Mental Health Friday #32

Mental Health Friday #32

 

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Today’s topic is one close to my heart and I could hardly wait for Friday, to unburden. So, here’s the thing. We all have someone (Atleast most of us do), who is battling with drugs, substance abuse and dependence. We might even be that person, because the truth is, you don’t really know a person until you know a person. And a lot of time, substance abuse doesn’t always come with a label on the forehead.

We, as a society, have tried shaming people who become dependent on substances (in other words, addicted), and how has that helped? Its only pushed them further into the throngs of abuse. Why? Because when you isolate people, loneliness is a hell of a thing, they delve further into their only constant friend- the abused substance.

Drugs have killed our society and shame has buried us alive. And until we find healthier and better ways of dealing with abuse, we are only building houses with glass ceilings. And those ceilings will come crashing eventually.

We’ve tried the whole- insulting, ridiculing, and making fun of those dealing with substance abuse. But name one person that has helped?! Time after time after time, we shame people from wanting to seek help, with our words and our manners. Read more

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Mental Health Friday #13

Mental Health Friday #13

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I just recently read an article on Jezebel titled “A Toast to All the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with Their Toxic Moms” which really hit home for me. I know this isn’t like my typical happy, upbeat posts; but it’s something I’ve dealt with since I can remember and I know I’m not alone.

I love my Mother to the end of this Earth, that will never change. But it’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. Growing up, my sisters and I have had to deal with what the article referred to as a “broken woman”. Many terrible things have happened to my Mother, which I won’t go into detail about. But the most impactful was the loss of my brother when he was 2 (in ’89). I hadn’t been born yet, in fact my mother hadn’t even met my Father yet (my two sisters and brother have a different Father). I’ve always wished I was alive to meet my brother, but at the same time I’m not sure how I would have handled his death. My Mom’s addiction developed shortly after.

In the late 90’s, she started attending a methadone clinic to attempt getting off the drugs she was abusing. If you’re not familiar with methadone, it’s a medication usually used to relieve severe pain. But it’s also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people who are addicted to opiates. Little did everyone know that this would be a new addiction in itself.

Obviously I was never told anything about this when I was younger, but I remember being able to notice some of the side effects of the methadone. The most noticeable being extreme drowsiness. I can remember around the ages of 7-10 I would go to her house every Friday to stay for the weekend. I’d be sitting with her at the kitchen table trying to tell her all the things I did in school that day and she’d be hunched over, passed out. I didn’t think too much of it as a child, I just thought “Oh, Mommy’s really tired”. However, I did think it was strange that she would start to fall asleep immediately after I would shake her and wake her up. It got progressively worse as I got older. When I was around 12, my grandfather passed away (my Mother’s Father). We all loved him very much, but my Mother especially. She fell into an even deeper depression after this and along with being extremely tired from the methadone, she never got out of bed, she was barely eating, and just didn’t take care of herself in general.

I have limited memories of actually doing things and spending quality time with her. Instead, I watched her wither away from being a beautiful, energetic woman to a lifeless shell of that woman. I was always so envious of other girls my age growing up who had good relationships with their Mothers. In my early teens, I sort of resented her for choosing a life of drugs over the possible relationships she could have had with her three girls. As an adult now, I just had to accept that she is so lost in her own depression and addiction, that she doesn’t even realize what she’s sacrificed. Those childhood years are something that we won’t get back, and neither will she. I don’t hate her, I don’t think I ever could. I’m just disappointed in a way.

Anyone who has a family member or friend who is an addict, I can relate. You want to help them so badly to create a better life for themselves. You want them to realize that drugs aren’t an acceptable coping mechanism for their problems, that there are other options. But like I said before, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. They have to want it for themselves. You can’t sacrifice your own happiness and wear yourself down in hopes of “fixing” them. As painful as it is, you have to let it be if they are not willing to change. All you can do is create a better future for yourself. I know I have the power to be the Mother that mine wasn’t, for my own children in the future.

This week’s story was sent in by Amber who blogs at What Makes Me Amber.wordpress.com where she blogs about health, wellness, (yummy) recipes and Life in general.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit this post.

IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com.

Mental Health Friday #20

Mental Health Friday #20

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How I made it to eleven years clean despite having a nervous breakdown and thinking terrorists had poisoned all the blueberries in my local supermarket.

When I went into rehab at the beginning of 2005, my seriousness and dedication to my treatment can be deduced from the essential items I packed:
12 pairs of Agent Provocateur lingerie (in case I got lucky)
A vibrator (in case I didn’t)
Enough benzos and diet pills to get me through the first week.
17 pairs of designer shoes (later smuggled up to 70)
36 handbags.

