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Very scared about what I HAVE to do........

(40 Posts)
Redline Mon 08-Oct-12 04:48:10

OK to be Concise (if not brief)? The reason this is in Relationships rather than General Health since that question will no doubt be asked when this is done & thread created? Is because the Effects of the problem I'm having here are utterly destroying me in many areas of RL & nowhere more than in my RL relationships? And? I think I'm prob' going to need some hand-holding for this as what I now have to do (I see that) & in some ways a process that I've have already started? Isn't something I'm looking forward to & that's putting it mildly

Anyway my name is Redline (Simon in RL but Redline will do for here) and I admit (at Looooooooong last) I have a Very Bad (indeed) addiction to Painkillers. The problem is? Due to surgery that Should have killed me 7 years ago (I lost nearly 3 pints of blood after it went wrong & Should have died but didn't) & the subsequent insertion of steel plates into my face after said op'? Not to mention my ascent from what can only be called the lowest circles of Hell on Earth a very dark, deep well to get back to being even Halfway normal & fit by normal people's standards? (I could only move my little finger immediately after the op' & had to learn to eat, drink, shave, walk, the Lot from scratch over 2 years after the op').

But due to all that? The op' left me 2 Very nasty souvenirs of it & the difficulties I went through to recover from it - 1 was Very bad nosebleeds that gradually faded but still happen from time to time & the other? Awful (feeling like I've been smashed around the head with an axe or hit with a baseball bat) migraines & headaches that make my head feel like it's splitting apart like you would Not believe. And these come at any time, any place out of the blue so I call them "flashfire" headaches. They are horrible, crippling, Very nasty things & along with what they've led to me needing to combat them? Have basically ruined my life. sad

I find it very hard to find Any work now due to How long I was recovering from the op' & associated NDE & as a result of those headaches? I was soon after the op' (was in 2005) prescribed what is now the Real problem Codeine painkillers. I was OK for a while with them - a number of years even but gradually? (& I Know how this goes as am the brother & son & nephew of nurses) I began to take more as what I had? Wasn't doing the job & removing the headaches & then? Eventually the doctor took me off the Codiene when I told him what it was doing at my former evil witch fiancee's urgings (prob' the last good thing she did for me to end 6 years of torture with her); Trouble is? He then put me on something called Zapain which is Codiene & paracetomol combined & now? I'm using them more than Ever when I have them 6-8 sometimes more each day & when not them? I often bought other Codiene based PK's between prescriptions. Anyway I Want to bring all this to a dead stop now & Never go back to it as my life is changing & I've met someone who I really care & don't want to hurt but? It's proving slightly less than easy to put it mildly to remove myself from the grip of those tablets........

When (as I'm trying again now) I've tried to stop using them? I've had the works temperatures/terrible stomach/running to the loo/Utterly Awful headaches (worse even than the "flashfire" ones/shivering/dizziness & tiredness/lethargy/laying in bed for hours utterly drained & thus far? My need has proven stronger than my will to stop though I've had some terrible battles in Trying to stop? I've not yet managed to, not fully. However? Not only are the mood swings I'm experiencing with & without these tablets doing severe damage to my relationships within my family (my father & sister Hate me, my mother & brother are embarrassed at times but Want to help me - they All row with me frequently & at least one of them has prob' guessed Why I'm the way I now am; Though I've said nothing about this to them). I've become at times short, irritable, snappy, even angry at stupid little things & other times? I get on great with people & the kids in our family (particularly my bro's 1 year old girl-my lovely niece) love me & most of them (barring my mum & sister who are a former & present nurse)? Don't suspect what's wrong with me or the real reason I am the way I am as I'm very good at hiding things when I want to & have my own home. Now though? I've had enough of this - something snapped the other night when I realised the state I was in & I knew it was time to draw a line in the sand & never step back across it.......

This isn't just for me either? I want to do this for My son to? He's 3 years old & I don't want the wreck I've become to be the way He remembers his dad when older whatever physical difficulties I've had since 2005 quite aside from all this (more than a few). Further? I've recently met a woman who I believe is "The One" & though we did argue a lot over one particular subject that's gradually now being resolved? We don't tend to row over much else & enjoy talking to one another; The thing is? I told Her about all this earlier tonight & what it's doing to me - the struggle I've gone/am going through (inc' how I buy other PK's sometimes to 'fill in' for the codeine due to my 'flash-fire' headaches etc) Trying to wean myself (latest attempt began last Fri' night) from the codeine for good & all time? The hell I normally have due to those damn face-plates etc? I told her all this & she was really upset & disappointed in me stating even that I've "lost the plot" in hiding everything the way I do from those I love & putting My needs before those of my family & child.

