...i am a princess on the way to my throne...


A Long Ride 

Hey, all. It's been a long time since I posted here, and even longer still since I've had anything to say. God's wisdom, however, tells us there is a time for everything, and the time to come here again is now.

I've had a lot of curiosity on what has been happening with me lately surface, so I thought I would go ahead and post the situation. It's not going to be flowery or prose-enduced, but at least it's real.

Several years ago, I started having serious pain issues with my lower back. I went back an forth from doctor to doctor, and eventually I was diagnosed with chronic arthritis of the lower back. During this time (about a year or so) I was on a lot of narcotics: percocet, lortab, vicodine, etc. My favorite was the Lortab Elixir, because I can't swallow normal size pills, and with the elixir I did not have to crush it up and eat it laced over pudding (blech). These medicines were all doctor prescribed, and I used them the way they were supposed to be used. Of course, the more I used them the more I needed them, and once I got to Pain Management it felt like I couldn't function without them.

Once Pain Management stopped I found myself at a crossroads, and not a happy one: I knew I had a problem with narcotics. Fortunately, the withdrawals from them did not last that long, and I was up and moving pretty quickly. However, the back pain was still there, so I still needed something stronger than Advil and not narcotic like the former medicines. Welcome, tramadol!

Tramadol is a small, white pill that is a prescription for moderate to severe pain. Although not classified a narcotic, it is a synthetic-opiate with similar properties to a narcotic. I had been on tramadol before, and the doctor had said it was not like the narcotics. Still in pain and done with doctors, I found a pharmacy online and was able to procure some after filling out a medical questionnaire. I thought it would be okay to take because it was not classified as a narcotic.

I've just stopped taking tramadol after nearly two years. It seemed the more I took for pain the more I needed, and I ended up taking nearly 15 pills a day just to feel normal. I was tired most of the time, disinterested in things, and pretty much addicted. What started out as a way to get basic pain relief ended up a mess, to say the least. I knew I had a serious problem, but did not want to admit it to myself. If anything, the tramadol was making me sicker: I had migraines a lot, and of course more back pain, and I got sick at the drop of a hat. I did not realize my foolishness was poisoning myself. My husband knew what was going on, but every time he tried to approach me I didn't fully receive him. I did not want to admit the fact that something had taken place above God in my life, and I didn't want to admit the fact that I was a prescription drug addict.

Well, God's timing, as I say, is perfect. One night He spoke to me in a way that got through all of the denial and I heard Him so clearly. There was so much love and strength in His voice, that I just broke down and finally, completely, admitted to myself that I had a problem. I knew if I continued on the tramadol path, I would end up dead on day from an overdose. I couldn't do that to myself, or my family, not for a stupid, little white pill! I repented and sobbed and poured out myself to God that night, and then did it all over again to my husband when he came home from church.

That was on November 11th, 2009, just two days before my 41st birthday. It is now November 23rd and I have not had one tramadol. I gave Robert all of the pills, and frankly I don't even care what he did with them. God has delivered me from the desire to have them, but there have (and still are) the consequences of withdrawals. The first few days were some of the most miserable I've ever had: chills, flu-like symptoms, restless leg syndrome in legs and arms, insomnia, loose bowels, zero strength, etc. Even now, with my body starting to balance out, I'm having to deal with emotional-instability (turns out tramadol is a anti-depressant, so my emotions are now *so* out of whack!). I'm having a hard time being around a crowd of people, because I get overwhelmed very easily. Trust me, it's hard being 41 and having the instability of a three year old, but I get it...

Just to be clear, I do not place blame for my situation on anyone other than myself. While it is true tramadol is too easily touted by doctors as the "lesser" drug, it was own doing that brought me to where I am. Smart people can do stupid things when left to their own devices, and instead of being up front with God I tried to hide it (which is *really* stupid, because He does just happen to be All-Knowing). While God does not expect His child to be perfect, He does expect me to be open with Him about everything that is going on within myself. He's never going to force Himself on me, and when I keep Him at bay, He will sit and wait for me to seek Him. Once I did, I was able to realize how much I need Him, and how far away I had strayed from Him. He has been there for me the whole time, but I just did not see it. Now I do, and I want a fresh, clean life.

So, that's pretty much been my life for the past couple of years. Now that I'm on the road to recovery, I feel myself wanting to do things I haven't really wanted to do in a long time, like cooking, artwork, taking care of the house, yadda yadda. I found myself looking at a tree the other day, and I was glorifying in the God's beauty of autumn. Despite the horribleness of withdrawals (and trust me folks, it is a total suck-fest), I'm starting to feel like the old me again, the me with hopes and dreams and passions. Despite all the shame, fear, and pain I've experienced with this drug addiction, my prayer is to have a testimony of hope for someone else one day.

No matter what we go through, we are never alone. God is my life and my strength, and He alone is how I am able to get through this. He has also blessed me with a family who has committed to helping me wholly, and I cannot ask for more than that.:)

P.S. This post has not been edited or spell-checked, for my brain is still a little foggy and seemingly easy things still take a lot of effort. I was afraid if I started diddling about with the post it would be deleted, and then I wouldn't have the energy to write it again...
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