I’m writing about my experience. I can’t speak for anyone else.
The physical pain of withdrawals is enough to drive a person crazy. I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I endured was way beyond anything I could have imagined.
There’s the constant gnawing ache that makes getting comfortable impossible. It sits at the small of my back. You know, the place where your belt goes? It starts there and goes down to the tailbone.
Sitting hurts because it compresses that area. Laying on your back is a killer, shooting pain up the spine to the skull. So, you have your sides, which is fine, but you have to go from one side to the other at times. Excruciating. Twisting your back causes new and improved pain to shoot all through you.
Then, you have the staggering waves of nausea and dizziness. You are starving and you know you need to eat, but getting up to get it causes your head to swim around in circles creating nausea. So, you run to the bathroom, causing a great pounding in addition to the dizziness and nausea, to purge the contents of your empty stomach.
Then, there are the waves of crushing pain that feel like a tidal wave crashing down on you with all the anger of god himself. I think these start in the head and blast their way down through your stomach.
Throughout all this, I am constantly freezing, in spite of the sweat that pours out of my body. I know it’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit in my apartment, but I feel like its below zero.
The voices in my head take this opportunity to berate me on everything that even remotely could be my fault. Feelings of worthlessness and despair wash through my mind as every tiny infraction is magnified to blinding brilliance.
Sobs escape from my parched lips. Tears once again blind me to the concern of my puppy. My phone slips from my hand as I twist away from the fresh spasms of pain in my gut. Panic streaks through me as thoughts of death, or worse the neighbors hearing me, race around unchecked through my mind.
Terrible memories of monstrous behavior hang in my mind.
It’s difficult to write about, much less make it interesting. My only hope is that someone, somewhere, sometime reads this and decides that the mental health community is a much better choice for them than street drugs.
Of course, doing drugs is going to be easier and more fun. At least, in the beginning.
That’s the bait. If you take the bait, you’ll get reeled in. You’ll fight it every step of the way as fear and knowledge combine to make you realize you are not so special as to avoid paying the price.
Then, the collectors start coming. That’s where the real problems are.
The collectors used to be your friends, those people you hung around with, the ones who tried it with you but chose not to use again.
The collectors are the utility companies shutting off their services.
The collectors are child protective services coming to take your kids.
The collectors are employers firing you for not showing up to work, not meeting company standards, or failing a drug test.
The collectors are family and friends who disappear because you hurt them by yelling at them, not paying back loans, stealing their money or possessions.
The collectors are the people who you buy your fix from, they fronted you some and they want their money.
The collectors are the police officers who gave you tickets.
The collectors are the police officers who bust in your door and haul you to jail.
You can stop it at any point on the slide down. It’s not easy, but it can be done and it’s worth it.