Author Topic: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*  (Read 11154 times)


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Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« on: December 08, 2006, 09:55:45 PM »
We all have our avenues of escape, some are healthy ones some are not. I think this is a VERY important topic that needs to be discussed here, others have agreed with me.

Some people's choices of escape may bother other people, PLEASE don't take offence, take it personal OR attack anyone for their opening up about their choice of escape. Each and every one of us do what we can to get through each moment, hour, day, week...

If you read a post here about someone's unhealthy choice of escape and want to reach out in support and kindness, send them a private/personal message. If anyone has the guts to share their unhealthy choice of escape, to me that's an indication of needing support because they know deep down what they are doing, isn't good for them.

***Please only post on topic here, rather than responding to another member's post in this thread.


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2006, 10:42:06 PM »
Let me start by saying this isn't easy to share, but it may help someone else, so I will. And in a way, it helps me to confess about it.

I have had MANY unhealthy means of escape ranging from drugs, sex, occasionaly alcohol, seclusion/hibernation, to even running away from home.

Those first two years, I smoked weed a LOT. It kept me calm, numb, and gave me the ability to relax, UNTIL I became addicted and then it had the reverse affect on me. It took me a while to realize this, had to not smoke in order to notice a change... I knew I had become dependant on weed, and hated it, I hated myself for doing it, because weed was involved in my son's murder. Not to mention the illegal factor involved. When buying it, I would be totalllly paranoid about getting busted, what if I did, just thinking of the pain it would cause my family and loved ones, made me feel even more guilty, but I did it anyhow... I was addicted.

After complete financial breakdown, and the need to return to work, I had to quit. Luckily it was fairly easy, however the craving took a long time to subside, months in fact. When I couldn't afford to keep my own stash, I would seek out people I knew that smoked, therefore I would go a few days without smoking, and immidiatly noticed the change in my anxiety levels. After smoking again after not having any for a few days, the anxiety would hit me like a ton of bricks! and that's when I figured it out, and quit for good. 

Sex, I won't get into details about this one, but it was also a very very unhealthy escape for me. To tell some of the things I did here, would be TOO TOO brave! However I have read numerous times that it is a VERY typical choice of escape. In a nutshell, sex was a way to fill a void within myself, or at least I thought it did, but in the end, afterward, it made me feel pretty damn cruddy and as low as low could get. No I wasn't selling my body for money, for those that want to believe the worst of me.

Seclusion/hibernation, is a balance between good and bad I think. One can go overboard in either direction. After sitting at home naked, unbathed, hungry, stinky, and lazy with my phone ringer turned off, for months on end, I told myself "Cherri this isn't good!" I did take the occasional shower when I couldn't stand myself after a few days, but that first year my hygine went WAY down hill! I just didn't give a rat's ass. Some days went by where I ate nothing, then I'd order a pizza and eat the entire thing! or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in a day and a half.

There were many times I also would go see my niece Alyssa. We'd sit and play with her Barbie dolls, draw picures, play hide n seek, read books, what ever her sweet little heart desired. I got lost in her innocence and incredible ability to see right through me and know when I needed a hug or a laugh-just like Chris could always do.

In this last year, several things happened to wake me up and change. I SO needed to balance myself, I needed and craved SOME structure in my life. Going back to work realllly helped with this. It was almost like I was punishing myself... my guilt was immeasurable, off the scales, and I just wanted to shrivell up and die, and felt like few people actually cared if I did. 

Boy this is tough to write about!  :'(

My art has been a huge escape for me as well. Where I could not find adequate words to describe the incredible pain I felt, I found ways to manipulate and contort photos of myself to describe how I felt. I drew thick jagged marks with the violent stroke of a pen or pencil, to release my anger on the paper, tearing holes through it to the underlying pages.

The month after Chris was killed, I returned to college. I took pottery class to balance the tougher classes. We learned to hand build first and this was a true safe and healthy escape for me early on. It was an evening class, so afterward I would stay and work on my piece. Sometimes I'd drag my butt outa there at 3-4 am in the morning. I would be so lost in the clay, just me and it, no thoughts, just pouring my emotions into the molding of it in my hands. My mind would go blank, it was the most wonderful feeling! My final piece for that class was this:

<a href="" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="" width="500" height="375" alt="My Heart" /></a>

If you click on the actuall picture it will take you off the board and to my flickr site where you can read about how I created it, step by step, the raw emotions I felt during each step, and how the entire process so precicely resembled where I was.

Shit, the damn picture won't show up, if your interested just follow the link... otherwise I posted the photo below.

