THE STRUGGLE OVER TREATING ALCOHOLISM (We’re Failing)

My feelings on Alcoholism and the treatment of Alcoholism is very different from most people. I realize that everyone has to do what works for them. I don’t pass judgement on anyone for their choice in how they maintain sobriety.

Recently I read a quick article about a 35 year old woman who died from liver failure due to alcohol related issues. She had made herself into somewhat of a Celebrity by gaining the most followers on Myspace when it was popular. Vanity Fair did an article on her, she started her own clothing line, rock stars followed her account, and she was the first Kim Kardashian.

I couldn’t find anything about her past or family. I do think it says something that a person would post such a large amount of selfies to draw followers and attention. I think even though she had 800,000 followers she was probably still lonely.

No one wakes up one day and says “I think I’ll start drinking and continue until I ruin everyone and everything around me”. I know I didn’t. I just wanted the overload of pain and feeling like I never belonged to go away even if it was only for a short time.

When some people do realize they have a problem and want to get help many programs are focused on the wrong things. I get it, I made mistakes, I hurt people, I should make amends and take responsibility. But I should also think back to that first drink and what was going on at the time that I felt like I needed to keep drinking. What feeling did alcohol provide that I couldn’t provide myself?

That was the biggest issue. Yes, it’s great to know that you’re not the only one who’s done stupid things and hearing other people’s stories works for a short time. You can only share your stories so many times. If I had to hear “I was a piss your pants barroom broad” one more time I was going to piss my pants out of boredom. Every time I achieved some sobriety with a program I would slip, feel ashamed, and give up.

This last time was different. I had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and given some insight about self-medicating.

I took that first drink to “fit in”. I continued to drink to make everything I didn’t want to feel or experience go away. It worked for years but created more things I wanted to forget, traumatic experiences and affected my health.

Several years before I stopped drinking I was told that my Liver was enlarged. I ignored it and kept drinking. I also lost a significant amount white and grey matter. No one knows for sure how much is due to alcohol abuse. Some of the alcohol I consumed daily was rotgut. I wouldn’t be surprised. I also have some issues with my Pancreas. I think Alcoholism needs to be looked at differently when being treated. I believe you’re not just treating an Alcohol Addiction you’re also treating other underlying issues.

STATISTICS

  • Alcohol is the 4th leading preventable cause of death
  • An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes a year
  • Around 5.1 million Adults 18+ have a problem with alcohol
  • Around 623,000 adolescents 12-17 have a problem with alcohol
  • 45.8% of Liver Disease deaths involve alcohol

 

 

 

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Why I Connected With “Manchester By The Sea”

Manchester By The Sea was a movie that stayed with me for days. We all have our own ways of coping or not coping with grief and trauma.

I’ve come to realize that I deal with both differently than the majority of most people. Whether it’s because I’m Bipolar or because I have Conversion Disorder, I’m not sure.

I’m tired of apologizing for my emotions. That I do know.

I’m also tired of apologizing for saying “I’m Bipolar” instead of saying “I have Bipolar Disorder”. Bipolar Disorder is about your moods and emotions, to me those are things that kind of influence who you are. It doesn’t necessarily define all of who you are but it does impact some of who you are.  If you disagree that’s okay but you don’t have to keep bashing me over the head with your arguments about why I’m wrong. Got it?

I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain, grief, trauma, guilt, and isolation in 44 years. Some of it I don’t remember and some of it is as vivid as a movie playing in my head. Those are the days that hurt the most. Those are the days I wish I felt nothing and I scream into a towel for as long as I can.

I know all about punishing yourself for something you believe you are responsible for. I do it daily. I’ve hurt my family and some other people so much over the years when I was drinking and even when I stopped. I think I could’ve done more for my mom before she died. When I play back that night I think of all the things I should’ve done. Some of them would’ve landed me in jail but it would have been worth it to wipe the smiles off their faces.

