This particular blog is the hardest one for me to write, not because I did have an addiction to opioids for over a decade but because now it’s time for me to take responsibility for my own actions and demons.
I grew up with a single mom and an older brother, my mom worked odd hours being a radio DJ.
What I can remember of my mom, she always had an addiction to something, caffeine, opioids, coke, I even accused my mother of being a prostitute at one point, I don’t think that was true but the drugs definitely were. It was the 80’s and my mom was a radio personality, she loved her job and most of the time my brother and I did to, however being in the rock and roll scene in the 80’s illicit drugs were readily available, and they were all doing them.
I would watch my mom getting ready for her interviews and I was in awe, my mother in her youth was beautiful, thin, beautiful curly hair, and everyone loved her. I was about 9 I think, and my mom always had her girlfriends over when she was getting ready, plus they always went with her, when I got really sick I barged into the bathroom, which was absolutely forbidden to vomit.
On the back of the toilet was a silver and glass trey with what I now know was coke, my mother was pretty upset and I got into a heaping of trouble but that day I honestly believe my life was saved. My mother was so mad at me for weeks, this was when our relationship started to die, I started to watch everything she did I hated what was going on and she knew it, but she didn’t have control.
I watched my beautiful charismatic mother turn into someone I didn’t recognize, chasing the high took it’s toll not only mentally but physically. She would use and it didn’t matter what kind of a mood she was in, her face darkened, her eyes looked evil, and even her little giggle turned into a witch cacklethat still wakes me at night. My mother was manic depressive so everything she did was big, she had to have a constant validation to feel her own self-worth, by everybody.
My mother had a tough life starting with her mother’s death, she was the oldest of the 6 kids and her father worked full time and was alcoholic leaving my mom to care for the kids at home. I believe this is the time frame my mother’s eating disorder spiraled out of control, first restricting, saying she wanted to make sure the kids have enough to eat, this went on for a few years.
My brother was born summer 73 and I was born summer of 74, but I’m not sure she was ready to settle down if she ever was. My mother chased a few feminist movement for a while, but would lose interest, music was the one thing she never lost her passion for. By the time I made it to high school I hadn’t seen my mother in about 3 years, she sent me away to live with a relative for a year, and after reporting the abuse to the authorities I went to live with my father.
My father was a reserved guy, he was busted after I was born for selling Cannabis, 100 pounds of cannabis to an undercover officer, needless to say he did several years for the crime. My father turned his life around after getting busted and I’m really proud of him for that. When I was reunited with my father he was re-married to a lady that I believe loved him more than anything, but wasn’t happy about having a teenager in the house, especially a teenager with an abusive past like mine. The scars were deeper than I remembered.
I was a teenage mess, my biological mother would initiate abuse between my brother and I for her and her friends amusement, usually resulting in me being unconscious more times than not.
I saw a counselor through CPS at the time, however it was unsuccessful, for therapy to help you have to understand and remember what happened and work through it together making sense out of what you can, but mostly accepting what happened and understanding as a child it wasn’t my fault, something I still remind myself of today. By this time there was no stopping the eating disorder I developed, when I was sent to live with a relative of my mothers, he had been molesting me for almost a year by this time and I hated me.
One day I got this great idea, we were selling candy bars for a fundraiser at school, I brought a couple of boxes home and put them in the freezer. Whenever I was depressed or afraid he was going to touch me I would eat a couple of candy bars, if I was fat he wouldn’t want me (or so I though).
I had been living with my father and step mom for a couple of years when the nightmares started. They were so real I would wake up and just cry, until I remembered enough of the dream to start asking my father questions.
The dreams jump around a lot, so I started with detail in the dream. I remember a doll with dark curly hair, pretty knitted dress, and a 2 liter bottle full of sand, is this real? My father sat back in his chair that day looking at me as if he had to make the decision right then to tell me the truth, it was quiet for a couple of minutes when my father said “yes it was real, that doll was made for you when you were 2 years old”. Before I could get the question out “who was the dark haired lady?” My father decided I was old enough for the truth, and this is pretty much how it went.
