CAUTION: POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING
Since I have been in treatment I have been attending a relapse prevention group once a week and I also started to attended a faith based support group this week outside of treatment Called Celebrate Recovery. Most people that deal with mental illness deal with addiction issues as well. Myself personally it has been with me since I was in middle school when I first started drinking. People that already follow my blog as well as other social media accounts know I had a 7yr addiction to opiates that was the main cause of my failed marriage.
Today in my personal therapy session we have continued to looked at these addictive patterns with substance abuse that have followed my throughout life trying to answer why? Why have I used since such a young age? Why did I stop drinking on and off? Why did I get addicted opiates and pills during my marriage? What was I not getting that I was getting from these substances? I was also cutting at times that was somewhat of an addiction and a release. Why did I cut? We made the connection! I feel like sharing cause it may help others struggling with the same.
Anxiety and depression has followed me throughout my life since a young age as well as addiction. I am the youngest out of five and have always been somewhat of the black sheep of the family. I got bullied a lot throughout middle school very badly and was beat up a lot as well. Most of the time family didn’t believe my stories and I wasn’t getting the support at home I needed. When I was depressed I Isolated and later found alcohol. So this then led me to hang with the kids that drank and did drugs in middle school. BINGO!!!! I wasn’t finding the necessary support I needed at home for what was happening and for the anxiety/depression so I turned to alcohol. When I was in middle school and high school I never got into drugs, although that was the crowd I was hanging with, but I did drink alcohol. Sometimes when I drank I drank heavily to get drunk. I isolated when I was depressed and would cry a lot as well. I found comfort in music and found it as a major comfort. I had some friends but at times felt like no one understood me. I had numerous therapist because a lot of family conflict. I understand this now, finally. It makes perfect since as a lot of addicts and alcoholics use because they are covering up something or not getting something out of their personal life. I would cut for the same reason, for temporary relief of the support I wasn’t getting. I wouldn’t be focused on the sadness or anxiety. After I would cut, normally my arms, legs and thighs I would be in pain and no longer lost in my thoughts so I felt mental relief. These patterns have followed me throughout my whole life and at the age of 38 I have finally discovered why I have used since such a young age.
I got addicted to opiates even before the hernia surgery now after I look back. It really started when I was sick and was prescribed a narcotic cough syrup called hycodan. It was a cough syrup that had hydrocodone in it, the same thing as Vicodin. I remember it helped my cough but also took away all body pain as well as my emotional pain. One teaspoon every four hrs. turned into two. It felt so good. I wasn’t aware but this was drug seeking behavior and signs of addiction. I would have never thought at the time I was getting addicted to cough syrup. I was just taking more cause 1. I was numbing the same emotional pain that was following me throughout life and still felt no real emotional support 2. It felt good This continued and I was getting refills when I was no longer sick. Then my surgery came. After The hernia surgery this drug seeking behavior continued but I will blog more about that some other time.
Unfortunately I was already an addict half way into dating my ex wife and this continued until my daughter was about 6 months old when I finally got clean from opiate addiction. The reason I drank during my early teens and later teens was somewhat the same throughout my marriage. I wasn’t getting the support I needed. I understand my teens and childhood. I understand my failed marriage and have closure with it. The thing I still struggle with is my ex wife was my best friend. She was my best friend for ten years and this is the thing that still hurts and is hard to move on from. I was using during the marriage because I wasn’t getting what I needed out of it though. I remember she would be reading or on her phone and I would want to do something but she didn’t. So then I would get high on pills and do art or play video games. Then vice versa. She wouldn’t be doing anything and would want my attention but then I would already be high doing my thing. We never did enough “we time” or “date nights”. We never took enough time out for each other or really focused on our marriage like we should have. She might see it different but this is what I remember. It was a pattern of not being there for each other when we should have. She would watch TV a lot or be on her phone. I would be going through withdrawal and not want to do anything when she would. We belonged to a small group (church group) and when it would be time to go if I wasn’t high I didn’t go or had an excuse or was withdrawing. She normally always went but it hurt her cause I didn’t go. So by the time I was married I was a full blown addict and it controlled everything I did, but I also used it as an escape to cover up the attention and support I still wasn’t fully getting that I needed. But my ex wife understood me and was there for me more than anyone else had ever been in my whole life and she stuck with me as long as she could.
Bottom line is this: My addiction and addictive patterns are because I never got the emotional support I needed in my life. In treatment I finally and Its important I have that when I leave here. My support group through social networking helps and is once reason why I advocate for mental illness on Instagram. A lot of those friends help me daily and inspire me. They get it. But I do need it in my daily, physical life. For me the loss of my marriage is no longer hard, its the loss of my best friend for 10yrs that I still struggle with. But I am proud to say I have been clean from opiate addiction for close to 2.5yrs.
God bless. Stay Positive!
Jason aka @scoops777