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Some of My Story.....

Old 11-28-2010, 10:51 AM
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Some of My Story.....

This post may be a bit fragmented, but Iím trying not to make it a ďbookĒ. Just sort of venting and letting people know where Iím at.

Iím 34 and I have drank and partied for most of the last 20 years. Over the years, alcohol and weed were my main 2 vices, although more recently weed was not something I really liked anymore. Iíve also struggled with depression for the same amount of time and I believe this is the root cause for my drug and alcohol issues.

Also recently, I started using vicodin on a daily basis. This was one of the deciding factors in my seeking to get treatment. I didnít want to become hooked on pills. The real reason for seeking help is that depression hit me really hard about a month ago, and I knew that alcohol and vicodin werenít helping matters at all.

I already had to go and do a D&A assessment for my upcoming court case, so I got to looking online at the place where I needed to go do the assessment. I saw that that they had a program for co-occurring disorders and thought that I might be able to get the help I needed. This started more stress than I was already under.

I went for the assessment and told them I wanted to go into residential treatment and started the paperwork to get in the next day. I went home did laundry, took care of some other things that I needed to do before ďgoing awayĒ and packed my bags, the whole time wondering if this was the right choice. I didnít sleep much that night and was up early the next day. During my appointment with my case worker, I had to answer the same questions I had answered twice already the day before. (does this place communicate with each other?) After answering all the questions, I find out I donít qualify for funding to get into residential. Long story short, Iím in Ēintensive outpatientĒ, which is group sessions, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. I am working on getting state medical now which will cover whatever treatment I need to get.

Iíve only done 2 days of group so far, but itís really messed me up for the rest of the day on those days to where I canít do anything else once I get home.(even sleep) This has got me considering whether or not this place is truly going to help or just make things worse. I have been better over the weekend without it and Iím dreading going back tomorrow. I am going to go however and wait till Tuesday and Wednesday when I have appointments with my counselor and case workers.

Past history:

I quit for 5 years, the relapsed 1 Ĺ years ago. I didnít have a problem abstaining then and I donít crave it now. I donít feel Iím truly addicted to anything except for nicotine. The first couple of years I was highly spiritual and I donít remember ever having felt better in my life. I wanted to go to church, but nobody close to me did, so I slowly drifted away from being spiritual. However, there were people close to me that were in AA and I did go to the rooms for a few months. This didnít last long because all I heard was that AA was the ONLY way to stay sober. This and a couple other experiences quickly drove me away from AA.

I constantly heard gossip about this guy and that guy not doing this or doing that. I saw guy with a heroin addiction get told his problems werenít the same as an alcoholics problems and he had no right to be in an AA meeting. (this was from someone with a year or more sober.)

The final thing that drove me away from the rooms came at an AA meeting where there was a guy trying to kick being addicted to heroin. This guy was there with his girlfriend/wife and if I recall correctly, they brought their kid with them. He shared his story or struggle. Later on an alcoholic with some time in the rooms basically attacked the guy trying to kick heroin saying that he didnít belong there and that his problems were not the same as the rest of the group. I was beside myself when I heard this, but I bit my tongue.

I feel the reason I tripped up after 5 years was a failure to work on the root of my problems and that is depression. I have been struggling on and off with depression for the majority of my life. Iím sure that working on the steps, had I been able to ďget along) in AA would have helped this, but I also know that I need more help than just the steps are going to provide.

Anyway, I'm in pretty good spirits now which is why I took the time to write this post.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:46 PM
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Welcome to SR profwebs

If a major factor is depression, are you seeing a dr/counsellor? I think it's important to treat all aspects, all factors.

From my experience working on the underlying factors alone is not enough though - I may have started drinking for many and various reasons but I definitely became an alcoholic, so I encourage you to keep working on your alcohol/addiction problems too.

I'm not familiar with either IOP (or AA) but I think anything new can take a while to 'fit'...I hope you'll stick it your current treatment until you can make a considered decision.

D

Last edited by Dee74; 11-28-2010 at 02:01 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:58 PM
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Welcome to SR, and congrats on committing to a program to get sober and stay sober!

