401095 tn?1351391770

Recovery and Coping with depression and/or high stress

In late July I had a series of of stressful events that snowballed in a matter of 48 hours...loss of a job, a fiance, and family members...I went underground and couldnt even post here...i turned to alcohol and realized what I was doing..took a while but knew I was using my old coping mechanism called escape...didnt want to feel the pain ..dunno if I am chicken or what...I often wonder why I turned to substances to dull the pain..I have done great thru small stressors...but big ones never come often like that one...my divorce was probably the closest 17 yrs ago and I did not do drugs then but did drink heavily for a few years after/got a hold on it and toned it way down..it was much later that I began using pills...but I now realize both substances were used to escape..to AVOID pain
What really scared me was when my daughter went thru her divorce and did the same thing..she went into an alcohol binge..it made me think very hard about my choices...and made me wonder if I had set this example..it hurts to think I have not always been the best I could be..raising kids alone is not easy..this I know...I never even had an every other weekend dad...financially he was there as he is a millionaire..and both my kids work for him now..guess I dont feel as if I was the best mom on earth..but I know in my heart I know I did the best I could..but often think i shoulda done better

Has anyone else had similar experiences?  not just using different substances to escape the pain of stress and loss...but feeling that u use to avoid coping with the reality in front of u?
10 Responses
992117 tn?1281206055
I have absolutely had similar experiences.  Though I had used vicodin "recreationally" before my addiction, it was very infrequent.  Maybe one pill in a month or two.  In 2007 I had the hardest year of my life.  Here's the laundry list of crap that occured:  I was a newly-wed, and woke up to my husband having a seizure (never seen one before, and I literally thought he was going to die).  He was diagnosed with a "seizure disorder" and has to take medication for the rest of his life, though they never figured out why.  He wasn't allowed to drive for over a year, just in case he might have a seizure.  I was working 2 jobs and getting my post-grad, and I also became his driver.  He lost his job, and I became the sole wage earner.  The medical bills were 10K (even though we had insurance- what a joke!!!), and I was panicked about finances.  Then, two months later, a man that rented part of our house shot himself in the head while we were home.  I had the dubious honor of discovering his body, and still have PTSD.  My work would not let me have the night off (unbelievably insensitive a$$ hats), and I drove to my connection's house and picked up a ton of pills to "get through the night."  That is the exact day I started my wild ride with norco, and it was purely a way to escape.  So much bad stuff had happened in such a short amount of time, I didn't know how to cope.  I'm not making excuses- I completely accept responsibility for taking the "easy way out" with drugs.  I'm just saying that I have been there, and it is hard to re-learn how to cope in a healthy way.  When things get rough, I crave a pill to escape the reality.  Little did I know how it would backfire on me!  I understand why it's said that addicts are escape artists.  It's challenging to cope and stay clean, but I am so grateful that I am in recovery.
Avatar universal
Yes to it all. I like the escape artist remark. It is the intolerable situations and the expectations we put on ourselves that can just have us throwing out any clean time. It's funny though this time I found out that the drugs were really making the situation much worse. Good for me to keep that in mind.
992117 tn?1281206055
The drugs absolutely made things much worse!  How myopic was I to be spending tons of cash on pills off the street when I was stressed about my financial situation?!!!  I saw the irony and sadness in the situation, but I'd pop another pill and forget .  . .   I'm so glad that I hopped off of that hamster wheel . . .
401095 tn?1351391770
we use and then we r broke only adding to the pile of crud in front of us

I often think some have more "bad luck" than others in life..maybe not luck per say but seems some have a harder road to travel in life than others...Has been several events I have had to deal with that many never have had to deal with///Do we make our own luck?  perhaps..but I truly believe we do not always have a choice in where life leads us..it just happens

I too found my grandfather whom had shot his self in the head 2 days earlier....my family including my mom was devastated...she walked in and knew sumpin was wrong due to the stench...she had talked to him on Sunday and this was Tuesday..she called me cos she saw blood on the carpet outside his bedroom door..she called me and fortunately (or not) I was on jury duty that day instead of work and was not selected and was actually minutes from his house...I went there and he had shot himself in the head..he was x-military so he knew where to point the gun..the police came..interrogated all of us like we did it!..it was deemed a suicide and I cleaned up the mess..being a nurse I was naturally voted to be the the one who could stomach it

That was like 7 yrs ago...I dont even think about it and never did much cept for a few weeks..I was angry with him in a way...the guilt he left us with and my mom was devastated..I felt bad for not visiting him more often after my g-ma died

Not sure if it is good now that I think about it..I see death so much, I dont think I grasp it as others do or I would be depressed all the time as it is part of my job..but I realize now that past events in our lives have lots to do with our addiction..whether we actively think about it or not....it is still there..and I do believe in PTSD..things add up and we can only avoid dealing with them mentally for a while..life has a way of catching up with u...I never think about the stench and cleaning up that room/u posted it and I think back/it is still there in my memory...I wasnt even using then...but blocking out things like that that r painful is still a method of escape/even back then I guess I was escaping just without pills

