Cautionary letter to my young cousin using drugs/booze

Hi_____! So you’re 14 now! That’s excellent.  I hear you’ve been getting into the party scene heavily though, and because of my experience with that (a LOT of experience) I just have to say a few words. Just read and consider them, that’s all I’m asking. Then, at least, I’ll know I tried to save you some pain.

Drinking and drugs seem like great fun when you’re young, a way to hang out with your friends and feel happy and included, but in the long run it leads to a lot of pain, shame, guilt and a host of other problems.

I started drinking and drugging at 14 too, and by 25 it had left me pretty much badly broken, mentally and physically, and with a huge amount of baggage I’m still trying to deal with.

I was arrested 3x before I hit 18 from doing crazy things while drunk or/and on drugs. I had to go before a judge, do community service (a lot), and was on probation each time. I nearly got sent to reform school and nearly had a permanent record.

Because of drinking/drugs I ended up sleeping with a lot of men who were just using me (drunk girls are easy prey), so I ended up with no self esteem and had no self worth. I exposed myself to disease, and dangerous situations with strangers.  Getting over the results took 100’s of hours of intense therapy.

I ended up with unwanted pregnancy twice, both which ended in horrible miscarriages that nearly killed me mentally and physically (nearly bled to death). The more I drank and did drugs the more fucked up stuff I got involved in. I ended up in an abusive relationship, getting beat on for a year, which has left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I ended up getting held against my will 3x by very drunk/high men with weapons, also contributing to my PTSD. I have constant nightmares and panic attacks  and can’t let myself trust men much at all.

The more I drank the more I needed to drink, to bury all the horrible emotions that came from all the things that happened because I was drunk or stoned. I lost a lot of good friends in the long run and did horribly embarrassing things. I had blackouts from binge drinking where I’d end up in some man’s bed, who I didn’t know, with no remembrance how I got there. I fell down stairs, smashed teeth, broke bones, and got concussions from drunkenly smashing into things. I hit people and was hit.

All this made my already present depression and anxiety worsen. It fed my Borderline Personality Disorder.  I ended up in detox twice, trying to get clean and the hospital several times, with nervous breakdowns.

So, please, save yourself all the pain. I know it’s hard when that’s what your friends are doing, I know it’s so easy and tempting to just go along and have the ‘fun’, but it often turns bad in the end, very bad, and you’re the one that’s left suffering. I just want to try and save you from all the things I went through, and how I ended up.

Do ANYTHING else instead. Get new friends who don’t party, or get a job, or throw yourself into something you love, or try to find something you love. Try painting or photography or writing or sports. Anything that will keep you focused on doing something you are really passionate about and away from drugs and drinking. Cause it’s a long, crazy, painful, traumatic road it will lead you down and you will end up feeling one way in the end…..like shit about yourself and fucked up.

I could go on and on about tons of other things that happened to me when I was drinking/drugging, but I won’t.  I hope you read this and think about it. I care about you and really want you to have a good life in the future, but you won’t find it in alcohol/ drugs of any kind. So do yourself a HUGE favour, get away from it, far, far away, and you’ll have a better chance at a decent life. Take it from one who knows and loves you.

Detox concurrent disorders program

I attended the program and this time made it 11 days ūüė° I  was caught smoking and booted as I also was caught off “ward” 2x in one day. I’d been doing well.  They were reducing my benzodiazepine use (clonazepam ) by replacing it with  decreasing amounts of liquid valium. I was down to 2 daily doses of 7.5 ml valium plus 2 of 15 ml.  I’d started off at 80 ml/day (equivalent  to 4 grams clonazepam ),  so was down to 45 ml/day when I got the boot.
  I was so upset at myself, as I was handling things pretty good and had started daily group, which was really great. 4 days in group and I was really liking the things we were covering, plus we were doing recreation , going for supervised walks, I  had a good roommate and was keeping occupied reading and watching movies and going to night a.a. and n.a. meetings.  All ruined because I couldn’t stop smoking.
And I was smoking kinda openly cause I was upset that my roommate skedaddled to go turn tricks and my other friend had gotten the boot the night beforehand, as she was caught canoodling with a new intake and that’s an instant ticket out.
So, upset, I left and o.d.’ed on 3000mg seroquel and a 20 grams of clonazepam and ended up in the hospital, catheterized and in observation for 24 hours.   So stupid, I was pretty ashamed of myself and my behavior but it’s pretty typical borderline personality shite.
So, I crawled back home and my Dr. put me on 1.5 mg clonazepam as we figured I could withdraw the rest of the way myself and it was a therapeutic dose anyway. So, I’m still on that, but I haven’t abused benzodiazepines, opiates, alcohol or anything since, so I guess something sunk in and at least my time and theirs wasn’t totally wasted.  I hope I never have to go to detox ever again. Fingers crossed.

