Over the past three years I have met so many amazing people with this site. I've shared my stories, reviews and giveaways but never really told you my full story. So today, without further adu, it's time to give you the honest story of my life and what's been going on the past few months.
I am Ashley, a 26 year old loving mother that suffers from Fibromyalgia and chronic back pain because of nerve damage in my upper back. I also suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Clinical Depression.
My story all started over 7 years ago when I was pregnant with Ashton. I was delivering pizzas through a popular, local pizza chain, when I was sideswiped by a lady who ran a stop sign. At the time, it seemed I was fine but as the days progressed, I noticed my back starting to hurt to the point where I couldn't get out of bed. Now the normal person would've let her insurance company know but I just wanted my car fixed so I could get back to get work and didn't want to start any other problems so I dealt with it. After Ashton was born, the pain was still there and absolutely unbearable so I finally I went to my primary care physician who then prescribed me some low milligram opiate pain killers to help me deal with the pain. After taking these for 6 months, my doctor cut me off saying, "I'm worried you're going to get addicted to these" so instead of my prescription she handed me a referral to Pain Management.
I found myself in quite a bind. I didn't have the money to visit this specialist she wanted me to see and, like most people in my area, decided it would be cheaper and easier to just pick these up off the street. Of course, that never turns out for anyone and I went from taking low milligram pain killers to pain killers designed for cancer patients, such as Oxycontin. For the next 5 years she kept pressuring me to go to Pain Management and insisted they would be able to help me. But after 5+ years of opiate addiction, I was tired. Tired of waking up every morning and having these stupid pills on my mind the second I woke up. Tired of feeling sick and always being out of money and tired of putting those around me through this hell.
I went back to the doctor and explained to her that I was addicted to pain killers and that it had stemmed from her giving them to me for so long and cutting me off and her only response was to just figure out how to come up with the hundreds of dollars I needed for this specialist she kept pressuring me about and said there was nothing more she could do for me. I had two choices, according to her, go to pain management and be an addict for the rest of my life (She didn't say addict of course, it would be considered dependant when it's prescribed by a doctor but I feel that is just a play on words for doctors to make you feel a little more comfortable about these horrible things they are handing out like candy.) Or I could go to rehab.
I called around and found that most rehabs cost upwards of $1000 a day for treatment and at that point I would've needed 8-9 days in. I obviously didn't have that kind of money and felt I was going to be in this position forever.
Then one night, I prayed. I prayed harder than I've ever prayed before and I begged God to help me find a chance to better myself. The next morning I stumbled upon a Methadone Maintenance Clinic about 20 miles from my house and gave them a call. They were the only one in the area that took my insurance and within a week I was in treatment. Since the day I started at this clinic I haven't touched an opiate since and have been able to be weened down from 125mg of methadone every day to only 2mg as of today. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me as everyone I knew back when I was involved with the pain killers are still in the same position they were three years ago.
After going through all of these and seeing how much opiate addiction effects not just the lives of the addicts themselves but the families and friends that love them, I feel now, that I was put on this earth for a reason. To help the addicted, not just in my community, but all over and give them hope. I went into this thinking I wouldn't be able to get as far as I have and look at me now! I feel God put me in this position for a reason and I developed a very strong passion for the rights of addicts. Instead of ignoring them and figuring drug or alcohol addicts have put themselves in this position isn't going to help anyone. Patience and love for your fellow man and a glimmer of hope are three things that each addict needs.
Going back to my end of the story, since I am weening off of Methadone (under the watchful eye of nurses and doctors) I have been going through very slight physical withdrawal which have been bearable however, the mental withdrawal on the other hand has been a lot tougher for me to deal with especially with my underlining mental health issues. I needed to take time to learn who I am again and gain the confidence that not only can I get from 2mg to 1mg but 1mg to 0mg and finally end that chapter of my life. I'll admit, it's a terrifying concept to be completely free of these chemicals that have basically run my life for so long and so I needed some time to calmly prepare myself for this huge change in my life.
I recently started working for three wonderful companies on the side, which has also taken up a lot of my time but my Shopaholics should come first and I'm so sorry I didn't see that before. I slacked off and now it's time to clean up the mess and make this right again.
I love each and every one of you and feel horrible that I haven't been more on top of things and would like to completely start over. I have some great PR pitches coming in and I think we'll have some great reviews and giveaways coming up. I could certainly use some help with announcing winners and a few other small things so I'm on the lookout for a helper right now. I understand if some of you would rather not deal with the inconsistencies that have been going on but please remember I am only one person, working three other jobs besides my website and dealing with some very important milestones in my life.
So here is my question to my loyal readers that have been with me from the beginning. At this point, would you be willing to come back and visit Shopaholic Mommy or do you think I should just stop blogging all together?
If you or anyone you know is struggling with opiate addiction and you need help finding them help, email me at shopaholicmommyblogFL@gmail.com and I will try to help you figure out how you can help them lead a sober lifestyle.