Please Know, I Did This in the Name of Research, Journalism, and Self-Medication

Confession time. I am so embarrassed to admit that I did what I’m about to tell you. I have been avoiding this for three months now. I feel like I have to come clean. I started this story almost two months ago but kept saving it as a draft, not yet ready to share the truth. I don’t know why I feel like this can’t be a private mistake; perhaps because I have discussed my struggle with addiction in the past very openly on this blog and not mentioning this would be like, well…lying…lying and letting everyone think that I am a successfully clean and sober woman. Danny Libor from My Rants and Rambles just popped in my head. Don’t think I’m a coward for this, Danny.

Let me go back and explain. And please, before you judge me–read the whole story of what happened. lovemykids14

The very first week after I started writing this blog I was also working on my other new blog, What Do You Have to Say About That? and I came across a news story that seriously caught my attention and peaked my interest in a way that only an addict–possibly an alcoholic–could ever understand. It was a fascinating story that had me very revved-up. It started with a story about how methamphetamine was being prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorderin children. Oh hell no, was my initial reaction. I pounced on that story. I was outraged that a Doctor could prescribe that horrible drug to children, regardless of the condition it was treating. I have three children and two of them–one an adult and one just 14 years old–have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and both of them have been on Adderall XR, which is comprised of amphetamine salts. I, too, have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and was taking Adderall XR for quite a few months as well. There was only one reason I stopped taking Adderall XR….but we will get to that in a moment.

lovemykids3So I researched the article’s claim further, for days and days, into well over a week…I discovered that methamphetamine really was being prescribed, though not all that often, for Attention Deficit Disorder, and there were definitely patients who were finding it to be more effective than Adderall in the management of their symptoms of inattention, inability to concentrate/lack of concentration, getting easily distracted, among other symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Here’s the thing: I have a pretty severe case of adult-onset Attention Deficit Disorder, and the management of my symptoms has become extremely difficult as a result of my addiction to opiates and, eventually, my choice to begin methadone treatment as opposed to continuously failing in my attempts to quit pills by going cold-turkey, which, if you have ever done this, you understand the complete hell you go through (and it’s a bit worse each time you try). It’s unavoidable. And it’s the most unbearably miserable hell a person can experience in life, and anyone who has been through it will tell you the exact same thing.

In my research of methamphetamine for the management of ADD symptoms, I came across an article about a young college student being prescribed Adderall and this [very dingy and ignorant] young lady, bless her heart, wrote an article on her school’s website about her experience with methamphetamine in place of Adderall (amphetamine) for her long suffered case of Attention Deficit Disorder. There were several arguments the writer made which not only bothered and, even, irritated me to no end…they also made me chuckle to myself. Here this young lady was a pre-med student taking 90mg of AdderallXR to party with her friends, but she had the audacity to criticize the Doctor for giving it to her when she admitted to lying (or rather, exaggerating) to her doctor in an effort to increase the dosing of her ADHD medication in the first place. After I read this young lady’s article I replied (you will find this misguided youth’s original cry for help forum post here, along with everyone’s bashing reply to her, this alone is more than worth your time I assure you).

Putting this all aside, there is a purpose to this post. On with my explanation of why this was all very meaningful to me. So out with it already (I am extraordinarily nervous and will humbly accept any negative criticism I get as a result of this, for I am a writer and blogger, and criticism goes with the territory)… after about a week of researching the young lady’s article, not to mention spending hours and hours applying for hundreds of studies being conducted into the effectiveness of methamphetamine for the treatment of ADD, hoping to be given the chance to participate so that I could try it for myself and see if is, indeed, as effective as all the information I had come across (for the record, I did not come across a single article or blog post stating that methamphetamine is NOT effective for the treatment of ADD, by the way), the most ironic and unexpected turn of events came to occur, leading me straight into the hands of someone who not only had methamphetamine, but offered to get it for me anytime I wanted, her way of showing appreciation for the financial assistance I had given her off and on for the previous 8-9 months. So I tried it. For experimental purposes, of course. I won’t go in to details about who that person was, but let’s just say that, well… the parents of your child’s friends aren’t as perfect as you think they are.

