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Constant Cravings is a story of victory in one man's struggle with prescription drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling and self-abuse. At the age of 38, Mike Dryden's life changed forever when he was introduced to narcotic painkillers for migraine headaches. Fifteen years later the cravings still haunt him. Sometimes dead men do tell tales. This true story tells all, revealing the torments of the past and the hope for the future.
Now it's time for the final acts; the lowest of lows, the force that began a life of recovery. At the end of my sporadic but heavy drug and alcohol abuse I was becoming delusional and suicidal. I didn't want to die but I couldn't live like this anymore. I would stop at nothing to get just one more painkiller prescription. I drank and drank more alcohol but craved the pills. One night as I was sleeping alone, I rolled out of bed and cracked my knee against our dresser. Jackie was sleeping in Dani's room. This is the only time I can remember her being so disgusted by my behavior that she wouldn't even sleep in the same bed as me. So, as I lay there, my only conscious thought was, did I break my knee? Could I be so lucky? In my deteriorating state of mind an injury meant pain meds. So as I slowly stumbled up to see that it was only a scrape, that mechanism in my head started up. You know what mechanism I'm talking about if you're a recovering alcoholic or addict. That mechanism that we were possibly born with or acquired along the path of our drinking and using years. That mechanism in our brain that separates us from the people who can drink or take medicine in moderation. Mine has always seemed to be just a little left of center. Sitting there on the edge of the bed obsessing with the broken knee thing I was still half asleep. All the barbiturates (Fioricet) I took before bed surely didn't help either.
I stumbled to our back porch and pulled a claw hammer out of the tool drawer and proceeded into our living room. As I sat there, hammer in hand; I knew what I had to do. This is it, I'm going to do it, one hard hit would dislocate my knee and off to the ER. Jackie would take me. As I raised the hammer I gave no thought to Jackie and Dani sound asleep in the next room. One time, I kept thinking, one hard swing and it would be over. I did it suddenly but just before impact I must have held back slightly. My knee held frim but I screamed out something awful. I suddenly realized my family sleeping nearby as I tucked the hammer under my lap. Jackie came running out of the bedroom demanding to know what was wrong. Even with all I'd put her through she kneeled there before me in loving concern. I told her that I fell out of bed and hit my knee on the dresser. As she went to turn on the living room light I looked down at my lap. There was the claw of the hammer sitcking out by my crotch! I quickly grabbed a piece of clothing nearby and stuffed it between my legs as she returned. As she inspected the self-inflicted damage all she wanted to know was if it was broken. Meanwhile, I'm thinking I have to downplay this and get her back to bed before she discoveres the hammer I'm sitting on.