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.

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¸ 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!

My abuser, my first prescription

I have several illnesses and take quite a few meds prescribed for me by the numerous Dr.’s I’ve seen since my first chronic condition appeared at 20.

I was living with an abusive man, drinking copiously, and eating little, when I developed my first chronic illness, GERD, ie gastrointestinal reflux disease.  It came in the form of excruciating pain in my chest and down my arm that went on for 3 days before I headed to the hospital.  During this time my boyfriend kicked me repeatedly for  lying in bed and not having his supper ready.

I spent 2 weeks in the hospital before they determined I had a large erosive ulcer in my esophagus, caused from a combination of too much liquor, too little food, extreme stress, and the high acid content of my stomach.  An acidic bile was constantly being refluxed up into my esophagus.  This was occurring because my esophageal sphincter was ‘floppy’ ie the natural tension in the sphincter muscle that was supposed to keep the food/acid/liqour in my stomach was not present.  The alcohol and stress were part of this floppiness,  poor diet, and also good old genetics.

So I was put on a proton pump inhibitor to decrease the acid in my stomach, given a diet to follow, some other common advice for the condition, and have been on various inhibitors ever since – 27 years.  I still have problems with reflux/GERD when I overeat, gain weight, drink etc.  The old pain comes back which smartens me up pretty fast, feels like a heart attack. 

I don’t know the long term effect of these inhibitors on my body except for the study done on men that showed increased stomach cancer rates after 5 years on one particular drug.

On the bright side, after 2 weeks in the hospital away from the influence of my boyfriend, my aunt and uncle talked me into moving in with them and this was the first step in leaving my abuser.  I never was with a physically abusive man since.

My Sordid Drug Affair

TWISTED!!!

TWISTED!!!

Drugs, drugs, drugs, which are good , which are bad

 

There is so much going on with me and drugs.  Not illegal drugs, not for awhile now, around 4 years since I played that game, but prescription drugs, used as prescribed and otherwise.  Today I took prescription drugs for recreation for the first time since Feb. 28th/2014.  I know that doesn’t seem like a long time but I felt I was doing pretty good.  I felt like drinking today, and I don’t know if it was because I argued with my boyfriend last night, and that triggered my borderline personality, or if it is because I am weaning myself off Seroquel (quetiepine?), which is my mood stabilizer for my borderline symptoms.

It’s weird because my borderline was not too bad for quite a while.  I was only taking seroquel 25 mg for sleep for a long time.  Then this last fall 2013 I slowly descended into depression, bad depression and my Paxil was not helping. I was taking 50mg and was barely functioning. I took a lot of my prescription drugs for recreation/off-label to numb myself.  I was taking seroquel, clonazepam, morphine (dad’s), ativan (mom’s), lyrica, gabapentin etc. all together in all different combos.  I was just curious if something might kill me off or at least take away the pain and give me a good high.

I became suicidal and in late Febuary I took whatever pills I could find and drank a pint of whiskey straight and ended up in the hospital.  I was only in the short stay unit and what they decided to do was raise my Paxil to 60 mg, and increase my  seroquel. They gave me 100 mg, then 200mg, then 300mg. They said they’d go to 600 mg if the side effects were not to severe, but I stopped them at 300 mg because I was a raging thirsty zombie.

So home I went and nothing happened, I was still just as depressed, I just slept through it all. March and most of April were just a blur of misery. I ate, I slept, i watched TV, repeat. I couldn’t enjoy my dog, my boyfriend, my family, the outdoors, nada.  SO, then, FINALLY, spring came to Nova Scotia.  And I started to feel better.  Just like that! I know I have S.A.D., I know NOW it’s getting more severe every year, and I told them that at the hospital, but they seemed more interested in labeling me as Bipolar 2 and/or Borderline Personality Disorder and stuffing me full of Seroquel to ‘control’ my moods.  Whatever.

Now it’s May and I’m feeling pretty good mood wise.  I had been on 3 mg Clonazepam/day since I was hospitalized in June. I decided to wean myself off, talked to my doctor and by dropping 0.25 mg every second week, starting in March, I am now at 1.5 mg Clonazepam/day and, knock on wood, it’s going OK, no withdrawal syndrome symptoms yet or anything.  So that made me happy, so then, I thought, WELL, I feel pretty good, now it is time to start dropping my Seroquel.  I talked to the pharmacist and she said talk to my Dr., but I didn’t, because I already know what he would say, right, we all do, he’d be like, “no, stay where you’re at, it’s working to keep you stable, blah, blah, blah”, but the thing is, even though I know this is probably right, I want to try reducing it anyway, just to see if it is responsible for my better mood or not.  A little experiment.

I dropped the Seroquel from 300 mg to 250 mg 2 weeks ago.  I took 25mg a.m, 25 mg p.m., and 200 mg at night.  All was fine, I felt better, more awake and aware, more motivated. Then last week I dropped another 50 mg, taking only 150 mg at night.  AND NOW THE PROBLEM.  I’m starting to feel a little too good, a little too happy, a little too excited, very, very talkative, motivated, and just darn, well, hypo-manic, I suppose.  BUT, this may be a temporary state, a side effect of dropping the medicine, not the medicine itself .  So, I’m going to stop reducing for now and WAIT AND SEE.  Maybe I just need a few weeks to adjust to the new dose before I feel stable again?

But, herein lies a problem.  I want to drink and I want to take pills, my borderline basics.  I really wanted to get drunk but only had black rum and no mix, so I said, fuck it, I’ll do a pill mash up.  And I took lyrica, clonazepam, seroquel and morphine. My promise to myself not to self medicate anymore down the drain.  And I felt like shit. I had a few floaty moments but mostly I felt dizzy, nauseous, and wired but tired.  Which is where I am now, very tired but too wound up from the lyrica (it always seems to make me hyper) to sleep.  And realizing that the Seroquel is probably a necessity right now.  Which I despise and hate.

So,there is my rant. It’s been a while, a long time, since I wrote, that was my mood and state of mind for the last year.  So very, very unmotivated.  Anyway, I hope to post more regularly, I wouldn’t want to disappoint my millions of followers! He He

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.