Share Your Saga
We can often help our stories turn out for the better once we've fully expressed them!
"Share Your Saga" welcomes submissions from caregivers and family members as well, indeed from all those who will have important insights and experiences in the broader zone of suffering that stretches far beyond the immediate user.
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This Month's Featured Saga
SAGA #10: Twisted ankle twists life
SAGA #9: "I was an addict most of my adult life"
I am a survivor of 18 yrs of domestic abuse, with my boys dad. I used at first to numb my feelings mental isues, that was caused. During this whole time I got norco 10 mg (Vicodin) from my doctor for almost 20 years. Even in recovery I do experience chronic pain.
Finally a day came when i would not get anymore.
During government crack downs on doctors giving them out to patients like M &M candy. I had seven pills left and asked my youngest son to help me go cold turkey. By this time, I was mobility disabled by a neurology quack, two times!
I no longer wanted meth. My ex and I quit cold turkey together from meth. I was 18 years on meth. Anyway, my son and caregiver sat up 48+ hours with me when I got off pills. I had a bottle of whiskey. When my skin felt like it was crawling off me, and I felt like bugs were crawling on me, my mental health issues only intensified. I would take a shot through my home detox, and everything stopped for a while. I never felt drunk; it just helped calm down my body for a while. Today I have 17 years clean.
Don't do what I did. I would rather come off meth a hundred time than experience what the pills had hold of me physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. Pills are vicious to get off of. I have had four back surgeries and then they put me on oxycontin at the hospital and needed skilled rehab to walk again. They sent Oxycontin home with me, which I needed after surgery. Once off, my body remembers the pills and started the crawing, anxious, all over again… Roseann.
Compulsive use: Patients exhibit preoccupation with obtaining the opioid as opposed to focusing on obtaining pain reliefContinued use despite the risk of harm:Craving: You are having it after your recent surgery. I hope you got your cravings under control. This is worrisome
Some of the alternative and natural methods found to be effective.
Massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care Not only are these methods used to ease pain, they also have been known to release dopamine-stimulating endorphins, which help pain and improve body function.
Exercise – is always recommended and is personally, my go-to method for managing stress and emotional pain. Disabilities do not make exercise impossible, just different.
Mindfulness and meditation – Meditation, not medication. Mindfulness (a meditation practice that focuses on self-acceptance) is an effective alternative to traditional painkilling drugs. This approach helps individuals spend less time thinking or worrying about their pain, and more time accepting the pain in efforts to reduce its intensity. I know, hard to believe. A recent study of adults with chronic back pain revealed that, over the course of 26 weeks, mindfulness treatments resulted in improvements in back pain and functionality.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Chronic pain can bring about emotional as well as physical tolls on the mind and body. You may know this firsthand, how relentless and extreme the pain can be, how hopeless it can make you feel. This is normal and is what CBT aims to address. CBT teaches coping mechanisms for pain management by helping individuals recognize symptoms, control their perceptions of pain, put their focus elsewhere, and develop strategies to adapt and conquer any negative feelings.
Natural and botanical based products, such as cannabis. Cannabis can be an effective treatment for pain, greatly reduces the chance of dependence, and eliminates the risk of fatal overdose compared to opioid-based medications.
Find purpose – Even with disabilities you can volunteer phone time. Check out CareCareers.com. You have many experiences and insights for others going through what you went through. Please let us know what works for you.
SAGA #8: "I haven't spent a day of my adulthood experiencing the feeling of sobriety"
Saga #7: I'm a Junkie by Accident?!!
Saga #6: "I can't remember what it feels like being sober."
Saga #5: "I did some pretty bad things..."
Saga #4: "Addiction Has Been Kicking My Ass"
Crazy how just a line of heroin, makes me feel good and I start cleaning the house, working, etc. however if I don’t get my daily fix I’m in bed all day with cold sweats and the WD is terrible.
I know addiction runs in my genes and I can’t help it sometimes. Opiates are great and all but they have taken control of my life. I am a slave to this. It tears me up financially and ruins all my relationships. I consider quitting every day. But I’m not In denial. I can’t quit. I tried several times kicking, but it finds me anywhere I go. I can’t go on vacation. I can’t even leave my city.
Saga #3: "What About My Liver?"
I've never had any problems. No constipation or shit like that. But I am wondering if there are any other health consequences I should be worried about? For example, is all this acetaminophen gonna hurt my liver?
