I stood on the banks of this shore one early morning while on a mission trip to a tiny little village in Belize while there on a mission trip. I was feeling useless and out of place with the church group I went with. As I stood on the shore with the cool breeze blowing over me I asked God to just give me a glimpse, a peek, if you will, in to what my purpose was here. He surprised me when I heard a little voice in my heart say, “Though you may think you are here to help these women, you are here that I may bring peace and healing to you.”<a href="http://Peek“>
We are a desperate people here on this earth.
Last night I was on the Internet researching. As a person with an issue with focusing this can be exhausting because every page I went to had a link that took me to another page with a link and then another.
This venture always reminds me how much I love books, not the audio kind but the kind with real pages; pages with history. The kind of history that has the markings of others that have held the book and maybe underlined or highlighted a sentence or two, perhaps smudged a bit of chocolate or dropped a hot ash from a cigarette, cigar, pipe etc. Sometimes there is even a dog-eared page here and there or words written on the sides of a page. To some this is distracting; to me it feels like community.
My journey last night on the Internet revealed how desperate we are.
So many of us are searching for answers. We want cures, we want wisdom, we want help because we don’t trust the doctors, or the teachers, or the pastors, the leaders; the ones in days of old we looked to for guidance.
As I searched for answers, I found that most sites that started with “how I overcame” statements ended with a product that promised to fix or heal. Or, if you have time, you can register for a free online class that promises to reveal a secret.
The pages start out with a video or a lot of words that sound like well-versed research on the topic.
I accept that some of these are from people that truly have overcome things in their lives and they truly want to share to help others. Sometimes their issue led them to research because conventional means were not an option due to lack of finances. The problem is that they eventually make their information out of reach to others because they start charging for it or creating products to sell that are way to expensive for the average person to buy. The desperate, hopeful person will go in to debt in hopes that this will finally be the answer to their problems.
So desperation leads to searching, searching may lead to real or “promised” answers.
I went to bed VERY discouraged and feeling a bit down on myself for buying in to some of these “answers”.
When I woke up I was still thinking about it. I decided I was going to unsubscribe from many of the places I get emails from.
I then went to my little space in my house where I read my Bible each morning and this is where I found some solace. I picked up the book that I could hold in my hand, the book with the worn pages and the coffee stains and the dog eared pages and the writing in the sides and the highlighted passages and I asked my Creator to enlighten me. I asked God to help me sift the lies from the truth. I asked God to light the path where my feet should land. I asked to help me find joy in the gifts here on this earth and the answers to my issues with things that are not complicated.
I don’t want to be ignorant and naïve but I also don’t want to live with these fears anymore. I want a reboot, a start over, a life cleansing; I want to cold turkey from life as it is.
Enlighten me Oh God that I may see as you see, love as you love, and shake off the cares of this world that I may better engage in life as you have designed it.<a href="http://Enlighten“>
I’ve heard it said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I need to add a bit of a tag line on to that….but not always.
This good intention has actually lead to the beginning of my redemption.
I started this blog with the good intention of addressing addictions and a source of help for those involved with addictions in some form or another. That’s still my intention-eventually. It has sort of evolved into a blog about my road to recovery. Well to be honest it is now about my recovery. My blog title “Recover Me” was supposed to be generalized for all of us in whatever form of recovery we find ourselves in.
At this point in my recovery I have come to accept that I have a diagnosis of anxiety and I am co-dependent (although my understanding is that the mental health field is getting away from using that term).
I have come to accept that I am where I am today because of anxiety and that I am not the only one in the world that struggles with feeling like I am “different” than the rest of the world.
I was watching a video of Dr. Kelly Brogan regarding anxiety. She is a holistic psychiatrist in Manhattan.
She said over 100,000,000 million prescriptions per year are filled for anxiety medications.
She described anxiety as a sense of discomfort in your own skin, a sense of unease and that you feel you can’t meet needs.
That’s me for sure. I think the last part is what developed the co-dependent part of me. When people are talking about a problem they are having or that something I suggested didn’t work or how someone else gave them “the best advice, present, help, etc” I feel I have to be better, do better, make it better. This leads me into a tailspin of how can I help, what could I have done better, I have to fix this, why wasn’t mine good enough. In other words, I get very anxious.
She also talked about a new division on mental health called psychoneuroimmunology. It says the immune system, brain, gut and hormonal system are all related and must all be looked at when addressing symptoms. She went on to say that the root cause of anxiety is linked to blood sugar imbalance, thyroid balance (I have underactive thyroid) , and food sensitivities.
Before I get to what she suggested I want to be transparent with one of my panic episodes. I’m not saying we all have the same issues with anxiety but I’m sure there must be others that have had similar experiences. If we can begin to recognize that some of our thoughts are the irrational interpretation of life at the moment that’s brought on by our anxiety then we can begin to try to take a moment to think before we act.
