I TRIED TO OWN WHAT I DID IT DIDN’T GO WELL

I tried to own my actions with my brother in law when I talked to my sister last night. It backfired. My sister started yelling a lot and some of it I blocked out. She did say “Every time we talk it’s about death or health when I just want to have a normal conversation! If you wanted to die that bad you should’ve done a better job all those times you tried! I’m sick of hearing all this bullshit!” I hung up. I was trying to take responsibility and show that I’m aware that what happened was partly my fault when I had been blaming my brother in law for the entire thing.

My brother in law was the smallest in his class and went to a school where he was one of the few white kids. He was made fun of or beaten daily. He was also sexually abused at a young age. As he got older he had problems with how he saw his body and an eating disorder followed. The only time he felt comfortable was when he played guitar and drank with his friends.

Music became his life and so did alcohol. He became best friends with a group before they became famous and they treated him like family. They all drank together. They all had their problems. He started to spiral when it looked like his music career wasn’t going to be what he thought it would be. To him music was everything, it was validation that he wasn’t nothing. I understand that now. I understand so much of it now and all I want to do is cry.

Instead I’m scolded again and another person in 48 hours says something similar to how maybe I should’ve done a better job years ago so I wouldn’t still be here. What do you say to that? How am I supposed to feel? I can’t stop stuttering or shaking. I have to hide my tears so I’m not yelled at. I want to go home. I am home.

FLAGGED, DR. DREW, DARK MATTER RADIO, DOCTORS

I’ve noticed lately when I view the source for my Blog that items have been flagged. I’m not sure why this is but it concerns me. Should I be flagged for honesty or what I perceive is true? Should I lie about my life as a Bipolar person and living with Conversion Disorder? Should I lie about the mistakes Doctors have made or how I’ve been treated by the health system?

I don’t intend to start lying or sugar coating anything. This is the one place I don’t have to.

I’ve come across several Doctors who for some reason or another did not like a medication I was on and refused to give it to me while I was staying at their Hospital. The medications were not the kind you can just stop without serious side effects, one of them being seizures. They did anyway.

Dr. Drew believes if you are and addict/alcoholic you should not be given any medication similar to Klonopin or Adderall. He will be discussing such matters on Dark Matter Radio tomorrow night. Dr. Drew is an addiction specialist with a track record that isn’t the greatest. You only have to watch Celebrity Rehab to see that for yourself.

The biggest problem I have is Dr. Drew blaming Chris Cornell’s suicide on Ativan. He said he never should’ve been given the medication at all. What I want to ask Dr. Drew is has he ever been diagnosed with a mental illness? If not he has no idea what he’s talking about.

Cornell had talked about depression with periods of being over excited and loving everything and then having that feeling disappear in an instant starting when he was 12 years old. By the way men usually show symptoms of Bipolar Disorder at this age. He also began drinking around the age of 12 to numb or self medicate.

Once again every Doctor who sees a person with an addiction doesn’t dig further to see what’s behind the addiction so the underlying illness is never really treated.

In Chris Cornell’s case he may have been taking medications for mental illness, he had severe anxiety but like most people who take antidepressants or antipsychotics doctors will also prescribe something so you are not a zombie who drools all day. Most of these medications make you feel like you’re floating under water in slow motion. It isn’t fun. Without Adderall I wouldn’t be able to make it down the stairs or have a conversation. Without Klonopin my ulcers would be back and I would be back to dry heaving daily. Neither is any way to live.

No one has the right to say what medications are the right ones for you. Only you and your Doctor can decide that. If you are happy with them and can function on any kind of a “normal” level I say “Good luck! I wish I was you”. And “Screw ’em” to the people who disagree.

WHAT IT IS

Someone recently followed my Blog for a day. I normally wouldn’t think anything of it but the person created their account on that day and it was also deleted after they had read my posts. The blog name seemed familiar to me and the posts they read were about my past.

I am an open book. I don’t lie because I’m not good at it unless I’m drunk or have a buzz and want something. I have 9 years of sobriety with one night where I relapsed in those 9 years. And no I do not start counting days over again I think that practice shames the person and leaves them feeling like “Well I screwed up, everyone hates me so I might as well keep drinking”. I don’t buy into that way of thinking and that is why I have been able to stay sober as long as I have.

