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roadblock to getting help for myself- TDM
April 25, 2007
7:05 am
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thedogsmom
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took a LOT for me to reach out for help by making an appointment with a counseler to enter the 6 month codependency program.
I told the truth- and now wish I hadn't as now the counseler will not let me enter the program without attending a drug and rehabilitation program first! She believes I have a drug problem. I do not believe I do.
I told her that I don't really like drinking alcohol- because when I do drink-- I often drink too much and end up hungover and depressed and/or sometimes have blackouts. I drink only recreationally- when on vacation or for parties (which is rarely- maybe 6 times a year)- I feel I am a responsible-drinker as I don't drink and drive and don't drink on "work-nights". I also have smoked pot- in the past also occasionally and recreationally-- but later did it on an almost daily basis to "self-medicate" and relieve anxiety and help myself sleep. When I started realizing that I was doing it too frequently-- and felt that IF I expected HIM to stop doing meth-- then I should stop doing pot-- I quit.
I also realized that I HATE his LIES... and realized that I also LIE to hide things from my parents--etc... I am practicing telling the truth..

Now she won't let me take the class-- that I so desperately need. She said I sound like I am severely depressed and that I should make an appointment with a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication for me. I said -- I believe that anxiety medication is also addictive-- and that
I don't really see a difference as I feel "pot" is less harmful than prozac or valium...etc..

I told her I fear reaching out for 'prescription' drugs as I do NOT want the little green note in my chart or a diagnosis of "anxiety" as this is a medical stigma and I am afraid that I may be turned down by insurance companies for a 'pre-diagnosed' condition of mental illness. That is also why I am unwilling to take the drug rehab class. I would be afraid as I would have to mark yes for the question "have you ever been treated for a drug or alcohol problem" on future insurance/job requests. And because I am afraid my employers would find out and hold it against me or I would get fired.

I am angry that I worked for this company for many years and have been a very reliable employee with one of the BEST sick leave records and have not missed work due to drugs or alcohol. I have missed a few days because HE did not come home all night and I was awake the whole night long.

Oh well, maybe I will not need the counseling now that he is gone.
TDM

April 25, 2007
11:43 am
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Loralei
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(((TDM)))

I am so proud of you for finally making him leave! That alone will help you more than anything else you could possibly do. That really sucks about the counselor not accepting you into the codep program. I think she is way off the mark. We all "self medicate" when things are rough. I do it with chocolate and sleeping too much. I also agree with you that pot is a better alternative to prozac and all those prescription medications. Just because they are "prescription" doesn't mean they aren't addictive, not to mention the side affects. And you are right about not wanting those things on your health records. Besides, it doesn't sound like you are the one with a problem. You were just living with one.

Now that he is gone, I think you can get your own act together. The key is making him stay gone and totally out of your life. He is what drove you to drink and drugs. Take away the cause and the need should go away.

Since you seem to have adverse reactions when you drink, that's what you need to stop cold turkey. You can probably wean yourself from pot on a gradual basis as you get to feeling better about your life. And yes, YOU can do it. Even counselors can't do it for you. In the end, WE are the only ones who can fix our own lives. We are the ones who have to suffer and grow and learn. You have tremendous stamina and perseverence. Your dedication and track record at work speaks volumes about what you are made of. Getting mixed up with the wrong man is what ruined your world. Keeping him away from you is the most important thing of all.

April 25, 2007
11:47 am
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risingfromtheashes
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ok...first things first...how BADLY do you want to recover?

I understand not wanting a stigma or label attached.

BUT...when you fill out those insurance forms, there are all KINDS of previous conditions, from runny noses and hearing problems to more severe stuff.

MOST insurances only block you out for a year for preexisting conditions IF you didn't have insurance up to the time you start up with the new one. If you are transferring, most will not reject you. If you let your insurance lapse...then you could have to face a block out period of six months to a year.

I DO have anxiety and depression and they still allow me my medications, but do not pay for my therapy right now...because I let my insurance lapse.

However, they WILL NOT reject you for this preexisting condition...most major carriers anyway.

As for labels or stigmas...anxiety and depression are chemical imbalances in the brain...same as diabetes is a sugar imbalance in the blood...it's all relative...the only stigma is the one you create in your mind.

Frankly, you may not be a drug addict, but an addiction is an addiction....and many manifest in different forms....sex, drugs, alcohol, workaholism, food addictions....and they all are treated similarly...the therapies are all similar.

So, if getting help for coda requires you to go to a drug therapy first...then why not try it?

sometimes the biggest roadblocks in our way to recovery are the ones we create ourselves...the only one blocking you is you.

the only other choice is try to find another therapist who can recommend the program without the drug program.

OR...go to free coda meetings in your area....www.coda.org can help you locate them.

your codependency may just be your "addiction" manifesting in a different way...you mention quitting the pot cold turkey...but perhaps you replaced it with the codependency...in the end, all recovery programs are similar.

