Who I Used To Be:

I can see everything around me in a new way now that I am sober. I am free of the foggy haze that once ruled my days and governed my nights. To live, always in a delusion, is not really to live at all. It is a constant waking in the same nightmare, that plays like a broken record in your subconscious.

I never saw things the way other people saw them. They would tell me over and over again, “ it’s your medication, the alcohol, the drugs!

“ I knew though, it had to be something else. I was ill because I had inherited some great illness that was making me sick all the time and that is why I had to keep going in and out of the hospital.

I was hospitalized in the psychiatric hospitals and also the medical hospitals nonstop. My mind and my body was falling apart.

The worst my addiction got the worse my health became. I, being from the medical field myself, should have known this. I just did not want to admit it, because admitting it would mean I would have to give the substances I was using up. I did not know if I could survive without them.

I was afraid. I had always been afraid, terrified in fact. I started drinking and using when I was a little girl because it gave me strength and power I thought to fight off my dad to keep me and my sister alive. We lived in constant fear of dying on a nightly basis. We moved a lot and were always running from social workers.

I was awkward and shy in school and I was made fun of and so the substances, I thought would help me fit in, help me to talk without stuttering.

When I was drinking and using I could stay up all night or sleep in a blackout without the nightmares or the night terrors coming for me. They were always there and I never dealt with them.

I never knew I was dealing with an undiagnosed PTSD and bipolar one with psychosis mental disorder, that I was self-medicating for. I did not start to try to get sober until the age of 24 and then did not manage to get it, until recently at the age of 42.overdosing, I can’t even count how many times and flat lining about six times. I am lucky to be alive! I am now grateful to be alive when before, I would be huddled in a ball. Rocking back and forth, bawling, telling God I could not go on another day like that.

I was hurting my family and myself and I wanted to stop, needed to stop. I just did not know if I could or how I could do this.

I had been going to some meetings periodically to see if I could get clean and sober on my own.

At home my life was always filled with chaos, as I am married with four children ages 22, 20, 17 and 15.

I was always helping people who did not have a place to live without consulting my husband first.

I thought it was my job to help everyone because no one ever reached out to my sister and I when we were stuck in an abusive home or out on the streets as teenagers and young adults.

We had no one but each other. Then again, we were separated by foster care and later, my drinking and using kept me split off from everyone.

It was my panic button device a way of keeping people from getting too close to me. They were disgusted by me but not as disgusted as I was with myself.

The more things I put on my plate and the more stressed I got, the more I drank and used.

The more I used caused greater consequences which would cause greater stress and humiliation which I did not want to feel or remember. Selfish……I know…. Weak…Yes……I had no idea what I was running from until I got sober at this last treatment center. Now I know why I was so afraid, Why I never wanted to remember.

I will be writing a book on my experiences as a child growing up in abuse, then on the streets, foster care, streets again, young mom, treatments, alcohol and drug use, my experiences during detox with delirium and etc., and my life now.

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