I didn’t intend to become addicted, I have asked myself this many times, how did this happen? I simply wanted to ease the pain in my shoulder.  A few months back I was involved in a hiking accident, where I fell and damaged my shoulder. The doctor had to operate and he said I would make a full recovery.

I have never been one for pain and the pain from the fall and then after, from surgery was just something I could not handle. I was given some pretty strong pain medication. The medication took the pain away and made me feel good; I could function during the day. Maybe I should have asked the doctor what the side effects were to the medication, I don’t know, but when I should have been stopping the painkillers I seemed to be taking more and more. Liberty Home is a popular retreat for sober living in Cape Town where people that are recovering from a variety of addictive behaviours can find solace and safety.

The doctor said I would have slight pain for a while, but I couldn’t seem to even manage that. Whenever an ache came into my shoulder I would pop a pill. I found I was taking twice the dosage and it seemed to not be working as it should. I tried to stop taking the medication, but I started sweating, and shaking so bad, I couldn’t eat and so started taking them again.

I don’t know why I didn’t realize what was happening, I just didn’t want to feel the way I did and taking the pills helped.  I eventually was getting so tired, irritable and I didn’t want to go out anymore. I stayed in my home; my family were worried about me. I started lashing out at them and couldn’t handle the emotional ups and downs that were happening and eventually neither could they. Mobile Learning has made access to a variety of platforms that allow sufferers easy access to a wealth of online information to assist them in finding best solution.

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Finally my doctor refused to prescribe further medication. So I went to see another doctor and told a story that would get me another prescription. I even found myself one day at a friend’s house, in the bathroom, rummaging through there medicine cabinet. I found some of their pain killers they use and actually took or I should rather say stole them. I mean who does that? I did momentarily stop and stare at myself in the bathroom mirror. I could not recognize the person staring back at me. I looked so pale, thin with sunken dull eyes. This is the moment I had a clear thought, how did I get here? Why did this happen to me? I needed to find a professional rehab in Cape Town that could advise my on how to best cope with my situation.

I am grateful for the family and friends I have. They saw and understood I needed help. One day they all came together and decided enough was enough. I think I knew when I walked into the room that something was up. This was an intervention. They had already packed my bags for me, I had to acknowledge my problem and make a decision. I was angry at first, resisting, but after listening to each of them tell me what they were feeling and how my behaviour was affecting them, I decided I needed help.

I was told I could not just stop taking the painkillers myself at this moment because it could cause some problems. I needed to go to rehab and they had to supervise my recovery to start off with. The whole process I must admit is not something I would like to endure again. The doctors and everybody were great and I came out the other side feeling like a new person. The therapy sessions are helping me to deal with issues I thought I had left behind. Holding onto old anger and hurts I need to forgive and let go.

Now that I look back on my journey, I feel I should have avoided the whole mess somehow. But in a way I am glad I endured and feel I have come out stronger and wiser than I was before.