Let me ask you something...
After my last blog post-I received a tremendous amount of feedback, and I was so overwhelmed in the best way possible! I had had some questions that I was asked, and I really wanted to address my responses publicly in hopes it may lead to a greater understanding to others. Enjoy- and please ask me anything!
Why didn’t you say anything earlier?
I didn’t want my addiction to define me. I didn’t want people to think that having an addiction made me different, or less of a person. It’s a label that’s associated with a dark and cruel stigma that everyone is the same and no one can be helped. I think it’s a lot harder for people to break down barriers when it comes to addiction versus any other mental health disease as well. It’s such a dark and misunderstood disease that I personally think that if you’ve never gone through it, you will truly never grasp just how the term “disease” defines it. I’ve had loved ones go through it, but before I personally developed an addiction, I thought this wasn’t a real “disease” and these people just needed to have more self-control. I titled it “Fearing Judgment” because that’s exactly what our society does, and sadly what I did before I really understood-I judged.
What was your “rock bottom” moment?
“Rock bottom” means different things to different people. When I remember what I thought would be rock bottom at the time was far from rock bottom at this point in my life. The FEELING of being at rock bottom is the same though. You feel like you’ve lost everything and everyone around you. That nothing good will ever happen or that no one will love and trust you again.
For me- it was when I lost one of my favorite jobs, I had my dream car repossessed, and due to the seizures I couldn’t drive for 6 months...It’s strange how looking back on all those things I just listed, they were very important to me at the time. I had a very demanding job, a car that only just took me from place to place, and the independence to do what I pleased. God sure will find a way to reprioritize what you think is “important” REAL quick. 😅
Did your family have trust issues after? Do they still?
Oh, most definitely. I think me not being able to initially drive for 6 months helped them because they literally had to take me any and everywhere, including intensive outpatient therapy for 6 weeks, three times a week. It took awhile to definitely regain trust, but therapy and counseling helped tremendously. What helped you feel like you weren’t alone?
The book “From Harvard to Hell and Back,” as well as being in rehab with a group for professionals. I met doctors, other nurses, lawyers and a CEO that all were going through what I was. It showed me that it didn’t matter how much someone made or how important they were in the community-everyone suffered the same feelings of powerlessness.
It also showed me that opening up about your story or your experiences not only can help you recover, but help others around you want to recover as well. Recovery is never a solitude experience in my opinion, because the disease is just like any other disease-it can not be managed on its own. The gentleman that has Type 1 diabetes and the elderly woman suffering from depression are in the same dilemma- they can’t fix this on their own, but they can manage it. They seek people out that can help them, and talk about what they’re going through and express their good days and bad days.
Mental health is a disease, just like diabetes is a disease. For a long time, I confess, I thought mental health was just an excuse. An excuse to not care about yourself or your loved ones. About your job or your reputation. And again- God sure showed me how high my horse was and brought me right back down. 🥰 What’s helped you the most in trying to stay clean/sober?
My faith, all kinds of amazing people that love and support me, my boys...also by removing myself from stressors or triggers, including my job and how I would tend to overwork myself. Alot of self care and making sure I take time away to spend time on myself. It’s easier said than done, but it’s definitely worth it over having a relapse. People like me don’t like asking for help, so even asking for 2 hours away for some alone time can be difficult to do. You can always make a plan work if you schedule it and commit to it!
I enjoyed answering some of these questions, it truly showed me that you all cared enough to ask! I know most of you wouldn’t have asked unless you wanted to learn more about what others like me have gone through, or are currently going through. I truly appreciate your curious minds and open minded hearts.
“Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.”