I am addicted to painkillers and need help.
As many of you know, four years ago I began to take care of my wonderful mother full-time. I was full-time at Credo House and full-time with mom. I could not leave her alone at any time.
Let me back up . . .
My mother suffered a severe aneurysm rupture in 2006. This left her unable to walk, think well, or talk. Therefore, she relied on others for everything in life.
I began to take care of her after she was in a car wreck that rendered her only good leg bad. She could no long aid anyone in standing, shifting, or transferring. This was a big deal.
Right or wrong, I decided to take full-time care of mom. I would write from home and take mom with me just about everywhere I go.
Now, I have degenerative disc disease along with a fractured lower back where the vertebra is laying on a nerve. My mother had no weight bearing capabilities. I had to dead lift her to change her, move her, and adjust her. She weighed about 250 pounds. This caused me to get on pain pills.
My First Experience with Pain Pills
I used to pride myself in how I could take pain and illness without needing any medication, even aspirin. However, this was too much to bear. I took the pain pill and experienced something very unexpected. Not only did it make me forget about the pain, it put me in a really good mood. I was nicer, more outgoing, and took the initiative areas that I might shy away from otherwise. It was great. Pain was gone and personality and energy were in fifth gear. I thought of them as pain killers and anti-depressants.
However, over the years, I found out that there was a significantly large piper to pay. First, the longer I took these drugs, the more tolerant I became to their effects. The milligrams had to be increased over and over. Last year I was taking 3 eighty mg pills of oxycontin (that is a lot, by the way).
Because of my addiction to these painkillers, I began to slowly neglect, betray, and discount everyone in my life, including my family. My main goal was how to get another pill. If I could not get one, I would go into major withdrawal which positioned me at the gates of hell. Pain, puke, cramps, and significant depression would follow. Once I finally got a refill, all it could do was get me back to 0. I would think of U2’s song “Running to Stand Still.” That is exactly the way it felt.
Though I slowed way down this last year, my obsession remained. When I did not have any pills from the doctor, I would get them from people I knew.
I manipulated, deflected, neglected, blamed, and rationalized. This all happened, one small step at a time. I slowly became someone I am now totally ashamed of.
For this reason, I am checking myself into a rehab facility in Orange County, CA. It is a month minimum stay.
It is going to be hard, but I, Lord willing, will beat this addiction and return to being a who I am supposed to be.
I apologize to all those out there I have hurt. I apologize to my family, my church, those I teach at Credo, and those I teach in other places. Please forgive me. I repent to the Lord and tell him this has it arms around me. I call upon him to have mercy on me.
What Will Become of the Credo House Coffee Shop?
While I am gone, I think the Credo House will suffer. Carrie is going to be there running things, and she knows it all. However, I will not be there for end-of-year fundraising or our Black Friday sale. These are so important to the functioning and well-being of Credo House Ministries.
I want Credo House to continue. I want to continue to lead there. I want my board to know that I am still—more than ever—on board with Credo House.
But Credo must continue to exist while I am gone.
Here is the deal: we are in need of $50,000 ASAP. I completely understand if you choose to no longer support us because of my failure. But if you are going to continue, you can donate directly to Credo House or you can join this GoFundMe campaign here.
I thank you all for your understanding and prayers. I just thank God that I will always be identified to him as righteous in Christ, though I am still sinning.
President, Credo House Ministries
C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger.
Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminar (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I’m a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]