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complex issues, simple problem (addiction)

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by joe p, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. joe p

    joe p Member

    @Dominica - I received the treatment in July of this year so about 3.5 months ago. It's still a fairly common occurrence. The procedure itself it not painful as the patient is anesthetized / knocked out but it does cause big headaches/migraines in some folks.

    I have read several of your blog posts and found some good inspiration there - thank you. I'll have to read up on neuroplasticity.

    @True concern - thank you for the encouragement and feedback on your own medical experiences. I believe the suicidal thoughts I've had have either been a product of my medications or intensified by my medications. Since I've been on psychiatric medications I've had all sorts of new mental issues come up. I only recently started reading and learning and not blindly trusting the "doctors" - mostly because my treatment plan is just not working well. I'm sad to admit that for too long I just ignorantly listened and accepted what I was offered without being informed.

    The lunesta works most times but sometimes it doesn't. It just depends on if I've had a rough day. Of the stuff I take, I think the ritalin will be the "easiest" to drop so I'm going to talk to the doc about doing it responsibly / supervised.

    @deanokat - Your son made a good decision. I made my decision out of desperation and blindly (only taking the advice of my psychiatric providers). They said they were "worried" about me. Granted, they're just offering the best they think they have. Also, many of my PTSD issues affect my judgement so therefore the bad decision to take ECT. The irony is that now my decision making ability is even more compromised. I encourage anyone thinking about it to do the research and if they're not capable then ask a loved one or friend. Either way, anyone considering this treatment should make a fully informed decision.

    As a side note, my wife drove me to 2 treatments and then someone else had to. She couldn't take seeing me in the state that I was in after coming out of it. A person who has just received ECT is unspeakably pitiful - especially someone viewed a strong leader/husband/dad.

    For any who are interested, here's where I found some good info on ECT.

    I appreciate all the encouragement. I will not drink today.
    True concern, Dominica and deanokat like this.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    One day at a time, @joe p. Or even one hour or minute at a time. Whatever keeps you on the right path.
    True concern and joe p like this.
  3. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @joe p thanks for clarifying that... bless your heart!!!!

    yes, for today you are NOT picking up, no matter what!! just think how good it'll be to lay your head down tonight sober.... another day sober! woohoo!
    True concern, joe p and deanokat like this.
  4. joe p

    joe p Member

    Bad day today. Depression. Wish I could drink. On days like these, the only thing I look forward to is when my struggle in this life will be finished.

    I'm safe/not a danger to self and not drinking.
  5. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @joe p hey there. i'm sorry you're struggling. depression is something, for sure. anything trigger this feeling? or just something that comes at times? i do understand b/c i struggle with depression too at times. not fun.

    i'd say remind yourself as often as you need that drinking won't solve a thing. will actually make you sink further. sure, that moment of dopamine release when you drink that first few sips... but that's it. from there, you're always chasing that right? and then you end up feeling awful about yourself...and starting over. ugh.

    so, "play the tape through" on the drinking thing. and regarding the depression, try to do something to nurture yourself today...practice self-care and self-love. even if it's just one thing you can do to be kind to yourself...or do one thing that might bring you a few moments of joy.

    and definitely come lean on us anytime! we're here!
    True concern, deanokat and joe p like this.
  6. joe p

    joe p Member

    @Dominica thank you for the encouragement. I am glad that I found this forum and appreciate the kindness. I'm also thankful for not being judged.

    I have a meeting with both my therapists today (addiction and PTSD) but am not feeling up to putting in "the work". I'm going to make myself take a shower and get dressed. Daily hygiene is always my "first step" on days like this.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  7. joe p

    joe p Member

    @Dominica also, I'm not sure if there is a trigger. I mostly notice it in the AM. Perhaps because that's when I take my medication and the previous dose has worn off but the next dose has not yet come on board? Not really sure.
  8. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @joe p it could be about the medication wear off.... but not sure. depression is a real thing, and well, mornings can be tough... glad you are going to therapy...that can help! change takes time. love yourself where you are (we do!)... on the way to where you're going...

    you know what helps me when i'm depressed and can't just snap out of it? i turn on motivational youtube videos... (search "motivational video" on youtube ) and try to watch or listen to several a day. i also make myself get out for a walk in nature. both very therapeutic for me. when you wake up, throw on a youtube video...see if it motivates you. i also use music too... but that's me.

    you can see what might help you... start putting tools in your tool belt for getting out of that depression step by step...

    joe p and deanokat like this.
  9. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @joe p... As someone who struggles with depression, I can relate to what you're feeling. I'm proud of you for not drinking. Remember: Alcohol is a depressant, so any short-term "fix" you feel from drinking will likely be followed by worse depression. And the alcohol will mess with your antidepressants, too. So drinking is not the answer.

