How did depression and addiction become such taboo?

I received a lot of comments, notes, emails, and Facebook posts about my personal fight with depression and addiction. Unfortunately my clinical depression and crippling anxiety has caused me to want to stay hidden about these types of issues.

After receiving the response I did yesterday, it made me think. How did these things become such taboo in our society to talk about? A lot of people experience the same thing but no one feels safe about talking about it.

Everyone reading this (And especially if you’re from Massachusetts) probably knows someone who has been affected by addiction. I can also guarantee anyone reading this either is, or has someone close to them affected by depression. So many people are affected. The taboo needs to be broken.

Personally I have tried talking about my issues with addiction to my close friends and family, and most of them understand it’s a disease and not a choice. I know this personally as there have been times in the past when in my head I didn’t want to use, but 3 hours later found myself buying a bag of dope or pills. I didn’t to, there is just something about addiction that causes your brain to run on auto-pilot with these things.

Anyways I’ll keep this short but I wanted to follow up from my post yesterday after thinking about it last night as I lay in bed falling asleep with my mind racing.

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Depression & Addiction, A Taboo Among Society

As some of my personal friends know I have suffered from clinical depression on-and-off for years, only to discover that at 19, I am bi-polar as well. I’ve also shared the same struggle with addiction which took the life my life long best friend, and my close friend since middle school recently.

It seams to be a taboo among society to talk about with people, including those we are closest to in life. I can tell you that unfortunately I have lost friends due to my struggles. And you know what? It sucks not to be able to talk about it, other then to a professional. I want it to be accepted and be public about what struggle is like.

Depression is terrible and for those who have gone through it know exactly what I am talking about. Depression has come closer to killing me then my addictions ever have. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It takes over your whole body mind, soul, and personality. People will ask “How are  you?” or “How have you been lately?” and you want to do nothing more then unload to the point you have tears flowing down your cheeks. But as society wants and views, most of the time you just answer “Pretty good” or “Not too bad.” Depression leads me to the next taboo: Addiction.

I have struggled with addiction on-and-off since I was 20 years old. My addiction story starts just like every other, but It’s a bit different. I, like most, was involved in an accident where i was prescribed heavy opiates for an extended period of time, then was cut off without warning (Mind you this was 2007-2008 before laws became strict) because it was the start of an epidemic in this country. I had been smoking pot since I was 15 and had met a few people over the years that could connect me to other things, so getting my hands on anything was pretty easy.

I have always had an addictive personality that extends far beyond drugs and alcohol. When pills were thrown in the mix, it just made it worse. As time progressed I became close friends with my dealer who in turn gave me pills for cheap, and later became my roommate. He had a condition that caused him to get WAYYYY over prescribed different opiates and benzo’s. It got to a point where i never paid for a thing. There would be something waiting for me by my keys in the morning to get me through the day.

I pulled myself out of that scenario and “cleaned up” which really just meant I was only taking a couple “blues” (30mg Percoset) one or twice a week and getting better at hiding it. For 8 years of my life it has been to a point where I was more depressed then anything, and I would hit my low point and just go out and find a few blues. I would either pop them, or crush them and snort them. In my head I wasn’t an addict (haha) and I had it under control.

The times I have been clean in my life have been the times I have been the least depressed. When I fall to my depression, I turn to the one thing that has never let me down in my life. I lost 2 of my best friends in February due to addiction and it has caused the most depression in my life I have ever had. It’s part of the reason I am up at 2am writing this blog. I can say that for as low as I have felt, This time I have stayed clean, and its the hardest struggle I have dealt with since February.

Add my extreme anxiety to the mix, and you have a recipe for potential disaster. Currently, I feel I have it 85% under control. But this recurring insomnia, crippling depression, and struggle to keep clean really sucks, and 15% of me is ready to implode.

Apple suckered me back… My Samsung S7 Edge review

Well after MUCH consideration and going back-and-forth for a week, I decided to exchange my Samsung S7 Edge for the iPhone 7 plus. I said I was going to skip it this time, but for as much as I love Android 6, and Samsung did a GREAT job with the hardware/ROM/UI integration, there was a deal breaker (actually a few).

