I couldn’t stay sober.
No matter what I did, how many meetings I attended or how many times I called my sponsor – I couldn’t stay away from alcohol.
I thought something was wrong with me. I completely believed in Alcoholics Anonymous, seen so many friends in the program staying sober, but I couldn’t.
When I hit my rock bottom for the 3rd time, I knew I could not go on living the way I was living. I had lost my family, my house and my dignity. I was afraid I would kill myself if I didn’t get help – fast. I opened up to a friend who thankfully took me to the hospital where I was admitted.
After many tests and ongoing talks with doctors, counselors and psychiatrists, I was diagnosed as having a ‘dual diagnosis’.
This meant I had something in addition to my alcoholism, and that was manic bipolar disorder. Apparently I had been suffering with bipolar disorder and addiction most of my adult life. Yes, I was depressed but I didn’t know any different and I believed that was just the way life was. I was so wrong.
My diagnosis scared me more than anything. It meant there was another thing wrong with me. Not only was I alcoholic, now I had a mental illness.
I knew nothing about bipolar disorder and thought if medicated, I would be zombie-like or put in a hospital for good. I had to seriously learn more about bipolar disorder and addiction, and so my crash course with the hospital staff began. We agreed on a treatment plan that I gradually became excited about. If being treated for bipolar disorder was going to help me stay sober, I was all for it.
The treatment I received for my bipolar disorder and addiction was a combination of both Western medicines and holistic treatments.
Along with medication, I participated in therapies such as group and family counseling, nutrition, meditation, acupuncture and trauma therapy. This combined with my AA group and ongoing individual counseling has kept me sober for 7 years, 3 months and 10 days – and I am happier than I have ever been
Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and addiction doesn’t mean your life is over – treating it means it’s just beginning. If you’ve been struggling with depression and addiction, you’re not alone. Reach out for help because life can be all it’s supposed to be. There are many programs that specialize in treating dual diagnosis.
If you or a loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction, please contact us at (888) 989-9690. Our experienced and trained staff can help get you on the road to recovery.