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On the verge of dropping out of college.

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Lex, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Lex

    Lex Member

    18. Male.
    Come Tuesday, I might go to the office and ask for the papers to drop out. I'm stuck in a deep hole, and I don't see a way out. I'm a band sponsored student, meaning I have coverage from a First Nations band. College is free to me. And I feel as though I'm wasting away this opportunity. I was accepted because of my marks, portfolio, and an essay I wrote to gain entrance, but I just don't feel motivated at all. I'm struggling with MDD, GAD, OCD, and C-PTSD (from being abused physically, verbally, and emotionally from infancy until my early teens, when my abuser left saying they could never be happy with me in their life).

    I turned to drugs, including alcohol, to self-medicate, and to escape. If I got pissed off, I'd take drugs, drink, and leave the house. If I was in a depressive episode, I'd turn to drugs that would lift my mood. But then this would cause my anxiety to spike, leaving me in a state of panic and sometimes even severe panic attacks that would last throughout the night. To deal with the excess energy and the panic, I'd often just leave the house (when I was staying with relatives that I hated) and end up getting myself into trouble. Public intoxication. Vandalism. Trespassing. Going out with my friends, no one would know where I was, and just looking for a thrill. An adrenaline rush to escape.

    I'm stuck in a cycle of taking uppers to get through the day and to give me a mood boost, and then taking downers to come back down, and if necessary, to take me out of the panicked headspace I'm in. I can't stop. I say I will, but I keep doing it. Sometimes, it's even the opposite. Take downers all day to get through the stress, and dissociate, and then take uppers to stay up all night and finish assignments. Uppers. Downers. Repeat. Stims. Benzos. Repeat. Speeding. Almost passing out. Repeat.

    I mix substances.

    I feel like this is all too much for me to deal with. On top of dealing with mental illness, and a potential substance abuse problem, I'm dealing with the stress of college, and a very negative "support" system, and abusive family that spreads false rumours about me.

    People have joked about me seeming like I'm on amphetamine. I never tell them that I don't just "seem" like it.

    It makes me feel as though I've failed myself, in a very profound and significant way. I need a way out. I have no way of going to a psychiatrist or therapist right now, which is messing me up even more. The college councillor is an option, but then again, I'm kind of planning to drop out.

    I try to get clean, but it doesn't work out. Something always pulls me back into using. I don't know if I could say I'm a full-blown "addict" at this point, but I think it might be getting to that point.

    I just need some support from somewhere, even if it's an online forum. I can't get any from the people in my life.

    Any advice, or experiences, or even a message from someone who relates in any way whatsoever, is extremely appreciated.

    Thanks to whoever read this much. I'm in a bit of a crisis.
    cheffy and Dominica like this.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lex... Welcome to the community and thank you for sharing your situation with us. I'm so sorry to hear about the struggles you're going through, but I'm glad you found us and reached out. I think you've taken the courageous first step toward improving your life.

    You say you have no way of seeing a therapist or psychiatrist right now. Is that because of financial reasons? If so, you could try seeing if there's a local community health center in your area. They can usually provide low-cost or free help for people on a limited budget. There are also some other things you could try, a lot of which are outlined in this article:

    9 Ways to Find Low-Cost and Free Mental Health Services

    I also think seeing the school counselor would be a good thing. Even if you end up dropping out, they may be able to help you in the meantime, or refer you to another place that could help you. It's definitely worth a shot.

    If you have the financial means, seeing an addiction specialist might be a great thing for you, too. They can assess your situation and recommend the best next steps for you. If that's not an option, though, you could try going to NA, AA, or SMART Recovery meetings. There's a lot of support and comfort to be found at those meetings, from people who have a lot of experience with substance use/abuse.

    Let me make one thing perfectly clear: You have NOT failed yourself. You've been through a lot and you've tried to escape the negative experiences you've had by self-medicating. You are not a bad person; you've just been dealt a difficult situation. But I want you to know that you can find your way out of this tough spot and find a better way of life for yourself.

    For what it's worth, I actually think that leaving school in order to get your physical and mental health in order might not be a bad idea. Your well-being is the most important thing, for sure. You can always go back to college when you're feeling more up to it.

    One last thing... Do you live in the United States? If so, there are possible options for low-cost or no-cost treatment for your drug problem. Let me know, okay? If you're in the U.S., I can give you information on where you might be able to find that assistance.

    You can get better, my friend. I know you can. And we will help you on your journey if you'd like. You can ask us for help or advice, or just come here to talk or vent. That's what we're here for. And we truly care.