I have had my iPhone 6S now for about a year and have no complaints other then the cracked screen my cousin left for me after dropping it on the pavement (with a glass screen protector, and case). I tend to get about 1.5 days on a single charge with my typical heavy use. The S7 lasted 16 hours if I was diligent about closing apps and turning off Bluetooth, NFC, and WiFi when not needed. Here are the pros and cons of the S7 Edge;

Pros:

  • The screen is incredible. Very sharp and bright
  • Android 6 (and the ability to root for that extra control)
  • The fingerprint scanner worked 90% of the time compared to my iPhone which is more like 60% of the time
  • The camera quality was awesome (although I didn’t take too many pictures with it
  • Expandable memory
  • Perfect size and weight, although like any other smartphone these days, needed a case
  • Customization
  • Google Cards
  • The Samsung “Edge Apps”

Cons:

  • Terrible battery, even being careful (I can never close an app on my iPhone 6S and the battery is barely effected)
  • Notifications on some apps were delayed
  • When I would read a work email on my computer, it wouldn’t auto sync back to my phone showing its been read
  • The curved glass made it difficult to access some menus and be tactile with smaller buttons and cause for unwanted scrolling quite often because of how it’s held
  • Service was terrible compared to my iPhone and frequently dropped calls at home
  • WiFi calling hand-off sucked

This was by far the toughest decision I have had to make in a phone in a long time, because I wanted to like the S7. But I have had every generation of iPhone and there is 1 thing that can be said about Apple products; they build both the hardware and OS so they just always work well together. Ok, I agree its really stupid that I need to use an adapter for my wired headphones now, but weighing the pros and cons of the 2, the iPhone won again.

My ONLY complaint is its back ordered 5 weeks, so I’m stuck using my cracked 6S till my nice 128gb iPhone 7+ arrives. Expected ship date of 11/18 currently.

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The Mystery of Traffic

One thing I will never figure out is the traffic patters that surround the city. I travel a reverse commute of 18 miles out of Somerville to the middle of no-where Concord. If I leave at 7:30am it takes me an hour to get 18 miles. If I wait ’till 8:20 to leave, it generally takes me 35 mins. Same route.

On my way home, if I leave at 3pm (although rare THAT early), I get home in a brisk 25 minutes. If I wait ’till 4:45, that same commute takes about 45 minutes. If I wait till 6, forget it. Ill be in traffic for a solid hour.

Remember, this is all a “reverse commute” when I am going out of the city in the mornings, and back in the evenings.

I have used Waze in the past to help me learn and avoid traffic patterns which worked well until everyone else caught on and they started diverting traffic in Arlington. Now that I’m using an Android phone, today I tried Google drive. I must say I am very impressed. Yes, I know Google owns Waze and pulls a good amount of its data from Waze reports, but when driving it will show you alternate routes along the way and the estimated time difference (2 minutes slower, 1 minute faster, etc.).

I really need a new clutch in my car, the city driving is killing it quicker.

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Gruesome Accident

eisen_fatalbike7_100516Well I witnessed one of the most gruesome things in my life while getting my daily coffee.

I’ve included the article here: Accident @ Porter

I am still a bit shaken up after seeing a body split at the torso in two. I really don’t know how to react as I can still see the replay of the truck running over the cyclist 10 times in my head. There was so much carnage, it was something out of a video game. This is something no one should ever have to witness.

I foresee counseling and PTSD in my future…

Boston vs. Home

I moved to Boston unofficially in September 2009, and officially January 2010. My best friend had moved here to attend UMass Boston in Dorchester. Since UMass Boston is a commuter school, the “dorms” we’ll call them for the sake of context, were the surrounding housing communities of Harbor Point, and the Penninsula. Although these were regular housing communities, they were also treated like college dorms.

