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Falling off one wagon and staying on another

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Okay, this is going to be a sensitive subject for some as it deals with the potential abuse of pain medication and since I know that can be a trigger, consider this a disclosure for what's to come. I also apologize for the length of this.

This has been a really bad year for me. Financial stress, health problems, marriage problems, sick pets, all happening in the same year. I won't go into detail about everything but let's just say that I can't wait for this year to be over.

Disconnected would pretty much sum up how I feel in general from life and people, I spend a lot of time alone. This year I lost a friendship I've had for 20 years, I really don't have anyone I can take to but my point is not to whine and complain but to share an experience I didn't think I would ever have to deal with.

I fell on my knee on concrete a couple of months ago and have been having problems with it since. It got to a point this past weekend that I was just sick of being in pain so my husband had a prescription (Oxycodone) leftover from when he had surgery last year....yes I know this was not the smart decision but I just wanted the pain to stop. Saturday night I took one and an hour later took a second and was fine, no pain and it helped me to get to sleep. Wonderful. The next night I decided to take the two together. Oh boy, I was so out of it that I could hardly move and when I was finally able to get myself to bed three hours later I was lying there thinking my breathing was shallow and I started becoming totally paranoid that I was going to die. The next day I woke up with two thoughts, I LOVE the feeling of being medicated BUT I have to stay away from this or it will become a problem. It took me all week and up until last night I could not get my mind off how badly I wanted to take more and I was carrying this feeling all week and didn't say anything to anyone, not even my husband.

When I did tell him that between trying to eat well and not fall off that wagon and trying not to let my thoughts get the best of me and take more pills he responded with "so I shouldn't go out and get you a chocolate cake with pills crushed on top of it". Really? Now I understand he may not be taking this seriously, he is trying to make light of it because he "knows" it won't go any further but really you don't know, it is really easy for one to become two then you are taking them all day, you aren't doing what you need to do and you become an addict. He said he would throw them out, but they are still in the cabinet. He is not taking it seriously.

I grew up with an alcoholic father but I have never touched anything, never smoked a cigarette, hardly ever drink and shun being on prescription medication. I've been on pain mess after both of my c-sections and an abdominal surgery with no problem. This time though was different and part of it is probably that I wish I could just escape all the $hit I've had to deal with in six months. I refuse though to take it further, I will not do that to myself or my kids. I remember waiting for my father in the window wondering if he would make it home, he was he only parent I had and I was nine years old. THAT is a feeling no child should ever have, I will not do that to my sons.

Yesterday night as I was sitting alone in the livingroom I asked God for help, I said "please get these thoughts out of my head" and today I am less focused on the pills. The point of this is that I did not realize that two little pills would give me this much grief and it is different for everyone but all it takes is a vulnerable person having a bad year and before you know it you are dealing with having to keep your mind occupied or potentially risk ruining your life. I will not ruin my life, I'm going to keep praying, keep my mind busy, and keep moving forward. Someone told me the mourning doves in my front garden are a symbol of peace and good luck. I hope so.
 

liaerfbv

Brilliant_Rock
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I'm sorry this has been a tough time in your life. I don't have anything to offer for the medication issue, but I do want to share my thoughts on your use of the phrase "I can't wait for this year to be over."

I know it's probably a subconscious colloquial phrase, but using a defined time period of "badness" is counterproductive and reinforces to yourself that ALL of 2016 is bad and will be bad. I think it's more helpful to say "I've had some setbacks but I am working to overcome them" (or whatever phrase you can think of that reinforces the positive change you want) that doesn't use a time frame. You don't want to give yourself permission to have 6 more months of sadness and tough times.

I hope things turn around for you! :wavey:
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Stephanie, I'm sorry you've had such a rough year! But I agree, we're only a little more than half way through and the rest doesn't have to be bad! I hope that things improve for you.

Re: the meds. I think it is absolutely possible that taking those a few times can leave you wanting more and lead to abuse. My father cracked two ribs a few years ago and was in tremendous pain. After two days on Oxycodone he asked my mother to get rid of them. He said he enjoyed the feeling of them way too much for his comfort and found himself thinking about his next dose and what he would do when he ran out. We thought maybe it was because my father has chronic pain that he's just learned to deal with and he couldn't believe how good he felt on the medication. But, when discussed with the doctor, he thought otherwise. It's highly addictive.

