Tag Archives: dual disorders

Recovery Is A Crazy Place

19 Jun

Recently I have seen a lot of forum topics and headlines discussing mental health and addiction. As someone who is labeled as “dual-diagnosed”, this topic hits close to home. Steadfast supporters sit on both sides of the fence. The group chanting “no meds” rivals the group chanting, “treat the mental illness and the addiction is cured ”. I have very little time for extremists. Both mental health and addiction are personal issues that the afflicted individual has to come to terms with. I don’t feel that taking medication for mental health issues threatens ones sobriety, if they are working a strong program. In my opinion, if you are seeing a great shrink and they understand addiction, they must promote holistic well-being. If they don’t, seek a second opinion. My doctor insists that I deal with my addiction first, working one day at a time to stay sober. The use of low doses of medication to manage the bi-polar is suggested and it has worked for me. When someone deals with mental illness combined with addiction, they must come to terms with recovery and their personal mental health.

People like to talk about balance, saying that life is all about creating a way to manage everything at the same time. I prefer the term harmony. Finding balance is stress inducing and ends up being fruitless. I view my life as sheet music. I see the elements of my life as notes and if I’m having a good day they don’t sound off key. Some days the harmony is beautiful and other days it’s dark and disturbing. Regardless of how the song of the day pans out, it always reflects the real me. I strive for harmony between my recovery, my mental health and living moment to moment. The majority of the time, it works.

I am aware of what outside influences trigger a manic. I’m a member of the “all manic all the time” club, I don’t get depressed. I may crash and burn for a few days but for the most part, my bipolar encourages my mind and body to go go go. No one likes to see me in a full- blown manic, trust me it’s not pretty. I have had rage issues since I was a toddler and when a manic occurs, all of my tact filters fly out of the window.  The exact same thing happens when I drink. You can imagine what the combination of drinking and being manic induces. Utter nightmare. I manage my sobriety and recovery on a day-by-day basis. While I don’t adhere to any specific recovery method, my program is strong and has a solid foundation. The combination allows me to maintain some type of harmony.


The Legacy Of Kurt Cobain

6 Apr

17th Anniversary Of Kurt Cobain’s Death

I don’t feel that much needs said about Kurt Cobain, his drug use, struggles with mental illness and toxic marriage. I feel that it is important to remember how horrific the death of an active addict can be. I have issues with the idolization of celebrities who have died because of their disease. The worship of these individuals as “everlasting idols” has a propensity to give people a glorified delusion of what their lifestyle actually entailed. Despite these misgivings, I hope that the anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain acts as a warning to those that do not seek treatment for addiction, along with those that do not seek professional help for mental illness.

Brief History

Seventeen years ago Kurt Cobain was found dead, from an apparent suicide. Scandals and speculation ran amuck in regards to the exact details of how Kurt died. His life, as the lead singer of Nirvana changed the music scene forever. The popularity of grunge rock became mainstream. The wave of grunge spread in popularity throughout the entire country. Cobain was no stranger to fighting personal demons.

Cobain’s Battle With Addiction And Mental Illness

Cobain struggled with addiction and a tumultuous relationship with his wife Courtney Love. The list of tough issues that he dealt with included heroin addiction; depression and he struggled with his seemingly overnight fame. His health conditions, including a chronic stomach condition, chronic bronchitis and physical pain caused his drug use to escalate. In July of 1993, Cobain overdosed on heroin. There was no intervention done at this juncture, he didn’t even go to the hospital when the overdose happened. Another overdose occurred in 1994, this time a combination of alcohol and the drug rohypnol. Eventually loved ones decided that an intervention was necessary.

Cobain’s Death & Legacy

Cobain left rehab against the advice of friends and addiction professionals. He “escaped” rehab and was off the grid for a short while. It was only a few weeks later that Cobain’s body was found. The cause of death, gunshot wound with a suicide note next to his body. His true legacy isn’t the music industry that he spearheaded, it wasn’t his fame or fans, and it wasn’t his marriage to Courtney Love. His daughter, Francis Bean is Kurt Cobain’s true legacy and the priceless gift that he gave to this world.

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