The dark haired lady was my father’s girlfriend at the time, and they had been busted for selling a large quantity of cannabis to an undercover police officer, only my father “forgot” to tell the police there was a 3 year old little girl in a trailer by herself. As my father finished the story I saw the shame in his eyes, he left me in a trailer for 3 days by myself and never told anyone, my father’s girlfriend finally told the police. The police had no idea what they were going to find, however they got ahold of my mother and told her to come get me.
I don’t remember what happened when the police found me, I only remember the last words out of my dad’s mouth. You took care of yourself getting food when you were hungry, watched cartoons, and stayed in the trailer, nobody had any idea you were there.
We were called latch key kids in those days, we didn’t have babysitters, half the time we didn’t have parents, and no tech. I don’t know how we survived at times. This is where I was very different from my family, even though I didn’t have a lot of the memories of drug abuse from my mother, I didn’t want my kids to see me the way I saw her growing up, I never experimented with drugs, I never had the desire but I know my brother did. I saw the warning signs of street drugs while, completely ignoring the warning signs of opioid addiction.
I’m a cancer patient going through hell treatments and the drugs I take are prescribed by my doctor, I’m not an addict just trying to have a decent quality of life so I tried to convince myself. At one point in time for me to be able to pull off a huge event like Arizona Bike Week I had to have pain medications, muscle relaxers, blood pressure medication, anti-nausea medications, and anxiety medication just to make it through the day.
If it’s a multiple day event, I knew I was going to hurt and it’s going to take me a couple of weeks to recoup. Not including the bowl healing time, opioids have a horrible side effect of constipation, when your constipated and being physically active is painful prompting the use of more pain medicine.
It’s a horrible catch 22 more and more people are finding themselves in today. With the opioid crisis people are getting stuck in a cycle, they don’t want to use but in the same aspect they can’t handle the pain, whether physical or emotional. Pain is a basic teacher, if something hurts you don’t want to do it again but because of how strong of an addiction these drugs have, people are having a harder time seeing past the addiction, and in some cases not wanting to see past the addiction.
For me, my addictions have helped me forget my past, they have allowed me to escape to a place I don’t have to understand, the emotional pain doesn’t live here, and my demons are never in the dark. It’s not a healthy way to live and I have spent the last several years just trying to lay my past to rest without much success, but I have learned the power of people.
I have been sharing pieces of my story for the last couple of years, the abuse (physical and emotional), rape, addiction, and eating disorder and I honestly have to wonder why? Not just why me but why not me.
I never used illicit street drugs, no real desire to try but I was heavily addicted to opioids and honestly a few years ago I wanted it all to end, I was done with the pain, the cancer treatments, the vomiting, I was tired and done. Why was I still here, my parent’s didn’t want me that was apparent, my husband at the time was very abusive, my kids hated me, and I couldn’t blame them because I hated me to and the saddest part was I couldn’t even remember why.
So, why? I learned from watching my mom that hard drugs weren’t my thing but I never made the connection in my own brain that taking opioids the way I did was no different. My brother learned Opioids weren’t his things, but because of his trauma he was self-medicating his way.
Now my question lies with my kids, my kids weren’t abused, but they did see what I went through even though the underlying medical diagnosis is cancer the more deadly and serious diagnosis was addiction. Addiction was killing me and I couldn’t see it, how do you tell a cancer patient no, the pain won’t kill you but the cure can. My kids remember their childhood as me as an addict, a slave to a pain medication and just because I didn’t use street drugs they have looked at me like an addict.
I was called a junkie the other day and honestly it pissed me off, technically I had a problem I couldn’t control with opioids but I didn’t consider myself a drug addict or at least not a junkie, I still don’t feel that using medical cannabis is bad, being able to control some of the pain is important, if I can keep my pain level to a 4 or 5 I don’t use cannabis throughout the day (only when the pain is a 5 + do I smoke in the morning), I will use cannabis to help me eat and keep food down, about 15 minutes before I eat I usually smoke, not because I hurt even though I do sometimes, but for the pure help eating, and nausea control.
I have had an eating disorder since I was young, I started out trying to eat as much as I could to be fat so my uncle would lose interest, to going weeks without eating anything. Humans are the only animal that will instinctively do something stupid, no other animal starves themselves to death.
