Addiction (Battles with Addiction)

My best friend connected from the soul called me yesterday. A call I expected because like her I was thinking of the same feelings. The universe always has a way of making us feel connected to one another and knows when we need someone. What I did not expect from the call was talking about our addictions and how easily we slipped last week. The universe knew that we needed someone to hear why and get us back to sobriety.

Yes I admit last weekend I threw away nine good years of sobriety. Why? I don’t have the answers right now. Addiction lacks a sense of humour, it prides itself on vulnerability. I cannot make excuses to my slide of temporary loss of control as much as I want to right now. I let myself lose control and allow the need for my addictions to fill my loss of feelings. It started with making the wrong connections. I sat on a friends floor after smoking a joint finally feeling quiet. I accepted flirting from another person. My phone call yesterday put to terms that I will always want drugs and inappropriate sexual relationships when I think i’m over my addiction.

Addiction doesn’t care if you are travelling to recovery. It waits for the right moment to hook its user back in. The addict could finally be correct in life and one false moment of hopelessness is all addiction needs. Addiction is not just drugs. Addiction is the need to fill the void in one’s life to feel something missing. Addictions are false hope in feeling good for a moment instead of facing the demon in front. It doesn’t care; its victims could be young, old, ugly, pretty, rich, poor, addiction wants everyone and everything in your life to be consumed. Its appetite for inner war is unsalable. It needs to feed on grief and desperation to stay alive. Addiction is the parasite of life.

Addiction was not my choice on how I want to grow in my life. I grew up with alcoholism and drugs. The addiction to sexual intimacy without love came later in my life to cope with lack of love. I used to use sex to feel something but nothing at all. With most addictions one does it for a small moment of feeling good, but addiction doesn’t feel good. The lengths I go when I let my addiction run rampant is horrifying. It doesn’t hurt me as much as it hurts others. (Addictions) loves to feed off the pain of others as collateral damage. It hurts families, it loves hurting the ones you love the most. Addiction is personal hell that will drag everyone you know and love with it. Being an addict makes room for lies and deceit. What addiction loves the most: having more addicts in the wake recruited by the newest addition of the hooked and able.

At least it’s not hard drugs I used to say. It makes no difference I, Ali Johnson, am an addict. I am one week sober.

Written by Ali Johnson

Mental Trauma (Childhood memories & PTSD)

Children that have memories after child hood abuse can be something fuzzy. Like tuning a radio finding a station. They sometimes can hear the chatter but the sound isn’t fully clear. Once they hit the right radio station however the image and quality of the memory becomes crystal clear. All the fuzz lifts away and leaves the person dealing with the memory in a limbo like spot. All the pain that once was and continues to be needs to be dealt with.

I struggle with all memories from my childhood. Even with the “good memories they are forced out by the ” bad memories”. I recently went over childhood photo books trying to place what time I was in. Names marked on the back of the photos I wanted to remember if I was happy at that moment. I wanted to know if it was possible for good times to outweigh the bad times. I recently started to recall parts of my life that was a main source of trauma. Wanting to get over the pain and move forward in life I struggle with the fuzz of the past. I can hear echos of words said and moments been. I cannot see faces unless I’m having a PTSD episode in my sleep. Once I wake I cannot remember who or where the incident happened. The fractures in my memory are really hard to cope with because I cannot get a clear picture of what happened. I question myself during the memory periods because I cannot say what is true and what is not.

I tried EMR treatments at therapy. I wish I could say the treatment was successful unfortunately I struggled with them. In my mind I struggled to know what was real and what my mind made up to cover the pain. Other people have reported EMR treatments for PTSD as highly successful. Even though it was not a success for me I still encourage others to try it. What works for one person in mental health may not work for everyone. I did feel angry that mine didn’t work because dealing with these memories have caused life problems I don’t have the solution to.

