REVENGE: IS FORGIVENESS THE RIGHT PATH FOR EVERYONE?

Revenge is a topic I’ve been fascinated with from an early age. I’ve always been familiar with quotes like “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” and “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”. I have never agreed with either.

RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION

Believe it or not the Human Brain can take pleasure in certain kinds of revenge. Scientists reviewing MRI scans of subjects thinking about revenge noticed that the part of the brain where dopamine is lodged became activated. Dopamine is the reward center of feel good area, it has the same affect as some sweet foods or even drugs.

The desire for revenge increases depending on the number of people who witnessed your mistreatment. The theory is that if you do not take revenge the people around you will see you as someone willing to put up with that kind of treatment or weak.

Revenge isn’t felt for just anyone. We usually feel the need to seek revenge toward people we care about and know well because we feel their betrayal the most.

ALTERNATIVES

You can avoid the person or group altogether.

You can accept the abuse because you love the person or see no alternative.

You can also forgive. Forgiveness is often mistaken for weakness. To forgive the other person has to be willing to look at their own behavior and change the way they see you as a person.

EXPERIENCE

I have always had a problem with the concept of revenge. I don’t believe Karma ever comes around. Forgiveness is next to impossible in some situations. Honestly? I don’t want to forgive specific people. They will never change or see what they did as wrong. I will accept my part in things. I didn’t deserve some of what happened. No one deserves the psychological and physical trauma I still dream about.

If you had the same dream continuously, one where you are drowning but it isn’t water it’s blood. You can’t move your arms or anything from the waist up. There is a heavy weight on top of you making it harder to breathe. You hear what you are being called as the blows keep hitting your face, you can’t talk, breathe, or fight back. You hear laughter and feel spit on your face. You see yourself being thrown down the stairs then picked up by your hair. The laughter is the hardest part. You later learn the person responsible is bragging about what they did. There’s no hope for them changing their behavior. A few years later they are arrested for doing something similar to someone else.

So for some I have no interest in forgiveness or forgetting. My brain doesn’t allow me to forget. It’s one of many events I get to live over and over. I have even fantasized exactly how I would enact my revenge. Don’t worry it doesn’t involve death. I’m way too imaginative for that and I know this person well. I know his Achilles Heel. But I do nothing because I love my dad and as big of a pain in the ass as she is I love my sister. It isn’t a fear of prison because I would probably wouldn’t have a hard time. All those years spent with ex-cons you can learn a lot. (I’m kidding) (I did learn a lot but I don’t want the chance to test my knowledge).

Instead I’ll stick to my revenge movies.

 

KIND OF ROTTEN AND INSANE (A Look Inside My Thoughts) *Enter at own risk

Lately I’ve been struggling with trying to use the correct terminology and phrasing so as not to offend anyone. This is exhausting and I will have Carpel Tunnel soon. I am Bipolar, I am an Alcoholic, I have a form of PTSD that is hard to explain, I have multiple health problems that even I don’t understand.

If I personally have what I’m discussing than I shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells talking about it. Too many people get upset because I say I am Bipolar. Implying that I let Bipolar Disorder define who I am. Doesn’t it? Really think about it. Due to recent information from my Doctor, “The Team” estimates that I probably started to exhibited signs of Bipolar Disorder as early as 9 years old. I hadn’t told him about rocking back and forth or banging my head when I was little until our last session. He actually wants to do some testing to make sure I have the correct diagnosis or if another diagnosis needs to be added. YAY!!

I’m tired of being a science experiment. My thoughts are always dark. They always have been. Don’t get me wrong, some are humorous, but still dark. Only I would find them funny.

Even my choices in Movies and TV are dark. I have a tendency to always pick Action/Drama/Revenge themes. Anything else I get bored. Give me John Wick, Banshee, Gladiator, Justified, Vikings, In a Valley of Violence, Happy Valley, The Magnificent Seven, Unforgiven, and it goes on and on. If there’s a dog involved like in John Wick, forget it I’m in.

Most of my favorite songs are dark. I never listen to “happy” music. I find comfort in the darkness of things. I don’t know why.

