Posted 3/21/2007 7:04 AM (GMT -6)
I read this post and was very touched by the outpouring of support, and for the situations of those currently struggling with their addiction.
I was fortunate enough to not have to struggle through any addiction, but I have been through enough h-e-double hockeysticks to at least know what it's like to struggle through problems and not know how to deal with them. I'm not sure if this will help or not, some of what I'm about to say is quite painful to dig up also, but I'm hoping it will help.
I never learned coping skills growing up, not because of an addiction, but for the first 8-9 years of my life I spent it watching my mom and dad drink themselves to oblivion, fight, and watch my dad beat the crap out of my mom for all those years. Anytime I had a problem the response I'd get (usually from my mother) was "toughen up kid, things will be much worse when you get older".
I was pretty messed up as a kid. After my parents divorced mom had her new boyfriend move in almost right away, and on Father's Day my dad showed up drunk wanting to see his kids that night. My mom's boyfriend wouldn't let him in and grabbed a baseball bat which needless to say really made my dad angry, and my dad proceded to beat the crap out of him.
I woke up the next day to see the livingroom covered in blood spatter. The ceiling, walls, tv, fan.... everywhere. Mom's boyfriend was ok, minus the broken nose. For some reason, when mom's boyfriend came home and I seen that big white bandage on his nose I couldn't help but snicker quietly to myself. I suppose in my mind I was thinking "HA! That's for trying to replace my father!"
Even though my parents had issues, my father would never lay a hand on either of us kids. my father then realized he needed help (manic depression and alcohol don't mix)... got help and I'm proud to say he's never touched alcohol since then. I haven't even heard him yell in many many many years. Him losing his kids and marriage is what it took him to realize he had a problem... it wasn't an easy road, he tried once to OD on some medication before he actually got better. I remember one morning getting ready to leave for school (I was at my dad's), and my dad saying "don't step on the Zebras on the way out... don't step on the zebras!". I thought he was dreaming (I was in 5th grade at the time). I came home from school to learn my dad was in the hospital and might not make it. He was in a coma for about a week or so... and I was too young to be allowed to visit unless it was certain he was going to die. Every day at school when the intercom would "click" before an announcement was made my heart would stop. I was so afriad that it was going to be the school saying I needed ot get my things that my mom was there to pick me up. He came out of it ok thank God, and it was right there that he REALLY was on his way to recovering. Again today, he hasn't touched any alcohol or drugs, and is now a very wonderful person who'd give you teh shirt off his back if you needed it.
I spent YEARS in therapy after that, and slumped into a depression so deep I'd stare at blank walls for hours withtout realizing what I was doing. I didn't have many friends, I was picked on and teased on an almost constant basis. It wasn't until high school I found a group of kids... the "freaks" that seemed to accept me for who I was as a person. Unfortunately, some of their ideas of a good time was smoking marijuana... which of course I got into because I was just dying to have some sort of acceptance.
It only got worse from there. I dated a guy who was into other drugs too. He smoked marijuana on a daily basis, but me wanting the acceptance I craved, tried other things like acid/LSD, mushrooms...
Then I met another group of people who did even more. I tried many things, I never tried Herion or crack... but I tried cocaine once, did Ecstacy at least 3-4 times a week, "Special K"(Ketamine), almost any pill you could get your hands on, I was on meth for a while (until I repeatedly got sick from lack of sleep actually), drinking... I later realized this was how I coped with life. I never learned any coping skills, so it was easier to me to get messed up on drugs than actually deal with problems in life. It was my escape... my means of coping. I then realized that I had to stop hanging around with those people and try to take my life back... I never knew how hard that would be.
Just when things STARTED to look up, in August of 2001 I had been out with someone who I thought was a friend... we'll call her "Sue". I went to take her back to her car, and she asked me to wait with her so she was ok while she waited for her car to warm up, which I did. Two men came up and seen me with my cell phone, and asked to use it because their car broke down. me, being the person that I am, let them use it... and my friend took off and left me there. Eventually, I was forced into my car at knifepoint, made to drop the "loud" guy's friend off, to drive into an alley, and was raped at knifepoint. I went right to teh hospital afterwards, and the police department didn't do jack to catch this.... monster. Took them 2 weeks to assign someone to mycase, and thee responding officers didn't even take fingerprints off my car. The guy had said he'd recently gotten out of Dauphin county prison, and I'd spent 8 hours that day cleaning, detailing, and waxing my car... they didn't dust for prints, even though I told them he was leaning all up against my car. 10 months later, the detective finally filed a subpoena for my phone records, and nothing else was done... no matter how many calls I made, etc. Finally 2 years later I realized I was only hindering my healing by continually badgering the police department to do their job, and decided it was timme to give up and work on healing myself.
Things started to turn around again, early last year I got a job at York County 911, which I loved every minute of. I had gotten my diagnosis of CFS, and was on Provigil... which allowed me to have the energy I needed to be able to work. I LOVED the job, I loved what I did... I got to do something good for other people and help them in their needs. Fast forward to August 5th 2006, just last year. I had met this seemingly really nice guy who we'll call "Bob". He was really nice, except for the fact that he seemed kinda pushy to.... "getting into the sack" if you follow. One night after a hard day at work I decided to stop by the bar right near my house to have 1 or 2 drinks then go home. I didn't get off fo work until midnight, so that's all I had time for, plus I don't like getting drunk, I just wanted to relax after a really hard day.
I had my first drink and ordered my last one for last call. I seen Bob there, and wrapped up my conversation with my friend Shelly... drink on the counter behind me... not thinking twice about it. (I'm sure you can see whre this is going).
