Thursday, March 04, 2010

More Psych Stuff, Addiction..

So Part 2 of my psych post ... See, what I do when I say that I'm not doing anything is watch movies and TV shows on the wide variety of cable channels that I have never stopped loving..(I never had a TV with cable until I was 27 years old!!! never ever!).  And I read and write.  I spend entire days when I'm not feeling up to anything much just doing this.  I have books and magazines and an e-reader, and I just read and read.  Then I do some writing about my thoughts on what I've taken in, from the writing.  Then I watch some of the crazy shows that are on TV about women in prison, about little kids in beauty pageants, and the Housewives shows, and all that.  Tonight "Slingblade" is on IFC, and I've never seen it.  So I've been watching it (really, really great) but also reading blogs and stuff.

I think I've gotten myself depressed by reading the material that I have been reading.  I just finished Nic Sheff's book called "Tweak."  It's his memoir about his journey through addiction to recovery and back and forth and back again.  Yes, there are a great many of these memoirs that have been published in the past several years.  And I've read quite a few.  But I think that Nic's is ... if not the best, then it's the one that I relate to the most.  He's so honest and raw and genuine about what he feels and experiences ... it's really moving for me to read his words.  I don't feel alone that way.  I mean, it's so good when an author can express those things in words...

Like, every human being has all kinds of insecurity and fear and wonder and hope and despair and shame and different levels of insanity within.  I truly believe that.  But -- in America anyway -- we really have this current culture of striving to be strong and smiling and just so damn capable all the time.  But almost NO ONE feels this way all the time.  Everyone wants to be, feels they have to be, are expected to be pretty perfect.  If you're a mom, well, we know how that goes ... no matter whether you decide to stay home with your kids, to keep a profession while they go to school and babysitters, if you have to make a decision on what's best- whether to leave their dad or not to ... There will always be something or someone who tries to tell you you were wrong, you failed, and therefore you aren't perfect at all...

Our world has become staggeringly fast-paced, all about getting something fast and painlessly and easy.   When we see commercials on TV, the trick is always to try and tell us that the product will help you lose weight FAST ... to whiten your teeth more CHEAPLY, and always, always ways to "feel better" about things.  I'm vehemently against those who would blame the media or blame celebrities and all that for our problems in society... That's just too simple of an "out."  Our society and its ills are a complex dance of supply and demand, church and state, virtue and vice, and what it all means to different people.  There are virtually endless issues to be considered such as race, economics, our invisible class system, parts of the country and their cultures, education available to people.  

I don't know what I'm trying to say.  It's just that I read all these words and experiences from Nic's book, and they were heavy, and they just moved me so much.  I just thought so much about my own experiences and how we come to do what we do, especially as all of it relates to our country's enormous problem with addictions.  

I'll just add a little bit of my own background, because there is too much to tell.  But I come from a long line of people with emotional problems, especially those diagnosed with depression.  However, the raging dysfunction I have seen or been told about on both sides of the family would depress anyone, it seems to me.  So, what is disease, and what is just brought on and taught?  Well, whichever it is, there has been a lot of emotional and mental pain on both sides of my family.  And a lot of substance abuse.  Mainly, in the past, we have had alcoholics, just so many.  I personally have never felt a draw to alcohol, which just makes me sad and headachey and, well, more depressed than ever.  Our human brains must be all so different ... in that, certain people take that first drink and are in love with the stuff.  And other people, such as myself ... we don't experience that, no matter how much "partying" we do or whatever.  

The thing is, I know that I have an addictive personality, at least to a point.  I have seen the obsessiveness and the abuse of the self and substances and of life that accompany that demon, addiction.  I just struggle so much with two main hallmarks of an addict:  ONE is that I often feel that there is a hole inside of me that must be filled, and I try to learn and work and fill it with the "right" things, good things, healthy things.  But it's a dangerous duty.  Anyone can slip, intentionally or not, and it's so easy to start filling that hole up with numbness, the easiest thing to do.  TWO is that I feel so "different" from others for some reason and always have.  I have never met an addict who did not feel this way, somehow, in some way, different, standing alone, outside, even weird and disliked, by others.  Wanting to be accepted somewhere, into some family, some organization, but never feeling like you fit.  How can this be when there are so many of us?  

I struggle against both of these things in myself everyday.  I think the second one is even harder than the first, that is to say more difficult.  Through therapy and all of my reading and just different things I'm always pursuing, I HAVE learned a bit about filling that "hole" with the proper things.  I don't always succeed, but I know HOW (not that I don't have more to learn, that I want to learn).  The thing is, I really still struggle with the problem of never fitting in, always feeling different and alone and ugly and outside.  Even though I know that many other people feel this way for whatever their different reasons are, I never feel like that makes it any easier for me to connect to any of them.  Where are these people?  Who are they?  Why don't they ever talk about this stuff?  Why don't they want to talk to ME?  

It's a work in progress...


Barbara said...

I LOVE YOUR WRITING! You identify with Nic because you write like him! (read his book and his dad's).

I can relate a lot with the never fitting in thing and feeling weird. I've felt that since my childhood and always got by having just a few close friends. The closest I've ever come to feeling "understood" and "not alone" and "not totally weird" is through the people I've met blogging!

You asked where are the people, why is no one talking? Good question. My son has two friends that have mental illness issues that are different from his and each others, but the three of them feel comfortable together because they understand each other.

I hate the term mentally ill. Does that mean I am mentally healthy? If so that's scary. Its just such a creepy sounding term.

I really, really like your insight on society and how complex all the issues are because there are SO MANY factors to consider. I have to confess, I sometimes blame the media! But that's just because its so "quick and easy" to blame them rather than think about it ;) So thank you for reminding me that's a cop out excuse. The media caters to the people.

I hope your doing well right now no matter what you are up to this afternoon (evening). Give Dorian a hug from me.

Barbara said...

P.S. Just played the trivia Kibble game...had no idea it was to help get food to kitties! I got the question wrong but luckily that doesn't matter :)

Barbara said...

I forgot to mention Slingblade! I loved that movie! I rarely hear anyone mention it. If you like it we must have similar tastes in movies...which for me is rare to find. I usually go to the movies alone (back in the old days when I had money - lol) because my friends all like chick flicks and I like darker, real, drama with a meaning.

Tatyanna (and Dorian too) said...

Thanks so much for all your amazing compliments!!! I was sure to give Dorian a hug too! I love to watch movies when I'm in the right mood, and YES, my favorites are usually ones with that veer away from the blockbuster style ... more focus on characters and atmosphere and some kind of message. I like a really good comedy sometimes though too! :)

Tatyanna (and Dorian too) said...

By the way, the absolute BEST compliment that I have received since ... since ... I can REMEMBER is for you to say that I write like Nic!!!!! THANKS!!! :)