In summary: my sponsor, and her sponsor, advised me not to take a medication that is helpful to me and which I was not abusing. This makes me feel uncomfortable. More details below.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (41 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm an alcoholic, and have been sober for a little over a year. In May of this year, I started experiencing an acute tension headache. After trying ibuprofen, naproxen, massage, and heat, I gave up and went to urgent care. The headache receded due to the IV they gave me, but returned. I took the following week of of work, and went to my PCP as soon as possible.
My PCP knows I'm an alcoholic, and I reminded her of this fact at the visit. She prescribed me 10mg cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) to take for my tension headaches as needed, but up to 3 times daily. I had been on Flexeril in the past and had not abused it, but my sponsor and I decided to be proactive - she would hold on to, and dispense, my Flexeril.
I took 1-2 a day for a few days, until the headache dissipated somewhat and I was able to go back to work.
Over the next six weeks or so, I took the Flexeril as needed but far less regularly. (My guess would be 10mg, once a week.) I should note that I was not relying solely on the Flexeril; I have been trying to cut down on my stress and meditate using MBSR. I only took Flexeril when ibuprofen didn't help.
I got rear-ended about three weeks ago, and went to urgent care for that. The doctor there told me I could take Flexeril to deal with the pain. (I'd informed him of my previous prescription - he did not need to write me a new one.)
I took the Flexeril once a day after the accident for about a week. At that point, my sponsor decided she didn't want me to take Flexeril anymore and she wasn't comfortable dispensing it to me. I was really upset by this because I had been taking the Flexeril as directed and only as a last resort.
I met with her and her sponsor a few days after this conversation so we could try to hash things out. I felt awful after that conversation: I felt like Flexeril was evil, I felt like I had relapsed, and that I was on the road to ruin.
After returning home from that meeting, I realized how upset I still was. Why did I feel so horrible when I'd been taking Flexeril as directed?
My sponsor and her sponsor encouraged me to follow up with my doctor about the pain from the accident. I did this - or rather, I met with a PA since my doctor was out on vacation.
The PA actually said that taking 10mg once a day actually wasn't helping me heal / helping reduce pain very much since I was only taking it once a day. However, since 10mg does have a somewhat soporific effect, he suggested I take 5mg three times a day, for five days. Again, I was very clear to him about being an alcoholic, and asked him for alternatives to the Flexeril, but he felt that was the best option for me. (I ended up doing this, and surprise, I feel much better after those 5 days on the lower dose of Flexeril.)
I feel really uncomfortable and unhappy about AA right now. I know that my sponsor, and her sponsor, were both concerned for me, and trying to be helpful. But I also know that my Flexeril use was not irregular and did not warrant their response. I am not used to people thinking the worst of me.
I don't want to participate in an organization that encourages me to think the worst of myself - I have a difficult enough time with my self-esteem without that. I also don't want to participate in a program that encourages me to ignore my body and physical concerns in favor of dogma.
On the other hand, I'm concerned about leaving the program. I don't have a strong social network outside of AA, and while I don't want to drink, I also worry about what would happen if I left.
A few other things that may be relevant:
* I'm an agnostic. I find AA to be challenging for that reason, but thus far, it hasn't been a reason to leave.
* I have looked at other options, but non-AA-based recovery groups are uncommon in my area.