My therapist said I looked like I’d escaped from the set of TV Sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous.” I sincerely believed this was a compliment. I had chosen St Chillin’s, Britain’s most exclusive rehab, as I felt it would look best on my C.V. and hoped to bump into a celebrity. Despite having been arrested at Heathrow airport, as sundry dogs, passengers and tea ladies detected that my passport and all my possessions were heavily (and visibly) coated in cocaine, I considered myself to be a party girl who had simply partied a bit hard. Quite what party I was attending when I was scoring drugs in a Jamaican ghetto at midnight, thinking I was likely to be gang raped and have my throat cut, is still a mystery. Other adventures I’d got up to included being seduced by a (female) teenage stripper in Jamaica, who’d killed someone the week before (and then stole my car). And deciding that the best medication for a cocaine induced heart attack, was (naturally) to take more cocaine.

Only a few days after the benzos I’d taken into rehab ran out, (which caused major panic attacks as well as a serious problem with imaginary insects that kept on biting me) I was forced to do “Step 1” of the AA 12 Step programme “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.” The reaction from my therapy group to what I’d been getting up to in Jamaica was, instead of the laughter and applause I’d been expecting, shocked silence and a recommendation “to write it all down as a public leaflet to warn people not to take drugs.” That Step 1 changed my life, reducing my denial from the size of the Titanic to a one person canoe. Instead of just having a break from my using, I now decided I was going to get clean.

After relating a catalogue of disasters with my mental health, the psychiatrist at St Chillin’s diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder and said I had “too many problems” to be treated in the private sector as I would “bankrupt my family.” This diagnosis came after previous diagnoses of clinical depression and bulimia in my early twenties. The psychiatrist said I needed to move to a state rehab. I decided I’d better listen, as my decisions had ended me up in rehab, totally broke. The only place my local council would fund that had a bed, was a tough rehab in South London, bristling with ex-cons, where I met the “love of my life” an ex-armed robber, pimp and drug dealer who’d forgotten how long he’d spent in jail. Naturally, when I left residential rehab at the end of 2005, he moved straight in with me. But I’m not sure I would have got through that first Christmas out of rehab clean if he hadn’t been around.

I was going to 12 Step meetings, which I had always primarily viewed as places you went to pick up men, arriving at the end of the meeting, with my telephone number tattooed on an exposed breast. I had chosen a sponsor in NA because her handbag collection was much much bigger than mine. My local council decided I was too deranged to be left in society on my own, so my GP referred me to the Waterview Psychiatric Unit where they had a programme to treat people with Personality Disorders. I immediately renamed it the “Prison View Psychiatric Unit” as water was as absent as lakes in the Sahara, it was actually overlooking a juvenile detention centre. Read more

Mental Health Friday #14

Mental Health Friday #14

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Today’s MHF is a continuation of Trae’s journey with Bipolar disorder. Up until now, we’ve seen her deal with her mother passing away, the negative effects of anti-psychotics and her relapse with addiction. We ended last time with Trae getting back her life, following her entry into an Alcoholics Anonymous group.

I left off in my story at a time when we had just moved into an apartment in a new town. I had started to go to A.A. meetings and met my new sponsor. At the same time, as soon as we moved into that apartment I started to talk to my ex-husband about my leaving. We had gone for coffee every week or so to talk outside of the house and we argued a lot over this. I told him my reasons for leaving many times over and I also told him I didn’t believe things would change. I told him I believed the only reason he was being so nice to me was because he had nothing and no one else at that moment, but as soon as he picked himself up again, which he would, he would forget I existed the way he always did. My ex-husband did put in effort, but as I told him, I did not believe things would really change.

At the same time, I was going to meetings and on commitments with my sponsor. I met the other active members of the group, one of which was John. I did not know him very well, but when he spoke at commitments and meetings, I listened. My respect and admiration for him grew.

During the winter of 2011-2012, I spent my spare time working very intensely on my fourth step. (Step Four, Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.) I do believe what that did for me was far beyond it’s intended purpose of helping me to see what my characters defects are, why I do the things I do and how to change them. It also helped me to see that I was not so bad as I was made out to be. I listed everything I had done wrong to hurt another person in my life and what I saw was that I was not such a bad person, as a matter of fact I was a pretty good person. The fact that I have bi-polar disorder, ADHD and PTSD had nothing to do with what kind of person I was. This of course caused me to look harder at the people that had treated me as though I were some kind of problem. Clearly, I was not their problem. Clearly, I did not deserve to be hurt anymore.

