Thursday, April 10, 2014

Self-Medicating In This Crazy World

They did a census that discovered that 80% of people admitted to self-medicating themselves with alcohol due to stress, and the other 20% lied. About 5 years ago, I did a 90 day "clean out" and went to AA for support. My moderated drinking had turned out to be moderation at first, but I was quite the weekend warrior and I needed it to stop. So, I shuffled into some church basement and sat amongst longtime veterans who have been sober for 20+ years, and some who only were sober for the past 12 hours or so. I remember one lady who befriended me. She was only there for a month or so. She would drink a couple of glasses of wine while she cooked dinner for her family and during dinner, she'd have 1 or 2. I'm sitting there thinking, "Okay, who forced you to come here?" To me, that just seems like nothing. Then I thought, there's approximately 3-4 glasses of wine in a bottle, so…maybe it is something? Maybe she just needs a bigger glass? She was raising 4 kids who were still in elementary school. She had to cart them around to all different types of activities after school as well as give them a social life on the weekends and drop them off at their friends' houses. She did everything. She cooked, cleaned, went shopping and made sure her ship was running smoothly, maybe not 'tightly', but sure as hell smoothly.

Wouldn't you drink a few glasses if you didn't have a moment to yourself?

The only moment to herself was cooking. She sometimes would skip a day of showering just so she could get everyone in order so they wouldn't miss their bus. Then her day would begin and for a stay at home mom, it's all about prepping -- if you want to have a home that has dinner on the table, clean clothes in your children's closets and maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse all in a day's work.

And it is work.

I'll have another.

What if you have a career? Think about that same woman coming home to make dinner (or do her best at throwing something together that's somewhat healthy) and spending your weekends grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry and making sure the house was in order. She doesn't have a day off. Her entire life revolves around her demanding job and well, her demanding tasks at home. Let's just top that off with perhaps, a bit of turbulence with the spouse and some trouble with one or two of the kids in school. Let's throw in some bills, mortgages, taxes and an unexpected furnace that just took its last breath. Unexpected expenses can definitely wreak havoc if you're on some sort of limited budget.

I'll have another.

I'm just giving one example. We all have our crosses to bear and we all have different outlets. Even if you see a therapist, it still doesn't help you when you're going through a crisis at home and your next appointment is for the following week. And who can afford the therapy bills to begin with? A decent psychologist will run you at least $150.00. With insurance (if you're lucky enough for it to cover it), it'll go to $65.00 and up. Then they have the good ol' sliding scale for those who can't meet those payments, which is based on your income. They give one look at your income and never take into consideration that those funds need to support your family. So, therapy's out of the question for most. Even if it's $50 per week, you're looking at $200 every month. And most of the time, it doesn't help.

I'll have another.

Is it me, or does it seem like it's just extra stressful these days? Between school shootings, random shootings in malls and all these kids having ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, bullying, etc., etc. --- you have to wonder, why is this all happening now?

Think about it. Your children are addicts now.
"What do you mean, Deb?"

They are instant gratification junkies. They need approval over everything and at any given moment, one of their peers can send a message within 5 seconds letting them know what a loser they are. If you think about it, (and if you're around my age) we didn't have the internet, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat or Hot or Not apps. What the hell is a selfie? I mean -- we didn't even have cell phones back when I was in high school. Now I'm really showing my age. But the one thing we didn't have?

Shootings.

We also didn't have ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression and bi-polar disorder. We weren't thrown antidepressants just because we had a bad day at school. We weren't eating foods rich in hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Those are all ingredients for a disaster waiting to happen.

Look what happened in PA yesterday. A young 16 year old boy named, Alex Hribal went on a stabbing spree. Twenty-one students and an adult security guard were wounded, officials said. Witnesses said the boy, who was wearing a "blank expression" on his face, first tackled a freshman and stabbed him in the belly before getting up and running wildly down the hall, slashing other students. One boy suffered a pierced liver after being thrust with one of the 8-to-10-inch knives, narrowly missing his heart and aorta, doctors said. The teen was finally tackled by an assistant principal and a security guard, who were able to subdue him until police arrived. Alex Hribal, 16, who left 20 people stabbed Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Alex Hribal is accused of using two 8-to-10-inch knives in the stabbing. Read more here.

I'll have another.

Alex gave no indications of what he was about to do. He showed no signs of agitation or depression. He. just. snapped. And we wonder why many kids around his age drink just to cope and deal with the bullshit they have to go through every single day in their school, where they're "supposed" to be safe. The word "safe" is no longer an option.

Granted, I don't have kids, but I sure as hell have my own set of stressors. But I place blame on quite a few things attributing to these strange behaviors of all people: antibiotics, steroids and hormones in our food sources, as well as on a social level, the internet with all of its social media. We have access to everything -- how to make a bomb -- how to commit the perfect suicide -- how to, how to, how to. The internet has been blamed for providing much information to those who had committed homicide and suicide.

But what can we do? Nothing. It's here. We can't stop it.

So pour yourself another, because honestly, it's only going to get worse. I know, I'm such a pessimist.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!