I constantly think I annoy everyone around me and walk on eggshells with every interaction. I say “I’m sorry” about 20 times in one phone conversation with my sister because I’m afraid she will stop talking to me.

I’ve started isolating myself more and more each year so I’ll be use to it when the time comes. I rarely leave the house now. It’s better this way. It won’t hurt as much when I’m completely alone. Someone asked if I was being dramatic. I said “You don’t know my family”.

JEWELRY THERAPY FEBRUARY 2017

I’ve tried to get feedback from my sister but as you probably know she doesn’t respond often. But I do what I like. I mostly use Swarovski Crystals, Sea Glass and Natural Beads. The design concept is mine and I do the looping and linking by hand. I’m going to try to do some of the findings, years ago I used to glue the Swarovski Crystals into the pieces for large companies. There was little ventilation and some damage was done but I think as long as I only do small pieces I’ll be okay. I might even try to solder. The fumes from that aren’t the best either but my brain can’t get much worse so why not? I did a lot of antiquing when I worked in the jewelry factory also but I noticed it’s done differently now. It’s good to see they don’t use so much acetone anymore.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA~BEST PICTURE NOMINEE (*May Contain Spoilers*)

I will start by telling you THIS ISN’T A LOVE STORY! If one more person asks that question I will really start to wonder about the people who actually watch previews. I honestly think people are judging movies by the posters now.

This movie stayed with me for the longest time. The subject matter is heavy stuff. Dealing with guilt, isolation, forgiveness, moving on, and so many other emotional subjects. I’m not sure if you can grasp it all in one viewing.

We start out watching handyman Lee (Casey Affleck) carry out his mundane duties day to day. He isn’t sociable, is sometimes rude, and you get the feeling that there’s a reason he lives in a basement that resembles a cell.

He receives a phone call one day telling him that his brother has passed away and he needs to go back to his hometown. It’s here we start to see flashbacks of the man Lee used to be. When he laughed openly with his brother and nephew and their fishing boat.

Guardianship of his nephew, who is now a teenager, is left to Lee. For some reason Lee’s reaction isn’t what you would expect and when you hear the lawyer say “I know it’s tough given what you’ve been through but you’re the one he wanted”, a light goes on. There is more to Lee’s story.

We see more flashbacks of Lee with a wife and three children. He’s a guy’s guy. He isn’t perfect but they love each other and he loves his family. An “accident” happens one night that changes Lee’s entire world.

What struck me the most was the look on his face when the police said they weren’t going to charge him with anything. It was a look of disbelief and anger. It’s then that his basement apartment makes sense. The self imposed isolation. He felt responsible and if the law wasn’t going to punish him than he was going to punish himself.

This movie is heartbreaking and deals with so much but there is real life in here and it shows all throughout the movie mostly by Casey Affleck.

“SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS”

I can’t explain why but I’ve always hated it when someone says “Sorry for your loss” after a death.

I also hate when anyone says “You look like your handling it well”. This was said to me at my Mom’s wake. So was “Sorry for your loss” about a hundred times. By the end of the night I wanted to punch someone so badly I had to hide in the bathroom.

The reason I looked like I was handling things well was probably because I was in shock and probably because I was manic. My sister was doped up on Valium and after the wake went out with my cousin and my Uncle George to have a few drinks. I wasn’t invited of course. I wonder if he ever knew that she never wanted him at her wedding? By the way they had a great time. I was at home with my Dad who could barely stand up he was so devastated.

The worse part are the people that you know treated her like shit, smiling and saying their fake words. I wanted to scream “Where were you when she needed you? When she went to the VA Hospital every single day to change your father’s diapers and you couldn’t be bothered to even call! But you sure showed up when you thought there was money! Then accused my mother of “taking” his car and refused to speak to her for years! She cried all the time because of it!”.

But as usual I never said a word. I let everything fester or buried it.

I CAN’T REMEMBER THE DATE OR YEAR MY MOM DIED OR THE TIME

I know it was in February. People have told me the date and year but I can’t retain that information. My brain refuses to.

