Monthly Archives: March 2012

Lies, Manipulations and Drugs

I want you to know something about addicts. Just in case there is any doubt whatsoever, I want to make one thing abundantly clear; WE LIE. Fact is that we are masters of lying and deception. If lying were a pro football team, we would be the star quarterback. What’s more is that our easiest marks are loved ones. This is why so many family members of an addict are hurt so completely throughout the process. So much so that often it is advised that family members get counseling in tandem with a recovering addict. I’m guessing it’s for something akin to post traumatic stress disorder. You see, we are able to manipulate a family’s love, with very little effort, into something that benefits and enables us. Unfortunately (for loved ones) there is no thought given to the hurt we cause, but only to our own self-gratification. Being an addict, I have come up with a simple way of reading any situation with other addicts. When there is a question, default to “it’s a lie”. 99% of the time, it will be a lie. If it sounds fishy, it’s a lie. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s a lie. Generally, if an addict’s lips are moving, it’s a lie. I was just thinking of some of the whoppers I’ve told over the years.

Once when I was in a particularly tight spot financially, I went to a family member. I asked to borrow $200. The reason I said, was because my wife, in all her glorious dim wittedness, overdrew our bank account. It was going to be fine though because from then on, I was going to show her the correct way to balance a checkbook. I got that cash over a few laughs and a passing last mention not to mention anything to her about it. She was already extremely embarrassed and her tattered ego just couldn’t handle anyone else knowing. I never told her this one so I’ve likely just signed my death warrant. Lucky for family though, we addicts many times save our most creative lies for our fellow addicts. We’re generous like that.

Many years ago, I had a contact (dealer) I bought Tylox from every month. Tylox comes in capsule form and is a mixture of oxycodone and Tylenol. At some point in our dealings, I came up with a brilliant plan. Once, when her (dealer) prescription was filled, I went over and bought half (60) the pills. I took them home and emptied the contents, which was a white powder, into a zip lock bag. I then crushed up zinc pills into a similar fine white powder and refilled the caps. I was very good at it, and even used cotton gloves so the oil on my fingertips wouldn’t smudge the outer sheen on the capsule. I then balled them up in a sheet of aluminum foil. A few days later, I set off to purchase (rip-off) the other 60 pills. While at her apartment, I went into the kitchen to retrieve the sheet of aluminum foil she always gave me to put the purchased pills in. I balled them up and slipped them in my jacket pocket. All of the sudden, I realized I had conveniently left my wallet at home. I took the zinc pills out and handed them to her saying I would be back. This worked approximately 1.5 times, because the next time I pulled the stunt, she stopped me before I could get the pills put away. She then demanded I empty my pockets in front of her. I made haste as I headed out the door saying that what I had in my pocket was too personal for anyone else to lay eyes on. Even now, I’m thinking how ridiculous that sounds. I was then in quite a fix with no money and no way of feeding my habit. As it turns out though, I had everything I needed, which was a pile of look-alike Tylox and the number of another addict. I solved the problem by unloading the bogus lot on my fellow, unassuming idiot, ahem, addict. And because I was such a nice guy, I even gave a discount because he bought them all. After not hearing from him in quite some time though, I inquired as to his whereabouts. I learned that he was recovering, as he had been allergic to zinc. He spent nearly a week in bed and had a horrible metallic taste in his mouth for a month afterward. I vowed to him that sooner or later I’d catch up with the bitch that scammed us like that.

As I look back now, I realize that I am very lucky to have never been arrested or even worse for the things I’ve done. Lies hurt and it is very important to know that addicts, when in the moment, do not care.


Withdrawal and Pleasure Things

I go to the methadone clinic on Fridays. My usual routine is to get there about 5:30am and wait in line for about 30 minutes. I take the dose for that day at the window and receive 6 take home doses for the week. My rate of decrease has been 5mgs every 2 weeks. In the beginning, this was no problem because if you look at percentages, when on high doses, 5mgs is not all that much. On the other hand, when I am at 45mgs/day, 5mgs is a substantial amount. So, now every 2 weeks I get set for a few days of hell after my decrease.  My last decrease was last Friday (1week ago). I am now leveling out, but this has been the worst week so far.

