Tag Archives: Bipolar Disorder

OVERTHINKING

I will overthink everything.

Texts, normal conversations, how I look, am I normal enough and do people actually like me, are the most common areas I have a problem with.

Overthinking causes stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. I’ve tried everything to stop it.

I will always think a situation is worse than it is.

I haven’t really made any friends here. After what happened the last time I put myself out there I’m afraid to do it again.

I sit in my apartment thinking or watching TV.

I want to do things but my anxiety is through the roof.

Most likely because of my kidneys. I know it’s bad but I don’t really care anymore.

Family members who were talking to me daily seem like they don’t want to anymore. I should mention that I gave them money and then they backed away.

My twin is either busy or sleeping.

The person I want to talk to I’m unsure about how they feel about me.

I’m alone and confused.

Every day is different.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

overthinking quotes #lifequotes


Butterflies and Zebras

The Beginning

When I began frequenting The Storm I didn’t notice you. Maybe it was the newfound freedom mixed with manic episodes that caused my eyes to continually scan the room, never resting on one person for too long.

I felt like I was starting my life over. I felt like I could breathe without my family there to “babysit” me or judge me. It was an amazing feeling. The people here were so friendly and curious about what brought me to this small town. Few people living here are actually from here, most are from my neck of the woods.

I laughed, flirted a little, and met so many different types of people that I felt comfortable being as much of my weird self as I wanted to.

Failure To Remember

I forgot that my “weird self” is too sensitive, easily hurt, and has trouble trusting people. My brain will remind me of all my issues in some way at some point just never when I really need it to.

I never hung out with the kind of people who asked anyone out on a date. We spent our time mostly in groups. We went to concerts, a lot of parties, and drank heavily. If two people in the group started dating it never lasted long.

I still have never been asked out on what’s considered a “normal” date.

Instead, I learned how to fear most men, keep alert to any possible threats, and how emotional and physical pain changes you forever.

What If?

One night a tall, strong, outgoing, attractive man, started talking to me. We talked for a few hours and flirted. We left at the same time and when we got outside he kissed me. I felt nothing. For someone who hasn’t been with anyone in over 10 years, I expected to feel something. All I could think was “What if I’m too damaged from the past to feel anything again?”

You

I had been going to The Storm for about a month before I noticed you. You weren’t someone I would normally find attractive. It was when you laughed at a sarcastic idea I had and complimented me on my pale Irish skin that I began to see you differently. What really made me change my mind was when we started to talk about our favorite music and I realized how much we had in common.

I had just sat down in my usual spot when you came over to talk to me. Someone had seen us talking and laughing and decided to play matchmaker. You asked what my plans for the future were and if you could show me around. The butterflies in my stomach were out of control. I also wasn’t sure if you were asking me out on a date or just wanted to be my tour guide. I never did get a clear answer.

I didn’t accept your offer but you continued to come over and talk to me, compliment my skin, my outfits, noticing little details that no one else had. The butterflies grew and so did my fear.

You would hug me, always making a point to comment on how good I smelled. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know if you did this with everyone or if you were interested in me. I also felt way too calm and comfortable, feelings I’m not used to.

I may have been naive about sober flirting or dating but that doesn’t mean I didn’t start to see the spiral I know so well. Some aspects of human behavior I seem to be able to pick up on sooner than others. I recognize when a person is struggling to keep their mask on.

 

The End?

Conversations took out of context and twisted plagued both of us. I don’t know exactly what you were going through but I could see a rapid change in your behavior. I ignored what other people said about you. Why? I did this because I learned a long time ago that unless I see it or hear it myself that person deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Unfortunately, you chose to believe someone you had just met who shouldn’t have been talking about me in the first place.

This is the very definition of gossip.

You reprimanded me in front of other people. I was humiliated, sad and angry. I very rarely swear but that night you wouldn’t listen and I reached a breaking point. I said I would find somewhere else to go and you did a slight nod and continued talking about how you needed your employees to respect you. I stopped you, trying my hardest not to cry, told you “I can’t” and left.

We’ve texted/messaged a little since then but it feels like you’re just being polite.

I understand you need to deal with issues in your own life.

But I’m still left wondering if any of it was real.

Thank You

I’m thanking you for making me feel again, at least I know it’s still possible. You also made me feel special, at least for a while. My self-confidence/self-esteem has improved immensely. I still think about the “what ifs” and if you will even let me know if you come back. Somehow I don’t think you will. I have to find a way to move on. For someone like me, it isn’t easy. I’ll remember all the good things about you because that’s how I am.