When I was a child my father loved to go to the beach and therefore alot of time was spent at the beach. My family learned to love the ocean as well. Often my mother would takes the six of us to the beach with one of her friends. (When my Dad was working). I was the youngest of six so when we went to the beach my older siblings would venture off into the water with their friends. While my mother was involved in conversation with her friend I would wander off to the water. As a 5 year old I did not understand the power of a wave and current and would eventually get pulled under into what I now refer to as “the spin cycle”. When I finally arose from the torrent I wanted nothing more than to run to the my family. Oddly enough the spin cycle carried me far enough way from the point I entered the water that my family was nowhere in sight. My thought was that everyone went home.
The summer before I entered 3rd grade my family and I were traveling to Morocco because my father was stationed there. We got on a train in Spain to get to our next destination. There wasn’t enough room in the compartment my mother was in for me to be there so she told me to step into the next compartment and she would come and get me when we arrived. I must have fallen asleep on the bench I sat on because the next thing I knew the number of people in my compartment had doubled and I could no longer see my mother or any of my brothers and sisters. I got up and people were staring at me and talking but I did not understand due to the foreign language. Again, I thought I would never see my family again.
As a result of these and other experiences like it, I have issues with abandonment. I tend to get panicky (anxious) with arguments and losing sight of people when out on an excursion or vacation. I can tend to be a bit overprotective and clingy. So, as a co-dependent I do not like confrontation and do not do well with people in emotional pain (unless it is a non related person). My first priority with related people is to avoid confrontation so that they don’t leave me and to alleviate everyone’s pain so they always come to me and never abandon me.
When I can realize that the irrational thoughts and potential reactions are anxiety based I have a better chance of looking for the healthy response and reaction.
Now for Dr. Brogan’s initial suggestions
Eliminate coffee. Did I get that right. That in itself raises the sleeping anxiety dragon. I did it before for about 6 months or maybe a year but I did it by choice and now I am being told. For some reason that makes it different. That will be a hard one. She also suggested a really weird breathing exercise. I’m really not big on this kind of activity but hey why not, it’s worth a try. I just hope no one catches me doing it.
One of my own practices as I spoke of before is I made an essential oil blend and just smelling it makes me happy so I know it is at least releasing some of my own happy hormones.
OK, so I am listening to my logic side that tells me I don’t need to keep writing so that I get EVERYTHING in here.
See you next time!
Leave a comment if you’d like about your own experiences. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Staring so hard that it feels like if I continue I will fade into a dimension that will take me away from the conflict within me.
My brain says that I am very very sad and stressed and anxious. So sad that my heart is crying, no it’s sobbing, but there are too many layers between my heart and my eyes so the sobbing stays shut within my heart.
Which came first
Did the anxiety cause the weakness known as co-dependency or did the co-dependency rob me of the serotonin necessary to keep anxiety at bay.
Did the anxiety cause the addiction or did the addiction cause the anxiety.
Was I born with a predisposition to anxiety or did the conditions I grew up in create an anxious heart within me.
As I venture backwards, I move forward.
I was told one time that I didn’t need to try to figure out why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, and do the things I do.
But when new words are added to my personality description, I need to know when and why it happened.
I must tell you that when one feels SO abnormal, it’s imperative to know.
With my new diagnosis of anxiety and having tried to fight it, I have found that by accepting it, I have chosen to learn more about it.
I have learned that co-dependency and addiction are common by products of anxiety. Lets just say they are BFF’s. They are besties.
When you have anxiety and you don’t know it, all you do know is that you aren’t the same as everyone else. The struggle to try to fit in is exhausting.
I misinterpreted people’s intentions, words, and actions and as a result I alienated myself.
I avoided parties unless I was high. I made very poor decisions, left jobs, self sabotaged.
Going to parties and social events sober I feel very awkward and I can usually be found helping to clean and replenish empty appetizer trays or doing something productive, I am not at all well versed in the art of small talk
I listened to the lies that told me I was less than everyone and therefore had to do more, be more.
When the nurse psychiatrist told me it was anxiety I had and not ADD, I was furious.
My whole purpose in going to see her was to get meds for ADD.
I know now that it’s not an inability to focus, (ADD) it’s choosing to focus on the hundreds of thoughts clouding my brain while I am trying to listen to someone or learn something, or clean the house. Wait, did I just say clean the house.
I know about the house cleaning because once when my husband and I were trying to get our house ready for an open house, he had 3 rooms vacuumed and dusted and I was only halfway done with one room.
It looks like this: I’m in the bathroom getting ready to clean the sinks-oops no cleaner. I go in the kitchen to get my homemade cleaner and it’s almost empty so I have to go to the laundry room to get my baking soda. While in the laundry room I see the mop and my dusting rags. Now I have to figure if I should dust first or vacuum. Oh yeah, I was hoping to shampoo the carpets. I should probably do that now so there will be time for the carpets to dry. Well wait, I should throw a load of laundry in so that can be going while I am shampooing the carpets.