On the other hand I also feel too much and I hate it. There are times I wish I could rip my heart or brain out because the pain is so bad it becomes physical.

I walked in to the kitchen earlier to clean near the bird cages. I said hello to both birds like I always do. When I looked at our Sulphur Crested Cockatoo I saw she had a hole in her chest like she had been shot. I felt sick. I tried to keep her calm so I could get a better look at it. I needed to know if she did it to herself or if there was something in her cage. I told my dad who just sat there and did nothing. They are his birds. I understand he had dialysis today but if a guy came to the door wanting to show or talk pigeons you can bet your ass he would’ve gotten off the couch.

I have a magnifier with a light that I used to look at the wound. I didn’t need the magnifier just the light. When I was done I put my head on the table and cried. No, I didn’t just cry, I sobbed uncontrollably. I then went to my dad and told him “If she did that to herself, YOU WILL HUMANELY EUTHANIZE HER, DO YOU UNDERSTAND? And you will get up and look at the wound NOW!”. Do I like talking to my dad that way? No. But I refuse to let any animal suffer because of an owner’s ignorance or neglect.

When a bird plucks out it’s own chest feather’s it isn’t good to begin with. But she was doing okay. If a bird goes as far as self injury like pecking a giant hole in it’s chest, that is a completely different matter. At this point the bird is usually too far gone to be helped. This is my father’s fault. He won’t listen, he won’t let anyone else help him, and his pride will not only hurt his health but every living thing around him.

I feel like I need to do something away from this environment. But I might need a car. Priorities suck. Screw ’em. I’m not sure how much more I can take. My birthday is coming up, it’s never celebrated, just like Christmas wasn’t, the anniversary of my mom’s death is also coming up, the next few months are always my hardest and this year I’m not sure how I’ll do. Physically I’m not well and losing weight which means I’m not absorbing all my meds correctly. There’s a constant dull ache in my head and I have to tell myself to unclench my jaw every 20 minutes.

Oh well, Happy New Year! Here’s a pic of my cookies.img_20161230_110806_538.jpg

ALCOHOLISM, MODERATION, ABSTINENCE, AND WHAT’S POSSIBLE

There are a number of people leaving AA and other programs meant to help with addiction to seek a “Holy Grail” of sorts. It’s the belief that if you follow a new and different way you will be able to drink in moderation successfully.

What is “Moderate Drinking”?

The scientific community has been doing extensive research concerning this subject and came up with the following definition.

Moderate drinking consists of no more than 3 to 4 “standard” drinks per drinking episode. No more than 9 drinks per week for women and 12-14 per week for men.

A “standard drink” is equal to the following:

  • a 12 oz. beer with 5% alcohol
  • a 5 oz. glass of wine with 12.5% alcohol
  • a 1.5 oz. of 80 proof liquor 40% alcohol

Moderate drinking also takes into account how FAST you drink and keeping your blood alcohol level below .055. (.08 is the DUI/DWI limit in the U.S.)

Supposedly Moderate Drinkers do not drink to get drunk. It states that some heavy drinkers who have had problems related to their drinking can learn how to “moderate” their drinking. Drinkers who have the most success believe that alcoholism is a bad habit and not a disease.

There is a “Chances of Success Test” you can take on the website for free. (moderatedrinking.com)

I did take the test but answered the questions as if I were NOT in remission/sober. They at least gave an honest answer. My results recommended that I abstain from all alcohol use. So much for moderation.

THE NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGIC SURVEY ON ALCOHOL AND RELATED CONDITIONS

They have been researching and analyzing data for years. Their recent conclusions? Most “alcoholism” looks less like Leaving Las Vegas and more like your average frat party attendee or work colleague. They also came up with “22” as the average age of onset for alcoholism.

43,000 people were questioned and studied based on the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence. The DSM-IV uses preoccupation with drinking, impaired control over drinking, compulsive drinking, drinking despite physical or psychological harm, tolerance and/or withdrawal symptoms.

There have been some recent findings that are puzzling. I’m not sure how I feel about them. But I will give them anyway.