44 Relationship Quotes Funny You’re Going To Love

 


CAN I DO THIS?

I started to notice small differences in my Dad after his car accident.

He was taking a lot of medication he should not have been taking. His Doctor never explained the medication to him. You give a strong opioid to someone who never used to take so much as an aspirin.

He struck a guardrail, his front tire became stuck up on the rail and he took out 350 feet of rail. His brand new truck was destroyed, both airbags deployed, the State and Town Police came to the scene. He refused to get in the ambulance or go to the hospital.

I handled the insurance company (not easy), the State and the Town. My Dad winced every time he moved the wrong way. We argued about him seeing his Doctor and he still refused. It took several weeks to settle everything and we discussed that he should get a used truck and not a new one. He agreed.

Next thing I know he’s bought a brand new Nissan Rogue. He had it 2 days when I noticed a big dent in the back.

I told my twin sister all of this because I knew something wasn’t right. My Dad is extremely frugal. He doesn’t like to owe money and after everything was paid he wasn’t getting much from the insurance company.

My Dad also began having problems talking. He kept running out of breath. I told him the day after the accident that he could possibly get fluid in his lung from the rib I could see sticking out. He still refused to see anyone. I called his dialysis place and let them know what was going on.

We were trying to get him help with his bladder that had been ongoing for years. He was at the point where he was screaming into a towel each time he urinated.

We finally got him in to see a Urologist. My Dad insisted on going alone. They inserted a catheter for a few days so he could go back and have tests done. He was in so much pain all he could do was sit there and grit his teeth. He thought the nurse cut him while inserting the catheter.

Three days later he goes to dialysis thene24a0470e843063ac24ede8055779515 back to the Urologist for tests. When I got home he was in his chair unresponsive. I couldn’t wake him right away. When I did wake him he was confused.

He could only give me his first name, he didn’t know the day of the week, and he said the year was 2008 (this is the year my Mom passed away). I called my sister and even though he was mad I called 911.

I should also say during this entire time his weight was steadily going down which I complained to everyone about for months.

When the EMTs came they tried to ask him similar questions that he couldn’t answer. He had a fever and his vitals were all over the place. One of them said “Sepsis”.

He had been to 2 different places with plenty of doctors and nurses who had to have noticed that he was walking like he was drunk, was incoherent, confused, had a temperature, any of the above! He was driving like this!

He spent a month in the Hospital. He had a UTI, Pneumonia, a Pleural Effusion, Sepsis and weighed 127 pounds.

He spent 20 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility for Rehabilitation. He was too weak for any rehab. When my sister and I brought him home we had to half carry him in.

Most people don’t know that a UTI and Sepsis can cause a form of Dementia, there is also a type of Dementia that people on Dialysis are prone to.

I’m with my Dad 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He didn’t want this for me but right now he’s scared. We talked about this. He didn’t want me to take care of and watch another parent die. We didn’t talk about any of this with my twin sister or anyone else.

My Dad didn’t do any paperwork. No Will, Durable Power of Attorney, nothing. He didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or cause arguments so he kept putting it off. I kept telling him I didn’t want anything that he needed to just do it. Then my brother would do something stupid and my Dad would be back at square one.

My twin said she would be with me all the way and help as much as she could.

She did for the first two weeks. Now she comes twice a week and stays 2 hours. She does do our laundry because of course we can’t go in our basement right now (don’t ask). She also insists on cooking which is tricky with my Dad. He’s become picky in the last few years.

I don’t know how he went from a vibrant 75 year old who did everything to a stooped over frail old man in diapers. One who wakes up every hour on the hour to get ready for dialysis because he can no longer tell what time it is or what day it is.

I had to explain time to a man who fixed and collected antique clocks.

There are days I want to leave and never come back.

There are days I’m so afraid I can’t swallow because of the lump in my throat.

There are days I don’t want to do this anymore.

There are days I’m so tired I can’t sleep.

And there are days I’m angry, sad, and feel alone.


HOW MUCH LONGER?

I grow more tired every single day. My Dad grows more difficult to deal with each day. The pain medication mixed with anti-anxiety medication has changed his personality even more.

I find myself jumping at his voice and trying to make myself invisible when he’s around. I cringe when he slams doors and growls at the smallest things. I know he’s in pain but none of this is helping me.

