International Overdose Awareness Day Events in Connecticut
August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. This day aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.
Below are some events happening in Connecticut in honor of Overdose Awareness Day.
The Art of Hope, Health, and Healing
Screening of “If They Had Known”
Overdose Awareness Month
Overdose Awareness Day Events in CT
August 31st is National Overdose Awareness Day. For a list of events in CT and to add more click here.
To read her blog about her recovery from heroin addiction click here
Spread the word if you know someone who may need help with addiction and recovery. They can find resources here.
How To Clean Your Wounds
Well my friends, tis been a while no? Almost a month actually, wow. I had a girlfriend I had been dating for a little over a year and a half, and we had a very healthy relationship together, she had also been there for me throughout my whole recovery process. She had seen me at my bottom, and watched me climb back up. But unfortunately a few weeks ago she had left for college in Florida and decided she didn’t want to continue our relationship here while she was away, and so I had to take it like a champ lol. When you’re that emotionally involved in a relationship it’s obviously quite difficult to come to terms with a decision your partner might make for decent reasons. In this case, it was purely situational, and I can’t make her stay with me or stay in the area, I needed to let her go because she is starting a new chapter in her life and I’m not at the same point as her yet. SO, the first days were obviously very rough, then it started to get a little better for a week, then a little tough again, but we’re back on track now baby. I decided it would be good for me to maybe hide her snapchat story from my feed and get rid of some pictures of us to help myself in that healing process since they became difficult to revisit. I have always known, and continue to know friends, or peers that take an excessive amount of time to grieve over the loss of a relationship. A divorce is one thing, and taking it on the chin for a few months is completely normal. But when one takes 7 months, 9 months, over a year, to let a past relationship hurt them it begins to become unhealthy and starts to affect character and personality. That was something I was very scared about in the beginning, having the healing process last an eternity, because I know how good I am at feeding into negative emotions, but this time around I decided to do some things differently to help myself. So here are some of those things I plan on sharing in hopes to help the next person in line dealing with a heartbreak.
Take a Break from the Person for a While: I know it’s difficult not to talk to your other half, ask them questions, see what they’re doing, look for closure, etc. But this can become problematic especially if it seems like the other person might be taking the situation better than you are. The best thing to do is maybe hide them from your social media, delete or set aside pictures of them, and try to distract yourself the best you can when you get the urge to talk or text them.
Healthy Distractions: It’s important to utilize and sports or hobby’s you might have in order to use them as “Healthy” distractions to keep your mind running off to bad places, which happens all too often if you don’t stay busy. Distractions you obviously want to avoid are drinking and drugging. Even on an unrelated note, say your friends invite you out to party, or have a few drinks, it’s still not a good idea because your subconscious mind is still vulnerable and has the potential to take you down with your emotions either during or after you get loaded.
Music: Music is a very strong communicator, and has the power to manipulate your emotions. So maybe listening to those songs that remind you of her/him isn’t such a good idea after all, because in the words of the great late Ronny James Dio “They will only bring you DOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOWWWNNNNN”. Love songs, Sad songs, Nostalgic Songs, cross those off the list my friends, try listening to empowering music, feel good music, upbeat music, calm music, even angry music, whatever will scramble and occupy your brain so you’re not left thinking about what was and could’ve been.
Okay that’s all I’ve got for right now, otherwise I’m gonna fall asleep, here’s that Dio song:
Dio – “Don’t Talk To Strangers”
I have been stressed. Not every day, and not all the time. If my stress were a rock, I would be small but very dense and very heavy. Small, rigid, bumpy, sharp, molten lava. Bouncing around in my pocket all the time. Some days it feels so heavy that my hips hurt and my gait is off. Some days I forget it’s there until I bump my leg against something and the rock digs it’s raged corner into my thigh. And then I feel like falling over. But I can’t- and so then I become sad- no, angry. Hot and heavy, scared and tired. My chest gets tight and my breath becomes hot and thick. So that it weighs down my chest, and constricts my lungs. I feel suddenly as though I am drowning.
And then I lose it.
Maybe for a moment, because someone needs something from me. But how dare they need me, don’t they know there is molten lava in my pocket? Of course, they don’t know, it’s too small to see. Although, maybe they notice it ripping a hole in my pants, and they ask me if I’m ok, with a certain sincerity that rips my heart from my chest and makes my knees heavy. And then I just want to cry. And then it becomes an ocean. An ocean with huge waves and I’m stuck in quicksand being pummeled by huge gusts of cold, salty water. And my eyes are red and burning, and I cannot see. My lungs are full of salt and water, so I cannot breathe. My mouth is full of sand and seaweed, so I have no words to say. And I’m too scared to figure out how to move. So like a deer in headlights, I let myself get hit by a car. And I see it coming but cannot move or speak.
I am alone in a crowd.
A crowd of people who feel the same way as me. But its all a big secret, and so together we all feel alone. Then one day I find a word- or all the words. And I find someone to tell. Maybe they are the right person; they give me goggles, so I can see through the waves. And give me a snorkel, so I can breathe. They show me my feet and tell me how to pull myself from the thick, sticky sand. And they cannot stay with me the whole time, but maybe they can sit with me on the shore while I catch my breath. And then the sun can begin to rise, and the mist may clear and life begins to feel ok again.
