Tag Archives: addiction

How dare they. How fucking DARE they. Prepare for the rant of a lifetime.

I know. I know what you’re thinking.

“Didn’t you just post something saying you weren’t going to post on this website anymore?”

And in fact, you would be correct. But this, folks, THIS requires publication on a site that is relevant towards mental health because those of us who are apart of this marginalized community are being targeted once again. And quite ruthlessly. And have been since the beginning of this pathetic scapegoat of a problem called the “Opiate Crisis.”

Let me clarify: the crisis is indeed real. It is authentic and it is terrifying. People are dying. Children are dying. Mothers are dying. Fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, are dying. Fentanyl is being mixed with Heroin. Doctors are standing on the roof tops of their clinics tossing bottles of 60 Oxycodone pills to whoever cares to play catcher.

Why do I call the opiate crisis a pathetic scapegoat? For one reason and one reason only: it’s distracting us from the true perpetrators of the crisis in the first place. Those of you who have followed this website for the past four years, and specifically the last two years, know where this is fucking going.

*Knock knock* Big Pharma? Big Pharma! Hey, it’s me, open up. We have to talk.*Cocks shotgun*

I just finished watching a clip of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (who I think is such a brilliant replacement for Stephan Colbert, who I also loved) where Trevor mentions Trump’s claims that Mexico is to blame for all the drugs and crime coming into America. I didn’t care about Trump’s words, I’m used to him saying unfounded statements. What I cared about was what came next.

Trevor describes a doctor, one Barry Shultz I believe his name was, who managed to dispense 800,000 opiate tablets over a period of 16 months to his patients from the pharmacy in his clinic, some of which were prescribed with 60 Oxycodone a day. He justified this by stating “Sixty a day is a large number, I admit. But, if it’s taken properly–”

The reporter asks how to take 60 Oxycodone a day properly. The doctor replied, “some people need that dose”.

No. Some people don’t need that dose. What YOU need is that check you receive from the pharmaceutical companies for pushing their product.

Then, came the claims I was waiting for. Then, came the pharmaceutical companies which were caught falsifying information and bribing doctors; if these five specific doctors chose to push a specific Fentanyl spray they, combined, were awarded over 800,00 dollars, treated to lavish dinners, and granted access to specialized strip clubs. That was Insys theraputics. Purdue Pharmaceutical was sued by their state under the grounds that they were personally responsible for launching the opiate crisis. I don’t know how truthful that claim can be, but the company did admit (in 2007) that they had purposefully misled doctors and consumers on the truth of their opiate’s addictive properties.

The company chose to create a strategy to get the feds off their back. In an email from 2001, chairman Richard Sackler, stated quaintly: “We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible. They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.”

Well. Look who’s calling the fucking kettle black. “Reckless criminals.” And what the fuck are you, mister former Purdue Pharmaceutical chairman? A saint? A fucking angel? What a sack of shit.

This is a game people, a game of chess, and innocent human lives are the betting agent.

This doesn’t just happen with opiates, it happens with psychiatric medication too–lying about efficacy, pushing doctors to diagnoses specific conditions to prescribe certain medications, insurance companies refusing to pay for therapy unless a client is diagnosed and medicated. I mean, the history of Johnson and Johnson C.E.O Alex Gorsky says it all. I will forever fucking bash his name.

People seem to forget the history of what is slowly becoming the least dangerous of all opiates: heroin. People seem to forget that morphine, derived from an opiate substance, was also once killing people (and still is) on an astronautical level due to its addictive properties. People seem to forget that a chemist then synthesized heroin, a very pure heroin, and a pharmaceutical company pounced on it. That synthesized pure heroin was advertised as an alternative to morphine that was not addictive.

Little did they know, right?

Cocaine in the united state was processed in a similar fashion. Most street drugs that don’t include a plethora of battery acid and other ridiculous chemicals, street drugs that are derived in some form from a plant, were often first in the hand of pharmaceutical giants. That’s how the public got their hands on it. Why do you think the idea of legalized marijuana is terrifying? I’m not sure how someone could fuck up marijuana, but leave it to people like Alex Gorsky and Richard Sackler and I’m sure they’ll find a way.

My point is that the opiate crisis is not the addicts fault. It’s not the drug’s fault. It’s not even the doctor’s who relinquish their will and fall ill to the temptation of strippers and hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s the company which lies, which manipulates, and which dictates these disgusting actions.

This isn’t an opiate crisis. It’s an ethical crisis. It’s a philosophical, moral crisis.

Change my mind.

The True Qualms Of Existence

A couple years ago, a philosophy professor of mine advised our class to never think about how suddenly we could all die. In fact, she urged us not to as we’d eventually go mad. However, me being me, I thought about it very heavily the moment she made her statement.

I don't think...and yet here I am.

I could poof from existence as I write this. You could poof out of existence as you read this. Perhaps we both poof out of existence at the same moment and because our subatomic particles are somehow entangled, our souls end up in the same version of some afterlife where we can spend our wispy eternity together, haunting people in Halloween stores and hiding as the monster under some kid’s bed.

