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bi-polar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and a chemical dependency

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Old 14th July 2007, 1:35 AM   #1
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bi-polar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and a chemical dependency

Cocaine is a monster. It is a beast of an addiction to kill. I’ve been arrested, jailed, sent to prison, placed in a hospital, lost the right to have freedom, in debt, barely kept my job, had my health [mind and body] damaged, hurt friends and family and the monster still calls out to me wanting to turn me into a court jester all over again. But I will not let it.

Cocaine wants me to lie, live only for it, and place it above everything else. It wants to isolate me, become its only friend. What it tells me it offers me is a reprieve from the past and constant monitoring of my present. It tries to make my future seem too difficult, too out of reach, too much labor.

Cocaine’s pull on me, I have discovered through therapy, is tied to my self-worth and self-esteem, to my failed marriages and a failed relationship, to internalized guilt and shame and remorse.

Everyday I battle my addiction, and it gets easier everyday even when everyday cocaine comes up with another reason, another excuse for me to bring it back in my life. It tries to play tricks with my mind. It waits patiently until I get overwhelmed, confused, frustrated and then it calls out to me telling me to give up and let it take away the hurt and the pain. It embarrasses and humiliates me; it punishes me for being weak, and laughs at how easy I fall when vulnerable. It is the noose around my neck, one that I accept and place there myself and unfasten.

I have never faced such a demon. I have defended myself against it before. I have put my addiction cravings away three times before and for many months but it is always lurking. I have not killed the dragon, it will always be with me. I have separated my addiction from the definition it gives me and untangled it with how I destroyed a perfect relationship, caused everyone grief and harm – and self harm – and self-sabotage. Right now, I am trying my best to stay clean and healthy, be a good man, dependable father, an honest person and I let others help me and guide the way to non-use.

I know now that cocaine is what made me manic, it triggered my illness and amp'd up the level of it. Cocaine and Bi-Polar are a dangerous combination when together. It makes reality confused, causes fiction to become your reality and you start doing crazy things - and here is a story about one such adventure.

After my first manic episode [brought to the General Saints Hospital and kept overnight for 3 days], I dismantled my home computer and brought it over to my parents home so I wouldn't be tempted to reinstall it and start using the Net as I did during last summer. See, for 6 months I had been searching the Web for any signs, some knowledge about what my ex-gf was doing, feeling, wanting. I never felt I was stalking or obsessing - I just wanted closure and all I was getting was silence. I realized that I was starting to spend too much time on the computer so I packed it up.

Well, guess what? About 3 days after doing that I just started going to Internet Cafes and staying up and online for days. I just stopped going to work. I spent hundreds of dollars doing that. I believed I had found sites where my ex-gf was on so I started posting comments and reading hers and I thought we working through our issues. It never occured to me that this was not real. My illness and addiction drove me to do these things. I just stopped doing everything - work, eating, sleeping and isolated myself just as I had done at home and there was nothing I could do to stop because that was what I wanted, needed to heal.

I believed closure for me would be just that, communicating with my x and that would bring peace of mind because her silence and NC was the driving force behind this behaviour. So, I posted away and I got replies and it was honest, sincere, and without anger - tenderness and gentleness and respect. I never once realized that I could have been 'talking' with anyone, that my situation [a breakup] and the things people go thru when the end of relationship happens are universal. So I wasn't really 'talking' with my x and I had no clue. I would take clues from these sites and end up driving over to where she lived and leave gifts, food, and other items, etc. because I believed we had agreed to that. I believed I was communicating with her. So, now I totally understand why she got so freaked out by my actions - because I wasn't really in reality. Hindsight sucks big time.

I wish I could just erase this entire period of my life a la the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Its funny because a computer brought us together and a computer helped end things. Ahhhhh, technology is grand.
So, I spent months going to chat rooms like Love Shack, Enotalone, Yahoo Answers, Plenty of Fish, Lava Life, HealthPages, etc. and I would get screwed up and phone her but never talk with her, leave messages, plan meetings [go and she would not show up, of course, then I would get depressed and do the whole damn cycle over and over]. But part of me knew this was not reality because I never once approached her and when I left presents I did so quitely and quickly. What drove this was a combination of my dual disorders, my hurt and remorse, my need for amends and closure.

