Soulful Saturday: Addiction

Welcome to another Soulful Saturday, everyone! Today, I’m going to talk about something very deep in my opinion: addiction. You see, addiction has played a part in a lot of my life. I both suffer from it and have seen it rip my family apart. In no way do I intend to endorse any form of addiction. Instead, I want to tell you what’s led me to it, and the history in my family that makes it most unsurprising.

When my mother abandoned my family, she claimed it was for the sake of her rehabilitation. She had an addiction to a few meds, to smoking, and to gambling. I used to come home to see her on the computer playing card games. Sometimes, she’d involve my innocent, single-digit aged self. She’d ask me to choose a random number, not telling me what it was for.

My mom was a habitual liar as well. She said she had quit cigarettes, but I’d catch her on the porch with a cigarette in her mouth lit up and glowing amongst the trees that were part of our backyard. That was the day I learned not to trust my mother… And yet I still tried to.

When I was eight, my mother gambled away my family’s business entirely. She also gambled away all our savings- and it was actually that that tore my family apart. I was kept in the dark about what my mother had done, and assumed the rehab was for her smoking. I didn’t know the details- I just knew that it was my mother’s birthday, my first day at a new school for third grade, and a day I’d never forget or forgive fully.

Of course, it’s not like my dad hasn’t had his own share of addictions… but his are generally caused by doctors, as are mine. We both suffer from severe pain, causing us to be on controlled pain meds. The thing with that is, after being on it for a while, you won’t feel as much of the aid, but you’ll definitely know the difference when withdrawal hits. Adding to that, I’m also addicted to some of my psychiatric medication. It’s not just emotional, either- some of them cause withdrawal that actually hurts my body a lot… which leads to more pain killers, which depresses me further.

Now, I’m someone who hates taking pills. I’m always trying to avoid using anything I don’t need- I fight taking things even when I need it, like tylenol or advil or even simethicone (also known as Gas-X). But my psych meds? I need those or I’ll start hallucinating and lose my mind. And the pain meds? If I don’t take them regularly, my pain gets to the point I can’t stop crying and whining.

Because I’m already addicted to meds, I’d like to not be addicted to anything else. Since gambling addictions run in my family on mom’s side (her dad had it too), I have worked hard to avoid gambling in any way… But now I let myself gamble in games that only use game currency, such as Harvest Moon DS.

I do have more than medication addiction, though. I’m also addicted to the internet, especially forums as of late. I’m a part of seven and planning to make my own with help from a friend. To most, that would seem insane! And you know what? It might be. Still, I prefer to focus on getting rid of one vice at a time.

My father and I are both trying to wean ourselves off the pain meds. I have to take at least two or three a day to avoid withdrawal, but it used to be up to six. Dad is working on multiple pain meds, while I’m on just one- tramadol. For dad, it’s even harder because he’s been on two different ones for so long… But I hope that for both of us, someday, we won’t need these meds… and we won’t have withdrawal because of it anymore.

Do any of you have an addiction problem? If you do, or just know someone with one, please let me know any tips and tricks they used to quit on their own! I could use all the help I can get.

Happy Saturday, everyone!