Is there anything you can do for yourself to reduce stress? Exercise? Therapy?

ETA - I should add that I'm no expert and the above is just my opinion based on that single experience and what the doctor told my parents.
 

Amber St. Clare

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Oh, do I understand how you feel.

Until recently I was a prescription pain killer abuser. An I have an extremely aggressive case of RA and my dr. gives me both percoset and tramadol. And I unfortunately crossed over from using these pills to ease the pain that I really had to how massive handfuls of these pills made me feel. Easy to do, hard to stop, but I am P ROUD to say I finally realized that the fleeting feeling I was getting was affecting both my health and my social life, not to mention how it affected my family life.

So it seems you aren't in that place now, but I just want to say STOP taking them if you can. Or not as frequently. Cut the pills in half, give your pills to someone who will only give you the required dose a no no more.

I too grew up with an alcoholic parent and I know I have the propensity for abuse and am NOW, finally in control. For today, maybe, but still... Please don't let this fester and grow.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Stephanie,
I'm sorry you are having to deal with so much at once. Any chance of talking to a counselor? I think it might help to put
things in prospective. I'm also wondering if you need to make a Doc appointment for your knee? Is there something else
going on that may need additional medical intervention?

I sort of understand the pill/anxiety/addiction issue. I fell and hurt my hip pretty badly a few years ago. My doctor gave
me about 2 weeks of pain meds. I was really scared to take them but basically couldnt sleep or function without them. I
talked to my SIL who is a nurse and she assured my that I would not become addicted from 14 days worth. I took them for
about 10 days and felt better so stopped. However, I do see how someone with other issues could easily become addicted
(even in 14 days).

I really think that you should try to find a counselor to talk to. You've had too much on your shoulders at the same time for
too long. Time to bring in reinforcements. If you are a religious person, some churches offe counseling services. I'm wondering
if you are feeling depressed though and might need the help of a psychiatrist?

If you are truly afraid of abusing the pills then you/your husband should throw them out. You also need to go see someone
for your knee if you havent. If you needed pain meds then I assume they would have given them to you or will give them to you.

I'm sure you have thought of all this. I wish I had more to offer...please do something though and not sit and suffer if that's
whats going on.

tyty
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Sorry you haven't been feeling great. I would see if you can take those pills and drive them to your nearest pharmacy and give them to the pharmacist for disposal (maybe call first so that you are not stuck in the car with them?) I think this would do two things for you -- one, get rid of this new potential problem, and two, show yourself that you do in fact have control over this situation. I do not take your concerns lightly. I have a family member who had knee surgery, and I see the way they prescribe these pills, and it's absolute madness! They are so highly addictive, and yes, that idea of reaching for just one more, or trying two, is very similar to what my family member experienced, and which put her in the ER for a day after she took a ton of them (12, I think?) over the course of 12 hours, her medications and a family member's medications, all without actually being aware of what she was doing?!? So, two different sets of blood pressure meds, resulting in severely low blood pressure.

My advice is to get them out of the house asap.

And, highly recommend counseling as well. How old is your youngest now? I seem to think toddler? Maybe some mild PPD, do you think? When I am depressed, everything seems so much worse than it actually is. I wonder whether that is contributing to how you are feeling.
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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Throw the pills out NOW!!

This minute!

Stop reading me...go to the bottle, and flush them all down the toilet.


Don't bring any more opiates in the house.


If you are in pain, alternate motrin and tylenol (look up the schedule and dosing online.) It is said to be more effective than opiates. I do this because I am on a LOAD of psych meds and need to function AND I have addicts on all sides of my family. I won't touch opiates with a ten foot pole because I know I would be in your shoes in a hot second.

Big hugs. You aren't in the weeds yet. Take control!

No cake either! Have a beautiful piece of watermelon! :)

You got this!

