alcohol dependency

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Good day dear readers!  this picture is a repeat, but still a pretty cool one I think.  I took it at a place called “Two Step” which is a popular diving spot on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Scroll past today’s poem for today’s blog!

 

Real Love

I can’t abide these bold young men

Trying to change the world with a stoke of a pen

Not by writing poems for the good of all mankind

But by the size of the checks that they can sign

I was once like them it’s true

I thought I had to be rich to win over you

I thought that if I could give you everything

You would one day want to wear my ring

But my journey down that path

Was never meant to last

You spurned my love and I forgot

About gaining happiness from the things I bought

I once thought the best people had the most wealth

But found they had lonliness, wasted lives and poor health

And someone beautiful intervened for me

I’m so glad they did, they set my soul free

Love is never real when you find it while pretending

Love like that always leaves an unhappy ending

Someone has to see the very best in you

For any love to be strong, lasting and true

I was born my father’s son

And from the very day I had begun

I wrote poems, stories of love and life

And that was what always got me through strife

If someone had ten times their present wealth

They would have no extra love, happiness or health

Life is really just an inner journey in your mind

To find what makes you more real, more loving and kind

When you give up on owning worldly things

You can learn what joy undying love will bring

Love with your whole heart and see it’s true

All other things will one day be added unto you

Leif Gregersen

March 15, 2016

 

Hope you enjoy today’s poem, I haven’t been posting much lately as I have a new job as Editor of two online magazines.  They are both magazines dealing with mental health issues owned by the same person and I think it is a fantastic opportunity for me.  I will still be posting blog entries when I can though, I can’t forget about all of my followers!

Anyhow, I wanted to talk a little today about recovery.  There are two kinds of recovery commonly thought of when you are dealing with a person who is afflicted with a mental illness, you can talk about recovering from the illness, and being in a stable state or you could also be referring to things like alcohol dependancy and other addictions.  I woud like to briefly touch on both in today’s blog.

I feel that right now I am in a state of recovery both from my addictions and from my illness.  I have stabilized on medications, and gone through a very long process of getting better.  I have not come all the way.  Some of the symptoms I still experience are bouts of mild mania, times of slight depression, but luckily two things are in place: I have a very good life that I am leading that gets me through tough times and I have found medications that work well for me.  Many people may wonder if once they get to a position like mine if they can stop seeing their doctor.  I really don’t agree with this, I actually like to see my Psychiatrist once a month if I can though he is confident with me waiting longer periods.  I still need tweaking sometimes with regards to medications, like my last visit when my doctor prescribed me an anti-depressant to help me get better sleep, and not only is it important that your doctor be aware of how you are coping, but also that you are plugged into your best source of advice on new medications and treatments and many other things.  For this same reason I also feel it is a good idea to get to know your pharmacist.  The cool thing about your pharmacist is that he gives quality medical advice for free.

That was a short bit about recovery from a mental illness.  I guess I should also say that it is so important to keep up hope that life will get better.  One of the best ways to keep hope going is simply to try and keep busy.  Get a membership to your local pool and if you aren’t the athletic type just dog paddle around a bit and enjoy the sauna or hot tub if they have one.  Get involved in support groups or your local Schizophrenia Society if there is one, they can offer a wealth of resources.  Having friends is also a huge thing.  Before you know it you will be doing and feeling a lot better.  I myself was very sick 15 years ago when I got out of the hospital after a long visit and my Dad would come and get me and we would go for a long walk in the park each day.  I often think these walks saved my life.

But I should try and get in a few words about recovery from addictions.  When I was a teen alcohol was an allowed substance.  I could drink at home or at parties, sometimes my Dad and I would even drink alcohol together.  I was in a poor state in my teens, mostly in a depressive mood and it seemed the only times I was happy (more than likely manic) was when I drank.  I never progressed to drinking every day, but I often got into trouble and had negative behavior when I was under the influence.  Fortunately I am now more than 4 years sincde a drink of any kind and I feel I am in the best years of my life.  What it took to get here was a lot of determination, a lot of effort to change negative patterns, and for the first while, a lot of time in support groups.  Alcohol and drugs is such a sticky subject for those of us with a diagnosis of mental illness.  I have heard a doctor say that once a person is put on prescribed medications for mental illness they should never drink again.  This choice is yours, I just want to say that it is not impossible and can really change your life for the positive.  I also quit smoking and stopped going anywhere near any form of gambling and with the help of part-time work I am able to do some amazing things like going to Hawaii or even buying the computer I am typing on right now.

