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    Hi, I’m new here and haven’t read through the other posts yet, so I
    apologize if my post here is too long or does not share in a general
    way… After having 18 years in AA, I had a talk with my sponsor today
    about what the last three years for me have really been like…

    I have a few chronic pain conditions: Fibromyalgia, Trigeminal
    Neuralgia, Migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and symptoms of
    Pancreatitis for which my general physician has had me go back and
    forth between doctors to do endoscopy, MRIs, CT Scans and whatever
    there is to look into my body to see what’s going wrong with it today.

    Over the passed few years, I’ve had five major surgeries and a dozen
    minor oral surgeries, all to which I’ve been prescribed various pain
    medications. The worst of all was Methadone, which was a last resort
    because I can’t take NSAIDS or tylenol anymore since my kidneys and
    liver may be damaged by three years worth of codeine with tylenol…
    it’s the tylenol that’s injured my organs…

    It’s been a humbling experience to have chronic pain in my life while
    maintaining my home and being a dedicated mother, and because I live
    for my son’s happiness, I can honestly swear that I’ve been mindful
    about not abusing prescription drugs, that I followed doctor’s orders
    to the letter, even writing down time when a pill was taken, keeping
    that sheet by a clock so that the next dose would be taken as
    prescribed when the four hours were up.

    My 6 year old son accompanied me to these doctor appointments
    because it’s difficult to get childcare during the middle of the day.
    But we had a shocking experience when the pain management doctor
    told me (with my son in the room and not seeming to be sympathetic
    about his feelings), “you have two months to live, and if you want to
    make it through to stay here for your little boy, you need to take this
    medicine as I prescribe so your body will heal. You want to stick
    around for him, don’t you?” It was heartbreaking.

    I could see there was a risk for slipping away from my conscious contact
    with God, so begged my pain management doctor to please not prescribe
    Methadone but offer a less invasive medication. The doctor said for me
    to not worry because he was on my side and would not prescribe medicine
    that would be harmful, that I’d be tapered, that he would monitor me closely…

    The Methadone was tapered up to the max, and my pain mgmt doctor
    told me that I would be safe because once a cure or treatment could be
    found, he’d taper me down, and then I’d be free. Yet, he said that I
    HAD to take that medication because in his opinion, I was dying and
    that’s why my body has pain. However, the Methadone was having bad
    side effects. I not only gained weight, but my body swelled from Edema,
    I was experiencing headshocks, and the Trigeminal Neuralgia worsened.

    My son’s father, 23 years sober in the program, remains a close friend
    and I have been truthful with him about my health and what medications
    were being prescribed (including the MMJ down the road), and he has
    supported me through this ordeal. I respect his views because his life
    has been a great achievement thanks to this program, plus we have
    a lot of history together, yet as we co-raise our son equally together,
    I felt he should know how bad off I was because of the Methadone
    turning me into a zombie. He said he agreed and felt it was unethical
    of the pain management doctor to not be monitoring me as promised.

    I called my pain management doctor daily for an appointment but he
    wouldn’t return my calls, so I paid an unscheduled visit and was sent
    back to my general physician. The pain doc said it wasn’t the
    Methadone but that I was dying from destroyed liver and kidneys. Yet
    as he was not good with allowing me to see him for evaluation but
    would keep me waiting for hours while he entertained drug reps in his
    office, when he finally saw me, quite late, I told him, “I’m concerned
    about your ethics. I’m trying to stay sober and am afraid of being on
    Methadone. It’s messing with my life.” At that point, he said, “we’re
    done here” and then he would not refill my script.

    Next thing I knew, I was having to call my general doctor but even he
    wouldn’t see me. He said his nurses tried to find me a new pain
    management clinic but every pain doctor in the area said they would
    not see me. It suspected that I was blacklisted, yet one pain
    mgmt doctor out of the area would see me, and I explained to him
    my story, how no local pain doc would see me, even telling him about
    how my body was physically damaged from narcotics and that I didn’t
    want another narcotic, that Lyrica and Impramine made me loopy, so no
    anti-convulsants nor anti-depressants either… That gave him little
    to work with, I suppose…

    Some years ago I had been beaten up pretty badly when a sociopath
    abducted and tortured me. That man was eventually found guilty and
    given a Life sentence in prison. Upon hearing this, the new pain
    management doctor felt I needed to have a psych evaluation, but I told
    him how I already had 5 years of psychotherapy for PTSD which included
    EMDR, but at no time would I take any anti-depressants because I
    wished to stay sober. So he said the only other option then was to
    surgically install a permanent pain pump with morphine drip, and that
    I would need to come into his office once a week for refill plus
    injections into my spine. When hearing THAT, it was red flags for
    me…. I HAD to get out of that mess– I would rather live with pain
    and remain sober in the head than go down that road, so I never went

    I did though return to my general doctor to tell him about my
    experience at this new pain doctor’s office and how I found medical
    reports about therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana for
    Fibromyalgia and IBS. He said he could not prescribe so referred me to
    consult with an M.D. that had a license to prescribe medical cannabis.
    I waited through a few months before taking that step, first trying
    acupuncture, Reiki, and Chinese herbal medicines, but no relief from
    pain came, and I was increasingly becoming depressed, developing
    insomnia because when there’s chronic pain, it’s difficult to get
    comfortable enough to fall asleep.

