12th August – Day 1 – Reduced my tapentadol dose to 350mg from 400mg. A little bit of anxiety, I can feel my heart is slightly pressured.
13th August – Day 2 – Day two, and the withdrawal is already starting to take affect. Woke up with a thumping headache, and a lot of anxiety. It’s been a long time since I’ve had anxiety in the morning. Feels very similar to when I was in Australia. Stomach really hurt in the afternoon, I can tell already this is going to be fun.
14th August – Day 3 – Massive headache as soon as I woke up. It’s only 10:30 am and I’m already done with today. My heart feels like someone is crushing it, and my legs ache. I feel uncomfortable, uneasy, like something is terribly wrong, but at least I know it isn’t. Still remaining positive. I know that I need and want to do this, and ultimately it will help me get where I want to go.
2nd September – 150 : 150 – Feeling pretty average this afternoon. A little sweaty, but mostly just annoying cravings for any drugs to abuse. Really want to find more tapentadol but I know I cannot allow myself to do that.
3rd September – 100 : 150 – Real withdrawal is starting to kick in. Lovely nightmares last night, and this morning feeling pretty shit. I have no energy, but I’m feeling good in the sense that I know this is so good for me. Wish I had some kratom, hopefully it’ll arrive tomorrow since it’s really helpful with the withdrawal symptoms. Duncan and Mum are being really supportive and lovely, allowing me to just relax and get through the worst of it.
4th September – 100 : 100 – The worst day so far, really making me feel quite down and depressed. The physical side is currently not too bad, I do sometimes get really hot and sweaty out of nowhere, but maybe because I’m quite fit and healthy none of the symptoms are as intense as I’ve felt before when going through withdrawal.. The psychological part though is tough. I’m still feeling good that I’m doing what I said I would, but it’s still really tough. Hopefully the worst of it will be over in a few days time. So far no problems sleeping, which is really good. It makes the next day considerably easier if I can still get some rest. At least it was a relatively cool day today, which I think is really good for me. Overheating is a problem and will make me more dehydrated than I already am.
7th September – 50 : 50 – Yeah I skipped a few days, because it’s hard to remember to write these. The day wasn’t so bad. The night before was terrible, I got about 1 hour of sleep the entire night. Just lying awake continually cycling through being too hot or too cold. It sucked, I couldn’t get comfortable, and my legs felt really weird. It’s called RLS (restless leg syndrome) it’s a very common withdrawal symptom but it really sucks. It just makes you want to move your legs otherwise it’s like someone’s constantly tickling them. The evening was the worst of everything so far. I felt so ill, it’s the first time I’ve retreated to lie on my bed. I didn’t move for the rest of the night, on several occasions I thought I’d throw up, but thankfully I was spared that heinousity…for now. Thankfully, I slept quite well, probably because I was so tired.
8th September – Zero. – I feel better this morning than I did last night, but I don’t have much faith that I’m through the worst of it. Considering how bad it got last night, when I was still taking 50-50. This is the first day of not taking any tapentadol In probably about 10 months. No idea what will happen, but I’m not looking forward to the evening, as I think as the day goes on it’ll get worse. I’d imagine the next 24-72 hours will be the worst of everything. I’m not looking forward to it, it already sucks. Not to mention my e-cig has basically stopped working so my one thing that I kind of use to help get by is now gone. Still, I think it’s really good that even though everything is so shit right now, underneath how awful I feel, I actually feel quite good, because I can see already that I don’t need tapentadol anymore, and that finally stamping out all opiates is really what I need to do to move on with my life. I’ve been held down by opiates for so long, I cannot wait until I am free of their malicious and evil mind manipulating properties. I am done with them. I do not need them. I do not want them.
Have you ever noticed, that the more important a decision is, the less and less it feels like a choice? Maybe it’s just me, but it’s one of the things I really struggle with and something that absolutely needs to be changed.
The past week or two has been difficult for me. I’ve been pretty all over the place. Sometimes the way Anti-Depressants work is when you increase your dose, you actually end up feeling worse before you feel better.
It’s these kind of moments, that I find myself really struggling to make good decisions. A lot of the time it feels like I’m not making a decision at all. It’s quite difficult to explain, because at the end of the day, everyone has a choice. What isn’t easy to understand, even for myself, is why it appears that I have literally no control over some decisions at times where I really need to be making the best decisions possible. Tapentadol, the painkiller I take for my chronic back pain, is quite addictive. When I’m feeling vulnerable, down, anxious, or uncomfortable, I get this overwhelming urge of no longer caring, and seeking out drugs to self medicate. I know it’s a bad choice, I know that it won’t help me in the long run, and yet I do it anyway, because I’m so far gone that I can barely control my own mind and actions.
On a few occasions in the last week or two, I ended up finding where my medicine is kept and I took more tapentadol than I should have. I didn’t feel guilty at the time, in fact the only thing running through my head was “I shouldn’t do this, it’s a bad idea”. I still did it, without any real hesitation. It’s really hard to control myself when I get to that state of mind. It’s so unpleasant that I no longer care about the consequences of my actions, and I just take the most direct route to relieving myself of despair.
I know that these are the times where I have to make the best decisions. It’s something I really have to work on, and if I ever want to return to a normal life, I have to get it under control. It’s not easy though. How do you decide to decide, when it doesn’t feel like a decision in the first place? At those moments, I’m struggling so much that it no longer feels like I am making the decisions. I know that I have to change this, I need to believe that I can choose an alternative. I know it’ll help me in the long run, and ultimately allow me to get better.
Someone I know the other day said something along the lines of “Addiction isn’t a choice, it’s a weakness”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. No one chooses to be addicted or have an addictive personality. It’s just something that some people are predisposed too, and in some cases, just end up that way because of life’s mysterious ways of operating. I’m pretty realistic when it comes to my addictions. I’m fully aware that sometimes I can’t control myself. I’m aware that my brain is often thinking about ways to self medicate, or get away with taking more than required. At the current time, it’s not really my choice whether my brain does that. I guess what is my choice, is whether I decide to listen to it. Of course I try not too, but if I’m feeling down, it’s all too easy to give in.
I know that I’m trying, I know that I’m going to get past this. I know that I will triumph because there isn’t any other option. That is my choice, and I will follow through with it. There’ll be times where I mess up, and times when I don’t manage to control it. That’s ok though. I’m only human, and when that does happen, I try not to judge myself or feel guilty, because it’s just not as simple as making a choice at that time.
It’s hard for a lot of people to understand what it’s like to have those kind of urges, it’s not the same urge you get for a coffee in the morning, or to sit down after standing for too long. It’s brutal, and relentless, scary and powerful. It may be a choice, but it’s the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make, and I have to make it each and every hour of every day.
I’m not asking for sympathy, but next time you’re dealing with someone who is struggling to make good choices, think about why that is. Think about what must be going on inside their head for what appears to be such a simple decision to become so unclear. It’s easy to make a bad choice, but it’s infinitely harder to understand one, especially if its not yours.
I didn’t choose to be a drug addict, and I didn’t choose to be depressed.
But I do have a choice, and I’m trying my best.