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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:33 am 
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My name is Shannon...... I'm a forty-three years old and live in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest in North Georgia! I have three children Ella 23, Pearl 19 and Ray 17. With my ex husband of 14 years. Currently I'm battling the affects addiction, depression, complicated grief, PTSD, anxiety, pernicious anemia and an undiagnosed stomach/autoimmune disorder.
I was "rebellious" adolescent. Leading to my first experience with anti depressants at 14! I have been on and off different psychotropic meds since. Except for the 7 years I was either pregnant or nursing. Which were the best years of my life, honestly. Psychotropic medication was normal in my household. My Momma had bipolar disease but was extremely high functioning. As a matter of fact, I believe she "managed" her disease with work through her 40's. Yes, I was rebellious and my Mom was mentally ill. We loved one another and had an awesome family though.
In 2000 two months before Mom's 50th birthday. She had a severe heart attack which required quadruple bypass. Several years after trying to return to her normal routine. She was forced into disability to young to officially. Things went down from there. Visits to our local mental health facility for med changes became necessary. Becoming more frequent as time went on. At one point she was taking as many as 32 different meds a day. Depressions got worse and manias more pronounced.
During this time I and my ex developed an addiction to prescription pain medication. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and required a partial hysterectomy at 27 years old. My ex (who'd always enjoyed a good opiate buzz) amputated 2 fingers. Legitimizing the need for pain medicine? The end result was far from legitimate! In September of 2006. I underwent an anesthesia assisted detox. At Florida Detox in Tarpon Springs. I required a care taker for the procedure and the drive from Ga to Fl and home. Oddly Mom could "rally" when someone else was in crisis. My husband stayed home to care for our children. Mom was my care taker. During my intake care takers were in a seminar that explained any take home medications and after care instructions. At the time. I didn't realize Mom was at the beginning of a mania. She became very controlling. I succumbed as usual. And she ended up withall of my medications for over 9 months. I'd never heard of suboxone. A nurse came in the morning after my procedure and asked me to put this under my tongue. I honestly thought it was something for my stomach. I now know my Mom had called her Psychiatrist and inquired about this medication. He had a different "school of thought" when it came to addiction medicine. Strongly encouraging my Mom to "get me off of it as soon as possible". When I came home, I had no idea, what it was actually for. It taste so bad I would put it under my tongue with apple juice in my mouth. Basically making it ineffective. I took it for another 3 months. I actually cheered the last day I took "that gross tasting stuff"!?! I had extreme withdrawals, that I didn't expect. I was still "computer illiterate" and really didn't investigate the medicine. The way, I should've, at the time. With the help of my psychologist. I talked my Mom into supporting me seeing a Dr who prescribed me 2 milligrams a day.
January 2007 I'm doing great! Working my first job since the birth of my second child and advancing quickly. Momma also seemed to be doing well almost TOO well. We hoped a recent change in her medication was helping her "stabilize". A month or so later we knew better. She was in a mania and it was a doozy......... I've always believed that most mental illness unless completely untreated. Typically will only allow you to go as far as your personality dictates. She became impulsive, spent insane amounts of money, threw herself into old and new hobbies. Obsessing on everything she did. One day a 1968 Cadillac convertible pulled into the driveway. And out pops Mom..... By August she was in the agitated and aggravated stage. Honestly I think feeling more guilt because of her compulsive behaviors. Momma and I spoke at least 3 times a day by then. Our relationship had improved so much. Realizing she was and had always been my best friend.
October 9th started like any other Tuesday. Momma had been discharged from the hospital for a week. For yet another medication change. I took off several days during that week. And went in early needing to catch up and anticipating a busy day? I didn't call for our normal morning call chat. We were busy and I worked through my lunch.
As soon as I got off. I started trying to reach her it was around 2 o'clock. Called my Dad concerned something was wrong. He explained she'd gotten fall flowers the day before and she was probably outside planting. I'd seen her the night before and she seemed well/better, than she had in several weeks. I had an hour to waste before I picked up my kids. I window shopped for about 15 minutes. Trying to reach her at least 6 times. This horrible feeling came over me..... At that point I knew something was wrong. I hurried, picking 3 kids up from 3 different schools in record time.
Everyday on our way home we passed her house. Typically visiting several times a week. Something told me to tell the kids to stay in the car " I just needed to run in and grab something" Oddly there were no complaints. They knew something was wrong too. Although I'd tried my best to hide it!
When I opened the front door. She was lying on the floor. I slammed the door and everything went into slow motion. I thought she was joking/messing with me. And when she heard the front door she'd jump up. Knowing I didn't think it was "funny". I know....morbid. Momma had a bit of a sick sense of humor. Of course, when I opened the door she was still there. I could see multiple large medication bottles on the counter behind her and a bottle of Xanax in her hand. The rest of the day is a blur..... I grieve her daily and feel completely empty. I feel disconnected.... I don't have health insurance. So I have had no form of counseling. I attended SOS meetings for a couple of years. The meeting I attended dissolved and the closest meeting is a two hour drive away. Leaving me making it home after midnight.
Three months after losing Mom. On New Years Day my Dads Mom. My Mimi I loved dearly was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. Needless to say I was still numb. Daddy and I took care of her. Watching a life "well lived" deteriorate in front of us. Mimi passed away exactly 11 months after Momma. I lost the 2 most influential women in my life. Actually the only 2 influential women in my life within 11 months of each other. In such diametrically different ways. My Mimi wishing she could stay and take care of us during a time we needed her the most. Momma never being able to see that she could and would be happy again. I've got a lot of resentment towards Momma. Losing her. Made it impossible to feel a bit of grief for my Grandmother.
In 2011 I left and divorced the father of my children. Our relationship was "on the rocks" before losing Momma. Just another thing to grieve. Definitely better off..... He was a good Daddy (present and interactive). Terrible provider..... Never working consistently. Making me and my parents responsible for any and all financial commitments. He took advantage of me and my inheritance. At the time I was so grief stricken.. I didn't care?!?!? Four hundred thousand dollars gone! Guilt is an understatement!
I remarried a wonderful man from my past. Initially my mind was able to compartmentalize. I felt somewhat normal again. Didn't last.....
I know trauma doesn't just "go away". My body is failing me.... My memory is gone. I'm not talking forgetfulness. I can't remember anything... Lose words I've known forever. Forget about what I'm talking about in the middle of a conversation. I can't participate in chats. I end up leaving key words out.... And feeling like an idiot.
I welcome any input.... Any ADVICE!!! Any HELP!!! Just to be pointed in the right direction. Battling addiction, grief, physical ailments (I can't afford to diagnose) major depression, PTSD and the anxiety that comes along with it!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Please pray/meditate for my healing!!!
Shannon