    Desperate for relief from pain, I surrendered to making a consult with
    an OB-GYN with license to prescribe medical marijuana. He went through
    all my medical reports, reviewed my medication history, then told me,
    “there is a safe and effective way to take medical cannabis but only
    if you follow instructions, otherwise you could risk getting stoned.”
    So he instructed me on how to take two puffs of MMJ on an as needed

    To be truthful, I followed those instructions but there were times
    when my pain was so great that I could not get out of bed and when a
    friend offered five Vicodins, I accepted them and took them over a
    week long period. I figured that since this was medication that was
    recently prescribed but went cold turkey because doctors gave me the
    run around and failed to do their part to be accountable for my relief
    due to insurance issues or government drug schedule policy (there’s a
    limit as to how long a doctor may prescribe codeine medication), since
    I couldn’t find an AA friendly pain management doctor, screw it
    because I’m in pain, serious pain.

    I did not cause my body to fall into this painful mess, nor could I
    help what happened to myself when some crazy man tortured me years
    ago, nor could I help the five subsequent major surgeries from
    happening, but I swear that through my years of recovery I prayerfully
    asked God if I was being truthful with my sobriety.

    Humiliated and having a good idea that my sponsor would not support me
    in my use of prescribed medication for pain relief (we belong to a
    group that is anti-medication, especially MMJ since it’s regarded as a
    “luxury for normies and stoners”), I could not admit to her how my
    pain tolerance diminished and that I was using medication for relief.
    I didn’t want to disappoint her or feel rejection, plus, I needed
    those meds to feel half human. There was also one more incident when a
    non-prescribed drug was passed my way when a friend saw how badly in
    pain I was after a 12 hour flight threw my back out. As I was in pain
    and wanted the pain to stop, I surrendered to the offer, not caring
    whether it was a slip or not– I just wanted to stop suffering, not to
    get high. And, it helped, but I felt guilty afterwards because a
    doctor didn’t prescribe that time either.

    Believe me, I would not take medication or a drug to get loaded…. I
    had the chance last month to drink in a famous bar but was apparently
    so troubled-looking that a stranger sat next to me to ask how I was
    doing, to which I said “not good. I’m thinking about ordering a drink
    but I don’t know what to drink since I’ve not had alcohol in eighteen
    years.” The fellow said, “don’t do it” then identified himself as a
    sober member in the program and stayed with me until my concert was
    over (I’m a lead singer in a band)… To me, that was a Godshot and a
    wake up call to get truthful about my dependency on meds… I wanted
    my miracles to return. You know, the Promises are REAL but it feels
    like they’ve stopped coming my way ever since meds came my life.

    Desperate to get back to a place where there’s a chance for these
    awesome Promises to return, I started going to NA meetings and
    identifying myself as a newcommer. After a week of this and talking
    with a friend who slipped on pain meds, I got the courage to fess up
    with my sponsor and her opinion is that I ‘went out and need to start
    over again with a new sobriety date’.

    I’ve not taken any pain pills in a month and the last two hits of MMJ
    was four days ago after a bad Friday evening when my IBS was causing
    me to vomit non-stop. At that point, I still did not phone my sponsor
    but phoned an NA office to speak with an old timer and was told that
    so long as it’s medication prescribed, there’s no slip, so I tearfully
    hung up the phone and took those two hits, and I must say that my
    stomach calmed down and I was able to stop vomiting, get some needed

    Earlier this evening I logged onto the chat room and shared my story.
    Nearly everyone’s told me that I’ve not slipped, to get a new sponsor,
    keep my time, but I must admit to feeling confused, especially after
    returning from an NA meeting and sharing about what’s going on. It’s
    rough to be in this position. I want to hold on to my 18 years of sobriety
    / clean time, but I’m not one hundred per cent sure if somehow my
    disease of addiction could be throwing me into denial somehow.

    My sponsor says I must turn my pain over to God because the disease
    of alcoholism and addiction is so cunning, baffling and powerful that
    it can manufacture pain to justify the use of prescription medications
    and throw us into half-measures until we slip away and die from going
    out… I also need to say here that I look up to my sponsor and am awed
    by all that she’s done in her life and for the lives of others, but I sometimes
    feel judged by members in the group we belong to, like they’re being
    a bit pink-cloudish about how God can remove a ‘defect of character
    like pain’. I’ve been told to get out of my ‘victim mode’… Even my sponsor’s
    grandsponsor ordered me to quit psychotherapy because it was ‘keeping
    me in a state of being a victim while putting my program second.’

    So I complied, quit therapy, haven’t been talking to any therapist even
    though I’ve been forced to re-enter a second trial for the violent assault
    I suffered years ago, and I have felt so lost on my own with having to
    depose and re-do the whole emotional trauma all over again. It’s harder
    the second time around because my body’s fallen apart and I’m in pain.
    I’m not the same newcommer as I was when 26 and first entered the
    program, and I feel emotionally down about losing respect from my old
    timer friends but at the same time, I don’t want to be a brat in denial.

    Thanks for listening.

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