Not What The Doctor Ordered


Four million people in the UK have an addiction to opioids. Only these aren’t the usual class A varieties we maybe familiar with. They are not the drugs whose vice like grip is reported as ruining people’s lives, destroying communities and killing young people; No, these are the lesser know, but socially accepted prescription variety.

The fact is that in the home of the ordinary everyday person a secret resides.

Many people begin taking opioids after injury, operations, for illness and untreatable conditions; but then this normal and everyday action slips suddenly into an addiction.


What is it about these ‘safe’ prescription medicines that are leading ordinary everyday people into the territory of the shunned drug addicts of the world?

What is it that makes these painkillers so tempting to our brains?

What is it that allows these drugs to grab hold of people to a point that before they realise it, their addiction is entrenched just like any other ‘junkies’? 

Well, opioids, from codeine to diamorphine (which is basically heroin); all act on the central nervous system. They induce a miraculous feeling of well-being; banishing anxiety, inducing a sense of security and easing pain. It is these facts that have made these drugs, these legal class A drugs, popular for many decades.

Just ask the Hollywood film and television industry; they are no strangers to the short lived delights these little pills have to offer.

In fact many of these seemingly innocent painkillers people take everyday are actually so powerful that some of the brands have been affectionately labelled as “hillbilly heroin” (in America).

Yet, the demand for these opioids is still as fresh as the poppy they all originate from.

There has been no slow down on prescriptions; in fact from 1999 to 2008 dispensed opioids have increased from 6.2 million to 14.8 million. Those number equate to a lot of possible future addicts.

Yet, what other options are available for pain relief via the NHS??

Well, not much – either take these drugs or be left with run of the mill Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and Aspirin.

So before we condemn people for taking these heavy duty painkillers think about it; which would you choose if had to,  heroin based pills or excruciating life impairing 24/7 pain??

Not much of an option then.

It is either no pills or take heavy duty painkiller prescriptions and run the risk of becoming a junkie (albeit a self respecting and socially adept junkie).

So is this what the doctor ordered??

Or are the patients to blame for their own addictions by demanding these drugs, when it is made clear often enough they can produce addictive side effects?

What is the solution when this acceptable addiction spirals out of control???

With addiction creating such bad press and negative ideas/stereotypes how does someone exactly admit to the whole world, the world that thinks they are an upstanding and level headed person; that they are in fact addicted to drugs????

What help is out there for these ordinary people hooked on such drugs???

Do they ever receive the help they require or is it merely a case of having to continue to mask their addiction to save face??

What do they do when the pills eventually run out???


What are your thoughts on prescription medications?? Help or hindrance?

Are these potentially lethal drugs too often dished out like party favours without real pause for thought?

Are patients to blame for demanding the drugs in the first place??

Who is really monitoring the intake of these drugs; GP or patient??

One Moment In Time


I always remind myself of this whenever I am tempted to wish my life away, which in past years was on a weekly basis (I think it was one of my favourite past times actually)!

When I think back on this it makes me sad that I didn’t or couldn’t value where I was, and what I had because I allowed external factors to rule my roost!

There are so many, maybe too many stresses and strains in daily life. They cause us all to think; ‘can’t wait until 5.00’, ‘can’t wait until later’, ‘can’t wait until weekend’. Yet, why can’t we just settle for being in the moment we inhabit for once, and accepting that?

We rarely pause, think, take stock and allow ourselves to breathe. We seem to battle against life, fear it as an enemy working against our best laid plans. It is a roller coaster we cannot control or shout out to stop it’s momentum carrying us off before we are ready.

In short; life controls us and we don’t control it.

Why are we all so uncomfortable just being?

As I was constructing this post I couldn’t help but think of this poem by William H Davies;

by William H Davies:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Its time to stand and stare people! Go on, just do it; you know you want to……………….

Welcome To No Sleep Anonymous……..

Awake and counting the hours till Dawn……….

Well, I have to say I am physically exhausted and now must be running on adrenalin. I am not sleeping very well at night; in fact I deem 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep as Heavenly bliss!

What the Hell is going on I don’t know, and I don’t like it either.