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Hey Shannon, I'm so sorry for all the loss u have experienced lately! I'm sure losing ur mother to suicide is even more painful. I don't know much about bi polar because I've never had anyone in my life who's had it, but I do know it's extremely hard. I've heard the mania is awful to watch someone go through, especially ur mother.

I'm 40, 3 children and an addict. I also have a child that's been on Zoloft since a younger age, I think around 13. I also have no insurance. My children do but I do not. I know I have medical issues that need to be addressed but paying $350 a month plus almost $200 for my medicine leaves me not much for other doctors and tests. So I totally understand what u mean by not being able to afford going to the doctor. It's tough. The way society is today, it is tough! My buprenorphine treatment comes first because if I'm not in recovery, I'll be worried about a lot more than no insurance. That'll be the least of my worries.

Are u still taking suboxone? I know u said u were taking 2mg and never said u went off after that. So are u still taking that? I'm sorry if I didn't catch u saying anything different. If u are still taking it then that's awesome. I wanted to ask u that before I said anything else because that's a big question that I wasn't sure of the answer.

We welcome u to this forum! It is such a wonderful place for support and speaking to ppl who's got some of the same issues as u will be extremely helpful. I hope u stick around!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:31 pm 
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Dearest Shannon,

I am so very sorry for all of your troubles. You are very welcome and we will support you as best we can. I want you to know that you need more than we can provide in some ways. You need professional help. I don't know exactly where you are, but I did a google search and came up with some resources. Here is the link:

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=no ... ial+help&*

I'm sorry I can be more exact. I found some more resources here:

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=no ... ng+scale&*

Basically, these searches are simple and just a start. You may need to put in significant time calling and researching online.

I am so sorry for what you and your family have been through, Shannon. I lost my mom suddenly almost 15 years ago and I know that the pain never goes away. My last grandparent, my dad's mother, died when I was 6 months old. She committed suicide 5 months after my grandfather died. Many of us have been through grief and loss and mental illness. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Please stay here and receive some support. Just remember that a professional needs to be helping you locally. I wouldn't feel comfortable if you are not getting the help you need!

