Thursday, March 15, 2012
I still fought off my disease for a few more years but I finally got and stayed sober. I haven’t had a drink since.
After my injury, there was a lot of pain but I never abused my medication or went back to drinking. I had finally beat my addictive tendencies. I was lucky to have had insurance through my work. It made me glad to have the ability to pay with insurance I actually worked to get. But I had to take a second leave of absence and ultimately resign from my position as regional manager and go on disability.
Many victims of SCI’s have excruciating pain and turn to alcohol or prescribed medications to help deal with the pain, depression, shock and grief of their of loss life as they knew it. Lots start innocently with a pain medication that they inevitably build a tolerance to over time and need more just to control the pain but find they enjoy the high. It helps them forget the horror their lives have now become and find ways and means of abusing the prescription. I’ve known some SCI victims who have turned to drinking instead, really putting their already compromised health further in danger. Not to mention putting their fragile emotional and psychological state at great risk for breakdown.
This is one of reasons why I write my blog; to try and boost the self esteem, worth, image and confidence of the SCI. But once addicted an individual needs helps to stop. There is no is such thing as “will power” when it goes this far. The addict/alcoholic is CONVINCED he/she can quit on his/her own at any time and swears every time will be the last. No matter how much they take it’s never enough and soon they find themselves running out of their meds before their next refill or spending more money than they have in their budget and making every justification in the meantime. For some reason, it’s not hard to talk into yourself into using when you know you shouldn’t with excuses that sound perfectly reasonable at the time. Afterward you feel so guilty, weak, stupid and bad you just want to do the thing that makes you feel good. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to have no end.
If you’re physically addicted, like I was to alcohol, you NEED to use or get physically sick. A hangover is alcohol withdrawal. That’s why people have “hair of dog of that bit me”, or a morning drink. I did this for many years. I always made CERTAIN I had booze for next day because I knew I’d be sick if I didn’t. I never thought I’d do this, I never thought I’d do a lot of things. That’s how addiction works; you slowly but surely one by one check off the things you thought you’d never do until there’s none left to lower yourself to and your self esteem is in the toilet.
(to be continued)