Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guest Post: When substance use sabotages your quest for love

Bio: The following is a guest post by Saint Jude Retreats, a non-12 step non-treatment alternative to traditional drug and alcohol rehab. The program concentrates on self-directed positive neuroplastic change and positive self-change as an alternative to traditional alcohol and drug treatment.

When substance use sabotages your quest for love

Is alcohol or drug use getting in the way of dating or your ability to create lasting, meaningful relationships? Whether you have battled through a serious substance use problem or are trying to overcome one, drug and alcohol use can certainly cause problems to arise while dating and throughout a relationship.

If you are newly dating someone, it may take awhile for you to share with them that you’ve had some problems with substance use in the past. Typically, this is not first-date conversation that needs to be shared or discussed right away. This is a private matter in your life, and only you can decide when you’re ready to share those details. You may believe that the right thing to do is automatically proclaim that you are/were an “alcoholic”, but drinking is a behavior that you engage in, it’s not who you are. Allow the person to truly get to know the things you love and your true personality, as these are important qualities in your life that matter. There are, however, a few other things that you should take into consideration while dating with a substance use problem.

Does the other person drink alcohol or do drugs? If you have overcome, or are attempting to overcome, a substance use problem, you may decide that you do not want people in your life who engage in these types of habits. This is not because you feel you can’t control yourself around substances, but you may have decided that, in order to live your life productively, you would rather engage in healthy habits and other types of behaviors. It’s best to find someone that enjoys the same things so that you will eventually be able to do them together as a couple. If the person you’re dating loves the bar scene, and you wish to avoid it, it may lead to conflict down the road.

The other thing you may need to consider is dating someone who is a moderate social drinker. A moderate drinker is a person that socially consumes 1 to 2 drinks on dates or at special events such as weddings, birthdays, cookouts, etc. This type of person has successfully mastered drinking in moderation and has no issues with substance abuse. There have been an overwhelming number of heavy substance users who have had much success with moderating their alcohol use. If you are still trying to figure out your own substance use problems, you may decide that moderation is an avenue you wish to explore. Abstinence can sometimes make a substance user feel limited in their choices, and, at times, less likely to completely change. Moderating your intake may empower you by helping you to understand that you are responsible for your choices and behaviors regarding substance use. Having a partner who moderates their own drinking may even prove to you that you are more in control than you think.

While you may not want to reveal your substance use history right away, it’s also not a good idea to enter into a relationship lying about it, especially if you’re still using. Heavy alcohol or drug use can shake a relationship to the very core. It can damage important values such as trust, communication, and loyalty, especially if you have vowed to never drink or use drugs again and you begin lying about your behavior. Lying can create tension in a relationship while leaving the partner who does not have a problem with substance use feeling betrayed, angry, or resentful towards you. Open communication and honesty can help solidify your relationship, while solving these problems before they even arise.

Not only can substance use cause emotional problems in a relationship, it can cause quite a few financial ones as well. If you are constantly draining your bank account on drugs, alcohol, or both, you may feel like you can’t provide for your partner or family. This will not only make you feel more guilty, but it will most likely cause arguments between the two of you. Again, it’s important to not be deceitful regarding your financial information while dating. If you have lost everything, or are starting life over again, it’s important to not give the impression you are something that you are not. When you find the right person to create a lasting relationship with, they will accept you and your situation for what it is.

If your substance use is seriously impacting your ability to find love, the obvious answer is to change or stop the behavior. If you have been told in the past that changing an alcohol or drug problem is impossible, know that you have always had the power within you to use or not. It’s never too late to change your current behavior and live the life you want.

Ultimately if your spouse or partner decides to stand by you and help you change your life, this can certainly lead to a lasting and meaningful relationship; but you both have to work towards it. If you are dating someone who decides they need to walk away from the situation, you need to be understanding and respect the choice they are making as well.

Relationships are difficult and there is no doubt in my mind that adding substance use to the mix will only make them harder, but they all don’t need to end badly. The right person will certainly come your way. Just remember it is your choice as to what is more important to you; substance use or love.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Its Official, I'm Having a Boy!!

It feels like I've been waiting for this all year. I finally found out I'm having a baby boy Nov. 18, a lil Scorpio we decided to name Chase. My mom and hubby came to the ultrasound with me on Thursday. It was really amazing seeing my baby and how big he's getting. We all got to find out it was a boy at the same time when he finally uncrossed his legs and showed us his boy part. 

I had been telling everyone it was a little boy ever since I found out I was pregnant. Its like my intuition just knew but I would of been happy either way, I just want a healthy baby and so far everything looks good. I went to the OBGYN this afternoon an she said everything look really good. I gained 4-5 pounds total since the beginning of my pregnancy and I'm now 22 weeks pregnant. The babies heart beat today was 147 and last time it was 154. Chase is about a pound and 11 inches. I really can't wait to meet him, but it does also scare me. I'm a natural worrier, I worry about everything excessively so worrying about being able to provide for my little one is nothing new.