I can only think it is my brain to blame. I have had this problem off and on throughout my life, and it seems to coincide with having too much going on in my life at one time. I can’t seem to flick the off button on my brain; consequently my mind runs on, and on, and on – all day and all night.

I know it is no good for me, I mean when I was 14 and 15 in school no sleep meant nothing, but now, ummm, its a big difference. I mean it isn’t as though I’m a big ‘mover and shaker’ in the world, but my world, doesn’t matter how small, means too much to me to waste it lying around on the couch and feeling like a zombie.

I envy people who can just switch off and sleep the sleep of the dead. Let me clarify, I don’t mean the actual dead, I mean a heavy sleep where nothing rouses the sleeper or disturbs them. I read how sleep is important to health, and we should all have 6-8 hours a night to maintain our well-being. OK, I get that, but is not as though I am avoiding sleep on purpose, if I could I would sleep, but I can’t!!! My body just won’t submit to sleep, not unless its 100% in the zone, and it never really is (does this make sense). I am like the ‘Princess and the Pea’; any little thing and my brain detects it as an annoyance. I then can’t settle.

I am so desperate to switch off, though I don’t advocate them, I have been day dreaming about sleeping tablets! The relief the thought of having them provides is weirdly comforting. I JUST WANNA SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, none of this is really consequential! It isn’t the end of the world, nobody has died and I am not facing mortal jeopardy. Yet, I think this all clearly explains my erratic mind, twitchy feeling of restlessness, my odd behaviour, apathy and lethargy towards everything, my wandering ideas and over sensitivity, oh and the sprinkling of paranoia.

Please let me sleep tonight, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

A Bundle Of Nerves

My mind can take a swim in the anxious soup, but I now know it is self defeating nonsense.

Sometimes I feel we push ourselves to our limits, to the point of physical and mental overload. We should all permit our brain and body ‘time out’ on occasions by letting go of those pressurising and punishing ‘interjects’. ‘Interjects’ are all too familiar in out lives, they dictate to us; ‘I must’, ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’!! ‘Interjects’ can drive people to feel anxious and unworthy.

I have learnt to see the pressure building whenever ‘interjects’ are included in the equation. For me it is then important to step away and question what is so important about these interjects. Will the world end tomorrow if all of my ‘to do’ list isn’t completed or the impossibly high targets I have set myself cannot be attained? No, it won’t! Whether I am an emotional wreck melted into a pool in the corner of the room or not, the world will still continue to turn on its axis! Bex’s issues not important to the world’s continuum!

My problem is I take too much on at once, which is fine, but I also need to remember I am not infallible, invincible or a super woman!

Another significant issue for me is social anxiety; interacting and feeling confident with others. Though the anxiety surrounding this has declined somewhat over the years, it has taken hard work on my part to tame the nonsense.

Since I was in school I have been blighted with anxiety, surrounded by insecurities and feelings of extremely low self esteem. I always hated how all of this impacted on me, my life and interactions with others. I therefore worked on changing it as soon as I felt able.

I actually did the reverse of running away and hiding from the world, I took on college courses and employment that would force me to interact, and pushed me constantly to be confident and social. This ethos worked; to a degree, though I am not ‘cured’. Note to add: ‘cured’ or what we perceive denotes ‘normal’ for everyone else and their lives. How do we know what normal is exactly? We don’t, it differs from person to person. So ‘cured’, no I am not, and don’t want to be as this is me.
It is not about curing, but managing what is part of you, and accepting it to a point.

Anyway, now I am here in Madrid, and I have had to make a new life for myself, yet again. This life now includes learning a new language, which anyone who has read
Brain Plasticity
Will know from these posts that I am struggling with it!

You see, there are still times where I don’t always take well to being deprived of my ‘comfort blanket’!
I get anxious and this anxiety can prevent me from being the best I can be. I manage it, but if I let it, it will run riot through my life.

Anxiety for me is like something else taking over how you feel and think; it’s debilitating, something deep within is blocking you, preventing you from living a full life and being a happy person.

