Editorial: Chronic Pain and Sobriety

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Personally, I believe there are two distinct forms of shame; emotional and physical.  All other forms of remorse laden with guilt, somehow fall into the above categories.

I will be having my third orthopedic surgery.  This has all come about in six months.  I suffer from severe osteoarthritis.  Too many years of sports, too many bad bones.

I know that as an addict, this country-wide, time of over indulgent Opioid use, is difficult, at best, for everyone.

Addiction is such an all consuming illness.  It’s victims are not only the user, but, the user’s family, friends and associates of all kinds.

As I struggle to hike, walk and partake of my chosen profession: photography dashed with a bit of spiritualism; I have found it increasingly difficult to find solace from the shame.

I do take pain medication.  It is not my only source of pain management, but it is part and parcel of a complete, somewhat inadequate, program.

That other day, I had called my doctor’s office, to request a refill.  Nothing unusual, other than the, humiliation.


Did you double-check to make sure you don’t have any refills?  It seems very soon to be getting a refill!  Why don’t you call your pharmacy and check?  Has the pain really been that bad?  Give me a scale of 1 to 10.

I knew without a doubt, my medication was due to be refilled.  I keep exact count because I am sober.  I also go without alleviating the pain…when I should have just taken the medication.  Most times, I am willing to endure debilitating aches and swells, before just doing what the doctor ordered.


As anyone with an ounce of ‘good’ sobriety, will tell you,

‘the last thing I like to do, is to ask for help!’

To request a possible addictive product, sucks, not other poetic term for it.  The sober addict feels they have given in, given up and most importantly, feels as though they have taken several steps back.

Typically. for anyone with chronic pain, the shame of feeling less than is part of everyday activities.

There most be a middle road!  A way in which those who suffer physically, need not suffer emotionally, as well.

I am not sure what that road is.  I am sure that one of the least likely to ‘become addicted’ persons are those who have established a secure line to sobriety.

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