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#230268 - 06/11/08 04:23 AM A Question For the Senior Recovery Types:
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Guys:

Even though the last 8 years has been so good, I still could use some advice on direction for my few remaining problems.

I haven't been in a support group or had a therapist for over 8 years. I still have a few problems and I wonder if any of the senior or advanced recovery types here have struggled with any of these. I have a bit of a problem with stress, crisis, and time management skills, and come down fairly hard on myself when things don't go right. I am sometimes prone to jumping to conclusions too. I was diagnosed with ADD in 1997 at Hazelden too.

I had lots of CSA incidents, plus a violent rape incident, and my dad's ongoing physical abuse from birth through high school. My dad was always so highly critical, and my mom beat me up when I tried to reveal my abuse at about the point of my 15th birthday. After that I stayed clammed-up for 14 years, and had a huge drug problem and a don't care attitude, plus was a gang member for a lot of that time too. There was also a cult faith-healing religion/complete lack of medical care issue.

I just wondered if any of you senior recovery types might have experienced any or all of my remaining issues. I have long had a problem with perfectionism. While the problem of self-directed anger and excessive sensitivity is not a bad as it was 10 or more years ago, I still have some occasional problems when I'm stressed when something doesn't go right. I still take it out on myself too easily, and some people have interpreted my self-focused anger as anger at them.

I have been off of illegal drugs for over 8 & 1/2 years, and also have cut way down on my drinking since the late 1990s. I might have a drink with my wife 1-2 times per week, usually when we are out to dinner, or maybe when I'm out playing golf. In fact, since I have started weekly interferon injections 3 months ago, my drinking has dropped-off to almost nothing. (I am in treatment for hepatitis-c, and one of the bigger side effects for interferon is a hot, quick temper). I have had the problem a lot longer than just the last three months though.

So, have any of those of you that are further along in your recovery had any of my remaining issues and how did you deal with them? I just wanted to ask. I have done so well for a long time I have thought that my recovery was virtually complete. What would you do and where might you turn if faced with a similar problem? Most of my abuse issues have been gone over extensively for many years and I'm well beyond those typical recovery issues.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and any advice that you can give me.

Trucker Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#230374 - 06/11/08 04:51 PM Re: A Question For the Senior Recovery Types: [Re: Trucker51]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Mark,

My father was very critical of me too. I always felt that I could never be 'good enough' to please him. There was some physical abuse but by the time I was 16-17 I was bigger and stronger than he was and he pushed me one too many times and I pushed back, hard. He never touched me again. But the feelings of not being good enough stayed with me for a long long time.

In school, I had to do everything very well, anything short of an A was failure to me. I graduated with a 3.4 GPA and I thought that I was a total and complete failure. I went to college a long way from home and found out that drugs could numb everything. I lasted a couple of years before I left college.

I don't know what really changed with me after I sought out a therapist when I was living in CO around my 50th birthday. My therapist asked me to write a resume of what I had done in my life to date. I was convinced that everything that I had and everything that I accomplished was just a matter of good fortune and if anyone ever found out about the abuse I would lose everything amd everyone I loved would abandon me. He asked me what I had done to acheive the positions that I'd held. He made me look at the work and dedication that I had to my profession. He made me believe in myself. I actually started to feel good about myself for the first time since I could remember.

I'm still pretty meticulous about what I do but it has served me well in my profession. But now I allow myself to make mistakes, as everyone else does, and give myself the same compassion that I would give anyone else.

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#230413 - 06/11/08 07:42 PM Re: A Question For the Senior Recovery Types: [Re: Stephen_5]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Steve:

Thanks for getting back to me. Like you I had a bit of a showdown with my dad at age 16. I was 6 inches taller and almost as heavy when he tried to take a pay phone away from me in the lobby of a Ponderosa Steak House one Sunday after church. I just held him off with one hand while I continued to talk on the phone. I had him on reach and he couldn't hit anything but my arm. After I was done on the phone I pushed him away with both hands, turned and walked out the door, and hitched a ride home. The guy who picked me up told me to calm down and gave me a beer, which I drank in 15 seconds flat. He gave me a ride to my front door, even though it was two miles out of his way. But just as in your case, at least the physical abuse was over after that, but the emotional effects went on for many years after that.

