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Hello Shay and all

Yes, Shay, I believe you are right. Addiction or dependency on alcolhol is very much wrapped around mourning, around sadnesses in our lives. Both active using and recovery all have to do in some way with mourning.

I will share my own recognition of mourning and drug use to try and explain. I have had, like most in the entire human race, a life balanced with wonderful things and things I perceived to be tragedies. Some were tragedies, some were just natural events clumped together that felt tragic to me, personally. I was more fortunate than most that until I was forty-three, I had never really experienced tragedy... some sadnesses, maybe, but not tragedies. I grew up poor, but was too naive to even notice it. My dad was a recovering alcoholic by the time I was just three or so, so his drinking did not affect me as much as his recovery. ( And yes, to those who wonder.. recovery for an addict [B]is[/B] a rest-of-your-life deal). I went from high school directly into the working arena and married by twenty. Had my first child by twenty one and a happy marrige that lasts happily until today.

At forty-three, we found my father-in-law dead at home alone in his chair. A great sadness, but a natural event in life. The week we buried him, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, the week after, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and the week after that, my uncle diagnosed with lung cancer. I was the caretaker for both my parents, a helper for my uncle, raising three kids still, working full time and had just started my dream of going to colege for the first time. I tried to keep pace with it all, and everything began to fall apart for me. My dad and uncle only survived six months and died on the same day an hour apart. Between funerals, I had to take my mom for chemo treatment. Finally, I became so overwhelmed and exhausted, that I had to take a short leave of absence from work. I finished the semester in school only because my professors were gracious enough to allow me to do my course work independently at home. I stayed out of work for two months and cared for my mom throughdaily radiation treatments and then recuperation. By summer, she was finally back on her feet and getting well enough to stay alone more. I returned to school and work once again and then was diagnosed with a rare cancer myself that resulted in loss of 1/2 of my thigh and major surgeries from my chest down to save my leg. In the midst of my own treatment, during which I had to live away from home to receive the top-notch radiation, surgeries and treatment. On a trip home one weekend for a visit, hubby and I were broadsided by a loaded 18-wheeler that totaled our car. God was with us as we both walked away from the hoffific accident not scathed too badly. By this time, my leg was badly burned from radiation and pian meds began. After a sixteen day hospital stay for one of the larger surgeries, I was sent home with pain meds that were absolutley necessary. Many more surgeries followed. Many more pain meds followed. All this time, less than a year since my dad and uncle had died, I had never had time to mourn the deaths. I was in the midst of a battle to save my own life. After two years of surgery after surgery, weeks and weeks in the hospitals, I was unwittingly totally dependent on pain meds. I eventually fell into a clinical depression so deep that doctors did not think I would survive it. A wonderful psychiatrist weaned me off the pain meds... but I had no idea she did it because it was contributing to my depression! I simply did as I was told. The pain, however, was keeping me from functioning as walking was so difficult. I went back on them and thus began my own journey. Little did I realize for a number of years that my use of the meds, in large part, was because I had never mourned the deaths and illnesses of loved ones I was so close to in my life. And I had not mourned my own loss of body and the emotional and physical pain of cancer and facing my own death. I just forced myself to continue on and the opiates allowed not only my physical pain, but even more, my emotional pain to be masked. Three years ago, I had a heart attack out of the blue. I laughed about it. I honest-to-God laughed. No way was I going to face that I might die again. I never took the time to mourn, to deal with the pain that I might drop dead. Instead I dwelled more on my physical pain because that was easier to cope with. And again the meds increased until I finally had a second complete breakdown. And all because I would not face my emotional pain and MOURN it... mourn the losses, go through the stages of grief and find my way back to normality as I had known it before all this.

And finally, last October, I had no choice but to finally face up or end up dying because I needed off all the pain meds, all the meds to control sugar and cholesterol and anxiety and all that stuff. All added to depression and the opiates were magnifying and exaggerating my physical pain greatly. During these eight months, much of my early time was spent mourning. Mourning the deaths, the illness of my mom, my own illness, the tragedies. It has been a long struggle in my life, but finally I am getting... I AM, much, much better.

And as I came off the opiates and the benzo, I mourned the place they gave me to hide my emotional pain. It was a horrible place to choose for hiding, but it was familiar to me by then. Take the meds, sleep or work... it didn't matter because I could do both on auto-pilot. What I couldn't do in the place the meds let me hide was to be who I really am... who I need to be to really be alive. I mourned for a while the safe place of no emotion and no pain. Even now when I am hurting, I sometimes think about how nice it would be to just go to sleep and not have to think anthing past or present that is painful. Mourning events in our lives is painful, but must be done.... having to give up the things (drugs alcohol, etc) that allow us to stay in our make-believe world is painful, but mourning for it must also be done. See how mourning is a before, during and after part of our whole lives when we look at it in terms of our issues with drugs?

Some of us may mourn illnesses, some abuse, some natural tragedies, some addiction, some the giving up of alcohol or drugs or porn, some all of the above, but all of us will have something to mourn at some points in our lives. We need to mourn whatever the issue may be so that we can move forward in life. And as long as we live and breath, we have to keep moving in some direction because that is what life is. Life is velocity... speed in a certain direction. Unless we learn to mourn, we will stand absolutle still and die, or we will move in unhealthy dirctions... like addiction.

So that, my friends, is tonight's dissertation from the wordy one here. Do you mourn? do you use because you have failed to mourn something hurtful in your life? Do you mourn giving up your unhealthy coping mechanisms? Whatever you mourn, know that it is a natural, healthy process and an absolutely needed one. Mourning is a God-given ability that can be the best reaction we choose to an event. mourning does not always have to be long and soulful forever. It needs only to be as long as it takes for us, as individuals, to find our way to a more peaceful and happy place in life.

Wail if you need to... it will be followed by a song.

From the Berry Patch
reach





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