Other times when I tried different methods I would make it to 6 months or a year and relapse. The guilt would be overwhelming and the people around me made sure I was reminded of what I did. I felt even worse about myself so I quit and went back to something I could depend on, alcohol. Then I was diagnosed Bipolar and became aware of why I drink and eventually things got easier. Alcohol wise anyways.

Now I sit around and watch YouTube videos from my favorite bands because there is no good music right now. For me a song should be like a book. A beginning, a middle, and an end. I want to feel emotions not hear about how great your ass is or how many girls you take home from the club and how much money you make. That isn’t music. Music is about struggling, pain, love, loneliness, losing everything, fighting for something, it has a purpose.

If anyone from my past has a problem with what I write you know where you can find me. But unlike last time I will be the one with chair and you will leave broken with nightmares. This I can promise.

I will no longer sit by while anyone humiliates, degrades or physically harms me. I will no longer be silent even if I have to stutter to get my point across.

CRUSHES, CRUSHED, DATING MUSICIANS

I’ve always been drawn to music and tried to stay away from dating musicians or guys in bands. In High School my best friend Wendy and I had crushes on another pair of best friends. When I was in High School it was different. The guys looked like grown men. Wendy’s crush was over 6 feet tall with black silky hair half way down his back and the bluest eyes. My crush was an exact copy of Slash from Guns n’ Roses. I’m not kidding, they had the same hair, face, body, and both were in bands. My crush was in a band with the worst name ever “Facial Defecation”. Yup. They were popular too. Mostly because women loved the Slash look a like.

One day Wendy calls me and says “Hurry up and get ready. You’ll never believe who I’m with!”. She had somehow met our crushes and they were all coming to pick me up so we could go to a party. It was the first time I got drunk and fooled around with a Slash look a like. Sadly he passed away a few years ago from Pancreatic Cancer. His alcoholism didn’t help. His best friend paid for the funeral. He didn’t know his family would need that money a year later when he died from lung cancer. He never smoked but was always in bars promoting bands and going to shows.

So I never liked groupies and when drunk I didn’t hide the fact. Part of it was my own insecurity and self esteem issues and part of it was most of them took advantage not caring that these were actual people. I would watch as they would steal expensive alcohol or drugs and it pissed me off. Some of these people were friends of mine and I was there to support them. But I also knew how things worked. The Velvet Rope system is cruel. Many times I only got into places because I was with Wendy. Sometimes someone recognized a kindred spirit in me.

For the most part I tried to stay at a safe distance. Then I would drink and a guy with long black silky hair would show up who played guitar and tattooed. So that night I ended up with 3 tattoos and a guitarist. The next morning I didn’t remember getting 3 tattoos but I remembered the guy. That’s always good when you remember the guy. Of course he was another alcoholic who also liked coke, crack, heroin and a lot of other women.

I had a type when I drank. If they had dark hair and looked dangerous in a good way that’s who I went for. I hardly ever looked at blonds. It’s weird. The dark haired guys always got me in trouble or I got myself in trouble. And they all had tattoos, some had meanings I should’ve known about but I was still young. The teardrop under the eye can have many meanings BUT none of them mean the guy is sensitive and caring just so you know. I think about him from time to time but last I heard he was on the run from doing serious time for putting his girlfriend in the hospital. Not really surprised.

I do miss the music from that time and the guys with long hair. In my own petty way I want to go back in time but look like I do now and tell a few people off or if they hit on me insult them or slap them, either would be good. It was a strange time. Some people were cruel to me because I was a 250 pound bleach blond drunk. Some people really liked me. Now no one likes me or dislikes me. I’m not sure which is worse.

ADDICTION AND MENTAL ILLNESS

If you ask a 100 Psychiatrists/Addiction Specialists which comes first addiction or mental illness, you will get 100 different complicated answers. It is complicated when you’re dealing with the brain. I can only say what I know and what I have witnessed.

There is addiction and mental illness on both sides of my family. Generations of it. This includes both of my parents. I never thought my father had any mental health problems until we started to talk about it in the last few years.

MY MENTAL ILLNESS AND ALCOHOLISM

I’ve said before that my memory isn’t the best so I’ll estimate and go by what my dad has told me and what I can remember.