About 70% of affected persons have a single episode of less than 4 years. The remainder experience an average of 5 episodes. It seems there are two forms of alcohol dependence: time-limited and chronic.

They also found that 20 years after onset of alcohol dependency about 3/4 of individuals are in full recovery. More than half of those who have fully recovered drink at low-risk levels without any problems.

Around 75% of people who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help including any type of program.

MY VIEWPOINT AS AN ALCOHOLIC 

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. I think you still have to go back to that number one question “Why did I start drinking?”. I think if you don’t you will most likely find yourself in the same situation. Is it possible to manage your drinking? Maybe. Is it worth it to try? I don’t know. I do know that I hurt many people with my drinking. I lost friends because of my drinking and lost friends because I stopped drinking.

I will be honest and say that on my last vacation my Aunt bought me these little Pear/Green Apple wine spritzers. I didn’t look at the can and thought it was soda. I was halfway through when I felt full. I wasn’t eating at the time. I just felt an “ick” feeling. I couldn’t drink anymore of it. I wondered why because I can usually drink a lot of soda. That’s when I looked at the can. I didn’t say anything to her because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. The only reason I could only drink a little bit of it is because I’m on Topamax. Topamax is one of my mood stabilizers but they also use it for people who drink. Would I have kept drinking if I hadn’t been on that medication? Most likely.

I am one those people who has tried several times in the 20 years I drank to stop drinking with a program or group. It never worked for me. Finding out why I drank and finally being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder is what worked for me. And I do not count my 6 sips of spritzer that I was too stupid to realize was wine spritzer. I still have over 8 years of remission. Hey, I never drank wine in my life. I only drank beer and hard liquor. I remember when we had 100 proof Firewater we would put in the freezer. When you did shots it came out like cold sludge. How did my stomach survive?

I’ve known people that have gone back to drinking after 15-20 years of sobriety. They were dead within a year. Does that mean it would be like that for everyone? I don’t know. I can only say how it would be for me. I have to keep going until I close every bar and drink every last drink in the building before I’m done. So I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.alcoholism-1

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SKIP A MEDICATION*(it isn’t good)*

I made sure my pharmacy didn’t give me the Generic version of one of my medications for December. I called them out on the fact that they had been even though I had requested that they didn’t because the Generic has gluten in it. The problem is the Name Brand causes weight loss. I’ve lost 10 pounds in a little over a week. I didn’t want to start hearing how sick I look and I wanted to eat so I skipped it today. Not my best idea.

I think I was going to have problems anyway. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. never a good sign. My mind was racing with memories and things that had been bothering me. One thing specifically is how the people who love me can still have relationships with people who have hurt me beyond repair.

My best friend still sees and talks to the guy who beat me years ago. My sister still talks to my niece who wrote me a vile post that said things I can never forgive her for. My sister also has a good relationship with our ex sister in law who didn’t think her daughter did anything wrong or that she should apologize or talk it out with me. I do take some responsibility here. I did lose my temper with me ex sister in law on several occasions. The problem is my sister was in California and wasn’t here at the time to see how our mother was treated by our ex sister in law.

My niece and ex sister in law have my sister believing my actions are out of jealousy. That my mom spent more time and attention on them and loved them more and I am jealous of the relationship they had. No one wants to listen to my side of things.

Today when I talked to my sister the subject came up, I became defensive and upset. It was downhill from there. One of the biggest problems is that my sister uses our ex sister in law as a babysitter often. If she makes waves she loses her free babysitter. I know my sister better than she does.

She wasn’t here when the ex would call my mother for money. My mother would hide it from my dad and was never paid back. If my mom tried to defend her son in any way my ex sister in law would play games with the kids and not let her see them. My mom would be sick from chemo and she would call to complain about my brother. I would my mom crying and her voice raised. When this kept happening I finally picked up on another phone and told my sister in law “What the hell do you think you are doing? My mom is sick and you keep calling her with this bullshit! We told you not to marry him a hundred times but you did anyway, now DEAL WITH IT! Stop f*cking calling! You are making her worse! I mean it! If I hear her crying again because you called I will be taking a ride to your house and dealing with the situation, do you UNDERSTAND?”. I admit it was a little much and I hadn’t been diagnosed yet and I was still drinking. These are not excuses and I wouldn’t take back what I said. Who calls a woman with lung cancer and puts more stress on her? Plus asks for money? The final straw was when she slapped my mom across the face and kicked her out of their house in the middle of the night.

