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  • From having it all to losing everything

    lille
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:27 pm

    From having it all to losing everything

    Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:26 pm

    You think it wont happen to you. And then it does.

    This time last year I was a wife, mother and friend. I had a successful career which I loved. I volunteered to help the community. I exercised twice a day and only ate organic food. I lived in a lovely house in a picturesque location.

    Today I am an alcoholic and drug user. I have no job and allowed my clinical registration to lapse. I left my husband and isolated myself from everyone. I don't leave the house, I don't exercise and I hardly eat. I suffer from depression, anxiety and insomnia. Issues I had suppressed throughout my life all came flooding back. I live in a rural location three hours away from my children with the man that introduced me to drugs. I have no money, no support and no access to services. I am trapped in a place I want to leave with someone I don't want to be with. I continue to use as a means of numbing the pain and dampening the overwhelming feelings of shame, guilt and regret. I know that abstinence is the only way of escaping this awful situation but the fear of facing reality, facing what I have become, is just far to great. I've lost all hope and lost my will to live. There's just no way out.
    1 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 720
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:23 pm

    Hiya @lille It sounds like the past few years have been a period of immense stress and painful upheaval. It shows so much strength that you have reached out.

    You've said that you are afraid of facing abstinance it is a daunting prospect, but it will allow you to find that stability that you feel you have lost. I can hear how hopeless you're feeling right now, but see us here as a lifeline for you, we're here to support you and ensure that you're not doing this journey alone. I know that so many other people here understand and empathise with those feelings of shame and guilt, you are not alone in this.

    I've sent you an email with some resources and supports. Let me know when you get it, and let us know how you're travelling.

    @Sunflowerseed @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW
    1 x
    lille
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:27 pm

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:31 pm

    Thanks for your email and reply. I have felt a sense of liberation since posting on the forum. Until now, I have kept my struggles secret, and its been a heavy burden to bear. Ive had a big day, starting with disposing of all drugs in my possession. This is my day one. I've made appointments to see a GP and psychologist. I've looked into getting my registration back, Ive listened to motivational podcasts and researched self help strategies. I know this is going to be a long and difficult journey but I actually believe I can do it!
    Thank you so much for this forum. It has been a life changer.
    3 x
    User avatar
    tacocat
    Community Builder
    Posts: 140
    Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:54 pm

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:09 pm

    Hi @lille

    I'm so happy to hear that you've found the motivation and support you need to get your life back on track.
    You know that if that motivation ever drops, there will always be supportive people here waiting to greet you with open arms.

    I look forward to reading about your journey towards being a healthier, happier you.
    2 x
    lille
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:27 pm

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:28 pm

    Thank you @tacocat .
    I think self denial is the biggest barrier to overcome. Admitting to yourself you have a problem and being transparent about it is so difficult. For me, being able to share my burden on this platform, admitting it out loud, was a really crucial part of that process. I don't think I could have done that with anyone I know, or with someone face to face. The shame is just too overwhelming. This forum felt safe and non-judgemental. I have so many complex issues to face but I know I have to deal with each one slowly so I don't become overwhelmed. I am feeling so much dread and shame over what I have lost to drugs and how they have completely changed the person I once was.
    This is my day one and the cravings have set in. Its like my brain can't stop thinking about having more, and its so hard trying to distract it. Its probably going to get worse, but Im feeling more confident than ever.
    2 x
    Sunflowerseed
    Community Builder
    Posts: 227
    Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:33 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sun Jan 22, 2023 1:37 pm

    Hi @lille,
    Thank you so much for sharing all this with us here. I can hear a lot of commitment in your words. I am so happy for you on the actions you've taken to make a positive change. You are not alone, we are here to support you through this journey.
    I totally agree with you about dealing the issues slowly and one at a time. You have done a great job on realising where you were, where you are at now and where you want to be. The beautiful life you had before is a motivation for you, it shows how much you can achieve and a lot of strengths you have in you.
    Not sure if you known this already, but here is something that you can try to help you manage the urges. There is a phrase we call urge surfing. The main idea is be aware of the urges and don't let it control you. Think of it as waves in the ocean, and you are surfing on top on them. Here is a link that explains the idea better than I do: https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/sit ... urfing.pdf. And this is a document from our website that you can print our and have it with you to help manage the urges: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com ... 0guide.pdf.
    Don't hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can help you with. Keep up all the good works and stay strong!
    1 x
    lille
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:27 pm

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sun Jan 22, 2023 5:19 pm

    Thank you @Sunflowerseed
    These links will definitely help and I will certainly try them out. I have spent today exploring different resources online to help me with my journey. Its helping me stay engaged and focussed rather than ruminating and pacing around. There are so many self help resources available if you are willing to take the time and look. Listening to peoples stories and journeys helps me the most as I don't feel so alone. Thanks again
    4 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 687
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:06 pm

    Thank you so much for being so open and honest @lille, sounds like such a difficult spot to be in and that you've been through a lot.

