Community Magazine

The Weird and Confusing Life of David Stein

By Dastein
http://blog.amerihopealliance.com/blog/dont-let-industry-confusion-stand-in-the-way-of-action

http://blog.amerihopealliance.com/blog/dont-let-industry-confusion-stand-in-the-way-of-action

It’s been awhile since I last post. It seems this has become a habit of mine. I get overly obsessed about posting and social media, spend a few days filled with manic posting, commenting, social mediaing (I know it’s not a real word, but it seemed like the right thing to put) and constantly pushing myself to be the best. During the process I remember how much I love to write, how it makes me feel to let words flow out from my finger tips, enjoying the moment and feeling happiness. But, as always, my mind goes over board and before I know it I’m a nervous wreck and I can’t even get myself to write. I can’t even perform the one task that makes me happy. This has become a vicious cycle that I need to work on, so I want to apologize for my sporadic posting and hope that you understand what is going through my head. As such, today’s post will be about my life. In a Facebook message to Natasha Tracy, owner of the amazing Bipolar Burple and Breaking Bipolar,  I sent the following:

I was diagnosed with Bioolar 1, rapid cycling, severe social anxiety, OCD, ptsd, agoraphobia and drug addiction. At the age of 7 I was diagnosed with ADD and from the age of 7 till 18 I went through intense CBT, at first i went 3 times a week, till it went down to one session every Wednesday. About 2-3 years later I was diagnosed with ADHD. At first it was thought I would never graduate high school, I was a complete mess.

But over time through therapy and the support of my parents I became stable enough to graduate high school and gain a scholarship to a 4 year private liberal arts school (although because of the intense therapy, and my parent’a involvement I developed a horrific and unhealthy dependency on my parents that I broke free from about a year ago).

For the first year of college everything was fine, I stopped going to therapy and I seemed to be stable. However, a few times I experienced crushing depression, it didn’t last long but it was the beginning of my rapid cycling. I didn’t know until a few years later that I was already really manic.

Halloween of my Sophmore year I started drinking, before I knew it I was drinking every day. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and my drinking exploded. One night I ended up with horrible alcohol poisoning and blacked out for over 10 hours. I had no clue what happened. Paranoia and fear took over, i was convinced my “friends” where doing things from me and from that day on I locked myself in my dorm room only coming out for class. It as the beginning of my isolation/agoraphobia.

Fast forward to graduation, I was extremely manic, unstable, paranoid and constantly drunk. In fact, I graduated a year early to prove a prof wrong, I ended up 3 units short of 3 BAs, my mania allowed me to do this, but at a cost.

After graduating college I started working for a labor union and underground organizer at a hotel. It was exrtemley stressful, and on top of that I was forced onto the graveyardshift, a major negative for people who are bipolar (although i didn’t know it at the time).

About a year in, my rapid cycling had increased to the point where every three months I would have a week long depressive episode. I was getting scared so I went to my family’s Gp and told her about the depression. She forced me to stop drinking and put me on Zoloft. That first week was horrific, I couldn’t stop vomiting but i stayed sober and stuck with it. I don’t remeber when, but eventually he void in my mind that had been left by the alcohol become to big. I started smoking weed everyday and eventually I started to abuse pain killers, muscle relaxants and benzos. I was buying hundreds of pills a week, becoming more ustable and completely beholden to my addiction.

I was good at my job, in fact I had organized 10 times the amount of people as everyone else but no one wanted to work with me due to my instability. Eventually I quit both jobs and started working as a telemarketer (oh ya during my 2 years at the hotel I endured horrific psycological abuse and was even strangled by my boss, it left a massive hole in my heart), my boss was a nightmare. He would scream at me everyday telling me I was worthless, that i was lower then shit, de eventually I started to believe him, my drug abuse was at an all time high and my cycling was increasing.

Eventually I was able to escape. Around this time I finally sought a psydoc to confirm my already growign suspicion that i was bipolar. I was right.

Over the next few years I saw a few different therapists and psydocs, each one treating me like shit, as well as a guinea pig. By the time I was in graduate school I was on 900 mg of seroquel a day.

Oh ya, sorry I skipped some time. Afterleaving the telemarketer I had a few more jobs, I started taking classes at long beach state and was accepted at Claremont School of Theology for their MA program. It was a high point in my life, however, I was unstable.

A few months into the program, I started using again. Although I had been sober for some time I buckled under the pressure. By the end of the first year my drug abuse was out of control, I was extremley unstable and had to drop out of all do my classes. CST allowed me to leave due to health reasons, but because my grades were so low I would never be able to go back there again. I was devestated.

I joined the out-patient program at St Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. About a month in I was hospitalized for an extreme mixed episode, I was deemed a danger to myself and those around me, I was dragged to the hospital by security guards and sedated.

It saved my life. I met my current psydoc and was able to stabilize. However, upon my release I was sent back to the outpatient program. All of my friends were gone. I was crushed by overwhelming depression and lonliness. The depression got exponentially worse and I spent the next 2 years locked in my aparment, sitting in front of my TV, waiting until I died.

Luckily, I met Michael. Initially he was brought in to clean my apt, but over time we became friends. We were kindred spirits, although he is over 10 years older than me and has a family, we connected. He helped draw me out of my shell and showed me that life can be enjoyed, even with the pain.

About 9 months ago moved in with his family. I haven’t had a major episode in over a year, I’m stable, able to go out and be around other people, I’m taking care of my body and I’ve started writing again. Furthermore, I stopped taking all of my meds (I am still taking subutex, gabapentin and ambien, but that’s it), I stopped seeing my therapist and I’ve been enjoying life for first time in years.

I never knew how much fun it could be living with other people. Furthermore, I haven’t had alcohol in over 7 years and pain killers in over 2 years. I know there is still a possibility for relapse and for another major manic/depressive episode, but for the first time in my life I’m not worried about that. I want to live. I want to experience what I wasn’t able to the last 3 years. Yes, I still isolate and watch a ton of anime, but that is my comfort zone, it allows me to recharge, so I can continue enjoying the world.

I blog/write so that others can hear my story, to learn they are not alone in this struggle, that even if things become unbarable, there still is hope. There still is a chance to succeed. I write because I love to write (it’s the one thing that truly makes me happy, when I’m writing I forget about all of my worries, and get lost in the words) and because I don’t want anyone to go through the struggles I went through.

Sorry, I ended up writng my entire life story, but I thought it was necessary.

I hope this message finds you well and that you are have a restful evening,

Dave.


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