If you really feel that you are losing control, find support, ok?? I know you reached out here, but find in-person support too!
 

monarch64

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I love painkillers! Only a few times in my life have I needed them, but I remember vividly how relaxed and peaceful they made me feel. Of course you're going to love them, going through such hard times. Don't be so hard on yourself thinking you're going to become an addict. You sound depressed. Have you been to a doctor to talk about what a rough time you've had this year? Taken a depression test? Maybe it is time to stop feeling like you have to be Superwoman and get some help. You have to help yourself before you can help others--just like on an airplane. Hugs.
 

wildcat03

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It sound like you've had a really rough year. First, I do think you are being a bit hard on yourself about this. It is AMAZING that you are able to so clearly verbalize the draw of the medication and your concerns and all of that. I would definitely throw the medication out. I know people have a tendency to keep it around "just in case" - especially since physicians have become less generous with narcotic prescriptions in recent years - but I think the risks of keeping them around greatly outweigh any benefit.

I also second the idea that you might benefit from some counseling. This is not a sign or judgment of weakness, but rather an acknowledgement that you are going through some hard times an could probably use some additional support.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Liaerfby- Thank you for that perspective, it's true there is still potential for the rest of the year to be good. Heck maybe even the rest of today. It's just overwhelming to have so much happening at once but the right attitude can go a long way so thanks for that.

Puppmom- I was exercising consistently up until my knee and now it's more sporadic but I think I am going to have to find either a group or someone to talk to. There is a SAHM group I could join but I feel like my mind needs to be a bit more together before I go trying to be all social.

Amber- I can't even imagine what that is like but you recovered and that says so much about how strong you are! The script is not mine it's my husbands and there are no refills. I'm not prescribed any medication so essentially I throw them out and I'm done with it.

tyty- I really do need to see a doctor about my knee, a friend suggested a torn meniscus which usually involves surgery. My insurance company is a PIA and love to deny my claims as not medically necessary so I just haven't wanted to deal with it really.

Loves- My youngest is 2 and I have a 9 year old son as well. The 2 year old is a lot, his personality is overwhelming at times and I find him hard to deal with so we stay home a lot. Doesn't help, and you could be right about PPD, I didn't consider that possibility.

Housecat- I threw them out! The sick thing is it was hard to do, like you're not going to take them so just throw them out! So they are gone and I'm going to take a walk on the treadmill instead of cake ;-) Thanks for your post, I got a chuckle out of that cake part.

Monarch- Yeah, I viewed my fondness for these as a sign of weakness and that's part of the reason I didn't want to tell anyone how I was feeling, that I wanted to keep taking them. It's scary how good they can make you feel and how easy it is to become a slave to them thanks for sharing your experience, at least I know I'm not the only one.

I really appreciate everyone who took the time to respond, I really felt like something must be wrong with me to have fallen so hard so fast and felt very alone and ashamed about it.
 

december-fire

Ideal_Rock
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StephanieLynn,

I'm repeating advice from others in the hope that you'll actually hear it and follow through.

The pills need to be taken to a pharmacist for proper disposal, as Loves Vintage said.

If there is any chance that you might be tempted to take or save a few, ask your husband to take the pills to the pharmacist. Immediately. Some prescription painkillers are highly addictive and this should not be taken lightly.

Book an appointment with your doctor. If you think you're too busy to go see a doctor, book the appointment anyway.

Talk to your doctor about your knee. As was stated above, there may be something that requires medical intervention/treatment, not just painkillers to hide the symptoms. Constant pain is horrible and can prevent a person from seeing the joy in life. You need to deal with the knee issue.

Talk to your doctor about how you feel. Maybe get blood work done to rule out some things. Your feelings might be because of the constant knee pain, but talk to your doctor about whether something else is going on.

Try counselling and, as much as possible, try to eat healthy food, get enough sleep and fit in enjoyable activities that count as 'exercise' (some people don't like 'exercise' if its structured gym workouts). Go for a walk (after you find out about what's up with your knee), dance, stretch, whatever. A walk around the block will get your blood flowing, and the fresh air can feel like a fresh perspective. Listen to the birds, garden, etc. Remind yourself of the blessings in life. Yes, there's terrible stuff that happens, and sometimes the yucky stuff seems to occur in clusters. But the difficult times pass. You're not always going to feel like this.

Find out what's going on and address it. Come back here for support.

Sending big hugs and comforting thoughts.