I have been feeling good about myself for a long time now. But when faced with stress or a crisis I react by coming down on myself. It isn't nearly as bad as it once was. I've had a bunch of ongoing stress lately with my job and my treatment for hepatitis-c though, and just lately my self-directed reactive anger has begun to become a problem again. My wife has scheduled an appointment with a therapist next Tuesday because she is concerned. I just thought that I would ask to see if anyone else had experienced a similar problem. I didn't do well in school between the age of 7 and 19, but did do quite well when I went back to college in 1986. Even by then my dad couldn't bring himself to tell me that I had done a good job. I got an A in a senior-level class with 75% of the grade based on a 20-page term paper and was feeling good when I brought it home and had him read it. I was 31 years old when he told me that I could have done a better job even though a big letter A was on the front of it. Then we had a big arguement afterwards.

I've had time-management problems along with a problem with misplacing items for a long time, but I think that is my ADD. I can't take Welbutrin and drive a semi though. So my ADD has been untreated since shortly after I was at Hazelden last in 1997, shortly after I was diagnosed. My reaction to my ADD symptoms is the same as it is to stress and crisis. Like Hourglass52, I have tried to keep my life under control for many years now. It is when stress outside of my control hits that I have my problem. Like I said, I have made a huge amount of progress and have done so well, most of the time. The way that I react to stress and crisis is sort of a nagging reminder of my former problems though. I guess that I need to learn how to give-up some of my perfectionist tendancies. And maybe my issues with my dad's abuse of me are still only partially resolved.

Thanks for taking the time to share with me. I really appreciate your help and concern.

Trucker Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#230425 - 06/11/08 08:39 PM . [Re: Trucker51]
bardo213 Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 811
.


Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 04:50 PM)

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#230435 - 06/11/08 09:20 PM Re: A Question For the Senior Recovery Types: [Re: bardo213]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
My man:

My anger is mostly self-directed anger. I am upset with myself because I didn't do a better job controlling the situation. I also get upset at myself when I waste a bunch of time or when I have to spend a bunch of time looking for something that was right in my hand a few minutes earlier. Other people sometimes do not understand that I am angry at myself. They think that I am angry at them.

The boundary issue has been visited several times in the past. When I first went into that subject I had a lot of the symptoms of weak or non-existant boundaries. But that issue is in the has been dealt with category. I don't know much about breathing issues, though because of my upbringing, I had a long-time distrust of the medical community and a general lack of knowledge of medical issues.

Can the drug that you mentioned be used by commercial drivers? I was prescribed Welbutrin in 1997 but I couldn't drive while using it. Since 90% of my work experience is commercial driving that limits possible options. And where I am at now I have huge bills. My home mortgage is almost $1,500/month alone. Then you add my other bills and I've got to earn in the $45,000 range to even stay afloat. The only way that I know how to make that kind of money is semi driving.

Anyhow, thanks for your help. Maybe I'll try to research some other ADD drugs for compatibility to my employment situation. I wouldn't have believed it many years ago, but I've made my best progress off of illegal drugs. It has been 10 years and 7 months since my last trip to Hazelden. The ride was a bit bumpy at first. But it has now been 8 years and over 6 months now since my last little slip.

I hope that you are doing OK, my man. You want to visit any other issues feel free to ask. My door is always open.

Trucker Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#230772 - 06/13/08 06:00 PM . [Re: Trucker51]
bardo213 Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 811
.


Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 04:51 PM)

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#230837 - 06/13/08 10:57 PM Re: A Question For the Senior Recovery Types: [Re: bardo213]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
My man:

Sorry to hear that you are laid-off. How is the job market in WI these days? I lived in SE Michigan for 25 years and NE Ohio for 10 years more. I know so many people out there that are struggling or have lost everything that they own. I used to drive through there 2 or 3 times every week when I was hauling beer down from Hamm's or out of La Crosse. Used to haul big rolls of roofing felt down from Cornell too.

One of the common symptoms of ADD is constant misplacing of items and/or constantly forgeting things that need to be done. I can't tell you how many times that I have been late to work because of my problem with disorganization, loosing things or forgeting things. Then when my boss is upset I take it out on myself. The old "I'm no good" thoughts come right back again.