But I would always return to the scene of the crime and be triggered by key words that we shared and I dreaded that happening because I knew this was fantasy but my dual disorders took me into fantasyland and I would get frightened, use cocaine to calm down, crash and burn and feel the misery of making associations with things that didn't exist. Once I was pulled over by a police officer and he asked me what I was doing and I said I don't know. Eventually I became so disorientated that I would rapid-cycle several times a night and reality and fioction would battle it out inside my mind. I was confused by the clash and no wonder everyone thought I was acting bizarre.

What I didn't realize was that my addiction fueled the bi-polar and the bi-polar triggered mania and I will never be the same person I was before. It's been so long now that this has gone on that my family, friends and others have given up and left me alone and my ex-gf has lived through a whole year of prolonged trauma. Thankfully I have medication now which halts the mania but it has ruined my short term memory and caused other health problems. I keep an Internet journal so my sponser can read it and spot the early warning signs like lack of sleep.

Once I had been up Interneting for 7 days in a row and I thought to myself, this is so kewl, what an opportunity and adventure but after 'chatting' and drivebys, I would start doubting this reality and think how is it possible for her to stay talking and still go to work and parent her two sons. But those questions vanished in the flog I was in. Occassionally I would breakdown and sob because the cycle was simply misery and I would call her work just to hear the sound of her voice. Eventually, my mind just made me believe she was communicating with me and not at work because the opposite was that I was insane and I didn't want to think I was very ill.

One time I drove over to her house. It was around 4 in the afternoon. My heart pounded. A voice told me to stop, I realized police had already stopped me doing that 3 times, and I had been warned but I couldn't stop so I drove by her house at a slow speed and then suddenly the x-gf appeared in her car driving the other way, on her way home. We both slowed down and briefly our eyes linked and the look of utter fear on her face was like a knife to my heart. I turned away and drove away. That is such a horrible thing to experience - someone you once loved, someone that loved you and you have become hated and feared and I couldn't understand what I had done to make her feel that way.

I had no idea that my behaviour was bizarre and frightening to her. I just kept playing the heartbroken Romeo, and was all over the emotional map. I loved this woman and would never harm or do anything that would cause her pain but somehow I had managed to do that and it is horrific and breaks my heart that I has done so. I drove away, tears falling down my face. The encounter lasted maybe 2 seconds and afterwards I drove for miles in misery.

I have recently been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and have a chemical dependency [cocaine]. This is what I am left with after we broke up. I knew I was suffering from depression but never knew the extent of the harm I had done, the harm a toxic relationship can inflect. My chemical dependency triggered my Bi-Polar and I continued to experience mood swings during the times I was 'talking and visiting' and even past the time my body readjusted to the withdrawl from cocaine. During this relapse, binges and psychosis followed and I fell back into dyfunctional behavioural patterns.

At the beginning of the mania Bi-Polar cycle, it, the BP, caused me to create a crisis or stresses that it needs to rapid-cycle and I've had to deal with the residual anger of others from the damage that this disorder has done to my life. It takes discipline and tons of help to keep confident and start living a healthy life. My chemincal dependency has caused legal, relationship, employment, and health problems.

I wish my ex-gf well and she knows I have moved on with my life now and a repeat performance will not occur. I am now receiving treatment and I know now that I need not worry about any further episodes.

If I could change one thing though, I would go back to the time my ex-gf was leaving and I said "You don't have to do this babe, you don't have to leave. I am getting better." And that was when her eyes told me she wanted to stay - but was already gone. What I should have done right then was reach out and hug her, never let her leave then, fight for our relationship but I respected her decision and wanted to show her that sometimes you must let someone you love go and hope they come back.

But that was really the end right then. We tried for a few months after that but it was never the same, the effort was half hearted and awkward. I had told her that I was worried that the moment she moved out that we were done for, that trying to heal separately would damage our bond, and told her we can't help and heal each if we are apart and she knew that as well. She just needed the break and time away from the madness. When she left without a hug I knew I had lost 'the one'.

