Archive for the ‘addiction’ Tag

Learning how to make friends   Leave a comment

Right after my divorce, I still acted like everything was under control except for times I would break down during counseling or talking with a person I trusted.  I have a disability, and when I took a class about that particular disability, I had difficulty looking at myself and how I related with other people.  I always felt like I was different from other people.  Therefore, I told my teacher in her office about my difficulties with my identity.  She was sympathetic and understanding.  I still finished that class, though.

I continued to make good grades, and I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  I felt confident I could find a good job in Texas that summer.  I found a friend to stay with, and I thought Ron and I would still be good friends.  I did not know he already found another girlfriend who spent a lot of time with him.  I enjoyed my volunteer internship.  I was working with deaf people who were learning independent living skills.  I also got a job working with them in their apartments.  Even though I liked that job, I decided the pay was not good enough to support me even with full-time work.  I also knew I would get bored with it after a while.  I decided to go to graduate school.  I was getting money from the government as a result of my disability, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to get better jobs.

I had suffered from depression for many years.  However, counselors did not refer me to psychiatrists.  My depression got worse after my divorce and after that summer in Texas.  Unfortunately, I got medical intervention only after I had become addicted to crack cocaine.

When I went to graduate school, my boyfriend introduced me to crack cocaine.  At first, it gave me lots of energy and made me happy.  I read about the dangers of crack cocaine.  I did not believe the news stories, though.  I decided to find out for myself whether it was a bad drug or not.  At first, I was able to do my schoolwork and use crack cocaine.  As time went on, I had less time for school work.  I was going out late at night to find crack cocaine and going to school before 9:00 a.m. the next morning.  I also had part-time jobs.

I had two major depression episodes related to using crack cocaine.  When I had severe depression, crack cocaine did not help me feel better.  I would sob uncontrollably.  The first time I had one of those episodes, I went to a mental hospital.  The psychiatrist said I suffered from depression and was also dependent on crack cocaine.  While I was in the hospital, I learned to express my feelings (other than just being mad or neutral most of the time), and I learned about Narcotics Anonymous.  I felt very comfortable in those meetings because people accepted me and encouraged me with my recovery.

However, my boyfriend interfered with my recovery.  He wanted to continue to use drugs, and I had a hard time turning him down.  I had a sponsor from one of the meetings close to where we lived.  I would go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings during the day.  I would call her right before my ex-boyfriend offered me some drugs.  I would leave a message, and she would call five or ten minutes later.  By then, I was already smoking crack, so I would not answer the phone.

I went to the hospital a second time for treatment, and this time I told professionals about problems with my boyfriend.  They told me I should break up with him.  I could not figure out where to do and still be close to my boyfriend.  I asked my relatives for help.  I moved to another state and got lots of professional intervention.  I continued to go to meetings (mainly Narcotics Anonymous meetings), and I learned more about making friends while attending those meetings.  I would call my friends, go out for coffee, and encourage them with their recovery program.  I learned I no longer have to pretend I have everything under control anymore.