I was here for all of it. My sister wasn’t. My niece is another story. She is diagnosed with BPD. Her mother told her personal information about me that she used to get to me. It worked. She wrote it was good thing I couldn’t have children, my mother would be rolling over in her grave if she could see what a loser I am, that I need help because I sit on my ass all day complaining instead of doing something like psycho loser I am, no one in the family wants to be around me, they avoid me because of my craziness and because I’m jealous that my mom loved her mom more. Pretty nice kid. Oh, and I should’ve killed myself a long time ago.

Her mother read it and didn’t think it was out of line. I argued with her about that. Sometimes you just can’t win. I stopped trying.

I have to take my medications or all of this will come spilling over and out. My sister only wants happy conversations. Me? I just want to sleep or hide. This is where I would hide.d0f0d2997821f5b65442bd387db4a813

IS IT A SLIP OR A RELAPSE?

I first want to start off by saying how sad I am to hear of the passing of George Michael. He struggled with many issues in his life and I hope he has found some peace. I also hope the Tabloids won’t destroy his memory and leave him as the vocal icon he was. I know that’s too much to ask.

 

How do you define a “slip” or a “relapse”?

It boils down to intent.                                                                                                                                    A slip is usually a single unplanned use of drugs or alcohol.                                                              A relapse is when you abandon sobriety or abstaining from drugs or alcohol all together.

There were times I knowingly went somewhere with the intention of drinking even though I had been sober for a considerable length of time. I knew I would continue to drink.

There was one time I had no intention of drinking, no need to drink, but when I arrived at the place I was going, I felt so awkward, alone, and noticed I was the only one NOT drinking. I drank. The next day I immediately wrote down what I had been feeling at the time and how I could’ve handled the situation differently. I had to understand WHY I felt the NEED happen in the first place. Why did I feel so out of place? Why did I always feel I was “less than” everyone else? If I didn’t deal with those feelings then I wasn’t going to be able to give up alcohol.

It happened at a time where I had learned not to let “shame” and “guilt” consume me. If I did I would convince myself that it was useless to try to please the people around me who wanted me to stay sober. I also realized WHY I had to do it for ME and NOT THEM.

With a relapse you know what the outcome will be if you drink or use drugs but you do it anyway. You might use what started as a “slip” as an excuse. Like I did at one time. I went from an everyday drinker to a weekend binge drinker rationalizing it by thinking “at least it’s not everyday”. It was still the same but I was actually causing more harm by binge drinking.

A slip DOES NOT MEAN YOU RETURN TO DAY ONE. This kind of thinking is detrimental to anyone who is struggling with addiction. The thought of starting over after say 15 years or more has left many returning to their old ways. Only this time their bodies are not use to the same quantities of drugs or alcohol it once was. This is why you see many people who have been sober for a length time that have overdosed or died from alcohol poisoning or alcohol related deaths.

You can never take away a sober day. It all counts no matter what. A mistake doesn’t mean the end. It means you are human, you have to find a reason, a way, to get back up and keep going. The only thing chips are good for is dip.1b7c9bceda54495b68ea705d83a18aa3

Follow Up To Fall To Pieces (Something Worse)

It’s Christmas Eve and I just realized it. My beautiful dog Daisy has been having clusters of seizures all day and I’m not in the greatest of the moods. She’s an older dog. She belonged to my mom. My dad will be devastated when she dies. I’m always devastated when one of our animals passes away. There’s something about Grief and Bipolar that just makes everything feel a thousand times worse.

I was on YouTube looking for something funny to watch when I spotted a video that said something along the lines of “Lead singer in tears at the end of ______ song”. I knew the band and the song and didn’t think he would cry over it. I clicked on the video to play.