Regardless of how anxious or under confident I might feel, I endeavour not to submit to that inner voice, and I won’t let it win, control and dictate me, my life and how I see myself. It won’t ruin my quality of life basically. Though, it isn’t easy; I know that and you know that.

Some days it’s like being in Hell, stuck in my own mind which is running a hate campaign against me. Just feeling comfortable enough in my own skin to be able to go out and face the world, seems like a miracle. Yet, being in unknown or daunting situations has helped boost my confidence, and changed how I have perceived myself, my capabilities and other people. So, it doesn’t mean that having anxiety will prevent you from living a life.

You see the reality is; things are never as bad as we imagine them to be. In our minds we have the tendencies of building mountains out of mole hills and Demons out of Angel’s. Only we have the power to stop doing that!

Now I know, and see that my thinking patterns can be irrational. So I query myself; what am I being afraid of? People are just like me and full of their own insecurities, and no-one really pays that much attention anyway (too busy with their own shit)! Am I going to even give a damn about what ‘fools’ think about me? Am I going to relinquish power over myself and my life to them? And the answer is; Hell no!

I can really empathise, and not in a patronising way, with how crippling anxiety can be to the ordinary and everyday life. I only hope you can take something from my experience, and what I have written here. I hate seeing people going through this shit for nothing, and then watching their life being taken over by it all.

The best thing to do is talk; tell it to someone else you can trust. Once the bad is released from the secret darkness of your mind none of the anxieties will look so powerful and overwhelming. It is keeping the anxieties a secret that maintains their power over you. Let them go, and question those inner doubts whenever they speak.

You can do it, step by step!

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Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

We’re On The Road To Nowhere………..

It is something intrinsic to most, but perhaps not all humans; to reflect back upon past events. This act can be useful, but it can also prove to be a torturous affair, especially if by what occurred, we ought to have inherently learnt something of value to replicate in similar future circumstances. Yeah, we all learn SOMETHING, but it isn’t always the epiphany we may have been waiting for. In life it doesn’t always matter how much you learn or what events you watch unfold a thousand times; the power to avert some of life’s little disasters is not always in your hands. Could it be a cause and consequence of that tricky little thing called; FATE???????

Anyway, I ramble on and too happily divert! From such repetition of events in my life, something occurred which I had been expecting for a long while. This was something I lived with and hated, but as there were financial constraints, and expectations applied by myself and forced upon me I naturally kept moving towards the inevitable ending.

To put it simply, for many years I loathed my job, as too many people do! What really got me was I had been the type of person to move from place to place; once the bad got going I was gone, and not because I had no commitment, but because I knew as any lady does when not to outstay the welcome! Any job can turn bad, especially with the economic downturn, but because of that very thing the option to leave the miserable predicament was beyond me. I had tried to make it better, ‘its just a job’ as my boyfriend would say, but the dire situation I was stuck in a rut with was making me depressed.

It was no use moaning I had to face facts, I was stuck and stagnating to the point where not even medication was enough to keep a smile on my face. My life or more importantly myself, was crumbling and in danger of being left to disintegrate in the seventh circle of Hell I felt I had seemingly created for myself!

When you are in Hell, you are alone. No amount of consolation, sincere or forced can help you feel hope or comfort; and a life without hope is pretty grim on a day to day basis. I couldn’t believe that this was it, forever and ever. Hadn’t I been brought into this world for something more? I was losing my way and there were no directions, I was in deep ‘do-do’!

To cut the story short; in the end there was a messy snake fest, where to say the least they tried to squash the last remaining life out of me, but there in that moment was my chance to bite back, AT LAST!!!! I had waited years to sock it to ‘em and now they had made their final transgression against me!

Well, I got what I wanted, with some help and it was a pleasure to be honest. I eventually got to see the powers that be understand my situation. So I was then all of a sudden cut free, AT LAST, and I was wildly ecstatic! I had prayed for for such a request from the moment I realised it was turning sour. I had my wish suddenly granted, and I felt an overwhelming relief I hadn’t felt since achieving such success as, brilliant A Level results and passing my driving test! Could this granted wish leave me feeling on a high forever, I was certain the answer was a definite and loud, YES!!!!!!!!!!!

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.