When I first got clean and sober in 2012, I thought my life was going to be amazing. I no longer had to suffer. I couldn’t wait for the withdrawal symptoms to leave my body and return to feeling healthy & strong. Life is better than I could have imagined but there is something always lingering around called chronic pain.
When I was first diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, every day was hard. I would wake up in pain and go to bed in pain. I was trying different treatments but nothing was helping. It was exhausting. It was almost impossible to focus at school or work.
The past couple of years I have been trying to figure out how to accept being in chronic pain while also recovering from drug addiction. The treatments and medicines I try have to be non-addicting. Opiates are completely out of the question.
Because opiate painkillers are not an option for me, I had to find alternative remedies and do lots of research on my condition. It takes more time than just taking a pill but in the long run I feel that this path is healthier. I had to begin taking care of my body as a whole with the foods I eat and the amount of exercise I do each week. Also, keeping in mind my mental health.
When I felt like a doctor was trying to push narcotics on me and not taking my addiction seriously, I found a new one. I had to be picky and advocate for myself.
Sometimes I feel judgment in the recovery community about what is acceptable to alleviate painful symptoms. I have been taking CBD with hemp to help with pain and inflammation. Some would say this is a relapse but they have probably never gone through chronic pain issues or they are suffering through pain just because they are sober.
On top of the pain comes shame. I feel like I have to hide how much pain I am in from friends & family because I don’t want to be a burden. Also, some people consider CBD a drug. They compare it to marijuana or think it is the same thing and say things like, “Wow you are so lucky you get to use marijuana. I wish I could still use that.” Trust me, if I could take a cure or keep using CBD oil, I would take the cure in a heartbeat!