    Make yourself go to therapy. And try your best to do the work. But don't be too hard on yourself, either. Like @Dominica said, "Love yourself where you are" (love that!). Take things an hour or minute at a time if you have to. Whatever helps keep you moving forward, even if it's slowly. This isn't a race.

    I hope your day improves, my friend. We are here for you always. And we care.
    joe p likes this.
  10. joe p

    joe p Member

    @Dominica & @deanokat

    Thank you. It is a miracle that I didn't drink yesterday, but I did reflect on what you both wrote. Your words helped me to NOT stop by the store and get a fifth.

    I met with my therapist, substance abuse counselor and psychiatrist yesterday. Very exhausting and I didn't want to but I forced myself to go. My substance abuse counselor finished the initial intake and said I have "alcohol use disorder, severe". My psychiatrist offered me medication to help with the cravings and I accepted the prescription but haven't filled it yet. It's called naltrexone.

    I did watch a couple of motivational youtube videos/songs:

    PTSD combined with traumatic brain damage is a funny thing. My last tour I firmly believed that I wouldn't come home because I'd be killed in action. I recognized this as a delusion but still believed it. I never thought I'd have to deal with all this stuff but here I am, 5 years later, and still dealing with it.

    In any case, today is not great but better than yesterday. I appreciate you my friends.
    deanokat likes this.
  11. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @joe p good morning! i'm so glad you didn't drink yesterday! helps you feel better today!!

    and great about meeting with your support system. how awesome is it that you are being so proactive!!! that takes courage, my friend.... you're doing this!!

    i'm so glad you came home from that tour! it's challenging, but this pain you feel... God can heal it..and you'll have a scar, but that scar can remind you of what you've BEEN THROUGH. what God brings you through.

    "the wound is the place where the LIGHT enters." Rumi

    i am not an expert in PTSD... i cannot imagine... but i know there is hope...and healing is a process. AND, i know from having a partner who has PTSD... some of the pain may remain at a deeper level for many years or maybe even longer...but despite the pain, we go on. we rise. we do the best we can with it, each day.... and to the degree we can, we use our victories to help others.

    you're not alone. we are here!! and you're creating community for yourself. that will help!

    try the naltrexone... i've heard good things about it.

    i love the songs you posted, especially the first one. i love christian music, especially worship music by Hillsong and Hillsong United. just plain good, encouraging stuff!! if you find more, feel free to share!!

    so, today... my hope and prayer is that you feel better than you did yesterday, that you refuse to pick up a drink, that you feel God's love and grace a bit more, that you see yourself through God's eyes more, that you feel hope...and that you feel our love and concern for you and your well being!!

    True concern, deanokat and joe p like this.
  12. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @joe p... You are very welcome, my brother. That's why we're here: to help and support people who need it. So feel free to come back and take advantage of us anytime you'd like.

    I'm proud of you for not drinking. I'm proud of you for meeting with your therapist, substance abuse counselor, and psychiatrist yesterday, even though you didn't want to. Most of all, I'm just proud of you in general.

    You can defeat the demons you're fighting. I know you can.

    For what it's worth, naltrexone has helped a lot of people. This article might help you understand the drug, how it works, etc.:

    Using Naltrexone to Treat Opioid and Alcohol Addiction

    You're working hard at getting better. That's huge. Keep doing that, okay? And use us for support as much as you want. We're all behind you 100 percent.

