Poetry On Odyssey: After The High

Poetry On Odyssey: After The High

The monster inside me.
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Afraid of what I would become,

I tried to rip my skin from its bone.

A small hand protruded from my belly but I

vowed not to let it out

My face was staring back at me,

It shone like diamonds, or rhinestones because something real wouldn't

be so evil.

A beam of light peered through the broken glass.

Bloody hands hung to my side, hurting, bits of glass webbed

in between my fingers

When did I loose control?

Straight hair fell from my scalp drenched in sweat

This is not my hair.

My hair is curly.... so I thought.

My mouth was in severe pain, I couldn't speak

Tennis balls lodged in my throat forced its way down my esophagus

I tried to swallow them but I choked

I coughed up mucous then eventually vomited

Hazelnut liquid.... sour and sickly sweet.

I laid on the cold vinyl floor covered in shame

and surrounded by trash

I hope my mother doesn't see me like this.

The bathroom is a mess; I have to clean it

My knees were bruised, I think I fell...or

someone pushed me

I can't remember.

"Vianka!" my mother yelled from downstairs.

I answered, "ill be done in a minute."

I closed my eyes and lifted myself up to the sink.

I allowed the cool water to run over my cuts.

I sighed.

When I opened my eyes, the bathroom was like new

My skin soft again and my curly hair returned

I touch my neck it was smooth.

The light brighten. I guess I was dreaming.

I brushed my teeth and hurried downstairs ready to eat Sunday breakfast.

And left the smell of faint vinegar.

Cover Image Credit: She Knows

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My Personal Dilemna On Psychiatric Meds and Where I Stand

Because after ten years of taking them, my mind tends to ponder
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If you have been reading my previous articles, there had been one where I touched upon mental health and self-care. In my situation, I have been on psychiatric medications since I was fourteen, and I am now twenty-four. As society grows wiser (or dumber), many new opinions have been formed about the need for psychiatric meds as a treatment in opposition to two topics I will go over as we move forward in the article:

1. No medications, AKA "cold turkey" and,

2. Cannabis.

Many believe that being "woke" means awakening to the conspiracy or fact, however, you view it, that the government is poisoning us and we don't need psychiatric medications. Many others believe that marijuana is given from Mother Earth thus it could be a great treatment for psychiatric conditions given its proven benefits for many people.

1. The Cold Turkey Dilemma

Now, this is where my dilemma comes into play. First of all, I get it. I see where people are coming from in terms of the possibility that we are just told we need medication to fix a problem. In other words, that's the basic description of American culture. However, from my experience, I have heard these theories from people who never had to take an antidepressant in their life, experience a withdrawal, or go through some serious psychiatric trauma.

In addition, most people are so quick to take a Tylenol for a headache but will refuse Prozac as a treatment. And to those who can fight their illness head-on with no medication of any kind, props to them and much respect. On the other hand, there are many like myself who tried to do it without medications and felt themselves sinking quickly in sand that wasn't even meant to sink in the first place.

Personally, I have always wondered if I had been conditioned by an industry to believe that I need my Lithium and Zoloft to function with an addition of Adderall to solve my daily struggles? And if that is the case, should I actually come off my meds, would my symptoms be triggered because my mind needs the chemicals to function? Or because my body has become so used to medication that it's actually my body withdrawing?

Honestly, at this point in my life, I am thankfully stable and I can truly thank my psychiatrist for that because had she not stabilized my meds, I would've been in a completely different place. Yeah, I can wander and all, but at this point, if a diabetic needs his insulin and does not have to truly ponder on if he's just using extra for his health, then neither should I have to worry about that as well.

2. Medical marijuana and my personal disaster

In terms of medical marijuana for mental illness, the panic attacks I have had while smoking weed have constantly been a reminder as to how awful it is for me and many others like myself. It was almost a month ago that I was at a friend's house, two hours from where I lived, and I had to sleep there because it was late at night.

What was the problem? Not having my meds handy that help me sleep at night and stabilize my mood. I now reside in California where marijuana is legal and easily obtained. My friend happened to have a strand called Indica, which is supposed to deliver a body high and not activate the mind as much. I thought to myself that if this is natural and also the sleeping strand not the hyper one that makes me feel psychotic, then one hit should help me sleep.

I shit you not, five minutes after one hit I was screaming for help while pouring water on my head to end my high immediately. It was the worst panic attack I had ever had in my life. The next day, I woke up and did not have my anti-depressants on hand that I take in the mornings. When driving back with my sister who happened to be beside me, I had freaked out while we were on the road and felt suicidal thoughts and as if I did not recognize myself. So, medical marijuana is absolutely out of the question.

