Mental Health Support
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Too old to start over too young to die

I frequent sites such as these and read the posts and so identify with most stories but have never written or posted anything of my own but lucky you I'm about to write my first one so bare with me because I do not know the proper etiquette so I'll just drive in as is my nature. I'll spare the details of my childhood and young adulthood but I will however gloss. My childhood was by all counts and 'standards' can best be described as idealistic. Two parent loving home with sisters with whom I still enjoy a great relationship with all and a big close family. Raised in a small town in Texas and although growing up in a stereotypical southern small town, I knew no prejudice wether it be racial, sexual or station in life as I was raised and still wholeheartedly believe that everyone is equal which based on everything I've ever seen, read or experienced elsewhere seems to make me and all those I know and care for firmly in a minority of some sort. Although raised in this seeming paradise, I like everyone as a youngster probably feels or at least thinks at some point wanted nothing more than to 'escape'. After graduation, I enlisted in the Army and found myself in Germany (pre 911) and again loved every second of it I guess owing to my while albeit quiet demeanor I am or at least was quite extroverted and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and having new experiences everyday. I spent 6 years in the army and of course after 9/11 I deployed to Iraq for about 14 months and although being a combat vet, I enjoyed almost every second of that as well. I regret ever getting out and often wonder what life would be like now as I would be fairly close to being a retiree but circumstances led me to believe I was needed closer to home so I chose a career as a firefighter/emt another job I enjoyed almost every second of. While in the military I had never so much as gone to sick call, when I got out I decided to go to the VA to see about some help with some constant and nagging aches and pains that ibuprofen and water (standard military cure-all) wasn't having the desired effect any longer. Due to my faith in the military and by association the VA I fully expected some sort of physical therapy and things of that nature. Instead, after my first visit during which although lasting maybe 5 mins which no physical examination occurred just questions, I soon started receiving bags upon bags of different meds in the mail. I take full responsibility for not questioning what and why I was being prescribed I just took them because the VA wouldn't do me wrong surely. In these bags there were Xanax, hydrocodone and many others and since you only went to appointments every 3 months, these bottles were quite large and contained vast amounts of pills. It took awhile but inevitably I soon found myself addicted. Fast forward to the present and now I find myself a four time rehab loser, extreme introvert who has all but destroyed any possibility of ever working a job I love because how can you be trusted to help save lives if you can't control your own shit. I've become a shell of what I once was. I've stolen from, alienated those I care most for and have reached a point where although that former tough as nails take no shit and care more for others than myself comes through, I am and always feel like I'm only a drain on everyone and everything around me. I lack the constitution to end my own life but feel no fear of anything else. I have a 5 y/o son who although does more for me than he'll ever know and hopefully never will. He's never seen any of this other side of me and in his eyes I can do no wrong and it's beautifully heartbreaking. I don't know what I hoped to accomplish by writing this as I can't end it with a heroic overcoming of my flaws but in my head there's always time to turn it around but I fear that for me the only and maybe best solution for all involved would be just for me to fade or somehow remove myself from everyone I care about. Although the real me is selfless and concerned only with the well-being with those around me, this monkey or monkeys as it were on my back has turned me into a selfish, dishonest piece of shit excuse for a man. I'm not looking for pity or even a response from anyone I just wanted to put these words out there.

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Why not ask? Ask the people you think will be better off without you if they would like life better without you in it. My Father died when I was 5. It was life changing, the joy was forever gone. My Father was in a car accident, I can't imagine what it would feel like to know your parent willingly left you. My Mother was addicted to prescription drugs. She lost everything. She was one of the most intelligent people I've ever known. It didn't matter drugs are no respecter of anyone . You are up against a deadly enemy. This is what I would do if I were addicted. I would Google drug intervention faculties and look at their success rate...short and long term. I would go to the top one and beg them to take me on . You can waste your life by running to one place after another, or you can be the hard ass you really are and do it the right way. Like you mean it. Pam

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You have done the right thing and taken the first step but clearly the previous experience and advice to take all those pills has done you no good and much harm. Sounds like you need a trusted confidant who will act as the guardian angel and assist you define a clear path forward. Getting off the wrong ills, getting onto as few as possible correct ones, some cognitive/talk therapy and exercise. Good diet and regular sleep are essential and always minimize alcohol. Time will heal and it takes time to get back to an acceptable level. You may never get back to the person you once believe you were but you will attain a level of functioning which is the basis for self respect. But start now and just list 5 good things you have done which you can be proud of. Write them down. Praise yourself for doing that. Create good positive thoughts. Keep those close so when bad thoughts arise you can practice switching to your good thoughts. There is lots of help out there and lots of people who are in much the same situation. Many far far worse.

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I'm so glad you have reached out Downwardigo From my experience of prescription meds I would advise you to slowly come off them yourself by tapering them down .. This will be difficult, painful and most uncomfortable. But in time you will reap many benefits.

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I recently took the plunge and wrote my first post here. I realized, in order to do that, something was telling me I need someone to listen and share a bit of hope with me. We all have that fear of failure and want to be on top of it, not the bottom. So, we reach out because of that survival instinct. My sister was addicted to hydrocodone, Xanax, and others like yourself. There were a few years my parents and I didn't even from her (We all live in different states), and then when we did she was terribly mean and spiteful (not the girl we knew). Her personality was beyond recognition. The point to my story is that there is hope. She recovered, and so will you. When you talk about your son your words just glow with love. He is the reason you must forget the past and keep reaching out to find the help you need. You said, "I have a 5 y/o son who although does more for me than he'll ever know and hopefully never will. He's never seen any of this other side of me and in his eyes I can do no wrong and it's beautifully heartbreaking." He needs you to get better. No matter what you've done you will be forgiven. If we truly ask for forgiveness and admit our sins to our Saviour He will come into your heart and cleanse it. He will make you new again. He gives us strength and hope that no one else can, and will always be there for you. I will be praying for you because, in His own special way, God will answer those prayers. He's waiting on you to ask Him for direction. Thank you for your service to our country. You're an amazing man and are appreciated for what you've done more than you'll ever know. Blessings, Carol

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Above ^ I meant to say...we didn't even "hear" from her.

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I feel for you, you are a loving worthwhile human being who has given so much of your life to helping others and being an upright member of society. Your son loves you. Please find it in yourself to recognise your strengths again. Hugs

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You truly are a remarkable brave unselfish man. I was so touched to read what you have experienced in your life. You now need help to come off the medication that has caused you to be the person you say you now are. Have you not seen your GP? It is obvious that you were prescribed drugs totally unsuitable for you and the result has been terrible. I do know you have to be careful when coming off these drugs, you cannot just stop them. Please seek medical help, you have had replies from others on this site who feel the same as I do and want you to get better and return to your former self. Please let us know how you get on, we are all praying for you😊😊👍

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I have no words only this to give

It's all encompassing a sort of rallying call to keep the faith in you.

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