Jumping ahead to current times, my escapes are healthy  :) Through the lense of my camera I get lost. I will spend hours in a graveyard taking pictures of the sunshine showering over the sculptures and headstones, chasing bugs or butterflies on my favorite hiking trail, wandering aimlessly through the city snapping pictures of whatever catches my eye, sitting home and playing with a still life shot like pomegranate seeds on a mirror in my sink, while trying to capture the water drops in motion. Making photo collages for friends, drawing a portrait in colored pencil or watercolor for a Christmas gift, or a graphic illustration to help people learn their way around the new board.

I still go all hermit sometimes, especially now that I work two jobs. When I get home I just want to vedge. In front of the computer on the grief board, or on flickr, working on a new art project, design, or drawing, watching America's Next Top Model, or Boston Legal.

Well I'm out of cigarettes LOL my one last unhealthy escape/habit. Off to 7-11 for smokes and some much needed ice cream! hmmm, that makes 2  :P

« Last Edit: December 08, 2006, 10:53:39 PM by Cherri ~Chris's Mom »


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2006, 06:54:07 AM »
Three calendar months tomorrow, 13 weeks...  At this point I believe almost anything I do should be acceptable. 

I've smoked weed for years, still do...It has always been my choice  'altered state'.  My smoking does not concern me,
financially...I grow a couple of plants a year for personal use, that way I know there is nothing sprayed to give it an added kick.  Pure and simple from the earth.   In Canada, our laws for personal use are (in my mind) good.   I think its a 100$ fine for possessing up to 12 grams.  Harder drugs are not as accepted...and I have always stayed away from them., and will continue to do so.

Rum n Pepsi...I'm drinking tooooooo much lately, I know that...and when I find the strength I will slow it down. 

Sex...ain't getting or giving any!  Went through the self abuse via sex years ago and learned from it...

Hibernation, sleep, phone turned off, don't want to socialize....those things worry me most of all.   I know they keep me from getting into the swing of life again.

Oh and cigarettes...I know it is slowly killing me, twice as fast these past months as I am smoking more.  I have been a smoker since I was ten...addicted before I was born.  It so saddens me that I passed the same addiction along to all three of my children during pregnancy.  Things were so different 25/30 years ago...if I knew then what I know now I'd venture to guess I would have quit....

Joanie -----> Adam's Mom

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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2006, 10:09:26 AM »
I have a few escapes, nothing earthshaking here.  When the going gets really rough I buy a bottle of wine and drink the whole thing then sleep it off.  This was happening too much, so now I limit it to maybe twice a month.  I also do smoke, but an hating it, but I have not been able to stop.  I live near the beach and that's a place where I go to escape and also to feel closer to Adam as we were really into the beach.  So many good memories there.  I prefer it when it's empty or with just a few people there.  I hate it when I see parents there with their kids.  Sometimes I go out and just drive in my car blasting the stereo with the windows up.  It seems to drown out some of my pain.  Hope I don't go deaf doing this.
Nothing really works for me except sleep when I can get it in.  I have terrible insomnia and am up late into the night.  I'd love to be able to fall asleep before midnight for once.

