Thursday, November 6, 2014

What It Was Like

I owe my life to a power greater than myself I choose to call God.  I fell into a pit that I didn’t think I could get of.  I used to say it started when Rich died, but that’s not true. 

I always had a depressive and addictive personality.  I have memories of when I was a child watching myself in the bathroom mirror as I cried.  Maybe I had a reason.  Maybe I was born that way, but I always felt alone.  I remember daydreaming.  I would go off by myself and not want to be disturbed so I could live the other life I created in my mind.  I was a boy named Danny and I had a dad.  That’s really all I can remember about it.  I know now it was how the child me escaped.

I spent some tween years with anorexia.  This also was about escape.  When I was 10 I was diagnosed with scoliosis.  I started wearing the Milwaukie brace the summer before I began 6th grade.  It was a solid piece of plastic that wrapped around my abdomen.  A thick bar stretched up to my chin and wrapped around my neck.  Two thinner bars went down my back to connect with the body of the brace.  I wore it until 9th grade.  Talk about traumatizing…  I systematically stopped eating and started exercising an absurd amount of time.  I wanted to shrink and hide.  Isolating myself began.  I was addicted to starving.

After a lengthy stay at Children’s Hospital and my “secret” was revealed I was able to get through the physical damage it caused.  The emotional damage had never been addressed.

I had no sense of self as a teenager.  I was emotionally stunted.  I didn’t know how to make new friends in a high school that tripled in size from one school year to the next.  I certainly didn’t know how to maintain any sort of relationship on any level. 

My addictive personality and my wanting to escape from myself found the best thing ever – alcohol.  Drinking on the weekends became the norm.  I blacked out at the very first high school party I attended.  It was fruity, numbing bliss! I found the answer.  It didn’t matter how I felt because I couldn’t feel it.  Perfect.  College was even better.  Everyone was drinking every night!  At least I thought they were.

Then I met Rich.  He did not drink every night – hardly at all, in fact.  I calmed down a lot, but he knew there was something in me that could get quite ugly when mixed with alcohol. I knew it, too.  I finished college.  I finished graduate school.  I became a teacher of at risk youth.  I married the man I loved.  I had a beautiful daughter and was expecting a son.  Then Rich died.

All my untreated crazy erupted!  The easiest escape was to drink it away.  Slowly at first.  Soon my self-confidence, self-respect, self-worth, personality, laugher, career  and much more, but worst of all, my children were gone.

Stayed tuned for what happened.

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