When I was as young as 6 or 7 I felt out of place everywhere. My own Birthday parties filled my stomach with butterflies and I just wanted to hide. I shared these parties with my twin who I would watch as she laughed and enjoyed herself. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel the same as she did.

I have always been extremely sensitive to everything. I cried often and also had a quick temper that I took out on inanimate objects. I had a strong fear of abandonment and had a time with sleepovers or staying at another person’s house. I spent most of my time in my room reading.

At one point my mom talked to my dad about my behavior and suggested I see a doctor. He said that I would grow out of it and to leave me alone. I did spend time with my dad because we shared a passion for animals. I told my secrets to my mom.

Our family had a lot problems at one time. My brother was drinking and doing drugs. He had his own issues that my parents were not equipped to deal with. His father had been mentally ill and an alcoholic who committed suicide by driving his car into a cement barrier. My brother had a hard time accepting my dad and dealing with the secrets of his own father’s death.

My mother had several “nervous breakdowns” when I was younger and was hospitalized. She was never diagnosed or given medication. My father and mother both quit drinking when I was about 6. She would continue to have depressive episodes the rest of her life.

I started to dry heave before school everyday starting in Junior High. I never used the bathrooms and lunch was always difficult. My anxiety was out of control. I felt useless and invisible often. I had one friend. I was an observer of life. I started to sleep more and more.

In my later teens I would have times where I felt I had a thousand cups of coffee and I could do anything. I talked fast, started but never finished a million things, worked after school, and spent all the money I made.

At 16 I tried alcohol for the first time. My anxiety went away and I found I could talk to anyone and not care what they thought. I was funny and felt attractive. The pain on the inside was also gone. The feeling doesn’t last long so I had to keep drinking to feel normal.

My father admitted he drank because he had anxiety and a problem with being around groups of people. He still has anxiety.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar after 20 years of self medicating with alcohol. I’ve been sober 9 years. I wouldn’t have been able to stay sober without the help of anti-anxiety medication. No one should have to live with anxiety so bad they have ulcers at 17. Anxiety so bad it prevents them from doing normal activities. There was point I couldn’t go to the gas station by myself. That isn’t living.

As I’ve watched other people in my family it always seems like a mental health problem or a mental illness was the underlying factor in their drug or alcohol abuse.

When I did see doctors they only wanted to focus on the alcohol and never even thought there could be anything else going on. They had my family history of mental illness and still focused on the alcoholism. This needs to change. Both issues need to be treated together and doctors need to realize that the majority of addicts have a mental health issue. The ball is being dropped too many times and we are losing too many beautiful people.

TOUGH LOVE AND ADDICTION

I first heard of the concept “Tough Love” when my brother was a teenager. He had become someone else. He stole from my piggy bank, my grandfather’s coin collection, and my mom’s wallet to buy drugs and alcohol. He would come home when he wanted to. When he came home late at night he was usually bloody from a fight and usually it wasn’t his blood. The police were at our house often. He would physically fight with my father who by that time he was bigger than. I witnessed too much at a young age that stayed with me and still does.

My parents had heard from other people about a group that met to talk about their problem children and what to do about them. Their solution was to kick them out of the house and cut off communication with them. The idea was to not enable their behavior.

I can tell you from experience that this made my brother worse. He became bitter and his view of the world and the people in it changed from then on.

The majority of people with addictions have an underlying Mental Health issue. That is a proven fact. I honestly believe that my brother did and still does based on his behavior and what he endured when he was young.

I have always been against Tough Love and have never believed kicking your child out of the house solves anything. If my parents had taken the same approach with me I would’ve been dead by 25. I’m glad that they realized something more was going on than my alcoholism. None of us knew what or how to deal with it at the time though.

My brother’s oldest daughter began to self-harm and have bursts of rage at a very early age. My brother refused to allow her to see a psychiatrist. I think he didn’t want to be blamed for what was going on. She witnessed her parents constantly fighting, smoking pot and drinking. They would both push and shove each other or his wife would throw things at him and he would punch a wall. It wasn’t a great environment but they hid it well.

She started doing drugs her first year of High School. She graduated quickly from pot to cocaine to heroin and also drank. She could be violent when she thought someone was rude to her or didn’t like her. It would happen fast and be over in an instant. She was like this as a 4 year old. We would be eating dinner and next thing you knew she would throw a fork at your face and smile while doing it.