         Adam:  6/21/94 - 12/2/05
  ~~~Forever 11 years young in heaven~~~
                 I miss you, Pal


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2006, 07:49:31 PM »
Cherri,I love your artwork and I wish i could have a outlet like that.Right now i guess the only escape i have is smoking cigarettes.Keren HATED me smoking and for years i had cut down to half a pack a day,but since keren died I'm a two packer,but i really don't care about my health anymore.I wish I could find more escapes,really ,keren's death  is right there with me 24/7   :-[ Love,Louise[keren's mom]


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2006, 10:59:22 PM »
One thing my therapist told me from the very early days was to use my creative side of the brain.  Of course at the time I thought she needed therapy, I certainly wasn't Ms. Creativity.  But have found that actually I am.  My house has reaped the rewards.  For almost every room now has been repainted, new flooring and a new updated look.  I also do things with mosaics and have made picture frames, jewelry boxes.  I have now created a office/craft room for me and hubby (he has always been Mr. Creativity in this house).

Just one of my little ways to escape. 


Valerie (Kyle's Mom)

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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2006, 05:48:19 AM »
My way of escaping is working mainly.  But everyday after I get home from work I have a couple of wine spritzers, not real strong, a xanax at 8:00 and sleep.

The days I'm not working, I tend to stay busy remodeling like Jeanne, and yard work.  The house is sorta clean, but not like it us to be.  Kyle and his girlfriend has always told me I had a compulsive disorder, another way of saying that I was pretty anal with everything I did.  I have changed alot since Kyle died, now having the cleanest house in the world is just not as important. 

I use to smoke years back, and when Kyle was in ICU and after his death I started smoking some, but recently decided it was making me feel worse than I already felt, so quit a few months back. 

I guess the main reason I don't do anything in excess, as far as unhealthy habits is because of my mother.  She passed away 2 months before Kyle in my home in Arkansas, she was depressed for many years, drank heavy, took pain medicine, xanax's, and smoked three packs a day.  She felt her life was over many years ago and just didn't care anymore.  She also was on anti-depressant's.  I have always feared that depression was heriditary, I don't know if it is or not, but she was miserable, and I tried for years to help her, and at one time I did get her in AA, which she stayed sober for 4 years until her mother (my favorite grandmother died) that sorta gave her a reason to start again.  I don't judge anyone for what they do, I lived through so much stuff within my family that I keep trying to go forward the best I can, I do know food has been my comfort and my quick fix, which if you would have known me a few years ago you would have never thought it.  I use to excerise 5 to 6 days a week, two hours a day, play tennis 4 days a week, and walk 18 holes of holf 3  days a week. 
Now I am trying to think about just getting on this damn treadmill that I have and maybe the weight machine that is only gathering dust.  Like my dear friend Judy said, our normal is different now, I hope one day I will wake up and decide to choose a healthier life style, not for me, but for the people that care about me.  With love and understanding,
Valerie (Kyle's Mom)
Valerie R. Patton (Kyle Berry's Mom)

Lori, Alex's Mom

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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2006, 07:51:31 AM »
My son taught me his favorite RPG game, GuildWars last May.  From May to about the end of September, he would come over every day and we would get on our separate computers and play this interactive game together.  My two daughters would give me hell for playing it so much.

I still get on and play as a way to help me wind down, but it's not fun like it used to be.  My son had his own account, so that's what he left to me.  It was a world where he felt accepted and victorious.  And it was a world that he let me into.  I left his first character on his account, and I have made some of my own characters, which all have "Max the Wild" in their names.  This is because Alex was my wild thing - as in the book, "Where the Wild Things Are."  Max is the name of the child in the book.

Funny thing I noticed:  (M)om plus (A)le(x) = Max

So I get on and play my Max characters.  And I take benedryl to sleep cuz I don't want to get addicted to anything.  (lol)


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2006, 08:37:41 AM »
i came from an unhealthy dysfunctional family, so when i had children, i made a decision and choice to be as healthy as i could be for them, emotionally and physically.  i quit smoking when i found out i was pregnant with andrea (she is my first child).  i quit drinking when my children were young, except for maybe a glass of wine with dinner on occasion and have never done any drugs. i spent several years in counseling dealing with my and healing my past.  in my 30's i made a decision to look more deeply into my spiritual (not religious) world and that is what has sustained me since andreas death (she was killed by a drunk driver).   

because she was killed by a drunk driver, we have chosen to be an alcohol free home.  my surviving daughters, who are now 27 and 31 have reaped the benefits.  they are amazing young women and would never dream of using drugs or alcohol.  we grieve openly and together.  they truly are my best friends.  we have survived the unsurvivable and i am very grateful today i made these choices.  although for andrea, as healthy as she was, it did not make a difference.  her life was stolen from her by anothers choices. 

this is the part i struggle with today.  that although i made right choices in my life, it did not protect my daughter from anothers choice to drink and drive. 

this life i now live is all about choices.  i can choose to be destroyed by my daughters death or i can choose to continue to live in a way that honors her and benefits me and my other children AND THE WORLD.  and some days this is a VERY hard choice to make, but in the end, it is the only one i can make. 

today i choose to meditate, journal, pray, spend time with andrea and my angels, and live in as healthy a way as i can.  thank you for reminding me of this today.  love, diane

Paula (Adam's Brokenhearted Mama)

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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2006, 09:36:55 PM »
My choice of escape is to either keep real busy or to totally veg out. I was a real workaholic and now staying home due to Adam's passing makes me want to not go back to the old "normal" since everything is now so abnormal.
