I've worked as a substance abuse counselor for the last three years. We treat opiate addiction with methadone. I wasn't sure how I felt about that in the beginning, substituting one addiction for another, but seeing the remarkable transformations in the people around me has made me a believer.Needless to say, I cannot take opiates for pain without a prescription. Ibuprofen is loosing its effectiveness.
My partner struggles with chronic pain. Neither of us have insurance, so Cameron cannot yet have the much needed surgery that would transform her life. Recently, I injured my right knee. It's not healing. Did I mention no insurance? Chronic pain dogs my steps, rides my temper, waits in the shadows to goad the darkest parts of self.
Chronic pain has become yet another part of mind numbing poverty. You know, choosing between the electric bill and grocery money. Some days it is all I can do to roll out of bed and go to work. What good is a substance abuse counselor or therapist when I hurt too much to filter other people's stories?