Hi, my name is Beckie and it’s my pleasure to start my blog. I am hopeful that this becomes a part of my on going journey. A journey in which, for me..began 40+ years ago. My journey of alcohol addiction & mental illness. In this five-part opening, I want you to learn a little about myself. Each week, I will elaborate on said five parts, as well as offer as a place for individuals to sound off.
For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be an author. This began on Christmas morning 1975, age 9. I was given my first diary with a lock & key. My little world with wonderful secrets’ that deserved to be locked up. “Wow, so cool”. Over time, I just bought notebooks and hid such secrets under my mattress, or random places that no one would ever find. After years of notebooks, I advanced to gorgeous journals, because I thought I deserved to have such beautiful binders to conceal all that I was writing.
I enjoyed writing poetry, and short stories. But, for the most part I wrote about my childhood as well as my adolescence. Basically, nonsense. Or, so I thought. By the time I was in high school, my journaling became a place in which I wish I had a lock & key. It was at this time, I was writing about things that were secrets. Dating of course, but family dysfunction, alcoholism, and a family “Secret” as well.
After I met & married my husband in 1990, I didn’t quite keep up the constant writing habit in which I kept for many years. Naturally, I started living a “New Chapter” in my life. One of which that I did not feel necessary to put into words. However, looking back. I should have documented all the happenings from the time my first bout with anxiety began, as well as depression. Back then, I didn’t quite see it as serious really. I was young and partied with husband & friends.Occasionally I would smoke weed while drinking rum & cokes and other mixed drinks… I wrote it off as being .. “stupid” and paying for it the next morning. This nervous frame of being. Heart racing, sweating, and vision impaired. Again, I just wrote it off as being hung over. I had no idea that there might be an underlying health issue. No one in my family ever told me of any underlying issue. However, I was old enough to know that alcoholism ran in my family on both sides. Years went on doing the same stuff, and I dealt with the weird feelings. Fathers Day 1995, my husband Dave and I found out we were pregnant. We tried the natural way for months to get pregnant.. that by the time we found out..we were both elated & scared all at once. The reality of becoming parents sort of rocked my husband’s nerves more so than myself. Arguing soon became more frequent, as well as anxiety kicking into high gear. It was by the end of my fourth month of being pregnant, we were on our way home from visiting friends in Virginia. We were involved in a hit & run accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. All it took was one day later to find out that I had miscarried. I was devastated. Dave hid his emotions from me so well, that it was until 2001 did I learn he too was messed up from our loss. Soon, and I mean real soon, I was back to smoking weed, and drinking even more so than before I was pregnant. Time went by, and by 1996 , I had experienced my first full blown anxiety & panic attack. I was then prescribed Xanax. I gave up smoking weed because it made me paranoid. Naturally, I never lead on to doctors that I was drinking wine and taking the Xanax. I kept that little secret to myself. I just thought to myself, that this was such a good way to take the edge off. The summer of 2001 was pretty tense. My husband of 11 years and I were arguing more. By the time 9/11 came my mood swings, as well as anxiety took on a whole new demeanor. October 2001, my marriage had dissolved. He couldn’t live with me insulting him, and picking a fight every chance I had. He looked for someone to comfort him, where as I beat him down with my venomous words. We were divorced by April 2002.
In April 2004, I moved back to New Jersey after residing in New York, on Long Island. As my family & friends all said. “Its a Do Over”. I was given the chance to start a “New Chapter” in my life.. (Notice a trend here.. Another New Chapter in my life). By that June, I got a new job working for an import fine wine company. Can you imagine the train wreck before its about to happen? “Oh yes”. Damn, I could. Yet, I would never admit to the harsh reality of how bad it was going to actually get. The fine wine establishment always gave the employees free bottles of wine and wine that were discounted. I was bringing this to all my family members, as well as bringing it home. I was a full blown alcoholic that became great at hiding it even from myself. My alcohol consumption increased dramatically following the death of my now exhusband. He was killed on his job site by electrocution. My divorce didn’t hurt as much as his death did to me. He was only 37 years of age. I couldn’t fathom the loss of his life at all. He died on June 8th, and his funeral was on the 10th.,my birthday. A majority of my family couldn’t understand why I was so depressed.”Why”. Let’s see now. I shared a good part of my life with this man. Although we had divorced, I still loved him. That was neither here nor there. I was constantly pushed to move forward. Told “Get over it”. The Very harsh reality of it, but yes. I did have to push forward.