I liked how effective this stuff was in completely correcting all of the symptoms I dealt with on a daily basis that go along with Attention Deficit Disorder. I liked it a LOT. From that moment forward, for the next four months, anyway, I was taking methamphetamine capsules daily, with several breaks in between of up to two weeks; I justified it by telling myself how much work I was accomplishing with my writing and my blogs. It was absolutely true, I was without a doubt accomplishing a extraordinary amount of work each and every day and, in addition, was still eating, sleeping, and functioning otherwise normally, at least once the first 7-10 days had passed. I started a freelance writing business and was working on my book about addiction; I had a total of nine blogs I wrote in as often as I could, every day I wrote in at least one or two of my blogs. Plus, I was building a freelance writing website as well as a personal website. I was able to concentrate on my work for hours, stop and cook for my kids or do other motherly duties–and I never once neglected my children, not once.  They were the whole reason I was doing this freelance business in the first place–because I wanted to become a famous writer and/or blogger, achieve notoriety, bring in some big bucks in the process. But I did lie to the one person who I should have been honest with from day one: my husband, who was beyond forgiving and the very definition of understanding when it came to my addiction to prescription painkillers, something that not a single other person in my family can say; but my husband had had it, to say the least, and when I chose to get on methadone he was barely supportive.  My best childhood friend, however, was wonderful, amazing, and awesome–I forever owe her for all she did for me and for being the only person in the world not to judge me during the most difficult thing I have ever had to go through, and albeit the stupidest and most shameful…

But it gets worse. Something far worse than I could have ever anticipated occurring as a result of my methamphetamine use happened and before I knew it, my whole world had been turned upside down, inside out and topsy-turvy in a matter of hours. A social worker from CPS showed up at my door asking questions, and wanting me to submit to a drug test. Remember my earlier story Nightmare at Methodist? It was the story of how I missed two days of my methadone treatment (for the second time this last summer) and I lost all feeling in my legs but rather than have a husband who was concerned and supportive, I had a husband who forced me to go to the emergency room, knowing all along {I would later find out}, that the hospital would find that I had methamphetamine in my system and immediately contact CPS. Well, here was CPS. I lied to her; the first words that came out of my mouth the day she came knocking were lies. Within two days, she was telling me that I could no longer have my children living with me, that I had to perform weekly {random} drug tests, and to make matters worse, my husband, from whom I had been separated for nearly 18 months, arrived at the scene to find out the awful truth about what had been going on for the previous four months. I was so ashamed of myself, but at the same time, I kept reminding myself that I wasn’t partying during that four month period–I was working my butt off on my eight blogs, and writing my book, and building two websites, all in an effort to build my freelance writing business I had started the very first week I had begun using.

Despite my shame in admitting this to all of you, please allow me to say that I was not one of those disgusting, tweaking meth users who think they are doing something constructive while in all actuality are really just wasting countless hours scraping a glass pipe trying to get resin, or picking at scabs, or obsessing over something that doesn’t matter to anyone else except for that person at that moment. I did an extreme amount of work during that four months. You know why? Because I was finally, for the first time in five years since the beginning of my struggle with opiate addiction, able to concentrate; I was able to organize things (both my thoughts and the things around me), not to mention I wasn’t getting distracted, my mind was no longer racing, and my ability to pay attention increased from mere minutes, tops, to hours upon hours at a time. It was wonderful; I felt confident, and I felt good about myself. Again, I truly believed that my self-medicating, even though it was with illegal narcotics, was acceptable, even desirablelovemykids2

So here I am. Three months after my life being turned inside out by Child Protective Services and my husband immediately taking our three children from my care and our home, though only to give me ten days to pack my belongings and find a place to live.  I can’t believe that all of the work I had done trying to build up a solid, legitimate freelance writing business so that I would finally be able to support myself and my three children meant absolutely nothing; it was overshadowed by the choice I made when I decided to take that awful drug. I thought I had my addiction under control; I believed that I didn’t have a problem with meth. I wasn’t like all of those other people. I didn’t snort it, smoke it, or inject it– I took capsules. I didn’t stay up for days at a time, I didn’t go without eating or showering or brushing my teeth. But CPS didn’t care about that. Not one bit. It was very black or white with them. In fact they only seemed to care about any info which would support what they do. You do meth, you lose your kids, period. The only thing that would get me out of this was having a Doctor’s prescription. Isn’t that ironic? That was how this whole story started, remember? I was in disbelief that a Doctor would prescribe methamphetamine for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder, so I decided to give it a whirl, and bam here I am.

Because all it boils down to is this: I’m an addict. I should have known that my husband would eventually find out the truth. I just wasn’t thinking about my methamphetamine use as being bad, because I was working so hard, getting so much done, and I felt like that made it okay. But I know now that I was sadly mistaken. It will take me a year, in my estimation, for this to be fixed. Yet never once did CPS ever even bother to ask my children any real pertinent questions, such as how things are going at home, or if they were being at any time even remotely neglected. It’s very black-or-white thinking, very ignorant, and my family’s newest unwelcome visitor….

 

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