Tag Archives: addiction

Ebay Anonymous

Recently I saw a side of myself that I didn’t know existed. I’ve always considered myself a nice person and rarely get angry. I’ve never road rage and in disagreements, I fight fairly, no name-calling or low blows. This side of me never before appeared— that was until last weekend.

Last weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday in front of my computer on Ebay bidding on jewelry making supplies, crystals, and beads. It was the first time I used Ebay in my adult life and to my delight, I won the first few auctions. When I left the house Saturday afternoon, Ebay was the farthest thing from my mind. That was until later that night when my phone started to buzz in my back pocket. To my surprise, it was my Ebay app alerting me that I had been outbid on a bag of canary yellow beads. Oh no you don’t. I quickly went to “My Ebay” to rebid on the item. After my first attempt to win the beads back I was outbid, so I bid again and again and again until I was finally the highest bidder.

Finally the reigning champion of the auction  once again, I realized that I’d been so consumed with trying to be the victor that I never stopped to think about whether or not I still wanted the beads. In the midst of my bidding, my heart was fluttering. I felt a rush. I was excitable and not in a good way. The feeling was on par with the feeling you get after narrowly avoiding a car accident. And to make things worse, I was now the highest bidder for an over priced bag of yellow beads. Did I have some sort of gambling problem?

I’d been to the casino many times. In this country they were everywhere, and Connecticut has some good ones. I don’t really like to gamble and usually say that I am going to the casino for the food but that’s not entirely true either because I am almost always on a diet. And I can’t say I go for the entertainment, the tickets are extremely pricy. I couldn’t get anyone to go with me last year to see Fleetwood Mac, as the worst seats cost around $125 a piece. I mainly go because my friends invite me. It’s something to do. I justify my contribution to the casino by telling myself that it is still less than I would’ve spent on a night out at a bar or restaurant or if I went away for the weekend. Like most patrons, on particularly bad visits, I try to order enough free drinks to compensate my losses or at least try to.

The phone began to buzz again. I was outbid on another item. Quickly I placed another bid but was out bid again. This is when something sinister began to take over — it was as if I was possessed by a Grinchlike presence that I did not know existed. I bid on the item again and kept bidding though I didn’t  even want the item anymore. I  was bidding on the item again and again with the sole intention of driving up the price for the person who dared to out bid me.

As the night went on, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I was outbid for another set of beads. I glared at my smartphone. I was pissed and in my mind this was war—bidding war. My heart beat faster. I was teetering on the edge of safety. One bid too many and I was stuck with an overpriced piece of junk that I did not even want.  This reminded me of the playing the slots. When I was doing bad, I often said to myself, well, I’ll give it one more try and then bet again. After doing this God knows how many times on God knows how many trips to the casino, I eventually noticed a a pattern- that every time I found my self saying  I’ll give it one more try, the end result was the same: I’d lose.

The next morning I was awoken by a buzzing on the phone. I’d been outbid on a set of crystals, half asleep, I bid on the item again. It wasn’t until I  completely awoke that I’d realized what I’d done- that I’d bid on something in my sleep- thank God I did not win that auction.

I needed to stop bidding in my sleep. I needed to stop bidding on stuff I didn’t really want. I needed Ebay Anonymous.

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Didn’t Whitney Houston Have It All?

A quick note about Whitney Houston

So many people look at Whitney Houston and other rich and famous celebrities like Lindsay Lohan with disdain. How could someone so beautiful and talented throw it all away? They wonder. They are so ungrateful, they say. It is easy to jump on this hate filled bandwagon, as gossip and trashing the lives of those more rich and famous than ourselves seems to be part of the American culture, but step away and look at the big picture. Did Whitney Houston really have it all? Beauty? yes. Talent? Yes. Money? Yes. Health? No.

These women, like many other people in and out of the spotlight are suffering from a debilitating mental illness called addiction. Addiction can rob you of your life for years and still not kill you. People like Lindsay Lohan and Whitney Houston haven’t been themselves for decade(s). From the outside, the fix looks obvious, but from the inside, every waking moment and even the most simple of tasks is like hard labor. For them, what you and I would call life is thought of as the time spent in between getting a fix.

While the unaddicted are whole (think 100%), the addicted are working with a deficit, a void they will spend years trying to fill with all the wrong things and people. People blame Bobby Brown for introducing Whitney into a world of drugs. This isn’t entirely accurate. He may have introduced her to drugs, but the void was already there before he came around. He didn’t make her susceptible, she already was. She was too weak to say no to a drama filled relationship with him in favor of looking out for her own best interest and too weak to say no to drugs as well. But why? Quite simply, it all comes down to self-esteem. Around the time Bobby Brown came into her life, she was already a pretty big deal. Everyone thought the world of her and maybe she didn’t believe it. Maybe she was too humble to accept this adoration, maybe there was a little voice inside of her screaming that she wasn’t perfect like everyone thought she was, and maybe just maybe she decided she needed to prove it. Doing so would certainly take some of the pressure off.  So even without him it is likely that she would’ve found her way to this type of lifestyle eventually.

