Disclaimer: I do NOT intend for this to turn into a GD thread. I’m just very happy, and am sharing something that I’m really proud of. So please, just as a favor to me, be judicious in your comments about religion and 12-step groups. Kthnx.
Seventeen days ago, I took my last Suboxone, an opioid medication intended to prevent cravings and withdrawals while a patient goes through addiction therapy. I’m now fully detoxed, and feel FANTASTIC. No drugs, no alcohol (not that I’m opposed to alcohol–I just don’t really like it or ever drink any), and loving life!
I’ve spoken often here of my struggles with Rx drugs (here, here, and here). But now I’m done. I successfully tapered off that last psychoactive medication, and am living freely for the first time in at least 10 years. I kicked benzos a year or so ago, and now I’ve kicked opiates, too!
And as if I weren’t proud enough already, I’m happy to say that I did this without succumbing to religious or 12-step fixes, which, IMHO, while arguably effective, are simply a kind of replacement therapy: substituting one permanent addiction for the other. I did try the 12-step thing–went to two or three NA meetings, but I was very bothered by the psychosocial (almost cultish) techniques used to break down an addict’s identity and rebuild it in the mold of the Group. I realized in short order that, just as religion is not for me, neither is AA/NA, because although these are not technically religious organizations, the psychosocial structure and therapeutic techniques of these groups parallels those of religions and cults. (Again, IMHO.) They might be effective, but that deliverance comes a great intellectual price. Too high a price, for me.
I never once thought, in the depths of recent despair and withdrawal, to try turning to “God”, either. Been there, done that, many years ago. At an earlier time in this struggle I cried out to God, begging for any kind of help or mercy or comfort at all (of any of the kinds promised throughout the Bible), and was met with only the cold, stony silence of a universe devoid of any such being. I was already an atheist, but was desperate and was willing to give “God” another try. But this time around? No such appeals. I knew that no deity would help me; it would be up to ME–me and my friends, family, and physician–to see me through this process. Human problems require human solutions.
If religion or 12-stepping has worked for some people, great. I won’t criticize that or impugn the value or legitimacy of their experiences. But I kicked drugs without these trappings: through hard work, reason, and modern medicine. And I am very, very proud of that.