Death is a serious topic. It touches everyone’s life at least once, usually more often. The older we get, the more we have to endure the passing of friends and family; it’s one reason most people say they wouldn’t enjoy the gift of everlasting physical life.

I cannot and will not claim I understand the full amount of grief someone undergoes after losing someone close to them. I’ve seen the impact it can have: I’ve seen it at work, at home, and heard it from friends. I’ve seen that it can cause turmoil and insurmountable pain and it gives me the greatest respect for this thing we call life: something so elusive, so sudden, so dark, has so much power.

People are afraid of the unknown, right? Those of religious faith perhaps not so much as they know what to expect at the end of their life. But for the rest of us, there is a level of uncertainty and perhaps even arrogance around the idea of death. That we can cheat it with some pills. That we can speculate theoretical possibilities with math and physics to keep our mind off the possibility that perhaps death is just nothingness.

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Never have I ever experienced the death of someone close to me. There are members of my family who have passed away who I had only met once. My pet passed away when I was ten.

There is one instance in which I thought perhaps death would hit close to home. Most of you are aware of my father’s alcoholism history, which he still battles today. During the time he first began having serious withdrawal symptoms (i.e, seizures), I was still very much a night owl and still in high school. Often I stayed up until six or seven a.m. I’d check on him before I went to sleep just to put my mind at ease.

One afternoon I awoke and he was laying face down in a sleeping position he normally slept on. But I heard a wheezing. I glanced over at him once more and saw a pattern indicative of what he experienced after a seizure. His eyes were fixed towards the left and then I saw the blood. Piles of it. His bladder had let itself go. I asked if he could hear me and although he couldn’t speak or move or blink, he growled somewhere deep from his throat. He started seizing a little bit more, just because of the stress.

I didn’t know where the blood was coming from: that was where the panic started. He was laying in it and I couldn’t see if it was coming from his mouth or elsewhere. I later learned it was from a bite in his tongue, cheek, and the rearranging of his teeth from his jaw clenching.

I also didn’t know how long he’d been in this position. Perhaps a half hour. Perhaps hours. And as many of you probably know, withdrawal seizures don’t stop. They continue rolling like a boulder down an endless hill.

The scene, the blood, distressed EMT’s, the fact that I was home alone, the feeling of guilt for having not been awake in the first place caused my meltdown. I fell into a heap and can’t remember anything beyond that.

When he woke up, his short term, and some other parts of his memory, were gone.

I blamed myself for that for a long time. I still kind of do. In fact, this is a difficult post to write because what followed that incident was a changed life. A life of learning to live with someone who forgot what day my birthday was. A life of learning to deal with the anger outbursts from all of us, a life of learning that even seizures can’t stop addiction. A life of learning that life isn’t permanent.

I set up a contraption in my room which tied around my doorknob, went up on the ceiling, through a hanging hook, and back down to a chair which sat beside my bed. I couldn’t sleep for months and if I did, I made sure there were tons of noisemakers near that chair set up. It was there so that when I slept, and if I had a seizure, my leg would most likely knock over the chair onto the stuff on my floor and make noise so I wouldn’t die in such a position.

I didn’t think he would make it that day. I was convinced I’d been partly responsible for his impending death.

Since then I’ve been preparing myself for the big day. Not just for him, but for anyone. I learned to tell myself that I can’t be responsible for someone else’s life choices and that if death came before any of us wanted it to, than I had no say in that either. For months I kept that chair by my bed. I still think about it every now and then, five years later.

This is a story left untold, one I generally avoid because it hits deeper than any other. It plays flashbacks of scenes and feelings I still haven’t processed. Before, I’d never dare speak word of this story. Now I’m telling the internet.

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What I learned is that control isn’t something we have, it’s something we created as a figment of our imagination in a world of spontaneity and chaos. It’s something we wish we could have. I’ve learned to stop wishing for it. The more I wish for it, the more I want it, and the more disappointed I am when I can’t have it.

When the day comes, for me, for him, for anyone I know, it will be another life changing moment and that’s okay. Because if life never changed, no one would live.

Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It

Can we all take a moment and give mad respect to Betty White and her dab?

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I’m not the kind of person to “lean and dab”, I’m not even a person to dab. Or lean for that matter. I don’t “Nae-Nae” or “whip” lest the effect be purely comedic. But I give props to Betty for keeping up with the “times” (regardless of how disgraceful those times may be) and keeping herself young.

I aspire to have the same mindset at her age. I’ll be doing whatever freakish combination of “nae-nae”, “whipping”, “dabbing” and “Bobby Shurmdaing” comes out in the future down the halls of the psychiatric hospital I’ll be the chief of. Dancing is good for mental health. That would be a good exercise for everyone, including the staff.

My business plans are golden, ya’ll.

mjaxmi01mjazm2jkzdu0mdzin2jlAll you can really do is laugh at this kind of stuff. Anyone who takes these artists seriously is missing the point. Sure, the “dab” music video has over fourteen million views but I guarantee 90% of them came from people wanting to see how stupid it was. I won’t even complain about that kind of “music” because it’s not music. It’s entertainment, simply. It’s not meant to be meaningful or beautiful or heartfelt, it’s meant to ring in popularity and dough and fifteen minutes of fame. They’re actually quite intelligent, if you ask me. It takes a serious disregard for ones own dignity to put yourself in the limelight without a care and subject yourself to relentless ridicule just for some views on YouTube and the chance at a record deal with a corporation that will garnish 80% of your earnings for themselves.

