“I don’t have a problem with pain pills“
That is the lie that I used to tell everyone, including myself. My denial and self-delusion had me actually believing that there was no way I could be addicted to pills that were legitimately prescribed by a real doctor.
The reality was somewhat uglier – I couldn’t get through the day at all without my pain pills. And when what I had on hand wasn’t doing the trick anymore, I started going to other doctors and getting more prescriptions. Pretty soon, that was my day.
I Knew the REAL Truth About My Addiction
But no matter how hard I tried to deny it or deflect other people’s concern, on some level, I knew there was a problem.
Every time I told a lie to get more pills and justified my behavior as “need”, I knew the real truth.
Every time I missed work or skipped a family function, I understood why.
Every time my husband had to tell my daughter, “Mommy’s sleeping”, we both were lying.
Each of those lies and deceptions were just another addition to the house of cards that I couldn’t maintain forever. Eventually, it became time to pay the piper.
The Near-Death Experience that Saved My Life
If there is a such thing as a “minor” overdose, that’s what happened to me. When my daughter came into my room and couldn’t wake me, it scared her, it scared my husband, and when I woke up it scared me.
My husband told the ER doctor what had been going on, it was strongly suggested that I seek professional help. When I look in the eyes of my little girl, I couldn’t lie anymore.
I checked into a 30-day program and started to work on myself.
Honesty About My Addiction Had to Come First
One of the things I learned is that the disease of addiction is fueled by continued dishonesty, deception, deflection, and denial – every single time I lied, my addiction worsened.
Obviously then, one of the antidotes prescribed during recovery is scrupulous honesty.
Before I could even begin getting better, I FIRST had to admit my life – I DID have a problem with my prescription pain pills, my usage WAS beyond my control, and my life HAD become unmanageable.
Once I tore away the veil of deception, I could begin re-building my life. Everything that I’ve done and regained since that first admission has been built upon a solid foundation of honesty.
Sometimes, the truths I uncovered were uncomfortable, because it was painful to know how much I hurt my husband, my daughter, and other people around me. But it was necessary pain, because if I couldn’t admit the wrong that I had done, and there was no way that I could ever make amends.
Successful Sobriety Means Continued Honesty
Even today, while I am in continued “successful” recovery, I still have to take special care that I am being unflinchingly honest about everything. When I am in an uncomfortable situation or feeling overwhelmed, it’s very easy for me to start thinking about falling back on my “old” ways of coping and feeling better.
But if I’m honest about those feelings, then I can take the necessary steps to avoid slipping or relapsing. Even better, if I’m honest with those around me, I can get the help and support I need to stay clean, sober, and healthy.