Hello,

This is changingtime. I originally started to diarize my attempt to overcome codeine addiction a couple years ago. I stopped writing. I was not successful. And here I am again. As a quick background, I have suffered from chronic daily headaches for about 21 years. I had a doctor who wrote me Tylenol #3 prescriptions. I got dependent and addicted. He retired. I heard about Tylenol #1 over the counter. In Alberta, Canada, you do not need a prescription. I started these and was never able to get off for 14 years.

In the past, I have gone to AADAC and to my doctor and was not able to receive help. I have known for years this is a problem. I told myself I'd rather live a functional life until liver failure at age 60 than live the majority of my life in bed. Why shouldn't I be ale to make that choice?

When I began taking these, you asked the pharmacist and you got them. In 2007, things changed. The sales were still over the counter, but had to be recorded. More recently, we have a province-wide health system where a pharmacy can look at your profile to see the frequency you take them.

The daily struggle was there. I was taking up to 100 pills in one day. At least 2-5 times per week, I had to go to a pharmacy and hope I could get my pills. I kept a calendar of which pharmacy I went to which dates, and which name I used. I couldn't revisit any pharmacy more than once per month. It was exhausting the time and effort going into it.

Which bring me to today. Because you are only allowed 12 pills per day, I was running into trouble getting my pills. I used my husbands name, and my sisters name as well because I easily knew and was able to provide their information.

On this past weekend, a pharmacy called my sister to tell her that her prescription for tylenol #1 was ready. I thought this odd as it's not a prescription and hoped it would go away. She called the police fearing her identity was being stolen. They were going to get video surveillance from the pharmacy. I had to confess. The gig was definitely up.

I had to have the conversation with my mother that I am an addict. I had to have it with my husband. At first I felt it was the system that was wrong. The system got me hooked on codeine. The system changed and made it harder to get my pills. The system made a mistake in alerting my sister. But did the system really fail? No... I am the failure.

So the day my sister found out changed it all. I limited my pills that day and decided to give quitting a try. My Mom would help with counselling, rehab, whatever. My sister has threatened to have me criminally charged with personation if I do not go to treatment within 2 weeks. It needs to end.

Sunday was the next day. I usually would take 27 pills in the morning before leaving the house. I took 7. Later, I took another 7. Around dinner time my head started to really hurt. I disappointed myself in taking another 9, but knew I wouldn't be functioning for work on Monday if I didn't.

Monday I survived my day with about 5 Aleve and 2 Advil Migraine. And that brings me to today, Tuesday, which has been clean so far.

So, how am a I feeling? Surprisingly well. The first two days and nights I was very sweaty. I had a hard time sleeping the first 2 nights. I have had diarrhea quite regularly, and have no appetite to speak of. I am forcing myself to eat. Other than that, I am amazed. Why didn't I try this sooner? For so many years I have lived in the fear of my headached and thought I was managing them with codeine. I am still terrified of my first bad headache or migraine without the pills. But I now know I may survive. Currently, I am looking into trying to find some type of outpatient rehab to help me.

I am terrified of getting a criminal record, but I did this to myself. I am terrified of day 3, 4 and the rest. But my advice to all of you is you can do this. And it may just be easier than you thought.