Catching up with friends or catching up with myself?

It’s been a while since I posted anything. I’d like to believe it’s because I’ve been busy doing proactive activities, but if the truth be told it’s been a very difficult month or so. It’s difficult for me to know where or how to start off, so let’s go back a few months to when I left for the UK.

First of all I had a fantastic time. It was amazing to see my grandparents, friends, and parents again. To see my mum get married to the one who I believe she was meant to be with was truly wonderful and I doubt anyone who was in France could argue that it wasn’t a beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful moment in time. Although I did have an absolutely amazing time, for the past couple of months I’ve had some quite serious back pain. Before leaving for the UK, I had sought help to resolve the pain without success. The only thing that worked on a strictly pain relieving temporarily basis was a strong painkiller called Panadeine, otherwise known as Paracetamol with Codeine Phosphate. The problem with using this painkiller longer term, is Codeine is an opiate, i.e it belongs to the same family of drugs that morphine comes from. In other words, if used regularly, it can be highly addictive. Unfortunately it was never my intention to become addicted to it, but the pain was so bad that I felt I had no choice but to take it when required knowing full well the risk I was taking. Sure enough when I got back Australia I continued to pursue the relief of my back pain. Eventually we came to the conclusion that it was most likely being caused by the anti depressants I was taking. I switched to another, and sure enough the pain receded. Not entirely, but enough to make it manageable and not debilitating. So although I had now at least partially resolved the pain, I was now addicted to codeine. Over the next month, I started taking it more frequently and at recreational doses. With simple research, it wasn’t hard to find out how to extract the codeine from the tablets so I could continue to get the same effect each time. Opiates are highly addictive and most people build up a tolerance quite quickly, which means in order to achieve the same feeling the user will need to regularly increase the dosage taken. I became dependent on it. When I wasn’t using, I felt empty and depressed. I felt like I was only really content or even alive when high. When not using I couldn’t enjoy anything. I stopped skating, running,  doing anything really. It was a desperate situation and I felt trapped and cheated into it. Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard I tried to make good decisions there is always another complication that arises from the murky and deceitful waters of life.

Thankfully, I am in a better place now. I flew west to Perth to visit some friends, and since leaving Sydney I’ve managed to kill my addiction. I no longer feel dependent on it and yes, It was difficult. You see when you stop taking an opiate you will get withdrawal symptoms. I won’t go into detail, but I can tell you it’s certainly not an enjoyable experience. Think of it like a serious hangover that lasts 3-5 days. I am now clean, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t still have to make multiple conscious decisions everyday to stop myself from going back to square one.

There are some days where the temptation is far stronger than others. It’s an intense mental battle that lasts hours on end and doesn’t seem to get any easier. I can only hope that over time the desire will decrease. I have to believe it will because it’s the only way I can keep moving forward. I plan on going back to work next month. I think it’s time that I step outside my comfort zone again and back into the real world. I do think it will be a challenge, but I also think that I need to prove to myself that I am getting better, and I am moving forward. The last year has been a hard one, in particular the psychological side of things and I’d like to believe that I didn’t go through all of that for nothing.

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, and this isn’t exactly the brightest post, but I feel like it’s important one. It’s easy to slip into a routine or situation that you never intended to get yourself into. It really can happen to anyone. There’s a saying that you are only ever 2 conscious decisions away from losing everything, and anyone who’s been through hard times could tell you how scarily accurate this is. If you feel like this might relate to you, then I encourage you to seek help from friends and family. The people you trust the most are the people who can help you more than you’d realize. When you’re in a dark place it’s easy to lose yourself, and it’s the people that are closest to you that can truly help mend a broken soul.

I’m not sure where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for the loving support and encouragement from all my friends and family. It cannot be undervalued how important they are in times of hardship and pain.

I’ll try to write more frequently. It’s always baffled me how easy it is to forget how enjoyable writing, or any other activity can be.

Sincerely,

Harry aka Kinkymuffin