I can barely keep my head above water. I panic when I can’t breathe. I am teetering on this fence called Mental Illness. It is worsening. I can’t get my pain out of my head. I can’t stop screaming at myself and all those around me, especially my loved ones, who strangely make all of this worse despite their loving intentions to help.
I just don’t want to go on. I feel like wasted space, artlessly breathing air which could be more useful to someone else. I sound like a whining, spoiled baby. This I know. But I can’t help it. These thoughts are happening in my head and when I try and explain this to my family, I feel worse. I feel defeated and stuck because they do not understand.
Someone once said something simple yet impactful that I have never let go of…. “Inside the tomb of self.” I feel without a doubt that I am inside the tomb of self. I can’t see beyond what I am feeling. I can’t take a breathe without exhaling the discomfort of my existence. I hate the way this sounds, but only you will understand me. My PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, MDD, and Anxiety may never go away. I am okay with that.
It is my addiction that is killing me.
At this very moment, I am doing what all addicts do. I am mourning my obsessions. Yes, they kill me, but I need them. I have been on a mission to self destruct since the age of 14 when I endured the first of many suicide attempts. Although I want to get better and be healthy for my children, at the same time I cannot control the impulses I have to drink and take pills. I whittled my alcohol intake down to 3 beers last night. (after being fall down drunk playing football in the yard with my kids the night before). I had zero Vicodin yesterday. The only ‘feel good’ drug I have left is my Valium. And I don’t even feel the effects of those anymore unless I take 2 or 3 at a time.
My dilemma here is that I am not only struggling with myself, I am also fighting with my family. None of who understand addiction or mental illness. I feel so alone in this. My girlfriend is home after being away 3 months for work, during which time I almost killed myself and others by crashing my car into ditch, wiping out a couple of mailboxes. After the horribly failed field sobriety tests, being handcuffed and placed in the back of an SUV, the police let me go with a ticket and the charge of a Hit and Run. I am so lucky I didn’t get a DUI. I most certainly deserve one. I have a court date pending for the Hit and Run. I fled the scene after hitting the mailboxes because I needed to be home when kids got off the bus. I was driving drunk in a neighborhood where kids were getting out of school and off buses. One would think this was my wake up call. One would think I would quit drinking, at least quit drinking and driving. Wrong.
Now I have to explain to my kids when they see alcohol in the cart at the grocery store, that I do not intend to drive. “Mom, I thought you said you weren’t going to drink anymore?” I did say that. But I can’t stop. I don’t want to. But I wish I could.
I felt so frustrated parenting these kids alone while she was gone. I drank to feel better. This is why I feel so useless. I gave birth to these kids, but that’s about it. I am grumpy and just want to numb myself and lay in bed. What kind of a mother is that? I feel a disconnect. Not just with them, but with everyone and everything. My girlfriend started crying this morning. She said I scared her and that she doesn’t want me to leave her and the kids. Meaning she doesn’t want me to kill myself, intentional or not. I comforted her, but really felt no emotion. Inside my head was that reliable voice I always hear telling me I am not worthy of love and everyone would be better off without me.
Yesterday, at the grocery store. I wanted to buy some beer. My “emergency stash” was depleted. After the accident, I kept alcohol hidden around the house so I could drink and no one could see and judge me. I liken it to someone with an eating disorder (which I have as well, and yes I binge when no one is looking) who stashes food all around the house and eats in secret. I kept emergency beer in the garage, in the trunk of the car, in my drawers and under the bathroom sink. I never thought my alcoholism would come to this intense level of panic and desperation. I feel like a small child who has to ask permission to drink. Yes, I get a little out of hand at times. Often, once I start, I cannot stop. And like any addict, I think I can control it. But still, I didn’t like having to ask permission.
When we got home, it was 6 PM. It was way past my happy hour. All day with no pills and no alcohol. I was restless and shaking and bitchy. I had 3 beers over the course of the night. That’s way less than normal. I am happy this morning because I am not hungover, and I actually remember everything. I am at the point of blacking out and can rarely remember instances from the night before. I have to sit on the side of the bed upon waking and search my brain for shreds of memories. Sometimes I have to ask the kids what they had for dinner the night before.
Once again, you would think I wouldn’t want to drink anymore. Right now I don’t. In 4 hours, I’ll be jonesing. At least I have 3 beers left in the fridge. But then what? What about tomorrow? I have no emergency stash. And my Vicodin, if it’s refilled, she doesn’t want me to get. I just have to deal with back pain like she does everyday. Well, I don’t deal with pain the way the average person does, the way she does. The Vicodin not only helps my back pain, it helps my emotional pain. I swallow a pill and feel immediate relief. Relief from everything and everyone. I am able to go outside and play with the kids, when otherwise I would feel too depressed and be in bed. I already asked her if I could pick up the pills, take one, hand her the bottle, and give them to me on an ‘as needed’ basis. She doesn’t want me going through the withdrawals again. I don’t blame her. Opiate withdrawals are the worst kind. It is without a doubt the most uncomfortable feeling I have ever experienced. Childbirth is more bearable.
My addiction is telling me to lie. That little voice in my head is planning on going to the pharmacy without telling her. But she bases so much of our relationship on trust. I can’t get the Vicodin out of my head. What the hell am I supposed to do? My only option is to tell her I am going to get them and if she doesn’t like it, oh well. At least I am telling her and not hiding it. I feel like a fucking child. I hate this. I should be able to make my own choices. Even if they hurt everyone around me. That way they will all leave me alone to self destruct.
So why in the world do I want more? Because I don’t want to be uncomfortable!
That’s my life in a nutshell. Avoiding discomfort. The whole point of my therapy is to deal with my trauma head on, which I cannot do numb. See my dilemma? However, for normal people, this is not a dilemma. This is a “Well just stop” solution. A “Just say no” solution. If I could stop this craziness that makes me want to shoot myself, jump off bridges, and drive into oncoming traffic, I fucking would!
There is no easy solution for this. Not only do I have a mental Illness, I am chemically dependent. This is called “Co-occurring.” Two diagnoses. Two problems that keep me from enjoying my life. The challenge is understanding which came first. Which one causes the other to worsen. I know that I can do better and feel better. Is it just an excuse to say this isn’t my fault? I was born this way? I feel torn between taking no responsibility and taking steps to get better. It is so much easier to succumb to my every impulse, than to mold myself into a disciple.
I am so frustrated with life. Everything hurts. In every possible way. I am grateful for my kids and for my partner who for some reason wants to be with me for the rest of our lives. I feel like more a burden than a blessing. That’s all I can say right now.