I live by the motto 100% sober, but it comes with stipulations. There are certain things that you can’t go without in life; like food, water, shelter. And now, when it comes to mental health there are also things you cannot go without; one being sanity. If you don’t know my story I’ve battled many mental health ailments in my life, most are gone now. I’ve been through things like schizoid tendencies, Tourette’s Syndrome induced from drug abuse, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and anger issues.
Today, I am living 100% sober as I can because I still have physical health issues as well. I deal with a blood/genetic disorder that causes my blood to clot too fast and too often. So, when you’re working a job that requires you to sit around a lot you will get blood clots, and that isn’t a great thing at all! You can end up with strokes, heart attacks, or in my case a nearly failing liver, because when I was writing my first book (ILLICIT) I contracted two blood clots going in and out of the main veins in my liver. This nearly shut it down. The doctors were talking about transplants and what not, but the biggest issue is that I’d have to stay on blood thinners the rest of my life. If you know me and medication, how do you survive without it, but better yet how does your psyche that is conditioned to live 100% sober live with it? It’s a moral dilemma that if I didn’t conquer, I’d be dead a few years ago. No joking, I’d be dead the doctor said.
So let’s compare this to mental health. If I have a condition that is so painful that I’m contemplating suicide, or the symptoms will worsen, take me full body, stricken my nerves and kill me… what do I do? This was the case with the medically induced Tourette’s Syndrome. I’d been having irregular twitches, jerks, and movements in my body mostly the face, but graduating to whole body involuntary action. The doctor had told me that this was strickening my nerves and was slowly and painfully deteriorating me physically along with the mental health aspect to it, as Tourette’s is a mental health condition due to it afflicting those who suffer anxiety, OCD, and depression at the same time. This symptomatic dis-ease was induced and sparked from my heroin abuse and alcoholism; as well as withdrawal from Seroquel (medically proven).
So what was I to do? Let myself wither away and die in a painful state? Or should I do, again, what a doctor had said to do? Well, no one wants to die at the age of 21 from something so painful at least too. So I took medication and lived as 100% sober as I could…
What got me through this was reading “In Times of Illness” from Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, my sponsor at the time, and all of my family and friends who would understand that I had no control over the things that were happening to me. I also had to readjust my mindset and realize that I had to learn a fair amount of acceptance with the path laid in front of me. I was doing my best to live 100% sober and Substance For You prescribes to that motto, so it was a battle between me, myself, and I. I needed to learn that with anything new comes an adjustment period, and with this it made it easier to graduate myself towards healing and getting better. I knew that I wouldn’t have to stay on such medication forever, but I absolutely 100% had to right now. It’s was better, way better, than the alternative!
With the acceptance I had and faith towards a spiritual mindset, my conditions had gotten better but a lot of it was also me figuring out how to mask my symptoms and cover up my anxiety so that the medication could aide me in getting back to a normalized state of mind. With that I learned many things that I had to do in order to fully live 100% sober. It was like I was on an anti-biotic and was slowly getting rid of the itch from the chicken pox; but mentally. So, remember when I said that the medically induced Tourette’s had come from depression, anxiety, and OCD sparked from heroin? Well… heroin was gone with for a long time. Now it was time to take care of the rest. I had learned forms of meditation, I’d gotten into the gym and gotten some healthy doses of dopamine and testosterone, and started studying more to occupy my mind in other ways; enough to where there was no room for bad thoughts. With this working on myself in recovery, while staying 100% sober as I could be, freshly clean my symptoms had gotten better and I knew that I would eventually would be able to come off of this medication when the time was right.
Recently that time had come where my doctor has said it’s time to re-evaluate the Tourette’s medication, as well as the blood clotting medication. I guess good work and faith had paid off right? But, there was still a sense and phase of adjusting. With every up, there must be a down, and vice versa. So, I’ve successfully gotten past the part of the Tourette’s and muscle spasms that would have put me and kept me in the hospital and quite possibly killed me. Job well done to me right? But, the fight is not over… As I say I’m 100% sober, and when those things that once were needed for survival are not needed anymore, I must promise myself to abide by my moral code in recovery… I’m 100% sober as I can be at all times! So with any up in life, the battle is how do I adjust for when the down comes?
Today I am happy to say that I’m one step closer to being free from my mental health, but it doesn’t come without hard work. As the anxiety came from being put on the medication, recovery has required me to go through some trials and tribulations while battling anxiety and depression again. My focus has lagged, but I wouldn’t trade my right code for recovery over anything. None of the medication I take is stronger than a tic-tac or an IB Profen/Motrin, it’s non-narcotic, but the lesson to be learned here is that if you cannot survive without something then you must take it, because there is no recovery without a serene survival.
Now to conclude, let me reexamine my comparison to physical health and mental health medication. Would anyone in their right mind tell me that I should stop my blood thinners? (Trust me I didn’t get the go ahead to stop those) If I’d be dead in a matter of months or weeks from a brain aneurism, stroke, or heart attack at 26, what would’ve been the point to stopping blood thinners just to prove a point? Live your life the healthiest you can live it and I promise you that if you’re as 100% sober as you can be, then you’re not wrong, you’re just living healthy. Healthier than before, and healthier than without. There’s no exact science to this recovery stuff, and even if you don’t subscribe to 12-step programs I would say that “In Times of Illness” has proven me right with my life and survival. So now I ask… If I’d be dead without my mental health medication, would you tell me to stop that too?
#100PercentSober #TheBestICanBe #LivingLife
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