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This article was written exclusively for PsyWeb.com by Lee Rase. In this article, he discusses how his family history with alcoholism shaped his youth and how he has managed to overcome depression and addiction.
My depression has been with me ever since I can remember. It has always seemed to me as if my entire family was dysfunctional.
My mother, who I believe suffered from manic depressive disorder, struggled with many other problems, like alcoholism. My father also suffered from alcoholism, and was mentally and physically abusive. At age 5, I had already experienced the devastating feelings of isolation and depression – something that I think no person should experience so early in life.
Not too long after my fifth birthday, I was put in foster care. At the time, I had no idea what this meant. I didn't realize that we were going on a one-way trip or that things would only get worse for me. While growing up, I was unable to cope with being separated from my parents. I often found myself in trouble at school. I felt out of touch with others, as if I didn't fit in anywhere.
My addiction to drugs and alcohol started when I was 14. It was a downward spiral for me, and I felt as though I had been hooked on drugs from my very first try. Recovery for me was, and still is, difficult. For 27 years, I have tried to overcome my addiction, but I continuously find myself going back to it.
When I first started using drugs and alcohol, it was to feel good. However, later on I discovered that my substance abuse only made me feel worse, both physically and mentally.
I now have to fight my depression and the addiction. Sometimes, I want to call it quits and give up on my recovery. I have been in recovery for eight months this time, and I continue to fight for my well-being.
Every day is a battle to be won. I try to stay in the moment, to take things one step at a time. Going to meetings for support is important to me. Meetings constantly remind me of the fact that I am not alone.
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