Legal Addiction
by Storm

Years ago in my stupid years, I did drugs, booze, booze and drugs and all other assorted stupid things that at the time, I thought were “cool”.  I went through rehab to get clean and stop being cool.  Now, having at least of decade of being clean, I have to ask myself: am I now legally addicted?


All of the pills that I take to control my bipolar disorder have a calming, drowsy effect and come complete with the drowsy-don’t drive-warning label. Hell a few are even class three controlled substances.


Last summer due to circumstances beyond my control, my medical insurance and ALL of my prescriptions ran out at the same time so I had to go cold turkey from all my meds and take if from me-it was pure hell! I had the stereotypical withdrawal symptoms: nausea, shakes, sweats, tremors, skin crawling, delusions, hallucinations, crying, paranoia, the shakes, just everything. My pharmacist told me it was withdrawal. Thanks doc.


So then I began to contemplate my dilemma. I was a user, albeit a legal user. I’m addicted to drugs that are legally prescribed to me. I am addicted to drugs that I need in order to control my disorder. I am addicted to drugs that make me keep some sort of semblance of sanity. I am addicted to drugs that save my life. Such irony.


Upon this realization, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I am the board monitor for an addiction message board and as I read their messages I feel an inner twinge of guilt for I too am an addict, only I am a legally prescribed one. I don’t know how to feel about this. I certainly don’t want to be weaned off my medications because I do not want to return to that world of bipolar freakiness that I live in without meds. I’m stabilizing very well right now and do not want to screw that up. But I have to face the fact that once again, I AM depended on drugs. Controlled drugs at that. Drugs that street junkies would pay for. Drugs that taken in excessive doses with booze would give you one hell of a “high”.


My doc won’t give me Xanax because of my past. He constantly questions me about my drug use meaning my extracurricular drug use, which makes me mad because that is over with. I always tell him that with all the stuff he has me on, why the hell would I need to use street drugs???? I get a good buzz going just off my legally prescribed drugs!  He never laughs at that. Guess he doesn’t get the dark joke. What is it about psychiatrists and jokes anyway? Whenever I first go in and he asks “How are you today” I always reply “well, I’m sitting in a shrink’s office for one thing, how do YOU think I’m doing today?” he never laughs. Do they teach them in school to lose their sense of humor or what?


Ok, back to being a drug addict. I’m now a bipolar drug addict. Well at least this time I’m legal. I have prescriptions to prove it. My weaving in traffic has a reason. That is when I allow myself to drive. I know when I can get behind a wheel and when I cant. Although I will admit, when I was given a new drug, I took it and then headed out for an appointment I had made previously and halfway there I announced to no one in particular, “I’m stoned off my but!”.  Wow! Now I know not to take that one if I have to drive somewhere.


I know of some bipolars who are on so many depressants that they claim they are perfectly happy. Well no wonder, they probably feel like they have just finished a fifth of whiskey!





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