It was in the spring that I did my fifth step, outside on a cool day with my sponsor. (Step Five. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.) We sat together and went over everything. She then brought me to her house and left me to sit alone and do steps Six and Seven. (Step Six, Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” Step Seven, Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.

That day I felt a freedom that I have never known. All of the fears I had fell away. I knew I was ready to begin my life again and I was so happy I went home and told my ex-husband in a card that I was ready to move on. The problem seemed to be that the next morning when I woke up, I realized that yes, I was ready to move on, but not there. Read more

Flash Fiction: The relapse

Flash Fiction: The relapse

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Aron walked in to find his wife, Nina, passed out on the dinner table. The bouquet he was holding fell involuntarily to the ground. The house was dark except for a flicker of light from a candle and an odor of Alcohol mixed with something smoky filled the atmosphere.

He shook Nina gently whilst trying to maintain his composure. It took a few minutes after she regained consciousness for reality to dawn on her. A distraught Nina clutched herself, trembling and sobbing.

Aron steadied her as she buried her tear stained face in his chest. They maintained that position long enough for Nina’s state of mind to regain some normalcy. She gazed into the eyes of the man who had always been her rock through her numerous down spirals,
  “I want this baby Aron”, she spoke, placing one hand on her barely visible bump “I- I need help”.

He hugged the mother of his unborn child a little tighter… There was nothing more to say.


Word count: 165 words. This story is in response to Flash Fiction for aspiring writers photo prompt challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. Thank you Pixabay.com for this week’s photo.

Mental Health Friday #12

Mental Health Friday #12

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“During the Spring of 2008 my husband and I started to smoke Marijuana. We smoked a few times over a period of six months and then my husband stopped. I went on to smoke another six months before my husband realized and we then went back to the program of A.A. We originally met there when I was three weeks sober, May 25th of 1996. We had not abused alcohol or drugs since then and saw Marijuana as a relapse. The twelve steps of A.A. can be applied to more addictions than just alcohol and we both knew that.

This started a new period of our lives. More losses and a new way of life through the steps.”

It was early May of 2009 when I walked into that first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had had a few years of sobriety prior, but this time I wanted something different- Recovery. I found a sponsor, a woman I had known as a neighbor for a few years. She was a lovely woman, but she had not done the steps through the big book of A.A. the way I wanted to. Otherwise, she helped me immensely to prepare myself. I joined more than one group and was the coffee maker at more than one as well. I went to five meetings a week in addition to commitments. A commitment is when you join with other members of your group to speak at another group.

My confidence began to build and I started to become busy in other ways as well. Delivering a weekly donation to the soup kitchen on Mondays was one of my favorite additions to my life. I began to see that people outside of my home, away from my ex-husband treated me differently. The more I did outside of the house, the more separated I felt from my ex-husband, the more I began to see.

In April of 2010 I celebrated my one year anniversary. I was doing well. We had a friend living in the apartment downstairs with his wife and three children. His wife and I were very close friends. We all were. Christmas with them had been wonderful and we were looking forward to summer.

It was the end of May, or beginning of June, I don’t remember. What I do remember is my ex-husband telling me that we were losing everything. Our house, our business, everything just gone. I was in shock. Our friends had to move and so did we. Read more

Mental Health Friday #10

Mental Health Friday #10

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“Seeing my ex-husband handle himself so well with my mother leads me to believe that maybe if he had more understanding of my illness, my invisible illness, he would have reacted differently to me.”

The above is an excerpt from my last post here. My mother had just passed away from bone cancer. If my ex-husband had been more understanding of my illness, maybe I would not have been in the state that I was in at that point. It was just a year before that my ex-husband had asked me why I was doing so well and when I answered him that it was because I was doing it for myself, he got very upset and yelled at me. He couldn’t seem to understand the concept of doing anything for myself and so, I gave up. At this point, I already knew that nothing I ever did was good enough and so, rather quickly I had shut down. The chronic pain I was experiencing did not help and my defiant nature brought me to a point of being unable to eat. On the outside our marriage looked good, but only because I questioned him on nothing.

My physical state was sad at best. My muscles were weak and I did not trust my legs. I had problems with depth perception, balance and coordination. I had vertigo and severe cramping in my muscles. I was over medicated and still not sleeping. I was having trouble swallowing and due to a Barium Swallow test it was found that my wind pipe was not closing correctly, causing me to choke on my food.

My husband and I decided at this point to quit smoking and we went to our doctor for a quit smoking aid called Chantix. We did quit smoking for three months, but I became suicidal. One weekend in August, my husband took the five boys to Six Flags and I stayed home alone. I knew no one would be by the house while they were gone. That night, I had myself set up to sleep on the couch, where I always slept at this point, with my medications on the table beside me. I figured I could go to sleep and never wake up. I was all settled in when one thought came to me. I would die on my son’s birthday and my two sons would be the first two to probably walk into the living room when they came home.

