Tag Archives: Addiction

IS ALL ADDICTION RELATED TO CHILDHOOD TRAUMA?

Dr. Gabor Mate believes all addiction is related to childhood trauma. I find this disturbing but not surprising.

During the 20 plus years I spent drinking I was court ordered to see a Psychiatrist or Therapist several times. Each one asked if there had been any abuse in my childhood. Even when I insisted there hadn’t been they still kept asking. None of them asked any other questions.

Some questions that would’ve been helpful for them would be “Does anyone in your family have a mental illness?”, “Does anyone in your family have a problem with alcohol?”, “Does anyone in your family have issues with anxiety?”. These would’ve been good questions to ask.

My Grandfather on my father’s side loved animals but had no friends. He had trouble talking to people. He also had ulcers that would eventually lead to his death at an early age when they began bleed. He was afraid to go to the Hospital so when he finally did it was too late.

My Father loves animals and has never had any friends. He also found it difficult to talk to people or be in social situations. When he was 17 he joined the Navy and found that alcohol helped him fit in. He continued to drink after leaving the Navy and didn’t stop until I was around 7 years old. My Mother ordered for him in restaurants, made doctor appointments for him, and handled anything that might cause anxiety for him. No one ever spoke about it. He also has ulcers. I’ve seen dry heave so many times I’ve lost count. It’s always when he’s anxious. I’ve seen him swallow his own vomit because he refuses to show weakness in front of anyone.

I love animals and have only ever had one friend. I would dry heave every single day before school. Going to the mall or a crowded place was torture for me. I tried to hide behind my hair and always looked at the ground as I walked. I thought I would be laughed at or ridiculed. I was anyway because of my weight. This didn’t help so I stayed in my room a lot. At 16/17 I found that alcohol helped took away the butterflies in my stomach and I could talk to people. I went to concerts, met bands, hung out with a large group of people, got into fights, got arrested, laughed, cried, tried to commit suicide several times, was promiscuous, and ruined relationships with my family.

Alcohol took me on some great adventures but it also came close to killing me. I didn’t know I was Bipolar or that I had Social Anxiety Disorder (Phobia) I knew something was wrong but no one ever diagnosed me so I kept drinking.

My family has many alcoholics in it including my Mom and Dad. It also has Mental Illness that you can’t discount. It isn’t coincidence that my Mom, her Mother and 3 of her siblings have/had severe mental illnesses.

My parents loved me and did everything they could to make sure I was happy. Yes they saw signs early on that something wasn’t right but they were scared I would be taken away. It was the late 70’s early 80’s and not enough was known then. I don’t blame either one of them. If anything I’m alive right now because of them.68832fe107dfe5b52a7fff8651d19655

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GRIEF FOR A PARENT: When There’s So Much Love And Pain

My Mom was the one who held everyone together. Not just my Dad, my brother, my twin sister, and me, but also all of her siblings, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She made sure everyone kept in touch or visited one another.

When she died it collapsed like a house of cards. It was like my Dad and I didn’t exist anymore. The phone only rang with telemarketers and there were no visits.

My Mom was outgoing, talkative, loud, bossy, and you did what she told you to do. She also had periods where there was no laughing, no talking, and she stayed in bed for a week or so. She could be quick tempered also. Her capacity to love and forgive almost made up for those times. Almost.

It isn’t easy as a child to wake up and find your Mom gone. Your Dad doesn’t really know how to explain where she is except “She’s sick and she’ll be home soon.” The first two times I was scared and I wanted my Mom. When you’re that young and you know nothing about Mental Illness and no one else really does either it’s horrible.

My Dad had to work so my sister and I would have to stay at my Grandmother’s house. My Dad’s mother. She wasn’t a warm, affectionate woman which explains a lot about my Dad. I was at her house the first time I got my period. I had no idea what was going on. My Mom was in a Hospital, I was at a mean woman’s house, and I was bleeding to death. It kind of left some damage over the years. It’s a good thing my Dad is the man he is and I finally told him what was going on and he took care of me like a pro.

But in my head I thought my Mom should’ve been there. I loved her more than anything in this World. If I knew 100% what happens when we die, if we do go somewhere beautiful and see our loved ones again, I would go right now.