TRY TRY Again – Concurrent Disorder Program

Well, I now have an appointment for an assessment for an inpatient (3-4 weeks) program that provides graduated detox plus groups, activities, recreation, etc. every day, much more structured. I will talk to them and maybe see what that is like, sounds like they keep you pretty busy so you’re not just sitting biding your time but getting coping skills, assertiveness, relapse prevention skills. ¬†it is a concurrent disorders program. Here is a blurb on the philosophy of concurrent disorders programs.

Concurrent Disorders

Concurrent disorders describes a condition in which a person has both a mental illness and a substance use problem. This term is a general one and refers to a wide range of mental illnesses and addictions. For example, someone with schizophrenia who abuses cannabis has a concurrent disorder, as does an individual who suffers from chronic depression and who is also an alcoholic. Treatment approaches for each case could be quite different.   People with concurrent disorders are frequently misidentified, as diagnosis can be more difficult because one disorder can mimic another. Relapse rates for substance use are higher for people with a concurrent mental disorder, as are the chances that symptoms of mental illness will return for those with a concurrent substance use problem. Depending on the setting, prevalence rates for concurrent disorders have been found to range from 20 to 80 percent.2  What is known conclusively, however, is that people with mental illness have much higher rates of addiction than people in the general population. Similarly, individuals with an addiction have much higher rates of mental illness than people in the general population. One large US study found that approximately a third of people with a mental or alcohol disorder had a concurrent disorder, and half of the people with drug problems had a mental disorder. A smaller study in Edmonton, Alberta had similar findings. In this study, almost a third of mentally ill individuals also had a substance use problem, almost a third of those with alcohol dependency also had a psychiatric diagnosis, and among illicit drug users, almost half had a mental illness.3  clients have the best success when both problems are addressed at the same time, in a co-ordinated way. The treatment approach usually depends on the type and severity of the person’s problems. A person might receive psychosocial treatments (individual or group therapy) or biological treatments (medications), or often both.

Couldn’t do it

Well, I only lasted 3 days¬ł it wasn’t the detoxing part it was the place itself. We had one 100 foot hallway we could walk up and down (and up and down, and up…..you get the idea), no groups or therapy, just sitting and waiting, every hour like a day. I couldn’t cope with being locked up there. So now my clinical social worker, my shrink and my Dr. are going to work together and we will do a slow detox at home. I’m just so damn happy to be out of there, wrong place, wrong time. I see my 3 people Monday so will have more news then. Thank you all for your support.

DETOX

Detox off prescription drugs and alcohol

Jan 25 2015

I am going into inpatient detox on Tuesday morning. ¬† They say how long I stay (2 or 3 weeks) will depend on how i cope with withdrawal. ¬†After withdrawal there is a 1 week program on keeping sober which i can attend or they might decide (we together that is) if a 28 day inpatient detox would be helpful. ¬†I’d like to keep an up to date running commentary on my detoxification/withdrawal but we have no use of electronics of any sort, so instead i will journal daily and when I’m allowed back on line I will post these reports, 2 or 3 days worth, or even just 1 day if it was a long entry. ¬†So keep your eyes out!! ¬†Here is a link to all my drugs I take, some are valid medical prescriptions, the ones I abuse and need to detox off of are: K-pins (clonazepam), Serax, Baclofen, Seroquel, Flexeril,¬†Lyrica,and Alcohol. ¬†I was checking all the interactions on a medical site and i will definitely O.D. if i don’t stop. ¬†Wish me luck!

First Step

Greeting all my millions of readers. : )  My first step….admitting, to all of you, that I have a problem. I want to share with you the very real ups and downs of being an addict.
Sugar is my drug of choice and I’ve been addicted since I was 14. And I do mean addict, full blown junkie, with all the seeking out and covering up, lying, stealing, guilt, self-loathing, fighting, relationship problems, physical damage and other nasty effects that come with addiction of any sort.
You may think sugar does not qualify as an addiction, and that this entry somehow disrespects other addictions. This is in no way true, and I hope no one feels as if I’m making light of addiction in general, but it has ruled my life for over 30 years now and wreaked some havoc on me and my family. However, I want to try to keep the tone of my future entries light and somewhat humorous while at the same time shedding light on a very real problem. I hope you enjoy¬†my posts and get something out of them.

DEPRESSION AND ADDICTION

depressionLast night was a rough night.¬† Well, it’s been a rough week actually.¬† I spent one half of last night crying over all the sorrow in the world and one half crying over my own personal sorrows.¬† And what did I do to make myself feel better?¬† I ate sugar, of course.¬† Did it cure the worlds’ troubles or help ease mine?¬† Nope.¬† Did it make me feel any better?¬† Well, yes, temporarily,¬†while¬†I was actually in the process of eating it, but after I just felt worse.¬† All my troubles remained and now I felt fat and guilty too.¬† And very depressed.¬† So, do I eat sugar all day because I am depressed or has eating sugar on a regular basis triggered my depression?

