Siren Song

I have heard the siren song of alcohol and marijuana. Craved the quieting of my thoughts, the slowing down. Prescribed medications do help immensely, but I still understand and am wary of alcohol’s hold on me. I have that Irish gene, that propensity to become an alcoholic. I can sense it in me and fear it.

When my father-in-law was admitted into the ICU recently I went out and bought myself a six-pack of light beer. Told myself that I was just drinking a little, just one bottle of light beer each night, but I craved more. The feeling of intoxication wasn’t strong enough, didn’t last long enough. I metabolized its effects way too quickly and was left unsatisfied wanting more. After finishing the six-pack over the course of six nights, I bought myself a bottle of wine. Red wine is good for me I told myself, all while knowing that I was drinking to numb myself even if briefly and mildly. I realize that one bottle of beer a night may not qualify me as an alcoholic, but its hold on me does put me at risk. I poured out the bottle of wine as I spoke on the phone with a close friend.

Alcohol can damage our livers, our brains, and our relationships. It’s especially not good in combination with medication for mood disorders, intensifying those medications’ negative side effects as well as the effect of alcohol. The mood stabilizer valproic acid, or Depakote, can damage the liver, one reason why our doctors have us get labs done regularly. Antidepressants negatively interact with alcohol, as well. So, I should steer clear of alcohol.

Pot I stopped smoking twenty years ago under doctor orders when I was severely depressed. My doctor chided me, telling me that I know marijuana is a central nervous system depressant and that I should know better than to smoke it. I was a mental health professional at the time, counseling teens, no less, so I did know better. On my doctor’s advice, I quit. Still, even to this day, if I smell it, I crave it. When I was in my twenties and diagnosed depressed but not bipolar, back before I sought medical help for my illness, when I relied on therapy alone, marijuana slowed me down and made me stupid. A huge relief. I could not slow my thoughts down. Pot gave my mind rest. I do support the legalization and regulation of marijuana, and do believe that it has beneficial medical uses when prescribed under the treatment and supervision of a responsible and knowledgeable medical doctor.

13 thoughts on “Siren Song

  1. dyane July 9, 2016 / 6:59 am

    I’ve heard that siren song as well, and it was very loud!

    But I was fortunate in having no choice but to give up alcohol due to the MAOI. As if that wasn’t enough, having two close relatives due from alcoholism within two years of one another convinced me that alcohol has no place in my life.

    As for cannabis, I’m in 100% favor of others using it responsibly. I’m not sure where I stand with it for my own use. It has helped me with nausea before I started taking my MAOI.

    I’m very glad that pot was there for you when you needed it to slow down your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 9, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      It did help, but I’m a believer in having a knowledgeable physician prescribing and overseeing its use. Plus, it didn’t help me dig out of deep depression.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hazelhillboro July 6, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Ugh, but you make it sound so NICE. It’s like a break-up with a really hot guy where you forget how awful he is and only remember the parts you miss. I miss alcohol, but I know how much it messed me up. I try to focus on the bad parts, but sometimes I just plain miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 6, 2016 / 8:55 am

      In many ways it is like a break up with that hot guy, the incredible sex, that relationship that was a roller coaster and without doubt not healthy.

      Like

  3. vanbytheriver July 6, 2016 / 4:59 am

    I understand this, in a way that I try to ignore in people that I love. Thanks for your honesty, Kitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley July 6, 2016 / 8:53 am

      The genetic predisposition to alcoholism is a fact. The gene has been identified. I try to keep that in mind. Much like mental illness. To have compassion, or at least combine that with other feelings, such as pain and anger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • vanbytheriver July 6, 2016 / 10:52 am

        It seems so. It is the solution for the men of my birth family…in denial about depressive issues. The women seek counseling and medicine, by contrast. Thanks, Kitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. hirundine608 July 5, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    Kitt, Taking drugs like alcohol and cannabis. It’s actually cannabis, not marijuana … a Mexican word. Most know, what you mean.

    Cannabis can be a help to people when used in a medical setting. It is possible to use cannabis and not get high. see, phoenixtears.ca I used to both smoke and eat cannabis. It helped me medically. Yet, I refused to buy it from others. I grew it in a closet. These days, I will not use either.

    Once in a while I buy a six pack or a case, too. Yet feel the effects, and they are bad. Even though it’s enjoyable at the time. It’s easy to tell how alcohol can creep up, each day whispering its siren song. Even the cannabis. Though it is a long time measured in many years since i had some.

    I do not take medicines for psychiatric problems. Yet can understand how it might affect those who do. Canada is supposed to be legalizing the consumption and possession of cannabis? We’ll see? Your States like WA OR and CA along with others have done so. Since 1967 i have used cannabis and never found it to be a problem either mentally of physically. By far and away I prefer to eat cannabis. My strain of choice is Sativa, although there are so many available to choose. Either Sativa or Indica, or many combos.

    Even so, I am enjoying life without any drugs as crutches. Except those prescribed for my aging conditions. Those I have to tolerate. … sigh! Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 6, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Like all other medications, I believe that use of psychoactive medications are best taken under the care of a physician knowledgable about its effects on the brain and the body. But, yes, the medical use of cannabis is legal in California. For someone prone to depression, both alcohol and cannabis are central nervous system depressants.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hirundine608 July 6, 2016 / 10:01 am

        Uh huh! I am sure you’re right. I never thought much about those effects at the time. I always found that cannabis helped focus attention on stuff going on around. I can certainly see how for some people it can be an awful experience. I do not recommend it . Ecept for medical issues. Far too many people use the excuse; that it is for medical reasons. Yet it does appear to be a miracle drug for cancer patients.[While i was using it my insulin use was much lower]. Among others. Just see, phoenixtears.ca

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley July 6, 2016 / 3:40 pm

          Without a doubt, it has therapeutic uses. I used recreationally, and, no doubt, as a form of self-medication for hypomania.

          Like

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