My Recovery Story

Part of my job is telling the story of my recovery. I don’t remember it. I have no clue. I remember where I started. I know where I am now. I don’t know what brought me here.

What I do remember (it’s really long)…
I feel compelled to write this because maybe somebody needs to see it tonight, and maybe people will understand me better.

All I remember is being an aviation major, and being fucking psychotic that whole time. I have bits and pieces of memories, but that’s it. The next thing I remember is being deployed with the military, and I wasn’t really psychotic at that point, but I was troubled to say the least. Then I remember what lead to me meeting my ex wife, the moment when I actually met her, and my mom paying me not to get married, and then me using that money to elope. I’m not going to talk about my marriage here, because I’m still trying to come to terms with how it went down with her. Then I remember leaving her, moving back in with mom, and not really doing much. I spent 3 days in an acute psych facility, and was released. I eventually started working for a stipend through VA Voc rehab. At this point, I remember skipping work for 2 or 3 months at a time, and laying in bed. I got up to shit, piss, and occasionally eat. Showers were very rare. At one point, I decided to start going out. I found the Fort Wayne Komets (minor league hockey team), and that became literally everything to me. I kept going to every home game, and some away games, but I found myself getting lonely when there wasn’t a game. I began going to bars. I would smoke 2 or 3 packs, and drink 3 or 4 beers every night. I would rarely drink enough to get drunk, but I depended on beer to get through the night. After several bad relationships, a high school friend looked me up on Facebook. We started catching up, and eventually started hanging out. This led to a 1 year courtship, on and off, culminating in us breaking up, me thinking I was a fool, crawling back to her, and proposing. We were engaged for 5 years, spending almost every waking hour together. I would give her rides to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) meetings, but sat in the parking lot. One meeting, she convinced me to go in, so I reluctantly did. I started attending regularly. I liked it. I finally found people like me. I became a volunteer, serving as a support group leader, mentor (instructor), and sat on the Consumer Council (starting at Member-At-Large, and working up to Chairperson). I would still go to all the Komets games. I eventually quit drinking, but moved to a new addiction…gambling. I was at Hoosier Park Casino nightly. With some help, I have, for the most part, been able to stay away from drinking and gambling for a long time. After working as a bartender for a while, my fiancée suggested I apply for the Certified Recovery Specialist (peer support) course. I did, and was accepted. I went on to get my gambling endorsement, and eventually my substance abuse endorsement. I started working as an Outreach Representative for a problem gambling program. The grant for the program was not renewed, and the company CEO got me set up with an interview for a CRS position at Bowen Center, in Northern Indiana. My fiancée also interviewed for the position. They hired us both. We started in the Wabash, IN (30 minutes from home) office on the same day. We both eventually were transferred to the Warsaw, IN area (75 minutes from home). We were able to find a house to rent. We lived there, with her dog, together for very close to two years, eventually finding another dog, Batman, as well. I worked at Domino’s delivering pizzas in the evenings for much of that time. We eventually needed to spend a while away from each other, so we put our engagement on hold, said we would see what happens, and Batman and I moved to an apartment in Fort Wayne, IN where we currently live. That’s when I met my current girlfriend. Now, I am in college, and starting a new job on June 5th, and my girlfriend and I have no clue what’s going to happen next due to the fact that she’s currently living in Texas. But, we have agreed to see it through, and some day, some how, we will be in the same place.
That’s my story. Didn’t really learn any skills. No CBT. No DBT. Just meds, therapy, and telling myself that I had to keep moving forward. I have no idea how I got here. I just know I’m here. And scared to death that at any moment, my “house of cards” is going to come crashing down.

Questions…Do I still hallucinate/become delusional?
Do I still become hypermanic?
Do I still become depressed?
The answer to all of these is hell yes!! I’m rapid cycling bipolar mixed with anxiety and psychosis. There are very very few days that I’m not in some way symptomatic. But, I’ve learned, and am still learning, to deal with it. A lot of people might think that I would be very angry with God for “putting me through this”. Exactly the opposite. If I can deal with this, and a Traumatic Brain Injury, and Diabetes, and a thyroid condition, and extremely low testosterone, and still not have blown my fucking brains out….that proves that it is GOD’s GRACE, MERCY AND STRENGTH that has kept me going. It has given me the strength to fight another day. And, it has made me realize that I’m a lot stronger than I think I am. And, if little old weak-minded me can make it through this, I can live through anything, and SO CAN YOU!!! So, please hang in there! It does get better!!


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