    It would be great to hear how your day one went and how today went as well?

    I remember the very early days, the lack of sleep, the anxiety, the racing thoughts, the sweating, all of the physical uncomfortability. But at the same time, a feeling of libeation and confidence that I was making a choice to change my life and stop abusing myself.

    For me it was so incredibly important to get the right support around me, it's fantastic to hear that you're finding it so helpful reaching out here on the forums. Peer groups like NA helped me so much, getting support from people who had lived through addiction, found recovery and could help guide me towards a new way to live. I don't think I could have found recovery without it. I'm wondering if you've tried any groups or are seeking any other support? It's so great to see that you've booked an appointment with your GP, they'll be able to help you detox safely and hopefully the psychologist will help you along the way.

    I know I asked what was going on for you in my last post but that was before I saw this thread. It's truly inspiring to see you be so transparent and honest with yourself to begin the road to a new way of life. It's takes a lot of courage to have a go at recovery and admit to needing help.

    We're always here if you want to reach out :)
    1 x
    Judas
    Member
    Posts: 54
    Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:47 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:37 am

    Hi @lille, thanks for being so brave in sharing your story. I really resonated with it, especially the part where you talk about drugs changing the person who you once were. I just wanted to give you some hope that you can get that person back. I felt a similar sort of way at one point. The drugs which I was using were making me feel depressed and suppressing the fun-energetic personality which I once had. Even when I wasn't using, the withdrawals were too much for me to enjoy life the way I wanted to. It took at least a couple of months of abstinence before my personality started to re-emerge. That happy, successful, energetic person which you once were is not dead, they are just trapped deep inside you. If you continue on the path towards abstinence and working on improving yourself, you can find that person again one day I promise. It's not easy and you've really got to stick with it for at least a few months before your former self might start to pop back up again, but don't lose hope, they're still in there somewhere waiting for you... :idea:
    1 x
    lille
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:27 pm

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:27 pm

    Thanks for those kind words @ScorpionPW and @Judas

    These past few days have been tough. My emotional state has been difficult to manage. I feel very angry, frustrated and hostile which is something new to me. I don't know where its coming from or why I am feeling so short tempered. I am having trouble sleeping and I've gone off food altogether. I feel like I don't want to be around anyone either. My mood is feeling really low too. The guilt, the shame, and the amount of work I need to do to start over. Its so complex.
    But it doesn't mean I am going to give up. I have enrolled in courses through This Way Up and Black Dog as well as online courses I can access through being a clinician. I have an appointment with my GP to get referrals for Psychologists and Psychiatrists.
    My next step is to start writing everything down, and maybe separate issues into topics like mental health, addiction, physical health, relationships, living arrangements, and career. Looking all the things that worry me, the things I need to change or improve and the obstacles I need to deal with.. I think if I can look at them on paper, I'll be able to assess them in order of least important to less important in a more structured way which will help when I see a professional.
    Im just taking each day as it comes and trying not to get so overwhelmed.
    3 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 687
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:49 pm

    I can really relate to what you're saying here @lille, I remember how overwhelming things felt in the early days.

    It felt like such a long, difficult journey to change things and I just didn't know where to start. Whenever I thought about how I was going to deal with day to day life, the cravings, my stress, the people I had let down and how they would respond to me, the detox, also not wanting to eat, not being able to sleep...this list went on and it was too much to think about all at once without breaking down and wanting to use to relieve the flood of thoughts and emotions.

    One thing that helped me get through these difficult early days was the idea of 'Just for Today'. I got told that if my head hit the pillow at the end of the day and I hadn't picked up then it was a successful day no matter what else happened. That thinking about staying clean for a lifetime and everything it would take to change my life it was too much. But I could make the choice to not pick up just for today, whatever it took and with the right support.

