About the Book
The memoir, Well, chronicles my journey toward healing in a unique way. When I came home from treatment, I started pouring over old journals and found entries where I sought forgiveness, healing and deliverance. I gathered them up into a scrapbook. I also added original artwork telling my story through the end of a paintbrush. I dug through my blog, and gathered essays into the scrapbook too. I realized this scrapbook had become something. It had become a vulnerable and raw memoir telling a story of hope.
Looking Up From The Bottom – The bonds of sleep slowly slid off my body, and I could finally stretch out my legs. I yawned and rubbed my eyes. My morning breath was awful. The strong smell of alcohol hit my nostrils, and the heat of anger flooded my body. I was alive! Damnit! I was still alive! WHY!!! My 12 page suicide note was still attached to the bedroom door with the big bandaid mocking my lack of tape. The empty Klonopin bottle was still on the nightstand. It had been full less than 12 hours ago. A ½ liter of 100 proof liquor sat on the floor. The other half I had used to wash the pills down. I should be dead.
DAMN! I kept saying in my head. I don’t usually swear, but I figured I already tried to kill myself, so to hell with it.
That was my state of mind. Actually, my mind didn’t have a state. It was mush brain. A cohesive thought could not have stuck in my brain with super glue and duct tape. I pickled my brain in a bath of 100 proof alcohol which I secretly drank daily for about two years. In my desperation for relief, I’d followed the advice of an internet stranger who recommended alcohol to take away the vertigo. Yes. One shot did. But soon one shot wasn’t enough. I needed two, then more and more. The escape was glorious. Soon, instead of just using it for vertigo, I was using all the time just to escape my illness, my reality, my depression, and the struggle I was having for identity, feelings of failure, and utter loneliness.
It wasn’t just the alcohol, either. I had figured out ways of getting my hands on prescription pain pills. They also took away the vertigo, but even better, they numbed everything. I had been hospitalized with an accidental overdose just a year prior to the suicide attempt. Oh, I was such a mess! That is exactly where really bad coping strategies can land you, given enough time and energy. Limited solutions, taken to their extreme, took me to a hopeless destination — The End. The end of myself.
Downing those pills to end my life had seemed like the perfectly logical thing to do. My clouded brain told me I had no reason to exist. Awakening from that fog was the last thing I wanted, and I was filled to the brim with anger that I was still alive. I was still here. I was still sick. I was still useless. I was still a burden. I was still without hope. I was still lost. I was still helpless. Still…
I remember a friend coming into the bedroom and hugging me, saying something like, “I heard you were having a hard time.” She was there to take my children away, and I wanted to discuss my DIY headboard! Say what? Oh, my mind was just not functioning with cohesive thoughts.
When I stumbled out of the bedroom, I walked into a living room surrounded by family and friends. I actually felt like I walked into a warm wall of love. Overcome by shame, I wanted to turn around and hide. The shame! I was so ashamed, but they were inviting and understanding. It was an intervention. There was so much love in the room. Looking back, I didn’t understand everything being said to me. My mind was not clear enough, but I understood the love I felt in the room. Love is a language even a drug and alcohol soaked brain could understand.
Aimee Mullins said, “All you need is one person to show you the epiphany of your own power.”
I had a room of people who gave me that epiphany. They gave me a glimpse of a future. They became my future. They became my reason. I would go to the hospital for them. I would fight for my life for them. I would love them back by learning to love myself. Love is a language, and I would learn to speak it fluently.
About the Author
Alias In Town is an anagram of the author’s name. In every town there are alias people living with chronic illness, chronic pain, addiction and depression. Alias In Town is one of those people. Learning to live well while ill is a necessary and difficult endeavor. She learned multiple coping and life strategies to be Well.
“I am more than my body. I am body, mind and spirit. My body is simply the weakest unit of the triad. Though chronic illness affects the entire triad, I have made considerable effort to strengthen my mind and spirit to find the balance of ‘Well’. – book excerpt
One of the most anxiety releasing activities she utilizes is art. She explores art through several mediums and included them in the book “Well.” She does not claim to be a proficient artist but utilizing art is cathartic to her. She has an art website
She has been married for 35 years with 6 children and 7 grandchildren and lives in central Ohio.
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