TALKING TO MYSELF

I hate repeating myself. I have a hard enough time getting a complete sentence out as it is. When I have to repeat myself three or four times it isn’t only difficult in a cognitive way but thoughts of unworthiness start creeping into my head. Of course this will snow ball to the point where I’m convinced the people left in my life are tired of dealing with me so they pretend I’m not here. I’m invisible so I talk to myself. Sometimes I forget I’m in public when I do it. It isn’t often I’m in public, only 2 to 3 times a month but it’s still embarrassing.

I felt okay yesterday and this morning but now I’m overwhelmed by sadness. I miss my Mom. I miss her hugs, I rarely get hugs since she passed away. I miss watching her graceful hands as she did jewelry, knit, cooked, or held my hand. I miss how she would tell my Dad off and he would listen. He’s angry all the time now so I walk on eggshells all the time. It’s more like landmines. He’s always been intimidating.

Knowing how people see and think of you is the hardest part. One of the biggest problems is the misconception that the labels that have been put on me equate me with a lower IQ. It’s the exact opposite. I’m too observant, intuitive, I love to research and learn about specific subjects, I pick up on social queues, I just keep it to myself.

I know my sister doesn’t want to be around me. My Dad feels guilty and like he’s stuck with me. I used to get 10-20 phone calls a day from different people to see what I was doing. In the last 9 years I’ve had about 10 total calls from my 1 best friend to check if I’m still alive.

I might be alive but this isn’t living.

I can’t motivate myself to get out the door. The last time I did it was because I was going to a concert out of state and had backstage passes. Stuff like that doesn’t happen anymore. I thought of going to Salem, MA because I used to love it there but I would rather go to New Orleans. I’m not sure how safe a trip there would be for me.

So today I’m kind of stuck in the middle of nowhere.

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12 STEP PROGRAMS AND A LINK TO PTSD/TRAUMA

I recently read an article written by Dr. Marc Lewis. Don’t worry I did a thorough check on his credentials and if there were any complaints against him. Dr. Lewis is a Developmental Neuroscientist who did research at the University of Toronto from 1989 to 2010. He was also a Professor of Developmental Psychology there. He’s now at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He’s had 50 journal publications in Psychology and Neuroscience. His book Memoirs of an Addicted Brain garnered high praise from top experts in the Mental Health and Addiction community including Gabar Mate.

Dr. Lewis also knows firsthand what the struggle of addiction feels like. Addicted to opiates in his youth, it cost him his family, trouble with the police and almost his life. At 30 he was finally able to stay off drugs for good and reentered grad school where he received his Ph.D.

12 Step Programs appear to put a freeze on emotional development (active drinking/drug abuse does also). Groups are known for convincing members that even if they’ve been clean for awhile their addiction is like a bogeyman you thought was under your bed as a child. Keeping you in one place no matter how much you had to pee or how thirsty you were, you were frozen. This bogeyman is patient and will wait forever for that one slip up, 1 drink, 1 pill, that will lead to a full relapse. So to avoid this you need to “Keep coming back” and define yourself as an alcoholic/addict for life.

The way you live your life and your self image is frozen in place. If you change anything, don’t follow the steps, you’re warned that you’ll be back to where you started and out of control.

Many or most 12 step groups intentionally reinforce the terror of relapse. They keep the anxiety alive in order to embed traumatic memories of addiction by telling and retelling anecdotes about how bad it was when they were at their worst or the repercussions of their last relapse.

12 step practice is the opposite of trauma treatment. To plug yourself into a static state of PTSD where you’re with people who intentionally try to get you to relive emotions that have already done damage, it’s no surprise why so many leave the program or never enter one at all. The other issue is defining yourself as a lifetime addict/alcoholic because it sounds like a self fulfilling prophecy.

