Feelings of Hopelessness in Addiction
There is no question that most of us felt hopeless in our addiction. I remember the feelings of emptiness. I remember looking at my future and resigning myself to the fact that I may never be happy. I lived to use and I used to live. I couldn’t see any other way.
In my more delusional moments, I convinced myself that my drug use wasn’t the cause of my feelings of hopelessness in addiction. I thought maybe I was just depressed. Or maybe everyone feels this way. That it was normal to feel empty every day. I had fooled myself because I didn’t want to blame the drugs. If I blamed the drugs, I’d have to think about giving them up, and there was absolutely no way I could live without them.
A lot of my feelings of hopelessness in addiction came from the fact that I had convinced myself that I needed the drugs I was using. I had been diagnosed with a herniated disc. When I originally went to the doctor, I was legitimately suffering from pain. I was given pain medication and muscle relaxers. I loved the way those pills took away my pain-both emotional and physical. I felt really good, and I never tried to find any other solution. It was easier to take the pills than to go to physical therapy or explore other treatment options.
By the time I was having feelings of hopelessness in addiction, I was going to pain clinics; “pill mills” that took my cash and gave me more pain medication than a cancer patient. Whenever I ran out, I would be in massive amounts of pain. I convinced myself that I needed these medications. I had pain.
What I didn’t think about, what I didn’t want to think about, was that becoming physically addicted to these medications depressed my body’s natural ability to manage pain. Even if a perfectly healthy person became addicted to opiate painkillers, they would feel pain when they tried to come off them.
I didn’t want to think about the fact that most of my pain was due to the fact that I was physically addicted to opiates. I was more comfortable convincing myself that I really did have a condition for which I needed pain medication. It was a comfortable delusion, but it lead to many feelings of hopelessness in addiction.
After all, if I really needed these medications, then how would I ever lead a normal life? I was enslaved by these pills. I was chained to where I was. I couldn’t go out of town without securing enough medication to get me through. If I ever wanted to move, I’d have to find new doctors, if I could even find doctors willing to keep me on pain medication. I could never miss a doctor’s appointment, and usually the appointments took all day. No matter what happened, no matter what I was doing, my life would revolve around these drugs.
Feelings of hopelessness in addiction weren’t fun, but having them makes me so much more grateful for what I have today. I’ll never forget the first time a light shined in the darkness; the first time I really believed that there is hope; that recovery is possible.