I will say this in the best simplified way possible: Living + mental illness =out of control. I felt, unable to control my moods. It was alien to me that I should at least try to recover my mood. Trying to do that is like trying to shake hands with a lion. The time I spent within the four walls of my bedroom surrounded around me the terror I felt–I used and still use alcohol to medicate these feelings. I say 'still use' because the last time I touched alcohol was last night, at a party. The flashbacks I experienced as a result are haunting me.

The unheard stories about suicide attempts of a friend who lives with depression, woke me up to the reality that bipolar disorder would not go away. I would never heard of these stories if it weren't for her being absolutely smashed out of head just to feel something. Bipolar will always be part of me, and at this time in my life, still young as I am writing these words, I want to be free. Free from the illness. Alcohol allowed me to adopt another identity: I am an addict. And that seemed better than being bipolar.
If you read my Holiday Survival Guide post, you may find that I said to refrain from alcohol and/or drug intake. That just proves how hard it is to try and maintain a chronic illness WITHOUT medication. Not using meds isnt a choice, my meds simply arent ready yet. But you see, that just may be the denial in me talking.

Taking The Time to iRecover

So here is the reality: You cannot treat the primary illness (mental illness) while you are abusing drugs and/or alcohol. It never mattered how many times or ways I tried to stabilize my mood, I used more  alcohol from parties simply attempt to “keep myself balancing on the tightrope.”

It is important to note that a person is often diagnosed with addiction before mental illness. It’s complicated: What came first? Are the psychiatric symptoms caused by the addiction or vice versa? In this case, our mental health team has a busty amount of work to do. A heck lot.

They say addiction is a slow form of suicide and whether this is true or not, in my life it certainly was. Read My Story to find out exactly why.

Recovering from mental illness is challenging enough, but when it is complicated with addiction, it becomes harder. But not impossible. It may seem impossible, but it's not. That's just your mind failing you already, dont let it.

If you struggle with addiction, or are worried you might self-medicate, seek help, please. Resources are vast, they are more available than those for mental illness and your stability depends on your sobriety. Sobriety is to be cherished at all times.

It’s a tough thing to learn but I would not take it back; I now understand the best apporaches to manage myself. Just don't touch the damn bottle. You don't either.

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