I have been clean and sober since 1989 when I entered treatment at age 24; I was not a nurse at the time. I have no urge, no feeling of wanting to tempt myself in any way. I counsel women who are in early recovery. I also never ask myself the questions you are asking yourself because I would never tempt fate! I do not feel "loss" in my life because I can't use or drink like "normal" people. Always remember that alcohol is also a drug. I do not like the distinction between "alcoholics and drug addicts". Addiction is addiction.
"Do all of these characteristic combined with the exposure to and subsequent physical addiction to Lortab define me as an addict for the rest of my life"
This sentence in your post really stood out at me! There is a lot more to your story than just using Lortab. Your need for using caused you to divert and you were injecting patient drugs. This is incredible denial to me. There is a so much more to recovery than just going to meetings and complaining about our days. There needs to be an inner change in our being that only comes from taking a good look at what got us to shooting up patient drugs but thinking we only had a problem with Lortab.
I read through many of your other posts from different forums. The majority of your posts are along the same theme that you have written about today. I believe you are searching for an answer. Therapy is a place to start dealing with "how" you got to where you were when you using. Therapy will help you deal with the issues of family, childhood etc. Then only you can decide if you want to move forward in your sessions about changing the way you view addiction and how you set yourself apart from others in it's classification.
Addiction is only a symptom of an underlying deep manifestation of self-loathing. The root of this manifestation can only be released by daily commitment and desire to want to be healthy in mind, body, and soul. It is hard, hard work. I feel you are at the jumping off point. You have to crave the "want, need, and desire" to change the way you think. Or a person convinces themselves they can use and have no consequences. It can terribly frightning to take a good look at ourselves and admit to what got us to the place of desperation.
My hope for you is that you will take the right road. Talk "HONESTLY" with your therapist and quit playing mind games with yourself. All the ifs, ands, or buts-and the "am I one", how come I can'ts" will land you right back to where you were 2 years ago. It almost seems as if you are seeking someone to tell you it's okay to use.
"Our marriage is fine, believe it or not, and we only bring it up when we are really angry. "
Why does your addiction become apart of your arguments with your spouse? This is wrong from either one of you. I feel your husband obviously has many unresolved issues himself and needs to find a place for himself to work this out. Alanon is an awesome program designed for him! You can't move forward if the two of you are always looking in the past!
You are at a crossroad. You are seeking answers. Posting on a forum is a wonderful way to express yourself and get feedback. But it is time to take action.You can post until your fingers hurt! But only setting a plan of action will get you where you need to be. And where you need to be is working on yourself, digging deep into your soul, seeking answers and truths,finding solutions, and then learning how to apply this to your daily living plan. So in the future when you awake in the morning, you will be at peace; not at odds at why you can't drink or use like "normal" people.
Remember-Addiction is just a symptom. Relapse begins long before we actually pick up that first drink or drug.
I hope you seek out the help you so deserve, to be able to have the wonderful life you also deserve. God bless you.