When Recovery Requires Therapy

BY: Marc McMahon

I met with my new Psychiatrist last week for the first time and I was pleasantly impressed with my new Dr. He was thorough, professional, and although a tad bit on the arrogant side did keep the conversation open to include my thoughts on what he thought about my thoughts. He also informed me at the beginning of our appointment that he would take into consideration past diagnosis but that his goal here was to formulate his own. Whether concurring with all my past Dr. or coming up with his own for me.

He was also very candid about the fact that what we may find may not be mental illness at all but a drug-induced mood disorder caused by my years of habitual drug use. I have heard that one before many times and apparently, it mimics mental illness almost to a “T” and gets treated with similar medications as well. So I went into this ninety-minute appointment with an open mind ready to accept whatever reasonable sounding diagnosis that he came up with.

That is a huge stride for me considering this Dr. is a “Man” and I generaly won’t even talk with a male shrink, counselor, or therapist, I don’t trust them nothing personal guys I love you all too. This is simply my problem that stems from wayyyyyyy back :)! It is so weird saying that because 2 of the 3 most influential people in my lives were men but one was a Grandpa and the other my High-School football coach so for some reason that was different.

The Verdict Is In

What were his final thoughts at the end of our visit? Well, he as every other Dr. has over the years agreed that I most definitely suffer from Rapid Cycling Bi-Polar Disorder, periods of prolonged Major Depression, and Social Anxiety. The last two I think fit into the Bi-Polar diagnosis so I’m not sure it is as interesting as it sounds but then again based on some of the stuff I write here one may beg to differ.


The Dr. sent me away with a prescription for just one medication to try to start which is Abilify and its only been a few days but I noticed yesterday I think my smile is starting to come back like it was. You know the one that gets permanently tattooed across your face because your so damn happy that you don’t even realize you walk around smiling all of the time until someone points it out. That one, not here yet but I am hoping that the reason for this sudden improvement is the added medication, since that and therapy have been the only two changes..

I am hoping that this go around one new medication at a relatively low dose will give me the results I need to at least be able to sleep if nothing else. Just by solving that dilemma I think a lot of the rest of the issues subside to be honest with you. I think that my insomnia over this past seven months which has only allowed me to sleep no more than 2.5 hours at one time. Finally, put my body in a state of exhaustion from getting no rest, both mentally and physically exhausted I think.

All of that coupled with this being my first real year in sobriety without treatment or a sheltered living environment. With the additional effort I have put into my writing over the past year as well and I think the end product a year later is me completely wore out. I think anyway, makes sense to me. I mean for sure I have the Mental Health diagnosis I listed above but my point is. I think those circumstances are what may have brought this all on. It is different for me because my Bi-polar is usually on the high end of the spectrum, not the low depressed end. My natural love of life coupled with the added energy of mania and look out for some fun.

Whats Next?

I think just more of the same. Taking a little bit of time to simply focus on me, and a lot of self-care because you know one very important lesson I have learned through this. I need that, we all need that. I find great pleasure in making others smile and always say that is what makes me happiest but you know what? It is ok for us to smile too. It is more than ok I am learning, it is necessary, needed, and a vital ingredient to a long, happy life.


I used to take care of myself by getting high. I used to spoil myself by getting a nicer hotel room and a finding a cuter girl. By always keeping my dealer paid up so I had credit to get high when I wanted so I didn’t have to steal your stuff and sell it to get loaded. That was how I used to spoil myself. It is so different, so twisted and delusional the thinking. When I think back on my past now and the person I once was you all it has gotten to the point it makes me want to vomit. I don’t exaggerate that in the least either.

If I spend just a couple minutes revisiting my past, it makes me shake my head in disgust for who I once was causing my stomach to want to puke because I was such a mess. I was so lost, how I was even able to think to get clean this time is an act of God in and of itself, I was a lost soul you all and there are many who would gladly concur.

These are new beginnings my friends. As long as we are willing to roll with the punches, grow with the changes in us, and keep as positive an outlook towards our future as we possibly can every day. Then all will be well. Short of Trump and North Korea playing Russian Roulette with the Nuclear button over the next few days I will see you all next week. Much, much love my friends!

About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”my-full-pic-2017_02_08-08_58_09-utc1.jpg


4 thoughts on “When Recovery Requires Therapy

  1. Yup this is me. I’m in Trama therapy and see a nutritionist to help with food issues. I had always hoped that the majority of my issues would fade with time sober. Now I’m doing some really hard work. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Substance induced mood disorder is a real thing so I am glad your psychiatrist was able to entertain that idea. Hopefully, over time, with additional therapy, meetings (if you do that kind of thing) and some kind of spiritual development, you will only need, if any, minimal medications. I have treated many people over the years (I am not a psychiatrist but licensed to recommend medications to doctors I work with) and have witnessed the power of a comprehensive approach to recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. It takes TIME (Things I Must Earn) along with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to endure the uncomfortable times. Once we make it through, clean, we can get used to some up and down feelings and not need medication to stabilize the mood. Don’t get me wrong, some people will always have a chemical imbalance that is improved with meds. But changing the brain chemistry can be done with living life on life’s terms as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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