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Effects of addiction

18 Oct

I am an addict in recovery. I don’t hide that fact. Not because I’m proud I used drugs and alcohol to change my thoughts, feelings, and behavior, but because I am proud that I have been NOT using for over 8 years.

I feel if I hide who I was and who I am now from the world, the people who know me will only see the “look good” part of me. But I am also the parts of me that are not pretty and the broken. And even though I have time being clean, some things will always be broken and ugly.

My drug of choice was Meth. We have all heard about the outward ravages of what using it can do. The sores, the skeleton looks, the bad teeth, and looking old before your time. And there are internal effects also. Kidney and liver disease, changes in metabolism, physical and mental changes in your brain. Sometimes with recovery, these changes can correct themselves but sometimes they don’t.

And as I am finding out, sometimes it takes a really long time for those changes to be noticed. See, I didn’t lose the weight and become a walking skeleton. I kept my teeth and I didn’t have the wrinkles. I was never arrested and I don’t have a criminal record. In other words, I didn’t look like the typical poster child of an addict. I used as much, if not more than anyone else I knew, but because I had the “look good”, I was able to hide it longer.

In fact, I thought I would be able to go on with my life as I got clean and I could just forget about all those years of abusing my body. But it was not to be. I have kidney and liver disease. My brain doesn’t work like it used to. I have diabetes and arthritis. And a host of other internal issues going on.

And now, I’m starting to have other things that are happening. My hair is thinning and I’m getting bad skin and wrinkles. I broken 4 teeth in the past year, 1 just last night. Some might say it’s just because I’m getting old, but I know better. You can’t put that poison in your body for so many years and not have it affect you. You don’t see many old tweakers.

But I will continue and keep moving forward. And I will slowly learn to accept my new normal. All while fighting tooth and nail every step of the way.

  • I’m grateful to be clean today. I can imagine where I would be if I hadn’t stopped. I’m grateful to have medical professionals who are working with me in my recovery. I’m grateful to those that stepped in and convinced me I wasn’t immune to what I was doing and helped me quit.

Night all. LOVES

 

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Kitchen experiments

15 Oct

Cooking and baking are some of my coping techniques when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. That’s usually when I come up with some of my best recipes. Is that transferable skills from getting the munchies?

Have you heard of the dump cake? You know the one where you pour cake mix and butter over a can of fruit. I made one with pears yesterday. It’s my son’s favorite thing ever. In fact, that’s what he wanted for his birthday cake.

But he spent the night with a friend last night and I ate half the pan. So I figured I better not eat the rest of it because he knew I made it. That’s the bad thing about using the kitchen as a coping skill. You eat what you create.

I was hungry this morning, but I didn’t want cereal. I really wanted his half of the cake. So I decided to scrounge through the cupboards to see what I could come up with.

I found one of those single serve things of pears. And the light bulb went off! Make a little one just for one. I don’t have measurements for this one today. It was a someĀ of this, some of that kind of morning.

I mixed some granola with a little pancake mix, I didn’t want to drag out the big flour jug. Added some brown sugar, I used a table spoon, like a soup spoon, rounded over. Some vanilla. The bottle was almost empty so it all went in. Mixed it all together and sprinkled it over my pears in a small pan that I had sprayed with pan spray. Poured some melted butter over it all and stuck it in a 350 oven for 25 minutes. Just like the big one. When it was done the whole house smelled of butter and brown sugar. They really need to make that a Scentsy flavor.

The funny thing is, by the time it was done, my craving was gone. Maybe the smell was what the craving was for. So I only ate part of it. I’ll have the rest as dessert after dinner.

  • I’m grateful I can make something out of nothing when I’m in the kitchen. And that 90% of the time, it ends up being delicious. I’m grateful my cravings are short lived. I’m grateful my house smells so yummy today. Brown sugar, butter and vanilla baking in the oven is heavenly.

Night all. LOVES

I’m just here

12 Oct

I went to see the doctor at the sleep clinic today. It was my 6 month follow-up to see how me and my CPAP machine are getting along. Apparently we’re doing just fine. All my numbers are good and there seems to be improvements. If fact, I’m doing so well, I don’t need to go back until next October. Unless something comes up before then. The nurse even gave me an insulated cover for my hose so the condensation will be less. Score!

I made all my bus connections. I didn’t need my umbrella for most of the day. I got to listen to the nice, strange lady on the bus sing the Ironman song multiple times.

So why ain’t I happy? I can’t figure it out! I should be jumping for joy, but I’m not. But I’m not really sad either. I’m just kind of here. I really, really want to take my heavy comforter upstairs to my bed and crawl under it.