At that point I decided it would have to be another time, somewhere away from home. The time gave me a chance. I had been telling my psychiatrist that I was depressed, but he just said it was because I quit smoking and I would stay that way for a year. I knew I wouldn’t make it a year, but I did not tell him that. Now though, I decided to make a switch in doctors and the day I walked into my new doctor’s office he changed every medication I was on. He looked at my list and the first thing he said was that I would not be taking Ritalin anymore. I didn’t move in my seat. I thought if I protested he would know I was abusing it. The drastic change in medications saved my life. Within days, I was no longer suicidal, nor was I having thoughts.

It was during this time that I remember a conversation between my ex-husband and one of my step sons. He was saying to my ex-husband, “You say she is miserable in the morning, but it is you I hear yelling at her everyday.”

Within a month of that conversation, my stepson was out of my life with no explanation other that my ex-husband telling me that he was angry at me. I was devastated and lost 27 pounds in a week. Six months later one of my other step sons and his wife and baby where out of our lives again, with no understanding by me of why.

During the Spring of 2008, my husband and I started to smoke Marijuana. We smoked a few times over a period of six months and then my husband stopped. I went on to smoke another six months before my husband realized and we then went back to the program of A.A. We originally met there when I was three weeks sober, May 25th of 1996. We had not abused alcohol or drugs since then and saw Marijuana as a relapse. The twelve steps of A.A. can be applied to more addictions than just alcohol and we both knew that.

This started a new period of our lives. More losses and a new way of life through the steps. To be continued…


Guest Writer: Trae from (TripleClicka.com). I’m honored to have Trae who’s been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, participate, help spread mental health awareness and blur out stigma by sharing her story, here on Mental Health Friday. She’d be back in two weeks with another insight
P.S, her blog link is above, let’s spread some love :). IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. You can contact me on My email address is: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit this post.

Hands of Time

Hands of Time

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If I could turn back the hands of time,
And take your place, I’ll give it all
To be the one beyond the glass,
Instead of watching your life flutter past;
Insanity wrecked It’s havoc on me,
When I realized you were lying still.
To turn back the hands of time would be wrong
For destiny’s written by The Greatest who’s sure
Although I tried to keep your head afloat,
And held your hand so you won’t let go;
But there’s only so much a rope can hold,
Before eventually, it tethers and falls;
You said you gave up, I forgot you lie,
And now here I watch the pills take your life;
And I hate to admit in the end they won,
I’m left understanding, the fact, you’re gone.

If I could turn back the time, but I can’t,
And the ifs and could-haves keep me up at night;
And I pray wherever your soul maybe,
Your nights are much better than mine.

Day 2 of October Poetry Writing Month. The prompt is “write cinematically“, unfortunately, it was a tough prompt for me and this is all I could come up with.   IMAGE CREDIT: Vision.org

H- Hang in there

H- Hang in there

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Seconds, minutes, hours, gone;
There you lay- pale and numb;
I stare at the still-life that you’ve become.

Recalling our times, your smiles, our wars;
Said you were done, I believed your words;
Should have pushed on a little bit more.

“It’s an overdose”, the doctor said.
“The heart is intact, but the brain’s dead”
“There’s no more we can do- it’s the end”.

To hear you scream, just once more;
To save your life, I’ll give the world;
To take your place, I’d give even more.

Stay with me, let me in;
Defy all odds, break the shield;
Your hearts alive, that’s all I need.

They say it’s denial, I call it hope;
It’s not your time, I feel it in my bones;
Hang in there friend, I won’t let you go.

For The Love Of A Daughter

For The Love Of A Daughter

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Twelve years old-
Depressed, insecure;
All I can remember-
Your fights, your wars;
You made me feel,
I was inferior to all;
Tried so hard to break me,
Like I was, some charity ward.

Trying hard to forget
All the things, you have done;
But they keep coming back to me,
Like waves rushing towards shore;
And though it’s been five years,
Since I left the house for good;
You still choose the booze,
Over the lost girl of yours.

You’ve made lots of mistake,
I hope someday you’ll regret;
But the hollowed heart of yours,
Keeps getting deeper with each breath;
And though I can’t change the past,
Only hope for a better future-
Where you’ll do anything,
For the love of a daughter.

Oh father ,
If you put the bottle down
This world, it won’t leave you behind;
But you will gain one thing at last-
The love of your daughter;
I’d love to leave you alone,
But I still cant let you go;
Please put the bottle down,
For the love of a daughter.