But it always seems to cycle.
And soon again, I’m drowning. Or maybe not always, but often enough that my knees are bruised and my elbows are scraped from falling again and again. But I feel ok for just long enough to catch my breath. And one day, I hope, I will have my goggles and snorkel with me always- and I won’t need someone to bring it to me. My legs will be strong enough to carry my small, heavy rock. My thigh will be calloused enough so that when my molten lava hits it, I do not fall over. Until then, I feel happy to know there are lifeguards on the shore, and that some days my rock sits quietly in my pocket and I’m able to forget that it’s there.
And there are other things that make me feel strong and steady and very happy.
Like Willow. And I’m not always perfect, and sometimes she throws my rock in my face and I melt into the ground and grow into a monster. And when the rock shrinks back into my pocket I feel so sad and guilty. But I can hug her and say sorry. She always seems to forgive me for being imperfect. And I’m learning how to forgive myself. She seems to feed me a steady stream of light and love, which gives me strength and makes me feel safe and happy.
And I tell myself again and again, “I will be ok, I will be ok”.
Willow Moon, my sun my moon and my stars.
Loneliness and the Stipulation
For a very long while I’ve been making due with –not really “coping with”– loneliness and the irritation, dissociation, and the other patterns it comes with. I’ve separated myself from everyone for the sole reason that I never was acquainted with anyone other than two close friends who gave almost 16 years of their life to me, watching me grow and continue to progress in recovery; from hell and back, really. However, while I don’t want to discredit them, I long for that same closeness to other people. I want to be social. I want to be around other communities.
I know what you’re thinking, “It’s as easy as going out and saying hello to stranger”, but in actuality it’s really not.
I’m heading to school in the fall, and while this should be an opportunity to grow and expand my social grounds, I am so fearful of the worse outcomes my mind comes up with. I guess the question would be: How does one cope with loneliness? The isolation and the feelings of defeat it drags up?
Isolations Belong in the Studio, Not in Our Heads
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is isolating. It is lonely.
But it is not quiet.
It is loud. It screams in both of my ears constantly. It never lets me forget it’s there. Not at 9 in the morning, not at 4 in the afternoon, not at 3 in the morning.
My anxiety disorder has left me stranded in bed. It has left me to fend for myself on my hardest days. My anxiety disorder has singled me out in many situations that I couldn’t handle. I have left many lunches, because I couldn’t finish my meal. I have stopped many rides, because my anxiety went into Fight or Flight mode. I have missed out on concerts, vacations, events, you name it. All because my anxiety told me I would be better off sitting out.
I wish that my brain would give me peace. Just for a few minutes. I wish that it wasn’t such an isolating part of my life.
Holidays are hard. They are a constant reminder that I am no longer the child I once was- that my anxieties have intensified. Even in a crowded room, my brain has this incredibly annoying way of separating me from the rest of the crowd.
One of the puzzle pieces that makes up my anxiety disorder is its empathic ability to drain my energy just by being near others. It is not something I enjoy. I don’t find enjoyment in being exhausted by others. When this happens, it is hard for me to communicate effectively. It is hard for me to walk down the street and meet someone’s eyes. It is hard to be around other people whose energies are so powerful. I am not ignoring you. I am not mad at you. I am just too exhausted to form a conversation.
I am writing today so that maybe you might not feel as lonely, knowing someone in the world is experiencing a high-anxiety day. Just like you. Maybe if conversations about our mental illnesses were accepted and welcomed, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we were taught coping mechanisms from the moment we are born, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we did research to help our loved ones who are struggling, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we learned language to help others who are feeling this way, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we put more energy into loving and respecting those who are different from us, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we worked together to end the stigma, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating.
Uncomfortable, For Now.
**I posted this blog on March 23rd, and accidentally deleted it while editing** Repost**
March 23rd, 2018
I hate where I live.
Yesterday, as a group, we were told that we would be on lockdown. For three weeks. Three weeks trapped in the house, being punished for the actions of the other women I live with. I feel angry, so incredibly angry. And I want to scream and be juvenile; I feel the strong urge to act out, show them how stupid and senseless this is. But I am trying so very hard to resist this urge. I am reminding myself that what is most important, is my daughter, and her wellbeing. I am going to remind myself that she will not realize how unhappy I am unless I show her. But I am struggling.
I live in a shelter, and I am constantly being judged based on the assumption that I have wound up here by some wrong-doing I have committed. In reality, I came here as a result of domestic violence.
I lived in my own apartment, paid my bills, and had a savings account. And then my relationship changed. Or maybe it didn’t really change, maybe I just woke up one day. My awakening happened so gradually that I rejected each sign that I should leave. And when I tried to look at it, it was only for a moment.
