[Tripping On…] Daily Pill Buffet

I have a daily pill buffet to manage the pain in my back. Although I feel stoned, I have more concentration than when I was drunk or otherwise inebriated. How does this affect my sobriety? My daily buffet of the maximum dose of Gabapentin, Tylenol-Acetaminophen/Codeine, Nabumetone, Propranolol, and now Prozac-Fluoxetine. I’ll take that last one when I can write a first-dose report, but as the surprised pharmacist said, it might take weeks to take effect.

See how I avoided the sobriety question?

I am chasing after the feeling I’m in right now, and will ride it out as long as I can. I took enough Diphenhydramine to get numb yesterday since the Gabapentin wasn’t helping me feel numb yesterday. What I was surprised by was just how much of all this medication I needed to cut back the pain that’s been building with my back.

It’s been getting better with this medication.

I still worry though. Chasing after the feeling I’m in – this numbness – is suspiciously similar to the days where I’d get stoned over 7 years ago. I am more responsible now, right? I can handle this, right? What if I’m wrong. What if I can’t handle this pain management solution? I have certainly felt more interested in getting some alcohol or weed over the past few days than I have in the past year.

Is it really so bad?

What if I can figure out an effective way to manage my stress by having a limited amount of alcohol to numb myself? What if this identity of sobriety I’ve built up over the years has been a curse I’ve placed on myself? What if every Friday night, I numbed the pain of the workweek? Would it turn into more numbing more often? I’ve developed seven years of discipline perhaps through sobriety. What if my sobriety has helped me focus on the mental fortitude to write?

I’m almost led to believe that, yes, my sobriety has helped me become a better writer.

While there are more imaginative things I could write in this state, what’s actually happening here is that my mind is wandering more, so I might think of random things to attach. I might look over my notes and think, wow, it kinda sucks that I have to wait one week to have an appointment with the physiatrist to talk about my spine. My mind might wander to the essay I wrote stating the issue with the left side back in mid-April, now that I’m writing this in late-May.

My body might be disinterested in helping me write.

I’ve been typing with worse accuracy than normal. I don’t catch typos and mistakes until they’re too late. I’m not doing anything that requires perfect typing right now, so it’s fine, but I guess that’s the thing with being either constantly in pain or constantly stoned is that regardless the body is not doing well. I am learning my body’s new limits.

I was able to walk around a park today.

I took it slow and I was able to do most everything I would normally do without noticing any pain. Actually, the pain I experienced the most was lower back pain after driving to pick up this medicine buffet and after I drove home from the park. I guess there’s a balance between getting out and doing as much as I can while also not hurting myself. I suppose the responsible thing to do while being as inebriated as I am is to try as many of the stretches as I’ve been advised.

If my muscles hurt because they’re not firing, then I should fire them, right?

That’s a dirty summary of what the physical therapist told me, where for the situation I’m in, it’s important to walk daily, even if it feels counterproductive. I suppose if the muscles are as sore as they are, then I need to get them back to the normal sort of feeling where I could go walk and drive around without thinking about my body much. Not to the point of abuse, but just doing the daily sorts of things without experiencing pain.

Honestly, I still am feeling bouts of pain, but they’re less impactful.

This level of detachment has been nice because while I still feel the pain, it registers as a lower priority sensation. It’s not the overwhelming sensation that it was before. It’s more like “oh, this hurts, let me adjust myself… ok, it’s not hurting anymore.” To that degree, it is important for me to get stoned so my body can release that hidden tension that’s causing me such pain, and if that’s the case, and if I need to take the time to get this pain unwound, then I might as well write about the experiences I’m having.

I’m listening to some hippy trippy music and it’s not much different than when I was sober.

Now there’s a thought. I’m not sober right now. I couldn’t go drive somewhere right now. As the music plays, a moody instrumental, I wonder to myself, is this so bad? I’m writing what I enjoy, I’m doing things that I enjoy throughout the day. Except, I’m on medical leave right now and I’m unsure of how life will progress. Will there be something that causes my employment termination? Will that affect me long-term? Although this trip is nice, it has to end.

When the trip ends, will it be physical pain or mental pain I experience?

Or will I have returned to about where I had started, only with some time off? I would like to imagine that things will work out in a best-case scenario. Although I like being loose like this, my being tight was what enabled me to achieve the goals I’ve set out for myself over the years. I could ask my sponsor[s], I could ask strangers, I could ask Patrick, but the only person I should ask is myself.

Am I living responsibly while visiting this buffet?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: These are deeply personal topics but I share them publicly perhaps to help others, or perhaps to better explain myself to myself or to others. When I was sober is a particularly interesting phrase because I write about sobrieties for all substances that inebriate. Where does it start or stop? These borders are important, I guess.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Photo: Everything I’ve been prescribed for my pain.
Written On: 2020 May 22 [11:111111pm to 11:46pm]
Last Edited: 2020 May 22 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.