I have been asked many times what  withdrawal from opiates is like. Most times, I just say that it is the flu X 10. What it’s truly like, if you’ve never experienced it, you’ll never fully understand. The physical is that my calves feel like they are in a vice grips. I hurt to the marrow of my bones. My stomach is constantly churning and diarrhea is a constant. My skin is sore and nothing feels good touching it. There is an overall feeling of the worst kind of uncomfortable you can imagine. Possibly the worst part is the mental- the evil my mind plays.

There is a demon always near. It is in my ear, telling me that I want no part of sobriety and that I am not strong enough to deal with the pain I have been numb to for so long. This is one mean son of a bitch too because he uses the weakest of my weak thoughts against me. It’s as though it has talons that slice through my scalp and crack open my scull. The evil is rifling through parts of my brain, looking for the pleasure thing. It seeks to inject it with more feelgood, making me feel no more. I’m sure this seems crazy to anyone that has never experienced withdrawal.  You would be right, it is most definitely crazy. Things no normal person would think or feel. Good thing for me then because I am not normal. Such are the thoughts and feelings of an opiate addict. I am only putting my interpretation on what many before me have felt, I can assure you. It is a very dark and scary place at times. Fortunately for me, the pleasure thing in my brain has not yet been found. I am still on a path towards the light. Still not looking back.

I want to take a quick second and dedicate this blog to someone. He once was a very good friend of mine and I led him astray. The same way I was led astray by the one before me. Only difference is the one before me never made it out alive as he overdosed and died many years ago. This person knows who he is and has forgiven me, but I have yet to forgive myself. If and when I make it out of this nightmare, I hope I can help guide him through too. You know who you are and I want you to know that you are a gift to this planet. I feel that we’re going to be a team again, just in a good way this time. You are on my mind buddy, I want you to know that.


Methadone addiction

I started this blog to help myself as well as others who are trapped.  For those like me, who are locked in a life or death struggle in a methadone clinic, aka methadone death camp. My affair with opiates began when I was about 24 years old. Right around the time that Oxycontin (OC) was hitting the opiate scene. OC eventually led me to methadone maintenance treatment (MTT). Sounds all professionally medical and stuff huh. Yeah well methadone, as it turns out, is actually the hardest of all opiates to kick. Health, relationships, finances, taste and emotions are just a few things that this hideous drug has robbed me of.  About 1 year ago, I decided I wanted my life back.

Right now I am at 40mgs/day. This is down from roughly 160mgs/day when I began my detox just over 1 year ago.  I can tell my sense of taste is coming back because foods are becoming rich again. I am losing my mad craving for sweets, which is very common with methadone use. My emotions are on a roller coaster as I find myself confronting feelings that have been numb to me for 20 years. My body aches as the opiates leave me. If you didn’t already know, the physical aspects of detox are horrendous for methadone addicts. There are times I swear I can almost feel sludge on my skin as this poison slowly seeps from my pores. It’s okay though because I have young children that I mean to see for the first time. They are coming into view now, but still a bit cloudy. Just the other day, as I was contemplating this blog, I was outside and I actually smelled the rain coming in on the wind. I was surprised when I realized it was something I had not smelled in a very long time. Opiates dull everything in your life and this does not exclude sense of smell. That rain smelled glorious by the way.

I would like everyone that reads it, to take this blog for what you will. Some may use it for information and others encouragement. Know this though-my heart and soul will be poured onto these pages so it will be alive. Leave messages of encouragement if you feel the notion, for they will be greatly appreciated. Please pass it on though as I want as many warm bodies behind me as I can get. I figure, a professional fighter does not go into a fight alone. He has a pack of supporters that come to the fight with him, for him. Why wouldn’t I want as many people as possible in my corner when I am in the fight of my life? The answer is that I do. I know I cannot do this alone.  Also, if you know someone struggling with addiction, direct him or her here. Hopefully, we can find peace together.

I think much of the words in the song “Only God Knows Why” by Kid Rock. I have always thought of it as my theme song. The words ring especially true now:
People don’t know about the things I say and do
They don’t understand about the shit that I’ve been through
It’s been so long since I’ve been home
I’ve been gone, I’ve been gone for way too long
Maybe I forgot all things I miss
Oh somehow I know there’s more to life than this
I said it too many times
And I still stand firm
You get what you put in
And people get what they deserve
Still I ain’t seen mine
No I ain’t seen mine
I’ve been giving just ain’t been gettin
I’ve been walking that there line
So I think I’ll keep a walking

Thank you all immensely for reading,