Deadliest of Drugs

Drinking my coffee this morning a news story came on the television about how prescription pain killers are becoming something to watch as far as cause of death in the United States. That got me to thinking, do they kill more than alcohol? Cigarettes? Personally, the pain left from prescription drug abuse has had immediate effects in my life. I have lost numerous friends to prescription pain pill overdose. I have lost a relationship or two to the over-use of them. I have had to attend countless classes in rehabilitation facilities where I was visiting someone close to me. It is more an everyday fact that we once thought it was…

The pharmaceutical companies push the doctors, that push the patients, that end up getting hooked. In my own experience with pain pills, it was damn near impossible to get my pain specialist to take me off of the ridiculous amounts of drugs he tried to put me on. His office was located in Southfield, MI and the wait was almost two hours each time you went in, with the waiting area packed full of people. I once spoke to him about the fact that it was starting to feel like what I would assume a drug house feels like. People sitting outside waiting for their “friend” to get out of the office to take them to the pharmacy to pick up the script which they would then sell. Patients going off on the receptionist, not because of the wait, but because of who was waiting for them… I have chronic pain, but he had me on 90 mgs of Morphine first thing in the morning and up to three Oxycontin a day!! I would have been a zombie! They made me so sick that I couldn’t stomach them anyway, causing more pain than help. An old roommate once told me that I could get up to $700 “on the street” for ONE of my prescriptions a month. Later we lost her to a prescription overdose…I am in much more pain these days, but I am not on any regular pain medication, controlling as much as I can with Bikram yoga and the things I choose to eat/not eat.

The CDC says,

  • In 2013, of the 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to pharmaceuticals.8
  • Of the 22,767 deaths relating to pharmaceutical overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines.8 (Some deaths include more than one type of drug.)

I started smoking when I was 13 and have had the hardest time quitting completely over the years. According to the CDC, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”  and “Harms nearly every organ of the body.” Even though old enough to know that it’s absolutely insane to even light one up after those statements, there is a comfort that comes when completely stressed out and you finish that first cigarette. That being said, One needs to have more control than that. Causing ” more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States,” the numbers cannot be argued with.

Not only did I start smoking at a young age, but being the rebel that I was, I also started drinking about the age of 15. Over the years it definitely was the cause of an issue or two, but it wasn’t until the FM kicked in, and after two children, till my body decided I could no longer drink like I use to. I don’t mind this at all, usually only having a couple of drinks every so often. I’d rather have one good glass of cognac than play with alcohol like I use to. Sticking with getting today’s information from the CDC, they say…

“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. This dangerous behavior accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.”

I guess that it is hard to determine what One should consider the deadliest of drugs. I think that the most important thing is that we pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies and how we choose to handle the stresses of our lives. The more we are in touch with ourselves and purifying these beautiful temples of skin we were given, the better off we will be.

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Inspiration and the Internet

I have not been myself lately. I have stopped being me again. There is this defense mechanism that I seem to carry on some tiny gene that says I must go into a type of hibernation as soon as things start to get a bit “tense” in my life. Or should I say, a little more chaotic than the endless intensity that is my life. Dealing with this brutal winter has left my body near incapacitated at times. Most of the time, through no fault of my own, it is just the way it is for me in the cold weather now, I have learned to accept at least that small fact of this fucking condition. In my incapacitated states, I often turn toward the computer. What I have noticed as of late has me on an upward swing of inspiration? I can’t tell you how excited I am at this new discovery!

Reflection is the key and I think that is my exact problem, I have not been reflecting as needed. This past year has been beyond brutal to my psyche, testing me to a point that I didn’t think possible, I am learning to welcome that. Within all this testing I have not been able to find inspiration. I have found plenty of empty motivation and that almost seems worse than anything! To have all of this “oomph” behind you and nowhere to direct it? It is such a wasted shame. All  of that energy just a wasted shame…

Needless to say, when I started to find the inspiration again, I stopped to appreciate it. I stop daily now, a couple times a day and verbally thank the Universe for the beauty that is my life. The internet has become my fast friend in teaching me the ropes to inspiration as of late. Some say that Facebook is the Devil, I say that it is the person making the decisions that is to blame, the internet just “lays your options out there” for you to make your decisions. I personally am grateful for Facebook, for without it, I wouldn’t have changed who I am, because I wouldn’t have been face to face with the things I needed to accomplish that change. I wouldn’t have known that a friend that I high respected from high school, that I had connected with again through Facebook, had passed away at 38, leaving behind a young daughter. I wouldn’t have been able to make the trip to pay my respects or connect with other close friends that I haven’t seen in over 20 yrs. There would have been no reflection to my life, no feeling of almost obligation to really buckle down and figure things out. Not that I haven’t been trying, but it was all like a 2×4 to the chest, ya know?