April 25, 2007
12:26 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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i cross posted with loralei.

but wanted to reply to something loralei said.

I don't think that our worlds are turned upside down cuz some guy made us do it.

I think our world is turned upside down cuz we allow these men to be in our lives...we make the choices to drink...we make the choices to date these men...we make the choices to smoke the pot...we make the choices...period.

Nobody makes us.

Yes, these people throw our world in a tizzy...but we invite them in. We allow it. We participate. We get sucked in.

I don't think that TDM is a victim in any case here. I think she made a bad choice.

And I think that recovery thru therapy will help her learn WHY she is making those bad choices and how to care about herself enough to make BETTER choices down the road.

I don't agree with pot smoking...call me a prude...whatever. I do agree that meds aren't for everyone...but if they are needed, they are needed....I have seen someone go from suicidal to joyous thru therapy and medication...without the medication, she would be six feet under. Therapy alone wasn't cutting it.

I don't think that getting rid of the "bad men" in our lives is enough...I think we need to learn WHY we pick them to begin with, WHY we allow ourselves to participate and what we can do to learn from our mistakes and prevent them from happening again...only therapy will help with that...cuz many of our choices are subconcious and made from programming that goes beyond our comprehension, back to our childhood, or some event in the past...and only a recovery group can help us understand it...and reprogram how we think.

I don't think that this is a victim of circumstances.

I also have issue with someone saying they drink responsibly, but then in the next breath say they drink until they pass out or have blackouts...that is NOT being responsible....give you credit for not drinking and driving or letting it interfere with work...but responsible drinking does not include getting so drunk you don't remember stuff....that is just my opinion.

April 25, 2007
12:26 pm
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gracenotes
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You probably don't want to hear this, but drinking to the point of having blackouts and being hung over sounds like a big red flag to me. Not everyone uses substances when they are stressed.

I totally understand this stigma that seems to exist about what is in one's medical chart, but the codependency treatment will be in your chart, right? Counselors, from what I understand, often use standard assessments to figure out what the problem is and you probably fell within the range of maybe doing too much self-medication. I think some Rx drugs are kind of scarey. I don't take them, but if I had an anxiety problem, I would rather take an anti-anxiety med than smoke pot. Maybe the pot is contributing to your anxiety anyway. That drug does have side effects too. You really don't know if it has been laced with anything else harmful either.

A codependency program sounds like a great idea. If you really want it, I guess you are going to have to play by her rules. How long is the drug program anyway? Maybe its for a month or so. Also, just because he is gone does not mean that anything has been healed on a deep level. Getting rid of an ex is the first step. I think of the ex as a symptom of the deeper problem. If you do not want to repeat the pattern ofr attracting unhealthy people, then you really have to work on yourself, either in a program, or with a therapist, in CODA, or on your own. Sorry, but there's some relapses and major stress here, and I honestly think one needs to step back and do some healing. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is how I feel about this.

April 25, 2007
12:44 pm
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gracenotes
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By the way, I don't believe in pot either and don't use it, and rarely drink, only socially, i.e. out to eat.

Thinking about this more, I think the program wants your mind to be completely clear of substances and their effects before entering a codependency program. Otherwise its a waste of your time and their time. If you are still using drugs even recreationally, as it is called, it is going to totally sabotage your codependency program because healing from codependency can be painful at times. One does not grow and mature when they use substances. I have some AA friends, and they would say that one stops maturing emotionally when they use drugs to medicate life's challenges.

I went through tremendous pain and growth around my ex-n. I never drank or used drugs through all of this. I wouldn't even think of using substances while doing self growth.

April 27, 2007
12:03 pm
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thedogsmom
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First, I would like to say that I welcome and appreciate all of your responses, thoughts and advice. Nobody needs to apologize for stating their opinions. I am practicing being open and candid and hoping that you will all give me your honest opinions- even if you think it is harsh or something I may not want to hear. That is how ideas get expressed -and accepted-- listening to people who think differently -opens the mind to other beliefs. After all- I never knew about codependency- until I was introduced to the topic and started coming here. I'm still learning.

Smoking pot - is a controversial subject. Maybe something I should take to the liberal boards rather than talking about it here. Some believe in pot as a 'medicine'- I am one of those persons. It is after doing much research and through experiences with various medications that I believe that pot is much less harmful than many other 'prescribed' medications or alcohol for that matter. I believe prescription drugs can be very harmful due to thier addictive nature and due to many side-effects. I'm well read and educated on the subject and have worked in the health field for many years. I have friends who are nurses, physicians, chiropractors, dentists, hygenists, yoga teachers, veteranarians, etc.. and I have seen many medical records and health problems including DEATHS that have been caused and 'covered-up' by medical errors- mostly medications! It is frightening!

