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Is being clean always a struggle? Anything help?

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Hi all; I'm not sure I'd really call myself a hard-core addict of anything except for cigarettes, but I definitely have addictive tendencies or personality or whatever.


I have anxiety, depression, mild bipolar/cyclothymia, whatever.... ADHD too. Feel like I'm still trying to untangle all that. Anyway, that complicates things of course because I have terrible coping strategies which generally involve wanting to feel physically better; I hesitate to even use the word "high" because I haven't used hard drugs and don't even really abuse too many...


What I DO do (haha doodoo... sorry)... Smoking/wanting to smoke/fighting it is a constant struggle. I don't binge drink and it's almost always a normal social thing but sometimes I do have a drink or two (or three) when I'm really upset to feel better. I have a lot of pain issues and don't go from doctor to doctor asking for pain pills, but I probably suggest it when I do go in... and if my pain gets better, well... I can't leave the bottle half full, but I only take normal doses. No marijuana (a hand-full of times in the past), never tried drug harder than that... other impulse behavior not related to physical high is "mild" impulse spending (Amazon Prime + one-click = devil!) Maybe used benzo's a little too much although same thing, not high doses just more regularly than I should... had short but horrible withdrawal and I'll never touch them again!


So obviously I have a tendency to seek stress relief in physical relief... I'm just curious if anyone's overcome this "need." Based on my history with meds and what I know about neurochemistry, it seems dopamine related and probably chemical... partly situational. Anyone get better by treating the underlying depression, etc.? Therapy help?


I guess I feel a little hopeless because I've gotten the impression fighting this is always kind of a struggle... maybe it gets better but seems like it's always there, really just a part of your brain chemistry or personality... 


Just wanting to know people's experience and what's helped!



P.S. Still trying to find meds that help as doctors give me different diagnoses... lamictal, adderall and it looks like Abilify (still on low dose) help with mood, irritability/anger and depression to a degree. Tried many many AD's that all failed.

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I abused benzos for awhile, got about 13 months clean under my belt then relapsed (long story, I absolutely needed the benzos, and was responsible with them until one day...but then that was it). It was pretty hard at first, even though I just did it once (this time). It was that instant feeling of like "omg, I need that again...yes..." and it didn't go away for awhile. I spent a couple weeks intensely wanting them. It has gotten easier though. Some people always struggle with it and yes, I think I will, if benzos are present in my life, or if I think about them too much,


I can't say things will always be a struggle for you, just do the best you can. Stay away from what triggers you if at all possible and take it day by day.

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climber   ...   your litany of small addictive tendencies really make me smile in sympathy.  I would love to indulge in three glasses of wine each night but my darling pours the wine and I only get one.  I definitely have a minor pain killer habit  ...  and I do mean minor, as in two or three panadeine /day.   I take extra propranolol and promethazine  most afternoons to lessen the desire for other less  

benign drugs.  And none of this is of the tiniest interest to a pdoc or GP as it is considered way below significant addiction diagnosis.


I'm very old now but these irrelevant habits have been with me all my life.   The drugs have changed as time went by and meds came and went (and sometimes came again) .  But the constant reality is that I have sought and used non-prescription pharmacy drugs, and to a lessor extent prescription meds, forever.   Not to the extent that I had to pharmacy shop which is a good thing because now the pharmacy delivers to me out of respect for my advanced age. 


                         Just refuse to beat yourself up about this ...  if we could do any better then we would so kindness ad generosity to yourself is paramount.

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