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:15 am 
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Hello, neighbor..
As in, Alabama <----> Georgia...

You definitely have some things to be miserable over... I can't imagine all that loss in such a short time.
But we all have different things that cause us to grieve and feel miserable..
I lost a very close friend when I was 25 -- so he was 24...because of addiction + bipolar + methamphetamines ....etc. He basically did suicide through a family member -- his grandfather. He told them on the night of December 13 at 5pm that "if that bitch and his daughter weren't home by 9pm" he was coming back to kill everyone. (talking about his wife). So, his grandfather made everyone lock themselves in a room and told them not to come out until HE came back to get them.
He shot his grandson in self defense. He knew if he didn't, my friend would do what he said and kill them all.
This was across from my house where all of this happened. At the time, my first-born son was in NICU, and had been there for 6 days...
I found out through a friend of a friend at work the next day....

But, this isn't about me...(I've never told that part of my past here..so this is the first I've said anything of this)..
This is what I recommend..which probably isn't the best advice...so take it with a grain of salt...

I block out as much as I can. When I'm alone...sometimes I'll listen to older songs that bring back memories, and I'll cry a little (happens more with reminders of my brother)...but openly, I don't talk or grief...which probably isn't the healthiest way to deal with it.
I broke down at my brother's funeral...the first time any of my kids had ever seen me cry.
I think the best thing for me to help with grief is not remembering that the person is gone...but remembering the good times. Let go of the negative aspects and only try to recall things that bring laughter and joy. That's the only way I am able to keep it all blocked out...I don't let grief consume me.
And you can't allow it to consume you either. If you believe in God...then pray for peace and solidarity. Make every day count. When the grief comes calling...let it out..in whatever way you feel comfortable, whether that's openly or in private. I prefer in private. I still talk to my brother...and my neighbor who recently passed away... of course when I'm alone.. But I can say what I need to say and speak my mind...
I feel as though it's a great way to get rid of the negatives, like anger towards the situation...

As I said above, this may not work for everyone, but it does for me. But I'd look for someone to talk to, whether professional or not...even if it's just a pastor or deacon...You'd be surprised how sitting down and talking to anyone would turn out to be beneficial in so many ways.

One of the best therapies I've ever had is sitting down at my computer and typing out things here.
Sometimes I type a whole long paragraph...and I read over it...then I just delete it all. I feel better without even having to post it. Try it, you may find that just putting your thoughts down and reading over it will help you cope in ways you never imagined. It gives you an outlet for your feelings. You can type as much as you want...and just erase it (or close the page) after reading over it.
Countless times I've done that and it's been very helpful.

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Adam Wayne P.
DOB: July 1, 1985
October 8, 2013

RIP little brother. Gone, but not forgotten.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:44 am 
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To complete my story....
Yes JennJenn after Momma passed. My previous Dr was concerned about relapse and continued to raise my dose. I'm now prescribed 2 8mgs of subutex a day. Rarely taking my prescribed amount. Typically only taking 8-12mgs. During the time I was so lost and numb. I didn't think about the repercussions of having to taper. Later being prescribed Cymbalta for depression. Now being on 2 meds that have withdrawal symptoms.
Amy-work in progress you are so right about needing a professional......... I don't know where to turn though. A Psychiatrist would be the obvious answer? In the past they've just throw more meds my way!
Honestly I wish I wasn't on anything! I'm scared. How will I handle all the emotions that come along with getting sober. Is the reality gonna be too much. Meds have been propping me up for so long!!! What will it be like to be clear without my Momma. Where do I start? Do I deal with the trauma first....... The addiction..... The physical problems....... ????????
Thank you to everyone who hears me. It means more than you know!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:24 am 
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Shannon, it's going to be Ok. You're going to be Ok. You've made an important first step by coming here and being vulnerable enough to tell your story. You are very brave to start feeling the emotions that are coming your way.

One of the reasons that many of us become addicts in the first place is that we are numbing ourselves from pain, often beyond our ability to control. Learning the skills it takes to sit with our painful emotions is a difficult process, but it can be done.

If you can PM and tell me where you live, I will be happy to help look up services in your area.

Amy

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:06 am 
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thanks for sharing your story. i also had 2 years where i lost many people in my life, which trigger a 3 year long relapse! i had be sober for 5 years! now that i'm in therapy required for the subs, i've realized thats its the loss that triggers my use, so at least now i'm aware of my "trigger"

there are online meetings. try SMART recovery. there are links on the home page here.

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