    It's great to hear that you are breaking it down a day at a time as well, I hope it continues to work well for you. It sounds like you have a lot of strategies to try out and I hope you continue to share how it goes as you move along the journey :)
    0 x
    Judas
    Member
    Posts: 54
    Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:47 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:29 pm

    @lille A lot of the things which you described are very common in the early stages of withdrawal, you are certainly not alone. Something that really helped me when I felt irritated, sleepless and couldn't eat properly was just to try and really focus on the positives.

    Yes, maybe you're struggling to sleep but at least you have a bed. Maybe you're feeling irritated, but at least you are safe and not in any trouble. You might not be in the living arrangement that you want to be in, but at least you have a roof over your head. Being grateful for the things which we do have can be comforting. I don't want to invalidate what you're going through at all, because I know how tough it can be. But by trying to focus on the positives helps me to put my mind at ease and to sleep a bit better at night.

    If you are still struggling with the insomnia (or struggling to relax), I would recommend trying out some mindfulness or meditation. I will link below a video for you that really really helped me, it's an exercise called progressive muscle relaxation. I usually listen to it at night-time whilst I'm in bed, just before I go to sleep and it helps relax my body and mind before drifting off to sleep. You can listen to everynight if you want to, and one of the great things about it is I've found the more you use it the more effective it can be. As you get used to the exercise, your mind reacts quicker to the relaxation aspect of it as it knows that's what is happening. If you click on the author of the youtube video (relax for a while), they have some other really great videos on their channel as well. They have some other relaxation exercises on their channel and also some adult bedtime stories. I also found the bedtime stories really helpful to relax me, when I didn't want to do the progressive muscle relaxation all the time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86HUcX8ZtAk
    3 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing with us @lille............I'm glad you have found the benefit of sharing and getting the thoughts out of your head. I remember the relief I felt the more i started to talk about my addictions. It was painful at times but it took away some of the power it held over me. It's amazing how quickly addictions can drag you down. What starts as a party can quickly turn into a nightmare and the guilt, shame, and remorse build up. The more they build up, the more we want to push them away and that mostly involves using more and more.

    Addiction starts to control our every decision and they're not always decisions we want to make. They're driven by using. Hearing about the situation you've found yourself in is testament to that.................but there is hope. The good thing is that it's only been a year. I'm sure it feels like a long time but there's still plenty of time to turn things back around. You've also come from a really good base with the exercise, healthy eating, career, kids, etc. ...................and you can get back to that. The one thing I say to most people is that making change is possible but it's nearly impossible to do alone..............and there's no shame in asking for help.

    Be that from your GP, an alcohol and drug counsellor, a psychologist, a dietician, a friend, a family member, a personal trainer, or anyone else you can think of that might help. Have you thought about doing a detox and/or rehab? It may give you the space you need to get your mind and body clear to make some decisions that will best benefit you and get you out of the situation you're in...........the one you don't want to be in.

    Relationships can be rebuilt, not always, but they can be. There are jobs out there and I hope you can get your registration back. If not, this may be the start of a new path. Life takes us in all sorts of directions, my career path has changed dramatically and I've found a whole new industry.........and I've never been happier.

    Try to remember that the change process takes time and there can be ups and downs and forwards and backwards steps. Don't let them defeat you though. Use them as learning opportunities of what not to do next time or what to do differently. Over time you'll find out what works for you and what doesn't.

    If you have any questions or I ca support in any way just tag me so I get a notification and I'll reply when i'm next online. Addiction and recovery have taken me to places I never thought possible and I'm more than happy to share about it if it helps.

    Just keep trying.
    0 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 720
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:01 am

    @lille I wanted to check in and see how you're traveling. It sounds like there was a lot of positive momentum at the start of the week! How are things feeling now? I agree with everything shared by @Judas @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW this is an uphill battle, but you will see those changes overtime and will begin to find yourself again.

    I think you should be so proud of how open you've been, I'm so glad to hear you've found somewhere you feel you can share your story and get that support. Remember we're always here for you.
    0 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 720
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: From having it all to losing everything

    Sat Jan 28, 2023 11:01 am

    @lille I wanted to check in and see how you're traveling. It sounds like there was a lot of positive momentum at the start of the week! How are things feeling now? I agree with everything shared by @Judas @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW this is an uphill battle, but you will see those changes overtime and will begin to find yourself again.

    I think you should be so proud of how open you've been, I'm so glad to hear you've found somewhere you feel you can share your story and get that support. Remember we're always here for you.
    0 x

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