Sunday, May 2, 2010

NA meeting

Today I ran an NA meeting. The meeting that was supposed to happen was canceled because the place it was in was closed down, and there were three of us standing at the door, so I suggested we go to a diner. I happened to have the Basic Text, a book that has all the principles and such in it - it was a gift from a week prior, a very nice person gave it to me seeing I was having all sorts of issues. I've read through a good portion of it so I knew where to look for all the text of the meetings, since there are certain traditions, so we decided to have a meeting there. I started us off with the serenity prayer, and then what is the na program, who is an addict, why we are here, how it works and the twelve traditions. We all shared, and one of us with over 20 years sobriety spoke for a long time, so we decided he was the featured speaker if we were trying to have any format, and then we talked for a while and I had the idea of working the first step, the one I've been stuck on for a year.

"We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable" 
 I read from the basic text what they had to say about it, then we all shared. At that point we had finished our meals (desserts really), so we called it a night and closed with the serenity prayer and the traditional It works if you work it so work it you're worth it chant while holding hands.

There was something magical about it. It brought up a lot. I've been having such a hard time accepting being powerless over something so seemingly stupid as an addiction. I've told myself over and over again that I just need to let go and move on. But how do I help myself let go? Traditionally, it's been by getting wasted and damning the torpedoes. I had no idea how powerful a grip on me drugs had until I was sitting infront of a toilet with the goal of flushing them down, just waiting for a random urge and the willpower to follow through, and it never happened. I held the bottle out over the toilet with my fingers covering the opening, and figured, surely, it's easier to just let go than to hold them in like that. But I struggled instead to make sure they all stayed in the bottle. The rationalizations for keeping them were numerous. I decided to try dumping them out my window instead, as I've had an affinity for that lately, tossing paint-filled bottles and such to see the splatter pattern. I live on the 11th floor. Odds are they'd powder on impact. But I knew up there that I'd be dressed in five seconds and at the sidewalk in ten, looking for what was left. A part of me just died, utterly defeated, and I popped four pills and went to the bar and got completely smashed. And honestly, I had a good time there. It would be easier on me if I could say that I didn't, but I did, I played some pool, met some cool people, and was the gregarious nice person I miss being.

I am powerless over my addiction, that's an absolute fact. Now I question whether my life has become unmanageable. Is it because of my addictions? Or is it because I'm a psychiatrist's nightmare? In the past year I've been officially diagnosed with seven disorders.
The DID is under question as I've only had one notable fugue state. I think the first four diagnoses are symptoms/misdiagnoses of the latter three, but borderline has stayed on my chart for insurance purposes. Personality disorders are Axis II and considered biological instead of having environmental causes which gives them more coverage, for whatever reason. I don't know where bipolar stands, that's a recent diagnosis.

What all that adds up to is, my life is completely unmanageable without medication. I've been self medicating with drugs, but they have that nasty arc to them that prescriptions are better at avoiding. Mood stabilizers don't make you high or low, they make you okay. Some of the drugs I've been on, like trazodone, made me a complete zombie and I hated it - it was like I felt nothing and had serious anhedonia. Drugs remove my inhibitions, which if set up right means I dance my ass off, or I meet a bunch of cool people, or play some great games. And then there's the hangover/crash at the end if I'm not careful, though the high is always followed by a bit of a low no matter what, it's how things balance out.

Now, I can make some huge mistakes while drunk or high. And I can use it to escape from responsibilities like writing that paper due monday that I'm still not working on. It's a lot more volatile than most psyche meds. Klonopin comes the closest, and that's why it tempts me to abuse it.

If I could just flush the pills I won't need the program. Why can't I do it? It would prove so much to me. I really, really don't want to be an addict. Doesn't that desire outweigh the desire to get high?

Apparently not.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had some profound insight to offer here. I've experienced only smaller versions of this-- similar reluctance to let go of much smaller things, things that are completely trivial compared to what you're dealing with, but still very hard to let go of because people and their heads can be like that. What you're doing is huge. I refuse to believe that it isn't do-able, but please don't fall into the trap of thinking it is, or should be, a small thing, and don't hesitate to use the resources at hand to fight it accordingly.

    Hugs and support, whenever I can offer them, and congrats on taking the lead at the NA meeting. You did something to make a difference for those people, and that's awesome.