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Addiction

By: Conor Bezane

It was in rehab in 2012 that I decided to carry the flag for the mentally ill. I’d received my diagnosis of bipolar four years earlier and ended up in treatment because I was drinking two six-packs of beer or two bottles of wine — or more — every night. I was also smoking crack with homeless people a couple times a week and, for good measure,...
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By: Conor Bezane

You are dually diagnosed. You have bipolar and addiction. It’s a nightmare. Naturally.Alcohol makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, especially in the winter, when all you feel like doing is cozying up to the fire and enjoying a glass of wine or a fine Scotch or bourbon. But you’re not drinking anymore — and don’t forget that you feel better as a...
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By: Conor Bezane

It’s holiday madness. Everyone around you is getting smashed. You want a drink too. But you can’t have one. Why? Because you are an alcoholic. And you are bipolar. What should you do? I’ve survived five Thanksgivings and four Christmases sober and come out on the other end unscathed. In fact, they were some of the best holidays in memory, mainly...
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For the last seven years, I was more stable than in the past 20 all put together.  Nearly three years ago, I started eating more healthfully. A year and a half ago, I started running and strength training. Then I started obsessing over my weight and my food and increasing my workouts to one hour seven days a week on top of working a full-time...
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My introduction to transpersonal psychology came in the form of initiation. I was no stranger to adolescent disturbances, assigned twelve-step meetings, and group therapy for my drinking after having wrecked my car, and there were many less outwardly consequential experiences that nonetheless ate at my soul. I could not wait to get to college,...
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by Liza Long

One of the first movies I remember seeing was Star Wars. I was five years old, and for me, as for many girls who came of age in the late 70s and 80s, Princess Leia shaped the possibilities we imagined for ourselves and our adult lives. She was proof that women really could do anything, no matter what obstacles the evil empire of the patriarchy put...
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This is a painfully personal blog post. I considered writing the sub-title as “Meth and Madness” to balance two one-word nouns, but “madness” is a stigmatizing word, in my opinion. This is a personal blog post because six members of my family (immediate and extended) fell under the spell of crystal meth (short for crystal methamphetamine). The...
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Amanda Bartow

There is a saying: Love the person struggling with addiction, hate the disease. The root of this mentality is to fight against the stigma associated with addiction, because more often than not, it’s the lack of conversation that can contribute to the problem. If we as a society could embrace the idea of talking about addiction, what would...
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Pushed to The Brink

August 18, 2016
When I wrote about my bipolar disorder, anxiety and PTSD, I thought it was the hardest thing I did. But now I realise that what I’m writing about today is the hardest thing I have ever done. The only reason this has taken me so long is the same reason why I kept quiet about my illness in the first place: opinions of others, judgment from others....
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Addiction is a disease. It can turn someone strong into a powerless human being. It can make someone a prisoner in their own body. "My name is Laura and I am an addict." That sentence took me three years to say out loud. I always will be an addict, but I am currently in recovery. Recovery never ends. I watched addiction in my...
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Until I was 16, I thought that my uncle had died of cancer rather than suicide. There was always a dark joke in the family that we have a history of mental illness in our lineage. There is the distant cousin who lived in a tiger cage because, well, he thought he was a tiger. My beloved older brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when...
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Athlete Beats Addiction

August 10, 2015
In high school I was often sad. I’m not a doctor, but have heard that depression can be an early indicator of bipolar disorder. I was also the dreamy-look-out-the-window type of ADD. Mom always says I lacked the inner knowledge of the social pecking order. My impulsivity didn’t help win people over. I went the loner-stoner phase. At least the...
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