the first time in 5 years I've felt the need to get high with them and as my therapist predicted, the cravings are now gone.

    Thanks Darkcharmer for your post. Moving Pictures, your post may have meant well, but it was very aggressive and unsupportive, perhaps you'd have liked to have put "and I wash my hands of you" at the end? Do you know what it's like being hypomanic? My therapist has known me for 9 years and as usual his advice (for me) was spot on. I DID make it clear that his advice was meant for me only and was not to be taken as read as good advice for anyone else.
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