My Struggle With Addiction - Part 1

By Baladi · Mar 8, 2015 · ·
  1. My name is James and I was raised around drugs my life.

    My parents were alcoholics, and my mother drank alcohol while she was pregnant with me from what I am told. I don't know much about genetics and alcoholism, but my dad drank a lot. So much that he would always take me to the bar with him when I was very little. He passed away in 1995 and I didn't even know until I got a letter from Social Security telling me my dad had passed away.

    At that time in Cleveland, about 1989/1990 Parents divorced, our house ended up getting raided because my brother getting involved with all kinds of drugs when I was little. Seeing my mom getting plastic cuffs put on for no reason scared me a little when I was young. They trashed the house and found nothing. My mother, fed up with it all, packed us all and moved to PA in 1998.

    From then she slowly ended up getting sick from smoking so much...(she smoked all her life) passed away in 2005 from diabetes, COPD, and congestive heart failure. I was really close to my mom and when she left me, I was lost.

    Now I have a problem, I constant drank alcohol and smoked weed wherever I was at. Losing myself with drug and alcohol abuse which is really hard to say. But it's the truth and I know it. I'm just so used to it it's normal for me. I would steal medication sometimes, not really caring what would happen. I was getting very careless and just wrecking myself.

    From there I have been staying with friends, couch to couch for the longest time. Until about 2007 When I ended up homeless.

    With no underlying faith in any religion, I was forced to go to church while I was at a homeless shelter. 30 people living in one house is not fun. Nightly open prayer. Ended up there for 6 months until my sister allowed me to stay with her.

    I eventually get back on my feet...

    Got an apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. Was living alone, had my own apartment and everything. Met a girl and fell in love, and she got me into martial arts (she was a black belt herself). I loved every minute of it. The energy I had. I was getting in shape, advancing in classes....doing tournaments even.

    But while I was doing all of that, I was abusing vodka going through 1.75 liters in about a day about 4 times a month. Eventually my drinking got so out of hand I ended up getting a public drunkenness once, and arguing with neighbors. Then it got so bad where I never paid my bills and my electric got shut off for a whole month....

    Well long story short I ended up owing on the rent, and I was forced to move with some friends. Had to leave my girlfriend, and move about 120 miles away from Pittsburgh. This was about 2012. I stayed with them untill 2013. One day I was drinking very much, and I always kept in touch with her over the phone. I called her drunk and got nasty with her, blaming her and her parents for breaking us up...she left me.

    Now present day I have problems with my health:

    High blood pressure
    Elevated cholesterol
    Pains under my left rib
    Digestive problems
    Psychological problems

    All from past alcohol abuse which has also ruined past relationships, ruined friendships and made me question myself.

    I wanted to share my experiences with everyone and bring some insight from my perspective, while embracing opinions to better myself.

    Right now I'm 32 years old and I live in Dayton, Ohio with my brother who has bipolar really bad. He uses almost any kind of drug, and drinks. Along and 4 other people. And there is a lot medication readily available, unused. Ritalin, Vyvanse, Adderall, all the Marijuana you can smoke.

    The bills are always paid, and there's always food here too.
    Comfortable..carefree environment labeled with enabling mistrust all over it.

    And I'm in it big time.

    I'm in a situation with limited income, with people I have been raised with all my life, who have known me all my life. My 2 nieces live here too but they are just so used to everything its like the norm here.

    I can't afford a place on my own and I don't know anyone else I could live with so I am kinda stuck here at the moment.

    I have a girlfriend I have been seeing for about 6 months. I love her to death and she knows nothing of anything I do but marijuana. I'm afraid to tell her anything and I hide it, which kinda eats me inside. I never get violent, I hardly ever yell about anything, and I let things eat me up inside.

    I also have a disability with my vision that I was born with Myopic Degeneration and I am legally blind. I receive SSI as an Income. I can see okay to get around in life it's just I can't drive, and I stick to myself most of the time. I used to take Martial Arts and I am a green belt in Tang Soo Do. I Stopped When I left Pittsburgh, and I used to be in great shape. Now....not so much.

    Past/current use 17^:
    Alcohol...lots. I have always been a binge drinker since I was 21 and drank vodka very hard for about 2 years living in Pittsburgh. Stopped vodka.

    I don't drink everyday anymore because I cant. I can't afford it. And when I don't have alcohol I am okay. No withdraws. Now 5 beers have me in pain, and I think my pancreas is crying. That, along with
    Opiates rarely,and Amphetamines which I didn't start until I moved here to Dayton. I usually insufflate, except for Vyvanse, I have been doing this every month since January 2014, taking breaks in between but I would always binge. and I still do binge.

    I've been around all of this for so long its all i'm used to. and I want to do something about it before I destroy myself. I procrastinate on doing things. I pay my bills but I splurge when I have the money available. I need to see a doctor but I've been putting that off too and I hate it.

    I have insurance but only medicare until Medicaid clears, so I have to do an intake at a psychiatrist.

    Well after sharing my story I want to say this. I've made poor choices in my life. But I am optimistic that it's not too late for me.

    Thank you for reading my story. Be safe.


  1. oldscratch
    Hey James. As you already know you need help. The big question now is what kind of help will help you the most. I have done various groups. Seen a psychiatrist and been put on meds. What has helped me the most is one on one cbt with a therapist. All of the drugs you named that you are using makes my mental state 10 times worse. I'm sure it is the same for you.

    I wish I could say I am 100% sober. I am not. But I did quit drinking for 3 years. Now I only drink beer in moderation once a week. I use kratom and kava about once a week as well with no ill effects.

    Good luck to you man.
  2. Healer
    It's never too late to better your life. Theirs never such a thing as a lost cause. Don't think that just because you're older and have a lot of physical problems theirs no point in stopping now. There is not any single psychological ailment like depression or even bipolar that I believe can't be resolved with therapy and inner reflection to resolve any drug abuse problems that are a result of it.

    Knowledge is a beautiful thing. I abused drugs carelessly and dangerously till I educated myself on what will happen if I kept going. Even with tobacco smoking I educated myself on what it was doing to me. You have to figure out what you want out of life. Pinpoint what is preventing your wants and needs, and have a realization moment that your self destructive behavior if preventing you from having a beautiful life.

    Just really ask yourself next time you pickup a drug why you're doing it. Think of what you're feeling emotionally and just contemplate your decision to use. Evaluating your thoughts when you have the urge to abuse a drug will give you great insight to whats going on. After abusing drugs for so long it really makes it hard to find a rational reason for why you're doing what you're doing. It's very helpful to think back to the first time you abused any drugs you're addicted to now. Just picking apart that day and evaluating what you were feeling like after you used the drug can help you uncover many thought processes that trigger your drug use.

    I can say your pain under your rib might be acid reflux. If you breath and get pain there that surely can be acid reflux. To be on the safe side if you never seen a doctor about this pain you should get blood work done to see if you might have a blood clot.

    Therapy should really benefit you. Just talking to a therapist helps on its own. When I first saw a therapist for my GAD and panic attacks that day I left feeling better just because I talked about my problems. It'll work out for you in the end if you put effort into bettering yourself.
  3. phizz
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