I guess part of recovery is feeling the feelings we decided not to feel way back when...I guess even back then, I was using escape mechanisms even tho I was not using...refusing to let it enter my mind is not normal

good post
992117 tn?1281206055
Yeah, my husband and I got the same interrogation from the police.  My head was spinning after what I had witnessed, and it was just so confusing  . . . luckily he left a note and a will, so they figured it out quickly.  I admit that I still have anger issues about what he did.  I mean, this is my HOME!  I couldn't run away from the memories, and I kept hearing the gun shot in my imagination again and again . . .  I can't imagine having to clean up the mess.  We had to do a little bit (blood on the walls), but the majority of it was taken care of by the coroner and his family.  I don't think being a nurse prepares you in any way for doing that!  I'm so sorry you had to go through that.  I was in therapy for awhile, and it's not something I think of all the time anymore, but it still sneaks up on me.  I agree- it's not normal to suppress it constantly, but it's also not normal to dwell on it.  I have nightmares and flashbacks which make me one of those who dwell on it . . .  but I'm working on it.

BTW, thanks for your amazing work as a nurse!  I have a close friend who is an oncology nurse, and I have endless respect for you guys.  We need people like you, and you make the world a better place!
401095 tn?1351391770
I guess in my line of work..death is everywhere..so if I did dwell on it I would be depressed all the time.  A person does become hard to things I think...it takes alot to upset me..I rarely cry...I do not know if that is a good thing..dwelling a bit is healthy..staying in the place u r dwelling is not a good thing for me...I used to be a "dweller"   would re-think situations that happened over and over..what could I have done differently?  If I would have just got stopped at that light/if i had just called that day/if i had just stopped by earlier....hind site is 20/20..it is not fair to ourselves to look inot the past and try and judge our actions when we did not have the information we have now...all it does is beats us up...and fact is/we can not go back and change it..no matter how hard we want to change the past....we can not

I often think many addicts are a bit of a perfectionist...some of us/including me/somehow think we can FIX things that we can not fix...we have trouble even "fixing ourselves."  Taking on too much responsibility for others, I often wonder if when expectations are too high then we can not meet them..and then I feel lesser of a person because I can not meet them.  My parents were very religious/are still...My dad expected A's...he expected alot...he is a smart man and he has chilled with age...as I have too....I remember the first B I ever made was in highschool...made one B in college and graduate school combined. I was simply devastated if I got a B..a B is good...but I had been taught it was not good enuf...dunno..sometimes we look back and we see why we r the wway we r....i was an over acheiver...not so much anymore..at this point in life I am happy just to do a good job/i will always do that/and try and live life and enjoy it..taking some of the pressure off of me....marrying at 16 devastated my parents altho they grew to love my x..the divorce was devastating for me having never been alone and now with 2 children in the midst of nsg school.....financially my x has always been there...he is a millionaire...emotionally it was all mine...it was me and the kids...never spent a weekend with their dad..now they both work for him..will eventually run his company..and I often feel as if now I am the outsider.

anyway...too much expectation on myself just means i will fail at times...I can only do the best I can do...have reasonable expectations from life and of myself...and keep on going...day by day

992117 tn?1281206055
I experienced much of the same pressures/expectations in my childhood.  Just like you described, I'm a perfectionist (only got 1 B in college too!).  Yes, fixing things that we cannot is setting oneself up for failure . .  . It's like the serenity prayer:  The courage to fix the things you can, the serenity to accept the things you can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.
401095 tn?1351391770
The wisdome to know the difference seems to be the tough part!  LOL
Avatar universal
My parents always expected a lot from me too.  Or I perceived that they did.
401095 tn?1351391770
They say//at the meetings i go to this is a common theme among addicts..a need to excel...a need to be semi-perfect...a member of my group threw a question out there//do not remember how she worded it...but basically there were 10 of us there and everyone could say they had a need to "fix" things...a lil bit of a control issue but not really controlling other..just wanting our won evironment controlled...often a driving force to do "well" which leads to expectations we can not meet//hence an attitude of failure and we use...not true for all//some justy use to be stoned...and I think I( did this too....but also I do believe I did not trust my own decisions when i used...or perhaps before I used...even tho many of us a high acheivers, intelligent peeps. we still fall into this trap...i dont feel i am a loser cos of it..i used to and trying to not think that way bout myself anymore

Like a fear of being "weak" resides in me...taking pills excessively to me made me weak...I would think ",Most peeps dont have to use to go to work, so i must be defective or sumpin"  which made me feel bad about myself//a vicious cycle
You must join this user group in order to participate in this discussion.

You are reading content posted in the ADDICTION RECOVERY GROUP Group

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
The first signs of HIV may feel like the flu, with aches and a fever.
Frequency of HIV testing depends on your risk.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may help prevent HIV infection.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.