It starts with the guitar player in front frustrated because he can’t get a specific part of the song to sound the way he wants. The problem is the microphone is set to pick up the lead singer talking behind him. He is saying how he doesn’t know how he can go home. He didn’t know how he had let the night before happen. He said he couldn’t believe that he had drank. There were other people talking about a waitress that kept bringing him drinks but at this point he’s shut everyone out. He’s in his own head.

The lead singer has said that he has anxiety issues and depression, he also spent almost a year in rehab but I don’t know if it was before or after this video was taken. The video was taken by a producer/director/management.

When the guitarist finally gets the sound he wants, he does a complete run through. They are supposed to have the camera on him. They don’t. Instead they zoom in on the lead singer’s face while he pinches his eyes and nose trying not to cry.

In the comments section on YouTube every single person talked about him being sentimental about the song or who the song was about. It had nothing to do with the song. It had to do with the fact that he drank when he was trying not to. He felt he let everyone around him down, he remembered all the people he loved and hurt while drinking. He felt guilt and shame. How do I know this? I’ve had the same look on my face and felt the same feelings. And I know him and his situation.

For any producer/director/manager to exploit his pain or what he’s going through on Social Media, to me is despicable. I would fire their asses then sue. I felt sick watching it and I can only imagine how he or his family would feel if they saw it.

I’m sorry you had to go through that. No one should have their private matters on view for millions of people unless they give permission. I hope you’re healthy and well and know there is no guilt or shame as long as you keep trying.10648424_10205239024322028_7639272352034076795_o

THE PROBLEM WITH “FALL TO PIECES” (Calling Bullshit as I See It )

I love the song “Fall to Pieces” by Velvet Revolver but it’s unpleasant for me to watch to watch the video for the song. When I see an emaciated Scott Weiland “pretending” to struggle with his demons while listening to the lyrics it’s infuriating. At one point you see two girls in a bathroom at a show and Scott Weiland alone in a room with what appears to be filled with alcohol and drug paraphernalia. There’s a rush to see which room has a suspected overdose. Duff Mckagan reaches Weiland’s room and finds him on the floor, he picks him up and drags him up some stairs to a room. They argue, Duff pushes Weiland against the wall, they both slide down it while Duff holds Scott in his arms understanding the pain he’s in. Too bad that didn’t happen in real life.

Scott Weiland has admitted on several occasions that he has either a “mood disorder” or “Bipolar Disorder” that he wouldn’t take medication for. Drugs didn’t kill Scott Weiland, Mental Illness did.

He used drugs and alcohol in the place of medication, it’s one of the reasons he couldn’t maintain Sobriety. The pressure to remain “creative” and tour doesn’t help. Everyone else in Velvet Revolver had addiction problems also, some of them did a backslide during the time Scott Weiland was in the group. Scott did manage around 2 years of some sobriety until his brother died. Then everything was downhill from there.

You can’t look at the video and tell me you see a healthy person physically or mentally. The members of his band after Velvet Revolver knew he was off the rails and their guitarist had died from overdose 8 months before Scott Weiland’s death.

Maybe if Doctors or anyone had tried harder to deal with the Psychiatric aspect of his problem he might still be here along with many others. The first thing anyone sees is an ADDICT and not the cause of the addiction.

MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA 2017 CONFERENCE WASHINGTON, DC JUNE 2017

This year the focus of the conference is different and long overdue. Their main agenda is Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll.

The frequent stories of musicians and artists who battle mental illness and addiction will be part of it. Also is there a connection between creative minds and serious mental health concerns?

Can you still create the same music or art while sober or in treatment for mental illness?

How the Entertainment Industry is playing a bigger role in helping fans with their own issues by taking away some of the stigma and being honest about their own struggles.

The biggest problems are still the Managers, Family, Labels or anyone depending the artist for money. Putting a person at risk of death so you can make a buck or live in a big house is something that disgusts me. Unfortunately I’ve seen it up close many times. I’m not sure it will end anytime soon.e51a54c1c8a5858454ba1426ad47e928