Look at the Blue Bird, Spring is almost here!
In Minnesota, where I live, the winters are cold and long. My 28 year battle with addiction was also cold and long, and it almost killed me on five separate occasions. By the Grace of God, and specifically Jesus Christ, I survived homelessness, living outside on the streets for one year, and 13 treatment centers. In addition to all of this, I was diagnosed as manic depressive.
People who have a dual diagnosis, that is, mental illness separate from the disease of addiction, combined with the disease of addiction, have a much harder time getting and staying sober. During the time that I went to the 13 treatment centers, I was not getting treatment for the manic depression.
A psychiatrist diagnosed me as manic depressive and warned me that if I did not take lithium carbonate, my life would become a living hell. I decided not to take the medication for manic depression which is Lithium Carbonate. There were two reasons why I made the decision not to take the medication. The first reason was that lithium takes away the highs of manic depression. I liked the highs and I was not willing to give them up. The second reason was a strong denial that anything could be wrong with my brain, since I had achieved straight A’s in high school and four years of college. How could there be anything wrong with my brain?
This decision to deny that I had manic depression and my refusal to take the medication, was the single most self-destructive decision that I have made in my life. Part of the reason that I went to the 13 treatment centers, was because when you are manic depressive, you are extremely impulsive. When a thought came into my head, I just did it without considering the consequences of my actions. Therefore, I kept on relapsing…… 13 times.
Here is an example of what mania is: I was living in my own apartment in Wisconsin with my Husky dog, Princess. One day I had the thought to leave my apartment and everything in it, load up my car with some clothes, some food and my dog and just drive away. That is exactly what I did. I headed for Colorado and a new world of trouble.
The result was five near-death experiences in Denver, Colorado. Several jail terms for shoplifting, fighting and public intoxication. Denver was the place that I spent a year living outside on the streets. My manic depression and my addiction to alcohol, marijuana and cocaine were burning like a forest fire gone out of control.
Today, I look at the picture of the Blue Bird and I look forward to the spring. There is the hope of a new year with new possibilities. However, I am also reminded that spring and summer are potentially dangerous times for me in terms of relapse. By the grace of God, I now have over 18 years of sobriety, but I still have to protect myself and be aware of triggers for relapse. If I can get sober, anyone can get sober. I am living proof that it can be done when we completely surrender our lives to God, and get help from our sponsor and others in recovery.
Alone we fail, but together we win victory!
Please check out my published book,
“Saved By The Prince Of Peace –Dungeon to sky.”
The website is: dungeontosky.com
I have a dedicated Facebook page for the book.
The link is: https://www.facebook.com/dungeontosky.com
The purpose of this book is to give hope, encouragement, faith and love to the suffering addict, who might think that he or she cannot recover.
This book can save lives. Please check it out.