Her death was so bad I still have nightmares sometimes. The year before her death was tough on my Dad and me. There were times when I had to get up early for work but couldn’t sleep because I could hear her moaning. For a long time my Mom went to Doctors who never found anything wrong with her. It was like the boy who cried wolf. When years later the Doctors told her she had Lung Cancer I don’t think any of us reacted the way we were supposed to. Our sympathy had been used for years and years. It was hard living with someone who would scream your name from their bedroom like they were dying making you run upstairs to their room only to have them say “Can you change the channel on my TV?” There was something wrong with that.

In my head I would tell her to shut up. I have to live with that. What we didn’t know was that all the chemo and radiation had weakened her bones so much she had fractured 2 bones in her back. That’s why she was in so much pain.

The Doctors she had made everything worse for us. They had no clue what they were doing. We did get 7 more years with her but it came at a price.

My memory of her was changed forever.

I no longer see the smiling beautiful woman that was my Mom when I close my eyes.

I see the nightmare version I walked in to at the Hospital.

It kills me to remember her like that. I’ve only been to her grave once. I refuse to go. The rest of my family has made comments about this. I don’t care. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. No one is going to bully me anymore or make me feel guilty about things that were out of my control. I do that to myself enough.11059761_10207494279902008_1407885758767048615_n


LETTERS BETWEEN SISTERS (The Response)

This is the response my twin sister wrote me. 

Everyone goes through horrible things and your journey has definitely been particularly violent and ugly, and for that I am sorry.

But I can not keep feeling bad for being normal. If normal means going to therapy on and off for the last 25 years and having my own mental illness diagnosis of General Anxiety. I’ve also been the thin twin and now the fat twin (she was thin until she had her children she is in no way considered fat). Things have been easy for me?!?! (I don’t think I ever said this I said she made it look easy) Living on my own paying my own way, sometimes wondering where my next meal or paycheck was coming from. Working 80 hours a week to keep myself afloat. (I have given her thousands of dollars over the years for her rent and food even when she was living in California. My parents also gave her money. She could’ve live at home for college it was only 15 minutes but insisted on renting an expensive house with her friends that she couldn’t afford.)

Men have treated me badly- one boyfriend actually spit in my face! (She makes it sound like “How dare he?” no one should spit on anyone but comparing it to what I’ve gone through is frustrating) Or maybe dealing with my husband’s alcohol and drug addiction? (She knew about it from the beginning but ignored it for years. I spoke to her about it when I quit drinking and she made excuses for him.) 

Normal would not be walking my sister through her mental illness and electric shock treatment. (This one hurts she did not walk me through my illness she ignored it but she was there for the shock treatment because my Dad couldn’t be.) Or the fact that my mother died two weeks after I became a mother and needed her the most. Or maybe the fact I’ve lost a brother to alcohol and haven’t been able to speak to him for the past 9 years because I can’t support his lifestyle. (It isn’t a lifestyle it’s an illness he’s an alcoholic and I suspect he has other issues too. You don’t just cut someone out when they need you. She stood by her husband for years and he did the same.) 

In fact I feel as if I can’t really count on family at all anymore. (Unless she needs pain pills or a babysitter.) 

I can not apologize for the things I have now. I worked really hard and overcame much to get it. If I stopped being around you it was because I was trying to lead my own life. Also your behavior was so out of control I couldn’t witness it anymore. (I thought she walked me through my mental illness.) But I can not feel guilty or apologize for being who I am. I never feel like I can be enough, do enough, help enough, listen enough or say enough to be the sister or person you want or expect me to be.

 

Maybe I’ve been to harsh on her but she never wanted to listen or know what was going on. My best friend can tell you that. I can’t tell you how many times W. has said to me “You need to accept that she isn’t capable of being there for you and she doesn’t understand.” Maybe W. always understood because she has a degree in Psychology and witnessed everything I went through. W. listened without judgement, she tried to help I just wasn’t in a place where I could listen but at least she tried. W. walked me through my illness. When W. entered my Hospital room after my kidneys failed she was white as a ghost and crying. She hugged me so hard it hurt. My sister didn’t have that kind of reaction. Even W’s mom was upset she said “That’s not my D! What the hell has been going on?” she was crying as she said it. W. never cries unless it has to do with me. Maybe I don’t know what talking about.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE~ ADDICTION

Is addiction a problem? Yes, it is. But the bigger problem being ignored is why are people turning to drugs and alcohol?

Rebecca Farley David Vice President for policy and advocacy at the National Council for Behavioral Health says more than half of people with Substance Abuse disorders also suffer from depression, anxiety, or another mental illness. Treatment should address both issues.

Rarely does this happen. I know firsthand that this rarely happens. Because of this I went undiagnosed for 27 years. No one should have to wait that long for help or be treated like they don’t matter.

