Substance Therapy….

10 12 2010

Picture Courtesy of Alex Yu

How do you deal with stress? 

This is a question that most people are wondering when the noose get’s tighter from the pressures of work, extra curricular activities, or at the homefront.  I think for all of us, stress becomes a factor that can cause unwanted sleepless nights or a temporary addiction to a substance that helps you escape.  I’ve had my fair share of stresses and I still continue to have peaks in my stressful day either at work or outside of work.  And I continue to explore different ways to help ease this nasty feeling that we all go through on a daily basis, ofcourse in varying degrees.

I believe music is one of the best ways to quell that stress, for me, Reggae music brings me back down to earth.  There’s something about the one drop that slows me down and allows me to release what ever evil thoughts are in my head that may cause me to subject myself to relieving my stress using substances.  There are a lot of folks out there who are quick to go down the path of substance relief but due to my past, I try my hardest not to.  To the majority of my readers, I’m not sure how well you know me in person or if you don’t know me at all, I’m going to share a tiny window into my life that I am not happy about. (Mom and Dad if you’re reading this, now you know).  When I was 17 I was introduced to crack/cocaine in Highschool from a friend of mine that was new to the school.  I remember leaving class and going into the boys bathroom with him, he quickly went into one of the stalls as I waited by the entrance.  As he came out, he looked at me and said “I forgot my book in there, do you want to grab it for me?”  As I ran into the stall… there it was… my first run in with Cocaine.  He had setup 2 rails for me… which I quickly inhaled through my nostrils.  After that day, I was hooked.  Whenever anything stressed me out… I went straight for the powder.  Without thinking twice… I did this, day in and day out.  Everyday during our 15 min. transition from one class to another.  I messed up my senior year in highschool and had to stay a 5th year to graduate.  Before my 5th year into highschool, I had to quit my substance abuse, because I had attended the graduating ceremonies of my classmates and was not able to share in the glory of walking down that aisle with them.  The feeling of being left behind… killed me… and nothing was going to stop me from graduating.

Fast-forward to 1998.  Back in school in California, I meet 2 guys who were in the same program as me.  We were in the Systems Engineering course together which was pretty damn stressful.  Again, I was introduced to substance relief.  This time, the player, Crystal Meth.  I did this for a good 4 months straight… dabbling not only in Crystal Meth, but Crack, Cocaine, Acid, and a dirty drug they call Crank.  Everyday… 2 to 3 times a day… I would wash my stress away with these substances.  My GPA dropped significantly, and I realized I was becoming more and more anti-social.  I was conjuring up situations in my head that didn’t exist and then confront people with these bogus arguments.  The heavy use of these substances affected me so quickly that my turning point was when I found myself, hitting on my Psychology teacher in school.  I had to do something drastic, so I severed all ties with those guys and I’m really happy to say that I’ve never seen them again after graduation.  1 of the guys didn’t even finish. 

Through my lack of knowledge of combatting stress, I quickly moved to substances to combat them.  Not only did they combat them really well, but they also made them worse… 10 fold!  During the time of my self detox I listened to a lot of reggae music to help sooth the ringing in my ears that was tempting me to go back to Meth.  But I kept fighting… as stress as that was… Pot also helped me get off the cravings and also helped me get my mind at a state where I can clearly think.  Now most people may say that pot doesn’t do that… but for me… it did and it does. 

When in high moments of stress I still get the cravings.  The last time I broke was 5 years ago.  I’ve been clean ever since.  That instance 5 years ago was also just a one time thing.  It’s imperative to understand that these substances although users will tell you that it’s helped them deal with dark side of their life, they are failing to understand that those substances ARE apart of that dark side.  I can relate to addicts and I can honestly say that it’s not an easy thing to combat. 

I’m living proof that substance therapy can cause more stress than the initial idea of trying to relieve it.  Although what I wrote is in a nutshell… there’s more to that part of my life that I would not want to share with the world.  But If sharing just a small piece of my life with all of you, maybe there’s a possibilty that I can help just one person avoid that path to self destruction.  I’m not here to preach.. I’m here to share…

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5 responses

10 12 2010
Rebecca

I’m sincerely proud of you my dear. Self-medication to cope is one of the main reasons why people start doing drugs. I’m glad that you realized this, and made the efforts to stop using.

Recovery never ends; it’s a difficult road filled with twists, turns, and boogeymen to tempt you to stray from the path. I have faith in you.

10 12 2010
shetpancit

You’re so dope Rebecca!!! thank you for the comment!!!

10 12 2010
Priscilla

This is he most touching, hear wrenching, and up lifting piece I have read in a long time. I know that we were never close in High School, but I never would have imagine you having to tackle such powerful and destructive demons. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. In the work that I do, I am in constant contact with young people who suffer from addictions to the same substances you have mentioned. For reasons of their own, they have not been able to channel the same will power you found to over come your addictions.

Thank you so much for writing this. I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to show this to some of my clients too.

Keep being honest and working hard to achieve your goals. You can do it!

Priscilla

10 12 2010
shetpancit

Priscilla,

Please do show this to those who are facing or tackling the same issues that I have overcome. If my story can help another person out, then I know my experiences were meant to happen.

Thank you for reading!!!!

6 01 2011
james

i like it

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