And congratulation yourself for recognizing the danger of the pills. You've got inner strength. You'll get through whatever's going on.

Edited after seeing that you posted while I was typing:
Glad the pills are gone. Don't think you have to be Suzy Sunshine to get together with the SAHM group or others. Just go. The social activity can be a boost for you.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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monarch64|1468599363|4055759 said:
I love painkillers! Only a few times in my life have I needed them, but I remember vividly how relaxed and peaceful they made me feel. Of course you're going to love them, going through such hard times. Don't be so hard on yourself thinking you're going to become an addict. You sound depressed. Have you been to a doctor to talk about what a rough time you've had this year? Taken a depression test? Maybe it is time to stop feeling like you have to be Superwoman and get some help. You have to help yourself before you can help others--just like on an airplane. Hugs.
Yes double ditto Monnie's comments and sending you more (((HUGS))). I OTOH hated the way painkillers made me feel and I barely took any when I had 2 broken bones in my leg. I took just enough to deal with the pain because the meds made me feel so bad. Nauseous and they constipated me among other yucky things. Please don't be hard on yourself and when one is down everything does seem much worse and harder to bear. Definitely seek out professional help. Sending much dust and good vibes your way. Things will get better. (((HUGS))).
 

ihy138

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So sorry you're going through all of this, Stephanie. What you're describing is the perfect storm for substance use to get out of control (genetics, environmental stressors, accessibility). I'm an addictions counselor, and I have heard a lot of stories start like yours and end up with illicit heroin use. Trust me, it happens more often than you might think. I'm also probably being a bit dramatic because I live in the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in MA and it's a very scary thing. Most start with prescription medications from a routine surgery or injury. The brain never forgets liking that feeling, even if it resurfaces years later in times of stress. I think it's amazing the insight you have into your own behavior and vulnerabilities. That's something I see people working very hard at. Use your family support and your coping skills. Counseling, counseling, counseling. Your urge to get rid of the medication is a wise one. Don't flush them if you have the option. A lot of local police stations have a drop box for prescription meds so they don't end up in the water supply. I understand the impulse to just get rid of them ASAP, though.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Stephanie, I'm sorry. I feel like a total dolt suggesting exercise with a bad knee! I'm glad the pills are gone.

Go to the SAHM group! It's a step in the right direction even if you don't feel like it. I made an effort to make "friends" with our neighbors with small children - awkward and challenging for me at first - but there's a group of us now in similar situations and it surprised me on how many levels I could relate to these woman. I put "friends" in quotes because this all happened over the last 8 months or so and our conversations at this point are still mostly superficial but it's okay! We're potty training our kids at the same time, sending them to kindergarten together, fixing up our really old houses, sharing things to do with the little ones, celebrating birthdays - it's just nice to not feel alone. And you have to start somewhere. :)
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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I'm sorry its been just a terrible time. I can relate, I had 2 years of multiple problems capped off by breaking my knee cap into 3 fractures followed by immobilization (nightmare).

I used Wobenzym for pain, discomfort and to reduce debris and swelling. Wobenzym is enzymes, made in Germany and is second drug there only to aspirin. It used by neurologists to bring down brain swelling after neurosurgery. Its been in use since the 1960s.

I order mine from Amazon, Garden of Life is the brand. Store in fridge.

My arthritic dogs do very very well on it. My husband uses it for back pain. I took one Percocet after being discharged from the ED day of the accident, which did nothing for me. The Wobenzym pulled me through.

Regarding the other issue/s, my comment is to find a group asap, the 12-step groups like OA, Al-Anon, etc are usually more supportive and helpful than therapy with a not-good-enough therapist. In addition, they cost nothing and nobody reports on you to an insurance syndicate.