MY EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL OPINION

I tortured myself recently by listening to a Dr. Drew podcast where he said there has never been an addict/alcoholic who has successfully maintained sobriety without a 12 step program. Of course this made me a little upset. This is a person who isn’t a licensed Psychiatrist/Psychologist or Neurologist, he’s a licensed Internist. Your everyday General Practitioner who thinks he knows about PTSD, Mental Illness and Addiction. He doesn’t. What he also doesn’t realize is the damage he’s doing by promoting these false beliefs.

I had been in AA for 2 years. They were the worst 2 years of my life. I had not been diagnosed yet but a Doctor had me on Prozac and Buspar (an anxiety medication that has to be in your system for 3-4 weeks before it starts to work, the level has to be maintained). The State I live in is an odd one. The group I went to had many old timers and a few younger people. They would go to different meetings around the state to speak to large groups. When they did this members were picked to tell their stories in front of up to 100 people. If you were picked you didn’t have a choice, you had to do it. When I was chosen it was a nightmare come true. All I remember is the sound of blood rushing in my ears. I have no idea what I said but I remember a guy my age taking my hand and helping me off the stage.

This didn’t go well with the group I was part of. I was told that I would never make it, I would be a drunk again if I didn’t get on my knees and ask God for guidance.

When people found out I was on medication it was suggested I go off it because it was a “crutch” and the same as alcohol.

I am not religious and didn’t appreciate being forced to say the Lord’s prayer after every meeting. If I refused comments were made and I was told that I would fail and be in the gutter drinking again. When I missed a meeting because I had Bronchitis someone told me I better “get on my knees and ask God to forgive me” or I would never make it. Me failing was a reoccurring theme. I went to meetings all around the state and they were all the same. I heard the same stories over and over. But if you tried to be too honest someone would stop you and say “Save that for your sponsor” because they thought it was too personal. I wanted to hear it! I wanted to hear that someone had done something as bad as I did but they stopped him.

There isn’t anyone in these programs equipped to deal with those of us who have a mental illness and began drinking to self medicate. The 12 steps are life saving for some people, a replacement for alcohol/drugs for a few and damaging for others.

My Dad has been sober over 36 years without a program. My mom was sober was 29 years at the time of her death without a program. I have been sober over 9 years without a program the longest I’ve ever been able to maintain sobriety.

12 step programs are not for everyone and they are not the only option. Depending on your location your experience can differ, some areas do rely on the older version which mentions God more often. There are some that don’t. Just remember it’s your choice and there are more options now than ever so do your research and choose wisely.

 

 

INCOMPLETE

I have a difficult time finding words and putting them together to form a sentence. After that I have to try to say that sentence without stuttering and in a way the other person can understand me.

This is made harder when I’m on a roller coaster of highs and extreme lows. My brain will go from topic to topic and I will talk faster at times. I also feel like I’m being really loud. I always hated loud people and I’ve recently noticed that I’m now one of them.

My dad ignores everything I say or sometimes he will try to listen but by the time I get my first words out he’s left the room. It’s not a good feeling. Nothing really is these days.

Have I mentioned I’m tired? Or that I miss my Mom and think more and more about seeing her again. But if I believe in Heaven and Hell I’ll never see her. She had many faults but what was generous and loved her family something fierce. I’ve done too many things in my life that can’t be forgiven. This isn’t the reason I’m an Atheist because I have been before I started drinking, I was headed in that direction at an early age because I always needed to know the answer to everything. The answer had to make sense to me and some of the answers that Religion provided just didn’t.

I wanted to talk about the Phil Anselmo (Pantera) White Power controversy that I’ve been seeing lately. The guy has always been an ass and I love Pantera but he looked a little too comfortable doing and saying what he did to not mean it. For him to blame the media after is ridiculous. You’re not Trump, it wouldn’t be that surprising if you did lean towards White Supremacy don’t blame other people for your actions done under the influence of anger, ignorance, and probably drugs/alcohol. I’m guessing at the drugs/alcohol I know he’s had issues in the past and he has a definite beer belly, it was more his mannerisms that gave it away for me. Takes one to know one and I had met them many years ago (I don’t remember it but if they came to the place I hung out at they partied). I’m judging and I shouldn’t. I just have a problem with bullies and aggressive drunk or sober men I have good reasons.