She then said some of my behaviour of late as well has sounded "vile" (which it has been - snapping at people, banging doors, becoming irritable etc) and needs sorting out but now I've told her this? She understands the cause & is prepared to help me get through this & come out the other side. She's a good woman & just Who I need & have needed to meet for a long while I think & I can't Bear the though of losing her yet tonight? I get the impression that by speaking about all this without thinking? I've (not for the first time) terribly hurt her & really disappointed her & as I've grown to care for her So very much? That really upsets me & I want to bring an end to all this re' the PK's & this time? Make it permanent & Never go back to them, not ever. However despite her upset, at the same time? I got the impression this woman really cared about & Would try to be there for me; I Don't want to disappoint or upset her anymore & am trying to do the right thing partly as she's prob' the only one I care for other than my son (& family) & the first person (never mind woman) I've opened up to about all this before tonight & partly as I Know this has to end somewhere & it's not going to be the end of me while I've got a little boy who I intend to see grow.

Anyway as I said? The ladies reaction helped changed something; It hardened the conviction I'd gotten to myself the other night that things Can't go on like this & resolved me to continue my self-begun crusade to free myself of this drug (and it is that isn't it?) Further? Her reaction prompted this little novel in fact as without hearing her disappointment earlier & realising just What she means to me? I doubt I'd have noticed anything was wrong & gone back to the PK's soon enough; However? Something is, Very wrong with me & I see that now; Which is why I'm Trying rope & grapnel in hand to ascend from Hell once more & become normal & Never dependent on those horrible things again!! >looks at compass (pointing North), fires grapnel & begins to climb walls to distant light above with intrepid expression on face<

I feel a mess - I Am a mess; Am I doing the right thing anyone reading? Is anyone there to hold my hand in this? I'm Really afraid of what's coming in this "Cold Turkey" process (Started since last Friday at 2AM & it's already become a Real battle sad ); I'm going tomoz' (today?) to see my doc' on the Lady I care for's advice & get a battle plan a set plan in moving myself away from this dependence for good but Can I see it through? Will my willpower hold out? I just don't know - hold my hand please or send a hug if reading this - I think I might need it. I just want to make the people in my life happy (her) & proud of me (my little boy) & return to someone like Who I was years ago before ever hearing the words Pain Killers; I do Not any longer desire being a PK dependent, desperate near-zombie who feels like an utter freak (& spends more time asleep than awake) as I have been now for more years than I can remember - is that to much to ask? I hope not; Here's hoping for some hands to hold or hugs if poss'? Something tells me I might need them before all this is over. Oh well, here goes nothing.........sad sad

PrincessSymbian Fri 26-Oct-12 10:19:56

Yes, do tell your family, addiction thrives on secrecy (or so I've been told).
Do ask for support, whether that be a community addiction thingy, aa or equivalent, or another type of support group or a counsellor, it will help.
Try and start pondering the idea that when you are having low moments, there are ways and means of pulling yourself out of them.
Try googling DBT, it is a form if therapy originally developed for people suffering borderline personality disorder but it is also very good for depression/addiction and chronic pain.
Another person offering a hand and wishing you the best of luck on what happens next.

FruitbatAuntie Fri 26-Oct-12 00:36:27

How are things going, Redline?

Absolutely agree with everything Beckamaw has written in the previous post!

Beckamaw Sat 20-Oct-12 10:22:12

Stumbling back in Redline.
Addiction is such a painful bedfellow because it a personal relationship that you try to manage solo. You can try to hide it, deny it, ignore it for another day. It just keeps eating you.
First step to recovery is the admission to loved ones. That is really hard, so congratulations.
I remember being referred to a psychoanalyst, who did his best to dredge through my upbringing for a reason. The reason was nothing other than my own stupidity in thinking I could enjoy it and then stop when I wanted.