I had already dropped out and was working for AT&T full-time and managed a transfer to one of the highest grossing stores in the northeast. This meant I was able to move in with my friend and do what any 21 year old does, party. Party we did. Being the fact I was one of the only ones at the time who could legally buy booze, we bought a lot. These are what I consider my “college years.”

The types of spontaneous parties that would happen were something I wasn’t used to in my ‘western mass’ life. It was the city, you could literally do anything at any time. It was a dream for someone like me who lived a party lifestyle. That lifestyle that got me in trouble at home was accepted here!

Almost seven years later, and I have mellowed out compared to what I was like when I fist moved here. Now I live in a nice house in Somerville (which reminds me of home, and its almost creepy) and have a decent career. It is amazing how much shit you need to learn before you mature. Yes, I used to be a classic disaster case, but I have grounded and moved on with life and enjoy where I am now.

The thought of moving back home has come up a few times, but I can’t imagine leaving Boston. I have adapted to the city and it has become a part of me. Yes, winters suck, and parking is even worse, but I still love it for some odd reason. It is a happy middle ground.

Logan Airport & Uber

I just picked up one of my closest friends from Logan airport as he just got home from a month in Bangalore, India. I live exactly 5.8 miles to the airport. One might not think of time or toll constraints to make it just a mere 5 miles. In my short commute I encountered construction, an accident, and 2 speed traps (in areas where speeding is near impossible). There are 4 terminals; A,B,C, and E. E is all international arrivals.  My friend texted me to let me know he’s waiting for me at the E terminal arrival area. I follow all the correct signs, pass a state cop who then waves me off. So how the fuck am I supposed to park to pick my friend up?

Turns out he though I was an Uber driver, which happen to not legally (don’t ask why) able to pick passengers up at Logan. It was 10:30pm, so I was not about to ask questions and just moved along to a cab stand, where they had no problem. Cabbies looked at me like I was stealing business, it was almost comical.

Logan is pretty easy to figure out, just don’t drive for Uber.

Traffic

One thing we don’t deal with at home to nearly the same caliber here is traffic. I have an 18 mile REVERSE commute out of the city everyday and it can still take me anywhere between 45 minute to an hour. With apps such as Waze which help predict traffic patterns, the cities are catching on. I found a nice shortcut via Waze recently, only to have the Town of Arlington make one of the streets a ‘Do Not Enter Between 3pm-6pm’ just so you cant take that shortcut. I hate having to think of going places in time of commute and time of day, because a trip to the south shore at 5pm is probably almost triple the time it is to go at 8pm, yet it’s still only 15 miles.

My car is small, sporty, fast, easy to park, and fun to drive. If i am trying to make it anywhere between 3-6pm, I might as well drive an old Buick LeSabre and enjoy the comfort of watching red lights in front of me.

 

From iPhone to Android

Well, after 8 generations of the iPhone, I finally took the dive into the Android world (again). This is the first time since I worked for AT&T that I committed to an Android device. I decided to go for the Samsung S7 Edge. I had a few reason for the dive.

  1. The iPhone 7 lacks a 3.5mm jack – To some this isn’t a big deal, but my luck with bluetooth headphones hasn’t been the greatest. Between running and snowboarding in the winter, I find regular earbuds work best.
  2. The S7 keeps the same form factor as the iPhone (ahem, trademark issues) but with curved glass.
  3. The new iPhone really didn’t offer anything new. I have a 6S (although the glass is cracked, hence the new purchase) which isn’t all that different.
  4. Samsung and Android offer a lot off cool features that still haven’t made it to the apple platform.
  5. Android is the only OS that works with my OBDeleven for my car (programming and diagnostic tool)

So far its been 3 days and I am happy, although I always tend to gravitate back to apple. Let’s see what I am using after my 14 days are up.

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Hello world

Well this is my first post, so nothing too captivating. I plan on keeping this semi-anonymous to be as honest as possible. This is mostly a blog about my life in the city and my daily encounters.

I will try to update as much as possible. Crazy things are always happening around Boston.