I’ve written countless numbers of parody raps and I’ve manipulated and created beats just as easily as these fools. I could mix a nice beat and but a pointless video to it and post it on YouTube and gather a little fame too. I’m a crazy personality when I’m by myself or in front of a camera.

I’ve always wanted to be part of YouTube. As an introvert, it gives me a chance to show my true self and entertain people with my five star comedy (don’t argue it) without ever having to look at them face to face. I’d like to have someone to do it with, someone who is as dedicated as I am, and I haven’t found anyone interested yet.

It makes me wonder: perhaps I did become a “Youtube celebrity”. That’s what they call them, right? Whatever. Perhaps I became a YouTube Personality. I like that phrase better. Could I handle the fame, if it so happened to blow my socks off?

Yes and no, I think is the proper answer.

stressed-simpsonI’ve been busy this week. School, running back and forth to handle the job paperwork, dealing with my family issues, and it stresses me out. I can’t handle stress. I’m on my last straw and it’s only the beginning of week three in the semester.

Often my anxiety keeps me up at night, and it’s been vicious since school started, not to mention I have to take care of all of my father’s medical issues (making sure appointments are scheduled, sacrificing homework time to take him to his appointments, keeping an eye on his behavior e.t.c) because my mother is a procrastinator and also refuses to take even a day off of work to take him to anything. I worry about myself, about them, about school, about random things all night long and get four to five hours of sleep each night.

I try to work on myself and my social anxiety disorder and depression and anger to prevent it from also holding me back in school, but I can’t put as much time into it as I want to with all these other obstacles in the way.

Yesterday I went to a credit union to open another account because my first bank account representative couldn’t set up my account right two years ago. Talking to authoritarian figures such as bankers is a red flag alert for my anxiety; I’ve been preparing for it all week. I was thoroughly frustrated when my mother and I walked through the doors because we looked like idiots standing at the front desk in the middle of the room where no one was sitting. We we got in line to cash her check and the guy who was supposed to be at the front desk came back. My mother said we could go back to the front desk again but I didn’t want to look like a fucking idiot even more, so I hissed no.

A hauty-taughty woman stood an inch from me and my red flag started to burn.

'Don't worry, I always stand this close to people.'

The bank representative couldn’t set up my account because there’s a fraud alert on my social security number. Either someone stole my identity (fat lot of luck you’ll have with my zero credit score) or someone in the system spelled my name wrong. They wouldn’t even accept it even though I had my signed card with me.

I put a lot of effort into that visit. It took a lot of energy out of me, the last bit of energy I had, and I started balling in the car because 1) I have to go to the social security office to sort this out and 2) I have to go back to the bank and through the process all over again.

This is not the first time I’ve had a problem with banks. Corporate and Federal America doesn’t like me.

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My mother clicked her tongue at me like she always does and tells me to stop being ridiculous and hysterical over nothing.

I’ve known for a long time the way I feel 1) isn’t understood, 2) isn’t respect and 3) doesn’t matter to anyone but myself.

I wanted to spend some good one on one time with my boyfriend because that’s the only time I feel at least semi-normal and not as anxious, but that didn’t happen because of video games and my inability to express verbally how I feel. Enough said.

I’m not prepared for this coming week. I’m rather fragile.

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If I were “famous” I couldn’t quit the fame, not in the way I could quit the job or school. But at least I’d have a lot of money to go crazy like Justin Bieber or Brittany Spears.

To avoid further conflict in my house at this moment (the alcoholic is doing what he does best and that usually sparks some deep seeded anger in me I’d rather not let loose at the moment) I am sitting at a sea cliff edge, the edge I drove to when I had the courage to jump off it but made the wise decision not to, and I’m marveling at how smooth the ocean is and how bright the sun is. Everything is beautiful here and I like that.

Besides the two idiots sitting on the bench right in front of my car. They could have sat some place else.

I’ll post pictures later.

As for now, I don’t think I could handle fame or school. Or life.

I’m going to stay positive as always. Part of that is letting loose of some of this negativity in the form of blogging.

I think that’s a decent strategy, don’t you?

 

So Funny I Forgot To Laugh

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That moment you mean to type “terms in anatomy” and instead accurately spell “terms in humanomy”.

I mean, technically I’m not wrong.

Then again there could be beaver anatomy or chinchilla anatomy or dinosaur anatomy–it’s not just all about us.

Be that as it may, I think I should coin the term “humanomy” to mean “the study of human anatomy” before some Ph.D out there decides to take all the credit. Us Undergrads can get wildly creative, as you can see.

*Fun Fact* If you google “humanomy”, you get a human anatomy book in Spanish on amazon. It’s 23 dollars if anyone is interested.