Where are my siblings? My brother is somewhere in the state but I haven’t heard from him in at least 8 months. He never called to wish my Dad a Happy 75th Birthday in June and he hasn’t been by to get his mail.

My twin sister didn’t call my Dad on his birthday either. She called after his birthday or said she would. We are having a tough time. I need help with my Dad and she refuses. She lives 10 minutes away and doesn’t work. She did say that her “Mono” became active again and she had to rest. I then find out that she’s at her mother-in-law’s beach house with the kids going to all these events. Not resting.

My Dad fell out of his truck after dialysis the other day and couldn’t get himself up from the hot pavement in our driveway. I couldn’t hear him yelling my name. He eventually crawled to the door. One arm was covered in blood and missing the skin on his entire bicep. I couldn’t stop crying while I cleaned him up and bandaged everything. Of course he yelled at me to “Quit your crying!”. He’s my Dad, I couldn’t help it.

I can’t watch another parent die. I’m not healthy enough. My last stent exchange didn’t go well. It was done May 20th and I’m still urinating mostly blood (sorry for the over sharing). I also have a lot of pain in my back and pelvis. I know something is wrong but I can’t take care of it right now. My Dad is going for Injection Therapy on his back on the 31st. I have to take him. I hate the hospital he’s having it done at, it’s where my Mom passed away, it’s where I died for a short time when I went into Kidney Failure, and it’s where nurses commented on my mental health in front of me.

I’m tired, lonely, angry, disappointed, and keep wondering why I’m fighting so hard.

People go out of their way not to talk to me. It isn’t because of anything I’ve said or done. It’s because of what I might say or do. And that’s the worst part of all.6fdde65c60ad6b93a59fc21b54fa7621


HAVING AN EXPIRATION DATE

I’ve been past my “suicide” phase for years now. I still think about it on really bad days but not like I used to when I self-medicated with alcohol. When I self-medicated with alcohol I didn’t just think about it. I’ve been sober close to 10 years now.

Seeing the results of my blood work I was scared. I didn’t know my kidneys were getting worse so fast. They use your GFR to determine when you should go on dialysis or go on the list for a kidney transplant. When the number hits 30 your Doctor starts preparing you for your options.

My GFR was a 40 one year ago. I kept putting off going in for surgery to have my ureteral stents changed. Part of the reason was the Depressive Episode I was in for a very long time. The other part was just fear. You know when something is wrong with your body. I knew I was losing weight again but there was some swelling in my feet and ankles. The color of skin is the same as chalk but with dark circles under my eyes. I’ve lost muscle mass specifically in my temples. I didn’t notice how bad until this morning. They are so hollowed out I could collect rain in them. I’ve been a little short of breath and having trouble doing simple tasks.

I’m pretty sure I won’t make it on a transplant list. I checked again today. If you have a mental illness, a past history of drug/alcohol abuse, or an autoimmune disease, you usually have a hard time getting on the list. I have all three. I have twin who could donate her kidney but before I could ask I was told she wouldn’t. She had to think of her children. Pretty sure her husband had a big influence on this decision.

Because no one knows why I went into Kidney Failure, or why my kidneys are getting worse, no one is sure about dialysis. My other option is to have a tube coming out of each side of my back just under my shoulder blades. The tube would drain fluids out of my system and goes down each leg. Someone has to learn how to clean and change the drains which I don’t have anyone to do this.

Before I make any big decisions I’ll go to my appointment on Tuesday and see how much longer I can keep the stents. If they don’t send me to the ER then I’m going on a Road Trip to Deep Ellum, Texas. I don’t care what anyone says. I have limited time to do what I wanted to do. So I’m going to try it. What’s the worse that could happen? lol


SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE

I admit I’m afraid. I also admit it’s my own fault. I kept putting it off. I even might of done it on purpose.

The Doctor that changes my ureteral stents wanted to see if I could go a year this time but if I had any problems I should come in sooner. I started having problems around the 6th month. I didn’t call or make an appointment. I ignored the pain, the dizziness, loss of appetite, some swelling in my hands and feet, headaches, change in vision, etc. My Bipolar medications were not working correctly either. I’ve been more than depressed for some time now.

I went online to see exactly when I last had my stents changed. I could also see lab results and notes from surgery while I was there. I wasn’t happy.

