On Oct. 3rd, 2017, I celebrate three years of freedom from an addiction to opiates. On that day three years ago, I walked into the offices of Lasting Recovery, stopping to pop my very last pain pill in the bathroom. I somehow knew it would be my last. I had become addicted through the use of the prescribed drug, fiorinal with codeine, for migraines, which I had suffered since age 13.
For many years I used the prescription legitimately for the headaches, and then, for ten years, found myself taking them on a daily basis. My body now seemed to need them to operate. It was not about getting high. It was about being able to function. I tried to stop many times on my own, but withdrawal was too painful.
Lasting Recovery finally provided what I needed to get off the pills, even during migraines: knowledge of the drugs’ effect on the brain; counseling and communication; psychiatric assistance; and introduction to alternative activities like yoga and meditation.
Life used to be about making sure I had pain pills, and where I could get them next. I would “shop” for different doctors to provide them for me. It was a huge secret that I hid from everyone, even my therapist. I appeared to be a highly successful woman, but, in reality, felt trapped in this endless quest to get the opiates. My mind often felt like a hamster on its wheel, running and running while staying in place. The final straw was when I found myself on a bus in Tijuana, a place I said I would never go. I knew the next step would be seeking drugs on the streets, since my doctors were “wise” to me.
I have felt free for the past three years, and have enjoyed life in a way I could not before. I was encouraged to attend AA or a similar program after the 6-week outpatient program ended, but instead, I have chosen to continue my therapy through monthly appointments with my psychiatrist, whom I consider to be amazing.
Life is a gift, and I don’t waste it anymore. Thank you, Lasting Recovery. I could not have done it without your knowledgeable, compassionate people.