I remember taking a couple of sips out of my last drink... I remember talkling to Bob... I remember not finishing my drink and having to leave... I remember talking to Bob out on the porch, I remember being in my car halfway home, and I remember walking around the corner of our apartment building and looking back to see a truck pulling in right next to my car just like the one Bob drove. I remember feeling euphoric and sensual for some reason (which is NOT something alcohol alone really does... not those feelings). The only thing I remember after that until I came out of it the next day was a brief "conscious moment" of being/feeling pinned down and being helpless and pure terror... and a feeling of bad pain in my "female area".
That afternoon when I came out of it... I remember feeling really weird. I couldn't mentally or visually focus on anything, and when I tried to walk, it was like my legs were filled with helium, yet I had on concrete shoes. I felt sick, lost, and confused. I had to wait for my mom to get home and take me to the hospital... and they suspected as I had thought that I was sexually assaulted.
Bob had told me in a message "I don't know what happened last night, but I hope things arn't weird between us now"... yet when the detective talked to him, Bob "recalled" everything... minute by minute details... down to positions and everything. I couldn't listen to all of his statement to the detective... it was much too painful for me. Unfortunately, most date rape drugs are out of your system within 6-8 hours, and I didn't even "come out of it" until almost 12 hours later... didn't make it to the hospital until 4 or 5 hours after that... so far, no charges can be pressed... there's not enough evidence.
So not only was I dealing with this happening AGAIN, everything from the first "incident" came back and compounded itself on top of the more recent "incident" (The "r" word that rhymes with cape is difficult to say), and I developed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It got to the point I was scared to leave my house... if the phone rang I'd jump 30 feet in the air and it would feel like my heart was pounding out of my chest, I'd jump if someone merely whispered my name. Every little noise at night I'd jump like someone had set a bomb off under my bed... nightmares... feelings of panic if I'd see a truck that just LOOKED like his.
Even today, it tears me up inside because I don't have concrete proof of what happened. I get these "flashes" that could either be memories of what happened, or my mind trying to come up with it's own answeres to "make things easier"... but I don't know which they are. I'm stuck in my own bottle that I don't know how to get out of. I'm a happy person naturally, I believe that no matter how mayn clouds are in the sky, the sun is still shining. Some that know me wouldl say I'm the epitome of optimism... yet I find myself crying over the "dumbest" things... I snap at people I don't mean to snap to and feel horrible about it... but I can't help it. I had mild anxiety problems before this... they're much worse now. And when my anxiety kicks up or I get a panic attack, that makes my CFS flare up and my Provigil doesn't even help as much as it did before. I WAS on doses of Ativan for my anxiety of .5 to 1mg as needed... now I find myself taking 1.5 - 2 mg several times a day at times just to get my chest to loosen up and keep my heart from feeling like it's going to pound itself out of my chest cavity... but then I feel like i'm in outer space... but it's better feeling than the chest tightness and heart palpitations.
What I'm going through now may be different, but the underlying principals are the same. There's no miracle drug or cure for the problems you face in your life. You can't hide behind medications, alcohol and drugs to get rid of your problems because no matter what you do to run from your life... as soon as you sober up the problems arer still there. And if you don't learn to deal with your problems, they just keep piling up and the mound turns into a mountain in time.
One of the hardest things to do is face your problems and inner demons. It's easier to be numb to it, but the only thing your accomplishing is destroying yourself in the long run. Learning how to cope and deal with things in life is not easy, I won't lie about that. It was one of the hardest things I had to do... I still have issues to deal with that honestly at the moment I really don't know how to deal with... and it's scary. But I know in my heart that I have to keep pressing on and eventually I'll find the answers I seek.
For anyone dealing with traumatic problems or addiction the "fix" is the same... you have to find yourself again.. dig deep inside and find who you are, and find a "new normal" for yourself. It's hard having to practically rebuild your life over from scratch... but you have to take the experiences you had in life and learn from them... find what made you start on your journey to where you are now, and confront it. Whether it's alcohol or drugs that had taken your life from you, you need to stand up and take it back. easier said than done? Yes... but if you really don't like where you are in life you have to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of the situation and into a better one.
Do I know where I'm going in life yet? not really... on September 16th I got fired from my job at York County 911, and can't get a job at another 911 center just beause I got fired from there... mind you WRONGFULLY fired from there. So not only am I dealing with CFS (possibly Fibro), anxiety and PTSD... I have to find out what to do with my life, and find myself once again.
Emotional pain is far worse than physical pain in my opinion. Emotional scars take far longer to heal than physical ones... but it is true whoever said that time heals all wounds. Some take longer than others.
If you don't like where you are in life, you have to do what it takes to improve your life... for yourself. If it means detox and AA... then that's what you have to do. Sometimes in life we can't pick what path we start down... we have to go down the path anyway. Sometimes you have to do something less desirable and make sacrifices in order to get what or where we want.
Stay strong and take that first step. The first step is realizing there's a problem... you've done that and cried out for help. It just sounds to me like you're afraid of what may happen when you put your foot forward to take that next step. You're so used to not having to deal with life and drinking it away... you don't know what you're going to do wihtout the bottle to hide behind (so to speak)... and it scares you to have to think of not having that crutch to stand on... so you continue to drink because it keeps you from having to deal with the unknown (this is just my personal observation or guess... I could be right, I could be wrong).
I ask you... what is it you want in life? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? And are you willing to do what it takes to get there? Do you realize that in life you have to make sacrifices to get where you want to be?
Anyway... I hope that helped at least a little or helped someone. I know it's not exactly the same, but there's still similar bases to what's going on in a sense. Healingwell is a WONDERFUL site filled with many loving caring people, and I'm sure everyone will be here for you when you need someone to be there when you take that first step.
God Bless you all, and I hope you find the strength you need to get started on your journey, and remember we'll all be here when you need someone to help you stand on your own two feet again.