The Reality of Concurrent Disorders

The Reality of Concurrent Disorders

Hello & welcome to my totally unscheduled blog post!

I’ve debated sharing this information with not just my readers, but my friends and family who follow my blog. However, in my opinion, sharing the information and spreading the message far outweighs any negative impacts this may have. So, here we go.

I’ve spoken about concurrent disorders before – a concurrent disorder is when someone struggles from both mental health issues and substance abuse issues simultaneously. As most of you already know, I not only have bipolar disorder and anxiety, but I am also an alcoholic.

Now you may be asking, if we already knew this about you, why are you so nervous to share about it? Well, alcoholism is something I am extremely ashamed of. It is not something that I take lightly and I’ve been a not so great person in the past because of my alcoholism. But recent developments have made me decide I needed to make a post about this, and spread the word on the dangers of being an alcoholic. Here’s my story:

In March 2019, when I was on a trip with my husband to Toronto, I started spontaneously vomiting. Waves of nausea would hit me, and I would throw up almost immediately. Now, projectile vomiting is not something I was used to, so I knew something was wrong. This continued my whole trip, and when I returned home. I saw my family doctor who assumed, because of my alcoholism, I was experiencing alcohol induced gastritis (essentially my stomach was swelling and red and irritated). I decided I needed to try and get sober, for real this time. After some ups ad downs, and dealing with these stomach issues almost daily, I decided in August 2019 I would no longer drink excessively. I had been “sober” (still having an occasional glass of wine) starting August 22.

Fast forward to February 2020 – my relapse. I was hanging out with friends and I genuinely forgot for a minute that I was an alcoholic. I over drank and have been paying for it since. Time to see the doctor again. My doctor decided to do a blood panel in January (for other reasons) and unfortunately, the results were abnormal. So, I was ordered some more specific testing to recheck some values and hopefully see what was going on. Well, this week, I got a call saying my results were in, and my doctor needed me to come in and see him.

The results of my blood work were consistent with liver damage.

I am a 27 year old woman, who has drank so excessively that I am already damaging my body.

While my doctor suspects it is reversible and likely just alcoholic fatty liver (as my values have gone down since my Jan blood work vs. my March blood work), it was still a very scary reality check. You never think you’ll be the one these things happen to. And being only 27, I figured there was no way I would be even close to liver damage yet. I was extremely wrong. I  now have to get my liver enzymes checked every 3 months, and potentially get an ultrasound to get to cirrhosis.

So, why am I telling you all this story that is my unfortunate reality?

I am hoping by sharing my experiences, I can persuade others to truly think about how damaging alcohol is. While not everyone is an alcoholic and plenty of people drink in health moderation, not everyone is so lucky. In 2018, Stats Canada recorded that of people between the ages of 18 and 34 in Canada, 28.7% were heavy drinkers. That is a pretty terrifying statistic in my opinion. More than 1 out of 4 people has an issue with alcohol consumption.

Alcohol is literal poison to your body, and I think I realize that now more than ever. PLEASE consider what you’re putting into your body and how it can affect you. And if you are an alcoholic like me, please seek help and get sober, before it’s too late. Being young does NOT exempt you from the health issues that occur from excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol is not worth losing your life folks, no matter how dark times may get.

  • Cierra

One Reply to “The Reality of Concurrent Disorders”

  1. Thank you for your share. It took me awhile to embrace that I was an alcoholic. Sobriety is now a part of me. I was fortunate to be accepting of my bipolarism. I wish you well on your continued journey:)

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