I Got worms

Over the last year i have been so desperate to figure out what has been causing my depression issue that i have looked into a number of unusual suspects. In an effort here to not only inform, but perhaps, entertain or possibly horrify you, i give you the following:


That’s right. I knew i had once heard about this in nursing school but could not remember which ones caused depression. In fact worms can cause a whole host of things , depending on the type. Now, i am no expert in the field of wormology (that’s hillbilly for helminthologist), but here is a compiled list of my findings.

  1. C. elegans- this little baby can live in our body and can cause depression due to it’s behavior related to ultraviolet light. Ironically it has also been studied related to nicotine use as it behaves like a mammal when exposed to it. Additionally, it may affect sleep, aging, the development of Altzheimers.. and get this: they survived the space shuttle Columbia disaster of 2003 and its descendants have been launched into space for more research. You can read about it on Wikipedia and a few other online resources.

These are indeed, fascinating little fellows.

2.toxoplasma gondii- this one can pose a suicide risk! if you test positive for this one , you are 7 times more likely to attempt suicide.. imagine that. We mostly hear about this one related to cat litter as it can live in the feces.But it can also be transferred to humans via contaminated food, water or eating undercooked meats.

3. pinworms- “Pinworms lay their eggs in the anal area, causing tickling and itching, which are most bothersome at night. The lack of sleep from this type of infestation can cause crankiness or bad behavior during the day. When asleep, nightmares may be present. This problem is mostly found in very young children preschool to kindergarten because of primitive toileting skills, they tend to put their fingers in their mouths, and they participate in a lot of hands-on activities with other kids and with pets. Roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are other examples that can make a child display ADHD like symptoms. Worms cause hyperactive behavior, learning problems, depression, or attention deficits by making children miserable on the inside…” random online article..apologies- i forgot to save the source.

4. lamblia, hookworms, tapeworms, trichinella, and dientamoeba fragilis are other common parasites. You can read about the symptoms here or look up each one individually . They are a hypochondriac’s wet dream.


5. Just knowing or believing that ones body is infested with a parasite is probably enough to cause anxiety and depression. The resulting symptoms certainly contribute to that. In effect, at least i have learned a great deal about these worms in the process and find them fascinating. But i won’t be inviting them to live with me any time soon.

Earthworms are looking a lot cuter these days..

P.s. i decided not to include pictures. You’re welcome.


Mind Blown

One of the things i have done for a very long time is listen to CD books on my commute to and from work. I get them from the library( free) and it makes for a much better use of my time than griping about traffic.

Recently i finished one called “Triggers” , which is mainly oriented to job situations but has a decent amount of material regarding other areas of life.The one term that really lit up my neurons was something i had never heard of called “Ego Depletion”.

Basically refers to the idea that  “self control/willpower  draws upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up”( wikipedia). Wow. I didn’t even know there was a term for this. Beyond hearing it in the book reference , i decided to research it independently( just in case the author made it up…cause you never know..lol). Turns out it is a very real, and very common state, although many are not aware of it. This is usually because we believe we are doing all the right things -so how could it possibly go wrong?

AND –it doesn’t just pertain to self control over a substance or any one bad habit. Hell, it doesn’t even just apply to recovery. It can relate to many times and situations in our lives- divorce, loss of career, homeschooling, mid life crisis…the list is endless. But for me at this time , recovery is the main issue.

See, what a lot of us do when we begin recovery in earnest is set about replacing the bad habit(s) with better ones. A good idea in theory. We start doing yoga, try to eat healthier, give up caffeine, try to quit smoking, begin meditating…all kinds of things that require self control and will power. I am a poster child for tis behavior. At first it seems wonderful because we are hopping off & on many pink clouds of success and start to believe we have a handle on it all. But here’s the caveat:

As a result of the constant discipline, restraint and pulling out all the stops in order to gain some control in our lives can actually get to a point of this “ego depletion” state. I KNEW there had to be an explanation for what i had/have been going through. It is this state in which we can simply give up or give in out of sheer mental and emotional exhaustion. For alcoholics, it can be a prime cause of slips and relapses.Something to consider, and consider i shall.

Here is one link that explains it pretty well, but there is much info online if you look into it:


Hope everyone is doing well and keeping in balance.


Focus on Success, not Failure

It’s been longer than usual since i’ve made a post.Mainly because i have been continuing to work on myself in various ways and don’t want to jump the gun with anything. Everything this year is “baby steps”, with 3 steps forward and one back.

But since i have committed to accountability while keeping things on the positive side I decided to post my progress, rather than focusing on any lack thereof. I have been addressing several things this year and while not experiencing miracles, i have accomplished some things.

It hasn’t been perfect but-

i have been AF for 75 of the 78 days since restarting my recovery, and i am doing better than i thought i would in that regard.

I have successfully weaned myself off of regular coffee, and am slowly beginning the switch from decaf to tea. It’s taken many weeks and today was my first caffeine free day. There was a pretty noticeable decrease in my anxiety , even though i had been at only 1/2 a cup a day for a week or so.

