I am an addict!
You may think it's the most natural thing to say, but it's not. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to tell myself and the world but it is also the truth. For a 24 year old lady with a bright future and limitless opportunities, its is a big deal.
I am an addict: a drug addict. I have never smoked, and never even come in contact with hard drugs, but I still found myself being a drug addict. I have been emotionally and psychologically drained in more ways than one. I have been battling with depression, as well but none of this is the cause of my addiction. Three years ago, I was involved in a ghastly road accident that killed my driver, friend, and almost took my life. I was rescued by God-fearing people and taken to a government hospital were I was cared for, for a few hours before my family heard about the incident. My father wasted no time transferring me to one of the best (also one of the most expensive) hospitals in the city. I was immediately attended to, operated on, and given the best care during recovery. I kept asking when I could go home, and although i felt weak, I assumed I was alright. I was in the hospital for almost 3 months recovering beautifully in a private room with first class service. HOME away from HOME, my mother would jest and indeed, I started seeing that lovely room as "home". The day I was discharged from the hospital was the beginning of my problem. By midnight, I had started to feel terrible pains around the surgery site and could barely sleep. When I complained at the hospital the next day, I was told it was natural to feel the pains. The muscles weren't healed yet and would take some time due to the location of the injury. He said there wasn't much they could do but wait for the muscles to regenerate themselves and get back to work. He however gave me some Diclofenac, and assured me that the more my muscles begin to get active/strong, the less pain I would have until I became pain free. I took comfort in his words and used my drugs religiously. I used all type of the NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), but none worked. The first week was the worst. I thought for sure, I would die! My folks started to insinuate that I was seeking attention. This drove me back to the hospital to inquire if my pain was natural. The doctor told me that I had been on pain relievers twice a day, everyday for all the time spent there. They had known the pain would be excruciating and had to cushion it with injections. Pentazocine injections.
I didn't have to search very hard to get this drug. The pharmacist around the corner sells it, and its quite cheap too. I bought about 5 injections and syringes the first time to be cautious. As soon as the pain came again that night, I didn't mind the needle prick and I injected myself. 1ml of awesomeness... Just 1ml, and I forgot what pain was. For 6hours, I was pain free and able to sleep soundly. I researched the drug, read about it side effects, worried about self medication but it all didn't matter when I administered it on myself every night to help me sleep and feel good, rather than crying in pain. I promised myself that I would stop as soon as the pains stop. I TRIED to stop a year later when the pains did stop. I just couldn't.
Every night for 3 years, I inject myself because without it, I cannot sleep. I have read journals and articles on how to stop using a drug after you get dependent on one. I have tried to force myself from using, only to relapse again because I cannot sleep. Being a Yoruba Nigerian lady, I have been doubtful of getting medical help or any type of help at all for fear that I would be judged hastily. I completely accept the blame, and take full responsibility for my actions but I needed people to understand how this happened. I am not a bad girl, but I am an addict.
I have written this post as a silent plea, hoping no one will judge me hastily.
I am addicted to pain relievers, and I don't know how to stop.
Please drop your comments, advice and suggestions in d comment box below....