Yup, that’s how it works. Can you relate, Can I get an “amen sister”.Are you exhausted yet?
So yeah, I quit using over 30 years ago but took on a co-dependent lifestyle to manage the underlying culprit…anxiety
People saw me as compassionate, empathetic, so helpful, nice, sweet. You’d think a person with a description like that would have a lot of friends. Nope, no bff’s, no besties. Well that is not exactly right, I am married so I do have a best friend. Oh yeah, and I do have my dogs that love me SO unconditionally.
Since starting a group at work and getting involved in the world of essential oils I have begun to notice personality traits of successful people. Now, I’m a not saying they are the definition of normal but they are highly functioning individuals.
What I am finding out is that it takes hard work, DISCIPLINE, and sacrifice.
It takes focusing on ONE thing at a time and making lists and being organized.
Having anxiety is not conducive to being disciplined, organized, and focusing on one thing at a time. But, I have found some essential oils that I am going to start experimenting with to help me with focus and clarity.
Now that I know what I know I feel a bit liberated but know I have a long way to go.
I still have triggers that absolutely paralyze me, areas I drive by that bring back vivid memories and make me feel sick but the knowledge I have gained so far gives me a something stronger to hold on to. The tiny little thread that was holding me up is beginning to look a bit more like a solid rope that won’t unravel and drop me into the deep dark abyss.
So sad, so very sad!
When we read about someone that died from a drug overdose.
It didn’t have to happen’
Those that knew the one that overdosed will say they tried to stay in touch and offer their support.
Isn’t that what we all say about the addicts in our lives…we try to stay in touch and support them.
Stay in touch makes sense; we naturally stay in touch with friends so our addict friends should be no different –right?
The support part, well that’ a bit different with addicts isn’t it?
We tend to support from a distance; a safe distance. If we get too close we might get pulled in by the tremendous magnetic force that addictions can have. It’s sort of like the same effect a strong ocean current has on you when you desperately want to get to shore but it keeps pulling you farther and farther in its direction. Farther out away from the safety of the shore. So we support from where we feel safe.
For some addicts it is too far away.
Ok, so we hear all the same stuff…they have to want it before they will stop.
Let me ask you a question-do you REALLY think they wanted to become an addict.
Do you REALLY think they are enjoying the lifestyle of an addict?
Do you REALLY know what that life is about?
Have you ever searched obsessively for money and even considered stealing; breaking into houses to steal just so you could get your next (whatever you needed)
I mean really (stop using or, go to jail for theft or burglarize a home and maybe get shot and go to jail)
They will lie to you, steal from you, and manipulate you with their stories (they are master story tellers aka liars)
They will sell their children and their own soul.
But, you see, addicts don’t think about those things. They are obsessed with only one thing. So why do they choose all the risky behaviors. Why do they spend their days where every other thought is about the object of their addiction?
Do you REALLY think living like that is more DESIRABLE than living a life full of well, life? Why do they continue to live such a miserable life? They, very SIMPLY put, have lost control.
How did they get there?
It can start by the desire to fit in.
Maybe they were forced in to it.
Maybe it was an initiation rite.
Maybe it started out recreationally.
Some people are more prone to becoming addicts.
Some chemicals have a greater potential to be addictive.
The farther you get pulled in to it, the harder it is to get out.
I would like to propose a challenge to you. Think about your favorite thing to eat or drink or your favorite activity. Try stopping it for a week.
Try not eating ANYTHING with sugar in it for a week. (Almost everything has sugar in it). Are you a coffee drinker? Try it-no coffee for a week. And remember, addicts can’t start back up after a week.
Now that you have stopped-don’t hang out with the people that are still doing those things.
So you might be asking. What’s the point?
The point is that I can tell you that NO ADDICT is enjoying being an addict. They have so much to hide from; all the secrets they have and all the lies they are telling.
You may think it is as easy as choosing say, to go to a movie or not, to stay in your job or get a different one, to buy a new outfit or wait for a sale.
It’s not that easy at all.
Well , you say, when it gets bad enough they will stop-they have to hit rock bottom. Sure that helps but when life gets more manageable after they stop then the desire for that feeling comes back. It can haunt you and beckon you like an old lover. Taunting with old pleasurable memories. The pain of the addictive lifestyle fades and the temptation to use again is hard and heavy desperately trying to pull you back in. Then other stresses of life start to create a pain that you want to escape from and you start to think that it was so much easier being an addict. At least you could get away from the pain.
In all honesty as much as addicts are such liars, once they allow you into their heart, which is imprisoned, you will find an incredibly sensitive person with an amazingly beautiful heart. Maybe you just might be the one that can be the difference in their lives.