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    My story is all too familar, and all too complex, for an introductory post. I’ve been reading this site for a couple of months, and in the many stories I’ve read realized this vague “this *stuff* has got to stop” feeling is really more than uneasiness.

    Opiates are my DOC. Yes, I have valid reasons for the prescriptions, most recently a botched routine out-patient surgery that went very wrong with the slip of the surgeon’s scalpel – he nicked an artery. At one point my BP was 64/34 and I was the center of a lot of attention from the ICU staff. If I could take the suckers exactly as prescribed, I’d be OK. Given that I’m posting here, obviously I can’t.

    There are no “consequences” looming just over that hill of denial. My marriage is fine, my sons are terrific, productive people, busy with their own lives yet making time to call Mom on a fairly regular basis. I make enough money from my writing to smile, and my spouse makes a comfortable living.

    Yet it feels wrong. I don’t know how many of you remember “The Big Chill” and that great line about rationalizations being more important than sex. It just feels wrong, yet the fear of unrelenting pain quickly overwhelms that gestating feeling that I should get off this stuff.

    My brother-in-law is a recovering crackhead/alcoholic, clean for nearly a decade. He’s a different person since his intervention, someone I admire and respect. I think often of contacting him, but then I remind myself that he *is* my BIL and what happens if I open up to him? He seems so committed to the program, so truly different from the jerk he was back when he was using, but… Oh yes, I’m skilled at the “yes, but” technique.

    Does anyone have advice to share? Or is that nagging little inner feeling telling me all I really need to know? I realize I’ve skimmed the surface of my story, but one thing I’ve picked up from reading this site is that everyone has a story with similar elements (it would be called a trope in fiction). I’m not special or different – I’m just a middle-aged woman, a child of the sixties, with real illnesses that justify using opiates – so why do I have this nag riding my back that it has to stop? Any advice is welcome, and thank you for reading.


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