I wanted to talk about how I’ve binge watched too much of The Originals and The Vampire Diaries (The Originals is better) that I now want to go to New Orleans and see if I can find any Vampires or Witches. My sister said she doesn’t have money to bail me out of jail if I bite anyone. lol That was actually funny but we didn’t actually talk it’s all done through texting. She figures it’s better that way. She doesn’t have to hear any emotion in my voice or feel bad.

It’s been a rough few weeks and I feel like I don’t have much purpose. Life is passing me by and it doesn’t really matter. In an hour I might feel a little different. Maybe I’ll go to Salem it’s closer and stay a few days. I can’t make a decision to save my life. Ridiculous.

WHY I’M TOO HONEST

I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I have in my 44 years on this Planet. I talk about my past and my diagnoses as honestly as I can remember in case someone reading recognizes some of these symptoms or behaviors in themselves. No one should have to wait over 20 years to receive a diagnosis. When you’ve had a mental illness that has gone undiagnosed for so long it’s almost impossible to treat.

The team of Doctors I have guess that I started showing signs as early as 10 years old. I wasn’t diagnosed as Bipolar until I was 35/36. They wonder about my earlier years because I started so early using soothing mechanisms. I would rock back and forth in my crib while standing, when I grew a little older I bounced my head on my pillow to fall asleep and bounced my head off of the car’s head rest whenever I was in the car.

I also couldn’t keep myself from bouncing one leg up and down while sitting. I always had to be doing some kind of repetitive motion to calm myself down.

The Doctors also found it odd that I had so many nosebleeds and had to have my nose cauterized 3 times. Finally they took out my adenoids and slowly the nosebleeds stopped. I started having them as a toddler and they didn’t stop until I was about 10 years old.

There are days where I want to donate myself to Science and tell them to scan my entire body and do every test available because I’m tired of living this way.

I have been leaving my sister alone. She eventually sent me a text saying she loved me. I sent her one saying I was frustrated because on good days when I don’t want to talk about mental or physical health but everyday stuff I have no one to talk to.

The response I received was that I should volunteer somewhere it would make me feel better.

Not “Why don’t we get together and talk?” or “I’ll call you and we’ll talk right now” nope I was told I should volunteer somewhere. I guess it’s better than before when she kept telling me to go to Group Therapy to make friends. It wasn’t until she actually attended a few Group meetings that she understood what I was talking about. They put everyone together in the Groups, low functioning, high functioning, Bipolar, Borderline Personality, Schizophrenic all together in the same groups. Some are not even coherent they are so medicated. It took almost 2 years to get my sister to stop with the Group thing.

I don’t know why I keep expecting a different outcome. My dad was sitting on the couch near me, I tried to talk to him and he either couldn’t hear me or was ignoring me. When I finally got his attention and started to talk he fell asleep. It’s hard not to take that personally. I start thinking everything must be true. I don’t belong here, I never did, I don’t belong anywhere. I asked my dad to tell me when he first felt butterflies in his stomach or anxiety or scared. He was having trouble answering. I said “How did you feel when you were told mom had twins?” He said ” I didn’t really care at that time it didn’t matter to me” I thought I would break. My mom didn’t know she was having twins until we came.

Then my dad said “Oh I know I felt butterflies when my Russian Tumblers were up against this other pair of Tumblers and I didn’t think they would win Best In Show”. I’m not sure why I was surprised that he would feel anxious about his birds they almost ruined his marriage, actually they pretty much did. They took his health, they’re the reason he’s on dialysis, and he spends more time with them than anyone or thing.

I really don’t think I can I spend another winter here with my dad and sister. The weather alone depresses me. I need to look for a place that’s affordable, sunny, and has museums or wildlife. I would love a pool too. But I’ll take what I can get. I just don’t think I can do it. I already feel the gloom and doom and it’s only September.

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.