I guess overall, I truly don't know where I stand right now. However, nobody else can decide whether I'm a "victim" of the "system," or truly in need of my medication and constant moderation of them. No one can decide or judge but G-d, myself, and my doctor. To anybody else going through a similar dilemma, I can not give any medical advice, but I will recommend that you shut out the outer influences and listen to your inner voice because that is what guides you forever.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear Older Brother, I Love You, But Your Drug Addiction Has To Stop

I just wish I could help you help yourself, but you have to do this.
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Dear Older Brother,

Enough is enough.

You must take this somewhere else. You have chosen this life, and no one can change your mind. Well, I told you a few months back that I do not care what you do, but you cannot do it here. It has been long enough, and you must leave now. You have done too much damage to this family, and we cannot save you. You don't want to help yourself, or you would have done something by now. This is home-base, and you have stripped it of its warm feeling. Just as the drugs have damaged your soul, you have damaged our rebuilt foundation once again.

Your whole life, you have neglected to think about how your actions affect other people. When you start risking the well-being of another member of this family is when I can no longer stay quiet. We are truly blessed with a great family who loves us unconditionally, even after you have personally betrayed each one of us to a certain extent at some point in your life. I wish you could see how much you are loved, but I know you cannot see through all the guilt and shame. You are drowning, and we don't know how to keep your head above water.

I shut my emotions down from you a long time ago — almost seven years ago to be exact — but when you moved back here with your wife, my gut told me things were going to get rough. I didn't think they were going to get as bad as they did, but when you found your wife dead in her camper from an overdose, I literally felt my heart break for your loss. The whole family was affected by her death, and I knew that would make or break you.

From that moment, things got very hard for me because I bad hoped this would be the time you woke up and saw the fragility of this beautiful thing we call life. I could not imagine waking up every day without your partner, and thinking about that instantly triggers the images from that horrific day. I was scared for your mental sake, but after all this, I still found needles. This is unacceptable. I do not doubt that you need help, and we want to help you. But you have left us no choice. Drugs are not the answer. What options do we have?

SEE ALSO: 6 Things The Sister Of A Drug Addict Would Never Tell You

My heart is aching for you, and I wish there were a better way. The cleanest times of your life were when you were locked up, but it wouldn't take you long to run back to your old habits once you got out. Maybe if you went to jail for a year then straight into a live-in rehab for another year while finishing with a year in a halfway home, you'd have three years of sobriety. I think like that sometimes, but then I quickly remind myself no facility can help you until you want to be saved from your addiction.

The thought of you getting off of a bus somewhere and not knowing where you will lay your head that night frightens me. I don't want that for you — none of us do — but I cannot sit here, waiting for the phone call that Mom found you dead. If there is one thing I will try to prevent, it is her being haunted by of you dead — the same image that you have of your wife. It will mean nothing that the piece of her soul that will die with you the day your body decides it has had enough, but maybe she will remember you alive. You have failed to take care of the vessel we are given to navigate through this world, and one day it is going to shut down on you.

I don't want you to die, but at this rate, I am terrified it might be inevitable.

I don't want you to become just another statistic.

You are so far gone and don't know any other way. I truly believe you don't even know what you need to be OK, but there becomes a point where a line has to be drawn. You will steal anything you can that will benefit your addiction. I can admit that growing up in our home life, we didn't have a lot of structure, but we were given a pretty fair chance at succeeding in life. We even went to private school all through elementary. You were given so many outlets as you grew up to learn the tools you needed to cope with this heavy world, but nothing worked. Now it has been 10+ years of this same vicious cycle with you, and we are all so tired. I feel like our hands are tied, but the only thing certain is that you have to go find what you need somewhere else.

I want to know one day that you are living a functional and healthy life. When I decide to have children, I want them to know their cool uncle. You are a great person, and our grandfather said it the best: "He is not insensitive."

You have a heart of gold, and that's why it hurts mine so badly to see you struggle for this long. But boundaries have to be set in order to maintain the happiness of others in this family. I will not let you sacrifice what means so much to me for your selfish desire to get high.

Why do you choose this lifestyle over us every time?

Why is your mother's heart not a good enough reason to live a better life?

Your life could mean much more than the sensation of the needle filling your vein with dangerous chemicals. How can we make you see that your life is worth so much more? I pray each day that you will surrender your heart to God and let him heal you. I believe with every fiber in my body that only the Lord can save you, but you have to open your eyes. Everyone believes in something to help them get through the trail of this life because the happiest life isn't the easiest journey.

Happiness comes from within, so it all starts with facing your demons. You must begin by forgiving yourself and realizing the world is not out to get you; it just so happens we live in a cruel world. But you are not alone, and God is on your side. I will support your recovery in any way I can, but I will no longer let you take advantage of this family. Let Him save you.

You can beat it, and you are strong enough.

I will always love you more than you will believe. I hope one day we can have a semi-normal sibling relationship again. I have missed you for so long.

You can beat it, and you are strong enough.

But please, go help yourself.

Love,

Your Little Sister

Cover Image Credit: Facebook / Chelsea Rhoades

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