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People wanted me to take human anatomy at my college, but I went in those labs a year ago, I saw those dead bodies with the white sheet on their face pulled so tight you can still make out the indent of their eyes, the tent pitched by their eroded nose, and the thin sliver between their upper and bottom lips. I’ve seen a girl, with the help of her trusty man-side kick, shove their hands into an abdominal cavity, and hoist up the intestines into a vertical angle until we could see the ridges of the spine. I saw the green spotted cirrhosis of the liver and some woman shoved a human heart in my face.

The thing is bigger than I thought.

Sights like those make me feel my organs, and I don’t like that.

I could handle the smell and I didn’t run out of the room like some people–a rather natural reaction to being crammed in a freezer lab with several dead bodies inches away from your supple, living flesh. You almost expect them to reach out and shake your hand and say “hey, nice day today, eh?”

But nope. They dead.

Instead, I looked around and wondered how many serial killers were being created that day.

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I should clarify: I stood there in the middle of a freezer with dead bodies, grinning to myself and thinking about serial killers. I’m not creepy at all.

I’ve been a little off this morning. Hence the serial killer stuff.

Because I’ve been drinking more water and getting a little bit of exercise, my energy level has been exceptional, and last night I couldn’t sleep. My class is at 8 a.m. I tossed and turned until 2:30 worrying about the fact that I couldn’t sleep and that worry made me worry farther about my worry.

Meta-worrying.

It’s the conceited, mangled cousin of Meta-cognition.

Whenever I have trouble falling asleep I have trouble distinguishing my dreams from reality. Several times I saw a person standing in my room at the foot of my bed with blonde hair, distorted, pulling at her/his hair and face and skin and silently screaming. Spiders crowded in the corner and there were conversations I had with no one in particular, conversations I can’t remember fully.

I woke at 6:30, the time I wanted to, and felt perplexed by the voices I heard in the other room but figured I was dreaming again.

When I woke up a few minutes later I learned my father had yet another seizure (or set of seizures) and his blood pressure was 252/190.

If you’re not medical savvy or have never paid attention to your check ups in the doctor offices, you might not know what a normal level is. A normal level is 120/80.

He hasn’t been drinking.

We’ve been giving him his blood pressure medication; my mother gives him the night pill because he forgets they’re for his blood pressure and ends up poppin’ them like sleeping pills.

The morning pills are harder to regulate. But he usually remembers to take them.

I theorized he had another one of his “temporal” or partial seizures (whichever, it hasn’t even been officially diagnosed yet) that blossomed into a Grand Mal.

The doctors at the hospital, according to my mother, said seizures can also be caused by fatally high levels of blood pressure.

But there’s no way to tell if the blood pressure came before the seizures, or if the seizures came before the blood pressure, so to automatically assume either is rather irresponsible. It’s a correlational situation and all of us in the research, psychology and statistical world should know those can be relatively unreliable.

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They’ve admitted him. Honestly, I think it’s time he see both a neurologist and a cardiologist and get some liver tests done. It’s been 8-10 years since he had a mild heart attack and the doctors said he had congestive heart failure; he’s done nothing, since, in terms of heart health. He’s been an alcoholic or over thirty years, there’s no way all that acetaldehyde hasn’t taken it’s toll.

When you drink alcohol (in regards to those who drink a lot or are addicted), a liver enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase spurts into action. Yes, your liver specializes for these types of incidents. Respect your body.

But when it metabolizes, acetaldehyde, a naturally occurring biochemical Satan, births itself into existence. The alcohol isn’t what fucks you up, it’s all these metabolite dudes actively racing around your system like deranged toddlers on a sugar high.

Luckily your liver has an enzyme that breaks down that, too.

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Fuck giving respect to celebrities for being stuck up little hoes, it’s time to turn that energy into yourself. Your body does more for you than you could even imagine. 

Active acetaldehyde breaks down tissues. It’s a toxin. It’s usually what causes a lot of liver and tissue complications associated with alcoholism.

As you can see, this pharmacology class is paying off.

I don’t necessarily agree with all of this professors approaches to how he views his counseling field, or his view on addiction, but I think that’s the glory of learning.

If you boil life down into broth in your stainless steel pot, you’d see it’s just made up of perceptions and beliefs. They guide you, whether you acknowledge it or not. So, if you’re also inclined in the slightest to Ethics, or you just have some common sense, you would reason that taking and believing words from someone’s mouth just to believe it, just because they say it, just because they’re credible, is essentially letting them and their values, their morals, and their ethical standing, dictate how you make decisions in your life.

Therefore I take what I can learn about the physical body and brain from this class and I move on. I listen to ideas and I take them as just that: ideas. Ideas that someone came up with that may or may not be worth following. I’ll find out for myself.

When my father’s doctor says “it’s weird, your liver test came up with a hepatitis virus but it’s not showing up in your system” my first inclination is not relief, but skepticism. Perhaps its the beginning stages. Perhaps something wonky is going on with your tests. Perhaps he’s beginning that long path down the road of hepatitis and eventually cirrhosis if he doesn’t get his act together.

That’s one thing I’ll never agree on that my professor said:

“There are plenty resources in this town, it’s amazing how we’ve grown”.

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That’s straight up bullshit. If you have great insurance and a great employer and make decent amounts of money, your resources are great. If you’re on county medicaid and your unemployed and depressed and an addict and get run around the system, you have two things working against you: socioeconomic status and personal motivation.