It is an unfortunate story with a tragic ending but even astronomical scientists have observed that it is often the biggest and brightest of stars that burn out the fastest.

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Filed under Addiction, Destiny, Domestic Violence, Entertainment News

Can’t you just stop?

Bulimia, What Made Me Feel So Much Better?

Those days I didn’t feel alone, I just wanted to be left alone. Something about binging then purging my food calmed me, but why?

Hayley Rose 2006

It was years before I got a better understanding of it all. Between years of doing it and not doing it, the issue began to dwindle. It was during the times my bulimia seemed to be non-existent and then spontaneously seemed to start up again that I gained my best insight. When the binging and purging would return after long periods of normal eating/living, the psychology became clear.

Was I dating someone that was wrong for me? Or hanging out with the wrong people? In a job that made me miserable? It seemed that whenever I was making or living poor choices, I’d find myself in the bathroom vomiting sometimes four or five times a day.

Finally, after more than a decade of living like this, I began to see the pattern. My behavior was similar to the behavior of an alcoholic who turned to drink. Rather than confront my issue I ignored it through the mind-numbing compulsion that is the disease bulimia.

This I did despite knowing how dangerous anorexia or bulimia can be.

It was during the final and worst romantic relationship of my life that I began to see these patterns. Why was I throwing up again? Wasn’t I suppose to be happy that I was with a nice guy for once? Nice is an adjective far from what he truly was. I think even then I knew the truth, but by then it was too late; I was already on my way down a landslide without any footing. The red flags were there and I didn’t want to see them. The longer I stayed, the more I threw up.

At the height of my vomiting, when our relationship finally began to unravel, we got into an argument over it. It disgusted him, I disgusted him, but even that wasn’t what the fight was about. “You could just stop but you don’t want to!” he shouted.

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Suicide Watch

If you have ever had someone you care about attempt or even commit suicide, you know how terrible the ordeal can be. It is worse than a regular death. There is little closure. It is a situation where no one ever truly wins and those left behind spend the rest of their lives trying not to blame themselves for what they did or didn’t do. I have some good friends in the blogosphere who speak extensively about their past suicide attempts and I have a story or two of my own. This is not about me or them.

I have spent a lot of time taking care of sick relatives. Last month I was housesitting for a relative who had to have surgery. I was able to juggle running errands for both her and me, visiting her at the hospital, and still work, however only after a few days of her being in the hospital, things started to snowball. My uncle, from my story, “The Men Who Sleep on Park Benches,” was admitted to the same hospital after he was found in the motel he’s living with slit wrists.

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Are You Hiding Inside an Abusive Relationship? On HuffPost

Sometimes when we don’t trust ourselves, we feel very insecure about stepping out into the world to live life. I know I was afraid to go out and be my own person because of the abuse and rape I experienced at a young age. I feared that I, again, wouldn’t be able to protect myself if put in a compromising situation. As a result, I entered into an abusive relationship and subsequently continued this pattern for years. I was attracted to these types of relationships because, on a subconscious level, the aspect of control imposed limits that made me feel “protected” when everything around me felt very out of control. Alone, I felt vulnerable; like I could become a victim again at any time.

Like a textbook abusive relationship, the imposed limitations ended up including a list of things he didn’t want me to do, people he didn’t want me see, and places he didn’t want me to go. Somewhere in my psyche I knew this and permitted it to happen because I felt more insecure out of the relationship than I did in it. Ironically, I ended up existing in this cocoon for several years instead of navigating the world on my own.

Read the rest of the article after the jump.

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Are You Hiding From Life Inside an Abusive Relationship?

Sometimes when we don’t trust ourselves, we feel very insecure about stepping out into the world to live life. I know I was afraid to go out and be my own person because of the abuse and rape I experienced at a young age. I feared that I, again, wouldn’t be able to protect myself if put in a compromising situation. As a result, I entered into an abusive relationship and subsequently continued this pattern for years. I was attracted to these types of relationships because on a subconscious level the aspect of control imposed limits that made me feel “protected” when everything around me felt very out of control. Alone, I felt vulnerable; like I could become a victim again at any time.

Like a text book abusive relationship, the imposed limitations ended up including a list of things he didn’t want me to do, people he didn’t want me see, and places he didn’t want me to go.  Somewhere in my psyche I knew this and permitted it to happen because I felt more insecure out of the relationship than I did in it. Ironically, I ended up existing in this cocoon for several years instead of navigating the world on my own.