Take care of yourself, you are going to get through all of thus.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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ihy138|1468602050|4055774 said:
So sorry you're going through all of this, Stephanie. What you're describing is the perfect storm for substance use to get out of control (genetics, environmental stressors, accessibility). I'm an addictions counselor, and I have heard a lot of stories start like yours and end up with illicit heroin use. Trust me, it happens more often than you might think. I'm also probably being a bit dramatic because I live in the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in MA and it's a very scary thing. Most start with prescription medications from a routine surgery or injury. The brain never forgets liking that feeling, even if it resurfaces years later in times of stress. I think it's amazing the insight you have into your own behavior and vulnerabilities. That's something I see people working very hard at. Use your family support and your coping skills. Counseling, counseling, counseling. Your urge to get rid of the medication is a wise one. Don't flush them if you have the option. A lot of local police stations have a drop box for prescription meds so they don't end up in the water supply. I understand the impulse to just get rid of them ASAP, though.
In your opinion should I look for a therapist or do I join a 12 step program and go to meetings? I ask because somebody suggested going to meetings and if I should go to meetings, what do I join? I didn't even consider a meeting because I really didn't get in far enough to have an addiction right? Also in the future if I have surgery and they prescribe medication for pain do I take it or do I need to avoid certain things?
 

ihy138

Brilliant_Rock
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StephanieLynn|1468611112|4055836 said:
ihy138|1468602050|4055774 said:
So sorry you're going through all of this, Stephanie. What you're describing is the perfect storm for substance use to get out of control (genetics, environmental stressors, accessibility). I'm an addictions counselor, and I have heard a lot of stories start like yours and end up with illicit heroin use. Trust me, it happens more often than you might think. I'm also probably being a bit dramatic because I live in the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in MA and it's a very scary thing. Most start with prescription medications from a routine surgery or injury. The brain never forgets liking that feeling, even if it resurfaces years later in times of stress. I think it's amazing the insight you have into your own behavior and vulnerabilities. That's something I see people working very hard at. Use your family support and your coping skills. Counseling, counseling, counseling. Your urge to get rid of the medication is a wise one. Don't flush them if you have the option. A lot of local police stations have a drop box for prescription meds so they don't end up in the water supply. I understand the impulse to just get rid of them ASAP, though.
In your opinion should I look for a therapist or do I join a 12 step program and go to meetings? I ask because somebody suggested going to meetings and if I should go to meetings, what do I join? I didn't even consider a meeting because I really didn't get in far enough to have an addiction right? Also in the future if I have surgery and they prescribe medication for pain do I take it or do I need to avoid certain things?
There's no reason why you can't try both! To be honest, I recommended a therapist because it sounds like you have a lot of stressors going on that you could use some support with. If you try a 12-step meeting, you may find that you can't relate to other folks there who have probably lost everything in their lives to their addiction and are trying to re-build. It can't hurt to try a meeting to see if you get some strength from it. I would recommend Narcotics Anonymous if you go the 12-step route. You might even be able to find a meeting online! If you try a 12-step group in your community, it might be better if you stick to an open meeting (there are meeting types listed on the schedules - http://na-recovery.org/). They are generally larger and open to the public, meaning you could go and observe without necessarily sharing your story. Try it on and see how it fits. You could also try Al-Anon given your family history. It's a 12-step program for folks with addicted family members.

I work with clients in recovery all the time who require surgery for various reasons. Many of them with heavy histories will stick to anti-inflammatory drugs or request non-narcotic pain options (there are a few). Be open with your doctor about your fears. They might give you a limited prescription as opposed to just a blank check so to speak. It is also helpful to have a family member lock up your medications and dose you as needed. The general consensus is that if you take them for actual pain, and maybe take a little less than you actually need, your body won't register as many of the euphoric effects and you can do it in safety.
 

Gypsy

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Oh honey, you are in a bad bad place. I've been there. Here's what helps me not become my father. First, good for you for throwing the pills out. Second every time you think of having a pill and you don't pat yourself on the back. Literally at first. You'll feel silly but that's okay. Silly breaks up the spiraling thought cycle. Second, get yourself to a CBT therapist ASAP, and go weekly or twice weekly until you feel better. Third, tell your GP the truth. You may well GENUINELY need medication, but a safe antidepressant is a much better crutch, and once you are in a better place you can get off the meds in a couple months of managed stepping down with no withdrawal safely.

There is NO SHAME in needing meds. But they have to be the right meds and, as you know, opiates are not the right solution to emotional pain. And physical and emotional pain are so closely linked that if you get the emotional side under better control it will help the physical.
 

luv2sparkle

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Stephanie, I am so sorry for all the things you have gone through and how hard life has been this last year. Many hugs.

