Contributor Piece: Living with Trichotillomania by Becca Jade

There’s so much more to recover from than just substance abuse.  Previously, Rose Lockinger has contributed personal essays about bulimia.  Now, Becca Jade shares her story on recovering from trichotillomania:

 

Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair.  This leads to hair loss, balding, distress, and social or functional impairment. People with this disorder know that they can do damage by acting on the impulses, but they cannot stop themselves.  I strongly believe that in life, we are often faced with challenges that we can handle. At times, we might bend, but we will not break.

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Contributor Piece: Blackouts & Bourbon by Rich Binning

I don’t remember my last drink, but I think it was bourbon.

I was proud of the alcohol tolerance I’d built up through the beer soaked college years and  continued to build through my mid to late twenties.  I eventually graduated to manhattans and martinis. Or maybe I should say, “Graduated to manhattans and martinis when I was out on the town and also accompanied by cheap vodka hid in water bottles to assist with sleep, stage fright, social anxiety and increasing general drunkenness while on a budget”. I bragged about my high tolerance in the company of friends and they enjoyed trying to keep up with me.

The final night I drank, I was in mixed company and I was hyper-aware of how I did not want to be perceived.  Ya know…like an alcoholic.  I always counted the number of drinks everyone else had and was careful to have them think I drank the same amount.  This often lead to me pre-gaming at my apartment before going out, sneaking to the bar and ordering quick shots for myself while out, and night caps once returning home.

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Contributor Piece: Eating Disorders and Addiction by Rose Lockinger

I never knew that my road towards bulimia would end in a treatment center for substance use.  Addiction in any form is a dangerous beast that will consume every aspect of your mind, body, and soul.  If you’re lucky, you’ll survive.  The first time I threw up, I was 14.  I had no idea how to cope with the emotional pain of trauma; I was simply trying to survive.  Bulimia was my coping tool.

When I started purging, I was doing it once a day.  I became obsessed with my weight, with calories, with my body.  Purging drowned out all the emotional pain I was feeling.  Within a year, my disease took over my whole world.  I was throwing up 15 times a day and my body was starting to feel the effects.  My throat burned, my stomach hurt all the time, and my heart would race uncontrollably.  I was exhausted.  My muscles ached when I had to climb stairs, yet I made myself run 3 miles everyday.  I was completely consumed in my disease.  Every waking hour was wrapped up in planning my next binge and purge. Where was I getting the money?  Which drive thru was I going to hit?  What was I going to order?  Where was I going to throw up? 

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Contributor Piece: A Mother’s Battle with Addiction by Rose Lockinger

The two greatest days of my life were the days that my children were born. Unfortunately, my disease cast a long shadow over those happy events. My disease knew no bounds; it didn’t care if it destroyed everything that I love.

At times, I believed that a mother’s love for her children would be enough; that it would keep me from tumbling over the edge of oblivion and into the chasm of addiction. Believing this lie kept feeding my guilt, forcing me further and further into the abyss.  When everything inside me was screaming “Stop for your children!”, I couldn’t.  I hated myself for this.

I pretended that I was superwoman.  I thought I could do it all: work full time, go to school, take care of two small children, and keep a marriage that was doomed from the beginning.  He and I were toxic together.  His emotional and physical abuse had taken a toll on my ability to cope with life. Eventually even my love for my children was not enough to hold my addictions at bay.   Continue reading “Contributor Piece: A Mother’s Battle with Addiction by Rose Lockinger”

Shout Out: Lauren Stahl of SPARKITE

Meet Lauren Stahl, the founder and CEO of SPARKITE.  After receiving treatment for an eating disorder, alcohol addiction, and drug addiction, Lauren left her job on Wall Street to follow her passion for helping others in recovery.  Her mission is to enhance addiction treatment by enabling accountability, support, and communication after treatment. This is how her app, SPARKITE, was born.  This revolutionary app provides a tech based aftercare support platform to Addiction Treatment Centers to help keep patients accountable to their recoveries and connected to their support communities.

She and I crossed paths at a Hay House event in November 2015.  After just a few moments of chatting with her, it was clear that she was passionate about helping people in recovery achieve their goals.  We met while I was coming to terms (silently) with my own drinking problem.  Shortly after meeting Lauren, I decided to stop drinking and start this blog

She’s been featured on Huffington PostABC News, SPARKITE was selected to be part of Blue Print Health’s Winter 2016 program, and now she’s been interviewed on SobrieTea Party:

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Interview: Alcohol was my Self-Medication for Depression with Meg Kirby

Meg Kirby is the epitome of zen.  The times I spent around this incredible woman stand out because she stands out.  She’s a voice for equal rights and she serves as a witness to what yoga truly is: love.  I was lucky enough to work closely with her at lululemon in North Houston.  We recently caught up and Meg opened up to me about depression, finding herself before she could find true love, and how her pregnancy inspires her commitment to self discovery.

SobrieTea Party: How were you introduced to alcohol?

Meg Kirby: I was 16 years old.  It became clear that drinking alcohol was the most popular way to have fun or to cope with stress.  The mentality of binge drinking is “You have to drink.  And you have to drink a lot”.  We always made sure to have a designated driver, but we made fun of anyone else in the group who wasn’t drinking the way that we did.  Growing up in Canada, where the legal drinking age is 18, alcohol was everywhere.

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