I hate to admit it but there is so much I’m uncertain of when it comes to the date and year. I am confused easily. The number 9 sticks in my head for everything and I don’t know why. I try to tell the truth to people but sometimes I can’t because I honestly don’t remember. I’m only 44. How much of it is from having Bipolar Disorder, Conversion Disorder, Celiac Disease or Kidney Failure? I have no idea. It scares me sometimes. It scares me that sometimes there isn’t anyone to ask.

I can only imagine what will happen if something with my Dad goes wrong. I’ll be alone with no one on my side that still loves me unconditionally. (Except for the four legged beings) That scares me too. Save “your sorry” for someone else because I don’t want to hear it anymore.

MOONLIGHT~BEST PICTURE NOMINEE (*May Contain Spoilers*)

MOONLIGHT~ Mahershala Ali (Juan), Alex Hibbert (Little), Ashton Sanders (Chiron), Trevante Rhodes (Black), Andre Holland (Kevin)

Moonlight blows you away in it’s simple but exquisite storytelling. It follows the three pivotal points in one boy’s life.

This film isn’t only about drug abuse, sexual orientation, confusion, neglect, poverty or bullying. The story is so much more than that. Mahershala Ali plays Juan, the neighborhood’s top drug dealer. You realize from the beginning he’s different by the way he treats the people around him, including those that work for him.

He notices a small boy who always seems to be alone or running from his everyday tormentors. When Juan finds him in an abandoned crack house hiding, he tries to get him to open up. He takes him to his house where he lives with his girlfriend for dinner. From here they develop a relationship that will forever influence the boy as he grows into a man.

There are many topics covered in this film but I think everyone will walk away with something different.

For me it was about deciding who you are, the people in your life that are there when you need them, forgiveness, and how life sometimes leads you to a place you think you are supposed to be.

The reality is you can choose your own path regardless of how you started. If you fail at least you’ll know that you tried. moonlight_movie_review-1600x1600

THIS IS US~ AN HOMAGE TO LOVE, LOSS, AND MEMORY (*Spoiler Alert*)

I’ve been watching the Television show This Is Us from it’s first episode. I have to say that there haven’t been many episodes that I have not cried at.

The relationship between Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) is complicated and poignant. William is a creative carefree poet and musician while Randall is a tightly wound businessman.

Randall searches for his biological father and finds him living in a small apartment with few possessions, only what’s necessary, including his poetry and music. William appears okay with his situation, it’s what he’s used to.

Initially Randall wants to be angry at this man but something inside him can’t.

We find out that William is Terminally Ill with Cancer and he moves in with Randall and his family. He is able to know his grandchildren and daughter in law. Randall is still somewhat allusive. Afraid to get too close.

They eventually begin to open up to one another and William succeeds in bringing out a more spontaneous side of Randall.

In Episode 16~ Memphis, William wants to take a road trip to where he grew up. Randall has recently left the Hospital after having a breakdown, unable to cope with the stress of his job and knowing his time with his father is becoming shorter.

In flashbacks we see William’s childhood. Raised by a single mother he was close to. She encourages him to pursue his poetry and music and he does. Fate intervenes, which sets into motion a series of events leading to how he met Randall’s mother and the death of his own mother.

The music in this episode is outstanding and fits every scene. Ron Cephas Jones is an inspirationthis-is-us throughout this entire show. This episode had me thinking back to when my own mother had lung cancer. Only people who have been through it can truly understand what it’s like to feel so helpless when a loved one is seriously ill.

Randall and William were able to say what they needed to at the end. I wish I had that chance. When William says “My beautiful boy” I lost it. There wasn’t enough toilet paper or Kleenex in the room. My mom would say “My beautiful baby girl” to me when she knew I wasn’t feeling good. When you’re close to a parent like I am it is a life changing event to lose them.

This Is Us did such an incredible job without being too corny or trying to force emotions out of you. It was perfect.