This Friday will be an important day. For one, my two weeks at 40mgs of methadone per day is just about up. The alarm clock is beginning to ring, and although I could hit snooze, there is no good reason I should. In fact, there has been only one time since beginning detox that I have put off decreasing. It was because I didn’t want my family’s week-long Christmas vacation overshadowed by my withdrawal symptoms. Last weekend, my aches were so intense that I was sure I would be putting off for the second time. After a few days though, I am feeling much better so there will be no stalling. I feel as though I’m ready to make the push. I am on the front lines again; body battered, but recovered enough to continue waging war. There is one other reason Friday will be of import and that is Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Friday will be the first time I attend a NA meeting. I haven’t had occasion to mention this before, but my current stint at the methadone clinic is actually my second. The first time was about 10 years ago. I was on Oxycontin and wanted to get off. I started the clinic at the beginning dose of 30mgs/day and went down from there- just like I am doing now. I managed to get completely off opiates for a period of about 6 months. My sobriety ended when I woke one morning with a simple head cold. I needed some Tylenol so I went to my roommate’s bathroom to find some. When I opened the medicine cabinet, there was a demon on one of the shelves. It handed me a Lortab- 10mgs in exchange for 10 more years of my life. It’s so hard for me to imagine, that little pill cost me ten more years of suffering. It’s true though, it did. Can anyone tell me why it cost me? Addicts in recovery know. I now know too. It’s because I tried to do it alone. It may work like that for a very select few, but I am not one of them.
It may be hard to believe that I have never, in all my years of opiate addiction, gone to any NA/AA meetings. This time though, I will go to the meetings. I will go, and I will work the steps I have heard so much about. I will meet the contacts who will give me the tools, and teach me the skills I need to fight the demons in all situations. Once I am clean, I know there will come a day when I will open someone’s medicine cabinet, and there will again be a demon. It will be ready to make another exchange, and it’s price could likely be my life. However, I will be ready the next time-I will use the tools I have been given, and the skills I have been taught to gouge its fucking eyes out.