I wish you the courage to face this, head on. It's such a hard thing to do. I don't think you would have posted if you were going to keep using though.
And I am everso proud of you! smile

I hope your lady realises how lucky she is and fights this by your side.

musicalendorphins Sat 20-Oct-12 08:42:08

Hi Redline
I am sorry to hear of your chronic pain, and subsequent narcotic addiction. Please take your time in slowly lowering your dose of narcotics. It will make it safer and easier for you, to do it gradually.
You may find your pain is stronger in the beginning, but as your body gets used to not being numbed, it will decrease...and be easier.
Glad you have spoken to your doctor and are doing it under his/her guidance.
Some people I know who have weaned themselves off narcotics increased their drinking of water and added a daily vitamin. I am not sure the vitamins helped, but drinking water will.
If you have diarrhea or nausea, take medications to ease it. I know many people, mostly older people, who have pain pumps or take very strong meds for pain. They usually have a lot of metal or fusions in their bodies, or failed spine surgery.
You may still need medication for migraines, you may not...it isn't a crime...and taken properly, when having a bad pain day, is not something you need to be ashamed of.
Best case scenerio, you will be able to function without any pain meds!
Hang in there, and good luck.

FruitbatAuntie Fri 19-Oct-12 17:59:29

Hi Redline, I couldn't read this thread and not post.

I too have been EXACTLY where you are - I was (am?) addicted to codeine, and was taking anywhere between 300mg - 800mg of the stuff a day, either as codeine phospate tablets, then once my GP refused to give me any more, nurofen plus/solphadeine max/co-codamol etc. I took ridiculously dangerous quantities of ibruprofen at once, absolutely detested myself for doing so, knew exactly how dangerous it was, yet Could Not Stop. The withdrawal was just too awful whether I tried cold turkey or reduction methods.

I became addicted after major surgery and have a long standing very painful problem with my pelvis. I have now not taken a single tablet containing codeine for over 15 months.

I eventually went to the GP in despair and demanded to be referred to the local community drugs team. Previously I had just been told to reduce gradually, which I know works for most people but didn't for me as I suspect I tried to do it too fast.

I was lucky to get an appointment with the drugs team within 2 weeks (not the case in many areas of the UK, I know) and a couple of days later I started on Buprenorphine (Subutex) at a very low dose. Codeine is a very short lasting opiate so you get withdrawals very quickly, this is why it's so hard to stop.

From the day I started taking the buprenorphine, I have felt... normal. Not euphoric like I did on codeine, just normal. No withdrawal symptoms, no sweats, anxiety, snappiness, sleeplessness... it's bliss after years of waking in pain and anxiety every day, my life revolving around those bloody tablets. It's a long-acting opiate so you don't get the highs and lows of codeine.

I'm now having my dosage reduced very very slowly, I could in honesty cut down much faster as I haven't had any particulr withdrawal symptoms, but I don't want to mess up again. I should be FREE very soon (I guess that may be where the hard work of never going back to this begins, eh? I know how easy that one is!)

I am thinking of you and hope with all my heart that the plan works well for you. If you slip up or find it too hard, don't be scared to go back to your GP and ask for a referral to a specialist team for more help.

I also second the recommendation for the codeinefree website/forums, it's very helpful.

Redline Fri 19-Oct-12 06:02:14

smile to you to Remind me' ; I'm still here & still holding up; <holds remindme's hand> TY for your support; It's helping;

TY Beckamaw; I look forward to speaking again soon to & hope I can be one of those on "the other side" of addiction like you who understands but is through it soon enough & that I can see jut how amazing it is on that side;

Haha re' the baby - reminds me of my son only 2 years back when he wasn't yet 1; You get some sleep Miss; Speak again soon & TY for writing. Back to the treadmill for me to now smile

Beckamaw Fri 19-Oct-12 04:41:55

Hello Redline,
Just popping in to offer some support too.
I understand addiction, only too well. It is a rough ride, but when you get to the other side, things get quite amazing!
Anyway, I hope you're doing OK.
The small baby that I was attending to has just dropped off to sleep. That's my cue to follow suit before jumping back on the treadmill of real life in an hour or so.
All the best and speak soon. smile

smile

Redline Wed 17-Oct-12 08:44:34

TY Remindme? your support means a lot Miss; <Accepts huge hugs & gives Remindme' Big bearhug back> I'm in a slightly better place again now? Babysteps & I'll get there fingers crossed........

