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Not one leg to stand on!


I am diagnosed bipolar, have struggled with substance misuse and found my way through these difficulties without using the traditional approaches that our society “approves” of.  I am not a member of AA or NA, I do not regularly go to church, I am not on psychiatric medication  and I just went through one of the most difficult life struggles a person can have.

I was run over in a hit and run 3 years ago and just 2 months ago I amputated my leg.  I did it mostly to get out of the horrific pain I was in.  I wanted to be able to enjoy the world again.  I wanted to be able to travel, to run, to exist without terrible pain.  To those of you with chronic pain …..God Damn, I sympathize.  The world treats us so bad.  They treats us as if we are drug seeking fools who are totally out of control.

So, I have been struggling.  I means struggling.   Just to get up and get moving is a struggle some days.  I love my partner, he is wonderful to me, but before I had my amputation I worried that he would not be attracted to me anymore.  I worried that I would never be attractive to anyone anymore.  I have never had a very good self esteem but now…..Damn, its hard to look in the mirror.  He and I are fighting because I am convinced that he does not find me attractive, that he does not want me.  He says he is just going through a period of reduced sex drive……I think he is too good of a man to leave me.  Am I creating what I fear the most?  Am I driving him away?  This is one of the main struggles with having a mental illness, it is difficult to trust your intuition….

I am getting up every day and going through the motions.  Continuing my harm reduction work.  Passion for the work I do has kept me going for the most part, but it is easy to get burnt out helping others….especially the work I do!

I think one of my biggest challenges and one of the most devastating effects of the drug war and criminalization of drugs is the damage it does to our inner most self.  I have a master’s degree.  I run the NC chapter of USU and I do important work in the community, but it is never enough to feel like I am a success.  I don’t get paid shit and that does not help.  This world shows you your value through a pay check and according to mine….well, you can just toss me out with the trash!

I have always had disabilities that you could not see, now I have a disability that is noticeable to the world.  I don’t know what that means yet…but I am sure I will find out.

What is success?  What is beauty?  What is it I’m looking for?  …  I’m not sure about any of this but what I am sure of is that I could use a little help from the world. A look out from the universe.  Some understanding.    Life is hard.   No body told me it would not be!

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