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This story was something I wrote on a forum I belong too. The topic of the thread had to do with AA(alcoholics anonymous) People were discussing the way AA relies a lot on the idea of putting your life in the hands of a higher power, “god or god as you know him”. Many of the people were pretty negative about the idea of AA, which I understand. If you want to read an interesting viewpoint that is against the organization you can find that here.  This is my AA experience.

 I am not really a religious person. I went to a catholic school growing up yet my mother’s family is jewish. My sister just went to Israel and we both are exploring judaism right now. I like the way they(jews) approach faith but my problem is I don’t think the bible is the word of god so that is sort of a problem. I also have a lot of books about wicca and polytheism. My problem is I don’t have much discipline went it comes to religious practice and apparently I don’t have the faith to follow through on any of it.

My ex boyfriend had to go to AA for some court stuff and I went with him. I definitely felt it was cultish, we went to several different meetings in different towns and some were better than others. One we went to was alright but we knew a lot of the people there and many of them were active drinkers and drug users. The ones who were sort of the leaders, I felt were trying to suck me in, giving me all sorts of book and their phone numbers and being all around pushy and weird.

One of the books I got was “Twenty-Four Hours A Day” It’s a small book and each day of the year has an AA thought of the day, Meditation of the day, and Prayer of the day. Some of the things in the book are a little weird but some actually helped me It was shortly after the AA stuff that I ended up homeless and dealing with a lot of serious mental health issues. I felt helpless about pretty much every aspect of my life and sometimes I would flip through the book and find things that made me feel a little better. I just went to find the book and found a page I marked.

Some words from the meditation of the day: “The calm and sane mind sees spiritual things as the true realities and material things as only temporary and fleeting” The prayer for the day was ” I pray I may have a calm and sane mind. I pray I may look up, around, and away from myself” At the time I was a mess and as my dad said I was in ‘survival’ mode. I kind of had to not focus on the things that were actually going on and had to put my mind someplace outside of me or I was going to go more crazy than I already was. Some of the words brought me comfort and something else to focus on. It didn’t all of a sudden make everything all better, but it helped a little.

Maybe some people going through some really bad things with their alcoholism need to put their faith in something else, like I had to. Not really sure how it works for drinking and drugging but it helped me a little going through homelessness and mental health issues. I didn’t go to any meetings after the few I went to with my ex boyfriend and I don’t really know all of the ins and outs of the organization. The previous story was just my limited experience, which was really only had to do with that one little book.

Yes, as strange as it might sound, I enjoyed my brief stay in the crazy place. Before I get into the actual stay, let me give a little background information.

About three years ago I was a complete mess, waaay more than I am right now. At the time I was semi-homeless, with no stable place to live. The places I was staying at were white trash disasters; animal waste in the house, broken windows, teen-age drinking and drugging, all while the mother stayed in her bed all day high on valium, pills and anything else she could get. These places included straight up unsanitary dumps, unlivable gutted trailers, and a camper in the middle of winter. It was pretty bad.

I also have had a history of depression. I had been on medication for about five years, but because of my instability I didn’t keep up with even the basic things a person does for themselves, never mind therapy or medication. Things were going from bad to worse to completely unmanageable rapidly. There were plenty of other things that contributed to my mental demise, but I don’t really feel like getting into the whole thing right now. Reliving my disaster of a situation really brings me down and I’m just not in the right frame of mind to deal with it. I’m sure I will write about everything at some point but right now I just want to talk about the days prior to admitting myself.

I don’t quite remember exactly what happened, but at some point in January of ’05 I realized I needed help. I set up an appointment at the mental health clinic I used to go to. I got back in and saw an amazing nurse psychiatrist I’ll just call AN(amazing nurse). AN was new at the clinic and also worked at the regular hospital in the nearest small city (about 45 minutes away), so she was plugged into the private psychiatric hospital in that area. AN put me on the medication I was taking prior to my absence which was effexor but she also told me that I had the option of going to the hospital if I needed to because I was somewhat in crisis mode.

This sort of thing happened to me in 1999 when I lived on the west coast when I realized  for the first time in my life  I was in need of help. I was suicidal and felt if I didn’t get help I was in danger of hurting myself. I had tried to find a doctor to see me but I couldn’t find one that took people without insurance and I was in such distress I could barely figure out how to write my name, never mind deal with the bureaucratic healthcare system. I ended up calling a crisis line for suggestions and broke down while on the phone with the worker. I was seen in an emergency appointment, put on prozac and given the option of being admitted but declined. The prozac made me even more loopy and I blew the whole thing off. I had just turned 21 and I thought drinking was a more effective way to medicate myself, it was a way to distract me from my problems.

This time, however was different. At a visit with AN soon after I first saw her I said “I think I need to go to the hospital”. I just wasn’t handling anything well and I was afraid of myself. I was in serious depression and out of control.

July 2017
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