“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change it.” – Jamie Lee Curtis. I so appreciate the humility and transparency of those that are in the public eye sharing their journey.
Each day is a celebration when fighting off the war of sobriety, but in September, we have our own month to bring awareness even more & continue to surround each other with hope that each minute can constitute as a good choice in the right direction. Also, a minute is a minute so if you don’t feel you made the right choice, don’t be hard on yourself. be thankful you’ve got another one to do something different with.
I’m not writing this coming from a place where I’ve had, by definition, a substance abuse disorder, so I wholeheartedly cannot image what some of you face on a daily basis or how that even beings. What I can touch on is a person who suffers from anxiety and with the right “happy pill” from my doctor, it’s under control. Before I knew I had anxiety to the level I had it, I was in my late 20’s, early 30’s and so that was full of happy hours after work and little to no cares in the world. I didn’t at this time “overdo” it or worry I was having to many hours full of IPA happiness. As I got older, my anxiety started to creep up on me, and suddenly I was looking for jobs working from home so I didn’t have to make the commute or be around a bunch of people every day. These were things that peaked my anxiousness. I feel like anxiety wasn’t talked about or identified when I was that age so even though I was working from home, that wasn’t the root of the problem. One day, I realized I was drinking some almost everyday & couldn’t even recall when it started.
Thankfully, I don’t have any rock bottom stories to share, it was grace I just woke up and realized I had to talk to my doctor because nothing was fixing my anxiousness & what I was doing to try and fix it, wasn’t healthy. Turns out, I had full-blown anxiety mixed with a healthy dose of depression. I wasn’t depressed but the chemicals from alcohol is a depressant so there you have it. I also sought to professionals to speak with to better understand what triggered my anxiety, so I could be aware & learn to take a healthier route on recovering from it.
I share this with you all in hopes that especially during this COVID19 time where jobs are lost, an extreme opioid issue amongst us, money, health & stress issues are so heightened that you need to check-in with yourself to see how you’re doing. Depression, anxiety, and general struggles with mental health, when not treated can lead to substance abuse. Why? To some of us it just happens, our bodies are looking for something to calm us down and help us ride out the life storm. Others I believe there is a lot to be said about it being genetic. It really doesn’t matter, we are all susceptible as we look for anything to numb whatever it is needing numbing to keep going.
The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration: recoverymonth.gov is a great resource on so many levels. They also have a 24/7, 365 helpline: 1.800.662.HELP. Call them, let those that survived & recovered give back to you and get you there.
Just a simple google for mental health or substance abuse within your city, you will see everyone cares about you being healthy by perusing all of the many resources everywhere. American Addiction Centers is another goodie: drugabuse.com.
It’s 100% ok not to be ok. For some, catastrophes like a job loss is just another thing that happened and you go find another. To others, (the pre-happy pill Hannah days) then this would have felt like the end of the world. For those that don’t have any mental health issues it can be really confusing and frustrating being around those that do. It just doesn’t make any sense why they can’t just get over it. Wish I knew how to streamline my thinking that way, but I couldn’t. It takes time, practice, doctors, support from others, and celebrating every minute. You have to ask for help, you need a team whether it’s people you know or don’t know.
What’s bad is mental health issues but what’s really bad is mental health issues that create a substance abuse disorder – double bad. The further down the rabbit hole you go, the harder it is to get out. You can do it, it’s within your power but just try and recognize if there is anything throughout your day that you need (chemically speaking) to muster through, you might need to check in with a professional just to see if you’re doing ok. It can all be anonymous but also remember, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. You got this kid!
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt