Struggling with the Elephant in the Room

A Manic Depressive Blog

Archive for the tag “addiction”

When Drugs and Mental Health Mix, An Analytic Approach

Former Senator George McGovern once said the following in regards to his daughter Terry’s death: she “…was dealt a double cruel hand: the companion demons depression and alcoholism. They were demons that warred ceaselessly against the other aspects of her being-a warm and sunny disposition.” (http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/resource/depression/) The dark connection between addiction and mental illness cannot be overlooked, as many lives have been destroyed when these two “demons” work together. I was asked to write about how addiction affects mental illness recovery. It’s a tough subject for me to write about, as I’ve personally dealt with addicition. I’ve seen first hand how devastating addiction can be for someone with mental illness. Thus, this article will attempt to examine how addiction can worsen and exacerbate mental illness.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, (drugabuse.gov) people suffering with mood disorders are twice as likely to use drugs than the regular population.1 Although, these numbers are alarmingly high, that does not mean someone who is mentally ill will become a drug addict. Rather, those who are suffering from mental illness have a higher chance of abusing illicit drugs. This does not take into account the impact drug abuse has on mental illness, instead it lays the foundation of this article. To understand how addiction affects mental health recovery, we must understand the connection between drug abuse and mental health.

A therapist once told me that drug abuse can speed up and increase the intensity of mental illness. I can personally confirm this as the speed and frequency of my mixed episodes grew exponentially as my alcohol abuse exploded. When I first started drinking, I would experience one depressive episode a year. However, a few months later, I was drinking everyday and experiencing massive depressive episodes every three months. Within a year, I was having multiple episodes in a single day. I was getting progressively worse. Throw in excessive pain killer abuse and my mind literally shattered. By the time I ended up in the hospital, I was abusing pain killers and experiencing massive mixed episodes that caused me to become a threat to myself and those around me.

The fact is drug abuse can negatively change the brain, potentially leading to mental illness. “Early exposure to drugs of abuse can change the brain in ways that increase the risk for mental illness (figure), just as early symptoms of a mental disorder may increase vulnerability to drug abuse.” (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/comorbid-drug-abuse-mental-illness)

As such, drug abuse can negatively impact mental health recovery, both worsening existing symptoms or forcibly creating new ones. Because of the previous mentioned dangers, more studies are needed to fully understand how drug abuse impacts mental health. However, one thing is clear, drug abuse negatively impacts mental health recovery!

If you or someone you know is suffering with drug addition please seek help, or at least talk with someone you trust. Drug abuse and mental illness unfortunately are easily entangled, as such we must be proactive in research and recovery.


Footnotes:

1.http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/resource/depression/

2. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/comorbid-drug-abuse-mental-illness (National Institute of Drug Abuse)

Another New Beginning

It’s been quite a few months since I’ve said hi, and it bums me out that I had forgotten what my greatest passion is: writing. I’d given up on my dreams, my hopes, my future and threw myself into a dark pit, forever writhing in pain, misery and self loathing.

However, I was freed from my self pity when an email was sent that reignited my passion for writing.  I was invited to join answers.com as an author/expert for the depression section. I was invited because of this blog. I was given a new chance at my dream because of this blog. For the first time in my life I was finally recognized by a well known organization for my writing, something I had dreamed about when I was younger. I’m really excited about this opportunity as it allows me to grow as an author, as well as pursue my other passion: research.

I have no clue where this will take me, but I’m excited about this new opportunity. Hopefully you will see my articles on answers.com in the coming weeks. I will also try my hardest to post on this blog and reignite my passion for blogging.

I hope you are all well and I look forward to talking with you,

Dave.

Ps. Sorry if there are a lot of mistakes, I had to write this post on my phone because I don’t have a computer at the moment.

Life Is Confusion and My Mind is Filled With Broken Memories

(www.empowernetwork.com)

I really don’t know how to start this post so I will just write whatever comes to my head. The reason is that I’m scared to write. I scared to accept the fact that I’m a writer and I have something to offer society. And my mind is convinced that if accept that fact, then maybe I actually have a future. For the last 7 years I have been in a non-stop battle royal with my brain. For the longest time I was convinced my brain was a corporeal being that was trying to kill. But after awhile I realized that it was just my self-pity and self-hatred taking over my mind and my body. It was the constant pain of depression and uncontrollable impulses from my mania. So when combined together I had a lethal ticking time bomb of a brain. Eventually I ended up in the hospital, met my current psychiatrist and found my current therapist-both of whom have saved my life and shown me that there is a future for me and that I don’t have to succumb to the dark thoughts in my head. The problem was that I had been so used to the emotional turmoil and endless depression, that I started to sabotage myself (this is examining what happened the last few months, eventually I will go back and write about my pre-hospitalization days but it’s going to take some time as the memories are painful and hard to deal with. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to suppress them. But I think that is part of the problem, so maybe writing about my past can give me some closure) through destructive behavior, drug overdoses, excessive eating, lethargy, agoraphobic isolation and numerous other “activities.”

I was desperate to not accept happiness.

Fear of happiness. Loss of innocence.

(www.zabrinah.com)

For some odd reason I started to believe that I didn’t deserve to be happy, that I was worthless and that no one cared about me. I believe these thoughts began in high school, when I was “deathly” afraid dying. I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to breath. When I calmed myself down, my mind started to examine death, the fact that in the near future I would no longer exist, that I would enter an endless void where I no longer thought, acted or spoke, rather I would just disappear from existence. These thoughts haunted me for many years and it got to the point that I had to constantly tell myself “go away bad thoughts” “go away bad thoughts” “go away bad thoughts” over and over again, till the voice and fear of death dissipated. I remember vividly ridding the exercise bike in my parent’s living room while watching a TV show, my mind had begun to wander and thought of death and failure overwhelmed me, it was the first time that my self-hatred began. It was also at that point I finally told my mom I couldn’t remember my childhood; in fact I couldn’t remember anything prior to 5th grade, save for a few disjointed memories (I still don’t remember much of my childhood, which drives me crazy as I have a photographic memory and have the ability to remember places, conversations, emotions and people perfectly, in fact sometimes it’s so vivid that I completely leave reality.

But I can’t remember my childhood.

It’s completely blank.

Absolute nothingness.

Confusion, fear, hopelessness

(vi.sualize.us)

One of my therapist told me it was brain trying to empty itself of useless memories, to allow for new memories to form. Bullshit. If that was the case then why can I remember almost everything that has happened to me since the 5th grade, but prior to that nothing exists. My mom was at first confused, then frustrated, then angry. It was as if I had accused her of being a bad parent and causing me to have a horrible childhood. But that wasn’t the case, in fact the few memory fragments I have left are extremely happy and joyful memories, or at least the emotions that are still left in my mind are those of happiness and love. I had to explain to my mom that it had nothing to do with my upbringing, or my parent’s parenting. Rather, I was convinced it was due to the therapy I had to go through.*

*I need to pull back a bit so as to provide you with some background. At the age of 7 I was diagnosed with ADD by this child psychiatrist my parent’s had found. I remember two things, she gave me poppy seed muffins and had me take the Rorschach test. She was friendly and kind. It seemed like she cared about my well being. I vaguely remember sitting in a chair that was facing her, both of us were sitting in front of a window and across the way in the other room was a massive window overlooking LA (I’m just remembering this, it’s been years since I’ve thought about this psychiatrist and these experiences. I’m surprised I even remember them. But right now I can see myself sitting in front of the psychiatrist while she administers the Rorschach test. According to my parents I also took an IQ test, they refused to tell me what score I had received because they didn’t want me to become like my uncle who had scored genius level on the IQ test and was an arrogant, stubborn and angry scientist. My only guess is that I must have scored as high as my Uncle did, otherwise why would my parents have hid the test from me. They also told me when I was “of age” they would show me my IQ score, but according to my dad it was lost a long time ago. Let’s get back to the story of my diagnosis. Eventually the psychatrist determined that I had ADD, my dad was devastated but my mom who is rock of our family pushed forward and asked what she could do to help me (it took my dad awhile to come to terms with my diagnosis.