The top leading causes of Death in the U.S. as of May 5, 2017 were the following:

  • Heart Disease- 616,067
  • Cancer- 562,875
  • Stroke- 135,952
  • Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease- 127,924
  • Accident- 123,706
  • Alzheimer’s- 74,632
  • Influenza or Pneumonia- 52,717
  • Kidney Disease- 46,448
  • Suicide- 44,193

What’s missing from this list?

Drug overdoses.

We have a bigger Mental Health problem that leads to self-medicating and addiction. This is what needs to be addressed.

I’ve attempted suicide several times, I’m an alcoholic in remission for over 9 years, I have Bipolar Disorder, Conversion Disorder and Social Phobia. I also have Kidney Disease. All of this is scary but it makes me realize I have to try harder to live life.

2016-02-05 18_52_26-FastStats - Leading Causes of Death

This is last years list I couldn’t find an image to download of the May 2017 list.


RISK AND SIGNS OF SUICIDE

This subject isn’t a pleasant one to write about but it’s an important one. There have been too many talented, beautiful people in pain lost this year. There have also been many that we never hear about or were almost lost to us. When I hear of a person younger than me who dies by suicide that I know, it breaks something inside me.

The recent event of the son of the lead singer in my brother in law’s band angers me. I offered to help several times and each time I was brushed off like I have no idea what I’m talking about. Now I think if I had tried harder I could’ve prevented what happened. I know this isn’t true but self loathing and punishment is my thing.

INFORMATON

Women attempt suicide more often than men but men succeed in suicide more than women.

The most common method used by women is pills.

25% of suicides are by people over 65 years of age.

25% of suicides are alcohol related.

80% of people had seen a physician in the past 6 months.

50% of people had seen a physician in the last month.

RISK FACTORS

Previous attempts increases the risk of suicide greatly.

Family history of suicide or abuse.

History of psychiatric disorders.

History of alcohol/substance abuse.

Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.

Impulsive or aggressive tendencies.

Isolation

Social losses, financial losses, death of a loved one.

People discharged from Mental Health facilities are 34 more times likely to commit suicide.

60% of the depressed population have suicidal ideations.

15% of alcoholic patients are more likely to commit suicide.

This is just a list of facts when dealing with real people it’s much more difficult. But there is truth here.

There is a history of suicide in my family. There is a history of severe mental illness and alcoholism.

I had seen physicians within 6 months of at least 2 of my suicide attempts. I was drunk during all of them and felt like I had a gaping hole in my chest that could never be filled. A lonely ache that never went away. It’s still here but I deal with it. When manic I was impulsive or aggressive and I chose pills and razors. One time a roof that turned out to not really be a roof.

It kind of blows my mind that I slipped through the cracks for so long. That I waited so long for a diagnosis or to receive any kind of help that was right. I honestly should be dead but for some reason I’m still here. Between the suicide attempts and the emergency Kidney Failure where I flat lined I figure I’m here for a reason. What that is I don’t know yet.

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GO ON AND SAVE YOURSELF

I won’t follow along with an ideal or concept unless I’ve asked questions and received answers that satisfy my curiosity. If this doesn’t happen or I find reason to disagree with the masses I find myself being scolded, judged, or told to “go along to get along”.

Guess what? I’ll be 45 in January ( I know I don’t look it at all! ) and I’ll be damned if at this stage of my life I’ll be bullied or told to be quiet anymore. I’m done being quiet, silent, playing nice, sugar coating events and feelings and being a doormat.

So this is my opinion take it or leave it.

Some group somewhere decided what was “right” and what was “wrong” when it comes to words used describing “Mental Health”.

  • Saying a person is mentally ill is no longer correct.
  • You should say they have a mental health condition.
  • Crazy, insane, bonkers, etc. is unacceptable. (Not sure when it ever was?)
  • Instead people should say they’re diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder/Schizophrenia/Depression
  • They suffer from Bipolar Disorder/Anxiety/Schizophrenia is also wrong to say.
  • The correct phrasing is “they live with a mental health condition/illness. (what about the first one where mentally ill is no longer correct?)
  • They committed suicide is also wrong.
  • They died by suicide is the right way to phrase it. (what about those that try? Do we say they failed to die by suicide or they survived a suicide attempt making them survivors & that has never sat well with me considering I have failed five times myself because I was too drunk.

All of this is ridiculous. The money spent on this research could’ve been put towards better treatment options.