If you look at my bookshelves you will find alongside my trashy-fiction novels, political readings, spiritual/religious readings,... many medical journals and books on medication, treatments and alternative therapies. I also attend seminars and conferences on interesting medical topics for ed- units and for fun.

My own mother actually became suicidally depressed from taking medication for her bleeding ulcers. The bleeding ulcers- that landed her in a hospital and nearly killed her was ALSO caused by medication given to her to prevent osteoporosis.

My father, who recently had 5-way bypass surgery and a heart valve replacement was also given medication to control his irregular heartbeat. His condition worsened, and the physician (not the one who prescribed the meds) told him that it was due to the medication they put him on to control the irregular heartbeat. The physician called that medication "poison". He took him off the meds and prescribed something for anxiety. Once, a nurse took the time to explain to my dad that it is NORMAL to have an irregular heartbeat after heart surgery and that it is NORMAL to be anxious and depressed after major surgury-- my dad felt better and decided against taking any medication. He is a bit emotional but is doing great.

My sister- the smartest and most well-read and educated person I know-- does not believe in vaccinations, medication or surgury unless absolutely necessary for survival. (She also does not believe in drinking or using ANY drugs)

Her physicians call her for advice on medical matters! My sister- in- law is a doctor of chiropractic medicine. She also believes in alternative medicine and NOT prescription drugs.

Loralei, I agree with everything you said. I was fine and rarely smoked when I was happy. I rarely drink and know my limitations. I could easily give up alcohol as I don't even like the taste. I already stopped smoking pot---for a few reasons

1) I want him to stop using meth-- so I thought I should set the example.

2) I was starting to 'use' it daily as 'medication' to control my anxiety, increase my appetite ( I went from size 10 to size 2-cause of the depression -can't eat or sleep)and to help me sleep and I didn't want it to become a 'crutch' or to become addicted to it. Also- it used to be fun to smoke pot- clean my house- listen to music- dance and chat with friends-- but it became something I did- just to sleep and eat. NO MORE FUN.

3) I thought maybe pot was making me more tolerant of him and his inexcusable actions-- cause pot helped "numb-me" --take away my 'rage' and anger and 'mellows' me out-- and makes me 'nicer'...and I wanted to keep the anger to boot him out. I wanted to feel MAD when he lied-- it's NORMAL!

4) I thought maytbe it was the pot that was making me lazy and making me unmotivated to clean my house, take care of my health, pay my bills in a timely manner, . (but NOPE-- I quit -and it's the anxiety, depression, worry, lack of sleep (due to my relationship problems) that causes me to find it hard to do anything but cry, get out of bed and go to work. My house is still a dump! I was always very organized and CLEAN before I lived with him!

5) I took on the responsibility to supervise two woman at work and didn't want my head clouded by drugs since it was already fuzzy-headed from thinking NON-stop about HIM and from lack of sleep or nutrition.

So, I agree with you Loralei- when you say I think she is totally off the mark. I don't understand how after one session with her- she can just label me as an addict and prevent me from getting help that she agrees I need.

Rising from the ashes- thank you too. I agree with many things you said and had to laugh when you said
that you have issues with someone who says they drink 'responsibly' and in the same breath that they often drink till hungover or passing out! It is true- alcohol is toxic to my body. Sometimes two glasses of wine with dinner and I feel NOTHING and other times 3 glasses of wine will have me blacking out! NO KIDDING. Therefore, I never drink and drive-- always take cab money or a designated driver IF I even drink when I go out. Usually just drink at home, if I have a social gathering and dont' have to drive or work the next day. I don't drink anything on days where I must go to work. That is what I mean by being responsible. I went on a cruise recently and all my friends drank, some smoked pot. I DID NEITHER! because I didn't want to ruin one day of vacation hung over and I had made the commitment to MYSELF NOT to smoke.

gracenotes, thank you for your reply. I agree with several things you said. Not everyone uses substances when they are stressed. True. I think it can be a danger to use substances because you are stressed and that in itself can lead to addiction. I used alcohol and pot in the past for 'fun'. TO lose my inhibitions a bit and take away the shyness to dance and socialize. Then I began using it to self -medicate and it took the fun right out of it and wasted my money 😉

The counseler said that they wanted you have two years of sobriety before entering their program. I agree that if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol then that would be a good requirement. I am not addicted. I stopped on my own. She spent less than one hour talking to me and labeled me as an addict without even asking me how long I had stopped or how often I use. I am more motivated to take the codependency class and would not mind being drug tested throughout. She can test me now and won't find drugs in my system. I would reach out for help on addiction IF I were addicted. I don't need the drug class and would have no objections to 'audit' the class but WILL not enroll in a drug program and have that on my health records because I am not addicted. I know that most addicts lie about how often they use and are in denial. That is why I would be willing to take the 1 month treatment she recommended but NOT if It will appear on my records. I think it SUCKS that they are preventing me from getting help that they are saying that I NEED!.
TDM

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