Asking for help can be one of the bravest and best things we can do to save our lives. The disease of addiction is not a solo problem, nor does it happen overnight. My unknown addiction started at a very young age when I was diagnosed with ADHD and put on Ritalin medication at age five. Even at that young age, I realized how different the medication made me feel. I liked this feeling better, it made me less sensitive to the world around me and I was able to make friends and be in social situations for a much longer time. As I grew older, I started to understand how the medication actually worked. By reducing sensory overload it allowed me to focus on just one or two tasks through to completion. I fell in love with the feeling of not feeling in addition to being able to keep my weight under 100lbs and knowing I could achieve anything without being tired. This went on through my college years from 2009-2012.
The darkest memories I have of coming home were the many night’s iv spent in my room, with a bottle or two and some stimulants. These nights were dark, and long, filled with shame and frustration. it was just a few months after I came out to my family, that I was a lesbian, life was awkward, I needed mental peace, and out of this strong addition. So I got up the courage, to make a friend online and ask for help. I know asking a stranger, but it was the only way to get help, without being judged, or questioned. She was a guardian angel, I felt. So we arranged to meet at my house so she could get me these detox and withdrawal medication. The day she showed up at my house, I got so nervous, i had to tell my mom, about my addiction, and why I was getting medication from a stranger. Fear and sadness were the only emotions in the room, I was looking down at the floor as tears flowed down my face. I was excited to kill this demon inside me. It took me about 4months to be completely okay without the drugs, but I was drinking massive amounts of red bull, just to feel ok, since the drugs were gone, and I was so happy to start to be free from the demon.
Telling my parents about my addiction, took more courage than coming out. I knew they would blame themselves, especially my mom. None of this was their fault, nor mine really. It got to the point where the only time I used the bathroom, was to do my drug of choice. I started to grow more ashamed with myself, and was so broken, and confused on how to get unaddicted. I was never told about the N/A program and kept it a secret that I had a problem, to this day I am 3+ years clean of perscription stimulants. I am ok with being over 100lbs, but also it is my first time in my life that I am weighted every month, so my weight is closely monitored and each time I am not completely stressed out.
One deep breath in, and let it out, and another. I can do this, I can go out with friends, and my family. I can do this. Nope, my heart starts racing, tears would start flowing and my anxiety is screaming at me, telling me all the reasons why I’m better off at home. There are to many times to count, that I have stayed home because my anxiety said it’s to scary out there, to many people, not enough control. You have control at home, and in your neighborhood so why leave.
My first expirence with anxiety and leaving my home, happened about 4 years ago, Everytime I had to leave the house it was this big deal, my heart would start racing, and my anxiety would tell me, stay home, it’s safer and more control here. There had been times where my mom would ask me to go to the store with her, and I’d just panic and start to cry, and run to my room. During this time I or my mom had no idea what was happening, I always use to be up for a car ride, and adventures now I’m scared to leave my house.
As time went on, with the proper medication, and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), my fears have gone down, and i have discovered some reasons why. Iv been in 4 major accidents, and 3 of which I was driving. I lost my ability to trust myself, and to be able to always keep myself safe. I worry about all the other drivers on the road, who don’t care, and haven’t been through accidents and trauma.
As of today, I can leave my neighborhood 2-3 times a week, it always takes a lot of effort, but the effort is worth it, seeing my friends and family, has helped me a lot with the depression side of bi-polar. This did not happen over night, so take it day by day, and have a close friend or family member know what’s going on, and they can’t leave your while out.
It has finally paid off, with a lot of hard work years of practice; all while studying for a criminal justice degree,and dating a guy, who gets deported to Canada, so naturally I went with, while i was living in Canada, an agency found me, but couldn’t sign me because of work visa issues, So they contacted the NYC office without me knowing, and next day I got an email, saying that they want me to fly to NYC to meet me face to face for possible contract. From that moment on I kicked myself into high gear, moved back to the states and unknowingly opening the doors for addictions to start growing, starting with food, or lack of food, insane exercise routines, and prescription stimulants.
It is two months after my contract signing with a top NYC agency, and I am finally on the plane making my final move to the Big city, but not before I spend a few months living with my aunt on the Island of New York ; which wasn’t bad, since it was only a 30 min train ride each way. I did not yet have any friends, iv only been on handful of casting calls, and a couple photoshoots. This went on for weeks, commuting back fourth before i landed my apartment in the city, a place where they housed all Women, my parents though it would be safest, and the best way to meet new friends. “Only women, this is heaven!!!”. I thought to myself, because I had not fully come out about being a lesbian to my parents, and family. I will be talking about my experience on what it was like to be on my own in the city, and how I came out to my family, friends and current boyfriend, but you will have to wait to find out, how this unfolds, it gets pretty crazy.