Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh hell. What do I know

Note to self:  If you say you are going to write about a particular topic, you may want to give it some thought before your morning coffee.

OK, mental illness and addiction, and dual diagnoses and no diagnoses and missed diagnoses and addiction suffered by those who do the diagnosing.....whew!

In no particular order, since it's 5:30am and I am still having coffee.

Have you ever tried to sponsor someone with schizophrenia?  I have, it's awful and damn near impossible.  A person suffering from schizophrenia has thoughts about God and/or a Higher Power like nobodies business.  I tried to get a catholic schizophrenic who was on and off her meds through the steps for two years and bless her heart is all I can say.

I've known people in the program who could not get results "fast" enough. They could not tolerate feeling better, they needed to feel "good".  Nothing wrong with feeling good, but it usually comes with practice and patience and the process.  An addict doesn't really care for practice, patience and the process.  So for some begins the journey into "feel better meds."  A little sompin' sompin' for the anxiety, the depression maybe, the general feeling of restlessness.  Then a little tweakin' of those meds.  Then a little obsession over the med tweaking and a search for the perfect meds and so on.  It is the wiring of an addict to seek ways to feel better.  It is damn near impossible at times to differentiate between an addicts wiring and a true need for meds.  After my first year of sponsoring women I learned that it is wrong wrong wrong to attempt to diagnose a fellow addict.  My experience with the steps is my only expertise.  I will sponsor any woman who is willing and I don't care if she is or is not taking any psych meds.  I stay on the path I know, they will either walk the path with me or not and I do not push or pull them.

Bringing me this morning to Sober daughter.
Age 6, caught her smoking in the bathtub while washing her baby dolls hair.  Age 7, the school called to tell me she was sniffing fingernail polish in the bathroom stall. Age 10, smoking pot.  Age 11 drinking vodka.  Self medicating the demons, shutting out the crazy head thoughts.  Self destruction.  Lots and lots of therapy, doctors, rehabs, lock downs, forced observations, heartache, frustration, anger.  Then at the age of 24 the program started to make sense to her, a road map finally, a compass if you will.  Can she work our beautiful program without meds?  No, unfortunately not. 

Me.  Beautiful childhood.  No genetic predisposition to alcoholism or addiction.  No pivotal moment. Just some guy said "hey Pam.....wanna get high?"......uh...yeah...OK.  It seems to me that all my crazy thinking came as a result of the years of drinking and drugging. 

So many different scenarios for some many different people.  No easy fix and certainly no quick one.

Oh hell.  What do I know. 


Syd said...

Sometimes I wonder about the chicken or the egg scenario--was there some underlying learning disorder or mental problem before the drinking/drugging? I've heard many stories of alcoholics and each says that they felt "different" from others from an early age. They never fit in. What is that about I wonder because I felt that way too? Yet, I am not a druggie or an alcoholic. Not fitting in is something that I wonder about.

Mary Christine said...

Again, Thanks.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

:) <3

dAAve said...

It's a wonderful life.

Kitty said...

re: what Syd said. I never fit in. alcohol made me fit in, well no it didn't, not really. just made me FEEL like I fit in. now it's just a habit I can't shake, even though I fit in just fine as an adult.

maribelle said...

Love your blog Pammie. Just started reading it and just started my own...check it out: Maribelle's Musings.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, sistah. Especially the tweaking of the meds, the add on meds, and the self diagnosing. It's another way to avoid the real work, which is HONESTY.

That said, can I tell you how much I love that you don't wait for the perfect student--Meeting people where they are...GOD BLESS YOU!

Annette said...

Pam, I love this post. It explains the whole process, the whole dynamic perfectly! Such a clear picture.

Lulu said...

I've been thinking about this throughout my three years of sobriety ~ especially the point Syd makes. I have mainly leaned toward believing my mood swings and repeated meltdowns are due to never having coped with life sans vino. However, now that I've had professional diagnosis that suggest otherwise, I'm not so sure. I do think it's VERY possible I drank to level out these ups and downs. But I'm still pretty resistant to these new labels. Being a recovering alcoholic is enough work, right?! Maybe it doesn't matter ~ I should just seek and accept all the help I can get to live a balanced life. Many thanks for your throught provoking post.