When I first went to this Doctor he had to exchange the stents put in by a Doctor that didn’t like me very much. Normally I would think I was being dramatic but I brought my sister with me to 2 of my appointments.

My twin is odd in her own way. She can ignore me and say horrible things but if anyone else does it they better run. She’s gotten physical with a few people on my behalf. Nothing major, she grabbed someone by their lab coat and pushed another person out of the way who wouldn’t let us leave the Hospital.

So when she witnessed how this previous Doctor treated me in his office she wasn’t happy. I wasn’t either. He insulted me in front of the entire team about to operate on me and then told them I was “a difficult patient” and they should be happy I didn’t “bring my guard dog” referring to my sister.

When the Doctor I have now went to change the stents he found the guidewires had advanced up both ureters to both kidneys. On the left side the had crossed over one another. This caused scarring in the ureters.

I also didn’t know my GFR has been declining or that it’s as low as it is. I was told it was 67.

The last three results have been 48, 45, and 40. When it get’s to 30 you’re supposed to start discussing dialysis or transplant.

As far as a kidney transplant goes I highly doubt I would get one. My Dad is on dialysis already and my twin sister has already said no.

If you have a mental illness, have to take specific medications, have a history of alcoholism or drug addiction, have an autoimmune disease, you most likely won’t be considered. I can check all of these boxes.

I have things on a Bucket List left to do. I want to have serious conversation with Dave Navarro. We have a lot in common. There are places I want to see. I would like to see Steven Tyler in concert one more time. I want to spend a day with a pack of wolves. There are so many places I wish I could travel to. Places filled with art, music, food, lights, people, where I can walk around and just take it all in.

 


IF NOTHING CHANGES

Sitting here day after day with little human interaction is becoming both difficult and easier to do. When I do get the chance to talk to someone I actually get a sore throat if it’s for longer than 10 minutes. Luckily for me it rarely is.

I want to change my situation but I’m scared to death to do so. I also feel guilty about leaving my Dad.

I try to remember that he has already lived a full life. He’s travelled all over, done some pretty exciting things, found and married his soulmate, had two children with her, lived, laughed, and loved her for over 45 years. He has 5 grandchildren that love him but he doesn’t see them because he feels guilty that my mom isn’t here to be with them. I find this ridiculous. I also think it’s more about his hearing than anything. He can’t understand what they’re saying so he doesn’t interact with them.

His hearing has become a huge problem. He refuses to do anything about it. He used to love to watch movies with me. He stopped a few years ago because he couldn’t hear the dialogue no matter how loud it was. He has a habit of just agreeing to what a person is saying when he has no idea what was said. This isn’t good when it comes to his dialysis and health. I finally called the dialysis center and told them he can’t hear what they’re saying and is just agreeing with them. They had no idea after the years he’s been there.

I also told them that he isn’t following a renal diet at all and if he says he is he’s lying. I gave them the correct dosage of Prednisone he’s taking because he told them 10mg when it’s 40mg. They need to know these things!! He get’s pissed off and leaves early because his TV isn’t working. It isn’t about the TV, it’s about him feeling anxious so bad he HAS to leave. I told them this also.

I did this because for the last week he’s come home with feet and ankles so swollen they look like wax. They don’t look real. That’s how mine were when I went to the ER. Would he listen? No. Would my sister answer her phone? No.

I’m afraid if I change my environment things will stay the same. I’ll start to talk to someone and they will fall asleep while I’m talking or walk away. Both my dad and my sister fall asleep while talking to me. My dad walks away often.

Maybe I should record my voice reading a book and sell it as a natural sleep aid.

There are no words to describe how it feels when you’re ignored, dismissed, or on the opposite end yelled at for things beyond your control or still held accountable for mistakes you made 20 years ago.

Sometimes I don’t know what I want. I’ve seen the worst of humanity, I’ve been on the receiving end of  humanities worst, but for some reason I still crave human interaction. I still have hope. I just don’t know how much longer that little bit of hope will last.1c69ece744ce08e16a8cfc698acf0e23


A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO SHAME

I know I’ve gone overboard with Social Media over the last 6 months. I usually think before I type but I haven’t done that in awhile. When I realize what I’ve written doesn’t sound right so I try to delete it but sometimes I can’t.

I made a comment on an Instagram post that I guess came across as odd. Someone replied “Are you okay?”. When I read it in my Notifications I had no idea why anyone would ask me that. Then I went to the comment.