TY to Standyourground & all others who wrote/write? All your support means a lot & always will.............smile

Hello! I'm pleased you've posted again, I was worried when you'd disappeared for a few days. Sending huge hugs. I've not got anything profound to say but I'm here to keep giving you support.

Hi there.

My name is Stand Your Ground, and I too, have been addicted to painkillers.

What helped me is:
I went to my gp and tolod him the whole, sorry story. He referred me to the local addiction unit to have some to talk to about regularly and to help me with giving up, strategies for getting off and staying off. They really know their stuff and have been a massive help to me - they don't judge you and will never 'tell you off.'

I reduced down. Very Gradually. I don't envy you trying to go the 'cold turkey' route, personally I find it too massively painful and as some one with a part time job and a daughter I find I need to be more functional - it's almost cruel to put yourself through one agonsiing detox after another - don't do it, there is another way!

Once I had managed to get my painkillere use down to a reasonable but stil very dangerous amount my doctor prescribed me subutex which for a period of time until my body had got rid of the codeine.

I didn't feel sweaty or in pain, I felt a bit tired, dizzy and tearful, but to be honest I was pleasantly surprised how well I felt!

The codeine lows are truly awful and will trick you into thinking the only positive thing in life is to take lots of tablets to cope - but this is A Lie and a much better life is out there for you if you can accept the help of others to stop. Whatever happens, good days or bad days, be utterly honest and let people know how you feel and how hard this is. Let them know that you love them and you are doing your best.

This site www.codeinefree.me.uk/ is very helpful
Encourage your family to get help with coping with your addiction too if they would find it helpful - suggest it anyway, it helps them realise that you inderstand how difficult this is for them.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 16-Oct-12 11:44:18

Hi Redline. I saw your OP last week but didn't join in because I don't have any helpful experience, but I think you're really brave. It's a shame you and the girlfriend are both going through stuff at the moment that means neither of you are in the best place to support the other. Can your GP help with a bit of advice and encouragement? As I say, I don't have particularly relevant experience but it stands to reason that when you're breaking out of an addiction you feel worse before you feel better. Your chemical balance will be all to pot, it's only to be expected. But there may be something he can recommend to help you through it (hopefully not more chemicals! but a technique, a lifestyle change, a support group, sort of thing).

RobotLover68 Tue 16-Oct-12 11:01:45

Redline - I failed many times before to give up - not really sure why I had the strength to do it this time - I just knew I couldn't carry on like that - keep trying, you can do it

I've had my own share of demons to deal with (crippling depression) so in some way I've been there. I think you're incredibly brave & strong to admit your addiction & try to overcome it. It WILL get better I'm sure but there will be times when you think it never can. You just need to get as much support as you can during those times, whether on here or in RL, or both. You can do it <hugs>

Redline Tue 16-Oct-12 05:39:16

TY MrsHB- Appreciate that Miss; <holds hand lightly> And believe me (re' the addiction)? Prey you never do know anything about it; It's a horrible, awful, truly evil curse upon one's soul affliction to suffer from or be hooked drawn into. You're not missing anything believe me - quite the opposite in fact; You're Much better off away from all that. TY again for listening Miss. I appreciate that someone's up listening even at this hour to my often desperate sad ramblings..........

I just wish I could feel happier again now? One step at a time I guess; Should come down soon I think - it's dangerous up here...........
<squeezes hand slightly & holds tighter>

Well you're not alone & I will hold your hand for a bit, although I know nothing about codeine addiction.

Redline Tue 16-Oct-12 05:15:02

Hi sorry not posted for a while - Remindme'? Not really - don't know why (though I suspect my dad & grandad being unwell of late, a real battle with my on/off 'partner' in real life re' something dear to her & most of all missing my son so very much after he went home for another 2 weeks after the weekend here all have much to do with it alongside the endless bitter war I am trying to wage on my horrible codiene addiction sad) but? I feel lower right now than I have at any time in recent months right back to that truly awful time in the middle of summer when I was in the middle of not seeing my son for 4 months & 1 week & wondering if I ever will again?