I have been able to keep my cigarette consumption to an average of 6 per day which is WAY less than i had been at for very long time:)I have cut the gum down to only 3 pieces per day as well.No patches either so all-in-all a big decrease in nicotine.

i have been getting to the gym 3 times a week for a month now and also been walking out doors, doing yoga and meditating regularly. Huge increase in activity!

Additionally, i have added some vitamins and supplements to my daily intake to experiment with which ones i feel will actually help, if any. St. Johns Wort was started today. I try my best to get as much light in my day as possible.

I am keeping track of my food intake as well as sleep hours in addition to the above so hopefully with having the record i can track down the culprits for various issues.At some point when i feel more confident, i will write a bit more. But for now, this is my story.


Do We Really Understand the Causes?

Sometimes i wonder if there is actually any understanding in the AA community or other organizations regarding why people either start to drink( use drugs, over eat, etc) or cannot seem to shake the habit. I am not talking about encouragement or cliches like “get back on the horse if you fail”, etc. That is support and greatly needed of course.

More so i m talking about life crisis and ongoing situations that inflict a person at some point in time that create the conditions leading to substance abuse, or any addiction for that matter.

For instance, in thinking about some of the alcoholics i have known over the years. A good amount were pretty much just using excuses , such as normal daily stress, peer pressure or a bad job to justify not changing or trying to change.Things that can be overcome with a few tough choices and discipline- time management and self care, staying away from the toxic peers, or working towards finding a better job.There are surely some obstacles , but not impossible hurdles.

But there are some i’ve known that i absolutely feel turned to alcohol, poor eating habits, smoking tobacco, using recreational drugs, etc. due to unforeseeable or chronic situations that they may have little or no control over OR that the hurdle is so large that it is almost impossible for a normal human to overcome.

One such situation that comes to mind is a man i knew who lost all of his family in a car accident, which at the same time left him crippled and in a wheel chair for the rest of his days. He had no extended family ( being an orphan himself) and the family had been living in a very remote area of the mountains for many years prior to the accident.Afterwards, the only people he saw regularly were caretakers who only came to check on his medical situation once a week. Due to resulting financial issues, he only had a cell phone, not a smart phone. In his area, there was no internet or cable available. He could not drive and had no transportation other than a community van that came to take him to appointments and grocery shopping once per month. He had very little income.He was alone, isolated and in severe physical pain. While he had not been a drinker most of his life, the situation created an un-fillable hole in his life. He was not fortunate enough to be able to overcome the loneliness and pain, and after a few years succumbed to alcoholism, dying alone and not being found for several days until a caretaker came for a visit. He was 50.I barely knew him and he lived a few hours away, or possibly i would have tried to help.That being said i doubt anything i could have done would have changed much.

Another close friend of mine made some bad choices early on in life due to growing up in a strict religious environment that gave no quarter to any family member or associates who struggled with coming to terms with her sexuality or alternate spiritual path ( a very catholic family, not accepting her choice to follow a buddhist path or her bisexuality). When she came of age she moved far away and without any financial means, fell in with some shady characters who started her on a path of addiction. Many times, even after returning home , she signed herself into rehabs and went to AA, etc. They never stuck.Ongoing health problems ensued – a failed gastric bypass which kept her in a wheel chair for years and placed her back in the family home which did not allow friends to visit unless they were from the church.An extreme weight gain from stress eating that made her almost immobile and caused even more chronic issues. Then there were financial problems resulting from said health issues. Over time she was able to leave the family home again but without stable income, resorted to living in one place after another , by the good graces of friends, but each was temporary.She had a car but no money for insurance or repairs. In the end ,she had been unable to stop drinking and was staying in a house with a friends family. She passed away in her sleep. She was not found for several days. She was barely in her 30’s.It was assumed she died from alcohol directly, but it was later found that she died from pneumonia for which she had no medical coverage or care.

Yet another woman i know who was a nurses aid was single and had a medically challenged daughter and lived with a mother with severe dementia. She worked 12 hr shifts just to make ends meet. The stress levels of the job , the hours, and the family situation were almost unbearable. Eventually she became addicted to prescription meds to work the long shifts, and also for pain, anxiety and depression. When new laws came into effect, she was prevented from access to most of these legal medications with little to no support. She turned to street drugs because they were easier to access and more affordable. She lost her home, her mother passed away from a fall that happened while the daughter was working, and the child was soon placed in foster care.This woman wound up homeless and within a year was found dead under a bridge with other local homeless people. She was 42.

There are many examples like this. And i believe sometimes we sit in judgement and make statements that these poor souls “should have done something about it” or “could have done something more”. But i feel very differently. I believe there are just some ongoing, chronic situations that make their choices not ideal, but understandable.Other examples include disabled vets, the terminally ill, homeless elderly folk without family, and those living in such awful conditions that the only relief they seem to have is their vice, whenever and however they can get it. I feel such pain for them, sometimes i cry.

I pray frequently for these victims of life..i empathize with their hopelessness. I do not judge or give advice that is impossible for them to take. And i hope that others feel similarly and are understanding. Sometimes they simply cannot help themselves despite desperately wanting to be free of the addictions, even with many efforts and attempts to do so.

Pray hard, Pray often. And pray it never happens to you.