Train of Thought

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I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to just stream out what’s going on. Asthma back with a vengeance.
Steroids, in pill and inhaler form. I’m scared that it’s never going to go into remission. My GP said that when we find a new place, it shouldn’t have carpet. So there’s one more no-no on the list when I’m checking out a potential new place to live. I really prefer hardwood floors anyway. I like to see the dust, and sweep it away, rather than reminding myself that it’s time to get out the vacuum and make noise.

I’m also really sensitive to noise. It’s probably from all the loud music at all the concerts I had to attend, when I was working in the business. I couldn’t go out and take breaks, and I hated wearing earplugs, so I’m paying for it now.

I managed to clear out and dust my bedroom closet but there’s a growing number of boxes of things I want to take with me when we move. It’s awfully difficult to decide what to let go of and what to hang on to, but I’ve got to get rid of half of it. It’s just too much! I don’t live in a condo, I live in a warehouse!! That’s because we don’t have a garage. And the storage space we rent is jam packed already.

This chronic asthma is keeping me homebound. My daughter is dealing with her own asthma demons as well. Her ribs are sore, from coughing from bronchitis, so she’s bummed out about not taking her bi-weekly spin class. It gets me down, because there’s so much to do, and I can only do one or two things a day. Also, my insomnia is unmanageable, even with two meds that usually work. Perhaps it’s because tax time’s coming around, and we’ve got to get Obamacare going, which is ridiculously difficult to understand, and I just want to crawl under the covers and wait until it all goes away. And I’ve got a deadline for an essay I’m doing for an online mag.

It’s only been four and a half years since I got sober from alcohol, and having been diagnosed with Bipolar1, anxiety, and agoraphobia at 50, at times, I get pretty down on myself for what I call “the lost years”. I’ve had a lot of experience with alcohol, even before I starting drinking, and I don’t feel it’s out of place to give some “strong suggestions” on this matter. My higher power is telling me to go ahead and do it. So here goes, my dear ones.

For someone who is on powerful psych meds AND thinks (or knows) they have a drinking problem, try experimenting.

WARNING: I AM ONLY PRESENTING MY OWN OPINION AND SUGGESTIONS. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE OPINION OR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT PLAN OF A PHYSICIAN OR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL!!!!!

Cutting back, tapering off, or quitting altogether, or not quitting. YOUR choice. You’re the captain of your own ship, but mine kept sinking over and over until I surrendered and put the “plug in the jug”, as the twelve steppers say. And, yes, I did get sober with the help of AA and some pretty incredible people at my meetings. Movie stars, rock stars, comedians, writers, nurses, teachers, mothers, fathers, homeless, black, white, yellow, red, brown, whoever from wherever, and whatever, it doesn’t matter. They all come together to learn how to stay sober, one day at a time. And guess what? Many, and I mean MANY of them are mentally challenged as well!! And they get and STAY sober one day at a time!

I have so many friends from those rooms, those meetings, who have a mental health issue as well as substance abuse problems. They are in those rooms. It’s no big deal!!

I also belong to a 12 step program called DRA (DUAL RECOVERY ANONYMOUS). IT’S MY LIFESAVER!!! IT ADRESSES BOTH SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. Someone from my AA group saw me at two weekly meetings, and invited me to come to a DRA meeting. She’s now my sponsor of over three years. God, it’s such a feeling!! Walking into a room and just being my Bipolar, anxiety ridden, agoraphobic, alcoholic self, and not having to explain!!!!!!! We’re an extended family. It’s my lifeline. They’re my people! If you tell them you haven’t taken a shower in four or five days, they give you that knowing smile. Been there. Me, too. Done that this week, too….

I’m only speaking from my own experience. My decision to get sober was made as I was lying on a bed in the emergency room for seven hours on October 18, 2009, after my husband came home from being on the road, and found me lying on the floor, upstairs, in and out of consciousness. The next day, I got my ass to a meeting. I haven’t looked back since. That was my last breakdown and the last time I touched a drop of alcohol. FOUR YEARS, FOUR MONTHS, AND SIX DAYS. A miracle. MY MIRACLE!!! AND GUESS WHAT, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR VERY OWN MIRACLE, TOO! BUT YOU’VE GOT TO DO A FEW THINGS FIRST. YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO!

Since October 19, 2009, I let go of the crutch that didn’t prevent me from falling and hurting myself, again and again. Over the years, I’ve hit a lot of bottoms. I’d get some time under my belt, then I’d blow it. But the longest I’ve ever gone without alcohol was two and a half years. And I wasn’t really sober. I did it out of spite. Wrong reason. Then, I was back out there for another ten years. And since I didn’t have a diagnosis yet, I was crazy. Plain crazy. Mad. Out of my mind because my mind was an awful place to be.

Now, I get through life on life’s terms (sorry for the cliche), and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Yes, Dorothy (or Don) there IS fun after admitting that one drink is too much, and that one drink can lead you to hospitals and even jails, or institutions. It isn’t fun. It’s just a slow way to the inevitable destruction of your body, mind, heart and the wreckage of your soul.

Alcohol abuse has been in my family for generations. Mental illness and alcoholism not only do a number on the person who deals with it, but the family suffers as well. In my opinion, even more. My children would have had a much different childhood had their parents not succumbed to the bottle at such a young age.

Sobriety? It’s tough, but it can be done. Staying sober? Hard but simple. I’m proof. Do you want it enough now? Or do you want to wait until you’re fifty, like me, to be diagnosed with a mental illness and kill yourself, a little every day, by taking meds AND abusing alcohol? Do you want to wait another nine years, after diagnosis, to keep getting the same results by taking both powerful psych meds AND drinking?

I’m getting a bit tired of reading on the internet about young people who go out and get drunk, while they take some pretty heavy duty meds. It’s Russian Roulette, my friend. If you want to stop such foolish behavior, then just go out and get help. Actually, you don’t have to go out, just pick up the phone and call a hotline. I’ve posted some below. Yes it’s hard, but you can do it. And you don’t have to do it alone! And eventually you’re going to love the way you will look and feel. Eventually you will learn to enjoy life without something that’s poison for your body, because that’s what it is for an alcoholic. Poison, plain and simple.

I’m lucky that things have worked out and my daughters are proud of me and demonstrate their love in many ways. But I worked and continue to work hard for my sobriety. I’m even staying sober while going through litigation I can’t talk about now, but certainly will when it’s over.

Look, we all have battles in this life, but if you reach out for help, for substance abuse help or any mental health challenge, things will change, for the better!

My husband? He’s a trooper. As time goes by, it just gets better. He really is my rock. So, I guess that’s why I still go on writing about my experiences. The problem is, I need to structure my days, by the hours.. I spend too much time online, “strongly suggesting”. But I want to share my lessons and my hope for you. And it DOES FEEL GOOD TO CONNECT AND GIVE EACH OTHER HOPE.

I’ve got to get ready for my phone session with my psychiatrist. He’s a good guy.

PEACE OF MIND & LOVE TO YOU!
NANA XX

My Goal

Through blogging, I want to share my story, life experiences & give hope to others struggling with mental health issues & the stigma that goes with it.

Although diagnosed late in life, and with many challenges through the years, I'm finally living life fully and gratefully, with my grandchild, family & friends! I hope to make some new friends here.

 

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Resources

Feeling suicidal? Please dial 911 or contact the following:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline toll free:
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Veteran's Suicide Prevention Hotline:
1-800-273-8255

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Psych Central
Mayo Clinic
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Disclaimer

Information presented on this blog is not a substitution for professional medical care and a treatment program. If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder or any other mental illness or mental health issue, please immediately seek the services and advise of a medical doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.