Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Company of Chemicals

The pain comes and goes in intensity, but even when it's less, my kneejerk response is to take pain medication, which in and of itself is a "cunning and baffling" beast, as folks in AA/NA are wont to say.

Going to AA meetings (I go to AA even though I'm a pill addict) at first was irritating, 'cause everyone is so damn grateful, positive and cheerful all the time, but now I'm hearing the message more. (I went into rehab for addiction to pain meds on March 19, coming home April 4. My success with sobriety so far has been mixed.)

What I'm realizing is that I haven't been all that honest with myself. Yes, the jaw pain at times can be excruciating, but when I take opiates for it, my resistance to smoking vanishes, and smoking, of course, makes any bone infection worse. Without opiates in my system, the idea of smoking gags me. With opiates, I turn into psycho party girl, and caution is thrown to about a 150 mph wind.

But then I end up in more pain, which makes me take more vicodin, which then makes me smoke. Talk about a vicious cycle.

The pills are also a curious type of friend. After rehab, I stayed clean for 30 or more days. But when a severe bout of pain set in, I crumbled. Since then, I've been off and on, having a new AA pal hold the pills for me. He's away for the weekend, though, and I just refilled the prescription. This isn't good. Pills plus me equals watching a lot of "Law & Order" episodes on the couch. Or "American Justice." An episode is on now about the Menendez brothers.

I once knew a gal who worked for Jose Menendez. We were business associates, and I remember the day I read a Vanity Fair article about the case, and Vicki was interviewed. I nearly hyperventilated, 'cause I love bizarre murder cases, and here I was, just one degree away from the Menendez brothers themselves. So I called her and pumped her for even more info. She said the brothers were brats and morons.

That kinda how I feel at the a brat and a moron. Taking pain medication makes me a one-dimensional shadow of myself. Yes, it relieves the pain, to some extent, but it relieves life's angst, which is where the art is. So I'm not making any art today, watching the Menendez brothers instead. What a waste.

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