"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Prescription Tour Through Addiction

Yesterday I posted this as my Facebook status.

"Another day closer to breaking my addiction to Neurontin (Gabapentin). What else would I call it? I have experienced itching, nausea, (social) + general anxiety, depression, Insomnia, anger, pain. I never abused the drug, just took it as directed. I am not advocating everyone who is on it to stop taking it. I am talking about myself. I would get up in the morning and experience what I call Neurontin drunk. I stumbled, my thoughts jumbled, speech effected. I have been stepping down from the drug for months. I am finally down to 30 mgs from my highest dose of 600. Yes, what else would I call it but addiction when I want to say screw it and go back to taking it again so I won't have to deal with "stepping down." Charlie has been patient, thoughtful, and loving through the process. I am so grateful he is there, my girls and for prayer, my own, and those who have prayed for me, those who have spoken kind words of encouragement. I am getting there one step at a time."

I feel so guilty about ever letting myself get to this point. Fibromyalgia had me in so much pain about ten years a go I was desperate for relief. It was the perfect set up for addiction. Forgiving myself is part of the journey. I know it will come.

Prescription Tour Through Addiction
Ink ticket poured
into a bottle,
a prescription train
tour through addiction.

Pain brain feeds
on who you were
as a pill morphs you
into who you aren’t.

Back bends from
the monkey on your back
grinding lies into white powder.

Exits fly by faster
than your will can reach.
Today empties your pockets
while tomorrow begs for change.

Addiction is a cat with nine lives.
It purrs so loud it drowns the sound
of reason urging, “If you get off here,
you can cut that bitch down to eight.”

©Susie Clevenger 2016

My struggle with Neurotin is why I recently wrote and posted this poem.

Dandelion Strong

I am moon, the northern star,
the wild woman gathering
mulberry shadows.

I am weed, dandelion strong,
growing where impossible
fertilizes the soil.

I am wild moon weed
turning shadows into star light,
a dreamer resurrected from killing fields.

©Susie Clevenger 2016


Outlawyer said...

An intense struggle that you have powerfully conveyed. The best of luck, Susie--I am sure you will continue on your way to you--you are super strong. k.

Susie Swanson said...

Wow, such an inspiration to us all. I'm so sorry you've had to endure so much Susie but knowing first hand it can get the best of you. I'm not on any but I've surely felt like it at times. I admire your courage and strength. Prayers for you on your journey.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You are through the worst of it, my friend, as you have reduced it considerably. I adore the Dandelion Strong poem. Rock on.

Jim said...

Oh Susie, what a struggle. Not only from the pain of the Fibromyalgia but from freeing yourself from the medicine. Best wishes for the cessation of both situations. Of your tale here, I relate best to calling it the ninth life of the cat, which normally doesn't ever need all nine.
I've been there, sort of, as I feel that I have used about seven of my nine (see "http://jimmiehov.blogspot.com/search?q=nine+lives:).
But then there was an associated pain, where I became/was/am addicted to Vicodin after my knee surgery. I was on it for about six months but my body wanted/wants to stay on it forever, even after all the pain is gone. Now and then for toothache my dentist would prescribe it. I have my stash and recognize it's effect but haven't used it for a few years. now.

blueoran said...

Long time ago I read that if you do not learn pain's lessons there is no growth, only palliatives ... And learning to name the pain is such a crucial lesson. What a step from pill woman to dandelion woman here, the V-arc of addiction and recovery so ... definitive. There should be a national volume dedicated to opiod addiction, for the singing somehow is inside the letting go and getting free. Great work, Susie, and amen, amen, amen.

Fireblossom said...

So many get bitten by drugs they began taking as a prescription for perfectly legitimate reasons. I'm sorry you're having to go through this, and having beaten an addiction myself, I know how hard it is. It's REALLY hard! But you can do it. Use all the resources and support you have available, Susie. I'll be pulling for you.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I think this is a very brave act - to turn a personal struggle into poetry in a way that helps others understand that addiction is far more subtle than many imagine. It is easy to point fingers at the ones who become dependent, but I always wonder at doctors who so easily dole out the 'cure' to pain without due care for the patient. Your poem resonates because your reader knows that it can and does apply to so many people in similar circumstance, fighting a private battle against prescription drugs.

brudberg said...

A world where addiction like this can be prescribed i wonder if there is no alternative... Yet I guess it also helps in some cases. What a struggle I read in your poem... keep strong, cause going back is even worse (I think). Love the dandelion metaphor.

ayala said...

I am so sorry. I hope you feel better soon.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I echo the sentiments - this is a brave, artful admission. As a recovering alcoholic, I understand and I send you my heartiest wishes of good cheer. Keep at it - a mountain is climbed one damned foot at a time. Love, Mosk

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