I love to cook and try to eat every day it’s just hard. I don’t have a bad body image and sometimes I wish I did because maybe it would be easier, I haven’t tried to lose weight or gain weight in the last 10 years but when my body says no to food I have to seek help, Medical Cannabis has helped me stabilize a 1200 calorie day so far, yes 1200 calories a day isn’t a lot but it’s a start.
I have built a routine around eating and no exercise, because I’m not in taking enough calories on a daily basis to maintain a healthy life style, I know and recognize this and am actively trying to correct this, however patience is a must for everyone involved in this process. It’s just as frustrating for the patient as for the family.
I did seek help and tried to talk to psychologists several times, and I have a hard time sticking with it not because I don’t want to but because I don’t remember enough anymore, when these dreams come back I have found, relaxation and allowing the dream to fade before trying to reconcile it, make it make sense. Once I can remember enough of the dream I try to find pictures or stories from someone which is a lot harder now, actually impossible, so making sense sometimes is as simple as accepting it happening and remembering they can’t hurt me anymore.
Does it actually work, no, but I remember having a conversation with my brother about our childhood and him saying yes, he too has found people to talk to and he will talk to anyone sometimes that will listen just to get it off his chest.
He found the abuse to him as being the abuser when we were kids really affected his ability to fully accept a wife, because he and I were best friends even though my mother had him abuse me for her entertainment he viewed me and women differently it’s hard to beat up your little sister for years and she’s your best friend despite what was going on, I never blamed him, hell barely remembered it.
I was remembering, the nightmares had started again and that laugh, her laugh it was always the last thing I heard before I was unconscious, I had to ask my brother about a memory recently and it was in the mix of all of this and he told me what he did, he loved me and he didn’t want to but going against her, my mother’s favorite saying was I brought you into the world and I can take you out, I think to an extent we believed her. My brother is a good man, he punishes himself as I do for things that have happened in our past.
We are all human and mistakes are going to happen the real healing is when I see people coming together today, accepting us for all our mistakes and learning from our mistakes, sharing these stories of successfully beating an opioid addiction or any addiction, if our stories can help one other person understand that they are worth life, love, happiness, and a good quality of life, if we can save one child from repeating our history, or one parent from severely abusing their child then we have done our jobs.
I started Freemycure.org just over 2 years ago when I learned it was ok to live sadly, I figured it out after a terminal diagnosis. I have spent the larger part of 44 years of life, chronically ill, tortured and controlled by Big Pharma, hiding from the world, and being so afraid of my own shadow that I just make myself sicker, haunted by memories of a past that would bring grown men to their knees begging for mercy and praying for it to end, that I didn’t know what life was.
I have talked with so many people, I’ve heard many other stories of addiction like mine and one thing I have learned we all had in common was we were all running from something, emotional scars take forever to heal if they ever do they can be 10 times more painful than a physical ailment and it is can be a very hard journey to come back from.
To this day I can’t handle large crowds (I will get a bad anxiety attach), stress, something as simple as checking the checking account will cause serious stress and ulcers, immune deficiencies, eating disorder, not to menschen diseases I now live with like Ulcerative Colitis and migraines, was all of this caused by my addiction no, but it didn’t help. By building the website, building social media accounts and talking with so many of you, I found a safe place for me be able to vent, learn, and help educate.
Cannabis saved my life, not just because it’s killing the cancer but because it helped me realize who I am, it gave me a voice, it helped me see the path I was on was going to kill me. Trading one addiction for another is not recommended and please understand the actual definition of an addict is a person being able to function and control with and without it, as a productive member of society.
I smoke or use cannabis every day to help control my pain, to help stimulate my appetite, to keep my demons at bay, and to help me function mentally. Is it an addiction? I’m not sure, I have personally gone several days without using cannabis, I was able to function but my writing is always lacking without cannabis, each piece I wright, I feel the healing start, being able to forgive myself for the stupid crap I did, thank god there’s no pictures.
I call out a challenge to all of you reading this to do 1 random act of kindness a day. It’s easier than you think, pick 1 person a day for 30 days, then say hi, or compliment them, or offer some advice (nicely). You can make a trey of cookies at take it to work for your co-workers. Money is tight with everyone right now so don’t feel like you have to spend any money or a lot of money, a smile is normally free
Written and Published by Dr Green-Haze in Weed World Magazine Issue 136