She was also a good liar and con. I was the only one that ever caught her and she didn’t like it. She had stolen half of my mom’s pain medication one night. I noticed she had stayed up until almost morning and I heard sniffling. When I got up in the morning I went right to her backpack, found her compact for make-up, lifted the bottom and saw about 50 pills in there. I went up to the extra room she was sleeping in and told her to get her ass out of bed because she was going home. She pretended she had no idea what I was talking about. You don’t steal a dying woman’s pain medication and everything she was doing I had already been there and done that so she wasn’t fooling me.

Eventually she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and was in and out of treatment centers.

She has a younger sister who witnessed her behavior and her parents. She started to self-harm and my brother’s wife was smart enough to get her help but she went overboard smothering the poor kid with a million appointments and doctors. She was divorced from my brother by this time. I asked if I could talk to her or have her spend some time with me and was told no. Year after year she became worse.

Today I talked to my Aunt who told me my brother’s ex kicked my niece out of the house and she’s been living on the streets using heroin.

I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. The girl I had always known was sweet, loved children and animals and always smiled. She could’ve been helped more if the right people had been there. Cutting her off and putting her out on the street solves nothing. She hurts herself because the pain on the inside is too much. She uses heroin to make the pain go away. I know this because the few times I was allowed to talk to her she said so. I know this pain well I live with this pain and I have lived with it most of my life.

I usually don’t feel rage unless it’s about a loved one. I’m pissed my ex sister in law did this. I have no way of finding my niece. She isn’t like her older sister, she doesn’t con or become violent or constantly lie, she’s just in pain.

Now I’m in more pain imagining what she’s going through and the people she’s surrounded herself with. It reminds me of my past and what I would do to change so much of it.

HOW DID YOU KNOW?

I know I’ve mentioned the importance of music to me in previous posts. At times music can lift my mood at least a little bit. Other times music can speak for me when I physically can’t. I use music for road rage and when I’m sad or overwhelmed. I have also tried to use it to explain Bipolar and Addiction to family members who have trouble understanding. So many people think that it’s just their loved one who thinks and acts the way they do.

This is one of the biggest problems. The other problem is when you think you are the only one who thinks and acts the way you do. This feeling leaves you isolated and confused.

I’ve mentioned a few songs that have helped me understand having Bipolar Disorder. There is only one that after I watched it and really listened to the words that I felt I might break.

I couldn’t comprehend how anyone could’ve put into words exactly what was in my head. How could this person seem to know conversations I had with my mother? How did they know the exact words she had said to me? How I felt, what I said in my head. How was this possible?

I had been recently diagnosed when I heard the song “Hate Me”. I knew about Bipolar Disorder because I had family members with Bipolar Disorder and other Mental Illness. Realizing the connection between Addiction and a missed diagnosis really messed with me. I was angry and sad doesn’t begin to cover it. The many, many, Doctors that I talked to along with Therapists, didn’t understand. All of them believed if I tried hard enough and took the right medications I would be fine. That just isn’t true. It isn’t true for a large percentage of Bipolar patients.

I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t stumbled upon that song. As soon as I heard “Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I am all alone” I was frozen. “Playing movies in my head”. “In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night, while I was busy waging wars on myself you were trying to stop the fight.” “You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take”. “And then I fell down yelling MAKE IT GO AWAY! Just make a smile come back and shine just like it used to be. And then she whispered “How can you do this to me?”.

I have reels of tape or movies that play over and over. I would come home so drunk I could barely stand up, sometimes bleeding from a fight or myself. My mom would stay with me the entire night. She would listen while I told her to leave me alone, I wasn’t worth it. I would beg her to let me go. She never did. I did push it too far at last and that’s when she said “How could you do this to me?”.

There is a part in the song that I wish she could’ve seen “I’m sober now for 3 whole months it’s one accomplishment that you helped me with. The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won’t touch again”.

She never saw me attain sobriety, certainly not for 9 years. I hope wherever she is that she knows how important she is. Not many parents would’ve put up with what mine did. I’m lucky to have had my mom and to have my dad now.

Thank you Blue October, not only for “Hate Me” but for the hope you give with your other music. “Fear” is another song that has made an impact. I don’t know how you reach that point of peace but it makes me feel better for a brief time just watching the progression and video.98d9b34114cb1f3bfa8eddb1ae41a4aa