He saw it as his fault that I had been born like this and that he had failed as a father. It saddens me to see my dad suffer like this, and although I have talked with my dad about what I’ve gone through, it has only been a few times. Although, my dad did save my life as he talked me through an extremely unstable and violent manic episode. Well now that I think about it, my dad has come around quite a bit as I’ve finally told him about the extent of my drug use and how bad it had gotten. That I had overdosed numerous times and was mentally unstable. I told everything and although I was scared, I was able to finally talk with my dad as son, instead of as a friend (for the longest time all of my conversations with my dad were about sports and politics, nothing else. The reasoning behind this is another complicated matter, lets just leave it as being a result of abusive and unloving parents. Something my dad has fought hard to overcome).

Following my diagnosis, my parents searched for the perfect therapist and they found one in Dr. V. At that point we were given the option of medication or intensive cognitive behavioral therapy.

I’m going to stop this post right here, I know it’s in the middle of the story, but I want to know from readers if you guys are interested in hearing more about my childhood and the struggles I went through while dealing with mental illness at a young age.

I hope you are all doing well and I look forward to hearing from you,

Dave.

My Confusing Loss of Direction. What is my Goal in Life?

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last posted. The months have blurred together and my mind is mush. Because it has been so long since I last wrote, I’m struggling to produce coherent sentences which is confusing and depressing. I’ts as if I have lost a part of myself and I’m struggling to get it back. Over the last few months, every time I tried to write my mind would go blank and force me to quit. I was scared to write.  Scared to break my obsessive schedule. And scared that I would lose control and be consumed by my obsession for success. So instead of going through the painful process of obsession, I decided to quit and avoid the “unnecessary” struggle. Herein lies the problem: I don’t know how to do anything without completely obsessing about it. Everything I have done over the last decade has been a result of mania and obsession, which has always caused me to become mentally and physically sick leading me to quit whatever I was doing (yes graduated college, but I wasted my three years there trying to graduate early instead studying and learning).

As such, I’m currently struggling to figure out how I can do something without over obsessing about it. Also, I’m no longer manic so I can’t do as much as I want (when I was manic, I was able to handle numerous jobs and produce a tremendous amount of work. Although, the mania ultimately landed me in the hospital). Thus, I have been avoiding everything the last few months. (Rest of post after picture)

(wikipedia.org)

You might be wondering why I’m writing. Although I don’t really know why, I’ve been trying to push myself to post the last few months. Everyday I log onto my blog, check the stats, read the comments and then log off. Sometimes I would create a new post and sit there staring at the blank screen. But for some odd reason, today I decided to finally write a post. I don’t know if this means I am going to continue writing, or if anyone is even reading this. But I have realized once again, that I love to write and it makes me feel good.

On the positive side I am no longer depressed or manic (although I’m still struggling with severe social anxiety, it is not present everyday). In fact it has been over a year since I was hospitalized and my mind is finally clear. On top of that I’ve been sober since February 3rd, my longest period of sobriety since 2005.

To end this post I was wondering if any of my readers have suggestions on how to overcome obsession. Also, what are your obsession/mania stories. How has mania and OCD impacted your life?

I hope you are all well,

Dave.

Ps. Has anyone used Squidoo or Hubpages? I’m thinking about joining and trying to produce various articles.

Mental Illness: For the First Time in Years I’m Happy….

I don’t know where to start. The last month has been a life changing experience. As I said in the title I’m happy, which is an emotion I never thought I could attain. For over a year, my life was shrouded in darkness. For over  a year, I was a prisoner of depression and agoraphobia. For over a year I lost sight of my future, my potential, my existence and the thought of hope. And yet here I sit, basking in the warmth of happiness.

Everyday I wonder if my state of happiness is real. Thus far my answer is yes. Not only am I happy, I’m also sober. I reached 6 months of sobriety last week, which is the longest stretch of sobriety in over 8 years. In the past I hated getting sober. I would spend most of my time thinking about getting high and as result I became a nervous wreck. Eventually I would give into my addiction and start using again.

This time, however, is different. I want to be sober. I want to have a happy life that is not is shackled by pain killers and weed. I want to be able to think and emote and have a stable life. Something that is not possible while using drugs. For the first time in my life I’m happy to be sober.

