“Prue, would you like to share with the group?”
I steadied myself, sighing with defeat before I’d even begun. I knew what I had to share in Support today was going to make me feel like a complete failure, but what choice did I have. Making oneself accountable for a complete collapse of will power and poor choices never feels good, but you have to own them all the same.
“So, the last week has been shithouse…like, really bad.” I started. I could feel five sets of eyes keenly set on me, eager know why my week had been such a disaster. “I’ve been really depressed, like the worst I’ve been since a few years back when I tried to take my own life. My moods have been all over the place…at lunchtime I’m a three out of ten, by dinner I’m at negative 10 and planning my death.” Lots of sympathetic nodding ensued. “I’ve started drinking to cope, on top of the painkillers I’ve been taking by the fistful…I know it’s a stupid, reckless way to manage my feelings but I just…well, fuck, I don’t know…I haven’t been able to cope.” I felt bad for swearing in group, but worse was the feeling of being completely transparent with my failures. I’ve been the recipient of tens of thousands of dollars in psychiatric care in the last year alone, and I couldn’t harness a damn thing I’d been taught to try and pull myself from the abyss I’ve inhabited of late. Instead, I’ve tried to suffocate my feelings with rum and codeine, only exacerbating the problem and creating a dilemma all of their own.
The group therapist encouraged me to tell my Psychiatrist the gory details of what I’ve been dealing with. Which I did to a certain point. I confessed to him about the suicidality and how much I’d been drinking. It was such a quick appointment I didn’t get a chance to bring up the painkiller issue, which I admit I felt relieved about. To be quite honest, I’m hoping I don’t have to mention it at all because I plan to have it under control by the time I see him next in three weeks. I suspect cold turkey won’t be half as appealing as it sounds.
The Shrink adjusted my medications by 100mg here, and 20mg there in an effort to help my mood, but suggested a stay in hospital for a medication review of my antidepressants. It’s really not something I’m keen to do, because this has been the only medication I’ve found that helps me to actually manage some of my OCD thoughts and compulsions so far. The thought of going back to the absolute chaos that was my mind only a few months ago is completely unbearable. He assures me they’re stronger than what I’m currently taking and should work better for me, but I’m skeptical. Antidepressants are notoriously hit or miss. Instead, I’m hoping that an increase in both my antipsychotic medications will help alleviate some of the distress I’m currently working through.
I really hadn’t planned on writing this blog entry. I didn’t think the painkiller abuse was something I felt I could share. It started to control chronic back pain, but it soon took on a life of its own. It’s been going on quite a while in secret, and to be honest, I thought I had it relatively under control until recently, that was, when I was prescribed painkillers for dental pain. When I found myself consuming two different prescriptions for heavy opiates within 24 hours, I shocked myself at the tolerance I’d built in the last 12 months. It gave me pause to take a serious look at the habit I’d acquired. Right now, the desire to delete this and continue this path is so alluring. I know I could say nothing, and keep getting away with it, but eventually I know the shit will hit the fan and I’ll think back to this moment and wish I’d kept myself honest and accountable while I still could. So there it is, grisly frankness in all it’s shame. I hope you’re not as disappointed in me as I am with myself.