RECOVERY, RECOVERY, RECOVERY, YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARD THAT DOESN’T EXIST IN MY WORLD I HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF DAVE NAVARRO FLYING ME OUT TO L.A. FOR DINNER THAN I DO AT RECOVERY. (so for invoking your name Dave)

  1. Recovery implies that mental illness is a choice. Serious mental illness like Bipolar or Schizophrenia are considered lifelong chronic health conditions. Both take a toll on the body and brain, there is no cure.
  2. Recovery suggests a need to return to “normal” state. Which makes me feel more alone and worse about myself. I know I’m not the only one. It also contributes to Stigma.
  3. The concept of recovery by society is detrimental to the person living with the illness/situation. Questions are asked; If people recover, why aren’t you? It must be something you’re doing wrong. Maybe your medications are “preventing” your “recovery” or your choice not to take medications is.
  4. Recovery is an unrealistic standard for any chronic illness whether it’s an autoimmune disease like Celiac (which I have), cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease (got that too), or Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and some Somatoform Disorders. The best you can do is try to manage them. If you experience psychosis or are not capable of rational decisions/choices why are people expecting you to choose recovery?
  5. Behavioral Health isn’t the same as Mental Illness. Behavioral Health focuses on diet, exercise, mindfulness, and sleep habits. This is fine for a person who might feel a little sluggish or down at times but not for anyone diagnosed with a serious mental illness. There is a huge difference. Changing what I eat will not stop me from seeing myself hanging from a forest of trees at the library. Exercising when there are many days my bones feel like they’re broken won’t stop me from sitting on my kitchen floor with butcher knife pressed into my stomach with no knowledge of how I got there. I also couldn’t hear my Dad calling my name or feel him shaking me. I was in another place and it was scary for both of us.

I suffer, I don’t feel like there is recovery for some of us due to many complicated circumstances but there is remission sometimes. I look forward to those small windows of some kind of happiness or as close to it as I can get. I’ll call myself whatever the hell I want to. I’m the one who has had to live this way for 32 years with so many suspecting or misdiagnosing, poking and prodding, degrading and judging, I’ve earned that right. And maybe I am a survivor or I just like to fight sometimes either way this is it I AM A BIPOLAR ALCOHOLIC IN REMISSION 9 1/2 YEARS ATHEIST WITH CONVERSION DISORDER, SOCIAL PHOBIA AND SEVERE ANXIETY. I HAVE TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE 5 TIMES BUT DID SO WHILE EXTREMELY INTOXICATED SO I’VE HAD MY WRISTS STITCHED, DRANK CHARCOAL, STOMACH PUMPED, ANKLE WRAPPED FROM MY ATTEMPT AT FLIGHT, SOME OF THESE MORE THAN ONCE. AS I GOT OLDER AND SOBER I STOPPED TRYING. I STILL THINK ABOUT IT BUT NOW IT’S ONLY A THOUGHT BECAUSE I’M TOO AFRAID OF NOT KNOWING WHERE I’LL GO WHEN I DIE AND THAT’S THE TRUTH.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS ME AND DOESN’T JUDGE ME HERE.

It’s once you enter more of the real world that it’s harder.


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.


GOTTA GO AND A MILLION THINGS TO DO

My dad is constantly saying ” I gotta go or I have a million things to do”. He’s short tempered and nothing I do seems to be right. When I hear him say he’s “gotta go” I feel it’s because of me. He leaves if he notices I’m talking too much or I’m too quiet. When he says he has a “million things to do” it’s either an excuse to get away from me or to make me feel guilty about my limitations to help around the house. His constant negativity isn’t helping at all.

I still have not heard from my sister after telling her about the bone marrow biopsy by text because she doesn’t answer her phone.

I am honestly lost. The roller coaster ride is never ending and excruciating. I remember going to Hershey Park for a Hair Show and we all decided to go on the wooden roller coaster. Normally roller coasters don’t bother me but this one felt and sounded like the bolts and wood were going to come undone at any minute. I had chest pains and a gallbladder attack by the time I got off the ride. This is how I feel all the time now.

I keep thinking of all the time I wasted but it doesn’t matter I was still ill. Now I think of what time I have left. I want one more good concert, one more night with my best friend laughing until we cry, I want to hear my sister say she loves me no matter what I’ve done or said, I want to see my Auntie Lee one more time, I want one more vacation near the ocean in a house with a pool. None of these sound like much but to me they’re everything.


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.


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.


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