Not only am I sober and happy, I have finally friends. For most of my life I’ve been friendless. I was always the odd kid, who was loud and friendly. But no one cared or gave a shit about me. And when I finally found a “friend,” they either abused me or perpetuated my drug use. As a result, I never thought I would find a true friend. But I was wrong. About a month ago I started going to a support group and although I was nervous they accepted me. Before I knew it I was texting them, calling them and going out with various members of the group. It’s an amazing experience to be able to confide in someone else and to know that they will be there for me when I’m struggling (and I will be there for them).

So there you have it, a brief post on my progress to happiness. However, there is a lot of work that needs to be done before I can consider myself “stable.”  In the coming weeks I hope I will be able to write and post as I miss everyone who has commented on my blog. I hope you are all well and I look forward to conversing with you once again.

Well that is all for now,

Dave.

Progression: I’m Slowly Moving Forward

This is definitely a first for me, two posts in two+ days, maybe I really am changing (I hope so, because I really hate my life right now; restricted by my anxiety and paranoia, never being able to go outside because I’m afraid of everyone and everything and not being able to write due to my fear of running out of things to say) and progressing towards stability. Last week I made myself extremely sick so I didn’t have to go to my new group. It was horrible: I was vomiting, shaking and my whole body hurt because I was afraid to be around “new” people. But this week is different (in fact after I finish this post I will be leaving my apartment to go to the new group, so this post will  be somewhat brief). I’m not sick, in fact I’m kind of excited to go because I can finally get out of this damn prison.

However,

my anxiety is skyrocketing, my palms are sweaty, and the voice in my head is screaming at me not to leave! But I have to go! I have to get out of here, I have to break free from my fear of progression/change. It fucking drives me crazy that I get so scared of other people, that I can’t just walk outside and talk with a stranger. I can’t go to a new place without feeling like I’m going to vomit. Why the fuck am I like this? Why did I have to get abused? Why did I have to become an addict? Why did my life have to become such a fucking shit storm!!!!

When I get really down on myself, those question invade my mind and force me to reminisce about my childhood and high school years. I hate when I do this because it’s counterproductive and causes my emotional state to crumble (that is why I quit using Facebook,  every time I would go on there , memories of high school would flood my mind causing me to become really depressed. It has been about a month since I last logged on).

I have to stop. This post was supposed to be positive- pointing out the fact that I have made progress, but as usual I have beat myself up and complained about how shitty everything has become.  When my life is stable I try my hardest to destroy it because I am so used to depression and chaos. This is a problem I have been working on the last few weeks and as you can see I’ve yet to “fix” it.

Positives:

  1. Next week will be six months of sobriety
  2. I’m going to a new support group tonight
  3. Tomorrow I start a new job

My time is up. Hopefully the group goes well tonight!

Dave.

Ps. Thank you Susan for the amazing phone call, you have given me the strength to face my fears and move towards progression :)

Fear of the Unknown Has led to my Avoidance of Life

After talking  to a friend tonight, I realized why I have been avoiding numerous  aspects of my life- I’m afraid of going to my new group tomorrow. I know I wrote about this subject last week, however,  I never actually made it to the group.  Unfortunately I succumbed to my anxiety, got myself sick and convinced myself to not go (I had three chances and I  missed all three). However, on Thursday I saw my therapist and he made me promise him I would go to the new group. That was the easy part, in fact I was enthusiastic about going; telling my therapist  I was really looking forward to getting out of my apartment and meeting new people. The enthusiasm did not stop, as I saw my mom later that afternoon and told her I would not miss the group. In fact, when I was finally alone, I convinced myself that everything was going to be ok and that the group would be a great opportunity to push myself towards further stability.

Well, as I realized tonight, I was not ok.

In fact, my life crumbled and instead of talking with someone, I ignored the problem. For the last few days, I have spent at least 10 hours a day in front of my computer. That was 10 straight hours without getting up (well, let me retract that I did get up a few times to use the restroom and make coffee, but besides that I did nothing else), completely losing myself on the internet.  Currently my head is spinning and my eyes hurt from staring at the monitor for so long. I lost so many hours when I could have been doing things I really wanted to (writing, playing video games, going outside, going to a friends house, making myself productive) instead I just sat in-front of the computer reading random articles.