Oxy can be addictive in as little as one dose. It is the singular most highly addictive of all meds. You are wise to stop it in its tracks immediately. One of my sons has been addicted to opiates, which started off with Norco's after surgery when he was hit by a car at 16.
It led him to living on the streets and heroin (which is far cheaper.) I am in no way suggesting that is the road you are on or even close to.
It is one I am glad you will never get to because you realized early on the dangers of a very seductive path.

Life has pain and sometimes we do need medication to be able to heal physically. My son has had a ton of dental work and the dentist prescribed him tramadol which was not addictive-or at least not an opiate. He has been clean for a year and a half, and is working really hard to rebuild his life.

I truly hope that the year ends much better than it started and you are able to look at life with joy!!!!
 

diamondseeker2006

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That is SO awesome that you stopped a potential problem before it really happened! I know people who have absolutely ruined their lives over prescription painkillers, and one is a spouse of one of my siblings. He lost his job and hasn't been able to hold one for more than a few weeks since. His were prescribed for headaches and the doctors who kept prescribing them should be locked up, as far as I am concerned.

I'd recommend a combination of several things people have already mentioned: community (moms groups, fitness club that offers child care and classes you can take, hobby, etc.), getting the knee treated and tell the dr you cannot take ópiate pain meds and have it written in your records, healthy diet, be sure you are getting enough sunshine and vitamin D. I can't see any reason for you to join a 12 step program (when you took pain meds for two days) as I think it would be very depressing. Maybe enroll your 2 year old in mother's morning out or a pre-school just to have a couple of free mornings just for yourself and give him an outlet for burning some of that energy!
 

Tacori E-ring

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I specialize in addiction counseling so I agree with what others have said. It is great that you are seeing the abuse potential before you fall down the rabbit hole. There are more deaths from prescription medication overdoses than car accidents in our country. It is a HUGE problem. Taking someone else's prescription and using them for emotional relief are two major warning signs. You are craving something that gives you temporary relief. It is much better to acknowledge and run towards the cravings than away. Distraction is a common tool my patients use when craving. Physical cravings last a few minutes, so you need to get through them without giving into them. Therapy could be a huge help. I am so sorry you have had such a difficult year but am confident you can gather strength, insight, and healthy coping skills with the right therapist. Best of luck.

ETA: I think support groups are amazing and have been part of Al-Anon for 7 years. I would not rule them out for helping heal some of your old wounds.
 

YadaYadaYada

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December-fire- Thank you for all your suggestions

Missy-Thank you!

Puppmom- I can walk so exercise is not out of the question and actually it bothers me more at rest so really your suggestion is helpful. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds making new friends a bit challenging!

Azstonie- A broken knee cap sounds terribly painful, I hope you are on the mend now. Thanks for the information about Wobenzym, I'll look into that.

Gypsy- Thank you for your post. I didn't really connect the emotional roller coaster I've been on manifesting into physical pain. Thank you for pointing that out, I'm sure you're right.

luv2sparkle- Never realized it only takes one dose, super scary. Sorry about what you've been through with your son, so many people have a family member who is struggling to get/stay clean, I'm glad he found his way to recovery. It's so startling that most addicts these days start on pills, they are so easy to get though.

Diamondseeker2006- Sorry to hear about your family member, it's just too easy to get a doctor to write a prescription. When my husband was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic he came out of the office with five prescriptions, FIVE. No nutrition or supplement information because they don't make any money that way and one was a statin. He was 30 at the time, just insanity. My two year old wears me the hell out, thanks for your suggestions about a little program for him, I'm going to look into it.

Tacori E-ring- As the days go on, I'm thinking of them less and less and when I do find myself leaning that way I call on God for help but I am arranging to go to counseling too. Thanks for your post.
 

minousbijoux

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SL: it takes huge courage to do what you did and post here. Bravo to you, really and truly. I can't say that in your shoes, I would've had your courage to post.

Here's hoping that every day you have more strength, reduced pain, resolution of tough stuff, greater support, and lots and lots of love!
 

missy

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Stephanie, just checking on you and thinking of you and hoping you are doing OK. (((HUGS))).
 
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