    I'm sending you lots of positive energy, hope, and encouragement. I know you feel like you're in a no-win situation, but that's not true. You CAN overcome this!!
  3. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @Lex hello and welcome. so sorry you're struggling so much... and about the abuse you had to endure. no wonder you turned to drugs to try to cope with things that should have never happened to you! however, now you know that drugs only suck you further down... and i'm glad you want to change things around.

    however you can do it, seek professional therapy. it's a deal with the trauma and the addiction... and it might take a while to really see significant changes, but it's necessary. check out the resources dean gave you too. start with your college counselor... should be free, and they may be able to refer you elsewhere to continue should you drop out.

    and keep coming here. we'll be here for you. i know you probably feel pretty alone...and that does stink, but we promise to be here and root you on, no matter what.
    cheffy and Joshstillclean like this.
  4. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    Hi. I'm josh, a recovering heroin as addict(among other substances).
    I can honestly say like you did, pretty much get up to get going to get down to do it all over again.
    I dropped out of college for a period when I was 22 after I got divorced.
    I went back,before oh should have. I paid a hella price for not taking my mental health seriously.
    One day I was so hungover I did a bunch of coke to make it to class. I knew I had a headache coming and a bad crash so during testing I popped a couple oxy 80's. (Before I started to snort them I think, not really sure).
    I woke up with my head on the desk and an empty room. I had drooled all over my test. My instructor was s there and he said that he knew I knew the test and first thing he told me was that I was to not come back anymore. He was going to pass me anyway.
    He wanted me to get help. He said when I "fell asleep" he wasn't surprised. What surprised him was how long I stayed awake after taking these...and then he pulled the bottle o of us out his pocket. He had gotten them out of my backpack.
    He referred me to the counselor. Gave me back my oxy because he knew i was dependant. He said I,wasn't very suttlle at popping them(or selling them) in class.
    He said he had a problem with heroin when he dropped a flywheel on his foot and broke it. That's why he taught then instead of actually being a mechanic. He hooked me up with the number to the methadone clinic.
    I should have listened. Please take this advice. Here I am a decade later and I can say i have a year clean. Don't be me. Be better. You can be.
    cheffy and deanokat like this.
  5. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    I really want to respond,like so bad because I understand the pain described here but I will wait to see if the individual returns as I've learned many post and never come back and I want to post a HEART felt message but I don't want my own emotions to spike on someone who may never return I've found out that spiking my emotions for people who don't return really does take a toll on me and I can't respond without my heart...i just can't so I pray this individual returns
    deanokat, cheffy and Joshstillclean like this.
  6. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    Thats kinda how I'm feeling about @cmt right now. But I left for a mabey everything is ok with her.
    Just wish people wouldn't post and then say I'm at the end of my rope help...and the silence....
    Because I've started to take time to feel for these people. Like you guys did for me I'm sure. And then what where are they? It reminds me of the 911 call movie with hallow berry where she couldn't stand it and she ended up saving the girl herself.
    Good movie. Super tense. But awsome.
    deanokat, cheffy and True concern like this.
  7. cheffy

    cheffy Community Champion

    Hi Lex -
    I went through a very similar thing during my second year in college. I quit during the second semester because I was doing a lot of drugs (which was the most important thing to me at the time) and I just didn't know up from down in my life. I moved back in with my parents and got a job - midnight shift - sitting by a huge plastic injection mold machine making sure the parts that came out were OK. 8 hours a night, 5 nights per week. That's all it took. I realized that drugs or no drugs, I didn't want to be sitting by a machine like that for the rest of my life. Drugs and alcohol were still a major part of my life and would be for a long time to come, but my values changed quite a bit. I went back to school for the summer semester and ended up with a math degree that has taken me to a lot of cool places.

    When you say you try to get clean but something always pulls you back - that, to me, sounds like the addiction. I'm not so sure there's a thing that would be called 'full blown addiction'. I'm fairly clean these days but I will always be an addict. So it's more like something you just need to manage. I know it's hard but over time you learn to manage it and meet it halfway or whatever. The solution to that is something that's yours - maybe with help, but it's still all yours. One thing that's helped me is to drop my dose of whatever, just by a little bit, maybe even one less beer a night, just so I feel some success without having to go through the whole quitting routine and feeling like a failure.

    You sound like a really intelligent guy and it sounds like you don't take anything for granted. It sounds like you're searching for some answers which is a really important thing to be doing. If you quit school, what will the difference end up being? Will you still be doing the daily drug thing but just in a different place/situation? Or will it change your life to the point that you will 'start life over' and be more content? If you quit school, will you be able to go back under that same sponsorship? That, to me, would be pretty important if you plan to go back. College is very expensive these days.

    Hopefully this will help just knowing there is another person that's gone through what you're going through. Don't hesitate to talk some more and/or ask more questions. The people on this sight are just great and have a lot of knowledge for you to tap into.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Thanks for sharing, @cheffy. I hope @Lex sees your post and comes back to give us an update.
    cheffy and Joshstillclean like this.