I do not dwell much about that time anymore, I think about the good times, the fun we had, her smile, sitting out on the porch singing heat bug, her dances, her voice, her stillness, her skin, and the amount of love and care she shared with me for a brief time - stuff like that. I hope she finds peace of mind now that I have insight, treatment and vowed to resepect the wishes she stated in her V.I.S. That is a promise. I hope she finds love and happiness. I know she will.

Last edited by livebuzzwords; 14th July 2007 at 5:05 AM..
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Old 21st July 2007, 7:45 PM   #2
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last time i promise - lol

During this past year and a half I have never felt as lost, as worthless, as disposable as I did. During my hospital stays no-one ever visited [same for prison]. Every single friend I had disappeared – zero contact from everyone. During my manic period, I had family, friends and an ex-gf, and ex-wife have me arrested several times [three times at my home, twice on the street, and once in my car] and taken to either a hospital or a jail. My ex-gf filed criminal charges against me for leaving Christmas presents and other bizarre behaviour. She made sure I was sent to prison and probably wishes I was still there. I had an ex-wife take away my parenting rights with help of family and friends who signed affidavits saying I was a significant risk to society. I had a shrink give me anti-depressants which made me suicidal. I sold my house because of bad memories and bought a new home all while in an extreme manic cycle. I had to rely on my parents for everything, have them see their son in prison, watch my mom take the witness stand, have my daughter visit me in a mental hospital, come to grips with an illness that is serious and life long, and try to make sense of what had happened to me, had to redefine my entire being, battle an addiction, hold on to a job, research my illness, stay clean and sober, and come to the realization of how much harm I had inflicted on myself, family and friends. I think the hardest thing to explain and express properly is what it feels like to have someone you loved and they loved you back feel so frightened and fearful of you that they will send you to prison. To actually see the fear on their face and know that they no longer recognize you as a person. It is something I will carry inside for a long time. I know this hurt is deep inside me and it will take a long time to heal from it. And that’s ok. My focus right now is doing the little things that keep my recovery in tact and make sure I have the support I need to succeed. I am not fooling myself about how difficult this recovery will be because no-one spends 10 months of their life going thru [COLOR=red]*[/COLOR][COLOR=red]*[/COLOR][COLOR=red]*[/COLOR][COLOR=red]*[/COLOR] like I stated and should expect to snap their fingers and everything will be hunky dory again. I went thru days without sleep, water and food, and was delusional and vulnerable to the impact of having a dual disorder working together at the same time. This disorder makes you see things that are not there, hear things that are not spoken, and you end up taking everyday boring old normal life and twist events until they fit your situation and during this it is like heaven and hell all wrapped up in a nice little package. Bouncing back and forth between reality and fantasy, going from bliss to misery, often 3 or 4 times a day takes a lot out of you. You end up looking for fixes any way they come and you do bizarre things, and watch yourself doing them without being able to stop. For example – I went to a restaurant twice, holding 100 bucks worth of roses expecting to meet an ex-gf there and of course she wouldn’t be there because I was talking with a ghost. I went to stores that sold delicates and waited for hours, I went to a grocery store and bought her 300 bucks worth of food, stopped in an African store and blew 250 on wooden elephants, I thought the new Liz phair cd was actually her singing so I created a music studio for her, I spent 6 months on a painting and dropped it in her neighbors yard because I couldn’t remember which house was hers [I wonder if she liked it – lol], I bought and dropped off Christmas, birthday, and valentines day gifts without making contact, I wrote songs and constructed clay mugs for her – all that while going thru an addiction, no contact and silence, and suffering from bi-polar. I looked at razor-wire fences in prison and couldn’t come to grips that my behaviour had brought me here and that an ex-gf felt so strongly the need to have me locked up instead of being hospitalized. I got into a fight in prison, watched how and learn how you survive in there and how you learn to sleep when the hard core criminals are up and I managed to survive prison food. I lost 25 pounds, became depressed again and I could do nothing about all these things – everything was out of my control. I witnessed the introduction of my ex-gf’s new bf by having him swear and threaten my while I was carrying flowers and enjoyed the pleasure of having him show up during my court hearing – and that was ok. I used my cell phone incorrectly and rang up 3k worth of charges, went in serious debt, almost lost my job, and had an old illness reoccur while in jail. I spelt on steel beds and bruised my body, had cops do strip searches where I had to bend over and show them the moon, I had to recover all my possessions, pay my mortgage, contact addiction centres, find a way to not have any relapses and guess what – I survived it all. I believe I have served my sentence and should be able to move on with my life without any further monkey business from those in the know. So, all that in 10 months, and I now understand what my friends and family and ex-gf went thru as well – so maybe its time we closed this chapter and started writing a new novel. Thank you all for putting up with me. Stay kewl and big love.
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Old 22nd July 2007, 12:01 AM   #3
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Get some rest, LBW. You can't change the past so it's time to forge ahead and get your life back in order.