I did sound manic and all over the place. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I then noticed another person had replied and I felt angry on top of everything else.

The woman is supposedly a “Mental Health Counselor” and she suggested I should “take a Holistic Approach to your mental illness instead of dangerous medications”.

I wanted to respond but since I am now back on the correct dose of medication I knew that it wasn’t worth it and it wasn’t right to have a discussion on someone else’s Instagram page. I let the matter go.

NEED TO KNOW

I don’t want to give a history of my health to every single person in order to explain my emotions, behavior, mood, or physical symptoms. I feel like I have to or people will assume the worst. The problem is they assume the worst anyway.

THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLIMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE HEALTH

The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health is the main government agency for investigating non-traditional treatments specifically for mental illness.

  1. Complimentary methods where non-traditional treatments are given in addition to standard medical procedures.
  2. Alternative methods of treatment used instead of established treatment.
  3. Integrative methods that combine traditional and non-traditional as part of a treatment plan.

NATURAL PRODUCTS

Research is still lacking when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of Complimentary Treatments.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These may help decrease the risk of chronic schizophrenia but what most people do not know is that this is only the case for young people experiencing psychosis for the first time.

Folate/Vitamin B9: The human body can’t make this on it’s own, some people with mental illness have low Folate levels. The FDA has approved one form of Folate as an add on not a primary treatment for use in depression.

Medical foods, mind and body treatments and vitamins fall under these categories also.

VITAMINS: Anyone on a prescription medication should be cautious when taking vitamins. Vitamins can make some prescription medications less effective or toxic.

40% or more of Americans treat themselves with alternative or “Holistic” medicine without professional supervision or disclosing it to their Psychiatrist/Primary Care Doctor. Many patients use Holistic medicine while taking prescription Antidepressants which can cause dangerous interactions.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder.

MRI scans of people with Bipolar Disorder are similar to each other but significantly different from people without Bipolar.

When Bipolar Disorder goes undiagnosed and the person is given the wrong medication and self medicates it makes them much more difficult to treat when they are diagnosed.

I remember when my Mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I was devastated. The first thing people said was “Did she smoke?”.

If she did smoke, did that mean she deserved to die a horrible death? People don’t think before they speak.

No one mentioned any Holistic medicine instead of Chemo and Radiation.

When my kidneys failed and I was in the ER, not one person mentioned “Holistic Medicine” as an alternative to saving my life.

Mental Illness is no different, at least for me it isn’t.

I may not always be able to edit myself online but face to face it’s much easier.

It’s easier because I never really talk to anyone. When I get the chance I get too excited and I start to stutter. The shame and embarrassment kicks in.

I would like to know 1 entire day without feeling shame. I know what I’ve put my family through. If I thought vitamins, yoga, meditation, would make it better believe me I would be doing it. Actually I’ve done it.Zen stones in water

 


12 STEPS TO INSANITY CONTINUED

Many people would not be able to stay sober without a 12 Step Program. I acknowledge this and accept it. I wish it went both ways. I have often been told that I “would never make it without a program”. I’ve been sober or in remission for over 9 years without a program. It isn’t for everyone.

I couldn’t handle being in a room filled with strangers and feeling their pain plus my own. I’m like a sponge that way. I also wasn’t hearing anyone say anything similar to my situation. No one admitted to drinking because they were afraid of meeting new people, afraid of talking to people, afraid to make friends, or just simply afraid.

No one admitted that at times they wanted to hurt themselves because they felt they didn’t belong anywhere. That they would look around a room and ask themselves “Why can’t I be like other people?” never feeling comfortable in their own skin. Or how much of a failure they felt like because the person that was born with them was able to do everything they couldn’t.

I can’t remember how many times I watched my twin sister and wondered if maybe there wasn’t a mistake made at the hospital. We were so different. Because we are twins people felt it was ok to comment on how different we were in front of us. I was always the fat, quiet one, she was always the thin, outgoing one. After years of hearing this it’s how you start to identify yourself too.

No one told stories of getting wasted and having sex with more than one guy in a night or waking up and not remembering if you had sex or not. There were no stories of hanging out with men who thought it was fun to make you cry or hit you. It was a group of men that for some reason wouldn’t let me go and I couldn’t get the courage to escape from for years. Some tried to help while others made things worse. Yes, I put myself in that situation because I thought I deserved it. I didn’t know I was sick or an alcoholic I just knew that at that time it was the best I could do. Secretly I hoped one of them would kill me and so I drank more.