    Have a great day.
    True concern likes this.
  13. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @joe p hey there! how are you doing? just thinking about you and hoping you are doing alright. Let us know how things are going when you get a chance. We are here!
    joe p and True concern like this.
  14. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Check in with us when you have a spare minute or two, @joe p. We've got your back, brother!
    joe p likes this.
  15. joe p

    joe p Member

    Hello Dear Friends,

    Sorry for the long delay in posting as we're moving due to military retirement (22 years, 11 months and 18 days active, 12 months in Iraq (Baghdad/Sadr City), 21 months combined in 2 Afghanistan tours (Bagram 12 months and Wardak Province for 9). We had about 80 wounded per tour, 1 killed in Iraq, and lost 7 in each Afghanistan tour. Many, many catastrophic wounds for our guys, enemy, and civilians too (including little ones, boys, girls, women).

    I've had some tough days and slipped but I am not ashamed, just more determined. I did complete my addiction counseling plan and will get help through the VA in our next stop. I hope to do some healing through the garden and raising animals.

    I haven't posted here in a while but I've thought about you all... fighting the daily fight, staying alive, succumbing to depression at times but still here.

    As I reflect on my career, all I've known as an adult (only 18 years as a civilian) I suppose I'm a bit nostalgic. All my brothers who I looked forward to spending more time with have passed, as has my mom. My mind has been wrecked through my service as well as psychological medications and treatments. I'm not the happy go lucky Marine staff sergeant that I once was before the war. That man has left, but I'm still here.

    In any case, I found these inspirational videos and have been reflecting on them. The first is a bit long. I will not drink today.

    Short notes:
    Don’t take the presence of the storm to indicate the absence of God sometimes. When you enter into a storm and there are all kinds of storms,health storms,physical storms,financial storms, emotional storms there are all kids of storms.

    I’m not talking about the storms that drain down water and the lightning and the Thunder and all of that I’m talking about storms that other people can’t see undetectable storms...

    ...When you go into a viable storm somebody will hand you an umbrella or a raft or or some help for some assistance because they are aware o your suffering but when you go into a secret storm. There is no conflict there because nobody knows that you’re dealing with a secret storm

    We have a tendency to wonder where is God. Job said I looked for him he was there a minute ago but now. I can’t find I looked on the right side and I couldn’t find him. I looked on the left side and I proceeded dear mom where is God in the store because we buy into this notion that if God was with us we would have no store that if God were really with us we would be happy. That if God were really with us everything would go smoothly. Really on our side. If God were really with us our meals would be paid how could God be with us how could God. We have cancer how I can’t figure out how could my kid die and God be with me. How could my house be on fire and God be with me.

    I looked for him. I looked for him. I didn’t see him. I didn’t see him. I looked on the right. I didn’t see him. I looked behind me. I didn’t he said you had my back. I didn’t see him. I looked in front of me. I thought he’d lead the way. I didn’t see him but you cannot see in a storm that’s why he told you to walk by faith and hot by sight... God will not make you comfortable in your storm but just because you are in the presence of the storm the storm does not negate the presence of God...

    I thank you all again for caring, listening, offering wise counsel, and not judging me. I am and always will be an addict, but I am in recovery.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
    deanokat likes this.
  16. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @joe p

    Hey there! Thank you for the update! Congratulations on your retirement and thank you so much for your dedicated service throughout your life! I'm super super glad to hear that you are determined and that you've completed your counseling plan. It does sound like you have a great plan moving forward and I believe you're going to be all right. I think gardening and raising animals is a wonderful way to heal, and I'm proud of you for the choices that you're making these days.

    Thank you for sharing the videos. I enjoy listening to the motivational videos and I also love that song fear is a liar. Makes me cry every time I hear it.

    Onward with your recovery and showing up in the world the best that you can. Know that we're always here for you to lend an ear and encourage you
    deanokat likes this.
  17. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @joe p... Thanks for checking in with us and I hope your move goes smoothly. Gardening and raising/taking care of animals are awesome zen things to do. I'm sure they will help you heal.

    Don't let your slip-ups get you down. Progress, not perfection.

    I'm rally glad to hear that you completed your addiction counseling plan. Good for you! Keep taking good care of yourself, and take advantage of the VA for help.

    Thanks again for your service, and thanks for being a part of our community.

    P.S. Those videos you shared were wonderful. :)