The pull of addiction

Essential Tremors

Definition: Mayo clinic

Essential tremor is a nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) that causes a rhythmic shaking. Essential tremor can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you try to do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass, tying shoelaces, writing or shaving. Essential tremor may also affect your head, voice, arms or legs.

Although usually not a dangerous condition, essential tremor worsens over time and can be severe in some people. It isn’t caused by other diseases, although it’s sometimes confused with Parkinson’s disease. Essential tremor can occur at any age but is most common in people age 40 and older.

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One of my addictions therapists once told me that this disease of addiction can get worse at any time. It doesn’t matter how many days,… or weeks,…months,…or years you’ve been clean, The urge to use can rear its ugly head at any time. I started to use marijuana a few years ago when I developed the condition “essential tremors”. The tremors got so bad that I couldn’t even drink a coffee. You could even hear the tremor in my voice and sometimes my face would even ‘twitch’ It was quite a difficult thing to hide from anyone so I often got embarrassed.

But then I tried marijuana and I started smoking that every night. Miraculously, the tremors faded enough for me to fall asleep. I still had them during the day but at least now I was getting some rest at night. But then,.. I started smoking it all the time. The tremors decreased but my life spiralled out of control until one day I woke up and realized “I am addicted to weed”

Over the past 15 years I have also abused prescription medications. A lot. I always rationalized that it was prescribed to me so it was okay. But it wasn’t ok. I was walking through life in a foggy daze of confusion. So between the two vices it was not a surprize to me to be told I am an addict.

So last fall I signed myself into Homewood and got myself cleaned up. And since then,… no pot,… and no abuse of prescription drugs. I foolishly thought I was free of it all and that part of my life was over while a fresh new chapter had begun.

But this past week has been overly hard for me. The tremors flared up. I wasn’t getting any sleep. I got angry and disappointed that the tremors had gotten so bad once again. I craved pot. A lot. If I had been able to get my hands on some I most definitely would have smoked it. But luckily I didn’t have any. So I tried another course of action that was just as harmful. Last night,… I doubled up on my medication to try and get some relief from my exhaustion. After all, In an addicts life,…if one pill works, then 2 must be better. And (like my life 15 years ago) if 2 worked better then 6 must be the best. Or 7,… or 8,… I was most definitely playing Russian roulette with these pills. But last night I only took double my prescribed amount. I slept. well. But when I woke up I was so tired and groggy I could barely keep my eyes open.

It’s been 119 days since I have stayed clean of pot. I am thankful I didn’t succumb to it in the end. But it was a very close call. It scares me how quickly and strong the urge to use can be. I’m hoping that it’s just been a bad week and things will get a lot better soon. I cross my fingers in hope. And tell myself that I am stronger than the disease.

 

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