Shake It Off

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Thursday, 29 November 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News

Shake It Off

In the past, whenever I was the target of sarcasm, a hurtful comment, passive-aggressiveness, a rude e-mail, and so forth, my immediate instinct was to react, in kind, based on the anger and frustration I was consumed by.

In retrospect, I now realize that the first prescription pill I consumed was the result of a hurt feeling, frustration, or even angst.

Eventually I started taking prescription pills to deal with anything that came up, or anything that I wanted to avoid, shall I say.

In fact, I remember a time when I consumed no less than 15 Xanax1 tablets a day……if I even anticipated a difficult phone-call I took one.

Rather than address my feelings and feel them, like many alcoholics and addicts, I went to a physician (a psychiatrist) and told him that these feelings (symptoms) were affecting me.

In turn, in an effort to improve my quality of life and mitigate the stress, not to mention psychic pain, he prescribed me pills…..first Xanax2, then Ativan3, Klonopin4, Metoprolol5, and eventually sleeping aids, like Ambien6, and so forth.

Before I knew it, each time I would develop another symptom, the dose would either increase, or I would switch to something different.

Case in point, once I found it too difficult to concentrate or focus he prescribed me Adderall7 or Ritalin8. To make a long story short, that is when the real descent began.

Today, I deal with my feelings differently.

I call a doctor. Instead, I sit with my feelings without reacting. Often I go to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous to deal with a feeling I am having a hard time with. There is nothing like one Alcoholic or Addict talking to another.

Other times, I write about the feeling by way of the fourth step of Alcoholics Anonymous9, just as instructed in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous10. Other times, and more often these days, I pray to God.

If all else fails I SHAKE IT OFF, as I know Heavenly Father, God or Higher Power, as we say in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, will deal with “it”, or “him/or her!” That I know for sure!!

I am a big guy now, and reacting is no longer an option, nor is engaging with “that” person. My sobriety and happiness are far too important.

Besides, as a child of God and member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I choose to act as such, in a civilized fashion.

If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction, please call or text11 us. We can help.

For the opportunity to be featured in an article of recoverynow TV and News, please contact12 DeShawn.

Photo Courtesy of:

1 A drug; Benzodiazapine used to treat anxiety; Alprazolam 2 A drug; Benzodiazapine used to treat anxiety Alprazolam 3 Lorazopam, a drug used to treat anxiety 4 Clonozopam, a drug used to treat anxiety attacks, fear and panic, among others 5 A drug used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain, among others 6 Treats insomnia (trouble sleeping); sedative 7 Amphetamine salts used to treat lack of concentration or lack of focus 8 Methylphenidate used to control difficulty in focusing and sitting still 9 Founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith to treat alcoholism, based on the principle that one alcoholic sharing with another alcoholic provides a daily reprieve from alcoholism. 10 A narrative of how millions of men and women are able to recover from alcoholism 11 1-877-665-5811 12 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-949-313-5246

About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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