The end of December 2006, I was hired to work where my mother worked. A boat company. The money that was offered certainly made me jumped ship at the wine company. no pun intended. I started work there as the accounts payable representative. I had no idea how slow the business was, and how boring it would be. Which lead to our hours being cut. Which in turn..made that nice incentive of good pay decrease. It was the following December 2007 that I took my brother in to live with me, because of the legal problems he had gotten himself into. He too was an alcoholic but drank while driving & losing his job and residence. This meant me hiding my wine in my bedroom closet. Having him there increased my anxiety.. because now I had to act like the good sister and be the example. This is also a time in which I actually listened to my family & friends and went on line to start dating. I went out on dates here and there, but nothing real serious until the Summer of 2008. I met someone that I felt compatible with. He was older by 4 years, recently divorced, and had three daughters in total. One of which from his second failed marriage he was very close to. She had moved to North Carolina with her mother. That Summer was full of fun. For the first time in years, I was having fun & smiling. Towards the end of that Summer, we broke up, though. Basically, for the same reasons I had gotten a divorce. A bad drunk. I also couldn’t have my brother living with me anymore. He made me a nervous wreck with his drinking and sneaking in/out of my apartment. Plus, I was spending my money on wine then rent. Plus trying to keep food in the fridge for him etc.. Just another bad situation yet again. After my brother moved in with my mother & stepfather, things actually turned for the worse.
From August 2009 to August 2015 I was living with the boyfriend that I had been dating that summer in 2008 boyfriend. I had been clean & sober up until 2011. Plus we had become engaged. I was happy so I thought, but still had bouts of high anxiety. I had highs & lows with my moods as well. As most alcoholics know.. You can not have one drink. My drinking and panic attacks were intense. I was employed up until May 2014, when my company had closed. Perfect timing, a recession. The depression was getting worse. I had applied for jobs daily, but nothing was coming about. It wasn’t until The day after Christmas 2014, my engagement was over. He wanted me out but gave me a second chance. I was burning my bridges and becoming more depressed. The first week of the New Year 2015, I landed a job. Yet, my depression & alcoholism was at its peak. I was now thinking suicide. Between March 2015 through to August 2015, I had plotted & planned and attempted on occasions to kill myself. I couldn’t stop crying, could hold a job and now was told by ex-fiance. “I don’t care if your homeless, I want you out!!!”. It was one month prior, July 2015 I learned of a family “Secret” that explained quite a bit about the on going behavioral issues I had gone through. However, by this point. It was too late. I was hospitalized in a Psychiatric ward. I learned quite a lot about myself and family history ie..”Secret”, and had to face a whole “New Chapter”.
My name is Beckie. I am currently living in a temporary housing facility, more or less homeless. I have learned so much about Anxiety & Panic Disorders as well as Bipolar 2, PTSD, and addiction. I have met many people thus far on this journey of mine that has been through similar paths. I have been to, and currently still go to a Somerset, NJ mental health facility for therapy as well a psychiatrist. This, by all means, does not give me the professional aspect in writing this blog. I am not a clinician. I am just one woman who has a story with many chapters. I am not special by any stretch. I never imagined becoming an author to my biography. However.. This is my “New Chapter”. A chapter in which I would like to involve others with mental illness to have a sounding board. Good, bad or indifferent. Everyone has a story with their own chapters.
When I entered my “New Chapter”, I knew in my heart that I wanted to help another. I’m not looking for notoriety. I just hope that with this blog, we can all help one another by sound boarding. By ways of assisting each other, and sharing helpful information via each other, and websites as well as numbers to contact different affiliates.
No one deserves to suffer. Your feelings and story are validated here. If You feel that no one understands what you’re going through, or ignores what you’re going through, please feel free to soundboard here. There are people out there to help.