(http://www.wdavidphillips.com/wp-content/uploads/fear1.jpg)

I know this might not seem “destructive,” however, my mind never stopped working during this period. In fact, it would never stop, thoughts would constantly slam around in my head, causing me to become more and more paranoid. My mind was on auto pilot and I could not control it. Sometimes I would just scream because my mind would not stop working. Which is pretty funny, because I worked so hard to release my mind from the seroquel. When I was on the high dose of seroquel I had no thoughts, no feelings, no emotions, I was just blank. But now that I have my brain back, I can’t stand it. My life is just fucked no matter how you look at. To make things worse, the only thing that seemed to contain my brain  (outside of the seroquel) was the illicit drugs that I was addicted too (I’ve been sober for almost 5  months). I can’t start using again, because that would destroy all of my progress, but I can’t control my brain because the meds I’m on don’t work as well as the pain killers. As I said my life is frustrating.

But what makes it worse, is that all of this pain, is due to my fear of going to a new meeting. My life is a mess right now because I am extremely afraid of meeting new people- I’m afraid of what they will say, what they won’t say and how they will look at me, among other fears. The last time I joined a new group it took me almost 4 months to get used to them. I don’t trust anyone because of abuse I have gone through. How can I trust someone else, when I think that they are going to try and destroy me? When I meet someone new, all I can think about is the pain they will cause me, because that is what humans do: hurt other people and take advantage of them. How can I talk with a new person who is most likely going to ruin my life?

This was a really painful post for me to write and I apologize for not using the same tense (and in my opinion this was a really shitty post, well I think all of my writing is shit, because to me I am a completely worthless, pathetic sack of shit. Having been told that some many times, I believe it now, I can’t even look at myself in the mirror due to my disgust-I’ve been struggling with very low-self confidence for quite a few years and it has been really hard to break it).

Sorry for the dark ending, I hope you are all well,

Dave.

Manic Depressive Illness: Why Sleep is my new Drug

This post is going to be short. For the last day or so I have been trying to write, unfortunately nothing wants to come out of my head (note: I am sorry that I have not responded to all of the comments on my last posts, I read them all and I really love the support! However, I am really struggling with following up on them, I will eventually respond but it will take some time. So please continue commenting, because your responses are an important/essential part of this blog). I’m still struggling with motivation and as I write this post I am fighting to stay awake. My mind keeps telling me that I need to lay down and close my eyes. The thought of sleeping really excites me, because it is the only time I can be myself, it is the only time I am not afraid of the world, it is the only time I can live out my fantasies without the fear of rejection or ridicule.

To me, sleep is the ultimate drug. In fact at this moment, it is the only drug I can use. Sobriety has been a real struggle for me- because for the last seven years I was either drunk or high. That was seven years of avoiding my problems, my emotions, my fears and paranoia. During my drug and alcohol stupor, I had no emotions and the thoughts in my head were quiet. When I quit using, my mind was flooded by unwanted emotions and thoughts; it was a horrible experience that I am still recovering from. As such, I have been searching for a replacement, something to quiet my mind- sleep.

Because of the medications I am on, my dreams are extremely vivid. Sometimes I can’t even tell if I am dreaming and that truly excites me. The one downside is that I sleep way too much. Most nights (well days, because I sleep during the day and stay up at night) I sleep about 13-15 hours, which eliminates most of my day leaving me with very little time to do the things I love: read, write and play video games. As such, I have falling deeper and deeper into depression, because I have become completely reliant on sleeping and I am unable to do anything else. It is so hard for me to get up and it is driving me fucking mad. At the moment I am stuck, I want to change but I have no clue what to do.

Does anyone else use sleep as a “drug” or escape from reality? How have you dealt with sleeping too much? And for those who are addicts, how do you deal with sobriety? What gives you the motivation to keep going?

I want to end this post with a picture from graffiti artist Banksy:

(http://www.facebook.com/pages/Banksy/39713792073)

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend and I look forward to hearing from you :)

Dave.

Facebook Makes me Depressed: My Confusing Struggle with Severe Introversion & Low Self-Esteem

Continuing my discussion on introversion and low self-esteem, we will now look at something that causes me great pain: Facebook. Everyday, I log onto Facebook, to check my messages, my notices and the stream of updates that are produced by my “friends.” Then I start to look at the facebook pages of people who I know- former high school classmates, people I met while I was an undergraduate at Whittier College, former coworkers, people I have met over the last seven years and “friends” that I had made while studying religion at the Claremont School of Theology. Every page I visited was overflowing with happiness, success and love.

