Depression is like Meth Addiction

I don’t know this for a scientific fact. I don’t even necessarily know it from a first hand experience with Meth addiction. However, I am stating this because of a recent conversation I had with a loved one.

My heart is aching and breaking for this person. Bright. Beautiful (inside and out). Stronger than strong to have lived through what life has thrown her way and to have survived and made it through the choices and consequences of those choices. She is a miracle.

She used to be a scrapper. She used to do extreme things to feel alive and drown the pain. Self-harm, street life, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. A juvenile felony record. Injuries, homelessness, and bad relationships. She’s under 21.

Yet, she has now taken a vow against violence and daily tells me to remove the word hate from my vocabulary.

We had a conversation the other day where we were discussing some of the current events of her life and she said that when people come down on her for her use of marijuana her response is, “At least it’s not meth.”  This statement usually generates a laugh and, “That’s true.” As though she made a light-hearted joke in order to avoid dealing with the marijuana issue.

“Every single day, I want to use. I’m dead serious.”

She told me she makes choices every single day to deny the craving that never goes away. She chooses to fight for her dreams in spite of permanent concussion symptoms from being hit by a car a year ago. She is battling to change her future while navigating the consequences of her past. She fights to focus on happiness, peace, and forward momentum. Yet, she can’t hold the tears and the fears at bay all the time. She is human after all.

“People tell me they envy me, that they want my life. They don’t even know,” she says as she works to stave off the tears and prepare to put on her happy face, to chase her dreams.

She jokingly says I’m an emotional vampire because she always winds up crying around me. I suggest that maybe it’s because I recognize her battle and she’s safe to let go.

For days I’ve been thinking about her statement, “Every single day, I want to use.” Understanding the gnawing, almost undeniable craving.

I have mine too. Only it isn’t an external substance that can be tangibly put aside, avoided, or consumed.

Mine lives inside of my brain, it has shaped the grooves, distorted the receptors, and sheathed every thought and perception about myself and the world. It’s name is depression, it’s companion is anxiety. It has been part of who I am for close to 30 years.

I have gone through therapy of all kinds. I have sought spiritual healing through prayer, laying on of hands, Reiki, salvation, and full immersion baptism. Jesus is my Lord and Savior who understands my open minded skepticism and inability to fully attach and commit.

Capturing thoughts, replacing negative for positive, focusing on what’s right and true can be shifty and shaky propositions when the net is torn. the poles are reversed, and perception is wavy and distorted.

How do I think myself better? How does she? She self medicates with the herb that helps sooth the raw and exposed nerves and enables her to quiet the cravings in order to function and fight to pursue her dreams. She offers me some, knowing that with my fibromyalgia I could qualify for a medical card. I choose not to for a number of reasons, not the least of which is my parental responsibility to Luna.

Go get help, then. Go get the medication you need to manage the chemical imbalances that keep the poles reversed and perception distorted.

I can’t. I don’t have insurance. I don’t qualify for state medical. I’m too non-functional to hold down a job with benefits, if I were functional enough to find one and beat the competition to get the offer.

I appreciate the encouragement. I appreciate the well-intentioned advice. But please, don’t read what I write and tell me to think positively. I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got and to be able to get out of bed each day, write, and hold on by my fingernails to look Luna’s teachers and service providers in the eye and be honest with them about where I am at and the things that I am doing to ensure both of our well-being within the context of what IS in our lives, is all I can do.

I know that others have it worse. I understand that this level and depth I am at is not going to last forever. I’ve been here before, with less understanding, less capability to recognize it, and less inclination to do something about it. I am more than I ever have been, even when I appeared to be more in the eyes of the world.

Matthew 5 – The Beatitudes

“How blessed are the poor in spirit!
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

“How blessed are those who mourn!
    for they will be comforted.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Bible Gateway

I dare not ask how much more blessed can I be.

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9 comments

  1. Great post Kina! Just keep working to improve your circumstances, and at the same time improve your perceptions. The answers are not all outside in the world, or all inside your head/body, it’s a bit of both 🙂

    All the best Kina!

    Rohan.

    Like

  2. Very Compelling. Thanks so much for sharing. What I consider sad and which annoys me is that so many people don’t realize that Alcohol is right there in the list of most addicting drugs on the planet. They think “It is legal, it can’t be that bad.”

    The AA slogan of “One day at a time” holds true for so many battles we fight.

    Thanks for sharing
    Dr. Hale

    Like

  3. Bless you, this sounds like such a battle! Life can be a tough ole’ thing. I hope you continue to take this one day at a time, and that it will get better and better. I think it’s valuable that you reach out to others with similar problems. You’ll be more empathetic since you struggle with this. Blessings to you.

    Like

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