Its my mom's first grand child and she's planning my baby shower with my cousin which I really really appreciate. I decided I wanted a galaxy theme with planets, stars and the moon. Its all getting so exciting but I'm also getting really anxious. It feels like I'm not prepared and everything's happening so fast. I wish me and my hubby could start shopping and getting the room ready but we want to wait and see what I'll be getting at the baby shower first because we don't have that much money to begin with and once I stop working, money going to be tight. I'm still working about 20-25 hours a week and its getting really hard but I want us to get a car before I take some time off. It really helps that my hubby has a decent job, it will keeps us going until I start working again. 

I'll probably stop working when I go back to school this September to finish my thesis which I'm also worried about not getting done because of the pregnancy and with the baby on the way but I'm really determined to get my diploma so I can provide a good life for my lil one. It's all going to be really hard but I just have to stay motivated and determined. Now I'm off to do some homework for my online courses I've been taking this summer,the exam are at the end of the month, so got to get to it. :)


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Having Fun Camping Sober

I finally left for camp this weekend. I had been anxiously waiting to go camping since last summer. I love camping and nature I just feel so at home and like I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be in the world. Its very relaxing, grounding and recharging. It makes one realize how wonderful sobriety can be. When your sober enough to notice the stars in the sky and the trees around you.

I spent a total of four nights there and although I'm ready to go home I hope I get to camp at least one more time this summer. I was there for their Christmas in July festival so I got to see a lot of people.  My aunt rented a cabin here and my cousin who's helping with the baby shower also came by with her one year old daughter. Each day had something different. They had lots of different things going on but I enjoyed the fireworks and cotton candy the most. They were even giving away free hotdogs and hamburger, plus Santa gave away free gifts to the kids on the last day. The camp ground was pretty packed for the event. I really enjoy camping, the sun, the bbqs and the campfires are the best.

Besides that I played some Texas Horse shoe and went swimming with my mom, my lil ten year old brother and my hubby. I even got to catch up and go swimming alone with a childhood best friend of mine who's also pregnant. Too bad I got swimmers itch on my bum, its driving me crazy, and I had even rinsed off in the shower after swimming and got changed right away. But nope I still got it and always have a this beach when I was a kid. Funny how my brother got the itch at the exact same place couple days before.

This was exactly what I needed this week. Family time camping will always be one of my top favorite things to do. Hope you all get to do stuff you love this summer and unplug from the world for a bit, it really does wonders for the soul.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Is There Anybody Out There??

I've been dwelling on the fact that theirs probably only a very little amount of people that read my blog anymore. I don't even remember the last time someone commented on one of my post. That's probably somewhat my fault for disappearing months at a time here and there when I get busy with school. I know it shouldn't matter too much if not many people read my posts and I just should do it for myself and that's true. I want to be able to look back in years from now and see what I was thinking about at the time, but I already have a journal for that. I could do it to improve my writing but I find I'm more motivated to write good posts when I know people will be reading them. Its important to me to reach out to others and create some kind of support system with people who have dealt with addiction in their lives. A lot of the time I think of things I'd like to write about but then I think why bother no one will read it anyways. Here's to hoping that if I keep up with my writing at least once a week like Ive been doing Ill get more readers and more comments to let me know you guys are there and enjoying my posts.This is my 100th posts. :)  Have a great weekend everyone.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Being A Pregnant Recovering Addict on Methadone

It's really hard for me to be open to people about being on methadone because of the negative stigma attached to it and now that I'm pregnant its even worst. Most people who aren't well informed about methadone seem to automatically think I'm a bad mother or that theirs going to be something wrong with my baby. I've personally seen many people on methadone have babies and all of them were perfect little bundles of joy. Being on meth is better than being on drugs and stopping meth or tapering off could lead to a miscarriage so trust me when I say I've looked into it and I'm doing the best I can for my little baby. I was tapering off before I got pregnant but I stopped when I found out because I didn't want to cause anymore stress on the baby and my body then it was already going through.

That being said its not easy being on methadone, my pharmacy totally screwed up my dose couple weeks ago and I went into major withdrawal for a week because they refused to fix it until my next pick up date. I hadn't felt that bad in a very long time. I can't explain the symptoms to someone whose never had them but I promise you their terrible and being pregnant made it all that much worst. I couldn't even take anything for it besides Tylenol which didn't really help and I was hesitant to take even that.

