Addiction After my Mother's Suicide

"I am the youngest child of three and since I can remember I have been seeking everyone’s approval so that I could feel comfortable being myself. I’ll be honest the younger years of my life (up to age I don’t really recall a lot. I know that my parents fought constantly until they finally divorced when I was five. We became a split home and very dysfunctional. My oldest sister went to live with my grandparents, my brother went to my alcoholic father and I stayed with my mentally ill mother. She was by far the least equipped to pass on any useful tools for dealing with life. I lost her to a suicide overdose at age 24. I know that dishonesty and resentments were the most predominant defects in my household. I learned this dishonest behavior at an early age. It became acceptable and a tool which became very useful to become an amazing actor in life. You see as an actor I could put on a show to get the reaction out of you which fed my desire to be accepted. It became my earliest addiction. The more common terminology is manipulation. I am now 43 years old and this has been by far the hardest of all my addictions to understand and be aware of. Even in sobriety I quiet often use it to feed my ego and paint a picture for you that my life is great… I have everything together… allow me to help and show you… forgetting this is not a real sense of self. It is not a real sense of integrity. It is more deception. It is ignorance of emotion and true honesty with others.

I developed many substance abuse addictions very quickly after my mother’s suicide. I tried different treatment centers and programs with a half desire to stop but a larger desire for consequences of them to go away. I wanted to learn a form of control which I could only do for brief moments in the following years. I transferred addictions all the while having a sense of self that could never be filled. No matter how hard I tried through relationships, through materialism, through social status I was always left feeling empty. Ironically, it seemed the more achievements I made, the emptier I felt. I was afraid and defeated with an overwhelming sense of impending doom.

Finally at age 39 the greatest thing happen to me although it sure didn’t seem like it at the time. I was beaten down to the point of surrendering everything I thought worked for me and I felt enough pain and despair that I actually reached out for help. I found people who felt like I did, who thought like I did and for the first time of my life, I felt real acceptance and approval for who I was. Just knowing I was not alone and seeing what they were doing to manage these things in their own lives gave me hope that there was an answer for me too.

"I still struggle from time to time as that is part of the human experience but I have a community of people who help me and want nothing from me in return. If this message resonates with you please reach out because you’re not alone. There are solutions and we can live wonderful lives with a true sense of purpose and real integrity without having to put on some act. The first and most important decision you will make is to just reach out. God Bless you all."

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