If he doesn’t want to take personal responsibility for his actions, that’s one thing. Being dragged through the mud over and over again is another.

At least the ones with the good insurance and tentative doctors have a chance to be properly educated and motivated a little.

Poverty effects the mind just as much as it does the finances.

Rant END.

 

Project Homeostasis: Find And Maintain

 

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One thing I’ve always struggled with accepting was labeling Substance abuse as a disease. I live with a user and although I’ve never seen it as a choice, I’ve never fully understood its classification.

My professor tonight related the neurological process of addiction to the evolutionary and neurological process of eating.

Yes, eating. 

brainIn the simplest terms, the act of eating is pleasurable for means of survival. When you eat, your brain rewards you with dopamine, that feel-good neurotransmitter, in the Mesocorticalimbic pathway (MCLP), particularly the Nucleus Accumbens. Because you’re rewarded, you keep going back. That’s what keeps you alive. Your brain and body knows it needs nourishment and it’s not going to count on you to do it right, that’s for sure. So it trains you. Like a dog. 

You think you make your body do what you want? Ha. It makes you do what it wants. It’s pavlovs-dogbeen conditioning you since birth. That’s why it’s better to work with it than against it.

When you’re dehydrated, you feel better after re-hydrating because of the same process. Your body isn’t going to count on you to drink water, it needs to remind you: “hey dipshit, I’m thirsty over here, come on man, give me some water already!”

Assuming you look at the world through a biological lens, this is what goes on. This is not my opinion, I’m just telling you what researchers have found out thus far.  Nothing is ever written in stone.

When a drug has the potential to effect the MCLP, it’s considered to have abuse potential. You know, Benzos, Opiods, Amphetamines, Alcohol.

These facts shifted my mind a bit. If you needed to stop eating because it was harming your body, but you got the feeling of being rewarded each time you did it, would you be able to just stop eating?

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We’ve seen that in many examples on shows like My 600 Lb life. The ones who keep off the weight often don’t struggle with as severe of a food addiction as their counterparts. Some have Gastric Bypass and keep eating and eating and eating.

Here’s a scale for you.

Say there’s a baseline dopamine release: than,

Eating increases dopamine by 150%

Sex increases dopamine by 200%

Cocaine increases dopamine by 300% 

Meth increases dopamine by 1500%

Stew on that.

Addiction is essentially like a compulsion. That’s how my professor explained it. The user continues regardless of risks of consequences. If you live with OCD, you know what I’m talking about. You know about standing in front of that light switch and having to flip it twenty three and a half times before you can step outside of your room. And as much as you want to stop, you can’t.

If you struggle with substance use and I say something horribly out of line, feel free to tell your story in the comments. I’m just jotting what they’re teaching nurses and community counselors these days, for all of your benefits. Maybe it’ll help someone understand the mindset in the people they work with.

He made it clear that the user may at first choose to try the drug, but because the drug then stimulates a high, the reward pathway is also stimulated and suddenly they can’t stop.

But it’s not as if your body doesn’t try and compensate.

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GABA As A Chemical Structure

Tolerance is one way. If you’re an alcoholic for example, the main reason why you are sedated and squirming around in a daze on the floor is because alcohol triggers a serious release of GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid), a neurotransmitter that is rather inhibitory. If you lack this neurotransmitter, you’re probably anxious and wired and an insomniac like me. I don’t know if I lack GABA, but whatever, you get my point.

Well your brain really, really values two things: consciousness and Homeostasis. We’ll focus on the homeostasis part.

Homeostasis means balance. Stability. So if you’re overwhelming it with an inhibitory transmitter, it’s going to start spewing an excitory one at you, like Glutamate. It essentially tries to even itself out. That’s why you have to drink more and more the further you dive into alcoholism, just to get a buzz in your brain; there’s so much Glutamate combating the GABA that you need more and more GABA.

What happens when you stop?

I’m sure every alcoholic has had the shakes and mood swings. But when you’re a severe alcoholic (there’s a spectrum), you’re at risk of experiencing Delrium Tremons (DT) which consists of confusion, hallucinations, or the fatal “sympathetic overdrive” which can advance to cardiovascular collapse. You’ve probably had a seizure or two as well.

Withdrawal for severe alcoholics can result in fatality because of DT’s. Other withdrawals cannot.

imbalance-300x198But Withdrawal from any substance is also your brain’s attempt at homeostasis. When you stop drinking, all that GABA you were once supplying your body with basically crumbles into non-existence. But by now your brain was used to pouring buckets upon buckets of Glutamate on those sedated neurons. Remember, Glutamate is excitory. This imbalance of chemicals is a cause of withdrawal seizures.

You ever hear a doctor explain withdrawal seizures as overactive neurons? Well, that’s what they’re talking about.

I’m not a fan of statistics, they’re about as reliable as my left foot having the ability to spread wings.

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Depending on the research, of course, and the researchers.

However, I tend to agree that those of us with a parent who is an alcoholic and those of us that choose to get shit-face drunk raises our risks of developing the disease.