Saga #2: "Looking for Closure: "My dad just passed away from a fentanyl overdose"
Recently my dad passed away from a fentanyl overdose. He was a good man, sober for 18 years, and just recently was dealing with his first relapse in a really long time. Unfortunately whoever sold to him had laced heroin and either didn't know or didn't tell him. But I guess what I'm wondering is, was it painful? Was it long? Did he suffer? I can't really find anything about exactly how long it takes to OD on fentanyl or I guess the pain level of having that happen. Maybe someone would know?
"Was he just lying there, knowing he was dying?"
I'm sorry if this is insensitive I just need to know. Not like exactly in detail what he went through, but more just like: Was he lying there for 45 minutes knowing he was dying? or did he just die?
I just feel like I need to know what it was like for me to start to get some closure. We're not telling people how he died, we're saying it was a heart attack as not a lot of people know he was struggling with his addiction again and my dad was a very private person so he probably wouldn't have wanted everyone to know. but because we're saying it was a heart attack everyone keeps saying to me "well atleast he didn't suffer" and "atleast he probably just laid down to go to sleep and passed away" but I know that's not what happened and I feel like I need some insight into what actually happened.
"I just need some insight into what was happening"
Responses are very much appreciated and I did care about my dad a lot so some general sensitivity about the subject would also be appreciated.
Saga #1: "My husband and I started abusing together"
Now: Although I’ve gone months sometimes clean, the past 6 months have kicked everything into overdrive. I’m in pain everyday. My wd kicks in every morning by 9am unless I miraculously saved something from the day before. Our finances our crumbling. I’ve borrowed money from family (I do pay them back within 2 weeks but still lying to them about the need for the money eats me away not to mention also strains our finances even more).
I don’t know how to function sober. When I’m high I can do all my housework. I can play with my kids. Is it really going to be better to be sober in bed all day in pain? I’ve tried reaching out to a low-income clinic recently but with COVID they won’t let me bring my kids to appointments and I’m a shamed. My husband is the sole bread winner and we really can’t afford for him to take time off as he works out of town usually. "I don't know how to function sober"
I just called my psychiatrist office since I read online they do also offer substance abuse programs. I kept my questions generic. But will I be flagged as an addict for the rest of my life if I do enter this program? They said they can give shots to help wean off. Does that mean they will take away the klonopin I use for anxiety because it’s a controlled substance? What about when I’m actually able to see a doctor about my physical ailments? Will they then refuse care because I want to take the legal route finally? I’m drowning right now. My anxiety is at an all time peak.
I just don’t know what to do and this is the first place I came across. I hope I didn’t break any rules. If anyone has any knowledge or advice I would appreciate it very much. I’m stuck in this cycle of waiting to go get my pills everyday, my husband bitching about the money I’m spending, my kids not knowing why mom is in such a bad mood or sick until after her run to the “store”. I’ve been in denial for months that I’m an addict. Today I took the first step towards recovery (at least against the illegal side of this addiction). Again any help or encouragement is greatly appreciated.
Meet "Your Saga" Moderator, Linda Strause, PhD
Dr. Strause is a Professor, University of California, San Diego and an advocate for the better understanding of the science and medicine of cannabis. She and her team of cannabis experts at Randy's Club consult with customers and patients from all over the world. They have been integrating medical cannabis since 2010.
Dr. Strause combines over 30 years in clinical research and as a professor of nutrition at UC San Diego, with her personal journey: her husband's diagnosis and death from brain cancer. She has been interviewed by KCBQ and by Dr. Jamie Corron of the Center for Medical Cannabis Education. She was recently selected to be interviewed by Authority Magazine for their series, Women Leaders in Cannabis.
Dr. Strause suggests the brief outline below to help you formulate your personal dependency story -- but don't feel bound by it.
--Year of birth--Description of pain that drove you to take opioids (pick a number from 1-10 to describe your typical daily pain – 1 is minimal pain and 10 is maximum pain).--What pain medication(s) are you currently using?--Have you tried recovery? If yes, how many times?--Have you tried medication-assisted treatment with methadone of buprenorphine?--What else have you tried to decrease the amount of opioids you need to manage your pain?
Your replies will be entirely anonymous. Don't feel limited in terms of the length of your story, although texts may be edited for clarity and brevity.
Thanks for being part of "Share Your Saga."