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Filed under Addiction, Dating, Domestic Violence, Growth, Healing, Life Lessons, Love, relationships

“Are You Mad at Me?” On HuffPost

Please check out my new article about the residual effects of domestic violence.

I will never forget the dread I experienced when I was honest about my feelings with my abusive ex-boyfriend. Anything and everything can and will offend an abuser, especially when you disagree with him. What an abuser chooses to get upset about is their choice and is as unpredictable as the weather; something that was benign yesterday can be infuriating today.

Disagreeing with him was never a good idea. After doing so, I remember that sick pang I’d get in my torso as I awaited his imminent reaction. And even when there was no reaction, I found myself wondering and even asking him if he was mad at me. Why? Because that’s what I expected: He usually did get mad at me when I voiced my opinion. Why wouldn’t I worry? Anger was the typical response I got when I was honest with him about my feelings or frustrations. Even with no response, the push and pull of his abusive dynamics prevented me from thinking properly; I was left emotionally “hand shy,” inwardly wincing before each anticipated strike.

You can read the full article here on The Huffington Post

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You Could Be My Silver Springs?

  Silver Springs? Hayley Rose 2011

 

Have you ever been exhausted from dating? I have! At first it felt great- to have so many dates lined up with men that seemed decent, were often cute, and successful too! And even better, they wanted to go out with me! Ah, naivety, it never goes away does it?

What ended up happening during this time in my life was much more bleak than the excitement I just exhibited (surprise, surprise). One lying man-child, two pretentious professionals, a normal guy, and a drug addict. Let’s start with the lying man-child who barely put effort into our dates. On the second date, we met at a sports bar, he showed up as if it was Super Casual Friday wearing track pants a purple T-shirt! Ugh. Then the professionals. We never made it to a second date. The first, a doctor, talked about himself the entire night and barely made eye contact with me. Then when he walked me to my truck, he tried to kiss me! He was extremely pissed when I didn’t let him. Then there was the lawyer, who also happened to be in love with himself but was considerate enough to ask questions about me, occasionally. He abruptly stood up while we were having coffee and cited that he had to get up early the next morning for work. Right. I didn’t feel bad, he was an atheist, I always question their motives. I feel like they are not so much non-believers as they are individuals who are angry at God for something and retaliate by denying his existence. Then there was the normal guy. We still talk, meet for coffee, and go for hikes together. We have become friends and have great conversations about all sorts of things like Native American spirituality and nature. Now for the drug addict, here’s where the story gets interesting.

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I Am a Rape Survivor Part Two: Turning Self-Abuse Into Self-Nurturing

Societies have stigmas. These typically vary from country to country and are based on outliers that differ from what a society deems normal. An unusual physical attribute or a mental or physical disability is sometimes enough to generate harsh judgment and alienation from others.

In Morocco, being a known rape victim is so stigmatized that they are often forced to marry their rapists in order to avoid this label. Through marrying their rapists, victims escape this scarlet letter in favor of a typically short and abusive marriage. These victim-rapist nuptials don’t usually last long, and they usually end in divorce. In Moroccan society, being labeled “divorced” is much more acceptable than being labeled “raped.”

Rape is my scarlet letter, too. Although people cannot tell I’ve been raped through common interactions with me, I used to think they could. As I silently suffered through the aftermath of sexual assault, my friends and family could tell that something was wrong but didn’t know what. Although it always clouded my consciousness, it still took many years for me to speak about what happened. As a result, my healing process began, and I never would have guessed that one day, being raped would brand me as undesirable.

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I Am a Rape Survivor Part Two: My Scarlet Letter and Breaking Addiction

Societies have stigmas. These typically vary from country to country and are based on outliers that differ from what a society deems normal. An unusual physical attribute, a mental or physical disability, is sometimes enough to generate harsh judgment and alienation from others.

In Morocco, being a known “rape victim” is so stigmatized that victims of rape are often forced to marry their rapists in order to avoid this label. Through marrying their rapists, victims escape this scarlet letter, in favor of a typically short and abusive marriage. These victim-rapist nuptials don’t usually last long and end in divorce.  In Moroccan society, being labeled “divorced” is much more acceptable than being labeled “raped.”

Rape is my scarlet letter too. Although people cannot tell I’ve been raped through common interactions with me, I used to think they could. As I silently suffered through the aftermath of sexual assault, my friends and family could tell that something was wrong, but didn’t know what.  Although it always clouded my consciousness, it still took many years for me to speak about what happened. As a result, my healing process began, and I never would’ve guessed that one day being raped would brand me as undesirable.
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