Posted by: Judy | July 7, 2014

Thinking, long and hard…

Scott Williams talked about addiction, last week, on his blog:

Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, even caffeine haven’t been a real temptation for me.

I don’t respond to things the way most people do. Example: I can’t take ibuprofen or Tylenol more than once a week, and I have to trade them off. So I can take each of them twice a month, maybe. I can only take it if I really need it. Otherwise, it makes me sick, usually a rebound headache.

When I fell and messed up my ankle and arm I traded them off every six hours for a couple days and then backed off to once a day. Even then, I was having rebound headaches. Yes, I was taking the pain medication for pain in my arm and ankle and ending up with headaches.

When I had the epidural for the herniated disc in my back, the muscle relaxant kept me from moving but didn’t stop me from feeling the procedure. I went for my follow up appointment, and the PA asked if I wanted to see the MRI. I enthusiastically replied that I’d like to see it again. The look on his face was… horrified. “You remember?” “Seeing it when I had the epidural? Sure.” I even quoted what was said. I felt sorry for the guy as he said, “You shouldn’t have remembered anything.” I remembered everything. The prescription strength painkillers made me pass out and when wake up two hours later nauseous, without pain relief. After two days, I asked if I could go back to ibuprofen and Tylenol. They at least dulled the pain and didn’t make me sick to my stomach.

In high school, I took a pain reliever that included caffeine after I had my wisdom teeth out. I took it every four hours for three days. By day three, I had the shakes and felt like ants were crawling under my skin and was nauseous. Now, anytime I have caffeine, unless I have a migraine or other severe pain, I feel like I have ants under my skin and am nauseous. I have caffeine, in red raspberry leaf green tea, a couple times a year, maybe.

I haven’t had an antibiotic in years. Unfortunately, I was on a short-term antibiotic for years for my acne. It turned my teeth dingy. Dentists have informed me that only caps could turn them white. I’ve developed a tolerance to one entire family, out of four, of antibiotics.

All this is leading somewhere, really.

I’m addicted to food. I eat when I’m worried, when I need to stay awake, when I feel out of control.

Interestingly enough, I don’t eat when I’m stressed to the point of near panic. An excellent example is when my computer blew up due to a lightning strike. I traded back to my old computer, but it lacked all my shortcuts, my timesavers. I didn’t know how I’d afford a new one. I ate practically nothing for a week until the problem was solved.

Self-discipline is not the problem. Years ago, I decided to lose weight and lost 30 lb in 3 months. To lose the last 10 lb, I ate every other day, until I realized how incredibly stupid my behavior was. The self-discipline is there.

This is going to take more than one post. I’m sure I’ve discussed this before, but Scott’s post brought it back to the forefront of my mind as I still hover around my highest weight, unable to lose.


  1. I know my addictive tendencies are about avoiding all the bad feelings I have, which is why I have to be conscientious about my running right now to ensure I am not abusing it (and my body). It’s a tough path at times and even as recently as yesterday I had a passing notion that a glass of wine or two would be really nice. As if I ever knew how to have just a glass.

    I like what Scott Williams said about pragmatism in addiction recovery. AAA was tremendous in helping me get started, but at some point I felt “done” with meetings and so e of the fear from AA members who felt leaving AA spelled doom for them. I run into some of my fellow meeting goers from time to time, and they are all shocked that I’m still alive and not falling down drunk.

    Understanding where the need to abuse some thing in order to avoid feelings comes from is a big big step. You’ve already made that one.

    And an aside: I’m so sorry you can’t use any sort of painkiller without bad side affects. That’s really terrible.

    • You are such an inspiration. Thanks. I know the addiction gene runs in my family, so funnily enough, I considered it a blessing that the painkillers don’t work well. It removed the temptation to become dependent on them. 🙄

  2. I liked his post on it because I do think addiction is misunderstood and the recovery methodologies. A few months back I read a book about adult children and dysfunctional family systems. The authors said that dysfunctional families are essentially people facing different types of addiction. There are the more visible ones but also less visible (it can be anything like Williams mentions) – they mention addiction to TV, reading, verbal abuse, etc. These addictions keep going in different ways, the ultimate dysfunction stays. Like PV said, you’ve made a huge step. xxTR

    • Good points! It ties into the point it isn’t an easy fix. It gives me hope, especially after all the times I’ve stumbled back into old habits or variations. It’s hard. It’s okay. I’ll keep working on it.

      • Indeed, no easy fix and you are working on it and making progress.

        • Thanks ((TR))

          • ((Judy))

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