Slowly, the savings account disappeared. My belongings were taken or broken. I was convinced that my friends and family were horrible and no good for me. And I was no good, too. I was promiscuous, crazy, a druggie. I flirted with everyone I spoke with. Said too much, was so embarrassing and stupid. Dramatic. I was so lucky to be loved by him and would never be loved by anyone else. I was so hard to love, I wasn’t too likeable. He was special for putting up with me. And sometimes, I was a good mom, I tried my best, even though I was usually still bad. I was good company sometimes. I believed it all, and never questioned it.
He handed me a mask, and I taped it to my face without any thought. At some point, I forgot it was just a mask. Then I realized I was unhappy, and as I realized one thing was off, it all suddenly came slamming down in front of me.
And then something scary happened. It wasn’t the first time. But it pushed me out, I had been looking for a good excuse to leave anyways, but this was a reason to run. And so I did.
I looked back a lot at first. And now, months later, I feel happy. I’m feel proud. I am beginning to feel like myself again. I still see him, talk to him, I still think of him as my friend, sometimes I think maybe I love him. Sometimes I hate him, so much. But things feel weirdly normal, and I am ok.
I cannot wait to leave this place, this dark angry place. This shelter is hard to be at. But I remember that nothing lasts forever.
I remember staying up late at night, crying, laying next my sleeping baby because I felt so trapped. And I wanted to escape, and get out but I didn’t know how and I didn’t even know if I had the right to feel that way. And then, slowly but suddenly, I did. I set my intention, and I left. And I know that nothing lasts forever, and that is especially true for things that are painful and uncomfortable.
Life is not supposed to be good always.
And it is not bad always, and it won’t be. One day soon, Willow and I will wake up in our own bed, in our own home and we will be happy and comfortable and at peace.
(My beautiful Bear a few months ago around Christmas)
Watch Ally Share What She Learned at a Naloxone (Narcan) Training
Watch Blogger Ally share what she learned at a Naloxone (Narcan) training! Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Once Upon A Time, there was a girl. When she was born she was small and soft and surrounded by love and warmth. She had a brother, a mom, and a dad. Very quickly the world began to creep through the stone walls surrounding her. The world was dark, and black, and thick. It oozed through the walls and lay heavily on and around her. It weighed her down and made her sad. Sometimes the world was nice and bright, it shone through the windows of the house and melted some of the black goo away. But the black goo was always there, it would never all melt away. Even still, sometimes when the goo was gone it left thick, dark, painful scars. It hurt her a lot, but made her happy, too. The girls father went away. She was too young to know what it meant to miss someone, so she didn’t. Then another man came to be her dad. He went away too, though. Her mom got sick and sad. Her and her brother built and armor for each other. It was thick and strong, but very dark and heavy. Nobody could get through the armor. That was good sometimes, they thought they were keeping out all the goo of the world. But one day they realized they couldn’t get out, and when they tried to let someone in they had forgotten how to take it off. So their skin grew hard and clung on tightly to the metal around it- soon the armor wasn’t really armor, it was just them. Inside the armor they were very sad, and angry. And underneath that they were scared. And under that, they were small soft babies who needed love and warmth. But the world was mean. It pushed them over and looked away when they reached out and cried. So they learned not to. One day they left the stone walls. They fell into the goo. The girls brother swam out, but she was stuck. Her brother tried to tell her how to swim, but she couldn’t hear him; he tried to throw her a rope, but she couldn’t see him. When she looked around, she couldn’t see how he had swam to safety just to help her. The world grew into a monster and whispered in her ear. It told her he left her, he abandoned her. She was alone. He told her that he wasn’t ugly, but all of them were. All the ugly people, and deep down she was hideous too. So she pushed out the sadness and fear. She nursed her anger and helped it grow big and strong. She climbed on his shoulders and she felt big and strong too. But he sucked the life out of her. He made her smaller and sadder, but from her perch on his shoulder she could not tell. One day she fell. From the hole in the bottom of the goo, she could finally see where she was. And she knew she didn’t want to be there anymore. She started to try to climb out, to reach for people to help pull her out. She kept coming close. But she fell many times. She fell hard, and sometimes it was a very long way until she stopped falling. Sometimes she felt so sad in her hole that she took a very long time to pick herself back up. One day she found out she would have a baby. She was so happy and scared, and very sad because she didn’t want her baby to be born in the goo. She started trying harder and harder to climb out. One day when she was halfway up, the baby was born. She was still in the goo, but she wasn’t stuck. She realized it would take her a very long time to get all the way out, and when she made it, it would still take time to clean the goo off of herself and her baby. But the baby was small and soft and surrounded by love and warmth. And the girl wasn’t a girl anymore, she was a young woman. And the armor didn’t stick to her skin so much, in fact some of it fell of on its own. And one day she realized the goo was lighter some days, and that even from the pit the light could come through. Once Upon A Time There was a warrior. She had a baby who was small and soft and surrounded by love and warmth. And each day together they fought off the goo of the world, and searched for the light. She knew one day they would find their way out together. The End
Me and My mom
Me and my brother, Harry
My mom and me
Harry and me in Montana
Harry, my mom, me
Me and Harry after he graduated Naval Boot Camp (Chicago, IL)
Me, 8 months pregnant- the night of my baby shower
Willow, 1 day old
Me and Willow, first day home
Willow, 1 week old
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help. Learn More »