I've been taken by surprise by how much people expect pregnant women to follow these strict rules and get judge so negatively if they don't. Their so many dos and donts that I wasn't even aware of and how harsh some people can be if they find out your not doing or avoiding certain things. For example, the big issue about smoking when pregnant is so frowned upon that women posting in forums asking for advice on how to cut down or quit are met with rude comments. If their reactions were that rude to smoking I can just imagine how bad it would be if someone were to mention they were on methadone.

These people say things like just quit its your babies life, don't you care, your such a bad mother. Do they not know how these comments can really affect a pregnant hormonal person who's already worrying her but off about her babies health and safety. Like if it was that easy don't you think they would of done it already. I honestly think as a society we need to lay off the judgement and instead help each other out and accept peoples choices, that includes even me. Most of us are just doing the best we can and the judging doesn't help. I always try an remember that when I feel like judging someone for doing things differently than me.

This Post was Published On KLEN + SOBR Go Check it out :)

I've found that it helped to know as much as possible about methadone and pregnancy so I could answer any comments or questions people gave me. What I've found is this:

Is methadone safe for my baby?
Methadone treatment for pregnant women has been studied for the past 40 years and is considered the “gold standard” of treatment for pregnant women with opiate use disorder. Most babies born exposed to methadone have withdrawals and the hospital has medications to help the baby stay comfortable and manage withdrawal symptoms. If you stop using opiates suddenly you could miscarry, therefore it’s important to enter treatment if you are using illicit opiates or continue your medication-assisted treatment if you were in treatment when you became pregnant.
What if I want to taper off methadone?
Tapering is not recommend while you are pregnant, but you can always talk the medical staff at your treatment center about this issue. Being pregnant can be a very exciting and wonderful experience, but it can also be very stressful and scary. Tapering can add to that stress and some people have urges to use when they taper, even when they aren’t pregnant. Many pregnant patients feel it’s not worth the chance of relapsing, feeling withdrawals, and possibly miscarriage, so they decide to discuss tapering options after they give birth.
What about my dose…should I try to stay below a certain amount?
The most important thing to think about is how are you feeling physically. It’s important to take a dose of methadone that will keep you from having withdrawals or cravings for 24 hours (we call this a therapeutic level of methadone). When you first begin methadone treatment it may take a bit of time before you reach a therapeutic level. There is no certain number of milligrams you should try to stay below. There is no clear evidence that if you stay below a certain level of methadone will guarantee your infant will not have withdrawal symptoms.
Because of the changes in your body during pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for women to need an increase in their methadone during the third trimester. With that said, you can most likely return to your pre-pregnancy dose after you deliver.
Explaining this too people who might judge me for being on methadone or tell me to stop seems to have helped and I hope it helps you also. Its also important to remember that some people minds can't be change as they rather stay close minded and set in their ways so dont let people opinions affect you too much. I know its hard I'm still having problems with this.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Love is Hard Work

Relationships often challenge us to redefine ourselves. We must find a way to compromise and learn each others sensitive issues so that we may handle them with care. All our faults tend to come out in a close relationship. Our communication issues, our trust issues, our commitment issues, or self esteem issues. They all tend to come out and as hard as that can be on the relationship it gives us the opportunity to better ourselves by taking a look at our issues and working on them. Having gotten pregnant right at the beginning of my current relationship let me tell you all my issues are intensified specially in the first three months when my emotions were all over the place. Its not as bad now but still have a few kinks to work out. 

Its hard accepting that things change in a relationship, that it won't be like it was in the beginning. Something's that are said in the beginning to impress one another end up creating expectations that often lead to disappointment if we put too much trust in those first moments when people tend to portray who they want to be rather than who they really are. It took me a bit to realize that's how things are and that it is what it is. I try to be more tolerant and not expecting too much and so far its helped our relationship a lot.

I got better at not dwelling on how good things were in the beginning and wishing it was still like that because that made me resentful and angry which was only making things worst. I felt like I had been manipulated to fall in love and once I had that effort stopped. I felt like the relationship was disappointing but that's only because I was comparing it to how good it was in the beginning but when I started comparing it with past relationships and other relationships I've seen I realized our relationship wasn't that bad after all. It was actually pretty damn good. Don't get me wrong we still have our ups and downs but its filled with love and caring which makes it all worth it.

I know I have had troubles in my past two major relationships to see the good in my relationships, to appreciate what I had and for some reason I always felt like I deserved better. I don't know why I was this way and since realizing it I have gotten better at taking a moment to appreciate the good that I know was there all along I just never paid it much attention. Now I want to focus on the positive not just for me but for the little baby on the way. I want a stable, calm, loving, accepting environment to raise our baby in. I want to show them to see the beauty in life and appreciate all the positive that is sent our way. Wish me luck.