Thanks Dear Readers, I hope you got something out of today’s post, as always, feel free to comment or email me at: viking3082000@yahoo.com

Working Towards a Better Understanding

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What an amazing day I had today.  Thanks to being set up as a member of the mental health writer’s guild, I have added ten new followers in just one day.  That means a lot, especially if I can somehow help even one of those people.  My thanks go out to everyone who signed up to be notified of my new posts.

It hasn’t even been a day since I posted my last blog, but I had a few things I felt would be good to talk about.  For  a long time I have been working as a stage hand for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and though the work is getting difficult as I age, I think I would have a hard time not continuing with this work because I have so many amazing friends there.

Tonight my job was to set up and tear down the stage for Black Sabbath, but the concert was cancelled just a few hours before show time.  I don’t know how they managed to let everyone know about this, I am sure there were literally thousands of hugely disappointed fans, but none of them were at the venue to complain or riot.  Maybe it has to do with how polite Canadians are.

One of the things of note that happened tonight is that I started talking with one of my co-workers and found out he is a writer as well.  We had an interesting talk in between times of having to do things and he shared with me that he had a friend who he is sure is bipolar.  I gave him my business card with the address to this website on it and told him he was welcome to have his friend contact me.  This really amazes me because for many years I thought it was a terrible thing to tell people I have a mental illness, but so many times I am finding, when I do people start to talk about themselves having difficulties, or a family member or friend who has difficulties.  Mental illness is really something that touches all of us and hiding it away on some far off corner of our closet doesn’t help anyone at all.

Something I also wanted to touch on here is self stigma.  This is when a person feels guilty and blames themselves, even harms themselves for their condition.  Many years back, when I first had a serious hospital admission, I had so much guilt.  I had embarrassed myself, my family, lost friends, ruined relationships, lost respect and just about all of my material possessions.  My solution to all of this, as it was around the time of the first Persian Gulf War was to throw away all of my hopes and dreams and to sign up for the military wanting to be killed in battle to restore what I thought I had destroyed through my own fault.  Of course this could have ended in me dying, but fortunately my psychiatric records kept me out of the Canadian Forces.  I still wanted to punish myself though and began running, as much as 50 miles a week.  I ran so much that I did some very serious damage to my knees and became not only psychiatrically disabled, but physically disabled as well.  By some wonderful chance of fate, my knees have healed and I have been able to go back to a normal job and make some money to supplement my disability benefits.  What surprises me though is how a disease of the brain can affect people in such a way that it gets manifested in physical ailments.  One example is that when you take medication, your mouth often gets dry and saliva is a person’s first line of defense against tooth decay.  So, people with bipolor or other disorders often have bad teeth.

Another thing that suprpises me is just the sheer volume of people who have mental health issues, especially when you add in addictions problems, even alcohol dependency.  It is a bit sad to say but if I keep working in the mental health field for the rest of my working days, I will never be out of work.

I hope some of these words can help those who read them.  To the person I spoke to today and to many of the people who are new to this blog, I want to say that a diagnosis of a mental health disorder is not a death sentence and that things can really get better.  Be a proactive patient/consumer/mental health survivor.  Get out and join groups online or in your city where you can meet with others and share your difficulties and triumphs.  Advocate for yourself and for those who are too far gone to have a voice of their own.  If you are just curious about mental health, find books and talk to your family Doctor about it.  The worst thing you can do is suffer in silence.  And, as always, feel free to drop me a line, I can be reached at: viking3082000@yahoo.com and I would love to be able to help you and be your friend.