I call it a disease only because I see the biological and genetic development of it much clearer. No one asks for an addiction just as no one asks for heart disease.

suicide-burger-burger-king-secret-menuEating Burger king fifty times a month (A CONSCIOUS DECISION) may raise someone’s cholesterol and they may develop heart disease (NOT A CONSCIOUS DECISION).

Having a history of alcoholics in your family and going out to the bars five times a week with your friends (A CONSCIOUS DECISION) and passing out behind the dumpster might switch on that little genetic component and get that reward center flowing and they may develop an addiction (NOT A CONSCIOUS DECISION).

Not everyone gets heart disease from Burger King. Not everyone gets addicted to drugs.

He put on the board HEART DISEASE and asked us what the first words were that came to mind. We said a lot of things like smoking and cholesterol and genetics. He asked us what the people around those with heart disease were usually like. We said supportive, understanding.

He put addiction on the board and asked us what the first words were that came to mind. Someone blurted ANGER. We also copied the physical health we listed under heart disease. Someone else said struggle. Someone said environment. He asked us what the people around those with addictions were usually like. We said angry. Disturbed. Misunderstanding. Unsupportive. And a slew of other negative connotations.

Because we’ve got this crazy notion that people choose to be addicts. No one chooses to be an addict. I didn’t have to take this class to know that. I did have to take this class to see why it’s classified as a disease. But even I’m not stupid enough to think someone chooses to stick a fucking needle in their arm on a street corner. 

It’s true, some people refuse help. And if I feel any anger towards that, it’s towards the disease and not the person. A few bad choices damn near doomed their future.

Many suffer comorbid with mental health disorders.

There are reasons for turning to food for comfort and turning to drugs for comfort.

Substance Use might not technically be a “disorder” as much as it is a “disease”, but we’re all in the same boat here.

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Little Jimmy didn’t wake up one day and decide to develop schizophrenia and then the next day rolled out of bed and said “eh, I don’t feel like dealing with schizophrenia today, I’ll just stop”.

Little Suzie didn’t wake up one day and say “I want to spend the rest of my time having manic highs and suicidal depressive lows! Yay!”

Middle-sized Kyle didn’t wake up one day and say “I think I want to be a heroin addict on fifth avenue now, mom”.

One bad decision doesn’t mean they chose to be an addict. Everyone makes bad decisions and most of them we don’t have the consequences of developing a disease because of it. For example, I backed into a wall today because I made a lazy decision to not wipe off my back window so I could see. Now there’s a hairline scratch on my car.

But that’s not going to kill me.

The Power Of The Internet

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Heart Healthy Tip: Don’t over exercise you guys, it actually causes scar tissue to form around the heart. Moderation is important.

Anywhooooooo . . .

Challenges are healthy.

 

maxresdefault1And when that boss crashed into the pavement and lavender vapor in the form of his own diseased, decrepit soul spewed from his body and evaporated against the blood soaked bricks, when those block letters forming the words I’ve been waiting for days to see: [PREY SLAUGHTERED] finally faded into the screen I jumped out of my seat with every muscle in my body tensed and hissed “fuck yes! Fuck yes! Finally! Fuck you! Fuck you fuck you fuck you, YES!” as loud as I could at 12:00 am.

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There’s never been a video game in my life where I’ve had to use the breathing technique I use for Panic Attacks to calm my heart rate down.

My limbs were shaking. My hearing was muffled. My heart throbbed behind my eyes and my legs were weak.

And all the anxiety I’d been feeling for the last couple days melted into oblivion along with the beast I just SLAUGHTERED.

That’s my new favorite word: SLAUGHTERED. 

I do have a video game addiction. If I’m not playing video games, I’m watching someone else play them, whether that be in real life or on YouTube. It’s coupled with my technology obsession and internet addiction.

Adicción a internet

 

But I use them for a reason. Videos and Video games numb my mind. Technology provides me with a type of company I feel people can’t. The internet–well, it’s good to keep me busy and not thinking. It’s also the main catalyst behind my health anxiety addiction.

Yes, I’m the type of person who, when they wake up with a sore left arm (even if they spent the following night propped up on that left arm for hours, even if they know their old ass mattress causes a lot of body pains in their hips, back, and legs) they immediately assume a heart attack.

That is not an exaggeration. Until that pain in my left arm is gone, I will assume my body is about to break down at any second.

So because that type of throbbing anxiety has been in my head for a few days, because I’ve been a little stressed and pushed out of my comfort zone this last week, it’s all been building. I know when stress builds up, I can feel it.

Things have been building up inside of me.

It’s as if I have a slow leak.

Stay with me here.

gleamingkitchensinkPicture my body and brain as a kitchen sink. Picture the kitchen sink with one of those drain plugs. But the plug is a little loose and a thin stream of water makes it between the cracks and down the drain. Imagine the water is my stress.

Someone turns the faucet on full and the sink backs up and backs up and it puts pressure on the walls of the sink and you decide to practice your math and you use calculus shit to find out there’s no way in fucking hell that little stream of water is going to leak fast enough to beat the rate the water is filling up the sink. You don’t care to go much farther with that because, eh, math isn’t your thing.