Why the fuck am I so pathetic? I have no potential, I have no future. I will always be alone, because I am just a waste of fucking space!!

The longer I spend reading my “friend’s” pages, the louder the negative voice in my head becomes.  And with each new update and notice, my sanity begins to crumble. At this point I am light-headed, my hands are sweating, my body is trembling and a feeling of despair and failure takes over.

(http://shafali.wordpress.com/category/unexplained-stuff/)

You are a worthless piece of shit! Just look at all of your friends, they have jobs and friends, and girlfriends and a future. Just look at those pictures, look at how happy they are!  At this point I scream at the top of my lungs. I try to convince myself that the pictures are not real, that most of them have been strategically taken to make it look like they are having a great time. I try to remind myself that most people only post positive things on their facebook pages and that a lot of people exaggerate their experiences. I try my hardest to remember what I had been taught in therapy. But it didn’t matter, my mind was made up…You will always be lonely, you always be pathetic, you will always be worthless! You have no future, you have no potential. Remember you are worthless, no one cares about you, no wants to help you. And why, because you are a disgrace to not only yourself, but to your family and to those around you. You would be better off dead, but even then no one would give a shit, you would just fade and be forgotten. 

Unfortunately, I have been struggling with these thoughts for the last month. At times they fade, but when I get tired they resurface and all I can think about is how worthless I am. You would think that by now I would have stopped using facebook, but I can’t break the cycle. I guess I just love pain, I love to wrap myself in depression because that is all I know. Over the last four years, I have endured psychological abuse by the people I worked for.

Every boss I have had treated me like utter shit- they screamed at me for hours, constantly telling me I was worthless, that my birth was a mistake and that I would never have a successful life. They would make fun of me and mess with my head. One of my bosses strangled me. I know this doesn’t sound that bad, but for me it was beyond horrible because it completely destroyed my self-confidence, causing me to accept the fact that I was worthless. Ever since these experiences, I have not been the same. Most days I can’t look at myself in the mirror, because I am disgusted by what see. And when I meet new people, I am so scared of  them because I am convinced they will try to cause me psychological harm.

I am sorry that I went on that tangent, I know this doesn’t have anything to do with my facebook problem, but I needed to get that out. Part of the depression I have been experiencing, is linked to the  psychological abuse I received. Maybe, in a future post I will be able to better explain what I went through.

That is all I can write, this post has brought up a lot of my fears, and I am struggling to keep it together right now. I wanted to end this post with a few questions: Does facebook bring up bad memories for you or trigger depression and does seeing other people who have “happy lives” cause you to fall into a depressive episode?

I hope you are all well,

Dave.

The Confusing Life of an Introvert & Why it is so Dangerous to Force Ourselves to Become Extroverts

*To all the new readers coming in, welcome to my blog I just want to thank you for taking time out of your day to read my post. When I first wrote this I never imagined it would become this popular, so to the 35,000 who have read this post, and those that have come for the first time hopefully it can help to ease your pain. This post has become its own community, a safe place for everyone. If you know someone who is suffering please pass this link along to them, as this post contains the stories and hopes of fellow introverts. Just remember you are not alone, you are an amazing human being who deserves to be loved and respected. Never let anyone take that away from you.*

For the longest time, I tried to convince myself I was an extrovert.  In high school, I talked with everyone. I didn’t have many friends, but I had hundreds of acquaintances. Every day I would walk onto my high school campus and talk with as many people as I could. I would shake their hands, ask them how they were doing, what they were studying and what their future plans were. I loved the feeling of acceptance and the fact that I could “relate” with most of my classmates. It was an amazing rush, to be acknowledged by everyone. In fact by the time I graduated, I knew almost everyone on campus. However, there was a major problem.

I was really suffering inside.