Hourglass52 made a good post about being older and much more in control. I'm in his age group, and largely feel the same way. When things hit that I don't have control over, instead of reacting in a constructive manner, I sometimes react by feeling small and by hating myself. The problem is not anywhere near as bad as it used to be many years ago. Like you, I am not working, and there is a lot of stress from that. I am also in long-term treatment for Hepatitis-C, and the use of Interferon has a number of bad side-effects including a quick temper and unreasonable thought processes. And I am stuck using this drug for the next 36 weeks. I am getting Aflac disability which pays half of what my old salary was, so at least I'm not starving. But there is a high-level of out-of-control stress right now.

Anyhow, thanks for your response. I'll look-up your drug and see if I can take it when I drive, or in combination with the other drugs that I am taking. I am currently taking five different meds on a daily basis, plus one more in a weekly injection, plus another only when I need it. So drug interactions are a bit of a worry.

So, how are you doing, my man? Thanks for your help.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#230969 - 06/14/08 02:29 PM . [Re: Trucker51]
bardo213 Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 811
.


Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 04:51 PM)

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#230974 - 06/14/08 02:41 PM Re: A Question For the Senior Recovery Types: [Re: bardo213]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I have tried for years to put everything in a certain place. But I come home so tired from work and that is when the trouble starts. Something will end up in an odd place or I will end up setting something on top of it, and then the trouble starts. Or I go to work for a few days, then when I come home I can't seem to remember what I had to get done the previous weekend. I am starting to learn to use lists. This problem has been pure hell for a long time.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#231035 - 06/14/08 09:33 PM Re: A Question For the Senior Recovery Types: [Re: Trucker51]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
mark, i have been blest not to have to take any drugs or medicine or pills, so i can't even have a conversation with the 'seniors' about this stuff. i can say i just joined aarp, but for the life of i don't know why yet; i figure since i turn 55 in a couple of months, i may as well take the plunge.

perfectionism.....who me......that's my middle name! no wonder; in my family system and the cultural circles it nested in, a person had to earn his value. i was starved for love and so i figured if i did everything 'to the hilt' then i would be 'preferred' or at least thought well of. what a boot licker i had become. the key word being 'had become'. luckily along the way, as i separated myself from the family of origin, and gave myself permission to be flawed (ouch! not NOT THAT!!! ) which led to a lot of peace and tranquility.

and in tandem, other family members got into recovery, and so, the whole family, even the ones in denial, began to benefit from riding on the heels of those of us doing the hard work. so i was blest in that regard. actually my family has been dealing with 'in your face recovery' for about 25 years now: alcohol, drugs, incest. i figured it was only way i could 'get my revenge' for giving me an unusable life, was to punish them by forcing them to witness the mess they made. hahahaha!

regarding being stressed when things don't go right, that's just disappointment that things are not matching up to the picture in your head of how they were supposed be and the nice controlled comfort zone of it all; and, well, now what will you do????? well, you'll just have to respond as you 'always' respond, and take up some more precious lifetime thinking that whatever 'you' are upset about, really matters. of course it does to 'you', but who is the 'you' that is experiencing the disillusionment of the particular moment brought on by the particular incident? is that the 'real' you or just someone else masquerading as you. this probably seems deeply funky, but it makes 'nerfect' sense to me [see below]. so when opportunity strikes, i unmask the imposter in me, the 'learned emoter living within'; once i do that, i realize that i don't have to choose the same predictable reaction, thereby keeping my life just turning in circles, creating a groove which becomes a rut, which becomes a grave. so instead now you have an option: choose the same reactions you usually choose (or rather chooses itself), or choose NOT to have the same reaction. then what????? in the terrifying empty silence of non-response lies the seed to plant new, healthy responses --- which sounds like a lot of work, which it is. but warning: it's like putting on a new pair of shoes. again, my emotional issues are not the result of medication, so what i'm telling you about my experience probably does not even apply, but in the event there is a shred of commiseration, well, take it for what it's worth.

ok, it's late, i'm tired and i feel like i'm not making sense at this point, and just really confirming for anyone who got this far, just how perfectly nebulous i can be at times.

i'll just leave you with this : my dad had a good sense of humor, and he loved to collect off-kilter paraphernalia. this was a front bumper license plate he had for many years:



p o b o d y ' s

n e r f e c t






ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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