Whatever. Don’t be a hater. It can be fun if you give it a chance.

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Eventually the water reaches that crucial level where the only thing holding it from over flowing are the very chemical bonds which give it the properties of water. Luck runs out at some point and hydrogen bonds spill all over the counter and leak over the edge of the sink onto the floor.

It doesn’t take much for me to get to that stress level. Put me outside for a few days in a row and it’s already accelerated the process.

So I’ve been very irritated and snapping at my parents and feeling inconsolable. I go from happy to pissed off to deeply depressed and back to happy within a matter of minutes. The anxiety added to that. In fact, it was the catalyst.

avgn-angry-video-game-nintendo-nerd-rage-quittingSo I decided to sit down and play a game I rage at. Because releasing unwarranted hell and being homicidal against fantasy characters is totally okay.

It gives me something to focus on, something I have a right to be angry at and shout at. It won’t argue with me, it will just send me all the way back to the stupid hunter’s dream lantern and laugh at me in it’s own technological way. But that’s alright, because I laughed at it when I beat that boss level.

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Some people think I probably get way too into it. When was the last time you were shaking out of your shoes and leaping out of your chair and almost slamming your controller into the desk (this PlayStation 4 was a gift from my boyfriend if you all remember, I couldn’t break it and I remember that the split second before I took out my rage-happiness on it) and breathing like a pregnant woman in labor and crouching on the floor almost in happy tears because of a video game?

labyrinth_ratWhen you play this game you learn the meaning of hard work and the joy of accomplishment. When you’re fighting that boss you know what’s at stake: all of your blood echos. Your life. All the work you put into going through sewers and stabbing giant hogs in the ass and giant rats in the sewers and other freakish hunters jumping out at you from dark corners. You know if you die, you have to go through all of that fucking bullshit again. It makes you push harder than you’ve ever pushed in a video game before.

I’m telling you; these games teach you life lessons in their own subtle ways.

In between episodes of Bloodborne, I was surfing the web for job openings. I applied for a few. But I’m still wary. I know I can force myself to handle what I apply for, but I wonder what amount of stress that will put on my psyche. I know some stress management techniques and anxiety management techniques, and often they work.

To an extent.

I have no tolerance for stress, however. I can do one thing at a time, lest I’m on the computer. Then I can handle listening to a video in the background while I type a blog.

But mostly I like to keep my focus in one place. It helps routine, you know? And having a job and going to school is two things. Two. Two places in which I have to interact and wear that mask. You know how sweaty it gets behind that thing? My pores start clogging up and it gets hard to breathe . . . it’s just a mess man.

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I’m just trying to accept the fact that I can’t handle a lot of things at once like most people. I have to take things slower and do things my way or else I’m putting my mental health at serious jeopardy.

A job playing video games. Now  . . . now that would save my mental health. Just putting it out there.

YouTube here I come.

Future Generations:

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Jimmy?”

“I want to be a YouTuber!”

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“Get the fuck out of my classroom Jimmy”.

*Ten years later Jimmy has 10 million subscribers and is making 4 million dollars a year. His teacher hides herself from the public in shame, for she should have known to never, ever underestimate the power of the internet.*

 

 

Let The Arguments Begin

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There are two things I’m going to cover in this post very blatantly and very truthfully:

  1. Culture Biases in the two schools I plan on spending the next five years of my life. 
  2. Addiction.

So Beware.

I’ll start with the first topic because I can be witty and lighthearted but very, very sardonic about it and that’s what I enjoy.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to register for Spring semester and so far the only class I’ve got is math. If you all want to know, I’m planning on transferring to Santa Clara University. I’ve been there a few times and the first time I absolutely hated it. It was small and weird and since I wasn’t yet sold on the idea of going into psychology I completely disregarded it and set my eyes on Stanford. However, Santa Clara has a pretty well off Psychobiology program (for people who are going into Psychiatry in medical school)  and I really liked what they had to offer the more research I did.

So while a community college can save you money, it can sometimes be a pain in the ass trying to satisfy both the community college class standards and the university standards. Right now I’m one class away from my degree at my current college (that fucking psychology research class) and I have five more to complete for Santa Clara.

Two of the categories I need classes in are “Cultures and Ideas” 2 & 3, and “Diversity”.

So I figure, hey, cool, I love taking diverse classes and learning about new classes.

Well, my options?

“Chicano History” and other Chicano related things.

Or:

“American History” and other American related things.

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Where is the cultural diversity in that? Do I look Mexican American?

And here’s where people start calling me racist. I’ll wait for all of you to get it out of your system.

You done?

Good, now shut up and listen to reason for one second. If you have the audacity to claim the only thing diverse between the two schools is Chicano things and American things, then . . . you blind? Someone throw acid in your eyes? Take a crowbar to your face? There are all sorts of Asian histories at my college and not to mentioned my NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE CLASS, WHICH COUNTS FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT SANTA CLARA, and yet the two major categories are Chicano and American? I get it. You’re catering towards the majority population without even knowing the numbers in the census.

You’re so smart.

Damn idiots.

I’m surprised the Middle eastern culture class counts. I’m really, really surprised.

