What Does It Feel Like To Withdraw From Opiates?

What Does It Feel Like To Withdraw From Opiates?

April 8th, 2016 in True Stories of Addiction
2 Comments

Amanda grew up in a large family, yet she wasn’t particularly close with any of her siblings.

“I always thought I’d have that instant connection; you know those build in friendships but for me I never really had that. It was strange I had tree sister and two brothers but I was never really close with any of them,” Amanda said.

Growing up she was always a good student, she graduated second in her class and received multiple scholarships for college.

“These amazing things were happening in my life but I could never fill that deadness I felt in my soul.”

She was constantly fighting the feeling of being the outsider and never feeling good enough.

Amanda was 19 when she drank Alcohol for the first time.

“I was at my sisters house and she had made some Orange Bellinis or some girly drink and I remember having like a really small glass of it and it tasted good … but it was that feeling, that warmness that I felt.”

For the first time she felt good, she felt like everything was okay.

Her Addiction Takes a Turn

When Amanda started taking OxyContin 30s, her addiction really took hold.
“Now not only am I taking pills recreationally, I’m also now snorting them … I spent a lot of time just zoning into the computer and watching TV and not really doing much.”

“Now not only am I taking pills recreationally, I’m also now snorting them … I spent a lot of time just zoning into the computer and watching TV and not really doing much.”
Amanda was able to keep her job even though she was calling in a lot, and when she was there her mind was somewhere else.

Amanda was able to keep her job even though she was calling in a lot, and when she was there her mind was somewhere else.

“I would be there physically but mentally I was thinking when am I going to get off work, I can’t wait to get off work, I just want to get high, I just want to feel better.”
She went on for years like this, telling herself it was okay because she was only using them recreationally, that she wasn’t an addict.

She went on for years like this, telling herself it was okay because she was only using them recreationally, that she wasn’t an addict.

“Until one day we were looking for Opiate pain medication, we could not find it and a friend of ours said, ‘Well I know where to get some Heroin it’s the same thing and it’s so much cheaper.’ I was getting sick at the time, starting to the detox process and I would have done anything to be physically better at that point.”

So that’s what they did, and the more Amanda used Heroin the less the pills had any affect on her.

“I got to the point where I would only use pills if I had to. The high that I got from Heroin brought me back to how I felt when I first took that drink, that warm fuzzy feeling of everything is okay.”

The Crash that Changed it All

“My boyfriend and I at the time were trying to re-up the last thing I remember is going back home because we couldn’t find anything, getting some Ambien sleep medication, because again I’ll use anything to make myself feel different and stop that detox process … Because I’m so gone in my mind about what’s okay and what’s not okay, we decide to go back out looking for more Heroin. The next thing I remember is the sound of the Jaws of Life cutting me out of my own car.”

Amanda and her then boyfriend were in a head on collision going about 40 miles per hour. She was in a medically induced coma for eight days due to the severity of her injuries.

Amanda had eight cracked ribs, a punctured lung, a punctured liver, her right femur was completely shattered, and her foot was broken in five places.

“The insanity of my disease tells me that ‘You almost died Amanda, but it really wasn’t that bad. You can do it again.’ So I was moderate for a little bit of time, because of course now they are giving me legal pain pills.”

Amanda kept telling herself that it was okay and that she had it under control. But she didn’t.

“My family rarely saw me, every time they would invite me to something I’d always have an excuse about why I couldn’t show up … in reality I was waiting on my dealer who just hadn’t shown up yet.”

Amanda had received a settlement from the car accident and had a pretty decent amount of money at her disposal.

“It was probably the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. I quite my job of nine years that I some how had managed to keep … because I needed more time to get high. I had all of this money and I needed all of the time in the world to get high.”

This lasted about five months until her roommate found her stash and confronted her about it waiting her life.

“I’m not typically an emotional person anyway, especially on Heroin I’m like catatonic normally, and I just broke down crying. Because I knew that she was right. I knew I needed to something different this time.”

Amanda called a friend of hers who was in recovery and told her she needed help to get clean. Her friends told her to meet her at a park.

“I literally show up to this place in a nightgown down to my knees, the biggest pair of jeans that I own, throw up all over myself, I hadn’t showered in probably five days, But I didn’t care. I was so emotionally, spiritually and physically bankrupt – and I had that gift of desperation, so much that I didn’t care who saw me at that point I just knew I needed to get help.”

The Road to Recovery

“I immediately got involved in a 12- step fellowship, I started going to meetings, I really got connected to sober people and I started to learn from them.”

In the early days of her recovery, she didn’t quite feel like herself, and she was afraid to get close to people.

“I never really learned how to be vulnerable when I was younger, and definitely not when I was using. I started to build these friendships and these relationships with people but at the same time, I still felt so uncomfortable in who I was.”

For a long time, she felt that going to meetings was incredibly awkward, that she was and that no one there really liked her.

“In the same token, I couldn’t wait to go. I’m going to learn, I’m going to grow and I’m going to stay sober.”

Amanda’s road to recovery helped her find herself, which she realized she never really knew who that was before.

“I got to redesign or get this higher power in my life that I choose to call God. I have a God of my understanding in my life, I have relationships with people that are actually based on good things like love, trust, and respect.”

The women in recovery that are in her life taught her how to be a strong woman, and that there is fun in recovery.

She’s had a job for over a year and has been promoted in that time.

“I don’t say that do be like oh look at me, I say it because these are the gifts of recovery for me. Not only can I show up to work but I can do a good job and I can do it in the right frame of mind. Today I live my life trying to focus on others and be of service, to be the best me I can be.”

Amanda believes life is all about perspective, if you look for the negative you are going to find it, but you can choose to look for the positive.

“I believe we go through everything for a reason, and until it teaches you the lesson it’s always going to be a part of your story.”

2 Comments
  • Mary 17:19h, 17 April Reply

    Truly an incredible story. I have roa snit I was shocked that the car accident wasn’t the turning point, but lucky for Amanda that she had an amazing friend that confronted her and got her help. 🙂

  • Brandon 01:05h, 25 April Reply

    I got godbumps when I was reading your story and it came to the part about getting into a head on collision

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