Citation: Primo. "Double Edged Sword: An Experience with Tramadol (Ultram) (exp64727)". Erowid.org. May 8, 2010. erowid.org/exp/64727
I was 24 years old when I got the flu, which then turned into a raging chest infection. I was prescribed codeine cough medicine. My chest infection subsided shortly thereafter, but I continued to take the cough medicine because it helped me fall asleep and took my mind off of anything bothersome. I remember running out of the cough syrup and throwing the bottle in the trash. After coming home from work that day, I went directly to the trash and rummaged through to get to the empty bottle, thinking I could salvage any remaining little drizzle of medicine there was left. I added a little water to the bottle, shook it hard, and then gulped the watered down medicine hoping to get some relief. I found this experience disturbing, but paid no real attention. In the days after I ran out of the stuff, I was upset and wished I could have more, but I got over it.
Occasionally I would get a few Percocet or Vicodin from friends who had had their teeth pulled or whatnot. I deeply enjoyed these pills, and always felt empty and let down when the supply ran out. However, I never made it my intention to go out of my way to seek these drugs, and merely continued to hope that the occasional serendipitous moment of generosity would strike a friend who had broken a bone or had minor surgery and the pills would once again be a part of my life.
A few months later I found out that my motherís friend had an ample supply of Ultram. I think she was ordering them online. They were 100 mg tablets. Sometimes I had taken some of my motherís Lorazepam to fall asleep, but never felt happy on that. They really only made me sleepy. I also had a habit of taking Benadryl or Nyquil or Tylenol PM to fall asleep on the nights when I didnít have access to anything stronger, which was really nearly every night for over two years. Occasionally I would drink in combination with these drugs to fall asleep. I appreciated that sensation of suddenly not being able to sit up straight or hold my eyes open. I looked forward to the moment when I would be chatting right along with a friend on the phone and suddenly my speech would begin to slur because Iíd be so tired. Just like that, out of the blue, it would feel like I had been knocked over the head by Mr. Sandman, and dragged helplessly into dreamland.
Because I was curious and always looking for some relief from myself, I asked my motherís friend if I could try an Ultram and she generously said yes. She is a very giving woman, and handed me four or five 100 mg pills. I took one right away and felt rather good. I wanted to eat toast with cinnamon and sugar and butter on it. I think I instinctively knew I should buffer my stomach with food so as not to vomit. Plus, sugar and flour products also calm and comfort me, so the combination of the Ultram and the toast was sweet, unadulterated heaven for me. I ate a lot of toast and felt happy, warm and cozy. Thus began my absolute obsession with these cheap pills.
The next morning I had a headache and felt a little hung over. I didnít pay much attention to this because the Benadryl, Nyquil and binging on sugar products gave me more of a sensation of being hung over than the Ultram. The headache was admittedly troublesome though.
Of course the four or five pills my motherís friend gave me disappeared in as many nights. And when they were gone I asked for more, knowing she would say yes. About a month or two after that I couldnít achieve the same high with the one 100 mg pill anymore. It was sort of like not being able to come, a feeling I find to be unbearably disappointing and totally unacceptable. I wanted that familiar release from tension and anxiety. I asked my motherís friend for more and more and she suggested I should slow down with the Ultram. I then began stealing them from her when she wasnít around. I would sometimes ask her for a few, she would agree and give a few to me, and then I would steal 30 or 40 when she wasnít there, justifying my horrible behavior with the fact that I had technically asked her for them earlier and she had said yes, so it couldnít be too bad if I took a few more on my own.
I went from taking 100mg at a time to 300mg at a time. In the end I needed 4 pills to feel alright. I would watch Northern Exposure from my bed. It would be daytime and I would have had a few days off from work, so I felt safe getting royally fucked, knowing I would have enough time to recuperate before having to go back to work. I could take four pills at a time and three hours later take another one or two to keep the high going.
As I lay there watching the TV and waiting for the warmth to creep in all over my whole body, I would get severe ringing in my ears. I would nod out, jolting awake wondering how I ever fell asleep to begin with. I was weak but not really tired. Somehow I could fall in and out of consciousness without being totally aware of doing so. I would think I was wide awake and then suddenly I would jolt awake, startling myself. Sometimes if I laid down flat after having taken a handful of the pills, it would feel like I was sinking down into my bed, or like the bed was rising up and swallowing me. I always had itchy skin, and couldnít stop rubbing my face and nose to try to alleviate the itchiness. I would notice that my jaw would be clenched tightly and then I would release and relax my jaw muscles, but before I knew it Iíd be clenching my teeth again. None of this mattered to me of course. I felt nothing at all, was entirely numb to the world, without a care.
When these highs wore off I would have an excruciating headache, so bad that I would be nauseous. I would have diarrhea and would be absolutely sick. I would be very, very depressed, often times thinking I might lose my mind if I didnít get some more Ultram. I wondered if I was going insane. My anxiety would get out of control when I ran out of the pills. I would be incapacitated with anxiety, could not rest or sit still, and could not make sense of my reality. Nothing felt right. My whole life was unbearable when I didnít have the pills.
The best thing about these pills was that they made me feel euphoric. I had no access to the part of my brain that controls worry. I am an extremely anxious and depressed person, and these pills provided me a temporary respite from the unbearable anxiety and minute to minute tension I experience when Iím sober. I enjoyed these pills more than drinking because they were neater, compact, free (because I was stealing them), and easier to hide. Drinking, Benadryl, Nyquil or a combination of the three with a whole lot of flour and sugar products would be the substitute on the terrible days when I didnít have Ultram.
To this day I crave the pills. It has been 14 months since I have taken any, and 6 months since I have had a drink or taken any Benadryl or Nyquil. I am also trying to stop eating flour and sugar.
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