By the time I got home, I was so mentally drained that I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I would go to my room and spend hours and hours by myself.  And that was the problem, I was always alone. It didn’t matter how many hands I shook, or how friendly I was to everyone- in “reality” no one at school really cared about me. When school was over, I would be alone. No one ever called me, no one ever asked me to go to a party or to study with them, or go to a movie or to a fair. Yes I had two friends, but even they ended up leaving me.  By the time I was a sen,or in high school I had no friends.  When school ended, David was just another loner who everyone ignored. I know that life is a two-way street, and that I could have called some of classmates- but the problem was that, I was introverted. I was scared to talk on the phone, I was scared of going to parties, I was scared of  “hanging” out with other people. However, I had convinced myself that the reason why I was “alone” was because no one cared about me.

(http://barbaralayla.blogspot.com/2010/07/misunderstanding-introverts-part-one.html)

As I noted above, that is not true. Unfortunately, I had convinced myself that I was an extrovert, but in “reality” I was an introvert. It has taken me years and countless fuck ups to realize that I’m an introvert. In college, I tried to make myself the life of the party. I started drinking heavily, I went to parties, I was “friends” with the football team and I always had alcohol with me. The problem was, I did not fit in. The football players made fun of me, messed with my head and treated me like utter shit when I was really drunk. But I didn’t care, I thought that meant I was part of the “football” group. It got so bad that I almost ended killing myself.

(warning the following is very graphic and might contain triggers) There was this party that I attended. I was already drunk when I got there, but I was so desperate to fit in that I started drinking even more. There were no clean cups, so I just picked up a random red cup that had been tossed on the ground. I went to one of the kegs and poured myself a drink, and then another, and then another, and then another. It was around that time someone walked up to me with a gallon of tequila. I was feeling “daring” at that moment, so I took the bottle and started chugging. About a minute later I stopped. I had consumed half the bottle. The other guy was impressed, but told me to be careful. I really didn’t care because I was having “fun.”

I stumbled towards the backyard and found a group of people drinking a bottle of jagermeister. I was intrigued, so I grabbed the bottle and started chugging. It was horrible tasting- warm, thick and sweet. But I just kept drinking until I finished it. Handing the bottle back to the group, I stumbled towards the house. Once inside, I tried dancing, but all I ended up doing was falling over. One of my “friends” came over to me, lauged at me for being so drunk and tore my shirt and punched me. I was pissed, but I was so drunk I  couldn’t do anything about it. So I walked outside and found another group to “hang out” with. Someone in the group slapped my back, I stumbbled a bit

and then I found myself in my bed covered in vomit. It was the next morning.

I had a splitting headache. Pushing myself up, I realized that I had vomit all over me. My sink was filled with vomit, my shoes were filled vomit and half my room was destroyed. At that point I  realized I had blacked out. It was about 10 pm when the black out started and I woke up around 9:30 am the next morning. I don’t know how I survived that night. Not only did I have alcohol poisoning, but I vomited while sleeping and luckily I didn’t choke on it.

(http://pleated-jeans.com/2011/11/07/extrovert-vs-introvert/)

This was one of the worst experiences of my life. In fact this is the first time I have written or thought about it in 7 years. As a result of my desperate attempt to be extroverted, I made a complete ass of myself, destroying most of my “friendships” because of my actions that night, as well as almost killing myself. As a result of the psychological trauma I had experienced, I never went out again. In fact, I spent the rest of that school year in my dorm room (I was in a single), only leaving to go to class or to get food.

Unfortunately, this was the first of many tramatic experiences I put myself through, because I was still convinced that I was an extrovert. In fact, one of the main reasons I started abusing pain killers was because they allowed me to become an extrovert. It truly amazes me, how desperate I was to be an extrovert. And I know I am not the only one. There are a tremendous amount of introverts in this world and if we are too survive, we need to be better understood. Yes, there has been a lot more attention placed on the plight of introverts, but that is not enough. Our world, unfortunately has been built for extroverts and until we can accept the fact that not everyone is an extrovert and that introverts are not deficient, maybe we can finally start healing the psychological wounds.

I want to end this post with a few questions: How many of you are introverts? And what has your life been like? (experiences, struggles, addictions etc)  Or how many of you are extroverts and what is your opinions of introverts?

That is all I can write at the moment, but I hope you are all doing well :)

Dave.

P.s I am looking for guest bloggers, so if you are intrested please email me at: manicdepressiveblog@yahoo.com I am also interested in writing guest blog posts for other sites.

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