Triggers from fractured memories are complicated in childhood abuse cases. I have triggers ranging from the smell of bleach, smell of cologne, words people say in passing, and certain locations that look familiar. My anxiety gets triggered when my home becomes cluttered as I found my first home stressful due to my grandparents hoarding. Triggers and memory can be complex because try as I might to avoid them I cannot be certain I can. My husband has pointed out that I get weird around certain people. This can be contributed to remembering certain parts of my abusers face and placing it on the other person. Although my mind has blocked out what my abusers look like I can still remember from the fuzz certain details my mind has latched on to. One example of this is men with slight bags under their eyes. My one childhood sexual abuser to, had bags under his eyes and dark hair. I become triggered if the persons voice sounds similar to my molesters voice. I have never forgotten that voice because out of all the ones in the fuzz it’s the loudest.

One of the statements peoples make to childhood abuse survivors is ” remember this happened”. It’s hard to hear because the mind creates a protective bubble around the past. Trauma of the mind or body is a funny thing. Not hahaha funny, but funny in the way it works to protect the person living with the trauma. With extensive trauma such as childhood abuse or sexual abuse the mind forms the bubble in order for the host to survive mentally. This bubble is like a balloon and slowly deflates; because it becomes to filled with memories either true or untrue, that the person who survived the trauma has to try to heal from it. With any bubble or balloon it can pop at any given time and when that happens it is like an explosion of pain and grief. Not everyone survives the pop of greif.

I still live with fractured memories. I’m not keen on thinking I will ever fully grasp what actually happened. My mind is a puzzle missing the main pieces to complete. I don’t think my mental radio station will ever become fully in tune. Living with the fuzz is a part of my trauma. Moving forward has been tiresome because I wish I could put truth within my mind and understand why the abuse happened. Dealing with the release of memories has become a constant the older I get. One trick I have found helps in the getting rid of the fuzz is talking out the memory as if I was a small child again. Interacting with the memory even fractured has helped me cope and become more familiar with my triggers.

Everyone has a different way with dealing with trauma. In childhood abuse I would like to offer this it was not your fault. I am sorry someone robbed you of the good memories and replaced them with shards of false reality. You are not alone and others are right there with you hoping to replace what was once lost.

Written By: Ali Johnson

The Real Tea (Narcissistic Mothers)

Confession time I do judge other parents. Yes I am aware of mommy shaming is not the right thing to do. I don’t judge moms on what they feed their kids or what their children wear or how their children act. What I do judge is when moms who treat their children like property instead of treating them like human beings. These are the moms that I see mirroring what my mother acted like and seeing the child beside her trying hard to please mommy dearest. Those children were me at one point.

On the outside people seen my mom as charismatic. That is how she hooks her victims and keeps her narcissistic facade alive. To the outside my mother looks like she cares about her children, and she has won mom of the year award. I know the real her and when I stopped being beneficial to her every want and need I was a disposable child. I once thought that she was something to be admired and just misunderstood in the world. Waking up to her lies after seeing through some of them brought out the worst person imaginable.

I didn’t grow up with my mother directly and that suits me just fine. Remembering when I was a little girl I thought I missed my mom and that one day she would come get us kids and everything would be alright. As a grown woman who survived her abuse: later in life I see that I was incredibly lucky to not have lived with her. Although I still lived with abusive caregivers; I still could not imagine being alive today, if I was under her care.

She had reached out to me when I was fifteen and beginning to emancipate myself legally. I remember her messages she sent to me. The mom I know she really is, was not the person sending the messages of care and commitment to do right by her daughter. She found my weak spot of feeling alone. She latched tightly and wound her web to hold me. I was naive hearing her stories everything she said she had answers to. The lowest point of my life was her thriving point to carry out her abuse. What she said at the time made sense: looking back I was blind to how much she could create on a whim.

It took one year and several months to start seeing through the woman under the veil. What she said and what actually happened are two different things. People started talking about my mother and what they said sounded more rational than what she said. I had one act of disobedience telling her no. I said no to something that went against my beliefs that one little no lead to my mother hating my very existence. Not only would she tell people I was a whore she would tell people I was abusing her. Anything she was doing to me at that moment created into her statements about me.