My biggest vice is overeating. My son had a chemical addiction and I have a food one. So many times when he was in rehab and fighting his battle I would say that I would fight my battle w/food and work hard like he was doing and I, like him, could never stay with it. "Normal" people lose their appetite when they are sick, depressed, I might for a day or so at the most but I'll go right back and eat more than ever.
I am taking Xanax and pain meds (for my anxiety and osteoarthritis) probably a bit quicker that I would have done prior to Adam's passing.
Another outlet for me is talking w/my friends, they are a good source of love and comfort for me.
I also like to cook and since I am not working I have time to indulge that side of me, so my family is getting a treat to homecooked meals, something that I used to do all the time when I was a stay-at-home Mom or just a part-time worker.
Going to visit Adam every day is something that I feel compelled to do and if I don't I get upset over it, so I rarely missed a day and at times have gone twice a day.

Dottie (Tammie's Mom)

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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2006, 07:32:54 AM »
I tend to isolate myself from everyone and go sit at the cemetery and just be with Tammie. I have a drink on occasion but truthfully I find it makes me more depressed so I don't drink much at all, never really have. I was a heavy smoker for most of my life started at 13. But I quit 21 years ago, Tammie always hated smoking and she never smoked or drank much. Her addiction to pain pills was so out of character for her it was just unbelievable. It proved addiction can happen to anyone. Since Tammie's death I have thought about smoking again but so far have not as I always think about how much Tammie HATED it. I don't use any meds or drugs as what happened to Tammie has truly turned me off for meds. Not to say I couldn't use an antidepressant but I just can't bring myself to do it. As a teenager I tried pot, but never liked the feeling. I like to be in control. Or think that I am. I try each day to just find a reason to go on with my life without my daughter.  Being a Mom was the VERY BEST thing in my life and I miss it all so very much. My PROJECT TAMMIE has helped me get to this point and hope to make a difference for someone else. Tammie would like that.

I have seen what addiction did to my beautiful, intelligent daughter and hope it never happens to anyone else. It is so painful for who are involved. I am a different person today no doubt about that. Most days I just try to take a step toward living which is difficult to do. I do go to counseling and group which I think has helped me some.

This board has been my addiction for the past almost 15 months. But I will never give it up.

Dottie Tammie's Mom


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2006, 08:33:33 AM »
Before Jarek died, I rarely drank, didn't smoke & ran 5 miles everyday. After he died, and my husband of 23 year moved out 6 months later, I started drinking, still didn't smoke & kept running. About 2 years after, I quit drinking, still not smoking & kept running. These days I am engaging in some regretably (sp?) self-destructive behaviors. I drink several glasses of wine every night. I've started smoking (seriously WHO starts smoking after 30 years of NOT smoking!) and my exercise habits are pretty hit and miss...I am working on regaining my self & health, but this time of the year is difficult. I also read. ALOT. It puts me into a fantasy world that helps me escape my own....

Much love to all,


sykeller (Ray's mom)

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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2006, 10:14:21 AM »
I can relate, I have always enjoyed a glass or two of wine.  Since Ray's death, more often than not, I fall asleep with a glass of wine in my hand.  I know it is unhealthy, sleep is difficult, I don't exactly sleep,  my like passing out.  My doctor's have given me various medications, I don't like the way they make me feel.  The nightmares, sleepless nights, or just plain unconcious.  I didn't have sex for two 1/2 years after he died, I was incapable of feeling anything but the tremendous loss.  There was no joy, just cold emptiness.  I was fortunate in that the man I was seeing at the time was very patient.  Allthough I didn't see him for two years, he is now my husband, a compassionate, caring man who does his best to help me function.  He has moved me, and my 14-year old son into his home three hundred miles away and is doing a wonderful job of reaching out to my son, teaching him and inspiring him to do well.  Pretty rare for an over 50-year old overweight woman, who drinks too much, to find someone who is capable of giving that kind of love to someone as 'broken' as I feel.

Sending you hugs, and wishes for comfort and peace,



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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2006, 05:59:49 PM »
i dont think it is an escape exactly, but sometimes i think i try way too hard to get through this.  i used to say jokingly that on my tombstone, it will say "she tried".  it is not a joke anymore.  sometimes, i have to just stop and say okay, enough, just let it all go today and STOP TRYING SO HARD TO SURVIVE THE UNSURVIVABLE.  so then i fall and rest and start all over again.  couldnt do it alone that is for sure!  hugs, diane

p.s. and i must admit i spend wayyyyyyyy too much time on this computer.  it has become my safe place :'(


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Re: Your choice of escape *SUBJECT SPECIFIC THREAD*
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2006, 05:54:06 PM »
To all of you who have written - you all have tremendous courage!!!  It takes a lot to talk about how we escape - HONESTLY.  I am a recovering alcoholic, and an ex-smoker.  When Christian died, thankfully, I did not return to either one of those vices.  Very few people know that I have cut myself on several occasions since his death and also gotten three tattoos.  The cutting is very unhealthy and I have chosen not to do this anymore.  Qyite honestly, it is difficult because at times it is a relief to cut yourself, to feel that you are alive and not just emotionless.  But it has scared a couple of people who love me and I now talk to one of them about it rather than do it. 

I am also a lifelong eating disordered person.  I either eat too much, or don't eat or at times I am bulemic.  This is also not healthy.  I lost 50 opounds after Christian died.  Honestly - I just wasn't hungry and maybe I thought that it was the only thing I had control of.  I have gained 30 pounds back of course,  :'(.  Part of the whole problem.  It is a constant struggle and I wish it was easier.  I still can't really come up with positive healthy ways to cope yet, except contnue to work and focus on my other two boys.