Self Help and Self Discovery: A Story of Hope by Laura Chapman

It takes a lot of courage for me to admit that for many years I battled with addiction. Even now, typing it out doesn’t feel real and it almost feels like I’m writing about another person. But I’m not. It’s taken me a long time to confront my fears—and to break through the barriers that led me down the path I’d chosen.

I wasn’t an alcoholic, I wasn’t a heroin addict, I was the “acceptable” face of addiction—my drug of choice was codeine, a legal, prescription medication that is easy to get hold of and is something that many millions of people take without a problem, but for some, it becomes a dependency that is hard to explain – and to beat.

It started off quite small, only taking the recommended daily dose and not going over—staying within the recommended safe level, it was after an operation I’d had for something quite trivial. Then after a short while I found I liked the buzz, I liked the way it made me feel and I wanted more and more to get me through the day. Before I realised, I was taking twenty or thirty a day to get the same feeling I was getting from six.

Addiction makes you sneaky. You find yourself planning your day around where you’ll be able to find a drugstore where to staff don’t know you—you find yourself going online and trying to find online pharmacies that will ship out larger amounts of what you need and before you know it you really are totally out of control.

For me, the problems escalated—and only began to unravel when my husband looked at our bank statement one day (I was usually in charge of the finances of the house) and began to question the large amounts of cash that were leaving our account to seemingly strange online outlets.

To cut a long story short, he helped me get help. He understood and he was patient with me while I “detoxed” and withdrew. He came with me to therapy and held my hand before and after. However, I was also keen to try and understand the deeper reasons for my problems and—although some people are not so keen on them, I turned to self help books to assist me further in my quest. Alongside talking therapy, a monitored program of SSRI medication and the continued support of my family I take baby steps each day towards being totally free of my addiction.

There’s a long road ahead but it is conquerable.


Thank you, Laura, for bravely sharing your story and insights. You're an inspiration!