I entered this world in June of 1960 as happy as can be, or so I’m told. At age two, after some uncontrollable bleeding episodes, I was diagnosed with hemophilia B. From that point on, a “normal” life for me was a protected life, free from most activities that could cause me to bleed. The treatment of hemophilia was in its early stages in the sixties. When I was young, the treatment was a lengthy hospital stay where I was given whole blood and fresh frozen plasma until the bleeding stopped. They also gave me codeine to ease the pain and calm me down, so at an early age, I was comfortably numb. In my high school years I attended many weekend parties with alcohol, which I was able to “kick up a notch” with Tylenol No. 3; however, I remained functional and was able to graduate fourth in my class. I headed to college where my roommate loved drugs, and it didn’t take much coaxing for me to join him. A few years later, following a car accident and a DWI, I wound up in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. When I got out, I attended twelve-step meetings but didn’t get a sponsor and never did my fourth step. I eventually relapsed. By 1985 I was a flight attendant for a major airline. This concerned my family because they felt there were too many temptations for someone with my history. As was usually the case, they were correct. In 1988, after a long night out, my colleagues dropped me off at my apartment, but I was locked out of my second-floor unit. I attempted to jump onto the deck from the ground and hit my head on an overhang. Eventually my roommate came home and let me in. She and her friends thought I was just drunk, until I was still lying there the next morning and couldn’t be roused. The next thing I remember was my mother and sisters crying over my bed as I came to after surgery. I had a brain bleed, a serious issue for anyone, but especially for someone with hemophilia. The neurosurgeon came in and told me I was fortunate that the injury occurred in the left frontal lobe, which controls emotions, and that I would have the “joie de vivre” (loosely translated, the “joy of life”) for the rest of my life. Darvocet, Percocet, and Tylox became my new best friends following two brain surgeries to replace a bone flap that had become infected. In the mid-nineties, I was being treated for chronic back pain that I’d been experiencing for several years. My doctor explained that there was a “wonderful new drug on the market to control pain—very safe and nonaddictive.” My love affair with OxyContin began. By 2008, I was prescribed 400 mg twice a day. I was eating twelve 80 mg tablets at a time! I was powerless over my addiction, and my life was unmanageable. I made a decision to stop the madness. I flew out West for treatment with the full, unwavering support of my family and the spiritual strength provided by my loving Higher Power. My back pain was between a five and a six on the one-to-ten pain scale. A Fentanyl patch was removed from my arm, and the process of healing began. During the course of my thirty-five-day stay in treatment, my hemophilia became “active.” I had four separate acute bleeds, one which caused severe pain, but I got through it without the use of opiates. Practicing meditation, prayer, yoga, reiki, and other techniques helped me tremendously. I now go to twelve-step meetings every day, I have a sponsor, and I’m looking forward to a “searching and fearless moral inventory.” I’m good for today. Did I mention that since the third week of my treatment stay my back pain has been at a one? Hyperalgesia at its finest! This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).