There were no stories like that. I didn’t feel like I could tell them either. I needed a lot more help than a 12 Step Meeting could provide. I just didn’t know it yet. It would take several more years to figure it out.

Mental illness coupled with self-medicating is one of the hardest things in life you will ever go through. If you actually get through it I’m proud of you because it’s a Hell of journey and not many of us make it. It takes more than one or two relapses before you get it for some reason that’s just how it is. I’m here to say that if that happens don’t wast time beating yourself up. Ask yourself why? After that let it go and move forward. If you don’t you will keep repeating the same pattern.


12 STEPS TO INSANITY

Imagine you have had severe anxiety from a young age. You taught yourself not to make eye contact, to look at the ground while walking, used baggy clothes and long hair to try to be invisible. You felt more comfortable in long sleeved hoodies where you could pull sleeves over your hands because it made you feel safe. Imagine feeling nauseous 24/7 and throwing up or dry heaving daily. This started at 9 years old.

You discover something that makes it all go away. Alcohol. The thing is alcohol didn’t work on you the way it did on everyone else. Alcohol is usually a depressant but the majority of the times you drink you’re hyper, impulsive, talk fast, promiscuous, and stay up all night. You don’t think it’s odd because you don’t know anything else. But when the hardcore alcoholics you hang out with comment on it you start to wonder.

Eventually you aren’t the happy, hyper, drunk anymore. Events and circumstances change. Depression starts to creep in while you’re drinking. So does jealousy and anger. This leads to more negative events that change you dramatically.

When things get to a point where you’re given an ultimatum, a 12 Step Program or being homeless, you agree to the 12 Step Program. You shouldn’t have.

You had been to a few Psychiatrists who diagnosed you with Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder and put you on medication that wasn’t exactly working.

You’re forced to meet a person you don’t know and agree to make her your Sponsor. She goes to meetings 3 times a day. The first meeting you have to go to is a large open meeting where everyone knew each other. There were about 70 people and believe me people noticed when I walked in.

When a thrust a person with Social Anxiety into a group setting where they don’t know anyone, they’re there for something they feel ashamed of, and they also have PTSD but haven’t been diagnosed yet, it isn’t a great experience.

When you then force that person to get up and speak in front of everyone it causes harm. I hated it, I never wanted to go back, I disliked the people, I disliked the several comments made when a few men noticed the scars on my wrists, I hated that they monitored what you could and could not say at an open meeting, I hated that my sponsor wanted me to go to 3 meetings a day while working 50 hours a week and taking care of my Mom who had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. My sponsor’s response was “You found time to drink didn’t you?”

I didn’t drink like other people. I never drank during the day. I always drank from 4-5 pm to around 1 am on work night and later if I had the next day off. I never drank alone. I know this doesn’t matter, I’m still an alcoholic. But everyone is different in their patterns and behaviors.

The worse part were the comments about not really being “sober” if you’re on medication. I knew this was directed at me. Every meeting someone brought it up. How antidepressants were a crutch and a substitute for alcohol. I think I have permanent scars on the inside of my mouth from biting my cheeks and tongue.

I never felt like I could be honest at meetings. The stress was overwhelming. When my sponsor had us go to a meeting for a group of male convicts to speak that was it. I lost it. I told her I couldn’t do it. She told me I better get on my knees and pray because I bound to fail and go to Hell. When it comes to religion and anyone telling me I’m going to Hell or to pray it’s like waiving a red flag in front of a bull.

Things didn’t end well. I refused to put myself in a room where I might run into someone I used to drink with, someone who hurt me physically and mentally. I was right not to because there were 2 men in there that I did know. If they had seen me or I them I would’ve had a breakdown or worse.

People with mental illness and addiction have to be treated in a different way. 

I don’t believe a person with mental illness who is self medicating with drugs/alcohol should be thrown into a regular 12 step meeting. It isn’t going to work. We need more than that.

I’m more sensitive to the concept of shame. Shame actually had a lot to do with my failing to stay sober. When I was able to take shame out of the equation I was able to achieve sobriety. Too much importance is put on “How many days do you have?” or “What is your sober date?” First of all I have damage to my brain and don’t remember my sober date or how many days. 

Second, keeping track like that is setting yourself up for failure. Life isn’t about numbers unless you’re an accountant. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you’re intent was/is when you made them that matters.


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