One thing I learned about surviving my mother is that it’s not completely over until one of us has died. No matter how much I have tried to escape her she still finds ways to interject into my life. I finally realized after one of my suicide attempts, she said to me ” what a shame I would have been free of you” the woman that was my mother only cared about herself and nothing would make it right. The moment was horrific the life lesson gained from it is unforgettable. I too needed freedom from the woman in the beautiful mask. The face hidden underneath it is deathly and hollow.

I wish I could say there is a happy ending or a feel good moment in reconciliation. Reality is the opposite. The only way to escape her abuse and be truly fee is to disengage. I still have not fully disengaged myself and I can’t until there is closer that justice will do her in to stop her abuse of others. I know the time is coming up in her trials of animal abuse. Promising to keep fighting for her victims because I never want her to steal another persons flame because that is what she does best.

I do judge mothers like her because when people don’t see them they are so dangerous to the child by their side. The little girls and boys who had mothers like mine don’t survive traditional methods. Some of them don’t make it out alive. The pain caused by these narcissistic mothers is explainable. It’s not the child who needs to fight for love but for the mother to fight for her child.

I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents. … The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physicalmonsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

J. J Steinbeck, East of Eden

Written by Ali Johnson

The Mental Boardroom

In the last month I hit lows with my depression that I haven’t felt in a long time. This last month I felt like I was being thrown against a brick wall. Everything in my body was exhausted. My mind was going into overdrive. I cannot place what my trigger was but I can say this time I really went to the darkest place that exist. This dark place is hard to break out of because of the mental and physical hold that it takes. Its like having a parasite latch onto your brain by doing so it drives the host crazy until nothing is left.

My depression is not my friend if anything I wish it would completely disappear into a different dimension. I have several things wrong with me in the mental department. Most of my issues are a direct result of my depression or as my therapist put it subs categories. Resulting from depression is my high-functioning anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and insomnia. It may seem like a cooking pot of mental illness but under the surface depression is the CEO of Ali’s Mental department. I may be the CEO of my body but depression is the main guy in the boardroom stating it’s the boss and I hold no stakes in this company. The rest of the mental illnesses sit around the boardroom taking notes on what their duties are to complicate the relationship on healthy mind: healthy body.

I’m really grateful I have friends who remind me to stay alive. Without my friends caring and having family to tell me too not leave the boardroom meeting held by depression probably would have stayed dark. My mind would have stayed in fight club mode. Every emotion who works with rational thought fighting with the subs is not pleasant. I’m pretty sure happiness is hiding out in the broom closet again and needs to be let out sometime soon. I think anxiety locked happiness there and hid chemical balance in an unknown location. Either that or depression gave the eviction notice long ago and the good things simply walked away singing show tunes. On that note healthy sleep habits gave the middle finger and checked out last Tuesday with no polite resignation notice.

My depression thrives on chaos. When everything is going down the crap shoot of chaotic bad; depression sits there in the back of my mind smiling, it loves when I lose control. I will tell myself in the mental boardroom that I will fix this, I will be the person to kick depressions ass. The speech that I tell myself is full of gusto and yet full of false hopes. Depression and I go way back to when I was eight years old so it does know that I’m full of verbal poo. Despite the best efforts’ depression is not vacating the building anytime soon and continues to sit on throne of control.

Today I took a long lunch break as if to say eff you depression. I even got out of bed that I share with depressions minion insomnia and PTSD and thought to myself today I am going to just stay alive today. I didn’t leave my mental cubicle and wanted no part of my depressions debauchery. Though depression decided it was best to send anxiety with a tar like coffee to share, today was pleasant because for one second it remained silent. In my worst moments with depression I have to fight for my bodily rights. One good day such as today can make the difference in how the mental board meeting will go even for a short while.

Written by Ali Johnson