One Woman’s Story of Being a Parent and an Addict

Like Prince and the millions of Americans who take prescription painkillers every year, I began taking them for their intended purpose: I was in pain.

When my son was 6 months old, he napped in his stroller while I cried in my doctor’s office. “Maybe you could try Percocet,” my doctor offered. I had tried Tramadol, Soma, Flexeril, Skelaxin — none of them worked. None of them made me feel better. I was still in pain. I was still unhappy. I hadn’t started taking anti-depressants yet and wanted something, anything, to fix me so I wouldn’t kill myself.

Percocet dulled my pain. With just one pill, my period was no longer insurmountable; I was able to uncurl from the fetal position and leave my bed. One pill made it possible to pick up my son without wincing at a muscle spasm. Percocet was the magic elixir I was seeking. It did the impossible: It made me feel better.

For the full essay, jump to:  The Washington Post: I’m A Stay-at-Home Mom. I’m an Addict.