Background info: I'm 47 years old and have suffered from crippling anxiety since the third grade. No medication I've ever been prescribed has helped, and I've been on all of them at one time or another. The best I can get is occasional relief, but nothing lasts.
This is impacting my job. I'm a college professor and I simply can't perform when the anxiety level rises beyond a certain point.
Anxiety and depression is all I know. It's all I remember. I wake scared, stay that way all day, and only sleep because of mirtazapine.
My parents are both psychologists and I have had a therapist most of my life. I'm a friggin' expert in CBT, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises ... nothing works.
With my background, I'm bright and pragmatic enough to realize that this is probably never going away. The reality is that if you hit my age and have tried everything and nothing works, the probability is that what you have is simply untreatable at present.
In 2000, I had sinus surgery and was prescribed hydrocodone for pain while recuperating.
Unsurprisingly, the opiate turned out to be the magic cure for everything that ailed me. For the first time in my memory, I felt human. I could do my job easily and productively and was a hell of a lot more well-adjusted.
Also unsurprisingly, I got addicted to the stuff. I went cold-turkey on January 1, 2004. It was several days of misery and when it was over, the anxiety hit again.
In the last eight years, I've been totally unable to find anything that worked. It was just like the preceding entirety of my life.
I am one click away from intentionally re-activating my hydrocodone addiction. I'm considering this with entirely open eyes. I know what going back on hydrocodone will do to me. I know that it has the potential to ultimately cause health problems that might kill me. I understand that I will need increasingly stronger doses in order to get any effect.
However, it seems as though I have two choices. I can either:
Stay with medications and therapy that have little to no effect; and potentially live to be a very scared, frakked-up old man, or,
Start taking hydrocodone again and be human for the time I've got. I might not live as long, but I'll sure be a lot happier.
I can't see where the downside is to hydrocodone, to be honest. It's cheaper than the mirtazapine, even at high doses. Yes, I'll be harming myself and probably won't live as long, but I'll at least be a human being while I'm on the planet.
I honestly can't see the downside. I have something that will never go away except with hydrocodone. I won't live as long, but what I have will be much happier.
Am I wrong?