Thursday, March 29, 2012

Addiction and Alcoholism in the SCI 6

        I’ve been in 6 rehabs for alcohol addiction and been to more meetings than I can possibly count and I couldn’t stay sober for very long until my psychiatrist put me in what’s call a “dual diagnosis” center.

        A dual diagnosis facility helps you deal with not only your addiction but your psychological issues at the same time. When you are able to on work both problems simultaneously your chances of staying clean and sober are much better because if you are depressed, obsessive, compulsive, prone to anxiety or panic or in any way psychotic it is almost impossible to stay clean and sober even if you’re going to meetings and following the 12 steps. Some of us need medication and therapy.

        Now, it is true that some people in group at the meeting will protest and insist that you’re not REALLY clean because you take meds but there are more and more people who attend who are on some type of psychological treatment so you don’t have to feel self conscious.

        AA and NA work in several ways. First, it’s the fellowship of other alcoholics and addicts. For the first time in life your life, it feels you’re with people who truly understand you and your struggle. Most veteran members will go out of their way to try and make you feel welcome and comfortable. There are even members who will help you with transportation, a place to live or food to eat. No matter how low down your addiction got you there will be someone who has story worse than or just as bad as yours.         Here is one place you won’t judged, ridiculed or lectured. Some of the newcomers just like you may say some stupid or condescending things but they haven’t learned or practiced the principles of the program long enough to give the best advice. That’s why it’s a good idea to listen and stay close to veterans in the group. It’s also important to find a sponsor, someone who can guide and mentor you as you begin your journey into the steps. But that comes later.

        If you want to do some reading about either or both programs there two main books that are indispensible to learning all about the 12 step program, they are the AA Big Book and the NA Basic Text. These books not only explain the steps and principles in detail, but contain basic information about staying clean and sober, history of the program and stories submitted by real alcoholics and addicts. They are free at every meeting. Or I’m certain you could have one sent to by your local chapter.

(to be continued)  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Addiction and Alcoholism in the SCI 5

Even if you’re lucky enough to find a doctor, make up an imaginary and debilitating pain, you NEED to keep him so you wrack your brain trying to say only the right things. When the time comes, which it will, when you need an increase, you try to be delicate yet desperate.

         All of these things I’ve talked about give you a very poor quality of life and not at all good for your compromised health. It’s time to get some help right away. Call a rehabilitation center. If you have no insurance, you’ve got to get a meeting. You can choose either 12 step program, AA – Alcoholics Anonymous or NA – Narcotics Anonymous. If you’ve never heard of them or know very little about how they work, I’ve had extensive experience with both programs and can explain in detail how it works.

         For example, a 12 step program is just that. It is based on 12 consecutive steps designed not only to help you overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol but to teach you a brand new way of thinking and living. it would be a beneficial philosophy for anyone to live by. I must say it changed my life and way seeing the world around and inside me. I would recommend it to it to a person who never touched a drop of alcohol or smoked so much as one marijuana cigarette.

(to be continued)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Addiction and Alcoholism in the SCI 4

Not only do you keep lowering your standards, but you come up with reasons to convince yourself that this will be definitely, positively be the last time and your excuses are completely valid. You’re not thinking about the consequences or the things you’re doing to get your fix.

       These are the things that happen when that inevitable day comes when you use all medication before the next refill is due and you go through the hell of withdrawal. If you’ve never experienced it please let me explain. First, you get depressed because your brain is no longer getting the serotonin you’ve been artificially giving it and it has forgotten how to produce the chemical on it’s own. Then, you begin to feel nauseated, start to feel antsy, jittery and achy. Later on you really get sick, with hot and cold sweats, diarrhea, body aches and vomiting. You know if you had a pill or whatever you’d feel better but you’re too sick to go looking or you’re not at that point yet.

       Sooner or later though, the withdrawal will drive you to that decision to find something to stop the hell. Addiction sucks. As a victim of SCI, it’s not hard to find to another doctor or a pain center.  But you always have to watch how much you’re using ihv case the pain clinic wants you wants you to bring in your remainder of your pills.

(to be continued)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Addiction and Alcoholism in the SCI 3

I still fought off my disease for a few more years but I finally got and stayed sober. I haven’t had a drink since.

       After my injury, there was a lot of pain but I never abused my medication or went back to drinking. I had finally beat my addictive tendencies. I was lucky to have had insurance through my work. It made me glad to have the ability to pay with insurance I actually worked to get. But I had to take a second leave of absence and ultimately resign from my position as regional manager and go on disability.

       Many victims of SCI’s have excruciating pain and turn to alcohol or prescribed medications to help deal with the pain, depression, shock and grief of their of loss life as they knew it. Lots start innocently with a pain medication that they inevitably build a tolerance to over time and need more just to control the pain but find they enjoy the high. It helps them forget the horror their lives have now become and find ways and means of abusing the prescription. I’ve known some SCI victims who have turned to drinking instead, really putting their already compromised health further in danger. Not to mention putting their fragile emotional and psychological state at great risk for breakdown.

       This is one of reasons why I write my blog; to try and boost the self esteem, worth, image and confidence of the SCI. But once addicted an individual needs helps to stop. There is no is such thing as “will power” when it goes this far. The addict/alcoholic is CONVINCED he/she can quit on his/her own at any time and swears every time will be the last. No matter how much they take it’s never enough and soon they find themselves running out of their meds before their next refill or spending more money than they have in their budget and making every justification in the meantime. For some reason, it’s not hard to talk into yourself into using when you know you shouldn’t with excuses that sound perfectly reasonable at the time. Afterward you feel so guilty, weak, stupid and bad you just want to do the thing that makes you feel good. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to have no end.

       If you’re physically addicted, like I was to alcohol, you NEED to use or get physically sick. A hangover is alcohol withdrawal. That’s why people have “hair of dog of that bit me”, or a morning drink. I did this for many years. I always made CERTAIN I had booze for next day because I knew I’d be sick if I didn’t. I never thought I’d do this, I never thought I’d do a lot of things. That’s how addiction works; you slowly but surely one by one check off the things you thought you’d never do until there’s none left to lower yourself to and your self esteem is in the toilet.

(to be continued)