But first of all, rest!
"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it."
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Old 22nd July 2007, 6:19 PM   #4
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Talking Hello This is Just My Simple Words of Advice

My Name here Outtamymind is what I thought I was for such a very long time. And I was, only because I thought that I was. Does that make sence to you? We as humans have the power to change every negitive aspect of our lives. Through the laws of attraction and many other methods. If you could pick up the book The Secret you will be able to turn all of this around for the better.

Studies have proven if a patient is given medication from a doctor and he tells them it will make them fill better. They go home take the medication and believe that it is healing them because a Dr. said it would. In this study they had given these patients nothing but a pill with no medication in it and all claimed they were feeling much better after the medication was gone. Some claimed to have had become addicted to them (which made the Dr. smile to himself) Cause he knew they were not real.

I have never been sick in my life and I never take medication. Am I just lucky NO. I refuse to be sick. Because as far back as I can remember when I was sick it was the worst thing I had ever experienced. So I simply will not allow the belief that I am sick come into play in my mind, and there for I am never sick.

If you were to tell yourself every time the desire to use coke arose. That it wasnt in control you are, that you dont need it, and dont want it. Faithfully and mean it. You will not use. Now you cant focus on the down side of using either because then that will lead to your other problems. Please try to use the power within yourself just try it. THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING!!! Good Luck
They say I'm CRAZY. Were all a little crazy, flipped, off our rocker, so to speak. RIGHT?
It just depends on how we react to things. I don't react to things very well obviously!!

Last edited by OUTTAMYMIND; 22nd July 2007 at 6:21 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 22nd July 2007, 8:49 PM   #5
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summoning up past mojo [positive vibes]

"If you were to tell yourself every time the desire to use coke arose. That it wasnt in control you are, that you dont need it, and dont want it. Faithfully and mean it. You will not use. Now you cant focus on the down side of using either because then that will lead to your other problems. Please try to use the power within yourself just try it. THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING!!! Good Luck"

thanks outtamymindsssss! i do use positive thinking and i have not used for over 6 months now. just so u understand where the draw/pull of my addiction stems from, i used it as a means of self-punishment. i have never 'liked' cocaine. i became addicted while suffering from a severe depression and i used it to self-medicate. you make horrible judgement decisions when you are depressed. so, while i used to regain strength, i was faced with the fact that using was a 'dealbreaker' for both of us in the relationship. so, i ended up trapped in a viscious cycle of self-pity, shame and guilt, i lost my abilty to make proper decisions, my self-worth/self-esteem/confidence went in the tank and i ended up self-sabotaging myself and the relationship because i had never learned the right way to deal with a crisis. i went from being an honest, trusting man, to a lying cocaine addict in under two weeks of using and i have had to totally redefine who i am a person and rebuild my life from the ground floor up. but, there has been huge positives in this. i now understand the importance of a healthy life, i can see the huge changes in how i react to the hassles life tosses at us, i know that i have changed for the better, i can summon up past mojo with ease and i can see a future that is filled with promise and happiness.

thanks for your post. stay kewl and take care.
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