Right now I feel so depressed, upset, down, tired & apathetic that I just wonder if I should even bother trying anymore? Never mind going on longterm - I don't know where this latest assault of dark clouds & a truly evil vicious depression I get from time to time has come from - it's rather sprung on me here but right now? I really do feel down - Maybe I'm not as far along the path as I thought..............

Feel sad right now. Sorry sad sad sad

Thanks Robotlover - guess I'll thank you for that >>holds hands<< I feel like I really need handholding & hugs again now else I will fall & that's a statement of fact not a possibility - if I waver anymore right now? I will fall end of, I just know I will as I've fallen so many times before but somehow? This one will be that much worse - I know that to. Maybe only being on Mumsnet right now (even though I'm a man lol work that one out if you can confused ) is what's keeping me from falling even as I speak type but right now? I'm wavering - a lot indeed; Feel down, depressed, disheartened & Not in a good place at all & just when I thought I'd gone on from that again..........sadsad

Hope someone's listening but don't know if you are? Sorry - I also feel alone right now as everyone I care for? Has either ignored or had a go at me in the last 48 or so hours so not good. Anyway I suppose (& I Hate writing weakly like this) Any hugs or hand holds? Will be appreciated right now & as ever I guess? I fight on............

Sorry to bother anyone - that's just me right now. Could prob' do with wine right now but then it's the desire to 'fuzz' everything out & have it just fade & flash past me without bothering me that got me into this whirlpool of darkness mess isn't it? I wonder if I'll ever learn. I hope so. If only for my son's sake I certainly hope so & at my age? I really should know better by now but if I don't learn now? Will I ever? I sincerely doubt it..................

RobotLover68 Sat 13-Oct-12 07:31:37

I'll hold your hand redline - I'm a 20+ years recovering Solpadeine addict - I've now been "clean" for 722 days (yep I'm counting). The first few weeks were awful - all the symptoms you described. I found a health forum which helped as they were able to tell me that I could get through the cold turkey.

When I first came off I was just getting through an hour at a time, eventually a day at a time etc.

Glad you've got RL support, I was too ashamed to tell anyone in RL

Good luck and let us know how you're getting on

Redline, you've not posted for 48 hours. Is everything ok?

ripsishere Thu 11-Oct-12 06:54:58

TBPH, I would be wary of limiting the analgesia 'until you really need it' just in case you get to a point where it's really bad and you take a lot ITMS.
I have no experience of this as you can tell, but IMO, it's best to try to keep on top of it rather than over medicate to get a handle on it.

Redline Thu 11-Oct-12 06:36:41

Thank you for your kind words Itsallinmyhead & I prob' admire you just as much MIss since you help people in --desperate messes- bad situations like mine & doing that & remaining competent, unaffected etc yourself? Is no mean feat so well done Miss you have my admiration & TY re' my GP - yes the path is becoming clear to me now - slowly but surely.........

Hi remindmewhatsleepis? I'm OK today - a little better than before - just taking each day as it comes I guess & doing my best.........

ripishere? I'm a bit better today - it varies - there'll be harder moments, they will die off a bit & then come back full force with all the force of a ballistic missile volcano going off in my head just to remind me I'm not free of it yet. As I said? Am just taking each day as it comes & trying to limit if not (yet) lower my use of PK's until I really need them.

Thank you all you nice ladies for asking. I appreciate your concern & will do my best to be strong & one day soon? End this curse I suffer from............

ripsishere Thu 11-Oct-12 04:02:51

How are you feeling today Redline?

Hello! Just briefly flying past. How are you feeling today? Good to hear that your GP was helpful.

itsallinmyhead Thu 11-Oct-12 01:40:54

Just a quick pop in to read your updates Redline. You are one brave guy & I'm so pleased to read that with such a supportive gp, your path is becoming clear to you.

Without boring you too much, I just wanted you to know that within my professional life I often support individuals who have made the brave decision to make positive lifestyle changes by addressing substance misuse issues & I can empathise with how difficult & often frightening this decision can be & I am humbled by your strength. One day at a time, Redline. grin

ripsishere Wed 10-Oct-12 06:57:41

Glad to hear you have a supportive GP.
It's odd, I think most women expect men to be emotion free. I know my DH is very stoic and seems to tolerate most stuff.
The exception being unkindness to our DD - he is in a position to see it since he teaches her and criticism of his family. I am guilty of that. A lot.
Keep on your plan and the very best of luck.

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