Tag: anxiety

When a Recovering Addict and Ex-Con Needs Medical Help

I have been sick lately. It turns out I have Chronic Neurological Lyme disease that is raising all kinds of hell with me. I have been really pretty damn sick with this, and I have been in pain and stressed out. I have made the rounds to quite a few doctors and I have made a grim discovery. When you are a person that looks a certain way, when you are a person who has a certain history, when you are a person who is open and forthright with doctors about things you have experienced in life – you are pretty much screwed when it comes to compassionate health care.

In the past two months or so I have been turned away from numerous doctors because of prior drug issues I had. I feel I cannot get a doctor to look past my tattoos and see me as a person. I am actually pretty fortunate that I got myself signed up for some health insurance this year, so at least I have been able to get in to see doctors in the first place. I am angry though that they think any mention of pain or anxiety is me “drug-seeking”… it’s not. It’s me having pain or anxiety. Where does the line get drawn between them being cautious and them being cruel and uncaring?

This really makes me think about the folks who have even less of a support system than I do. The mentally ill and addicted who have become homeless. How in the HELL do they get any level of health care if they encounter illness or injury? How about those that are still actively living addicted lifestyles, but somehow they just get sick. Like an illness that is unrelated to their addiction issues. Are they actually considered unworthy of care and compassion because they are addicted, or mentally ill, or both? I already knew the homeless had it rough. But my experience over the past couple months with doctors has really been eye opening for me. If an addict has gotten clean and then gets sick and needs help, and can’t get it anywhere, doesn’t it seem pretty likely they could relapse simply out of lack of options? Hell yah, it does. And it sucks.

I will personally be OK one way or the other. Because I need to be there for my family, and because I won’t let this shit get me down. But it has been very discouraging to see how I’ve been treated, and to realize I am pigeonholed into this role due to mistakes I made going on ten years ago. I thought one of the rules of doctoring was “do no harm”?

Doubts and uncertainty have found a foothold

Hi everyone, I want to share with you that I have been feeling so restless lately.

To be honest I have been having a lot of urges to use drugs, and also a lot of doubts about being able to stay sober. I think some of it has to do with knowing that I am going to need to spend the rest of my life without drugs, and as strange as it may sound to some of you, that realization causes me some stress. Drug use has been a part of my life for so long now. That was my way to cope with pretty much all the emotions and feelings that I had. I know I need to learn different ways to deal with feelings like anxiety, loneliness or sadness, and I need to be serious about that. It’s a scary and challenging thought for me, and the very thought of it causes me the sort of feelings that just a few short months ago I would have dealt with by getting high.

Another reason I may be having these thoughts and doubts now is that I have had a stressful situation arise here in the jail. Recently, a man who is accused of the murder of an acquaintance and friend of mine that occurred this past summer has come into our tank!

To complicate things even further, this friend, the one who was murdered, had previously been the boyfriend of a girl I was spending time with right before I was arrested. (There is even more to it than that but I won’t get into it for this post because it already sounds like one of the soap operas I have found myself watching on the television in here.)

The other day, I overheard the guy arrested for my friend’s murder, and he was talking bad about the girl. It really bothered me for some reason. Not because of feelings for her, she and I have no relationship any more. She actually left me high and dry when I was arrested. But, it still bothered me a lot when I overheard his unkind comments about her. And, of course the fact that he may have murdered a guy I considered a friend is really bothering me too. That guy was involved in some of the same drug using habits that I was, and we were both on the wrong path, but he didn’t deserve to be killed. He wasn’t a bad guy.

So, all this is stressful, and I suppose this is a chance for me to learn better ways to handle things than doing drugs. But, as I said, to be honest I have been having the urge to use, it seems to be the first thing that pops into my addicted head when things don’t go my way. And it’s making me doubt myself and my ability to handle the difficulties in life that I know are still out there. I need to do some deep thinking and reflection on all of this. I appreciate all the positive energy you can send my way, I think I need it.

Peace ~ Magnum