Both.¬† I am depressed.¬† I have been depressed to one extent or the other since I was 13.¬† This is when my sexual abuse ended and my emotional troubles and sugar addiction began.¬† Never having told anyone of the abuse I did not know how to cope with the after effects.¬†¬† My anger at my perpetrator turned inward into self loathing, shame, guilt and depression and I made myself feel better by getting high off sugar.¬† I’d eat so much sugar I’d be blissed out for hours and things would seem OK.¬† Then I’d come down off this rush and not only would I feel sick physically, but emotionally I’d be a wreck, feeling all the feelings around the abuse and now all the shame and hate and anger at myself for pigging out, not having control, being a loser.¬† Which made me feel even more depressed.¬† So I ate again, to try to feel better just for a little while.¬† I always binged in secret too, adding to the whole guilt and shame trip.¬† I knew I was doing something abnormal, something shameful and wrong that I had to hide from ‘normal’ people, at least that’s how I felt.

I hid my eating from my family and friends, creeping off to some secluded spot to stuff my face with bags of cookies, boxes of Vachon ¬© cakes, and tonnes of penny candies in little brown bags.¬† I hid my depression, my shame, my hurt, pain, my absolute anguish over life from everyone, even my best friend.¬† I hid it well, very well.¬† I was and am an exceptional actor.¬† I was whatever people wanted me to be….funny, happy, easygoing…..in public.¬† In private I was a cauldron so hot and mixed I don’t know how I got a long at all.¬† Maybe sugar helped me survive.¬† And a few other tools thrown in.¬† So as not to mislead you,¬† or fool myself, sugar was not my only drug used to self treat my depression and angst.

I drank alcohol whenever I could, whatever I could find.¬† I’d had my first taste of booze at 11 and I loved it. I loved the way it made me feel mellow and calm and brave and happy all at the same time. The way it made my troubles less troubling, at least for a while.¬† I was no longer shy and awkward but giggly and friendly, and I had a whole new group of kids to hang out with and drink.¬† And getting booze became an interesting challenge.¬†¬† We stole mini bottles from our parents, filling them later with water, strutting around town feeling hip swigging from our airplane liquor.¬† We filled pop bottles half full of pop, half of stolen booze from our parents unlocked liquor cabinets.¬† This was particularly easy for me, for my parents drank little but kept a fully stocked bar for guests.¬† Easy enough¬† to sneak 1/4 pint or so and add water once the bottle started showing use.¬† Also hanging out in front of the liquor store asking people to pick us up a bottle, which most were willing to do, and finding those older kids, drop-outs, single moms, who’d let us hang out at their run down pads and drink our faces off.¬† I was going to the liquor store myself at 15, no questions asked if you waited for the right person to come on.

I continued binge drinking or daily drinking all my life until about 1 1/2 years ago. I drank to self medicate my depression,¬† inward pain and hurt and I drank to forget and I drank to change my personality to one I thought was ‘better.¬† I only do not drink now because my man doesn’t drink and wouldn’t tolerate it, though the urge comes upon me at times.¬† I drown it in sugar instead.¬† Am I am alcoholic?¬† I don’t know, I only know I like to drink very much but I can also stop at any given moment, as circumstances call for.¬† Though I must admit alcohol has got me into¬† many severe situations and problems before.¬†¬† Ulcers, brown outs, unprotected drunken one night stands with strangers.¬† But then¬† I’d just stop.¬† Cold turkey, no problem.¬† This is why I call myself a sugar addict first and foremost, because I have never been able to get off the sugar, ever, for any time, so it is my true drug of choice.
Even when I was boozing heavily, as I have done often and for prolonged periods, I still dosed myself daily with sugary treats and my liquor was often some sugary sweet kind like schnapps, or drank with lots of sugary pop.  Alcohol was my friend, sugar my love and solace.

And yes, then there are the drugs.¬† I never cared much for pot, hash, even cocaine, they don’t do for me what sugar and alcohol do.¬† They make me paranoid, shaky, confused.¬† I used drugs to fit in with my fast boozing/drugging friends but never enjoyed them.¬† At least till I got my first taste of downers and pain killers.¬† Those I like.¬† I fell in love with Demerol at 13 after being given a shot at the hospital for a burn.¬† I thought of nothing else but the smooth, sweet, velvety, bliss I felt that day for weeks.¬† I discovered Valium, Ativan, and Codiene.¬† Warm and fuzzy drugs, soothing drugs.¬† These I¬† like.¬† And still like.¬† I admit I play around with various assortments when I feel especially stressed or down.¬† They take the ‘edge’ off.¬† I do this on the sly too, during the day when I can nod out and be by myself, just chilling.¬†Everyone I know now would freak.¬† Funny thing is I still eat sugar on these days (which I strictly limit).¬† Lots of sugar.

So….as you can see my sugar addiction is not my only vice. I use whatever I can to make me feel better, to damp down the constant feelings of sadness inside me, the voice in my head that tells me I’m just not good enough and never will be.
And it all becomes one vicious circle, depression, self medication, self loathing, more depression.¬† I do also take prescribed drugs for depression but they never quite do the job like a real good sugar rush, they don’t give me instant gratification or send me away from my mind for a while.¬† And that is why I’m a sugar junkie.