As mentioned elsewhere, I had already been exposed to Alcoholics Anonymous, attended countless AA meetings, and performed much Twelve-Step work. However, I still harbored many reservations to the effect, “Although I have much in common with real addicts and alcoholics, I am not one of them… not completely, at least. The Twelve-Step thing simply does not work for me; I can stop drinking before getting drunk, and I can taper off prescription drugs when I truly want to.”
For example, I rarely drank enough to cause such unpleasantness as the dreaded, miserable hangover. I despised hangovers. I could and would usually stop drinking when I reached a certain level; I wasn’t one of those who kept drinking until oblivion. Similarly, I came to believe I could manage my prescription drug use by popping pills in my favorite combinations and then weaning myself off for a couple of weeks now and then.
My benzo addiction & opiate addiction management procedures became a regular part of life as the online pharmacy era progessed. I would:
Sanford & Son TV show – I’m comin’ to join you, honey!
Order a continual stream of prescription drugs, staggered in time and variety, from my list of trusted online pharmacies
Engage in mood management first thing in the morning & as needed throughout the day; create what I then thought were ideal conditions for 36-hour shifts of web work
Collect money from clients or by obtaining a fresh credit card in order to keep the flow of pills arriving in my Marietta, GA mailbox
Wean myself off the benzos and painkillers for a couple of weeks when my drug supply got low for whatever reason (e.g., purposely scaling back, running low on funds, gain too much drug tolerance,, etc.), as I convalesced in my bedroom sipping vodka and watching Sanford & Son, science documentaries, & movies
Begin the process all over again, fending off concerns of my girlfriend, family, friends, AA members, web clients, and other concerned parties in the meantime
Toward the end of this phase, I weighed around 125 pounds and was told I did not look as fit, trim, and healthy as I did in my mind’s eye. Friends (some of them in recovery) insisted I stop self-medicating; so, with others present, I flushed large quantities of pills down the toilet (again), keeping only enough for me to wean myself off of the opiates and benzos for what I thought was one last time (again).
The depression soon returned in full force, what with my largely untreated addiction and alcoholism, depressive tendencies, low self-esteem, and guilt-ridden conscience. I worked less and less, eventually ignoring most of my commitments; I acceded to my depression, allowing it take over my psyche yet again. I spent increasing amounts of time in bed isolating, not answering the phone, staring at the idiot box, and bearing the relentless insomnia. I was soon unable to continue living in the Atlanta-area apartment I shared with another addict; I admitted defeat and moved into my parents’ home in Nashville, where I went through the motions of yet another attempt at recovery.