Death and Gratitude

I was texting with my oldest daughter and she told me that a friend of hers had passed away, when I asked her what happened it only took one word …. Fentanyl.

The drug culture today is so scary.   I had met this young man on a couple of occasions and I do remember him.  He took Xanax laced with the Fentanyl.  It took me back and shook me to my core.

Xanax is my drug a choice and what ultimately led me to treatment and sober living.  I never bought it off the street, I always got it from the pharmacy.   But had I gone much further in my addiction, I could see myself going to the streets.  Things were getting that serious.  I did look at getting drugs from the internet.  I even went so far as to pay the “sign up” fee, but I never went through with it.    I am so grateful I didn’t quite reach that point.  I am grateful that I got the help I needed, even though it took me several years and many relapses to get to this point of sobriety.

This young man who died is my daughters age … 23.   To young to die.  Drugging in todays society is so much more intense than in years past … It is deadly.  I feel for the family and friends of this young man who was really just a kid.  I am really sad for a life lost.   But I can find gratitude for how how my life has turned around.

Recovery is a beautiful thing

Anxiety Issues

So I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety lately.   I can not pin point one exact cause.  I think there are many.    I am an anxious person by nature and have been diagnosed many years ago with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

I have been having some panic along with the anxiety and the usual symptoms of racing mind, racing heart, pain in the chest area, sleepless nights and that feeling of doom.  With the symptoms you think the worst … heart attack.   But I have had enough anxiety over the years to know it is not, but it doesn’t stop the anxious thoughts.   I have been to my therapist who suggested some reading materials and deep relaxation breathing.   I have seen my doctor who confirmed I was not going to stroke out and suggested some of the same things.     The thing is I get so caught up in my anxiety that I am too  paralyzed to do anything.     I try to ignore the symptoms, but they are always there.   It sucks!

I follow the Cleveland Clinic on Facebook since that is where I had my UC surgery and this ironically popped up on my page today …. Anxiety 9 ways to keep it at bay:

1.  Think of yourself as a firefighter putting out the flames of anxiety with cool breaths

2.  Cool down anxious thoughts by thinking about what you can and cannot change about the situation.

3.  Get some perspective by considering how the situation will impact your life in 5 minutes or 5 years.

4,  Sooth your system – try some yoga stretches or find some other gentle ways to calm your body.

5.  Talk it out by sharing your feelings with others.

6.   Don’t ignore, something needs your attention.

7.   Rule out other causes that may be medical issues.

8.   Wait it out, ride the wave as this too shall pass.

9.  Be mindful and stay in the moment.    The game of 5 ….. name 1 thing you can taste, 2 things your can smell 3 things you can touch right now 4 things you can hear and 5 things you can see see in the immediate environment.

I will try, especially the breathing that was suggested by my counselor and doctor while I ride the wave waiting for this to pass.

Due to my addiction I can not take benzodiazepines especially since Xanax and Ativan were my drug of choice.   That leaves me with Buspar and Hydroxyzine.  If I take enough it will kind of take the edge off, but what I really need is a healthy dose of Xanax,  Even my Dr. said that nothing was as effective as the benzos.    But it is not worth the possibility of another addiction crisis.   The odds of me taking them as safely as prescribed are not in my favor.    So like I said above I just have to ride this one out and do what I can to minimize the effects.

Anxiety sucks and is not for sissies!