I was supposed to go to my therapist yesterday. But I didn’t. I called and rescheduled it for tomorrow. And I didn’t go to my housing committee meeting either. I only went today because it’s too hard to reschedule. I have to go tomorrow to the therapist because my son and I are out of our prescriptions. The pharmacy is inside the clinic. Saves trips.

I wrote about having feelings yesterday and today I don’t seem to have the right ones. I guess that’s why I see a therapist?

  • I’m grateful to get good news from the sleep doctor today. I’m grateful to have my heavy comforter to crawl under in a little while. I’m grateful for chicken ramen for dinner tonight. Maybe I’ll put some broccoli and tofu in it to make it semi-healthy.

Night all. LOVES

No longer numb

10 Oct

I’ve had some really tough times in my life. I’ve had some great times too. I will admit that I used all those years because when you are high, you don’t feel. Why not be numb instead of feeling all the bad things that happened. Even when good things happened and you were numb and couldn’t feel, it was okay because deep down you knew that it was a trade-off for not hurting.

I’ve been clean for over 8 years now. And good or bad, I have feelings again. Sometimes really big feelings. Sometimes little feelings. And sometimes those feelings feel like they are too big or too little for the time and place I’m in.

See, because of all those years of not feeling, I never had to learn to regulate myself. I never had to know how I should act or feel in a certain situation because I didn’t feel at all. So now I get to learn how. Here I am over 50 years old and dealing with things like an eight year old would. Because I AM 8!

But even if I cry at sappy commercials and feel good stories, or feel really upset when bad things happen and take forever to get a grip, I am so very glad to have feelings today. And I’m so happy to not deaden my feelings anymore.

  • I’m grateful to feel today. I’m grateful to have to opportunity to learn to deal with my feelings. I’m grateful to know that even if I’m feeling really rotten at this moment, I will feel better soon.

Night all. LOVES

Just gratitude

10 Oct

I’m still not feeling too hot today so it’s just going to be short and sweet.

  • Today I’m grateful I bought lots of cheese at the store. Quesadilla for me and burritos for him for dinner. I’m grateful it’s almost bedtime. My patience meter is almost full. I’m grateful to have a therapist appointment tomorrow.

Night all. LOVES

Hiding

5 Oct

I’m hiding from the world and I need to tell someone. So I picked you. There are so many things to say.

I’m hiding my real thoughts and feelings because I might make someone else sad or angry. I want to be liked. I’m hiding what I’m doing because it could cause problems for myself or others. I’m hiding what I say because right now I can’t say anything good so I won’t say anything at all. I’m hiding from myself because all the things I said above are about me.

I want to be able to like myself, but I don’t very often. I know I don’t always like my thoughts and feelings about things. I have lots of “shoulds” going through my head.

It’s not exactly something I can turn on and off either. It just is. And if I can hide from the real world, I might not have to admit it to anyone, but mostly myself.

I’m hoping that admitting I’m hiding, I might be able to come out into the light and quit. Because I don’t like hiding in the dark.

  • I’m grateful to have courage. I’m grateful to have strength. I’m grateful to have hope. Now to work on the willingness.

Night all. LOVES

Singing lullabies

27 Sep

I used to love singing lullabies to my kids. I did it all the time. There was nothing better than holding a cuddly, little body snuggling up to you as you sing them asleep.

Carson still asks me to sing to him every night. I feel guilty when I don’t really want to. I know he won’t always want me to sing for him. But sometimes I just don’t. I’m tired and I just want him to go sleep. Or I forget the words. Or we’ve been arguing and I just want a time out. Or even sometimes, I just can’t read my book and sing at the same time. I know that sounds really selfish. But on the nights I don’t want to sing, I’m always willing to play a YouTube playlist of his favorites.

Another part of my not wanting to sing is I listened to people who said I can’t sing very well. Or I have a funny voice. I’ve even had people joke about the fat lady singing. And it hurts. Being self-consciousness about your faults, especially in front of your children, sucks.

I’ve thought about making a CD or a recording of me singing so it can play it when I’m not there or just not feeling it. But I really don’t know how to go about it. And that voice in the back of my head is in there telling me that someone would hear it and laugh. I keep seeing those people on America’s Got Talent the first few seasons that thought they were amazing until they were booed off the stage. I’m never going on a TV show, but that fear is very real!

I thought a lot about writing this. It’s hard to put yourself out there where others can judge you. Even if I’m not singing out loud, my “voice/thoughts” are still out there for others to make opinions. But I decided to be a little brave tonight.

  • I’m grateful to remember the words most nights. I’m grateful to be brave enough. I’m grateful to share my life with others.

Night all. LOVES