I relate to your struggle with drinking and depression, because I too have struggled with both. Personally, I found that therapy didn't really help because just talking about my problems doesn't get to the root of them, which for me is a brain chemical issue that only my doctor can treat. I see my doctor for that, and AA helps me develop new coping skills to handle life in more healthy ways that I know how to do. For me, the 12 steps work. There are things I disagree with at meetings, and I would have had an issue with what you talked about with the heroin addict as well. However, I look for the positives that I can relate to and try to blow off the rest. I try to remember that the people in AA meetings are sick people like me and that just because they aren't perfect doesn't mean I can't use the tools of the program to stay sober. So far that is worked for me because it helped me find a higher power, and really recovery is between me and my HP, not between me and other AA members.

That all being said....you say you don't think you are addicted to anything.....so if you get sober/clean are you going to stay that way? Because for me I had to admit that I can't drink, can't use drugs because I am powerless over them. Once I start there is no telling when are if I will stop, so I can't start at all. Are you at that point? Or are you looking to deal with your depression and then be able to drink? Just curious...
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:08 PM
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Hey Profwebs,

Kudos for taking the initiative to look for recovery plans.

With the outpatient, AA or just about anything, Dee is right that it might take a bit of time to adjust to the feel of things. It took me several months of going to AA before I really decided I'd try it, and my co-occurring therapy was also a process.

When dealing with people in recovery (alcoholics are mostly crazy) and bureaucracies of a state health system there is bound to be some aggravation that simply must be accepted or ignored. Keep a focus on the positive things.

And I think working on the depression is very much the way to go. I know I probably wouldn't be doing half as well as I am in sobriety if I'd left my mental health issues unchecked.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:19 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

If a major factor is depression, are you seeing a dr/counsellor?
Working on that too. I will get an appointment with the psychiatrist at the treatment facility, but that's not going to happen within a couple of weeks, so no meds yet. If I get medical this week, I will probably seek out an appointment on my own.

That all being said....you say you don't think you are addicted to anything.....so if you get sober/clean are you going to stay that way?
When I decided to go out for a few beers with a friend a year and a half ago, I knew what choice I was making, I just didn't care. Up until that point, I kept myself away from alcohol completely, because I knew it was in my best interests. I was just miserable at the time which influenced my decision. So I guess the answer to your question is yes, if I get help with depression then yes, I can stay sober without AA. Not saying I'd be doing that completely on my own.

With the outpatient, AA or just about anything, Dee is right that it might take a bit of time to adjust to the feel of things. It took me several months of going to AA before I really decided I'd try it, and my co-occurring therapy was also a process.
I'm not sure why, but I almost feel like I'm going to have a panic attack and I have been in "groups" before. I guess I also don't really want to share certain things with a group of people I don't know.

When dealing with people in recovery (alcoholics are mostly crazy) and bureaucracies of a state health system there is bound to be some aggravation that simply must be accepted or ignored. Keep a focus on the positive things.
Yeah you are right on both accounts, I do just need to remind myself of both and try to find some positives each day.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:54 PM
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I believe this is the root cause for my drug and alcohol issues.
Seems logical to me, course I'm you in much of your story ~ All through my high school years I knew internally that something was "wrong" with me; early 80's, at least where I come from, was not the decade for lay persons understanding mental disorders; in fact , like "alcoholism", both diseases were whispered, cautiously..........Attempting college right out of high school, in light of my undiagnosed depression was a pure waste of my father's money. Though I was the "reference person" who knew which bars offered which specials on a given night, and it didn't take too much to convince me to go night after night after night. That's the cool thing about college; there are so many people that invariably someone does not have to study and you get to go out with an assortment of people.........kids and a so-called marriage put a stop to the drinking, but that slumbering beast was only waiting for me to get my game on again; the divorce was the perfect reason. The last ten years have been hit or miss; I did put five years together though, like yourself.
Oh, while in counseling during the divorce process (custody issues wer brutal in court) I was FINALLY diagnosed with depression. I began taking a combined "cocktail", as the Psych doc called it, of two different meds and after about ten days, I was like, SO THIS IS HOW NORMAL PEOPLE FEEL ~ I'll never forget it, and my clinical depression has been controlled ever since; Sorry, I tend to ramble, did not intend to write all that out - what I really wanted to say, lol, was I so hope you do see that Psych doc and work patiently with him/her until you get the proper meds. We're funny about our brains ~ we don't hesitate to get on meds promptly when it is our heart, the ol brain though, not so much. And they're both organs with their respective diseases.... tc and keep at it a day at a time - we're all a work in progress
~d
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