Monday, July 21, 2014
Very recently I was faced with the impossible decision of whether or not to take prescription narcotics for pain management following some pretty serious oral surgery. At first, it wasn't even an option in my mind. I couldn't take the risk. I wouldn't take the risk. (Actually, if I'm being 100% honest, my very first thought was "Omg I've got a free pass!"- but I was taught never to listen to that first thought because it's most likely fueled by my addiction, not my sensibility.) But as the date of the surgery crept closer and closer, I began to panic. This was a big deal. I wasn't facing a simple tooth extraction, it was serious work that would leave me in a considerable amount of pain....
I called my doctor-who just so happens to be the Head of Addiction Services at the Brattlboro Retreat (best person ever) and I told him I was considering taking the pain medication after all. I told him that I wasn't certain of my motives, but that I was certain I was scared and that my anxiety was getting the better of me and that it was starting to haunt me in the middle of the night. The truth is, I didn't want this decision on my shoulders. I wanted him to decide for me. I wanted him to tell me what I should do....but it wasn't his decision to make. It was mine, and only mine.
The pain meds won.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
One of my biggest, most challenging accomplishments in sobriety (hands down) has been learning how dangerous self-pity is (not to mention boring, and lame, and unoriginal, and self indulgent, and....well you get the point). It is especially dangerous to addicts. We wallow in it. We convince ourselves that if everyone else knew what it felt like to walk in our shoes, or if they had to survive the shit we've survived, they would be a mess too. It's a big part of the way our addiction deceives and manipulates us; it's not the drugs that are ruining my life, it's everything else!