Let me say something crystal clear. I fully understand how difficult it is for children in a home with parents who never had the chance to go to college, who had to risk their lives hauling ass into this dumb country over the Mexican-American border. BUT, here’s the thing: if you’re going to have separate graduations for those students in your fucking high schools, and you’re going to make programs in the college directed only at those students, you’re being a blind racist. You are.

I’ll just say there were an alright amount of black students in my high school. Not many, but enough. Were they ever encouraged to join the college prep class I was? No. In fact, they weren’t even encouraged to go to college or take AP classes. Why was I encouraged? No one knew what the hell I was! I was the only person out of twenty something students in that college prep class who was not of some kind of Latin descent. We watched Latin videos, we discussed Latin/Mexican programs and not once did I feel welcomed. We watched films in Spanish with horrible English subtitles. The Brown Berets came to speak with us to encourage their people. All our guest speakers? Latino/Latina/Mexican talking about hardships growing up as Latino/Latina/Mexican and the lack of education with their parents.

It’s not as if I haven’t felt disregarded as mixed race my entire life at all. No, no, it’s fine, really, ignore me. It’s cool.

I was so rare my English teacher for an honors class had to pull me into the BACK ROOM to make sure I WAS OKAY with READING BOOKS WITH BLACK PEOPLE IN IT.

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At least she cared whether or not I was offended. But the rest of all my advanced class? White as fuck. White and wealthy, college graduate families.

I fucking get it. I do. I really do. But let me tell you something; my dad didn’t even graduate middle school. He was in poverty with seven other children and one mother. My mother didn’t grow up with a lot of money either (but is white and lived in a cheap city in the woods in Michigan) with five other children. My dad’s been drinking since he was 15. My mom dropped out of college and has been working all her life. Other races have issues to, and if you’re going to focus on only one, you’re being racist.

You want to have an ethnic graduation? Cool. Do it for every race in your high school. Want programs geared towards race? Cool, do it for every race in your school.  Or do the smart thing and have one graduation and respect everyone in front of everyone, and have a program that is geared towards everyone. It’s not rocket science. Didn’t these idiots go to college? Must not have been enough classes in DIVERSITY.

Now is the part where people really call me racist. Argue with me in the comment section below.

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The point is, I’m sick of being disrespected. I’m sick of it at home and I’m sick of it in the public eye. Someone from the south wrote into PsychCentral and said her family thinks interracial relationships are a MENTAL DISORDER and asked IF THERE WAS ANY VALIDITY TO THAT STATEMENT.

How far in the pits is the south? Are you guys in the depths of hell? What the fuck?

It’s blatant disrespect. Fuck racism. It’s disrespect.

My dad’s been angry all day and drinking all day. He’s been playing his music and getting in my mom’s face and it pisses me off and I get in the middle of it, I don’t give a shit. That’s DISRESPECT. He was sitting there screaming at us like we’re “making him out to be the bad guy” when we didn’t say shit about him drinking; he’s the one bringing it up, it’s burning in his conscience not ours.

Thinking of commenting  “there’s no use arguing with a drunk”?

Save your comments for my racism, I’m not an idiot, I’ve lived with this since I was born. He comes to us. And we ignore him and he keeps looking for a fight.

I also have a short temper. And I was getting pissed off because my mother just takes it and she works two jobs and gets up early every morning and doesn’t need this. So I told him we weren’t saying anything about him, and he started yelling and so I yelled over him and screamed “You know how many times we’ve saved your life and this is what you do to us?” And it felt good as fuck. It felt so good. And he got really angry then and ran after me and chased me into the bathroom and kept shoving me and I shoved him and he tried to punch me but slipped and fell because he’s drunk as fuck. My mom held him back and I shoved him backwards but submitted. I said okay, I’m not going to touch you, just get out of my face.

And I hate myself for it. I hate submitting. I hate submitting in the job environment, I hate submitting to Comcast and paying $19.95 for decent WiFi for a week, I hate submitting to anxiety, I hate submitting to depression which has oddly eluded me the last month or so. It must be up to something.

There were no marks on me so calling the police was useless. He’s on the lease of the apartment and you know what they’d do? They’d make us leave for the night. Fuck that. That’s just going to fuel his fucking ego.

Anyway:

I.

HATE.

SUBMISSION.

Submission

We’ve been looking at interventionists and we’re giving him two options: get residential treatment or leave. That’s it, that’s all.

It’s worth noting I’ve never hated or disliked my father. I hate his addiction, I hate his drinking. I’ll never forget all the horrible instances we’ve had but I’ll never forget the good ones either. We were always close.

I’ll always be saddened by the fact that his temper has been worse since those Grand Mal seizures forced him to wake up with short term memory loss and I’ll always be saddened by the fact that he did that to himself (he’s not epileptic) and I’ll always be saddened that he’s so stubborn and under the impression he can “do this on his own”. But I think it’s good to be sad and grieve healthily over those things because that means there was at least a few instances of happiness with him. I’m not numb. I just act like it.

Tonight has been another instance in hell. Damn, I just passed by the south, I should have said Hi.

Oh wait, I’m an interracial child and in an interracial relationship, they’ll probably try to lynch me or put me on a cotton plantation.