Mental Health The Blog

Pain Meds and an Addictive Personality

I think I’ve kind of eluded to this on here and the podcast, but I have a really addictive personality. Not in a way that I have ever gotten caught up in serious substance abuse problems, thank god. But, I have seen my addictive personality come out in other ways as I’ve grown up.

I first started to feel a little bit of an addictive personality when it came to show choir – I know, I’m a nerd. Guys, I fucking loved that shit. I was actually really really good at it too.

I loved the rush of performing and putting a huge smile on my face, even when everything felt wrong in the world. It was like a high. My Junior year, I was named a dance captain and I felt this surge of energy go through my veins in getting validation that I was good at something other than school and swim. I’ve always been REALLY competitive. I get that endearing (and sometimes highly annoying) trait from my father. But, I was felt a little addicted to having a hand in the success of the group… and learning how to be a good leader through that overwhelming and obsessive feeling.

Now, I hold a manager position at my job and I’m not really like that. I’ve always considered myself a leader, but my addictive personality has found something else to kind of focus on throughout the years. I’ve gone through: boyfriends, food, and mental illness. It’s so important to be able to see those addictive personality traits in yourself so that when you are using something that could really be a trainwreck, like pain medication, you’re really careful.

So, I didn’t really realize the show choir thing was obsessive until I was more analytical about my mental illness recently. I just thought I was competitive and very possibly, I was just a combination of the two. One way I know I was addictive in a toxic way was with my last long term relationship.

Again, broken record over here, but you know some of the details of that relationship. Very bad. Abusive. Yadda yadda yadda. One of these days, I will take the time to write something out start to finish, but that require remembering everything and dealing with those emotions again in a new, healthy way…. so, for the purpose for this story, it was NOT a good situation. We were not together anymore, but we were very seriously talking. I was under the impression that we were working towards a relationship. He obviously was not considering he was talking to both his most recent ex and the ONE girl he promised was just his friend (who he’s now dating) but that’s irrelevant. Despite how shitty that relationship made me feel, how much I cried, and how much I lost myself in that process of trying to be with him, I was genuinely addicted to trying to get him to love me.

I would say and do just about anything for him to spend time with me or give me attention. Again, he didn’t make me feel good and the relationship wasn’t good. No one approved of us even spending time together after all the bridges he’d already burned, so why? I was just addicted. I was addicted to the idea of someone wanting me. I was addicted to the chase. I was addicted to the idea that I could get him back. Most of all, I was addicted to blaming myself, so I was always trying to right those wrongs… even if there really wasn’t any solutions to be had there.

I wasn’t addicted to our relationship. Truthfully, I don’t even think I really wanted it in the capacity that I once had it. I was addicted to filling the void. For example, people with nicotine addictions don’t like love that they are addicted to nicotine or want to constantly want a cig. What they want is that high, that feeling, that fills the void – even if it’s just until you light up the next one.

Like I said, I used food to fill that void too. Sometimes, I still do. But, there was a time that I was addicted to eating food – way too much food. Honestly, I’m typing this after a night of binging on Reese’s peanut butter cups… so I don’t know if I’m totally over that addiction. I know that it’s been much worse – where I would turn to it out of boredom, stress, happiness, and even just because. Now, its just a remaining issue with a poor relationship with food.

These days, I would say that I most struggle with an addiction to my mental illness. I know that that’s a little confusing when you’re just reading it, but let me explain. For so long, I’ve not been okay. I genuinely don’t remember a point in my life where I didn’t hate myself, my body, or my mind. I’m NOT saying that as an invitation to my pity party – just the opposite actually. Because I haven’t been okay for so long, I started to get a little addicted to my mental illness in a number of ways. I started to get addicted to stress because I was scared of depression and sleeping my days away again. Maybe it’s not always a bad thing in this chosen path, because it can help me fixate on one thought, feeling, or emotion until I’m able to blog or podcast about it. But, it’s always hard to then leave that in the past.

As I said before, I’ve never really had a substance abuse problem. I have had little benders when I would get way to drunk literally every single time I drank, but part of that was just being young, stupid, and depressed. I didn’t HAVE to have a drink in the morning to function or to spill my emotions to the first person that would listen. That doesn’t change the fact that I have to understand that my addictive personality COULD make that a very easily habit to pick up.

I recently got my wisdom teeth out. Yes, it is as bad as they say. No, I didn’t get dry sockets. But, it hurt like a bitch to put it lightly & they gave me hydrocodone to deal with the pain. In my defense, they gave me 8 pills and I could take them every six hours…. so I was supposed to be not writhing in pain after 48 hours? I call bullshit. They said the swelling wouldn’t even start until after then!! So, I wanted more hydrocodone that I could take before a super long shift…. and it got me worried… was I developing an addiction? Was I dependent on these drugs to feel normal? I mean, I had tried to go just to ibuprofen and I couldn’t get through my day…

It didn’t help that my dad kind of joked about the same thing when I came home to get some stronger pain medicine. “It can happen to anyone,” he had said. It was clear that he was kind of kidding, but also a little worried about pain management while being stressed, taking other prescription medications, and living alone.

If I would have sent this to my oral surgeon, do you think he would have refilled my prescription?

Listen, to say that I struggled with pain medication would be a lie. I didn’t. But, it really got me thinking about how having an addictive personality can be both tangible and intangible. You can see the side effects of withdrawal from medication that’s no longer pumping through your system or you can feel a withdrawal from not having a toxic relationship constantly in your life. You can take a pill or puff to get your fix, or you can stalk an Instagram or maybe even eat 10 portions over what’s recommended.

I wouldn’t even call myself an addict, but I would absolutely say that I have a very addictive personality that can absolutely bite me in the ass sometimes. Like always, knowing my mind and body is so powerful in this ongoing journey toward better health. If sharing in this realization can get your little brain motors moving, well I just might have done my job today.

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