Without the internet, I wouldn’t know of another friend from high school that was always full of such piss and vinegar, who is now running in Ironman triathalons! He is constantly posting photos or comments about running over 6 miles in -15 degree windchills and such. How does one possibly complain about having to shovel the walk after looking at a photo like that?! The fact is, you shouldn’t be able to. I am sure that it does help that I know of his past, but that just teaches me another lesson, don’t put a life onto someone, you never know who they are going to turn out to be. He is an inspiration because he has always been genuine, he has always partied like it was his last one, he has a beautiful family and children, works his butt off and continues to strive for more. He defines what his life is going to be. I find such inspiration in that.

Yet another friend from high school is pushing past cancer scares. She is constantly driving from Ohio up to Michigan to go to the Karmanos Institute to get brain scans, she is also my age. I am no longer young, boy was that a concept that I had a rough time with. She’s awesome though, handles it all with such humor. She wears her hair bright pink and seems to always have such a smile on her face. She also takes care of her family and any mother knows what a tough job in itself that one is! Who am I to complain about my pain at all when she takes care of her family with such grace? I cannot. Tough as nails that one.

Another friend, who has also dealt with abuse in the past, is a constant reminder of how far I have come. Seeing her posts reminds me that I am no longer in a battered women’s shelter, that I have a humble place of my own for my boys, that I am no longer under his control and that I can make my life into whatever I want it to be now. She checks on me from time to time now, she doesn’t have to do that. She is now happily married with a grown daughter and is studying to be a counselor to others. Honestly, I think she is going to be wonderful at it.

The bottom line for me is that there are people doing what they want. They are taking life by the horns, slapping it’s face and making it their bitch. You can find all the inspiration you want, it is a choice, just as everything else is. You can close yourself off, thinking that is the only way you are going to possibly handle a situation, or you can open yourself up to a million different possibilities if you just get out of your own head. There is inspiration all around us, just open your eyes.

Please, Hold Your Crazy In

Too many little things, not enough of something… that is how today has felt for me. The day was gorgeous! I think it was over 70 degrees for sure! The only other thing you could ask for, and it might almost seem greedy, is clear and sunny skies. I was not disappointed there either. Amazing weather for this time of year, that I cannot argue. There is something underlying here, something catching my breath. Maybe it was my call to my mom the other morning.  Sometimes I despise being so closely “in tune” with those I love in my life. Admittedly, there is no grace to be found in me despising it so. Yet, after that moment clicks when you know  that you are onto something with someone and you didn’t want to be? That lingering worry that can make you lie awake at night for hours just waiting for something to happen… it’s terrifying!

Things are changing so quickly around here that I had to stop myself today and remember that I cannot please everyone. I am the Queen of Disclaimers. It’s almost humorous to me now how trained the ex had me. “Why don’t you wear makeup, why are you wearing makeup, why are you wearing yoga pants to your best friend’s house, why are there two different kinds of feminine products on this receipt, why was that joke with your friend so funny, why don’t prostitute’s ever complain about that?” That last one was my favorite… Ultimately there is no one else to stand up and accept that I let that happen to myself. I was the one that handed over the keys to myself and said, “Here, redecorate as you wish.” What in the hell was I thinking?

I can tell you one thing, I wasn’t thinking about what a phenomenal woman I am! I sure as heck wasn’t thinking that. Even after all of these years away from him, I still explain my every move to people. That is NO way to live, almost to 40 and feeling like I am a child having to explain my thoughts to my daddy. What a pathetic man to even ever let me feel that way! Ugh….

All of it aside, forever grateful I will be to have went through every heartache. Today I can put my life into perspective and appreciate my family, my loves, my desires, for what they are worth. Today I know what a strong woman I am… Or do I? Why can’t I just live as I use to?

I was watching a dvr’d episode of Anderson today about families of serial killers. Pat Brown was on there and said something that really “hit home” with me… She had stated that one of the killers she had researched put it in perspective best when he was asked something along the lines of,”How do you think  the parents feel about not being able to put their daughter to rest?”, he responded with, “If I would’ve cared AT ALL about what the parents thought, I wouldn’t have killed their daughter.” Sums it up for me… some people are just seriously messed up in the head! There are varying degrees, but everyone is capable of a little crazy. When you can’t please someone for this or that, it’s nothing to take personal. It’s just harder for some to hold their crazy in.

I need to quit giving into everyone’s crazy…