Jan 04, 2014
Those who know me the best on here know that I have a habit of disappearing when I relapse and this time was no different. A lot of things stop when I relapse. I stop exercising, eating, socializing, cleaning, caring I usually taper off the website while I am using but eventually the guilt gets me and I withdraw from the website. This time was no different.
The main problem is that I am bipolar and I know that others like me suffer from the chemical imbalance that divides our life into two realities. Reality one is when we are up, we are up. Concentration, motivation, and ambition is high. This is where I generally operate (when not using). I can get more done in an hour than most can all day.
Reality two is dark and brutally painful. My observations about myself show that I heal slower, I eat more, (unless I am using), I self-harm, have a lot of suicidal thoughts and thus far 3 attempts. I have never believed this before but they say in AA that even those with grave mental illnesses can recover.
My recovery started in May 2011 which was when I was sent to treatment for the first time. Going in blind I only knew that I had a problem with addiction and my life had become unmanageable. I was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after entering treatment that I had developed due to my two deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. While I was coping with that and learning that a lot of it stemmed from my childhood I became manic and two weeks into treatment was diagnosed with bipolar. This slowed down my work on the PTSD because it didn’t hurt anymore since I was manic. When I was released from treatment in 2011 I made very little progress on myself and I was not prepared for the polar opposite of the mania….the deep depression. Once I fell into it I relapsed.
Fast forward and I enter treatment for the second time in August of 2012. I made it through the detox but was still stuck in depression for 3 weeks and two weeks in I tried to cut my wrist. Once I came out of the depression I started working on the PTSD and the addiction. I gained a lot of knowledge and closure on the PTSD and then started working on the bipolar. I made great strides on the mood stabilization due to the medicine and journaling. Before I was released I was told I was codependent. I didn’t know what that meant but it was more important than I gave it credit for. I was in a relationship before I even left treatment and when that ended (and it ended horribly) I found a new way of coping…. Cutting. Cutting led to relapse which landed me back in deep depression and I suffered again for over a year before I admitted to myself I didn’t stand a chance against life without help.
Fast forward to Dec 2013 and I enter treatment again. When I came out of the depression (which didn’t take long) I started working on codependency and everything started making more sense. Mental illness or not codependency is a big trigger for using and relapsing. I would say that most (but not all) addicts have issues with codependency. It is hard to understand the difference between being selfless and codependent. If there is a puddle in front of the curb and you lay your jacket down for a lady to walk on that may be selfless. If you lay down on the puddle for her to walk on you that is codependency. I have always felt guilty if I did better or had more than my friends and family. They got so used to me giving my all to them; not just financially but emotionally. I could be stuck in the worst depression of my life and will downplay my symptoms so I didn’t make someone else feel bad. I also had the habit of not allowing myself to be happy if someone else was down. If someone was brooding I would devote my entire day to either brooding with them or trying to make them feel better.
When I got out of treatment this time I bought myself a new vehicle because I deserved it. I started saying no a lot more and I learned how to budget my money. This is the first time since I retired that I had money left by the fourth of the month. I would usually spend it on pills or give it away. We are all important and we are all meant to shine as children do. I have a lot of disorders and addictions but I am not those things….. I am just Larry and I kind of like that guy